Friday, January 30, 2009

Automated Implantable Cardiac Defibrillator

Automated Implantable Cardiac Defibrillator - Battery-powered device significantly improves the chances of survival in people at high risk for arrhythmias - Webcast, February 19, 2009 at 7:00 PM EST - Halifax Health Medical Center, Daytona Beach, FL. Watch the preview:

Hypertension: A worldwide epidemic

Hypertension: A worldwide epidemic"Hypertension is a major public health problem in the U.S. and worldwide. More than a quarter of world's adult population totaling one billion, have it. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey predicted that 63.3 million Americans ( 20 percent of the population) are hypertensive (Systolic BP more than 140 and Diastolic BP more than 90). It is the second most prevalent chronic disease and accounts for $33 billion in direct cost and $280 billion in lost production every year." - Clinton Herald

UC Davis research shows that newly discovered drug reduces heart enlargement

"Researchers at the University of California, Davis have discovered that a prototype drug reduces heart enlargement, one of the most common causes of heart failure. Heart failure, which occurs when the heart can't pump enough blood throughout the body, affects 5 million people in the United States. The condition contributes to 300,000 deaths each year. The research in the laboratories of cardiologist and cell biologist Nipavan Chiamvimonvat, Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, UC Davis School of Medicine, and entomologist Bruce Hammock, Department of Entomology, showed that the new class of drugs reduces heart swelling in rat models with heart failure. 'This holds promise to treat heart failure and other cardiovascular as well as kidney problems,' said nephrology professor Robert Weiss, Department of Internal Medicine" - Science Centric

Defective gene causes sudden cardiac death

"A defective gene causes sudden cardiac death in many young people, says a new study. Researchers at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University have found that in at least ten per cent of cases in Europe, sudden cardiac death in young people is due to a cardiac gene defect, the 'Deutsches Arzteblatt International' journal reported. Sudden cardiac death is defined as unexpected death occurring rapidly - usually within one hour of the onset of symptoms - in persons previously seemed to be healthy" - Zeenews

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Stroke Awareness Day

Stroke Awareness Day"Stroke Awareness Day falls this year on Tuesday 12 May. This is a European-wide initiative developed through The Stroke Association's membership of the Stroke Alliance for Europe (SAFE); stroke awareness activities will be taking place simultaneously in member countries all over Europe. To mark the day, The Stroke Association is planning a range of exciting activities around the UK. These include Stroke A-wear-ness Fashion Shows featuring our service users and stroke club members, blood pressure testing and information events, fundraising events such as skydives and street collections, and we are once again running the very popular Step up for Stroke" - Stroke Association (UK)

First comprehensive paper on statins' adverse effects released

"A paper co-authored by Beatrice Golomb, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and director of UC San Diego's Statin Study group cites nearly 900 studies on the adverse effects of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins), a class of drugs widely used to treat high cholesterol. The result is a review paper, currently published in the on-line edition of American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs, that provides the most complete picture to date of reported side effects of statins, showing the state of evidence for each. The paper also helps explain why some people have a higher risk than others for such adverse effects. 'Muscle problems are the best known of statin drugs' adverse side effects,' said Golomb. 'But cognitive problems and peripheral neuropathy, or pain or numbness in the extremities like fingers and toes, are also widely reported.' A spectrum of other problems, ranging from blood glucose elevations to tendon problems, can also occur as side effects from statins. The paper cites clear evidence that higher statin doses or more powerful statins - those with a stronger ability to lower cholesterol - as well as certain genetic conditions, are linked to greater risk of developing side effects." - newswise

Tips to protect your heart in a bad economy

"A bad economy can take its toll on the heart with increased stress, poor eating and forgoing healthful activities like going to the gym when money is tight. UCLA cardiologists suggest the following tips to help protect the heart during this time of financial uncertainty. 'We've seen an increase in patients complaining about heart palpitations, anxiety and stress over the past months,' said Dr. Karol Watson, associate professor of cardiology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. 'Much of heart disease can be prevented, that’s why it is so important to follow a healthy lifestyle and to control your cardiovascular risk factors.'" - newswise

Toward a urine test for diagnosing heart disease

Researchers in Australia are reporting an advance toward the first urine test for diagnosing coronary artery disease, the condition responsible for most of the 1.5 million heart attacks that occur in the United States each year. The test could save lives in the future by allowing earlier diagnosis and monitoring of the disease, which is the No. 1 cause of death in the United States, the researchers say. Their report is in the November 19, 2008 issue of ACS' Journal of Proteome Research

Are worms vital to human health?

"Could the humble worm hold the key to wiping out allergies and a whole lot of disorders of the immune system? Researchers in Nottingham are investigating whether giving hook worms to asthma sufferers can cure their condition. Another group in the US is trying a pig worm on patients with ulcerative colitis or inflammation of the colon and bowel. And scientists in Cambridge have proved that giving an extract of the tropical worm which causes billharsia to mice can stop them developing type 1 diabetes" - BBC

Taking Control of Your Diabetes Conference 2009

Taking Control of Your Diabetes conference and health fair will be held February 28, 2009 at the Augusta Marriott Hotel, bringing national and local medical experts in diabetes care to people with all types of diabetes, those at risk for diabetes, and their loved ones for a day of highly informative and motivational programs. Leading specialist will discuss practical advice and developments in the treatment of diabetes, the complications of the disease, psychological barriers to controlling diabetes, prevention, nutritional issues and much more. Health professionals from the Medical College of Georgia, University Primary Care, University Hospital, Augusta Foot and Ankle, Veterans Administration Medical Center, University Medical Associates, and a host of other diabetes specialists have partnered with Taking Control of Your Diabetes to hold this premier conference and health fair.

Health Research Partnerships with American Indian Communities

"Alexandra Adams, MD, PhD leads a family-based intervention project - Healthy Children, strong families - to reduce obesity and cardiac risk factors in American Indian children. This participatory research project, a partnership between four Wisconsin Tribes, great Lakes inter-Tribal Council and UW researchers, is a randomized controlled trial examining the effect of a home visiting intervention on reducing metabolic risk and improving lifestyles in the children and their primary caregivers"

Brief, rigorous exercise cuts diabetes risk

"Rigorous exercise of short duration can significantly affect the body's ability to process sugars and fight diabetes, a new study suggests. In research published in the journal BMC Endocrine Disorders, scientists from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland, say they found that brief but intense exercise every day or two may help reduce the risk of diabetes. James Timmons, a professor in the school of engineering and physical sciences, says he and a team of investigators looked into the effect of "high-intensity training" on the insulin action and blood sugar control in 16 young, healthy male volunteers. They found that insulin sensitivity improved significantly in the two-week study. Regular exercise can help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease" - WebMD

Girl, 7, gets heart; sister waits for one

Girl, 7, gets heart; sister waits for one"Sunday was the first day that 7-year-old Emily Smith was able to visit the hospital playroom since receiving her new heart. It is a small step to getting her life back to normal. "You can tell that she wants to play soccer but she can't. Now that she has her heart, she can," said her big sister, Shayde. Shayde is 9 and knows a bit about what Emily is going through. She has the very same condition, called restrictive cardiomyopathy, in which the heart doesn't relax as it should between pumps, so it doesn't properly fill with blood. "Less than 1 in a million are diagnosed with this type of heart disease," Dr. Kristine Guleserian of Children's Medical Center in Dallas told CBS News correspondent Hari Sreenivasen. "To have two family members, it is even more rare. To have two sisters with it who are so close in age is incredibly rare."" - CBS

SLU researchers part of study on gene therapy for heart failure

"Cardiologists at Saint Louis University are participating in what they say are the first-ever clinical trials of gene therapy to treat severe heart failure. Researchers say it could be the first to not only treat symptoms of heart failure but to actually reverse the severity of the disease. Saint Louis University is among 13 research centers involved in the project. The study will investigate whether MYDICAR, a genetically targeted enzyme replacement therapy, can repair heart muscle that was damaged by either a prior heart attack or heart muscle disease. Heart failure affects about 5 million Americans" -

