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New Good Cholesterol Raising Drug Will Be Sold Stand Alone - Previously Company Planned Combining With Lipitor For Heart Patients

New Good Cholesterol Raising Drug Will Be Sold Stand Alone - Previously Company Planned Combining With Lipitor For Heart Patients

Lipitor

The worlds largest pharmaceutical company, US based Pfizer Inc, says they will start selling their new heart treatment drug, torcetrapib, in a stand-alone pill.  Previously the company planned to sell Torcetrapib only in combination with Lipitor. 

The New York Times reported that torcetrapib, is still being tested in clinical trials and is at least 18 months from federal approval.  So far the clinical trials have shown that the drug raises the so-called good cholesterol, a promising new approach to preventing heart attacks and strokes.

Analysts on Wall Street say that torcetrapib could be the new blockbuster medicine with sales of several billion per year.  If Pfizer had offered the drug only in combination with Lipitor, they would have forced patients that use Zocor and other statins to switch to Lipitor to get the benefits of torcetrapib.  Complete Article


Diastolic Heart Failure More Common Than Systolic Form - Symptoms are the Same But Treatments Could Vary For Ejection - Relaxation Fraction

Diastolic Heart Failure More Common Than Systolic Form - Symptoms are the Same But Treatments Could Vary For Ejection - Relaxation Fraction

Echocardiogram

Mayo Clinic researchers say that diastolic heart failure is increasing and now accounts for more than half of heart failure cases. They evaluated data from a 15 year period and discovered that this heart failure, which is characterized by a preserved ejection fraction, affects more than half of the total 5 million heart failure patients.

The percentage of these cases increase from 38 percent to 47 percent to 54 percent in three consecutive five-year periods.  There were 4,596 heart failure patients in this study.  Hypertension, atrial fibrillation and diabetes can worsen this type of heart failure.  Complete Article


Exercise After 40 Can Reduce Heart Disease Risk - Study Found  Physically Active Adults After Forty Years of Age Cut Coronary Disease Rate

Exercise After 40 Can Reduce Heart Disease Risk - Study Found  Physically Active Adults After Forty Years of Age Cut Coronary Disease Rate

Daily Exercise

A new study says that people over the age of 40 can still take steps to reduce their risk of developing coronary artery disease.  Of course people that have been physically active their whole life still have a lower risk, but those who became very physically active after the age of 40 were about 55 per cent less likely to be diagnosed with heart disease than those who had embraced inactivity all their lives.

The researchers interviewed 312 adults between the ages of 40 and 68 who had confirmed coronary artery disease and 479 volunteers matched for age and sex.  They were all asked questions about their physical activity between the ages of 20 and 39 and also for the period after 40.  Complete Article


Heart Failure Patients Could Benefit From Genetic Test - Beta Blockers Work In Some Patients Only - May Determine Best Treatment

Heart Failure Patients Could Benefit From Genetic Test - Beta Blockers Work In Some Patients Only - May Determine Best Treatment

Genetics

Scientists believe they can genetically test patients suffering from heart failure to determine which ones will benefit from beta-blockers.  Maryland researchers have identified a common genetic variation that could help determine whether a person with heart failure would benefit from the common drug. 

The study, involving 1040 heart failure patients over a four year period, compared beta-blocker to a placebo and found a 38 percent reduction in the death rate among patients who took the beta-blocker and who also had two copies of a genetic variant called arginine (Arg-389).  They also found that 34 percent of these patients had a reduction in the combined number of hospitalizations and deaths.  Complete Article


Preventative Cardiovascular Imaging Could Save Lives and Money - Non-Invasive Screening Recommended by Cardiologist Association

Preventative Cardiovascular Imaging Could Save Lives and Money - Non-Invasive Screening Recommended by Cardiologist Association

Phillips Imaging System

New guidelines recommend non-invasive screening of men between the ages of 45 and 75 and women between the age’s of 55 and 75 to assess their coronary plaque buildup or carotid wall thickness. They recommend the implementation of cardiovascular imaging technologies as part of a comprehensive heart attack risk assessment and reduction strategy. 

The SHAPE (Screening for Heart Attack Prevention and Education) Task Force recommends this screening for men and women even if they do not have symptoms for cardiovascular disease.

