Friday, April 30, 2010

Canadians healthier, outliving Americans

Canadians tend to lead longer, healthier lives than Americans on average, say researchers who point to lack of universal health care in the U.S. as one reason. The study in the online issue in BioMed Central's journal Population Health Metrics was based on data from the 2002-03 Joint Canada/United States Survey of Health, which offered comparable data on the health of the population in both countries. David Feeny, a dual Canadian/U.S. citizen and investigator at the Center for Health Research at Kaiser Permanente Northwest in Portland, Ore., and his U.S. colleagues calculated health-adjusted life expectancy, which takes into account not only mortality risk but also the health-related quality of life, such as being free of disability. The study's authors found a 19-year-old in Canada could expect to enjoy 2.7 more years of perfect health than a 19-year-old in the U.S. In this case, someone in perfect health would have a top score of 1.00 on the Health Utilities Index Mark 3.

Arteries age twice as fast in smokers

Arteries age twice as fast in smokersIt's well-known that smoking is bad for the heart and other parts of the body, and researchers now have chronicled in detail one reason why - because continual smoking causes progressive stiffening of the arteries. In fact, smokers' arteries stiffen with age at about double the speed of those of nonsmokers, Japanese researchers have found. Stiffer arteries are prone to blockages that can cause heart attacks, strokes and other problems. "We've known that arteries become more stiff in time as one ages," said Dr. William B. Borden, a preventive cardiologist and assistant professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City. "This shows that smoking accelerates the process. But it also adds more information in terms of the role smoking plays as a cause of cardiovascular disease." -

Blood protein increases heart disease risk (UK)

Blood protein increases heart disease risk (UK)"A protein in the blood has been found to be associated with the same increased risk of heart disease as high blood pressure and cholesterol. Analysis of data from 79,000 people showed the protein, known as Lp-PLA2, also boosts the risk of stroke and early death, the Lancet reports. Drugs against the protein, which is involved in inflammation in blood vessels, are already being developed. But it remains to be seen whether such treatments cut rates of heart disease. The UK researchers who led the international study said Lp-PLA2 is carried in the blood alongside LDL or "bad" cholesterol" - BBC

Norwich Free Academy students win honors for video on sudden cardiac arrest awareness (USA)

Norwich Free Academy students win honors for video on sudden cardiac arrest awareness (USA)"Norwich Free Academy juniors Josh Cingranelli and Michael Grant did not know Larry Pontbriant. But the two student video producers captured his spirit well enough to win national recognition from those dedicated to stopping the condition that took him three years ago at age 15. Grant of Norwich and Cingranelli of Lisbon were honored at NFA on Wednesday by the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation for a video they produced last fall on the importance of defibrillators and CPR in increasing the chances of survival for victims of sudden cardiac arrest. The condition killed Larry Pontbriant, a Norwich resident and athlete at NFA, while he was running in a fun run in 2007. His parents, Lawrence and Evelyn, have established the Larry Pontbriant Athletic Safety Fund, which provides heart defibrillators for youth sports venues in Southeastern Connecticut"

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Australia plans plain-packaging rule for cigarettes

Australia plans plain-packaging rule for cigarettesAustralia has set out plans for new rules forcing tobacco companies to use plain packaging carrying graphic health warnings. From July 2012, manufacturers would be required to drop all colour and branding logos from cigarette packets. The move, billed as a world-first, comes after recommendations were made by the World Health Organisation. Australia also announced a 25% increase in tax on cigarettes, effective from 0001 on Friday. The move will put A$2.16 ($1.99, £1.31) on a pack of 30 cigarettes - BBC

Monday, April 26, 2010

Cholesterol machine pulls out LDL (USA)

Cholesterol machine pulls out LDL (USA)"Every two weeks, Kay Dillie is drained of all her blood, one pint at a time. She gets it back, of course, but with less cholesterol. During a recent appointment at Regional Medical Center, Dillie reclined in a chair as tubing pulled her blood from her arm into a machine called the Liposorber. The machine, new to the center, removed her blood, strained out the bad cholesterol known as LDL and returned the blood to her body. Near the bottom of the Liposorber, the liquid LDL from Dillie’s blood began to pool in a bag. When first removed, it looks like melted butter, but will turn to a Silly Putty consistency if exposed to the air." - Rapid City Journal

CMAJ - 20 April 2010, Volume 182, Issue 7

The Canadian Medical Association Journal - 20 April 2010, Volume 182, Issue 7, is now available online

