Monday, January 31, 2011

Super Bowl losses can increase cardiac death (USA)

Super Bowl losses can increase cardiac death"A new study published in the journal Clinical Cardiology reveals that a Super Bowl loss for a home team was associated with increased death rates in both men and women and in older individuals. Sports fans may be emotionally involved in watching their favorite teams. When the team loses, it can cause some degree of emotional stress. Led by Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD, of the Heart Institute, Good Samarian Hospital and Keck School of Medicine at USC in Los Angeles, researchers assessed how often this emotional stress may translate to increases in cardiac death. They ran regression models for mortality rates for cardiac causes for the 1980 Los Angeles Super Bowl loss and for the 1984 Los Angeles Super Bowl win. Results show that the Los Angeles Super Bowl loss of 1980 increased total and cardiac deaths in both men and women and triggered more death in older than younger patients. In contrast, there was a trend for a Super Bowl win to reduce death more frequently in older people and in women"

Sunday, January 30, 2011

CARG Newsletter - February 2011

The CARG Newsletter - February 2011 is now available online

New campaign video showcases global disparity in access to insulin for people with type 1 diabetes

A new World Diabetes Day video has been produced to showcase the global disparity in access to insulin for people with diabetes. 'O is for outrage' shows how in parts of the world people with type 1 diabetes are able to live in full and healthy lives, while in others, diabetes can bring death and disability at a young age due to lack of access to insulin, the life-saving drug discovered ninety years ago:

Researchers discover root cause of blood vessel damage in diabetes (USA)

A key mechanism that appears to contribute to blood vessel damage in people with diabetes has been identified by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Blood vessel problems are a common diabetes complication. Many of the nearly 26 million Americans with the disease face the prospect of amputations, heart attack, stroke and vision loss because of damaged vessels. Reporting in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, the Washington University researchers say studies in mice show that the damage appears to involve two enzymes, fatty acid synthase (FAS) and nitric oxide synthase (NOS), that interact in the cells that line blood vessel walls. 'We already knew that in diabetes there's a defect in the endothelial cells that line the blood vessels,' says first author Xiaochao Wei, PhD. 'People with diabetes also have depressed levels of fatty acid synthase. But this is the first time we've been able to link those observations together.'

Cath Lab of the Future: angioplasty, stents, robots and more

A half century ago, Dr. Mason Sones, working in his cath lab, discovered that he could inject contrast dye selectively into the coronary arteries. His discovery revealed in great detail the anatomic nature of coronary artery disease and, within a very short time, led to the treatments of both bypass graft surgery and angioplasty. Along with Dr. Melvin Judkins, Sones founded an organization dedicated to excellence in imaging and diagnosis of heart disease: the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI). This month, SCAI has published a paper forecasting what the cath lab of the future might look like. The paper, titled "The Catheterization Laboratory and Interventional Vascular Suite of the Future: Anticipating Innovations in Design and Function," appears in the current issue of Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions. It features predictions on the future of these medical spaces, including advances in technology and design as well as changes in function, staffing and economics

Texas jury awards plaintiff $482 million in Johnson and Johnson stent battle

From Reuters: "A federal jury in Texas has rendered a $482 million verdict against Johnson & Johnson, finding its widely used Cypher stent infringes on the patent of an outside researcher, the company said on Friday. Dr. Bruce Saffran filed the lawsuit, saying that his stent patent was valid and that the healthcare company infringed on it. J&J said the company disagrees with the jury's decision, and will fight it. "We will ask the judge to overturn this verdict and if unsuccessful, we plan to appeal the verdict," a J&J spokesperson said. Saffran's law firm, Dickstein Shapiro LLP, in a release, said the jury deliberated for two hours before returning its verdict. The law firm said another federal jury in the same Marshall, Texas, courthouse three years ago rendered a $431.9 million verdict against Boston Scientific Corp, finding that its Taxus stent also infringed Saffran's patent"