SHAPE is an international contingent of leading cardiologists and researchers organized by the Association for Eradication of Heart Attack (AEHA).  They say this screening can prevent more than 90,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease each year.  The task force also says this could reduce the population with a history of heart attack by as much as 25 percent.  They estimate that this amounts to 13.2 million people.


Generic Zocor Drugs Make Lipitor Harder to Get - Cholesterol Lowering Drugs Becoming Less Expensive As Insurers Balk at Brand Names

Generic Zocor Drugs Make Lipitor Harder to Get - Cholesterol Lowering Drugs Becoming Less Expensive As Insurers Balk at Brand Names

Zocor

Drug companies have been under heavy pressure by the insurance industry and other consumer groups to lower the cost of prescription drugs.  Since Lipitor is the most prescribed brand name drug in the world, news that the Statin drug is getting harder and more expensive to get raised some eyebrows.

The national newspaper, USA Today, examined how some U.S. residents have begun to find that the anti-cholesterol medication, Lipitor, more difficult to get a prescription for.  According to the report Lipitor, manufactured by Pfizer, has become "harder and more expensive to get" as employers encourage use of generic medications to reduce prescription drug costs.

Last month generic versions of the competing drug Zoror hit the market.  This comes at a bad time for Merck, the maker of Zocor, who has been facing lawsuits concerning their Vioxx pain reliever. United Press International reported that Novartis filed suit last month against a potential rival company, Teva, seeking to block the competitor from becoming the first to market a generic version of Zocor.


Heart Failure or Heart Attack - Enron CEO Ken Lay Could Have Died from Either Condition - Stress is Known Risk Factor - Defibrillators

Heart Failure or Heart Attack - Enron CEO Ken Lay Could Have Died from Either Condition - Stress is Known Risk Factor - Defibrillators

Portable Heart Defibrillator

Doctors are not sure whether the extra stress killed Enron CEO Ken Lay.  He has been under a lot of stress the past year after his conviction of defrauding investors and employees by repeatedly lying about Enron's finances.  He was looking at a long prison sentence.

He was already being treated for heart disease, but according to Joy Victory, Bharathi Radhakrishnan and the ABC News Medical Unit, he was not viewed as an imminent risk for heart attack.  Back in the mid 1990’s he was prescribed a cholesterol-lowering statin drug. Around five years ago, his coronary disease had progressed to a point where his doctors decided to put in at least one stent.  This is a wire mesh device that was placed in one of his arteries to try to prevent a future heart attack, according to Victory. 


Gastric Bypass and LAP-BAND Surgeries Benefit Heart - Weight Loss Procedures Reduce Heart Disease Attacks - Possibly Diabetes as Well

Gastric Bypass and LAP-BAND Surgeries Benefit Heart - Weight Loss Procedures Reduce Heart Disease Attacks - Possibly Diabetes as Well

Gastric Bypass

Researchers say that the new weight loss surgery cuts the risk of heart disease in half in extremely obese patients.  These patients are also less likely to require bypass surgery to unclog blocked arteries, compared to those that did not have the surgery.

Extremely obese means having a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher.  BMI is calculated by dividing a person's weight (in kilograms) by his or her height (in meters, squared).  The extremely (or morbidly) obese individual is also more likely to suffer from type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure than their normal weight counterparts.

Nicolas V. Christou MD, PhD said “No other treatment has been shown to have this much impact on preventing or reducing heart disease in patients with morbid obesity.”  Nicolas is a doctor at the McGill University Health Center in Montreal.


Cystic Fibrosis – RNA interference used to silence Protein and correcting Chloride Transport Errors

Cystic Fibrosis – RNA interference used to silence Protein and correcting Chloride Transport Errors

Health

Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disorder that causes the body to ineffectively move chloride in and out of cells.  Researchers from Johns Hopkins Children’s Center have been able to isolate the overactive protein that causes the transport problem.  They further developed an RNA inference to silence the overproduced protein which made the cells return to normal.  These are preliminary studies and it would take years to develop a treatment for people.  The report was first published in the June 23rd issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.  Cystic Fibrosis – RNA interference used to silence Protein and correcting Chloride Transport Errors


High Blood Pressure - Channel Blockers and Diuretics Better than Beta Blockers According to NHS

High Blood Pressure - Channel Blockers and Diuretics Better than Beta Blockers According to NHS

Health

The National Health Service (NHS) of England and Wales says that patients should not be prescribed beta blockers for the treatment of high blood pressure (hypertension).  They say other drugs are better at treating the condition, citing the increased risk for developing Diabetes. 

