Nutr Clin Pract 2009 (Feb); 24 (1): 60–75
Dunn SP, Bleske B, Dorsch M, Macaulay T, Van Tassell B, Vardeny O
Department of Pharmacy Services,
University of Kentucky,
800 Rose Street, Rm H-112B,
Lexington, KY 40536-0293, USA.
Nutrition impairment commonly occurs in patients with heart failure and affects disease progression. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies are associated with early mortality, particularly in patients classified as cachectic. Guideline-based therapies approved for heart failure, such as loop diuretics, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers, aldosterone antagonists, and beta-adrenergic blockers, can lead to electrolyte abnormalities and predispose to some vitamin and micronutrient deficits. Clinical trial evidence in support of supplementary vitamin and mineral therapies for heart failure patients is limited with the exception of documented calcium and possibly vitamin D, thiamine, and coenzyme Q10 deficiencies. This area is gaining significant attention, and research is ongoing. The clinician can help minimize morbidity from nutrition impairment through appropriate monitoring and correction of baseline and medication-induced electrolyte imbalances, in addition to vitamin and mineral supplementation when appropriate.