More potassium, less salt better combination to prevent heart disease

More potassium, less salt better combination to prevent heart disease"We know that a low salt diet is important to control high blood pressure that leads to heart disease. According to new research from Loyola University, it seems equally as important to increase our potassium intake if we really want to reduce our risk of heart disease. According to study author Dr. Paul Whelton, president and CEO of Loyola University Health System, "There isn't as much focus on potassium, but potassium seems to be effective in lowering blood pressure and the combination of a higher intake of potassium and lower consumption of sodium seems to be more effective than either on its own in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease." - maxHealth

Health Profile of England 2008

Health Profile of England 2008"England has been exposed as the sick man of Europe, with the highest rates of obesity. More women die of alcoholic liver disease and cancer here than in almost any other country. Heart attack and smoking rates were among the highest, and infant mortality was among the worst on the continent - despite billions of pounds pumped into the NHS. Critics immediately seized on the findings, saying Labour's failed policies risked bankrupting the Health Service. The damning survey, the Health Profile of England 2008, was published by the Government. It compares the nation's health with the 15 western European countries which were part of the EU before 2004 - the 'EU-15'. "

Heart Aware Risk Assessment

Heart Aware Risk AssessmentThe University of Miami Health System invites you to take this complimentary 7 minute test to determine your risk for cardiovascular disease

Proton pump inhibitors increase risk of heart attacks for patients on common cardiac drug

"Patients taking the common cardiac drug clopidogrel following a heart attack are at a significantly higher risk of a recurrence if they are also taking widely used acid-lowering medications called proton pump inhibitors, a new study published online in CMAJ has found" -

Heart patients start to settle in

"The Rev. H.L. Deason looked around his new room Monday with admiration. "I like the colors," the retired Baptist preacher said. "Very easy on the eyes." The Rev. Deason got a new room without ever leaving University Hospital. He was among the first to transfer into the new Heart & Vascular Institute, Augusta, Georgia. The addition, which staff are calling "the tower," began getting patients Sunday, and the transfer from the hospital's cardiac units to its 72 patient rooms will go through Wednesday. The institute is the largest and most visible piece of University's $93.6 million renovation, which is all but complete now as patients and staff move in." - Augusta Chronicle

Monday, January 26, 2009

Statins may treat blood vessel disorder that can lead to fatal strokes

"In a finding that could save thousands of lives a year, University of Utah School of Medicine researchers have shown that a blood vessel disorder leading to unpredictable, sometimes fatal, hemorrhagic strokes, seizures, paralysis or other problems is treatable with the same statin drugs that millions of people take to control high cholesterol. If the results of a study in mice are confirmed in a pilot trial with people, statins could provide a safe, inexpensive treatment for cerebral cavernous malformation (CCM), a disorder with no known drug therapy, according to U of U cardiologist Dean Y. Li, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Molecular Medicine Program and corresponding author of a study published January 18 in Nature Medicine online" - EurekAlert

Can a common virus make you fat?

Can a common virus make you fat?"One doctor in the US believes that a common cold virus can interfere with our normal body processes and make us fat. For the past ten years, Dr Nikhil Dhurandhar from Louisiana has been carrying out animal and human studies on the virus, Adenovirus-36. He believes it could be one of the mechanisms causing some people to put on weight more quickly" - BBC

Husband's kiss woke 'sleeping beauty wife' in coma after heart attack

Husband's kiss woke 'sleeping beauty wife' in coma after heart attack"After two weeks sitting by his wife's bedside hoping she would wake from a coma, Andrew Ray was at his wits' end. Doctors had told him Emma could become a real-life sleeping beauty when she failed to regain consciousness after a heart attack. The distraught father of two played her tapes of their baby son crying and their daughter shouting 'wake up Mummy!'. Finally, in desperation, he leant over her hospital bed and pleaded: 'Emma, if you can hear me, please just give me a kiss. 'What happened next was beyond my wildest dreams,' he said. 'She turned her head towards mine, puckered up her lips and gave me a little kiss.'" - The Mail

Heart charity reveals UK is cultivating hidden hotbeds of heart disease

"The United Kingdom is cultivating hidden hotbeds of heart disease, the British Heart Foundation can reveal today. Recent reports of declining death rates at a national and regional level are hiding the grim reality for those living in significant pockets of deprivation, according to our new figures. In some local authority areas, people living in one ward are five times as likely to die from heart disease as those living just half a mile away. The new figures highlighting potential future 'supercentres' of heart disease were released by the BHF as we launched a major new GBP9 million programme to tackle inequalities in heart disease. The BHF's UK-wide Hearty Lives programme will give those born into deprived areas a greater chance of living to see their grandchildren grow up, and better support if they do develop heart disease."

The Heart of a Woman

The Heart of a Woman"Martin Memorial Health Systems requests the honor of your presence as we celebrate The Heart of a Woman. A fun and educational event featuring talks about heart disease prevention, as well as a preview of the latest spring fashions, a silent auction, and giveaways. Friday, February 20, 2009, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mariner Sands Country Club 6500 Mariner Sands Drive, Stuart, FL 34997"

Angioplasty without a net: procedure cleared

"Six Tampa Bay area hospitals are among the first 11 in Florida licensed to provide elective angioplasty without an onsite open-heart surgery program. The new licenses were awarded amid an ongoing national debate about the safety of the elective procedure to clear blocked arteries without backup open-heart surgery programs, required in many states" - Tampa Bay Business Journal

Pfizer acquires Wyeth for $68bn

Pfizer acquires Wyeth for $68bn"US drugmaker Pfizer is to buy rival Wyeth in a deal worth $68bn (£50bn), the two companies have announced. The merger will allow Pfizer to protect itself from a drop in revenues when its popular drug Lipitor and other products lose patent protection. It will also help Pfizer diversify its product portfolio, thanks to Wyeth's presence in biotech drugs and vaccines. Pfizer also announced plans to cut 10% of its global workforce, or 8,000 jobs, and shut some manufacturing sites" - BBC

Sunday, January 25, 2009

National Heart Failure Awareness Week (USA)

National Heart Failure Awareness Week - February 8-14, 2009. "The Heart Failure Society of America has produced a turnkey kit and supplemental materials to assist professionals in planning events related to heart failure either during National Heart Failure Awareness Week or at other times during the year. Some of the materials, for either medical professionals or individuals, may be ordered online. Other information may be downloaded directly"

LifeBridge Health Cardiac Rehabilitation Program

LifeBridge Health Cardiac Rehabilitation ProgramCardiac Rehabilitation at LifeBridge Health, Maryland, is a three-phase program designed to help improve cardiovascular well-being for those whose doctors have recommended a medically supervised program of cardiovascular care. The program most commonly aids in recovery after a heart attack, angioplasty and/or stenting and open-heart surgery. It is also beneficial for patients who suffer from stable chest pain. The program is designed to educate you and your family about your particular heart problem, and help you make lifestyle changes necessary for a more satisfying and fulfilling life. The rehabilitation process begins during hospitalization and continues throughout your lifetime

Non prescription weight loss pill gets European go ahead

Non prescription weight loss pill gets European go ahead"The weight loss drug Orlistat is slated to go on sale in European pharmacies without the requirement of a prescription within the next few months. Although early approval was first given several months ago in October 2008, the European Commission has just now given the go ahead for public distribution of the anti-obesity drug, which will be marketed under the name Alli by GlaxoSmithKline, the makers of the product. The estimated price for Alli is GBP1.50 a day." - eCanadaNow

Kentucky holds highest smoking death rate

Kentucky holds highest smoking death rate"A new study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that Kentucky and West Virginia, states that traditionally have the most smokers, also have the highest death rates from smoking. The other states within the top ten for highest annual smoking death rates were Nevada, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Arkansas, Alabama, Indiana and Missouri. Utah and Hawaii had the lowest smoking death rates. According to the study, Kentucky had 371 smoking related deaths out of every 100,000 adults age 35 and older. The report appears in this week's edition of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report" - redOrbit

Identifying in-flight emergencies

"Fainting is the most common in-flight medical emergency. Research recently published in BioMed Central's open access journal Critical Care details the number, type and frequency of medical emergencies on board two airlines. Michael Sand led a team of researchers from the University of Bochum, Germany, and the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), who analyzed 10,189 different emergencies. He said, 'Although in-flight medical emergencies are rare in general, they can have a significant effect on other passengers and crew, potentially with operational implications for the flight. The breakdown of the various medical emergencies encountered in our study showed that fainting was by far the most frequent medical condition, followed by stomach upsets, and heart conditions'."