The newer drugs are more effective at protecting patients from heart attacks and strokes, according to the BBC.  The NHS said there is no need to make a special trip to the general practitioner (GP), but the treatment should be reviewed at your next visit. 

This is a “major shake-up” according to Reuters, and will change the way doctors are being advised to treat high blood pressure.  They say GPs will no longer offer drugs called beta blockers as a first treatment for the high blood pressure.  High Blood Pressure - Channel Blockers and Diuretics Better than Beta Blockers According to NHS


High Blood Pressure and Hypertension – Drinking low-fat Milk may help Lower Blood Pressure

High Blood Pressure and Hypertension – Drinking low-fat Milk may help Lower Blood Pressure

Milk

Researchers from Harvard Medical School in Boston found that people who eat low-fat dairy along with a low-fat diet had lowered their blood pressure more than if they didn’t drink milk.  The study was first reported in the July issue of Hypertension which is published by the American Heart Association.

The systolic blood pressure reading, which is the top number, was lower when the people would eat low-fat dairy products.  The higher the systolic number the higher the risk for a person having heart disease.

The study consisted of collecting and analyzing data from 4,797 participants that answered a food questionnaire.  These participants are part of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s Family Heart Study.  High Blood Pressure and Hypertension – Drinking low-fat Milk may help Lower Blood Pressure


Common Asthma Inhalers Can Cause Death with Repeated Use – Formoterol Serevent and Advair Named In Study  

Common Asthma Inhalers Can Cause Death with Repeated Use – Formoterol Serevent and Advair Named In Study

Inhaler

Researchers from Stanford and Cornell Universities are recommending three asthma inhalers be pulled from the U.S. market. Four out of five U.S. asthma-related deaths per year may be caused by inhalers containing the drugs salmeterol or formoterol. 

The researchers base their conclusions on 19 published studies involving 33,826 patients.  There statistical analysis found that the patients who inhaled the long-acting beta-agonists salmeterol or formoterol  were 3.5 times more likely to die from asthma and 2.5 times more likely to be hospitalized.

Salmeterol is made by GlaxoSmithKline under the brand-names Serevent and Advair.  Foradil (brand name for Formoterol) is manufactured by Novartis Pharmaceuticals.  All three inhalers relieve asthma symptoms, but they also promote bronchial inflammation and sensitivity without warning.  The researchers admit the risk of death is relatively low, but 15 patients in the meta-analysis who were taking the beta-agonists died, compared with three in the placebo group, over a six-month period.  Common Asthma Inhalers Can Cause Death with Repeated Use – Formoterol Serevent and Advair Named In Study  

Diet of Vegetables Lowers Atherosclerosis Risk - Vegetarians Have Lower Blood Pressure and Increase Good Cholesterol HDL - Study

Diet of Vegetables Lowers Atherosclerosis Risk - Vegetarians Have Lower Blood Pressure and Increase Good Cholesterol HDL - Study

Vegetables

Researchers have discovered that vegetables are good for you because they reduce hardening of the arteries.  Scientists at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine conducted their research on mice that were predispose to developing atherosclerosis, the formation fatty plaques on blood vessel walls which will eventually protrude into the vessel's opening and can reduce blood flow.

