SOURCE: Alere Medical, Inc.

September 10, 2007 17:10 ET

New Research Confirms Body Weight Increase Prior to Hospitalization for Heart Failure Patients

Study Cites Remote Patient Monitoring as Method to Identify High-Risk Periods

RENO, NV--(Marketwire - September 10, 2007) - Increases in body weight are associated with hospitalization for heart failure and begin at least one week before admission, while daily information about patients' body weight can identify high-risk periods during which interventions can be most beneficial, according to new research reported in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Researchers studied patients with heart failure who were referred to a home monitoring system by managed care organizations. Patients experienced weight gains of more than two and up to five pounds within one week of being hospitalized for heart failure. The study also stated that daily monitoring of patients' body weight can identify high-risk periods during which interventions to avoid hospitalization for heart failure may be beneficial.

The findings could have important implications for disease management programs' efforts to identify patients at risk for hospitalization from heart failure, and to quantify the relationship between weight change in patients with heart failure and the risk for hospitalization.

The study is based on data collected over an 18-month period from patients with heart failure who were using the Alere Medical Heart Failure Program, which provided data but had no role in the design, conduct, analysis, or presentation of the study.

"Alere is pleased to have provided academic researchers with access to its data, in order to conduct this important research to advance the science of heart failure medicine," said Gordon K. Norman, MD, MBA, Executive Vice President, Chief Science Officer for Alere Medical, Inc. "Prior to this research, antecedent weight gain prior to heart failure admissions has been clinically observed, but not carefully characterized and quantified as done here. This study advances the field's understanding."

Alere's approach of using remote patient monitoring in the home for heart failure patients has been shown to save health plans and payers money by reducing hospitalizations, improve the clinical outcomes of patients who are enrolled, and provide information to patients' physicians in a "just in time" actionable format. The Alere Heart Failure Program was also shown to reduce mortality in a study published in 2003(1).

"We're pleased that our approach to disease management using remote patient monitoring continues to be validated, both in academic research and in commercial ventures," said Timothy J. Moore, MD, MS, Executive Vice President, Chief Medical Officer for Alere Medical. "Although our daily information gathering is automated, it is always validated by our nurses' communication with patients prior to notifying physicians."

The study is titled "Patterns of Weight Change Preceding Hospitalization for Heart Failure" and is published in the October 2nd, 2007 issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. Lead author of the study is Sarwat Chaudhry, MD, assistant professor of medicine at Yale University School of Medicine, with senior author Harlan M. Krumholz, MD, SM. Other authors of the study are Yongfei Wang, MS; John Concato, MD, MPH; and Thomas M. Gill, MD.

About Alere Medical, Inc.

Alere Medical, Incorporated is a leader in specialized health management services focusing on a patient-centric, programmatic approach to comprehensive personal health support. Alere's integrated care monitoring system identifies and monitors all medium- and high-risk patients, and prioritizes those patients to facilitate efficient workflow. With published outcomes that exceed those of any competitor, Alere Medical's health management programs improve clinical outcomes for patients, and maximize savings for clients.

Alere Medical has received NCQA Patient Oriented Full Accreditation of its disease management programs for heart failure, coronary artery disease, diabetes, asthma and COPD. For more information, visit www.alere.com or call (775) 829-8885.

(1) "Randomized trial of a daily electronic home monitoring system in patients with advanced heart failure: The Weight Monitoring in Heart Failure (WHARF) trial" Lee R. Goldberg, MD, MPH, John D. Piette, PhD, Mary Norine Walsh, MD, Theodore A. Frank, MD, Brian E. Jaski, MD, Andrew L. Smith, MD, Raymond Rodriguez, MD, Donna M. Mancini, MD, Laurie A. Hopton, RN, BSN, E. John Orav, PhD, and Evan Loh, MD; American Heart Journal, October 2003

Contact Information

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    Alere Medical, Inc.
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