'Leftover' veins from heart surgery yield stem cells

'Leftover' veins from heart surgery yield stem cellsHuman veins left over from lifesaving bypass surgery could be a source of "master" cells to help treat future heart problems, say scientists. A University of Bristol team extracted stem cells from the veins, then used them to stimulate new blood vessel growth in mice, Circulation reports. The researchers say their findings could bring treatments to repair damaged heart muscle one step closer. However, a stem cell expert warned that they remained some years away. Stem cells are attractive to medical researchers because they have the ability to produce many different types of human cell, opening up the possibility of repair or renewal for tissues ravaged by disease or injury - BBC

"HeartPhone" is announced as 2010 Product Innovation Award winner the annual Aramark Healthcare Innovation Awards

HeartPhone, a pioneering connected healthcare solution that measures, monitors and manages the weight of congestive heart failure patients in their own homes was awarded the coveted "Product Innovation Award" at the Aramark Healthcare innovation awards over the weekend. The accolade recognizes HeartPhone as an exemplary innovative healthcare solution for 2010. HeartPhone, a system devised to help CHF patients actively participate in managing their own condition accurately, is being developed at NDRC (National Digital Research Centre) as a collaboration between Dr Mark Ledwidge and Professor Ken McDonald of St Vincent's University Hospital and Crofton Cardiac Systems, BiancaMed Ltd, NDRC and UCD (University College Dublin)

CARG Newsletter - May 2010

The CARG Newsletter - May 2010 is now available for download or for reading below:

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Added sugars increase heart-disease risk

Added sugars increase heart-disease risk "For decades, advice to ward off heart disease has promoted a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol as a means of keeping blood cholesterol levels in check. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests there's something else we need to do - scale back our intake of added sugars. Folks with the highest - versus the lowest – intake of refined sugar had higher blood triglycerides (fat) and triple the risk of having a low level of HDL (good) cholesterol. While it's long been know that carbohydrates can boost heart-disease risk by altering blood lipid levels, this is the first study to investigate the link between added sugars and blood lipids. Added sugars are defined as those put in during food processing and preparation to enhance flavour, add texture and assist browning. On ingredient lists they go by many names, including corn syrup, dextrose, high-fructose corn syrup, fruit juice concentrate, glucose-fructose, honey and sucrose to name just a few"

Saskatoon Health Region selected as one of 'Best Employers for New Canadians 2010'

Saskatoon Health Region selected as one of 'Best Employers for New Canadians 2010Some of the reasons why Saskatoon Health Region was selected as one of Best Employers for New Canadians 2010 by Mediacorp Canada Inc.:

* hired 100 internationally-trained nurses and staggered their arrival in order to provide enhanced settlement support, with nurses arriving in Saskatchewan in groups of 15-30 individuals over an 18-month period - recruitment staff collected feedback from each group about their settlement experience in order to track best practices and improve immigration supports for subsequent candidates
* helps new Canadian nurses prepare to write the Canadian Registered Nurse Examination (CRNE) with prep classes, mentoring and tutoring support - upon successful completion of the CRNE, internationally-trained nursing recruits can apply for permanent residency in Canada
* their commitment to the long-term success and retention of internationally-trained nurses is yielding excellent results - the health region boasts a more than 80% CRNE pass rate, an exceptionally high rate for internationally-trained nurses writing the exam for the first time

Vitamin D may protect from cardiovascular events (USA)

"Although many vitamins and supplements have been rigorously tested in large scale clinical trials for their role in the prevention of diseases, little is known about the effect of vitamin D supplementation on the risk of cardiovascular disease. In new analysis of vitamin D and calcium research published in the last 43 years, researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital have found an association between vitamin D supplement use and a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease. These findings are published in the March 2 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine. 'In this analysis of the limited available research, we have found that vitamin D supplements in moderate-to-high doses may reduce the risk of CVD and that calcium supplementation seems to have a minimal effect on the prevention of CVD,' said Lu Wang, MD, PhD, lead author of the paper and an instructor of medicine in the Division of Preventive Medicine at BWH"


"US AGAINST ATHERO is a campaign sponsored by AstraZeneca to increase our nation’s awareness of atherosclerosis (or athero, as we call it), with hopes that all Americans will take steps to take care of their arteries. Through education and valuable information about atherosclerosis, we support people in becoming advocates for their own health and for the health of others"

Researchers identify new heart condition (Sweden)