The mice all had elevated levels of bad cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein or LDL), which is a risk factor for atherosclerosis in humans.  The researchers fed half of the mice a diet consisting of 30 percent (of their calories) vegetables. These vegetables included a mixture of freeze-dried broccoli, green beans, corn, peas and carrots.  These are five of the top-10 vegetables eaten in the United States based on frequency of consumption.  Diet of Vegetables Lowers Atherosclerosis Risk - Vegetarians Have Lower Blood Pressure and Increase Good Cholesterol HDL - Study


Viagra Cialis and Levitra Benefit Heart and other Organs - Erectile Dysfunction ED Drugs Improve Blood Flow According to Study

Viagra Cialis and Levitra Benefit Heart and other Organs - Erectile Dysfunction ED Drugs Improve Blood Flow According to Study

Cialis

Researchers say that Viagra and other erectile dysfunction drugs benefit other systems in the body.  This is according to Ernst R. Schwarz, M.D., Ph.D., a cardiologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center who specializes in therapies for men who suffer from erectile dysfunction (ED).  Many of his patients have heart problems, diabetes, high blood pressure or other related conditions.   

John Hopkins researchers found in a previous study that Viagra reduced the stimulatory effects of hormonal stress on the heart by half.  Schwarz says the drug, and other erectile dysfunction drugs like Levitra® (vardenafil) and Cialis® (tadalafil), benefits various organs with few side effects.  Viagra Cialis and Levitra Benefit Heart and other Organs - Erectile Dysfunction ED Drugs Improve Blood Flow According to Study


Quit Smoking with a new Vaccine for Smokers – Trial for Nicotine Block now Enrolling

Quit Smoking with a new Vaccine for Smokers – Trial for Nicotine Block now Enrolling

Smoking

The University of California San Francisco (UCSF) are now enrolling patients for phase II of “proof of principle” trial to test a nicotine blocking vaccine.

The UCSF’s Habit Abatement Clinic is testing NicVax, which is a vaccine being developed by Nabi Biopharmaceuticals.  The vaccine is intended to help people quit smoking by limiting the nicotine cravings.  The vaccine works with the immune system to keep nicotine from reaching the brain.

When nicotine reaches the brain it travels in the bloodstream to the brain.  When nicotine is in the brain it stimulates neuron-receptors that give a positive sensation which can develop into an addiction that is difficult to break.  With the vaccine, it makes the immune system make antibodies directed at small nicotine molecules.  The nicotine molecules will then become bound to the antibodies preventing the nicotine from reaching the brain.  Quit Smoking with a new Vaccine for Smokers – Trial for Nicotine Block now Enrolling


Beating Heart Transplant Surgery Successful In UK - Could Help Donor Organ Shortage

Beating Heart Transplant Surgery Successful In UK - Could Help Donor Organ Shortage

TransMedics

A new technique may make it possible to transplant organs that would otherwise not be transplantable.  The new device, called the TransMedics Organ Care System, could increase the pool of acceptable donor hearts by allowing surgeons to transplant otherwise marginal donor organs.

Two weeks ago, doctors in the United Kingdom (UK) performed the world’s first “beating heart transplant”.  If approved in the US, it could increase the donor supply and solve a chronic organ shortage crisis, ABC News correspondent Bharathi Radhakrishan recently reported. 

The system, developed in Boston, is a specialized machine that keeps the heart beating and warm until it is ready to be used.  This would eliminate the need for packing the heart on ice, like the current method entails.  Beating Heart Transplant Surgery Successful In UK - Could Help Donor Organ Shortage


High Blood Pressure and Pregnancy - Birth Defects increase if Mother takes ACE Inhibitors during Pregnancy

High Blood Pressure and Pregnancy - Birth Defects increase if Mother takes ACE Inhibitors during Pregnancy

Health

A study funded by HHS’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the Food and Drug Administration found that if a mother takes angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors during the first trimester of pregnancy there was an increased risk of major congenital malformations when compared to mothers that did not take these medications.  The study was first published in the June 8th issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

ACE inhibitors are used to either lower blood pressure or protect the kidney in diabetics.  The FDA has a “black box” warning that says that it can cause injury and even death to a developing fetus when used during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy.  The ACE inhibitor should be discontinued as soon as possible when a woman becomes aware that she is pregnant.  High Blood Pressure and Pregnancy - Birth Defects increase if Mother takes ACE Inhibitors during Pregnancy


Cancer and Heart Disease are much lower in Asia possibly from drinking Green Tea

Cancer and Heart Disease are much lower in Asia possibly from drinking Green Tea

Green Tea

Scientists call it the ‘Asian Paradox’ because of the lower amounts of cancer and cardiovascular disease in Asians, even though these countries have an abundance of heavy smokers.  Researchers from the Yale School of Medicine theorize that possibly it is related to the high consumption of green tea.  The article was first reported in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