What's in store for the Indian PM's heart?

Manmohan Singh"Now that the 11-hour-long repeat bypass surgery on Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh is over, the focus has shifted to his post-operative care and cardiac rehabilitation. According to cardiologists, when it comes to heart patients, post-operative care is as important as the surgery. "Cardiac rehabilitation is a multi-dimensional programme designed to reduce future risk of heart patients through medical evaluation, prescribed exercise, cardiac risk factor modification, education and counselling," said Dr Aashish Contractor, who heads the Preventive Cardiology and Rehabilitation Centre, Asian Heart Institute. DNA has learnt that doctors from the Asian Heart Institute's Preventive Cardiology and Rehabilitation Centre will also be joining Dr Ramakant Panda's team in Delhi on Monday" - DNA


"Mednar is a free, publicly available medical research site that uses advanced technology to return high quality results. Using state-of-the-art federated search technology from Deep Web Technologies, Mednar accelerates your research by returning the most relevant results from across the World Wide Web, including blogs, wikis, mainstream searches and deep web sources to one, easily navigable page"

More children and working-age Americans go without prescribed drugs because of cost

"The proportion of children and working-age Americans who went without a prescription drug because of cost concerns jumped to one in seven in 2007, up from one in 10 in 2003, according to a national study released by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation"

Discovery could block blood clots

Discovery could block blood clotsScientists have found a potential way to prevent blood clots which can cause heart attacks. They believe the discovery could aid the development of better heart attack prevention and treatment. The key is to remove a particular protein - PKC alpha - from specialist blood cells called platelets which play a key role in the formation of clots. The University of Bristol study, carried out in mice, appears in the Journal of Clinical Investigation - BBC

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Officers armed with heart-jumpers

Officers armed with heart-jumpers"Attleboro, Massachusetts, patrolman Kevin Fuoco holds one of the department's automatic external defibrillators. Attleboro officers have been first responders in four cardiac arrests since 2007, reviving nearly dead victims in each case" - Sun Chronicle

Friday, January 23, 2009

Cryoplasty used to clear arteries

Cryoplasty is a freezing treatment similar to angioplasty, but uses gas rather than a small balloon to clear arteries

Thursday, January 22, 2009

New blog: Sharing Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic has announced the launch of its culture blog, Sharing Mayo Clinic, which provides an online site for patients and employees to share their stories about what makes Mayo Clinic unique. You can also subscribe to the RSS feed

New stretchable electrodes created to study stresses on cardiac cells

Engineers at Purdue and Stanford universities have created stretchable electrodes to study how cardiac muscle cells, neurons and other cells react to mechanical stresses from heart attacks, traumatic brain injuries and other diseases.

I quit, we quit - what works better for smokers?

I quit, we quit - what works better for smokers?"A study from the University of Bath has found that smokers are twice as likely to kick the habit if they use a support group rather than trying to give up alone. Researchers from the UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies led by Dr Linda Bauld at Bath, along with colleagues from the University of Glasgow, have published research in the February issue of Addiction journal comparing the success and cost-effectiveness of two types of stop smoking support services offered by the NHS. These are community-based group stop smoking support and one-to-one support provided in a pharmacy setting. The study, funded by the Glasgow Centre for Population Health, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Health Scotland, found that more than a third of smokers using support groups quit smoking after four weeks; almost double the proportion of those using a pharmacy-based support scheme to help them quit." - EurekAlert

Why do some people never seem to get fat?

Why do some people never seem to get fat? "The UK is a country obsessed by the threat of obesity. As the average person's weight has grown, so has coverage of the subject. The chief medical officer for England, Sir Liam Donaldson, has said we are facing an "obesity timebomb". Culinary celebrities like Jamie Oliver have launched campaigns, in homes and school kitchens, to fight the fat war. Yet the science of weight gain is less straightforward than the headlines sometimes suggest. Why, for example, do some people seem to eat what they like and not put on weight, while others limit their diet yet struggle to shed their bulk?" - BBC

Abnormal heart lowers exercise capacity

"Patients with abnormal diastolic function - the heart is relaxed and expanded - in the left ventricle have a lower exercise capacity, U.S. researchers say. Dr. Jasmine Grewal of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues studied the relationship between left ventricular diastolic function and exercise capacity. The study included 2,867 patients undergoing exercise echocardiography - a noninvasive diagnostic procedure that uses ultrasound to study the structure and motions of the heart. The patients had routine measurements of left ventricular systolic - contraction of the heart - and diastolic function. Analyses were conducted to determine the strongest correlates of exercise capacity and the age and sex interactions of these variables with exercise capacity. The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that diastolic dysfunction - impaired relaxation - was strongly and inversely associated with exercise capacity. Compared with normal function, those with resting diastolic dysfunction had substantially lower exercise capacity, the study said" - UPI

Salt may restrict blood flow to heart

Reducing the salt in your diet can help lower your blood pressure, but it may also lower your risk for having a heart attack or stroke in another important way. Results from a new study suggest that eating a low-sodium diet can also help keep blood vessels working properly. The study measured the impact of salt restriction on the endothelium, the thin layer of cells that line the interior of the blood vessels and help regulate blood flow. Overweight and obese study participants with normal blood pressure who restricted the sodium in their diets showed evidence of improved endothelial function compared to participants who did not restrict salt. The improvement appeared to be unrelated to the impact on blood pressure, suggesting that salt restriction is independently protective of blood vessel function. "We found that if we reduced the salt in the diet, we saw a direct, positive impact on blood vessels," nutrition researcher and study co-author Jennifer B. Keogh, PhD, tells WebMD.

Jackson General Hospital opens chest pain center

"Jackson-Madison County General Hospital, Tennessee, has announced the opening of its new Chest Pain Center. The Chest Pain Center, located adjacent to the Emergency Department, features a dedicated team of cardiac specialists along with new equipment, facilities and medical protocols designed to diagnose heart disease in patients experiencing chest pain, according to a news release" - Jackson Sun

Chickens could help provide solutions for human heart abnormalities

"By focusing on chickens' hearts, a scientist at University of Missouri has identified some proteins in the heart muscle that are critical in regulating embryonic heartbeat control. Knowledge of these components and how they interact can enable researchers with a better understanding of heart development and abnormalities in humans. For the study, the researchers examined embryonic chickens' hearts, which develop morphologically and functionally similarly to humans' hearts" - newKerala

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Two-thirds of Birmingham is overweight, says health survey (UK)

"Two-thirds of Birmingham, UK, residents are overweight and half of those are clinically obese, according to a public survey carried out by a health firm. The study of 1,350 adults found "worryingly high" levels of high blood pressure and high body fat. It found the lowest levels of obesity are in south-west London, where one third are overweight and 13 per cent obese. The survey, based on as series of 'health checks' in 13 locations across Britain, also discovered that obesity is occurring at an increasingly young age. In Manchester, it found the average age of the overweight population was 28, compared to 47 in Birmingham. The research was carried out by health brands Salter and HoMedics" - Telegraph