The discovery of a new heart condition may prevent more young people from becoming victims of cardiac arrest, a leading cause of death in the United States. According to the Heart Rhythm Foundation, sudden cardiac arrest - which happens when the body's blood-pumping organ abruptly stops working - claims about 325,000 lives every year in the United States. Researchers in Sweden have discovered a new disorder linked to cardiac arrest that almost took a young man's life. A genetic defect in the protein glycogenin can lead to an energy crisis in muscle cells and ultimately cause cardiac arrest. The protein's function is to initiate the build-up of glycogen that makes up muscle cells' carbohydrate reserves. When the genetic defect causes the protein to malfunction, the body - including the heart - experiences a shortage of glycogen. Scientists discovered the defect in a young patient who suffered sudden cardiac arrest in Sweden. Experts say the newly discovered condition should be considered as a diagnosis when investigating heart trouble, although there is currently no cure. Source: New England Journal of Medicine, April 19, 2010

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

'Active Fat' campaign launched - Diabetes UK

Diabetes UK, the British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK have launched a new campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of carrying excess weight around your middle. The Active Fat campaign urges people to measure their waistlines and make positive changes to their lifestyles if they are at risk

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Clinical study shows patients gain limb movement years after stroke (USA)

"Patients show modest yet meaningful gains in limb movement and an improved outlook on life years after suffering a stroke, a major clinical study has found. The paper, published online this week in the New England Journal of Medicine, provides the best evidence yet that stroke sufferers in a controlled study can regain limb movement long after an injury, through intensive therapy with specially trained personnel and newly created robotic aids. 'There are about 6.4 million stroke patients in the U.S. with chronic deficits. We've shown that with the right therapy, they can see improvements in movement, everyday function, and quality of life,' said Albert Lo, assistant professor of neurology at Brown University and the study's lead author. 'This is giving stroke survivors new hope.'

Public defibrillators save lives

Public defibrillators save lives"Placing automatic external defibrillators in public places across the United States and Canada could save the lives of 474 people who otherwise would die of cardiac arrest each year, researchers report. Previous studies have found similar lifesaving results for defibrillators in more limited setting, such as casinos or airports, noted study author Dr. Myron L. Weisfeldt, chairman of the department of medicine at Johns Hopkins University. "But this is in a much broader setting than airports or casinos, where security guards might be available," Weisfeldt said. "This is a first report of real-world experience, how effective they are when in large cities." The findings will be published in the April 20 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The study included almost 14,000 people who suffered cardiac arrest in public places in seven U.S. cities and three Canadian ones between December 2005 and May 2007" - HealthDay

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Medics call for ban on trans-fats in UK food

Medics call for ban on trans-fats in UK food"Calls to ban trans-fats from all foods in the UK have been backed by US public health experts. Trans-fats - solid fats found in margarines, cakes and fast food - are banned in some countries. An editorial in the British Medical Journal said 7,000 deaths a year could be prevented by a 1% reduction in consumption. But the Food Standards Agency said the UK's low average consumption made a complete ban unnecessary. In January this year, the UK Faculty of Public Health called for the consumption of trans-fats (also know as trans fatty acids) to be virtually eliminated. It says that although trans-fats make up 1% of the average UK adult food energy intake - below the 2% advised as a dangerous level - there are sections of the population where intake is far higher and these groups are being put at risk. In the BMJ article, doctors from Harvard Medical School backed this view and said bans in Denmark and New York City had effectively eliminated trans-fats, without reducing food availability, taste, or affordability. Many studies have shown harmful effects of trans-fats on heart health" - BBC

Statins may lower testosterone, libido

"Statin therapy prescribed to lower cholesterol also appears to lower testosterone, according to a new study that evaluated nearly 3,500 men who had erectile dysfunction or ED. "Current statin therapy is associated with a twofold increased prevalence of hypogonadism," a condition in which men don't produce enough testosterone, study author Giovanni Corona, MD, PHD, a researcher at the University of Florence in Italy, tells WebMD. Although previous studies have produced mixed findings on the possible link between taking cholesterol-lowering drugs and a drop in testosterone, most involved a limited number of patients, with few studies including more than 50 people, Corona says. "Our study is the first report showing a negative association between statin therapy and testosterone levels in a large series of patients consulting for sexual dysfunction," he says. About one of six adults in the U.S. has high cholesterol, according to the CDC. The number of people buying a statin (such as Lipitor or Zocor) rose 88% from 2000 to 2005, from 15.8 million people to 29.7 million, according to the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality" - webMD

Insurance concerns may delay heart attack patients from seeking treatment (USA)