Scientists shed new light on how heart works (Australia)

Doctors at the Victor Chang Institute have uncovered new information about the rhythm of the heart and why some drugs might affect that rhythm. Half of all new drugs being developed block one of the channels of the heart and can cause cardiac arrhythmia, which can lead to sudden cardiac death. Professor Jamie Vandenberg, head of the Cardiac Electrophysiology Laboratory at the Victor Chang Institute, says doctors have now found the mechanism which opens the gate to these channels. "Just like a set of metal wires that carry electricity to light up our streets, our body has a series of channels that carry tiny charged particles called ions, into and out of cells, to trigger a heartbeat," he said. "Depending on the position of these gates, many common drugs attach themselves to these channels, blocking the ions from passing through. "This causes what we call Long QT syndrome, where the length of the heart beat is longer than usual, which greatly increases the risk of arrhythmia." Professor Vandenberg believes the "gate mechanism" will also apply to other channels important in the heart's electrical system, as well as those that control electrical communication in the brain.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Costs to treat heart disease will triple to $818B by 2030 (USA)

Costs to treat heart disease will triple to $818B by 2030 (USA)"By 2030, the cost to treat heart disease will triple, and rise from $273 billion to $818 billion in the U.S. A bigger push to find effective prevention strategies is necessary to limit the burden of cardiovascular disease, according to a policy statement published January 25 in Circulation. The American Heart Association expert panel, which put forth the statement, estimated the future medical costs of heart disease based on the current rates of disease and Census data to adjust for population shifts. Today, one in three Americans has been diagnosed with some form of heart disease—high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, heart failure and stroke, among others—and by 2030, 116 million people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with some form of cardiovascular disease. The panel speculated that the largest increases will be the rate of stroke and heart failure, which will rise upwards to 24.9 percent and 25 percent, respectively"

Less stress cuts cardiac events

Less stress cuts cardiac eventsA cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) programme to help people with heart disease to manage their stress levels reduces their likelihood of suffering a cardiovascular event, say researchers. Their study, published in Archives of Internal Medicine, showed that CBT might need to be continued for 6-12 months to be effective. Researchers randomised 362 men and women, who had all been hospitalised for a coronary heart disease event in the previous 12 months, to either usual care or to CBT. People in the CBT group had 20 two-hour sessions over a year, which concentrated on how to reduce, manage and cope with stress. The programme had five specific components – education, self-monitoring, skills training, cognitive restructuring and spiritual development. Groups were kept small and men and women attended separate groups from one another

Heart-targeting Listeria increase cardiac disease risk

Certain strains of the food pathogen Listeria are uniquely adapted to infect heart tissues and may put people at a higher risk from serious cardiac disease, according to a new study published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology. Developing new diagnostic tests to identify these potentially fatal strains could protect those most at risk, such as those with heart valve replacements

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

LHSC announces a cardiac surgery world first (Canada)

"Doctors at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) are the first in the world to use a new implantable surgical device that promises to revolutionize aortic valve bypass surgery. On November 3, 2010, LHSC's cardiac surgery team led by Drs. Bob Kiaii and Linrui Guo successfully performed an aortic valve bypass using a specialized Aortic Valve Bypass (AVB) device. This was done to treat a patient with critical aortic stenosis who could not have conventional treatments due to his underlying high risk condition. 'There were no options left for the patient. He was at a point where no more than 30% of his blood was being pumped out of his heart. Not only was he severely fatigued and weakened, but he was at a high risk for having a stroke,' explains Dr. Kiaii, chair/chief of the cardiac surgery team"

Brain cooling could aid stroke recovery (Scotland)

Cooling the brain of patients who have suffered a stroke could dramatically improve their recovery, a group of Scottish doctors has said. They are joining others from across Europe who believe that inducing hypothermia in some patients can boost survival rates and reduce brain damage. Similar techniques have already been tried successfully on heart attack patients and those with birth injuries. Scientists are in Brussels to discuss a Europe-wide trial of the technique. To date, studies have involved the body of patients being cooled using ice cold intravenous drips and cooling pads applied to the skin. This lowers the body temperature to about 35C, just a couple of degrees below its normal level - BBC

