Monday, August 31, 2009

Low levels of smoke raise risk of dying from heart disease, study shows

Just a few whiffs of tobacco smoke or dirty air can have a profound negative impact on your heart's health. Study results released today by the American Heart Association suggest that exposure to even a small amount of smoke - whether it's from your own cigarette or someone else's - greatly increases your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. The same goes for breathing in air polluted with carbon monoxide emissions. 'It doesn't require extreme exposure to have significant cardiovascular effects. Even passive exposures to ambient air pollution and secondhand smoke contribute to significant increases in cardiovascular mortality,' study author C. Arden Pope III, PhD, says in a statement

ESC: drug-eluting stents still a hot topic in Barcelona

"Three years after late stent thrombosis set off a firestorm at the European Society of Cardiology Congress here, the flames have died down, and drug-eluting stents are poised to move beyond proving they are not lethal. That's the take home message now that ESC is back in Barcelona, said Spencer King, III, MD, of St. Joseph Hospital, Heart and Vascular Institute in Atlanta, who discussed the current state of the art of drug-eluting stents in this exclusive InFocus video report with Executive Editor Peggy Peck"

TV and computer screen time could be linked with high blood pressure in young children

"Sedentary behaviors such as TV viewing and "screen time" involving computer use, videos and video games appear to be associated with elevated blood pressure in children, independent of body composition, according to a report in the August issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals - redOrbit

Twin study examines links between depression and coronary artery disease

"Major depression and coronary artery disease are only modestly related throughout an individual's lifetime, but studying how the two interact over time and in twin pairs paints a more complex picture of the associations between the conditions, according to a report in the August issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. For example, the association between coronary artery disease onset and major depression risk is much stronger over time than vice versa. "While an association between major depression and coronary artery disease has long been noted and recently confirmed, the direction and cause of this association remain unclear," the authors write as background information in the article. High cortisol levels, inflammation and changes in blood platelet function associated with depression may increase risk for coronary artery disease; coronary artery disease is a stressful event that may increase risk for depression; and shared genetic or environmental factors may underlie both conditions" - redOrbit

Heart disease patients with previous blockages more likely to die

"Heart disease patients with previous atherosclerosis (fat deposits in the walls of the arteries) are more likely to die in the hospital and less likely to be treated with recommended therapies, researchers report in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. Researchers analyzed data from the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines - Coronary Artery Disease database to determine whether compliance with quality of care treatment for heart disease was associated with the extent of prior vascular disease. They examined records from 143,999 patients hospitalized in 438 facilities between 2000 and 2008. Overall in-hospital mortality for all patients was 5.3 percent, but those who had previous artery blockages were more likely to die while hospitalized than those who had no prior vascular disease. They were also less likely to undergo surgery to clear their new blockages, had longer hospital stays and received cholesterol-lowering drugs, counseling to stop smoking and angiotensin-coverting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitors for left ventricular dysfunction less often" redOrbit

Silk Million Heart Challenge

"Silk Heart Health is on a journey. Our goal? To bring a million hearts across the country closer together than ever before. It's the Silk Million Hearts Challenge. Simply sign up, start a Silk Heart and begin to spread the love! For every friend you invite to join, your Silk Heart will grow a little bit bigger. And, with great prizes in store (like our $20,000 Ultimate Weekend Getaway!) the road to one million should be that much smoothe"

Daily aspirin may do more harm than good: study

"Healthy people taking a daily dose of aspirin to prevent heart attacks may be doing themselves more harm than good, according to a new study by British scientists. Researchers found that the risks of bleeding from taking aspirin were such that its routine use in healthy people "cannot be supported" -- although they did not dispute its use in patients with a history of vascular problems. The results of the Aspirin for Asymptomatic Atherosclerosis (AAA) study add to a long-running debate about whether the potential dangers of taking aspirin could outweigh the benefits from reducing the risk of clots. "We know that patients with symptoms of artery disease, such as angina, heart attack or stroke, can reduce their risk of further problems by taking a small dose of aspirin each day," said Professor Peter Weissberg, medical director of the British Heart Foundation which helped fund the research. "The findings of this study agree with our current advice that people who do not have symptomatic or diagnosed artery or heart disease should not take aspirin, because the risks of bleeding may outweigh the benefits." The study was led by Professor Gerry Fowkes from the Wolfson Unit for Prevention of Peripheral Vascular Diseases in Edinburgh, Scotland, and presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Barcelona Sunday." - AFP