Insurance concerns may delay heart attack patients from seeking treatment"Patients without health insurance, and those who are insured but fear the cost of medical care, are more likely to delay seeking life-saving treatment when having a heart attack. For the millions of American adults who don't have health insurance, and those who have it but worry that illness might ruin them financially, the signs of an impending heart attack do not set in motion the kind of rapid, lifesaving response that medical professionals urge, according to a study conducted at 24 urban hospitals across the nation. Instead, when uninsured or financially insecure adults feel stabbing chest pain, burning in the shoulders and jaw, or extreme pressure across the midsection, they are more likely than the reliably insured to consider the economic consequences of a false alarm and put off getting help. That delay, established in a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association may be a costly decision for the nation as well as for those who put off seeking care. Long-standing research shows that the longer a heart attack victim delays treatment, the greater the risk of dying" - LA Times

Monday, April 12, 2010

First aid 'could save thousands' - St John Ambulance (UK)

First aid 'could save thousands' - St John Ambulance (UK)"A wider knowledge of simple first aid techniques could save thousands of lives each year, the St John Ambulance charity has said. It is focusing a new campaign on five health emergencies which account for 150,000 deaths each year in England and Wales. These include heart attacks, choking and severe bleeding. The charity is offering a free pocket guide which it feels will boost the survival chances of many more patients. It believes that if confident first aiders were present on more occasions, many lives would be saved"

People with fewer teeth prone to die of heart disease: study (Sweden)

"People with dented smiles run a far greater risk of dying of heart disease than those who still have all their pearly whites, a Swedish researcher said Monday. "Cardiovascular disease and in particular coronary heart disease is closely related to the number of teeth" that a person has left, Anders Holmlund told AFP, explaining the results of a Swedish study to be published in the Journal of Periodontology. "A person with fewer than 10 of their own teeth has a seven times higher risk for death by coronary heart disease than a person of the same age and of the same sex with more than 25 teeth left," Holmlund said. Although many studies published in the past 15 years have showed a link between oral health and cardiovascular disease, Holmlund's study shows a direct relationship between cardiovascular disease and the number of teeth in a person's mouth. The study, conducted with colleagues Gunnar Holm and Lars Lind, surveyed 7,674 women and men, most suffering from periodontal disease, for an average of 12 years, and examined the cause of death of the 629 people who died during the period. For 299 of the subjects, the cause of death was cardiovascular disease" - AFP

Healing a broken heart with stem cells? (Canada)

"Some patients with heart muscles seriously affected by coronary heart disease may soon be able to benefit from an innovative treatment. Researchers at the Research Centre of the Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CRCHUM), in collaboration with the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital (MRH) are evaluating the safety, feasibility and efficacy of injecting stem cells into the hearts of patients while they are undergoing coronary bypass surgery. These stem cells could improve healing of the heart and its function" - Science Daily

World Heart Games 2010 (USA)

World Heart Games 2010 (USA)"Cardiac rehabilitation patients will get a wide variety of challenging, but safe activities to compete in for the 2010 World Heart Games. These provide a monitored and competitive way for the participants to be active in a way that they and their medical team are comfortable with. Some events that participants can expect to compete in are: table tennis, bocce, golf putting, bowling, prediction events, basketball, game of knowledge, volleyball, tennis, softball throw, soccer shoot a 9-hole golf tournament and much more. We encourage you to learn more about the game rules. As clinicians in cardiac rehabilitation, we have all witnessed the evolution of the sedentary, sometimes isolated life in our patients with cardiac disease or risk-related symptoms, to one of hope, activity and purpose. Cardiac rehabilitation programs prepare patients to reenter life" - May 14-15, 2010 - Georgia, USA

Worrying can help heart patients (Australia)

Worrying can help heart patients (Australia)"Australian researchers have made the surprising finding that patients who are worriers are likely to be better off after being hospitalised with an acute heart condition. Worry, they say, can be both normal and constructive. Results suggest that heart patients who worry may attend to their health needs more regularly and conscientiously. They may take their proper medication and may even be more proactive with their GP or other health practitioners. The study, conducted by the Black Dog Institute, challenges the published literature that patients with anxiety and depression in these cases are worse off. "

Canada smoking ban leads to drop in hospitalizations

Canada smoking ban leads to drop in hospitalizations"Hospital admissions for patients with heart and respiratory problems have dropped by around a third in Canada since anti-smoking laws were introduced in 2001, a new study showed. The 10-year study was carried out in the city of Toronto and aimed to measure the effects of banning smoking in restaurants and bars. "Research delineating the impact of smoke-free legislation on cardiovascular and respiratory outcomes could have an immense impact on public health, given that an estimated one billion people are expected to die during the 21st century as a result of tobacco-related disease," wrote lead author Alisa Naiman from the University of Toronto. Since smoking was banned nine years ago, hospital admissions for cardiovascular and respiratory conditions dropped 39 per cent and 33 per cent respectively, according to the article published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal" - CanWest