"We do not yet have a full explanation for the 'Asian paradox,' which refers to the very low incidence of both heart disease and cancer in Asia, even though consumption of cigarettes is greater than in most other countries," said the lead author, Bauer Sumpio, M.D. who is a professor and Chief of Vascular Surgery in the Department of Surgery. "But we now have some theories."  Cancer and Heart Disease are much lower in Asia possibly from drinking Green Tea


Sleep Apnea Treatment Lowers High Blood Pressure - Link Between Heart Disease Found in Half of Patients - Combined Therapies Best

Sleep Apnea Treatment Lowers High Blood Pressure - Link Between Heart Disease Found in Half of Patients - Combined Therapies Best

CPAP Mask

There is a link between sleep apnea and heart disease.  It has been recommended that people with heart disease get tested for sleep apnea and combine treatments if it is discovered that they have the sleeping disorder.  In a study presented at the American Thoracic Society International Conference on May 22nd, researchers will present evidence that using a Constant Positive Air Pressure (CPAP) machine can “significantly” reduce blood pressure. 

Dr. Daniel Norman says “Sleep apnea can have significant consequences on a person's physical health, and this study shows once again that treatment may lessen those risks."  Norman is lead researcher and Fellow in Pulmonary and Critical Care at the University of California San Diego Medical Center.

Sleep apnea is a condition where sleepers continually awaken during the night because the upper airway narrows, or collapses during sleep.  Since it occurs during sleep, people are unaware it is happening. Sleep Apnea Treatment Lowers High Blood Pressure - Link Between Heart Disease Found in Half of Patients - Combined Therapies Best


New Study Question High Dosage Statin Use - Side Effect Risk May Outweigh Benefits - High Cholesterol - British Medical Journal Article 

New Study Question High Dosage Statin Use - Side Effect Risk May Outweigh Benefits - High Cholesterol - British Medical Journal Article

Statin Drug Questions

A new study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) questions whether more aggressive treatment of cholesterol is prudent.  By aggressive, they mean therapy to lower low density lipoprotein (LDL or bad cholesterol) cholesterol concentrations to less than 1.81 mmol/l.  The researchers said that the U.S. National Cholesterol Education Program’s new recommendations for cholesterol levels “might therefore put most of the Western world’s adult population on statin therapy.”

The study questions the wisdom of higher doses of statin drugs.  In the treating to new targets (TNT) trial, the US researchers compared a low and high dose of the same statin, and found that not even 80 mg atorvastatin was able to lower mean low density lipoprotein cholesterol below 1.81mmol/l.  The previous research said “Intensive lipid lowering therapy with 80 mg of atorvastatin per day in patients with stable CHD (coronary heart disease) provides significant clinical benefit.”  Evidently they were not worried about the serious side effects (page 1331 BMJ).   New Study Question High Dosage Statin Use - Side Effect Risk May Outweigh Benefits - High Cholesterol - British Medical Journal Article 


Increased Heart Risk Associated With Ibuprofen Use - BMJ Study Shows Risk of Some NSAIDs Similar to Vioxx For Heart Attacks

Increased Heart Risk Associated With Ibuprofen Use - BMJ Study Shows Risk of Some NSAIDs Similar to Vioxx For Heart Attacks

Health

Researchers have evaluated several studies and have concluded that some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may pose a risk of cardiovascular events similar to Cox-2 Inhibitors like Vioxx. The study, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), combined all the available randomized data from 138 trials for form a conclusion.  This meta-analysis included 140,000 patients.