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Questions over statin prescribing

Questions over statin prescribingHealthy people may derive no benefit from taking cholesterol-lowering statins, according to a review of previous studies. The report, published in The Cochrane Library, concluded that statins reduced death rates. But it said there was no evidence to justify their use in people at low risk of developing heart disease. The British Heart Foundation said the benefits of prescribing statins for those people was unclear. Millions of people in the UK take statins, which reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke by lowering the level of cholesterol in the blood. They are available both on prescription and in low doses over the counter in pharmacies - BBC

Dianne Gosselin retires

Dianne Gosselin has retired after 26 years of work as a Cardiac Rehab Nurse with the Saskatoon Health Region. CARG would like to thank Dianne for her wonderful contribution to the program and to wish her well in her retirement

Let's talk about your diabetes

Let's talk about your DiabetesIf you have diabetes, here is a fun and engaging way to learn more about your diabetes.

Join us for a Conversation Map™:

* you learn from others just like you
* share your thoughts and experiences

* Next sessions are Tuesday February 15 & Thursday April 14 at 9:30am to 11:00am
* You are welcome to come to just one or both sessions at the Field House
* Facilitators : Marlene Matiko, Diabetes Nurse Clinician and Rochelle Anthony, Dietitian
* To register or for more information, talk to your exercise therapist. Space is limited

Volunteers needed for sewing and stuffing heart pillows (CARG)

Volunteers needed for sewing and stuffing heart pillows (CARG)Volunteers are needed for sewing and stuffing heart pillows on Sunday, February 6 from 1:00pm to 5:00 or for as long as you can stay. Place: SaskTel Pioneer Ladies, Bay 2220, Northridge Drive, Saskatoon. Sign-up sheet is available on the notice board

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Breakthrough treatment for blocked arteries (Canada)

Breakthrough treatment for blocked arteries (Canada)"Dr. Bradley Strauss, Chief of the Schulich Heart Centre and Reichmann Chair of Cardiovascular Sciences, has launched the world's first clinical trial of a groundbreaking treatment for patients with coronary arteries that are completely blocked by plaque. The new therapy is the first biological solution ever developed to treat chronic total occlusions (CTOs). It involves injecting the enzyme collagenase into a blocked artery to soften the plaque so a cardiologist can perform traditional angioplasty to re-open the artery to blood flow. Angioplasty can greatly relieve symptoms such as chest pain and difficulty breathing, which are commonly experienced by patients with CTOs and can improve their quality of life almost immediately. Unfortunately, the success rate of the procedure using traditional methods is very low. "In many cases, the blockages are like cement and it is impossible to get a guide-wire through them," says Dr. Strauss. "This leaves many CTO patients with few treatment options," he adds, which is why Dr. Strauss is conducting the first-ever clinical trial to test the safety and effectiveness of this new treatment. Early results of the trial are extremely promising. To-date, Dr. Strauss has performed the procedure on 19 patients with an 85 per cent success rate. The clinical trial is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)"

British Columbia urged to help smokers quit (Canada)

British Columbia urged to help smokers quit (Canada)"Anti-smoking groups want British Columbia to join two other Canadian provinces in subsidizing smokers trying to kick the habit. Quebec and Saskatchewan now provide assistance with paying for anti-tobacco medication and counseling, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported. Diego Marchese, chief executive of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of British Columbia, said Friday many smokers need subsidies because the Canadian health system and most private plans do not cover them. Barbara Kaminsky of the Canadian Cancer Society of British Columbia and the Yukon said smoking should be considered a chronic condition. "Not supporting people who want to quit sends a mixed message to smokers and to those most at risk to begin smoking -- young people," said Kaminsky. "If we know smoking is an addiction, why won't we help pay for treatment for the estimated 70 percent of smokers who wish to quit?" A survey by the Lung Association of British Columbia and the Heart and Stroke Foundation found there are 55,000 smokers in the province, with two-thirds saying they would like to give up cigarettes"

