University of California San Francisco investigators determined early monitoring and lifestyle changes could eliminate the need for a pacemaker. In fact, blood-pressure and glucose control may be effective in preventing heart block, a common form of arrhythmia, and the subsequent need for a pacemaker, according to the research team.
The team analyzed more than 6,000 Finnish patients, appearing online May 24, 2019, in JAMA Network Open. The UCSF researchers found that more than half of the cases of heart block resulted from high blood pressure or elevated blood sugar.
Of those factors, two directly modifiable risk factors were identified: every 10 millimeter increase in systolic blood pressure resulted in 22 percent greater risk, and every millimeter increase in fasting glucose resulted in 19 percent greater risk. Taking into account the prevalence of these modifiable risk factors in the population and assuming causal relationships, they estimated that 47 percent of AV blocks in the 58 patients would have been avoided with ideal blood pressure and 11 percent with normal fasting glucose.
The authors note the study occurred in a solely Caucasian population and ad...
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