UK gym has 'human dumbbells' to help customers exercise

Gym has 'human dumbbells' to help customers exercise"A gym is offering its customers an unusual set of dumbbells to exercise with - including an overweight man and two dwarfs. Members of Gymbox in Bank, central London, can choose to lift any of five differently sized "human weights". Wearing Lycra catsuits which label their weight, they sit on specially adapted machines and shout words of encouragement. The "dumbbells" include two dwarfs - 32-year-old Arti Shah, who weighs just 4.5 stones (30kg) and 64-year-old Mike Edwards, who weighs 8 stones (55kg). At the other end of the scale for those with stronger muscles is 24 stones (155kg) Matt Barnard, 37. Gymbox owner Richard Hilton said: "A lot of our members felt that lifting metal weights was boring and not especially motivating." - Telegraph

Diastolic dysfunction predicts reduced exercise capacity

"Exercise may be good for the heart, but good diastolic function also appears to protect the capacity for exercise, researchers found. Any level of resting diastolic dysfunction, whether moderate-to-severe or mild, substantially lowered exercise capacity (both P<0.001), Patricia A. Pellikka, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic here, and colleagues reported in the January 21 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association"

Women's heart disease tied to weight and waistline

"Despite education efforts, heart disease is still a leading cause of death in American women. So how do you protect yourself and your loved ones? 'I was in perfect health,' said Louise Bell. 'I took no medication. I was an aerobics instructor. I worked out an hour a day, five to six days a week.' Bell, 47, was a picture of good health. As a flight nurse, her job was to save other people's lives. One day, that all changed. 'I was sitting at my computer early one morning and I just had a crushing pain across my chest,' she said. 'When I felt the pain, I stood and then I sat down and I couldn't get back up.' Bell was having a heart attack, the first of two she would have in just a couple of days time. She had no warning signs and no risk factors. Doctors later told her it was the result of a congenital heart problem called Microvascular Disease, when small blood vessels going to the heart are blocked or have a decreased blood flow" - NBC

HOPE protocol

"Charles Mascioli, M.D., medical director of the critical care units at Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge, TN, recently discussed a life-saving new treatment for people who experience cardiac arrest, a condition in which their hearts stop beating. It's called the HOPE protocol"

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Wrist access safer, easier for many patients undergoing minimally invasive treatment of blocked heart arteries

"A new approach to unblocking heart arteries minimally invasively will mean less bleeding, less down time, lower costs and less risk overall, particularly for obese patients, according to data being presented at the 21st annual International Symposium on Endovascular Therapy (ISET). Every year, about one million Americans opt for angioplasty over bypass surgery to open their blocked arteries. New data suggests that beginning the angioplasty procedure by entering through the wrist - rather than through the groin - will make it safer and easier on patients." - redOrbit

The International Symposium on Endovascular Therapy (ISET) 2009

The International Symposium on Endovascular Therapy (ISET) 2009 - 18-22 January 2009 - Florida, USA

Reducing salt helpful beyond hypertension

"Salt reduction may offer cardio-protective effects beyond blood pressure reduction, researchers in Australia found. Kacie Dickinson of Flinders University in Australia and colleagues said the study provided further evidence of the importance of decreasing sodium intake to improve blood vessel health and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. The study, published in the February issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, showed that sodium reduction is beneficial for people who have normal blood pressure and those who are overweight or obese - and the benefits start in just a few weeks. "Regardless of one's body weight or blood pressure, sodium reduction offers many health benefits," Dickinson said in a statement" - redOrbit

February is National Heart Month (UK)

Watch this video from the British Heart Foundation:

First heart attacks becoming less severe: U.S. study

"First heart attacks are less likely to kill people in the United States than they used to be, helped by better prevention efforts and better treatments, U.S. researchers said on Monday. "The severity of heart attacks is decreasing," said Dr. Merle Myerson of Columbia University in New York, whose study appears in the journal Circulation. "That is one reason among many that deaths from coronary heart disease are declining," Myerson said in a telephone interview"

New scan reveals bleeding hearts

New scan reveals bleeding hearts"Images that for the first time show bleeding inside the heart after people have suffered a heart attack have been captured by scientists, in a new study published today in the journal Radiology. The research shows that the amount of bleeding can indicate how damaged a person's heart is after a heart attack. The researchers, from the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre at Imperial College London, hope that this kind of imaging will be used alongside other tests to create a fuller picture of a patient's condition and their chances of recovery. The research was funded by the Medical Research Council, the British Heart Foundation and the Department of Health, UK" - redOrbit

Heart Attack Grill

Bill Geist visits the Heart Attack Grill in Chandler, Ariz., where you can almost feel your arteries clogging:

Watch CBS Videos Online

Sunday, January 18, 2009

More evidence in support of Vitamin D

New research suggests a vitamin D deficiency could increase a person's risk of developing cardiovascular disease

'Body double' aids stroke victims

'Body double' aids stroke victims"A virtual "body double" system has been developed to help people regain movement after a stroke by highlighting the muscles they are using. Pioneered by Dutch researchers, the system displays an image of the person training and the force at which they are using their muscles on a screen. The Human Body Model is being tested at the Sheba Hospital in Tel Aviv, Israel, reports the New Scientist" - BBC

Author says chopsticks help weight loss

"Using chopsticks helps you eat less and lose weight, says Kimiko Barber, author of "The Chopsticks Diet." The human brain takes 20 minutes to register what the stomach contains, so using chopsticks slows a person's consumption, leaving them feeling satisfied while eating less, Barber said. Chopsticks users also take smaller bites, which means food tends to be chewed more, making it easier to digest, she told The Daily Telegraph in a story published Saturday. In Britain alone, an estimated 10 million people - 24 percent of the population - are clinically obese, The Telegraph reported, noting a third of the country is expected to qualify as obese by 2012 if eating habits remain the same. Doctors say obesity contributes to heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and many cancers." UPI

One in 100 has heart gene defect

"One in 100 people in the world has a gene defect that almost guarantees heart failure, scientists have found. For individuals whose ancestry can be traced to the Indian subcontinent, the risk is much higher. They have more than a one in 25 chance of inheriting the abnormal gene. The mutation, a deletion of 25 letters of genetic code from the heart protein gene MYBPC3, is believed to have first appeared in India thousands of years ago. It is thought to affect around 60 million people worldwide. Researchers studying the gene reported that for anyone unlucky enough to be born with it, heart failure is a virtual certainty. Genetic risk is often expressed as an "odds ratio", with 1.2 indicating a small effect and 2.0 a large one. The findings were published in the journal Nature Genetics." - Channel 4

Guideline alert for blood pressure patients as treatment combo fails

"Thousands of Canadians with high blood pressure (hypertension) are being treated with a drug combination that increases the risk of sudden cardiac death, kidney disease and the likelihood of dialysis, warns the Heart and Stroke Foundation. New guidelines from Canadian Hypertension Education Program (CHEP) based on international research funded in part by the Foundation will urge patients who have been prescribed a combination of ACE inhibitors and Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers (ARBs) to see their family physicians as soon as possible for a treatment change. 'These two popular categories of hypertension medication are each safe and effective treatments – but not together,' says Dr. Sheldon Tobe, spokesperson for the Heart and Stroke Foundation and CHEP executive member. As many as 175,000 Canadians with high blood pressure may be currently treated with this combination of medications." - Heart and Stroke Foundation