Sunday, August 30, 2009

US pop songwriter Greenwich dies of heart attack

US pop songwriter Greenwich dies of heart attack"American songwriter Ellie Greenwich, who penned River Deep, Mountain High and other hits, has died, aged 68. She died of a heart attack after being admitted to a New York hospital for pneumonia treatment, her niece said. In a 50-year career, she was awarded some 25 gold and platinum discs. She collaborated with Phil Spector on Chapel of Love and Da Doo Ron Ron. She wrote Leader of the Pack with her ex-husband, which became the basis for a Broadway musical based on her life. Greenwich was a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame and contributed to the success of many stars, including working with Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald. She is also co-produced songs for Neil Diamond, including his hit Kentucky Woman. Other compositions included Do Wah Diddy Diddy and Look of Love" - BBC

'Heart disease gene' uncovered (South Africa)

Stellenbosch, South Africa, scientists have identified a heart disease gene in a South African family that has been plagued by a rare heart condition for more than 300 years. The rogue gene - which contains a rare protein mutation - has been traced back to a Portuguese emigrant who came to the Cape from Madeira in 1694. Descendants of the man - who married a woman of Dutch descent - now live throughout South Africa. Until recently, they were far more likely than the general population to suffer fatal heart complications. Now, however, knowledge about their genetic status means they are forewarned and able to seek help in the form of pacemakers, which allow them to live relatively normal lives. The medical breakthrough, soon to be published in an international medical journal, is not only a major triumph for South African research but also for a father-and-son research team, professors Andries and Paul Brink, who spearheaded the project at different times during a 35-year research quest. - The Times

Healthy diet, exercise reduce heart attack risk

"Dr Philip Ades said that mild caloric restriction improves insulin resistance and improves a host of other cardiac risk factors, such as blood pressure, cholesterol level, clotting measures and measures of inflammation. He advises to eat 'real food', rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish and healthy oils in your diet and omit trans fats and minimize animal and dairy fats, processed flour and sugar. According to EatingWell magazine, Mediterranean cuisine including heart-healthy olive oil, protein-rich legumes, fish and whole grains with moderate amounts of wine and red meat would also help lower heart risk. Ades urges to maintain a normal weight and make daily exercise a part of the diet. Exercise is like a pill you need to take every day. This pill controls weight, lowers your blood pressure, prevents diabetes and heart disease, raises your (good) HDL cholesterol, improves your fitness and makes an individual feel happy. He also insists to keep a check on blood pressure and cholesterol profile"

New anti-clotting drug beats Plavix

A new anti-clotting drug, ticagrelor (Brilinta), was better than than clopidogrel (Plavix) in preventing new heart attacks and in reducing deaths among patients who have had a heart attack, a new study finds. "Clopidogrel is widely used in the treatment of acute coronary syndrome," said lead researcher Dr. Robert A. Harrington, director of the Duke Clinical Research Institute at Duke University. "Ticagrelor looks to be a superior antiplatelet agent in patients with acute coronary syndrome." Co-researcher Dr. Lars Wallentin, a professor of cardiology at the Uppsala Clinical Research Center at University Hospital, in Sweden, added that "now we have a new and better alternative to standard treatment to prevent patients with myocardial infarction from new myocardial infarction, and also to improve their chances of survival." The report is published in the August 30 online edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, to coincide with the planned presentation of the study Sunday at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Barcelona. -