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Germy mouths linked to heart attacks, study finds (USA)

Germy mouths linked to heart attacks, study findsPeople with the germiest mouths are the most likely to have heart attacks, U.S. researchers reported. A study that compared heart attack victims to healthy volunteers found the heart patients had higher numbers of bacteria in their mouths, the researchers said. Their findings add to a growing body of evidence linking oral hygiene with overall health. Oelisoa Andriankaja and colleagues at the University at Buffalo in New York were trying to find if any particular species of bacteria might be causing heart attacks. Their tests on 386 men and women who had suffered heart attacks and 840 people free of heart trouble showed two types - Tannerella forsynthesis and Prevotella intermedia - were more common among the heart attack patients. - Reuters

Meinhardt Raabe, Munchkin Coroner from The Wizard of Oz, dead at 94

Meinhardt Raabe, Munchkin Coroner From The Wizard of Oz, Dead at 94Meinhardt Raabe, who played the Munchkin coroner who proclaimed the Wicked Witch of the East dead in The Wizard of Oz, has died, according to The Associated Press. He was 94. Raabe, one of the few surviving Munchkins from the film, died Friday morning at Orange Park Medical Center in Florida, his caregiver, Cindy Bosnyak, told the AP. Bosnyak said he complained of a sore throat at his retirement community before collapsing and going into cardiac arrest. He later died at the hospital. Raabe was one of 124 Munchkins in the film and one of only nine with speaking roles. He famously pronounced the witch dead after Dorothy's farmhouse landed on her: "As coroner, I must aver, I thoroughly examined her, and she's not only merely dead, she's really most sincerely dead." - TV Guide

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Study links high blood pressure to memory trouble (USA)

"People as young as 45 with high blood pressure are more likely to have memory troubles, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday in a study suggesting aggressive early treatment of the condition may pay huge dividends. They said people with high diastolic blood pressure - high readings on the bottom number of the blood pressure reading - were more likely than those with normal readings to have problems with memory and thinking called cognitive impairment. The study, published in the journal Neurology, is the largest to look at the link between high blood pressure and memory problems. "It's possible that by preventing or treating high blood pressure, we could potentially prevent cognitive impairment, which can be a precursor to dementia," Dr. Georgios Tsivgoulis of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, who led the study, said in a statement. Researchers studied nearly 20,000 people 45 and older who had never had a stroke or mini-stroke - a common cause of memory problems. More than 7 percent had memory problems, and nearly half were taking medication for high blood pressure. High blood pressure is defined as a reading of 140/90 or above

Friday, April 9, 2010

Baby boomers may outlive their kids (USA)

Baby boomers may outlive their kids (USA)"Because of rising obesity rates among young people, more and more baby boomers may outlive their children. A new study shows that a generational shift in obesity rates is setting the younger generation up for shorter life and poorer health in comparison to their parents. 'Our research indicates that higher numbers of young and middle-age American adults are becoming obese at younger and younger ages,' researcher Joyce Lee, MD, MPH, a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of Michigan, says in a news release. Researchers found that 20% of people born between 1966 and 1985 were obese in their 20s, an obesity prevalence milestone not reached by their parents until their 30s or by their grandparents until their 40s or 50s. That means more Americans are getting heavier earlier in their lives and carrying the extra pounds for longer periods of time, which suggests that the impact for chronic disease and life expectancy may be worse than previously thought. In the study, published in the International Journal of Obesity, researchers compared national obesity rates for children and adults born between 1926 and 2005."

New light on near-death flashes

"Near-death experiences during cardiac arrest - from flashing lights to life flashing before one's eyes - may be down to carbon dioxide, a study finds. Examination of 52 patients found levels of the body's waste gas were higher in the 11 who reported such experiences, the journal Critical Care reports. The Slovenian researchers hope to move on the debate over why so many cardiac arrest patients report the experiences. Reasons previously suggested for the phenomenon include religion and drugs. Those who have had near-death experiences report various encounters, including seeing a tunnel or bright light, a mystical entity, or looking down from the ceiling at the scene below in an "out of body" experience. Others describe a simple but overwhelming feeling of peace and tranquillity. It is thought between one in ten and nearly a quarter of cardiac arrest patients have experienced one of these sensations" - BBC