Arctic Sun Cooling System increasing cardiac arrest survival rates

Arctic Sun Cooling SystemYour chances of surviving a cardiac arrest is only about 10% but doctors are trying to increase those odds by using a new cooling device that may help more patients survive. The Arctic Sun Cooling System is used on cardiac arrest patients who never regain consciousness and it's increasing survival rates to nearly 30% at one West Michigan hospital. Time means everything for cardiac arrest patients, "For many patients their heart recovers but their brain doesn't." Dr. Paul Lange is a critical care specialist for Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo, he says once the heart stops pumping blood to the brain, within five minutes your brain cells begin to die and you could sustain irreversible brain damage. That's why doctors and their trained team at Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo are trying new technology called the Arctic Sun Cooling Device," Research has shown that by cooling people after cardiac arrest they have a better chance for survival. We believe we are protecting the brain from ongoing injury after the patient is recovered from their cardiac arrest." - WZZM

Friday, January 16, 2009

Registry of Cardiac Safety Research goes live

RCSRO is an online database that provides centralised access to information about cardiac safety. It enables research physicians, regulators and scientists from industry to communicate with other researchers with shared interests. One of the key aims of the RCSO is to provide information on all organisations and individual scientists wherever in the world they are working. Individual scientific consultants and researchers, and non-profit research institutions can upload, for free, more detailed information allowing relevant subscribers access to an honest and accurate profile of their skills, expertise, research interests and opportunities for research collaboration

Longer sleep tied to worse cholesterol in seniors

"Older people who spend more time sleeping have higher cholesterol levels, and less "good" HDL cholesterol, Dutch researchers report. People who sleep fewer than seven hours a night, as well as those who log more than eight hours may be more likely to develop heart disease, although it's not clear why, Dr. Julia F. van den Berg of Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam and colleagues note in the medical journal Psychosomatic Medicine. To investigate whether cholesterol might be a factor, van den Berg and her team compared sleep duration and total cholesterol levels, as well as the ratio of total to HDL cholesterol, in 768 men and women 57 to 97 years old." - Reuters

Become a Heart Month Volunteer

Do you want to make a difference? As a volunteer with the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Saskatchewan (HSFS) - you can! Heart and Stroke Foundation volunteers are making a difference every day…and in many ways across Saskatchewan , helping the Foundation to improve the health of the people of our province. Depending upon your skills, interests and availability, there are many ways you can get involved in Heart and Stroke Foundation activities in your community. Plan, promote, deliver, or support … you can volunteer your time, skills and experience in the way that's right for you

Heart test aids newborn babies

"Routine screening of newborn babies for a life-threatening heart problem can save lives, a Swedish study has found. Researchers found checking blood oxygen levels increased detection of a congenital heart defect which affects up to two in a thousand babies. The British Medical Journal online study says just under a third currently leave hospital undiagnosed, leading to added complications and more deaths. UK experts are investigating if screening should be introduced. In affected babies, a blood vessel called the ductus arteriosus - which bypasses the baby's non-functioning lungs when in the uterus and normally closes off soon after birth - remains partly open" - BBC

Few Canadians aware of Peripheral Arterial Disease - clogged arteries in the legs

"Two out of three Canadians are not aware of peripheral arterial disease (P.A.D.), a common vascular disease that affects as many as 800,000 Canadians, according to a study published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology. Commonly known as "hardening of the arteries," P.A.D. occurs when arteries in the legs become narrowed or clogged with fatty deposits, reducing blood flow to the legs. As a result, P.A.D. may cause leg muscle pain when walking and lead to disability, amputation and a poor quality of life. The blocked arteries found in people with P.A.D. are a warning sign that other arteries, including those in the heart and brain, may also be blocked, increasing the risk of a heart attack or stroke" - CNW

$31 million goes toward improving cardiac care (USA)

Overwhelming local demand for cardiac care has prompted $31 million in new construction and renovations at the Heart Institute at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, Mainland Division, NJ. The $20 million Cardiac Catheterization and Rhythm Center is expected to open in February and will provide the only 24-hour-a-day cardiac catheterizations in the region. The $11 million, 38-bed Progressive Cardiac Care Unit opened in November, according to spokeswoman Jennifer Tornetta

Man dies during visit by bailiff (UK)

"A 78-year-old man from Accrington collapsed and died from a heart attack after being taken to a cash machine by a bailiff to pay a £60 speeding fine. Retired pub landlord Andy Miller had only been released from hospital a fortnight before following an earlier heart attack in October" - BBC

Thursday, January 15, 2009

15th World Congress on Heart Disease

15th World Congress on Heart Disease - Annual Scientific Sessions 2010 - July 24-27, 2010 - The Hyatt Regency Vancouver, BC, Canada

Men with stressful jobs 'double the chance of having a stroke'

"Having a stressful job can double a man's chances of suffering a stroke, a new study has shown. But women under pressure in the workplace do not seem to be at the same risk of stroke, scientists found. The researchers speculate that the difference between the sexes could be because women approach stressful jobs differently to men or because more of them work part-time. Strokes are one of the most common killers in Britain, affecting an estimated 150,000 people each year, of which more than 67,000 die. The study found that there were two major factors which determined how stressed employees felt at work, the demands of the job itself and the amount of control they felt over their day-to-day working life. The findings, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine journal, show that those workers in "high-strain" jobs, which were both extremely demanding and over which they had little control, were twice as likely to suffer a stroke as those in "low-strain" positions" - Telegraph

Treadmill exercise and resistance training improve function in PAD

"Patients with peripheral arterial disease have improved function and circulation with treadmill exercise and leg resistance training, a randomized trial showed. Six months of supervised treadmill exercise led to significant improvement in the six-minute walk test, maximal walking time, brachial artery dilation, and quality of life, Mary M. McDermott, M.D., of Northwestern, and colleagues reported in the January 14 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association" - MedPageToday

My Family Health Portrait (USA)

"The Surgeon General's My Family Health Portrait is an internet-based tool that makes it easy for you to record your family health history. The tool is easy to access on the web and simple to fill out. It assembles your information and makes a "pedigree" family tree that you can download. It is private - it doesn't keep your information. It gives you a health history that you can share with family members or send to your health care practitioner"

New tool could prevent needless stents and save money, cardiologist says

"Doctors may be implanting too many artery-opening stents and could improve patient outcomes - and ultimately save lives - if they did more in-depth measurements of blood flow in the vessels to the heart. That's the finding of a study, to be published January 15 in the New England Journal of Medicine, that evaluated the benefits of a new diagnostic tool to measure blood flow and determine whether stenting was the best option." -

Go Between dies of cardiac arrest

Go Between, the winner of last year's Pacific Classic Stakes (G1) and Sunshine Millions Classic Stakes, died of cardiac arrest following a workout on Monday at Payson Park Training Center in Florida. The six-year-old Point Given horse had breezed six furlongs in 1:17.80 in preparation for a repeat bid in the Sunshine Millions. - Thoroughbred Times

New emergency technique saves a life

Early the morning of January 3, Agnes Phillips was sleeping next to her husband Bernie, when she noticed his breathing sounded strange. "I heard an irregular breathing sound, and I thought he was in the middle of a bad dream," recalled Agnes Phillips, 47, a chemistry teacher at Schenectady High School. She tried to awaken her husband. When she got no response, she called 911 and started cardio-pulmonary resuscitation. Minutes later, emergency medical responders from Colonie and Latham arrived at the couple's Latham home and determined that Phillips had gone into cardiac arrest - the abrupt loss of heart function. Death usually begins within four to six minutes. They established an airway, got his heart beating again and rushed him to Albany Medical Center Hospital. Phillips then made history, becoming the first cardiac arrest patient in the Capital Region to be revived using therapeutic cooling - a process by which the temperature of the body is lowered to a near hypothermic state in order to prevent or reduce brain damage. - Daily Gazette Co