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Surgery better than angioplasty for narrowed neck artery

The latest results from the longest-running study yet confirm that surgery is better than artery-opening angioplasty in preventing strokes caused by blockage of the carotid artery, the largest vessel carrying blood to the brain. "In contrast with endovascular treatment [angioplasty], surgical patients had about half the rate of strokes in long-term follow-up," said Dr. Martin M. Brown, a professor of stroke medicine at University College London Institute of Neurology, and a senior author of two reports in the October issue of the Lancet Neurology - HealthDay

Abnormal heartbeats caused by changes in ion channel density

Two independent studies have determined how changes in the density of different ion channels in the surface membrane of heart muscle cells can lead to life-threatening abnormal heartbeats, according to research to be published in the August 24 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation - Science Daily

Hopelessness ups stroke risk in women

Feelings of hopelessness can place healthy women at an increased risk of developing cardiovascular events such as stroke, a new study finds. Previous studies had linked depression and hopelessness with heart disease, saying that optimism may protect women against cardiac problems. According to the study published in Stroke, healthy middle-aged women with chronic negative thinking and feelings of uselessness are more vulnerable to developing atherosclerotic plaques in their neck arteries, a precursor of stroke and subsequent heart attack. Thickening of arteries are reported to develop in these women who are generally healthy before relevant cardiovascular diseases occur. Scientists concluded that strong feelings of hopelessness in women are strong and early markers of cardiovascular diseases, adding that such women should seek medical consultation without delay

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Little known type of cholesterol may pose the greatest heart disease risk (China)

Little known type of cholesterol may pose the greatest heart disease riskHealth-conscious people know that high levels of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (the so-called "bad" cholesterol) can increase the risk of heart attacks. Now scientists are reporting that another form of cholesterol called oxycholesterol - virtually unknown to the public - may be the most serious cardiovascular health threat of all. Scientists from China presented one of the first studies on the cholesterol-boosting effects of oxycholesterol at the 238th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society. The researchers hope their findings raise public awareness about oxycholesterol, including foods with the highest levels of the substance and other foods that can combat oxycholesterol's effects. "Total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL), and the heart-healthy high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) are still important health issues," says study leader Zhen-Yu Chen, Ph.D., of Chinese University of Hong Kong. "But the public should recognize that oxycholesterol is also important and cannot be ignored. Our work demonstrated that oxycholesterol boosts total cholesterol levels and promotes atherosclerosis ["hardening of the arteries"] more than non-oxidized cholesterol." - EurekAlert

Cardiovascular disease gets personal

Cardiovascular disease gets personal"As personalized cancer treatment edges into the clinic, doctors and scientists are hoping that cardiovascular disease - the world's top killer - will be next to benefit from genomics. An avalanche of studies has linked genetic variants to various cardiovascular conditions and to patients' responses to commonly prescribed drugs. First up could be genetic guidance for the anti-clotting agents warfarin and clopidogrel, followed by testing for genetic variants responsible for conditions such as atrial fibrillation, a heart-rhythm abnormality that is a leading cause of stroke" - Nature

Stenting a good option for left main heart artery

"Twelve-year data on treatment of blockage of the left main heart artery indicate that using a drug-coated stent is an effective alternative to bypass surgery, doctors report. The study of 314 people who underwent the procedure between 1997 and 2008 in Poland supports the findings of a large European trial, which found no difference in the death rate between bypass surgery and angioplasty for the condition, according to a report published online August 19 and in an upcoming print issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology by a group of physicians from Poland and the United States"

Cell is capable of growing new coronary arteries

"Most of the clinical displays of coronary artery disease can be treated by new formations of coronary arteries that replace the constricted or occluded coronary vessels, restoring blood flow to the heart. Unfortunately, this has been so far an impossible task. In this study, Dr. Piero Anversa MD, from Brigham and Women's Hospital and colleagues, have demonstrated that the human heart contains a population of stem cells which has the unique property to form large vessels similar to those commonly affected by atherosclerosis, a disease which can lead to heart attack" - EmaxHealth