Thursday, April 8, 2010

2010 Have a Heart Bursary Program (Canada)

2010 Have a Heart Bursary Program (Canada)"The Have a Heart Bursary Program, now in its ninth year, continues to be an extremely successful and valued program. This bursary program is sponsored by the Canadian Cardiovascular Society Academy (CCSA), a charitable organization created in 2000 by the Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS). The CCSA’s mandate is to support education, research, scholarships and bursaries for medical students and prospective cardiovascular specialists. The Have a Heart Bursary Program is designed to introduce promising young Canadian medical students, post-graduate trainees and basic scientists-in-training to the cardiovascular sciences (clinical and basic sciences) to encourage a strong Canadian cardiovascular community. Applicants should be committed to a future career in Canada"

Canadian Association of Cardiac Rehabilitation - 2010 Annual Meeting

Canadian Association of Cardiac Rehabilitation - 2010 Annual MeetingCanadian Association of Cardiac Rehabilitation 2010 Annual Meeting takes place October 22-24 in Monreal, Quebec, Canada

Diabetes Week 2010 (UK)

Diabetes Week 2010 (UK)"Diabetes Week is Diabetes UK's annual UK-wide awareness and fundraising week. This year Diabetes Week is 13 to 19 June 2010. Diabetes UK is using Diabetes Week 2010 to dispel the myths around diabetes and to raise awareness of the importance of healthy lifestyle for all. We are also aiming to raise GBP50,000 during the week to help improve the lives of people with diabetes, their families and friends"

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Walking associated with lower stroke risk in women

Walking associated with lower stroke risk in womenWomen who walked two or more hours a week or who usually walked at a brisk pace (3 miles per hour or faster) had a significantly lower risk of stroke than women who didn't walk, according to a large, long-term study reported in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association. The risks were lower for total stroke, clot-related (ischemic) stroke and bleeding (hemorrhagic) stroke, researchers said. Compared to women who didn't walk:

* Women who usually walked at a brisk pace had a 37 percent lower risk of any type of stroke and those who walked two or more hours a week had a 30 percent lower risk of any type of stroke.
* Women who typically walked at a brisk pace had a 68 percent lower risk of hemorrhagic stroke and those who walked two or more hours a week had a 57 percent lower risk of hemorrhagic stroke.
* Women who usually walked at a brisk pace had a 25 percent lower risk of ischemic stroke and those who usually walked more than two hours a week had a 21 percent lower risk of ischemic stroke - both "borderline significant," according to researchers

CMAJ - 6 April 2010, Volume 182, Issue 6

The Canadian Medical Association Journal - 6 April 2010, Volume 182, Issue 6, is now available online

Heart Failure Congress 2010

Heart Failure Congress 2010 - 29 May to 1 Jun 2010 - Berlin, Germany

Cardiology: protecting heart muscle cells from death

A team of researchers, led by Uta Hoppe, at the University of Cologne, Germany, has identified a role for the protein connexin 43 in protecting mouse heart muscle cells from death. The team therefore suggests that it might be an attractive target for therapies that help protect cells from injuries that normally result in death, such as the injuries suffered by cells as a result of heart attack. Several lines of evidence indicate that the PKC protein and mitoKATP potassium channels in the inner mitochondrial membrane have a central role in protecting cells from death. In the study, connexin 43 was found to be required for mitoKATP activation of PKC. Importantly, this pathway was crucial for protecting mouse heart muscle cells from death. The research appears in the Journal of Clinical Investigation - Science Daily

Children's New Cardiovascular Center (Minnesota)

"Children's New Cardiovascular Center (Minnesota, USA). A national leader in pediatric cardiovascular care. Now with world-class facilities. Our commitment to providing the best pediatric cardiac care is enhanced with the opening of our world-class cardiovascular center, the only one of its kind in the Upper Midwest, in April 2010, offering patients and their families the highest level of pediatric cardiac care"

Monday, April 5, 2010

National Start Walking Day (USA)

National Start Walking Day (USA)Nearly 67 percent of Americans are overweight and at risk for heart complications from a sedentary life. Join world class athlete and Start! celebrity spokesperson Laila Ali as she encourages Americans to lace up and walk for 30 minutes on National Start Walking Day on Wednesday, April 7

Sunday, April 4, 2010

EuroPRevent 2010

EuroPRevent 2010EuroPRevent is the main scientific meeting place in Europe for all who are engaged in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and stroke. Scientists, physicians and other health workers as well as leading politicians from all over Europe will gather and discuss the latest scientific developments and determine the future course of prevention - 5-7 May 2010 - Prague, Czech Republic

World Health Day - 7 April 2010

World Health Day - 7 April 2010"World Health Day 2010 will focus on urbanization and health. With the campaign "1000 cities - 1000 lives", events will be organized worldwide calling on cities to open up streets for health activities. Stories of urban health champions will be gathered to illustrate what people are doing to improve health in their cities."