A big breakfast doesn't reduce calorie intake

A big breakfast doesn't reduce calorie intake"It's a myth that eating a large breakfast means consuming fewer calories during the day, according to researchers in Germany. The study, published in Nutrition Journal, showed that people still eat the same amount at lunch and dinner. The scientists suggest reducing breakfast calories could help people lose weight. The British Dietetic Association said eating breakfast was important for a balanced diet. Starting the day with a hearty breakfast has often been linked with weight loss"

CardioCareLive (USA)

CardioCareLive - Free online cardiology conference produced in partnership with the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, with live keynote presentations, panel discussions, Q&A sessions, lectures, peer networking and an exhibit floor. Provides on-demand CME sessions

Monday, January 17, 2011

GlaxoSmithKline: US$3.4bn charge over Avandia and legal case

GlaxoSmithKline: US$3.4bn charge over Avandia and legal case"GlaxoSmithKline has set aside £2.2bn (US$3.4bn) in the fourth quarter of 2010 to cover legal costs. The charges relate to its diabetes drug Avandia, and a federal investigation into the company's sales and promotional practices for nine other products in the United States. Avandia was banned in Europe last year while the US restricted its use because of a suspected link to heart disease. The charge is in addition to a £1.57bn charge Glaxo announced in July. That was to cover various legal settlements, including claims over Avandia, as well as antidepressant Paxil and an investigation into standards at a factory in Puerto Rico" - BBC

Age-friendly Saskatoon Initiative

Age-friendly Saskatoon, an initiative of the Saskatoon Council on Aging, will support older adults to lead healthy independent lives, to be active and socially engaged. This important initiative is designed to involve the greater Saskatoon community and will be led by older adults

New genes linked to heart disease and heart attack risk

Scientists have identified two genes which could increase your risk of heart disease and heart attack, according to new research published in The Lancet. The researchers identified a piece of genetic code which increases your risk of heart disease developing. They also found that another gene which determines your blood group was also associated with an increased risk of a heart attack in people who already had heart disease

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Smoking 'causes damage in minutes', US experts claim

Smoking damages the body in minutes rather than years, according to research in the US. The report, published in Chemical Research in Toxicology, shows that chemicals which cause cancer form rapidly after smoking. Scientists involved in the small-scale study described the results as a stark warning to people considering smoking. Anti-smoking charity Ash described the research as "chilling" and as a warning that it is never too early to quit. The long term impact of smoking, from heart disease to a range of cancers, is well known. This study suggests the damage begins just moments after the first cigarette is smoked

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Food Chat with Rochelle Anthony

Do have a question for Rochelle Anthony, Dietitian for the Cardiac Rehab and First Step Programs? Dates:

Tuesday, January 18: 9:00am to 11:00am
Thursday, February 10: 9:00 to 10:30am
Monday, April 4: 9:00am to 11:00am

Field House track area

Diabetes on Track for CARG and 1st Step: Do you have a question regarding your diabetes?

Marlene Matiko, Diabetes Nurse Educator, and Rochelle Anthony, Dietitian, will be in the track area at the Field House to answer your questions on:

Monday, January 24: 8:00am to 11:00am
Tuesday, February 15: 8:00am to 9:30am
Monday, March 14: 8:00am to 11:00am
Tuesday, April 14: 8:00am to 9:30am