Mount Sinai first with new technique to prevent a major cause for heart-related stroke (USA)

"Physicians at The Mount Sinai Medical Center were the first in the USA to perform a non-surgical procedure using sutures to tie off a left atrial appendage, which is the source of blood clots leading to stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation. AFib is the most common sustained heart-rhythm disorder in the United States. The procedure was performed Wednesday by Vivek Y. Reddy, MD, Professor of Medicine and Director of the Cardiac Arrhythmia Service at Mount Sinai Heart, and his colleague, Srinivas R. Dukkipati, MD, Director of Mount Sinai's Experimental Electrophysiology Laboratory. With the patient under general anesthesia, the physicians guided two catheters into the patient's heart to seal the LAA with a pre-tied suture loop. The technique is a safe alternative to drug therapies such as the blood thinner warfarin (Coumadin) that can have serious side effects, as well as open-heart surgery, and more invasive implant surgery" - EurekAlert

UBC research sheds light on sudden death in people with high cholesterol (Canada)

"Cholesterol can affect the flow of the electrical currents that generate the heart beat, according to a study from two UBC cardiovascular researchers funded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of BC & Yukon. The research team has just published the important discovery about the causes of cardiac arrhythmias (abnormal heartbeats) in one of the world's leading scientific journals. Together with a group from Paris, France, UBC researchers David Fedida and Jodene Eldstrom found that too much cholesterol can affect the electrical currents, perhaps causing the heart to start beating out of rhythm or even stop beating. In contrast, reducing the cholesterol normalized the structures underlying the electrical activity, thus promoting a regular and healthy heartbeat. The researchers discovered that the key mechanism by which this happens is the Kv1.5 potassium channel, a protein that facilitates the flow of electrical charges through heart cells. Cholesterol blocks the functioning of these proteins while lowering of cholesterol levels enhances their function. Prior to this research, scientists already knew that cholesterol plays an important role in regulating the heart's electrical system. However, they didn't know how. This research is published in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a top global journal. As well, the researchers will present their findings next week at a plenary session of the European Society of Cardiology in Barcelona" - EurekAlert

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Prescription Promise Campaign (UK)

The Prescription Promise Campaign brings together 18 charities calling on Gordon Brown to keep the promise he made in his speech to Labour Party Conference 2008 to abolish prescription charges for people with all long-term conditions. As of the 1st April 2009, people with cancer no longer have to pay for prescriptions. This is wonderful news, but many more people in need are still waiting. There is plenty of evidence that many people with long-term conditions currently struggle to afford their prescriptions, and often choose not to fill prescriptions because of the cost. For example:

• A MORI survey for CAB found that 800,000 people failed to collect a prescription during 2007 in England because of the cost involved. People with long-term conditions are particularly affected.

• An Asthma UK survey found that 34% of people who have to pay for their asthma medication sometimes choose not to get some of their prescriptions because of the cost.

• Research published by Rethink in 2008 shows that 38 per cent of people with severe mental illnesses like schizophrenia have to choose between paying household bills and paying prescription charges.

We are calling on the Government to set a clear timetable for implementing free prescriptions for everyone with a long-term condition before the next election. We hope that you will lend us your support by emailing your MP and signing our petition.

You can also support the campaign on Facebook

Current membership of the Prescription Promise Campaign:

Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome Support Group
Arthritis Care
Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus
Asthma UK
Behcets Syndrome Society
British Heart Foundation
Diabetes UK
Disability Alliance
MS Society
National Association for Colitis and Crohn's Disease
National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society
Parkinson's Disease Society -
Pernicious Anaemia Society
The Stroke Association
Skin Care Campaign
Terrence Higgins Trust