Newer antipsychotics pose cardiac risk: study

"A new study warns that the second generation of antipsychotic drugs, used to treat conditions ranging from schizophrenia to anxiety, put patients at higher risk of sudden death due to cardiac arrest. The odds of a heart problem are low, and specialists said that the drugs are appropriate for certain patients. Still, doctors, families and patients should be cautious, said study lead author Wayne Ray, director of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine's Division of Pharmacoepidemiology." - HealthDay

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Good health, youth no longer provide immunity from heart disease

"Healthy young adults are not really immune from heart disease; they are likely to carry a higher risk of cardiac complications over their lifetimes, according to new findings. The findings suggest that traditional methods of identifying heart disease risk might not adequately identify patients who actually have a higher lifetime risk. "We found that about half of individuals who are 50 years of age or younger and at low short-term risk for heart disease may not remain at low risk throughout their lives," said Jarett Berry, assistant professor of internal medicine at University of Texas Southwestern and co-author of the study." - NewKerala

Casinos reek of secondhand smoke

"Indiana's casino workers and customers breathe air containing 14 times more secondhand smoke than the air outside, a Purdue University study has found. The study, released by the Indiana Campaign for Smokefree Air and the Indiana Academy of Family Physicians, comes as the Legislature reconsiders a smoke-free workplace law. A similar bill did not make it to the floor last year. Casinos, bars, and private clubs have lobbied against such a law, arguing it would detract from their business and infringe on their customers' rights. But proponents of the bill say this study and others on secondhand smoke show all employees deserve protection" - The Enquirer

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Here it is, your heart - the latest British Heart Foundation TV advertisement

Oral contraceptives make gains in cardiovascular safety

"Newer generations of hormonal contraceptives may reduce cardiovascular risks compared with early high-dose formulations, researchers said. Third-generation oral contraceptives carry lower androgenic and metabolic side effects, no MI risk, and reduced venous thromboembolism risk compared with earlier generations, according to a review in the January 20 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology" - medpageToday

Fosamax causes irregular heartbeat

"Women with osteoporosis, that are taking or have taken Fosamax, should ask their health care provider about an alternative treatment. Patient's that are taking or have taken Fosamax are twice as likely to develop an irregular heartbeat. The risk is higher for those that have a family history of heart failure" - A Hearty Life

University of Ottawa Heart Institute scientists successfully develop novel biomaterial to help grow new blood vessels

"Researchers at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute have successfully grown blood vessels in damaged muscle tissue by injecting a biomaterial developed specifically to attract new cells and support regeneration. Blood vessel regeneration suggests that the body's own cells might one day be used to repair heart damage and restore function. Details of the regeneration process were published online in the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. A UOHI cardiac surgery research team led by Erik Suuronen, PhD, in collaboration with Dr. Marc Ruel, showed that thigh muscles with ischemia (lack of blood flow and oxygen) grew a significant number of new blood vessels when treated with the biomaterial"

The Patient First Review website launched

The Patient First Review was announced in November 2008, to find out what Saskatchewan residents feel about the way health care services are delivered, and to explore ways to improve the patient experience in the province. The review will also examine health care administration, to find ways to optimize the way health services are managed and delivered

EXTRA helps Saskatoon Health Region customize clinical information system

Saskatoon Health Region is embarking upon an ambitious transformation program that will use technology as a change agent. The goal of the program is to implement an electronic health record (EHR) to improve patient access, safety and outcomes - a key component of the Region's strategic plan. Deploying an EHR is a complex undertaking. One of the many initiatives supporting it is the implementation of a clinical information system - Sunrise Clinical Manager. Evidence demonstrates that clinical information systems have the potential to transform care delivery. If well-designed and adopted by clinicians, the systems improve workflow, patient safety and outcomes, and contribute to efficiencies. Lori Chartier, Director, Clinical Transformation and E-Health, is the Region's lead on the initiative. It's her job to ensure that the design process for the SCM is structured to respect clinicians and their workflows, and allow them to lead the design process.

Nicotine gum OK for gradual quitters

"Cigarette smokers who try to quit gradually rather than giving up smoking all at once can safely use nicotine-replacement gum, a new study shows. Heavy smokers in the study who chewed the highest doses of nicotine-replacement gum as they tried to cut down on their smoking reported no more side effects than lighter smokers who chewed less nicotine gum. The research was funded by GlaxoSmithKline, which markets Nicorette - the nicotine-replacement gum used in the study. The study appears in the February issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine" - WebMD

Spouses share risks for heart disease

"A new study shows that if one spouse has risk factors for heart disease, the other spouse is more likely to share similarities in measures of health, such as smoking, body mass index, blood pressure, triglycerides, LDL "bad" cholesterol, and weight. Smoking and body mass index have the most significant correlations. The report, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, evaluated 71 existing research papers that looked at similarities for major coronary risk factors in more than 100,000 pairs of spouses." - WebMD

High blood pressure climbs in winter

"Falling temperatures in winter may cause an unhealthy rise in high blood pressure in elderly people, according to a new study linking cooler temperatures with higher blood pressure. Seasonal variations in blood pressure have been noted for years, but few studies have looked at these temperature-related effects in one of the most at-risk populations: the elderly. Now a large study from France has shown that blood pressure in elderly people varies significantly with the seasons, with rates of high blood pressure readings rising from 23.8% in summer to 33.4% in winter. Blood pressure increases were seen in both the systolic (top) and diastolic (bottom) numbers. "Elderly persons may be particularly susceptible to temperature-related variations in blood pressure," researcher Annick Alperovitch, MD, of the Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale, in Paris, and colleagues write in the Archives of Internal Medicine. "Mechanisms that could explain the association between blood pressure and temperature remain undetermined." - WebMD

Ripon Medical (Wisconsin) offering cardiac support group

Those whose lives have been touched by heart problems or those who want to reduce their risk of heart disease may attend "Healing Hearts," a cardiac support group sponsored by Ripon Medical Center. The next meeting is Jan. 20 at 6:30 p.m. in the Green Lake Room in the lower level of RMC. Participation is free. The group meets the third Tuesday of each month. "Healing Hearts" provides emotional support and education for patients and their families. More information is available from Danelle Phillips, community outreach coordinator, at (920) 748-0405

Minnesota boosts sudden cardiac arrest survival

"Americans who suffer sudden cardiac arrest outside the hospital have a dismal survival rate of 1% to 3%. But Minnesota residents might have a better chance of surviving SCA. The North Star State is on the cutting edge of the quest to boost survival rates with cardiac arrest centers, cooling devices, and community CPR initiatives." -

BBC sports presenter David Vine has died, aged 74

"David Vine, who for 40 years was one of the most distinctive voices of BBC sport, presenting shows such as Grandstand and Ski Sunday, has died of a heart attack at age 74. He retired because of a heart condition but continued to work for the BBC as a consultant" - Telegraph

New tool helps predict risks of heart attack or stroke

"Heart attack and stroke account for almost one out of every three deaths in the United States. Often, people don't even know they are at risk until it is too late. However, a new online tool may help identify those people and cut their risk. A few months ago, a heart attack led Dave Horne, 49, to a heart rehab class at Rex Healthcare. He said he would have liked to have known about his risk for a heart attack or stroke years ago. 'At my age – in my 40s – I just wasn't thinking about it,' Horne said. Knowing your risk is as easy as going online for about seven minutes with the Rex Healthcare HeartAware tool"

Don't go breaking your heart: How to keep yours ticking

"Your heart is an extraordinarily reliable and efficient organ that carries on beating 2,700 million times in an average 75 years of life. Coronary heart disease is the most common cause of death in Britain, but there are ways to reduce the risk of getting it. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about heart health..." - Mail Online