Coping with Stress (Canada)

Coping with Stress (Canada)"Stress is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. About a quarter of Canadians report a high degree of life stress. People with excessive stress may have high-blood pressure and elevated levels of blood cholesterol and be overweight. The Heart and Stroke Foundation has partnered with the Canadian Mental Health Association to bring you this brochure to help you cope with stress more successfully. Inside the brochure there is a Stress Index Test that will help you identify your stressors and some suggestions on how to manage them in a healthier way"

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Internal Medicine 2010 (Canada)

Internal Medicine 2010More than 5,000 internists (adult medicine specialists), subspecialists, medical students, and allied health professionals will meet in Toronto, Canada, for Internal Medicine 2010, the annual scientific meeting of the American College of Physicians (ACP), April 22 - 24 (Thursday - Saturday), at the Toronto Convention Center. ACP is the largest specialty organization devoted to adult medicine and is the second-largest physician group in the United States. Internists specialize in the prevention, detection, and treatment of illnesses in adults. Internal Medicine 2010 features more than 250 scientific sessions taught by top-rated, nationally recognized physicians. Courses and events that provide interesting story angles are below.

Arts and the Heart Roundtable proceedings (USA)

"The Foundation for Art & Healing has released the proceedings from its groundbreaking Arts and the Heart Roundtable, a gathering of luminaries from the medical, arts and public health sectors regarding the connection between creative engagement and cardiac health. Held during the summer of 2009 in New York, the goal of the meeting was to draw on research and clinical expertise as well as the direct experiences of cardiac patients who have found creative endeavors to aid in their own personal healing processes. The Roundtable participants concurred with the findings of the research review (since published in the American Journal of Public Health, February 2010) as related to cardiac health, calling for a greater range of research both in establishing the connection between creative engagement and positive changes in cardiac health, as well further understanding the connection. The Foundation has responded to this call for action, planning multiple pilot programs that will not only directly connect individuals with the healing power of creative engagement, but provide populations among which to conduct further evaluation and research"

Transradial approach to angioplasty and stenting to be featured at SCAI 2010 Annual Meeting

"There's been a surge of interest in the transradial approach over the past year," according to Dr. Samir B. Pancholy, Associate Professor of Medicine, Commonwealth Medical College in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Commenting to Angioplasty.Org, Dr. Pancholy said he expected an overflow audience at the transradial sessions being held at this year's SCAI 33rd Annual Scientific Sessions in San Diego. Similar sessions at last fall's TCT and this year's ACC meetings resulted in a hundred or more cardiologists standing in the corridors, listening to the audio feed. What is driving this interest in the transradial approach to coronary interventions - a procedure where the radial artery in the wrist is used for catheter access instead of the femoral artery in the groin? Dr. Pancholy opined, "Perhaps it's because of our group [of radialists] and our presence, handing out brochures and having meetings. But perhaps more, it's because of the volume of data that's been accumulating about patient comfort and safety, the lower bleeding complications and the increasing concern about hemorrhagic complications of the transfemoral approach, which often cause worse outcomes than, for example, a micro-heart attack that may occur during the procedure."

Grant to explore link between BPA and heart disease (UK)

The British Heart Foundation is to fund research exploring the link between Bisphenol A (BPA), a manmade chemical found in commonly used plastics, and heart disease. The grant is for GBP119,169. In the UK, 2.6 million people are living with heart disease. Studies have suggested that some manmade chemicals might be linked to development of heart disease, including bisphenol A (BPA) that is used in some types of plastic containers. A research team from Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry in Exeter and the University of Exeter will try to confirm whether BPA may cause heart disease. They will measure levels of BPA in about 1,000 people who are receiving bypass surgery for heart disease at Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire to see if there is a link. They will also look at BPA levels among a study group of thousands of people from Norfolk, who have been followed for more than 10 years as part of an ongoing research project to look at the development of heart disease. Clarifying whether BPA is linked to heart disease could impact public health by leading to potential controls on its use

Mapping Heart Disease

Though heart disease is a major cause of disability and death, very little is understood about its genetic underpinnings. Recently, an international team of investigators at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (IMBA), Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham) and other organizations shed new light on the subject. Studying Drosophila (fruit flies), the team investigated 7061 genes and built a detailed map that shows how a portion of these genes contribute to heart function and disease. Importantly, the researchers identified many genes that had not previously been associated with heart disease. The research is being published as the cover story in the April 2 issue of Cell.