Gary Go releases 'The Heart Balloon' to help the British Heart Foundation

"Singer-songwriter Gary Go has released a new song 'The Heart Balloon' to help raise funds for our fight against heart disease. Gary is making the track available to download for FREE on a pay-whatever-you-want basis, with 100% of all voluntary donations going directly to support our vital lifesaving work. Anyone who donates to download will go into a special prize draw to win fantastic exclusive Gary Go goodies. Gary has been supporting music royalty Take That and Lady Gaga on tour this summer, and has been referred to by Q magazine as a "One Man Coldplay". 'The Heart Balloon' is available to download until midnight on Mon 31 August"

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Grapefruit compound may lower heart disease risks

Grapefruit compound may lower heart disease risks"A certain compound found in grapefruit and other citrus fruits may prove helpful in preventing heart disease and Type 2 diabetes through its effect on metabolic syndrome. The plant-based molecule, called naringenin, is thought to have positive effects on cholesterol, triglyceride and glucose levels in the body. A Heart and Stroke Foundation-funded study from Dr. Murray Huff looked at the effects of naringenin in animal diets and saw very promising results. They gave mice a diet high in fat (typical to the Western diet), but supplemented half the group with naringenin. The grapefruit compound corrected the elevations in triglyceride and cholesterol, prevented the development of insulin resistance and completely normalized glucose metabolism. The researchers found it worked by genetically reprogramming the liver to burn up excess fat, rather than store it"

Video watching linked to increased BP in kids

Video watching linked to increased BP in kids"Children who spent more time in front of video screens tended to have higher blood pressure than those who found other things to do - but not because they weren’t getting exercise, researchers said. Television viewing time and 'screen time' - the combination of all time spent with TVs, video games, and computers - were both significantly correlated with increased systolic blood pressure in 111 children, Joey C. Eisenmann, PhD, of Michigan State University in East Lansing, and colleagues reported in the August issue of Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine." - medpage TODAY

Blood pressure drug may help treat MS

A drug commonly used to treat high blood pressure may also double as a multiple sclerosis treatment. A new study shows the inexpensive blood pressure drug lisinopril blocked development of multiple sclerosis in laboratory mice bred to develop the disease. And when the drug was given to mice with full-blown symptoms of multiple sclerosis, it reversed their paralysis without affecting their overall immunity. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive disease in which the body's immune system malfunctions and can eventually lead to paralysis or even death. The disease is difficult to treat without compromising normal immune function and protection. But researcher Lawrence Steinman, MD, of Stanford University says multiple sclerosis and high blood pressure both involve inflammatory processes that may benefit from treatment with lisinopril. If future studies confirm these results, lisinopril may provide a less expensive treatment alternative for multiple sclerosis. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, examined the effects of treatment with lisinopril in mice bred to develop brain lesions similar to those found in people with multiple sclerosis after being given a disease-triggering chemical

Up and Walking at The Shaw!!

Up and Walking at The Shaw!!Larry Mullen, on behalf of the CARG Executive writes: "As of Wednesday, September 2nd, the new CARG exercise program is off and running, er...walking, at the Shaw Centre. The program is scheduled to go every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

We wish Kristin and Stacey luck and good fortune in their new postings as the exercise therapists for the program at the Shaw. We at the Field House will miss them.

Everyone indicating that they wanted to attend the Shaw Centre were sent letters this August. We will be missing some of our regulars at the Field House. Fifty-two people transferred over. Another forty-some from our active list said they would attend. So we have good numbers to get the program started.

Space does not allow us to name and thank every individual and organization that helped lobby the Regional Health District for funds to run the program. But by letter and phone we have extended our gratitude to those involved.

