Researchers shed light on new heart condition Anergia

March 12th, 2009 - 6:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, March 12 (IANS) Researchers are shedding new light on a syndrome affecting nearly 40 percent of older adults with heart failure: anergia.
Anergia, or lack of energy, is a newly delineated, criterion-based geriatric syndrome that is often overlooked or dismissed by doctors and patients alike as simply a natural tiredness associated with “old age”.

Whether anergia is a result of heart failure or perhaps a potential underlying contributing factor is not entirely clear.

However, one thing is certain, researchers say: Fatigue has been shown to have independent long-term prognostic implications in patients with heart failure.

Mathew Maurer, associate professor of clinical medicine at Columbia University Medical Centre (CUMC), is the senior co-author of the study.

As part of the nine-month prospective cohort study, heart failure patients were provided an actigraph - a device worn on the wrist like a watch that was used to assess physical activity, energy expenditures and sleep by measuring and recording limb movement.

Participants were instructed to wear it continuously on their non-dominant wrist for the nine months of the study.

At baseline and at every three months for a total of four visits, each subject underwent a targeted physical exam including measurement of heart failure severity and distance walked during a six-minute hall walk as well as other mediating factors, said a CUMC release.

An earlier study by Maurer showed that anergia may stem from many conditions, including heart and kidney dysfunction, arthritis, lung disease, anaemia and depression.

These findings were published in the March 2009 edition of the Journal of Cardiac Failure.

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