Please bring your logbook and blood sugar meter. No appointments required

Evidence suggests role for chemicals in diabetes

Evidence suggests role for chemicals in diabetes"Evidence strongly suggests that some chemicals, especially chemicals in cigarette smoke, might cause some cases of diabetes and obesity, U.S. government researchers said. A committee appointed by the National Toxicology Program went through studies looking at links between diabetes and obesity and chemicals such as arsenic, chemicals found in plastic, pesticides and cigarette smoke. "Some of these associations are pretty strong," said Michael Gallo of the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey, who led a two-day workshop in North Carolina that ended on Thursday. Especially strong was the link between smoking while pregnant and a child's later risk of becoming obese and developing type-2 diabetes. "It is consistent with our understanding of how diabetes and obesity develop," Gallo told reporters. When a pregnant woman smokes, the baby is often underweight at birth. This can set up a chain of mechanisms that lead to obesity later, which in turn can cause type-2 diabetes. Gallo and others stressed that at least 70 percent of cases of obesity and diabetes are caused directly by eating poorly and exercising too little. But some cases of diabetes, especially in fit, lean people, are harder to explain"

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Taking regular breaks from desk 'good for the heart'

Taking regular breaks from desk 'good for the heart'Taking lots of breaks from sitting at a desk is good for the waistline and heart health, research suggests. Even breaks as short as a minute - to stand up, move around or climb stairs - are of benefit, says a study. The European Heart Journal report adds further weight to evidence that sitting for long periods can be bad for health. Experts found those who sat down for long periods without getting up had a larger waist circumference and lower levels of good HDL cholesterol. Lead researcher Dr Genevieve Healy, of The University of Queensland, Australia, said: "Our research showed that even small changes, which could be as little as standing up for one minute, might help to lower this health risk. "It is likely that regular breaks in prolonged sitting time could be readily incorporated into the working environment without any detrimental impact on productivity, although this still needs to be determined by further research. "'Stand up, move more, more often' could be used as a slogan to get this message across."

High blood pressure combination pill 'better than one' (UK)

A combination of drugs is better than a single one in treating high blood pressure, a UK study has suggested. The study in the Lancet involved 1,200 people and found starting treatment with two drugs gave better and faster results, with fewer side effects. The approach challenges conventional medical practice where doctors give a patient one drug, then add another later if blood pressure stays high. Almost 10 million people in the UK have high blood pressure - BBC

Merck clot drug seen unfit for stroke, shares fall

Merck & Co has stopped giving one of its most important experimental drugs, the blood clot preventer Vorapaxar, to some patients in two late-stage studies after it was deemed inappropriate for those who had suffered a stroke. Merck shares tumbled 6.7 percent after the news, as the market appeared to be writing off the value of a drug once thought to have multibillion-dollar sales potential - Reuters

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Video: Heart to Heart with Dr. Holly Andersen on Cardiac Health

Did you know that a good night's sleep could help you prevent heart disease? There are many simple ways to lower your risk. Visit for more information

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Smoking around your kindergartner could raise their blood pressure

If you smoke around your children, they could have high blood pressure or be headed in an unhealthy direction before learning their ABC's, according to research reported in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. The study is the first to show that breathing tobacco smoke increases the blood pressure of children as young as 4 or 5 years old. "The prevention of adult diseases like stroke or heart attack begins during childhood," said Giacomo D. Simonetti, M.D., first author of the study at the University of Heidelberg in Germany and currently assistant professor of pediatrics at the Children's Hospital of the University of Berne in Switzerland. "Parental smoking is not only negative for children’s lung function, but poses a risk for their future cardiovascular health." In an extension of a standard school health exam, 4,236 kindergarten boys and girls (average age 5.7) in the German district that includes Heidelberg had their blood pressure measured. Of parents reporting they smoked, 28.5 percent were fathers, 20.7 percent mothers and 11.9 percent were both parents

University of Rhode Island engineering team invents lab-on-a-chip for fast, inexpensive blood tests (USA)

University of Rhode Island engineering team invents lab-on-a-chip for fast, inexpensive blood tests (USA)While most blood tests require shipping a vial of blood to a laboratory for analysis and waiting several days for the results, a new device invented by a team of engineers and students at the University of Rhode Island uses just a pinprick of blood in a portable device that provides results in less than 30 minutes. "This development is a big step in point-of-care diagnostics, where testing can be performed in a clinic, in a doctor's office, or right at home," said Mohammad Faghri, URI professor of mechanical engineering and the lead researcher on the project. "No longer will patients have to wait anxiously for several days for their test results. They can have their blood tested when they walk into the doctor’s office and the results will be ready before they leave."