Researchers find that healthy, younger adults could be at risk for heart disease

Even younger adults who have few short-term risk factors for heart disease may have a higher risk of developing heart disease over their lifetimes, according to new findings by a UT Southwestern Medical Center researcher. The findings, based on clinical studies and appearing in the Jan. 19 issue of the journal Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, suggest that traditional methods of identifying heart disease risk might not adequately identify patients who actually have a higher lifetime risk -

London-bound plane makes emergency landing

"A London-bound Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight made an emergency landing on Monday at Benazir Bhutto Airport when its captain suffered a cardiac arrest around an hour after the take-off, Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) sources told Daily Times. Flight PK-785 - carrying 435 passengers - took off at 11:35 pm for London and was headed to its destination when captain Shaukat suffered the attack, prompting the co-pilot to make an emergency landing at 1:35 pm. Shaukat was given first aid soon after the plane touched down, and later shifted to Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) where he is in stable condition. The flight took off for London at 2:55 pm." - Daily Times

Most heart attack patients' cholesterol levels did not indicate cardiac risk

"A new national (US) study has shown that nearly 75 percent of patients hospitalized for a heart attack had cholesterol levels that would indicate they were not at high risk for a cardiovascular event, based on current national cholesterol guidelines. Specifically, these patients had low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels that met current guidelines, and close to half had LDL levels classified in guidelines as optimal (less than 100 mg/dL). "Almost 75 percent of heart attack patients fell within recommended targets for LDL cholesterol, demonstrating that the current guidelines may not be low enough to cut heart attack risk in most who could benefit," said Dr. Gregg C. Fonarow, Eliot Corday Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and Science at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the study's principal investigator" - ScienceDaily

Monday, January 12, 2009

Danish discovery could help cardiac patients

"The researchers at the Engineering College of Aarhus and Aarhus University Hospital have developed an intelligent ring-shaped component that could make live easier for cardiac patients. The component apparently enables the device to re-create the heart's pumping function. This makes it possible for patients with faulty heart valves to avoid the repeated operations which are necessary today" - BioTech Sweden

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Two FGH employees see life from patient's perspective

John Meyers and John Sumner have much more in common than sharing a first name and a place of employment. These two men both experienced a heart attack while on the job at Forrest General, Mississippi, and lived to share their stories. And both credit Forrest General staff and physicians with their second chance at life - Hattiesburg American

A person in Britain is diagnosed with diabetes every three minutes

"The number of people diagnosed with diabetes has soared by 50 per cent in just a year. An analysis of official figures shows at least 150,000 new cases last year - up from 100,000 in 2007. It represents one new sufferer every three minutes. The vast majority were middle-aged people with type two diabetes, which is linked to being overweight through poor diet and lack of exercise and brings an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, blindness and amputation. The toll of Britain's obesity epidemic, based on reports from GPs, was revealed by the charity Diabetes UK" - Mail Online

Residual Risk Reduction initiative (R3i)

"Noted cardiologists from North America, Europe, Asia and Japan recently launched a unique global program designed to evaluate and reduce the excess risk of heart attack and other related diseases. The program, Residual Risk Reduction initiative (R3i), also aims to combat stroke, kidney disease, vision loss and non-traumatic limb amputation that exist in many patients with heart ailment. It was launched in the recent 2008 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in New Orleans, Louisiana"

NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia's doctors lead ongoing multicenter PARTNER clinical trial

"An innovative approach for implanting a new aortic heart valve without open-heart surgery is being offered to patients at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center. Known as the PARTNER (Placement of AoRTic traNscathetER valves) trial, this Phase 3 multicenter study is being led by national co-principal investigators Dr. Martin Leon and Dr. Craig Smith and is focused on the treatment of patients who are at high risk or not suitable for open-heart valve replacement surgery." - GEN

The long established predictor of coronary heart disease proved inaccurate

"Traditional risk assessment tools, like the Framingham and National Cholesterol Education Program tools, NCEP, do not accurately predict coronary heart disease, according to a study by researchers at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, CT. The study was conducted on 1,653 patients who had no history of coronary heart disease, other than 738 patients who were taking statins (cholesterol lowering drugs like Lipitor) because of increased risk of developing coronary heart disease. All the patients underwent a coronary CT angiogram and doctors compared their risk of coronary heart disease, determined by the Framingham and NCEP risk assessment tools, to the amount of plaque actually found in their arteries as a result of the scan" -

Revolutionary stem cell therapy boosts body's ability to heal itself

"A groundbreaking medical treatment that could dramatically enhance the body's ability to repair itself has been developed by a team of British researchers. The therapy, which makes the body release a flood of stem cells into the bloodstream, is designed to heal serious tissue damage caused by heart attacks and even repair broken bones. It is expected to enter animal trials later this year and if successful will mark a major step towards the ultimate goal of using patients' own stem cells to regenerate damaged and diseased organs" - The Guardian

Phoenix, Arizona, man survives heart attack thanks to Cardinals game?

"Some call it fate for die-hard Arizona Cardinals fan Waldo Salazar because going to last Saturday’s game may have saved his life. 'I'm fortunate,' the 74-year-old Phoenix man said. Every week, Salazar has a ritual for Cardinals games. He goes into an upstairs bedroom and watches the game - alone and uninterrupted. But last week, he went to his first game ever. And if he didn't suffer a massive heart attack in the stands, he said who knows what could have happened." -ABC

Stethoscope 'hears' silent heart disease

"Despite advances in medicine that make many heart conditions treatable, the absence of effective, early diagnosis often leads to sudden, unexpected deaths. In the Irish Republic, where two people under the age of 35 die from cardiac ailments every week, scientists are working on a new stethoscope that picks up a wider range of heart sounds. The researchers say they believe the device will lead to more rapid diagnosis of coronary artery disease. They hope such diagnoses will be eventually carried out in GPs' surgeries" - BBC

Mortality rates higher for heart disease patients in poorer British Columbia neighbourhoods

"Heart disease patients living in poorer areas of British Columbia, Canada, are up to twice as likely to die from chronic diseases than patients living in better-off areas, a University of British Columbia study has found. The research, released this week in the online journal Public Library of Science ONE, found coronary-artery disease patients living in lower socioeconomic neighbourhoods are more vulnerable to death from chronic disease, particularly cancer" - Science Centric

UCSD: Study reveals new clues about Kawasaki disease

"A study looking at the entire human genome has identified new genes that appear to be involved in making some children more susceptible to Kawasaki disease (KD), a serious illness that often leads to coronary artery disease, according to a new international study published in PLoS Genetics. This is the first genetic study of an infectious disease to look at the whole of the genome, rather than just selected genes. John Travolta's son, Jett, supposedly had this disease. Jett recently passed away in the Bahamas after a fall. The cause of death has not been released." La Jolla Light

Disney to install defribrillators at some of resort's thrill rides

"Walt Disney World, for the first time, is installing electronic devices that can revive cardiac-arrest victims at some of the resort's most intense thrill rides. The company plans to install automated external defibrillators at nearly two dozen attractions across its four theme parks, including high-speed rides such as Expedition Everest, Mission: Space and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror" - Orlando Sentinel

Stem cell hope for heart patients comes to India

"The ultimate hope of regeneration and repair of heart muscle through stem cell therapy might actually be inching closer to reality as clinical trials involving use of specially cultured cardiac muscle cells in chronic heart failure patients begins in Belgium. What's more, the global trials are proposed to be conducted on heart patients in Ahmedabad which is pending Drug Controller General of India, New Delhi. World Health Organisation has projected that the number of cardiac patients in India will touch 100 million by 2010" - Times of India