Gene therapy boosts recovery from heart attack (UK)

Gene therapy boosts recovery from heart attack (UK)Gene therapy could be an effective way to improve survival rates among heart attack patients, new research funded by the British Heart Foundation suggests. Academics at the University of Bristol found that boosting levels of a natural growth factor in the heart could help the muscle to recover after a heart attack. The death rate from a heart attack was halved in mice that received the treatment. Heart attacks occur when a blood clot blocks off the blood supply to part of the heart muscle. Deprived of oxygen, the tissue dies and cannot regenerate. If the person survives, they can be left with a weakened heart that can't pump blood as effectively - causing severe ill health. Each year, around 140,000 people suffer a heart attack in the UK. Nerve growth factor (NGF) is so called because it promotes the growth of nerve cells, but Dr Costanza Emanueli, a BHF Senior Research Fellow, previously showed that it could also stimulate the growth of new blood vessels. In a new study published in the journal Circulation Research, Dr Emanueli and her team in Bristol investigated whether NGF could help the heart recover from a heart attack by encouraging new blood vessels to grow into and nourish the injured muscle

Pulse may predict heart attack risk: researchers

"In an era of high-tech medical wonders, researchers have found an exquisitely cheap and easy way to predict a woman's risk of a future heart attack: Take her pulse. American researchers who assessed the resting heart rate of nearly 130,000 women and then followed them for an average eight years found those with the highest resting pulse - more than 76 beats per minute - were more likely to suffer a heart attack or die from coronary heart disease than women with the lowest - 62 beats per minute or less. Doctors have known for years that heart rate predicts heart attack risk in men. The higher a man's resting pulse, the greater his risk. According to the Framingham Heart Study, one of the world's longest-running health studies, men with a resting heart rate of 92 beats per minute or more are at increased risk of heart attack and other "coronary events." But, until now, there was no good evidence the same held true for women. The study, published this week in the British Medical Journal, involved 129,135 post-menopausal women with no history of heart problems who were participating in the Women's Health Initiative trial"

Friday, April 2, 2010

Cardiac rehab patients walk their "Friends" (USA)

Cardiac rehab patients walk their "ProHealth Care's Regional Heart & Vascular Center at Waukesha Memorial, WI, has partnered with Humane Animal Welfare Society to bring pet therapy benefits to cardiac rehab patients through an innovative new walking program -- one of the first of its kind in the country. Phase 4 cardiac rehab patients are invited to pair up with specially trained pet therapy dogs and walk their "friends" along designated walking paths. Walking times occur 7 days a week from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 - 6 p.m. Did you know that spending time with animals can be medically beneficial? Medical studies and field reports say that patients experience many therapeutic benefits thanks to pet therapy, including:
* decreased anxiety and depression
* increased self-esteem
* lowered blood pressure
* increased motivation to get well
* decreased need for painkillers in some post-operative patients"

Gift saves life in Deddington after 20 minutes (UK)

Gift saves life in Deddington after 20 minutes (UK)A piece of life-saving equipment, designed to save heart attack victims, proved its worth after being pressed into service just minutes after being handed over. The defibrillator was handed over by Deddington Farmers' Market's committee (Oxfordshire) to volunteer first-aider Colin Stephens on Saturday. Within 20 minutes, South Central Ambulance Service, was alerted to a 76-year-old woman having a heart attack in the village. Mr Stephens, a community responder, and Matt Winser and Dave England - community responder training officer and liaison officer for the ambulance service - were nearest to the woman's home and arrived first on the scene. An ambulance arrived soon after and the woman was taken to the Horton Hospital in Banbury. Mr England said: "We were there literally within seconds and were able to successfully resuscitate the patient. Thanks to the generosity of Deddington Farmers' Market, the village now has its own defibrillator. But no-one imagined that it would be put to use so soon to save a life in the village."

Holzer Heart Run and Walk honors cardiac survivors (USA)

Holzer Heart Run and Walk honors cardiac survivors (USA)The Holzer Heart Run and Walk is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m., Saturday, April 24, and will include a one-mile kid's fun run, 10k run, 5k run and 5k walk. Each race will begin and end at Holzer Clinic Sycamore Branch, 1051 4th Ave., Gallipolis, Ohio. The course will follow the grounds of the Gallipolis Development Center and includes paved and untreated roads with some elevation changes. Awards will be given based on age groups, categories and teams. A walk/run club meets at 5:30 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday in the parking lots between the Holzer Clinic facilities, located at Fourth and Sycamore Streets in Gallipolis, to help participants prepare for the race. The event is staged to honor survivors of cardiac events such as heart attack, valve replacement, bypass surgery, stent placement and stroke. All proceeds will be donated to the American Red Cross of Gallia County