Researchers show that heart heals itself (UK)

Researchers show that heart heals itself (UK)"The Stem Cell & Molecular Physiology team, at the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, led by Dr Georgina Ellison, pictured left, has uncovered vital research that could change the view of the best type of cells to be used to heal the heart after a heart attack. The findings, funded by the British Heart Foundation and the EU FP7 programme, have produced evidence that stem cells resident in the adult heart are playing a key role in both heart cell regeneration and survival.

More evidence sitting is deadly, even for those who exercise

Increased inflammation in the body is linked to heart disease. Now a new study from the UK finds markers for inflammation were twice as high in people who spent more than four hours a day in front of a computer or TV. They were also much more likely to suffer major cardiac problems and die prematurely. "We have the solution. We're just not applying it," said Dr Gillinov. The solution? Exercise, but even that won't help unless you can figure out how to keep moving throughout your day. Dr Gillinov offers these suggestions:

"Take the stairs instead of an elevator. Walk down the hallway to talk to somebody instead of sending an email."

The study's author, Dr. Emmanuel Stamatakis of University College London believes workers should take breaks every 20 minutes and engage in light intensity walking. However we get the message, doctors say it's those little ways of working exercise into our otherwise sedentary lifestyle. that will help make a difference in the long run. Americans have developed some bad habits during the last few decades. We spend our workdays slouched over a desk in front of a computer,then we sit during our commute home before vegging out in front of the TV or computer during our down time. All of this sitting is likely to bring our lives to an end sooner than we'd like. "People who are sedentary have increased inflammation just as a result of sitting. Perhaps it's something to do with less muscle contraction," said Dr. Marc Gillinov of the Cleveland Clinic

Health Canada - "Synerate: weight loss product could cause serious adverse reactions"

Health Canada - "The product Synerate, manufactured for Strive and distributed by Upper 49th, is being voluntarily recalled from the Canadian market because of the risk of serious, potentially fatal adverse effects from the combination of the ingredients in the product. Synerate, a product used for weight loss or body building, contains caffeine and synephrine, which is similar to ephedrine. When used in combination with caffeine and other stimulants, synephrine and/or ephedrine has caused reported adverse events ranging from dizziness, tremors, headaches and irregularities in heart rate to seizures, psychosis, heart attacks and stroke. The product is not authorized by Health Canada and bears no Drug Identification Number (DIN), Natural Health Product Number (NPN), Homeopathic Medicine Number (DIN-HM) or Exemption Number (EN)"

Fourteenth Congress of Chest Pain Centers (USA)

The annual Congress of Chest Pain Centers is the premier educational forum for cardiac healthcare professionals in the developing disciplines of chest pain management and observational medicine, along with current trends in the diagnosis and treatment of acute coronary syndrome, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, care processes of the cardiac patient, and observational medicine. The goal of the 14th Congress is to provide up-to-the-minute, practical education in cardiovascular disease management to all emergency medicine and cardiology physicians and nurses, EMS, and other interested healthcare professionals. The diagnosis and treatment of heart disease has undergone monumental changes over the past few years as advances in technology and science have transformed current clinical practices - May 2-5, 2011 - Miami, Florida, USA