However, we do wish to name and thank CARG past-president Bob Korpan and The Lions for making a generous cash donation for equipment to be used at the Shaw. Once the program gets settled in we will be doing a media event to properly give recognition to the Lions, and formerly announce the program"

Exciting new method could help stem cells target damaged arteries (UK)

Exciting new method could help stem cells target damaged arteries (UK)With funding from the British Heart Foundation and others, researchers at University College London have developed a new method using nanomagnets to enable cells to be targeted to sites of injury in the body

Monday, August 17, 2009

Doctors defend themselves over heart surgery deaths (UK)

"Doctors have defended an increase in deaths for some types of heart surgery and insisted treatment was improving for patients. The death rate for aortic valve replacements, or AVR, where surgeons replace a diseased valve with an artificial or tissue valve, increased from 1.5 per cent in 2002 to 2003, to 3.25 per cent in 2007 to 2008. But figures released by the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, also showed a drop in mortality rates for heart bypass surgery. Cardiac surgeon Prof Stephen Westaby, who has worked at the John Radcliffe for more than 20 years, said the apparent increase in deaths in AVR surgery could be explained by the number of high risk patients being taken on. He said: 'These statistical issues are never what they seem. In the case of primary aortic valve replacements, we are now doing patients in their late 80s and 90s. 'We are now looking at an extremely elderly group of patients and you simply can’t keep mortality rates down. 'The figure of 3.25 per cent is still very, very low for the sort of groups we are dealing with. The John Radcliffe is known in the country to take on a proportion of high risk patients'" - Newsquest

Protein therapy could eliminate open heart surgery (Israel)

Protein therapy could eliminate open heart surgery (Israel)"Researchers from Tel Aviv University have been experimenting to find a way to make cardiac bypass surgery a thing of the past. Dr. Britta Hardy of Tel Aviv University's Sackler School of Medicine had demonstrated how an injected protein might make blood vessels in the human heart regrow, eliminating the need for open heart surgery. According to Dr. Hardy, patients could regrow blood vessels in as little as a few weeks rather than having cardiac bypass, or open heart surgery" - EmaxHealth

What women don't know could kill them: every 60 seconds a woman dies of heart disease

"Stop 10 women on the street and ask them what their biggest health risk is, and, chances are, more than half of them would answer 'breast cancer'. They would be wrong. Taking the life of one woman every minute, heart disease is the leading cause of death of women in America. Unfortunately, most women put their own needs behind the needs of their families, rarely considering the risks and dangers of this devastating disease. To address such widespread lack of awareness, The Main Line Health Heart Center announces the launch of its Women's Heart Initiative, a one-of-a-kind team of physicians and clinical staff in southeast Pennsylvania, designed specifically to empower women in taking charge of their cardiovascular health."

Men with angina 'at greater risk' (UK)

Men with angina 'at greater risk'"Men with angina are much more likely than women to develop further serious heart problems, a study suggests. Researchers found male patients were twice as likely to have a heart attack and almost three times as likely to suffer a heart disease-related death. Angina, a type of chest pain, is common and can be the first sign of heart disease - but the risks are unclear. The study of UK patients, led by the National University of Ireland, Galway, appears in the British Medical Journal"

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Heart surgeon shortage predicted (USA)

Over the next 15 years, there could be a severe shortage of cardiothoracic surgeons at a time when an aging population will probably increase the demand for surgical procedures that fall under their purview, a new study predicts. The shortage could lead to diminished quality of care and delays in care for people needing heart and lung surgery, according to the study, which was done by the Center for Workforce Studies at the Association of American Medical Colleges. By 2025, the researchers say, there could be a 46 percent increase in the demand for cardiothoracic surgeons, but a drop of at least 21 percent in the number of available surgeons. The looming shortage of surgeons is a matter of supply and demand, said lead researcher Dr. Atul Grover, director of government relations for the association - HealthDay News

Saturday, August 8, 2009

ESC Congress 2009

European Society of Cardiology Congress 2009 - 29 August to 2 September 2009 - Barcelona, Spain. Follow ESC on Twitter

Heart International

Heart InternationalHeart International considers the publication of peer-reviewed original manuscripts dealing with both clinical and laboratory investigations of relevance to the broad field of cardiology. The focus will be mainly on studies covering diverse topics such as Atherosclerosis and risk factors, Ischemic cardiopathy, Genetics, Cardiomyopathy and cardiac metabolism, Congestive heart failure, Arrhythmias, Imaging and Cardiovascular disease in women. In addition, editorials, reviews, statistical compilations, case reports, and letters to the Editors will be considered. Editor-in-Chief: David L. Brown, Stony Brook, NY, USA