Artery highlighter could reveal heart attack risk

"MRI scans could soon be used to show who is at risk of a heart attack. At the moment the only way is to use an invasive probe that can itself trigger cardiac arrest. A major cause of heart attacks is plaques made of immune cells and cholesterol that build up inside the coronary arteries, which feed the heart. If a plaque ruptures, a clot can form, blocking blood flow with potentially catastrophic results. While cameras can be sent into arteries to check the walls for plaques, the probe itself might rupture a plaque. An MRI scan can see inside the body without risk, but doesn't provide enough resolution to image artery walls directly. However, Simon Robinson of Lantheus Medical Imaging in North Billerica, Massachusetts, and his colleagues found a way around this using gadolinium chelate, a substance which is already used to light up blood in MRI scans" - NewScientist

Friday, January 9, 2009

Novel drug to treat angina and other cardiac pathologies

"A compound, designed to prevent chest pains in heart patients, could act as a drug to treat angina and possibly other cardiac pathologies, according to a study on animals. Researchers from the Centre de Recherche Pierre Fabre in France have shown that the novel compound F15845 has anti-angina activity and can protect heart cells from damage without the unwanted side effects often experienced with other drugs." - Medindia

Children's cardiac intensive-care unit opens at Duke (USA)

A new $7 million state-of-the-art facility at Duke Children's Hospital opened Wednesday. The Cardiac Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) is designed to improve patients' care by providing a more family-friendly environment. Duke pediatric cardiology surgeons performed 420 procedures in 2008, a 10 percent increase over the year before. About half of their patients are under the age of 1 -

Doctors develop brain-cooling helmet

"One of the harshest side-effects of a stroke or a cardiac arrest is the death of a large number of neurons and glial cells, which can often lead to other, hard-to-treat complications, making recovery long-lasting and painful. Doctors are now working on a new way of preventing that from happening, and, while the new method does not address the underlying issue – the damage to the heart – it does help reduce some of its effects. A University of Edinburgh PhD student from the UK is currently testing a 'brain-cooling' helmet that works by inducing a mild state of hypothermia to patients. Taking the old principle of applying cold bandages to the head in order to relieve headaches a few steps further, Bridget Harris, the researcher behind this initiative, devised a helmet of sorts that takes advantage of the intricate network of blood vessels on the scalp, which regularly transport blood to the brain. She argues that cooling the blood before it reaches its destination makes the temperature of the brain go down by as much as 4 °C, to an average level of 33 °C." _ Softpedia

Cardiac trouble? Hospital-based exercise teaches you safe limits

"Looking for a place to exercise without the loud music and the skimpy outfits? Inquire at your local hospital about a cardiac rehab program, especially if you have had a heart attack or have undergone bypass surgery, valve surgery, or angioplasty. Medicare (USA) and most other insurance companies cover the expenses of cardiac rehabilitation for people who have recently undergone any of these procedures" -

Minnesota woman recovers after near death from cold

"A 64-year-old woman whose heart stopped beating and body temperature dropped to a dangerous 60 degrees after she was stuck in the cold for hours has survived; and her recovery amazed doctors. Janice Goodger slipped in snow on the afternoon of Dec. 27 and wasn't found until hours later. She was taken to St. Luke's hospital, but was near death. One emergency room doctor said her body was as cold as he's seen. "She was ice cold," Dr. Chris Delp said. "She felt, literally, like a corpse." He said it appeared she couldn't possibly survive. But days later, she went home and seems to be doing fine"

Quick cardiac response: Beaumont saves lives, wins awards (USA)

"The cardiology service at Beaumont Army Medical Center, Texas, recently won a national award for the way it has increased the rate of patients who are treated for acute coronary syndrome in a timely manner. That achievement is coupled with national recognition over the past two years for the way in which the service has treated heart failure patients. The Army recently sank more than $2 million into new digital imaging equipment at Beaumont Army Medical Center, which allows staff to cut down on the time it takes doctors to work on blockages within cardiac care patients" - El Paso Times

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Top 10 Health Search Engines of 2008

"It is the time of year for annual 'the best...' lists, so here we go with The Top 10 Health Search Engines of 2008. This list is in order of preference of the author of this article, Hope Leman, Librarian"

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Saskatoon Community Clinic: Focus - Winter 2008

The Winter 2008 edition of Focus, from the Saskatoon Community Clinic is now available

Women must face 'Heart Truth'

In the picture, Heather Hynes (front) works out at the Physical Activities Centre on the University of Saskatchewan campus. "The Heart and Stroke Foundation has launched an online initiative focused on healthy hearts for women as part of its The Heart Truth campaign. Heartbeats is an interactive online guide providing helpful tips for a heart-friendly lifestyle. "This new initiative is to help women not only become aware, but move them from good intentions about making changes into actually making those changes," said Rhae Ann Bromley, director of communications for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Saskatchewan. Heartbeats will give users weekly lifestyle tips via text message, e-mail or RSS feed for use by women of all ages and activity levels. Based on the primary essentials to a heart-healthy lifestyle - being smoke-free, keeping active and eating right - Heartbeats encourages users to make permanent lifestyle transitions" - Star Phoenix

Implantable defibrillators lower risk of death in older heart patients

"Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) can improve survival in patients with heart damage - even those in their 70s - according to research reported in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. Implanted ICDs reduced the risk of dying by 30 percent in patients younger than 65 years old, 65 to 74, and 75 and older, said Paul Chan, M.D., M.Sc., lead author of the study and assistant professor at the Mid-America Heart Institute and the University of Missouri in Kansas City." - AHA updated

"The American Academy of Family Physicians has unveiled its improved website,, complete with videos. You can search by condition, or symptoms, look a term in the dictionary, find a physician, locate drug information, or search in the following categories: healthy living, women, men, smart patient guide, advocacy, parents and kids, seniors, health tools, and a guide to over-the-counter medications"

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Appropriate use criteria for coronary revascularization

"If you're committed to fitness, the decision to climb a couple of flights of stairs rather than take the elevator is clear. But if you develop chest pain on the way up, deciding how to treat the symptoms of clogged arteries in your heart is much more complicated. Whether it's appropriate to treat chest pain with medical therapy alone or prescribe medical therapy and also perform revascularization - that is, by restoring good blood flow to the heart muscle with a balloon-tipped catheter or bypass surgery-depends on several factors that vary from patient to patient. In some cases the decision is obvious; in others, it's more nuanced. Now physicians, patients and health insurers have a practical tool for weighing each of those factors and arriving at the right treatment decision. The new document, titled Appropriate Use Criteria for Coronary Revascularization, appears in the February 10, 2009, issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology ( JACC ) and online at . The document will also be published in the January 5, 2009, online issues of Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions (CCI) and Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, and online at" -

Broward College, FL, basketball player collapses, dies

"Shayla Llanos fell first to her knees, and then collapsed onto the hardwood. The Broward College freshman guard felt dizzy before losing consciousness late in her team's home game against Onondaga (N.Y.) Community College on December 29. By the end of the night, Llanos was dead. Now, more than a week later, her teammates and friends are still trying to process the unthinkable - a seemingly vibrant and healthy 19-year-old, cut down playing the game she mastered growing up in New Jersey. An irregular coronary artery killed Llanos. The official cause of death was a sequelae anomalous of the left coronary artery, a birth defect that she may have lived with her entire life without knowing, said Wendy Crane, a Broward medical examiner's office investigator" - Sun Sentinel

Webcast: robot-assisted, closed-chest coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) procedure

"Cardica, Inc. has announced the webcast of a robot-assisted, closed-chest coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) procedure performed by internationally-renowned cardiothoracic surgeon Sudhir Srivastava, M.D., of the University of Chicago Medical Center, using Cardica's C-Port® Flex-A® Anastomosis System. Husam H. Balkhy, M.D., chairman of the Department of Cardiac and Vascular Surgery and head of the robotics program at The Wisconsin Heart Hospital, moderates the procedure and explains critical aspects of the surgery. The 75-minute webcast of this minimally-invasive surgery can be viewed on and accessed through Cardica's website at - January 7, 2009 5:00 PM EST"