Stroke recovery boosted by a course of Prozac

Stroke recovery boosted by a course of Prozac"Giving stroke patients Prozac soon after the event could help their recovery from paralysis, a study has found. Researchers discovered more improvement in movement and greater independence after three months in patients taking the antidepressant (also known as fluoxetine), compared to placebo. The Lancet Neurology study was based on research on 118 patients in France. UK stroke experts said the findings were "promising". This was the largest study of selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and stroke recovery to date. Tests on stroke patients 90 days after being given the drug found that patients taking fluoxetine had gained significantly more function in their upper and lower limbs than patients who were not given the drug. Patients in the fluoxetine group were also more likely to be coping independently. All patients in the study had moderate to severe motor disabilities following their stroke" - BBC

Eli Lilly, Boehringer Ingelheim launch collaboration to develop diabetes treatments (US)

"Eli Lilly will pay Boehringer Ingelheim $387.4 million and collaborate with the German drugmaker to develop diabetes drugs with the U.S. pharmaceutical company facing the expiration of some of its key patents. Lilly, based in Indianapolis, loses patent protection this year for its top-selling drug, the anti-psychotic Zyprexa, and faces the loss of some other key patents in the next few years. The drugmaker said Tuesday that the deal with Boehringer Ingelheim offers the potential of boosting near-term revenue. Lilly could receive more than $1 billion in future payments depending on how well the collaboration performs and whether the drugs under development reach certain sales milestones. Boehringer Ingelheim will be eligible for future payments totaling about $807 million. The collaboration includes two Lilly insulins expected to enter late-stage testing this year and a type 2 diabetes treatment from Boehringer Ingelheim that is being reviewed by regulators. Shares of Eli Lilly and Co. rose slightly in premarket trading" - AP

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

From dusty punch cards, new insights into link between cholesterol and heart disease

From dusty punch cards, new insights into link between cholesterol and heart disease"A stack of punch cards from a landmark study published in 1966, and the legwork to track down the study's participants years later, has yielded the longest analysis of the effects of lipoproteins on coronary heart disease. The study, published in a recent issue of the journal Atherosclerosis, tracked almost 1,900 people over a 29-year period, which is nearly three times longer than other studies that examine the link between different sizes of high-density lipoprotein particles and heart disease. It found that an increase in larger high-density lipoprotein particles decreased a subject's risk of heart disease. The research also underscores the value of looking to the past to advance science"

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Trial of daily polypill to protect heart begins (UK)

Trial of daily polypill to protect heart begins (UK)The first trial of a 'polypill' for the over-50s is being launched in Britain today. The tablet, to be taken daily, combines several low dose drugs that could help protect against heart attacks and strokes. The idea of the pill, which is hoped will cut cholesterol and blood pressure, thus saving lives, was first conceived in 2003 by Professor Sir Nicholas Ward and Prof Malcolm Law from the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine at Queen Mary University, London. Professors Ward and Law hope the trial will pave the way for anybody over 50 to buy cheaply from a pharmacy within a couple of years. The pill is being made by the Indian generics company Cipla. It contains simvastatin to lower cholesterol and three drugs in small does to reduce blood pressure – losartan, hydrochlorthiazide and amlodopine. The pill does not contain aspirin because of the side effects some people experience after taking it.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Quitting smoking linked to lower levels of 'bad' cholesterol

Quitting smoking linked to lower levels of 'bad' cholesterol"Smokers who successfully quit may enjoy yet another health benefit: improved cholesterol profiles. A boost in "good" cholesterol comes with quitting despite weight gain after putting out the last cigarette, hints a new study. If confirmed in future research, the finding could shed light on the strong, yet somewhat mysterious relationship between smoking and heart health. Up to 20% of heart disease deaths are currently blamed on smoking, but researchers haven't yet had a clear understanding of what lies behind the effect. Smoking likely affects the cardiovascular system in a variety of ways, including lowered oxygen levels and wear and tear on the heart itself. Some small studies have also shown that smoking lowers good cholesterol (HDL) and raises bad cholesterol (LDL), lead researcher Dr. Adam Gepner of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, in Madison, told Reuters Health