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Livalo, a new statin, gets FDA nod

"The FDA has approved a Livalo, a new cholesterol-lowering statin drug. Known by the generic name of pitavastatin, Livalo has been used in Japan since 2003. It's also sold in Korea and Thailand. Livalo is made by the multinational Japanese firm Kowa Company Ltd. Kowa now has facilities in the U.S." - WebMD

Recommended daily dose for Omega-3 may be on the way

A new analysis could lead to heated debate among heart doctors over whether omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids deserves its own recommended daily intake levels. Fish oil - a centuries-old pharmacy shelf fixture - has recently been the subject of much research to determine its heart-protecting properties. Now, some cardiologists say it is time for omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids to join others nutrients for which a daily recommended intake has been established. Dr. Carl Lavie, medical director of Cardiac Rehabilitation and Prevention at the Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute in New Orleans, is one such cardiologist. He says that healthy people should consume at least 500 mg per day of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) plus docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in order to meet their daily needs for the nutrient. Lavie and his colleagues made the recommendations in a paper released Monday in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology

Midlife heart risk factors linked to later dementia

"The things that are bad for your heart in the middle years of life - high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes - are bad for your brain in later years, new research indicates. High cholesterol levels in midlife were associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia many years later, according to scientists in California and Finland, who tracked almost 10,000 men and women for four decades" - HealthDay News

Is there long-term brain damage after bypass surgery?

"Brain scientists and cardiac surgeons at Johns Hopkins have evidence from 227 heart bypass surgery patients that long-term memory losses and cognitive problems they experience are due to the underlying coronary artery disease itself and not ill after-effects from having used a heart-lung machine. Researchers say their latest findings explain study results presented last year, which showed that the heart-lung machines - used to pump blood and supply the body with oxygen while the heart is stopped during surgery - did not cause postoperative long-term brain deficits" - Science Centric

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Research shows possible health benefits of beer

Research shows possible health benefits of beer"Downing a beer or two may actually help you stay healthy! Research has linked moderate beer consumption to healthier hearts and bones. CBS News Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton pointed out on "The Early Show" Friday. The American Heart Association considers 12 ounces one drink of beer, and a drink or two a day moderate intake for men and a drink a day morderate for women. The AHA also cautions people NOT to start drinking alcoholic beverages if they don't already, and urges them to consult their doctors on the subject." - CBS

Praying man let his daughter die (USA)

Praying man let his daughter die (USA)"A US jury has found a man guilty of killing his sick 11-year-old daughter by praying for her recovery rather than seeking medical care. The man, Dale Neumann, told a court in the state of Wisconsin he believed God could heal his daughter. She died of a treatable disease - undiagnosed diabetes - at home in rural Wisconsin in March last year, as people surrounded her and prayed" - BBC

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Transradial wrist angioplasty safe and effective in treatment of heart attack (UK)

For patients having the most serious form of heart attack, a new study from the United Kingdom concludes that primary angioplasty performed from the wrist "is safe, with comparable outcomes to a femoral approach and a lower risk of vascular complications." The study, published "online first" in Heart, the official journal of the British Cardiovascular Society, looked at 1,051 consecutive patients admitted to a single regional cardiac center with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) between November 2004 and November 2008. Patients presenting to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough were treated with percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI, a.k.a. angioplasty) using either radial (571 patients) or femoral (480) artery access. Procedural success was similar between the radial and femoral groups, but major vascular complications were more frequent at the site of femoral access (0% radial versus 1.9% femoral, p=0.001). Patients with cardiogenic shock were excluded from this study, since most would require placement of an intra-aortic balloon pump, which is done through the femoral artery - Angioplasty.Org