The researchers from Italy and the UK reviewed the data and found (as expected) a correlation between Cox-2 inhibitors and an increased risk of vascular events. There was not enough data to determine whether these risks were dose dependent, or whether the risks might differ among aspirin and non-aspirin users.  Increased Heart Risk Associated With Ibuprofen Use - BMJ Study Shows Risk of Some NSAIDs Similar to Vioxx For Heart Attacks


Patients with Depression Have Slow Heart Rate Recover - Depressed Cardiac Rehabilitation Participants May Have Higher Death Rate - Attack

Patients with Depression Have Slow Heart Rate Recover - Depressed Cardiac Rehabilitation Participants May Have Higher Death Rate - Attack

Dr. Joel Hughes

Researchers have discovered that there is a link between depression and the length of time it takes for a patient to return to a normal heart rate during cardiac rehabilitation.  The research, published in the American Heart Journal, indicates that heart rate recovery after exercise was slower among patients with symptoms of depression. 

The heart rate recovery after a treadmill stress test is a good indication of how the autonomic nervous system is functioning, according to a report by Reuters Health. Dr. Joel W. Hughes, co-author of the study, and colleagues from Kent State University of Ohio said that patients who take longer to recover their normal heart rate also have an increased risk of mortality.

The report says that the autonomic nervous system helps the body to adapt to changes in the environment, adjusting or modifying body functions in response to stress.  The autonomic system also regulates blood pressure, heart rate, airflow to the lungs, the digestive process, insulin secretion, urinary function and sexual response.  Patients with Depression Have Slow Heart Rate Recover - Depressed Cardiac Rehabilitation Participants May Have Higher Death Rate - Attack


Lung Cancer – Tumor growth increases with loss of a Protein

Lung Cancer – Tumor growth increases with loss of a Protein

Lungs

Zafira Castaño who is a researcher and Doctor in Biochemistry from the University of Navarra in Spain, discovered a connection between lower levels of αCP4 protein in early stages of lung cancer and may help make tumors grow.

Castaño noticed that these αCP4 protein cells are found on tissue cells within a healthy lung.  However in a lung that was in first phase of cancer there was a loss of this protein.  The αCP4 protein was also lacking in 67% of the tumors as well.

To confirm the findings Castaño took samples of various cellular lines from different kinds of lung tumors.  She then introduced a series of the αCP4 protein to the tumor tissues to see what would result.  Some of the tumors responded to the introduction of the protein.  Tumor proliferations were reduced with malignant tumors of large cells she noticed that their ability to grow was reduced.   Lung Cancer – Tumor growth increases with loss of a Protein


New Asthma Treatment - Fiber Optic Cable Fed Into Lungs - Bronchial Thermoplasty Therapy - Clinical Trials

New Asthma Treatment - Fiber Optic Cable Fed Into Lungs - Bronchial Thermoplasty Therapy - Clinical Trials

Health

There is a new treatment for asthma sufferers called bronchial thermoplasty, where wires are snaked up inside the lungs to burn off some of the tissue that blocks the airways. This is a non-drug therapy, but is not without risk. The long term effects are not known, and it is possible that the procedure could cause wheezing.

The current therapy for asthma includes inhaling large doses of steroids twice a day.  According to John McKenzie of ABC news, that is not enough for some people.  He claims that this procedure could revolutionize the way those with asthma are treated.  New Asthma Treatment - Fiber Optic Cable Fed Into Lungs - Bronchial Thermoplasty Therapy - Clinical Trials


Common NSAID Pain Killers Increase Risk of Heart Failure Hospital Stays - Drugs Commonly Used for Osteo-Arthritis - Tylenol is Not a NSAID

Common NSAID Pain Killers Increase Risk of Heart Failure Hospital Stays - Drugs Commonly Used for Osteo-Arthritis - Tylenol is Not a NSAID

Health

Researchers found that older patients with heart failure that used nonsteroidal anti-inflamatories (NSAIDs) regularly had an increased risk of being admitted to the hospital for heart failure for the first time.  These NSAIDs include ibuprofen, naproxen, diclofenac, indomethacin and meloxicam, and are commonly used to treat arthritis.

After taking into account other factors, heart failure patients between the age of 60 and 84 had a 30 percent increased chance of being admitted to the hospital for heart failure for the first time.  They found that a previous diagnosis of heart failure, obesity, being a smoker, and a history of recent specialist appointments and inpatient stays were all associated with a greater chance of being admitted to hospital for heart failure for the first time. Common NSAID Pain Killers Increase Risk of Heart Failure Hospital Stays - Drugs Commonly Used for Osteo-Arthritis - Tylenol is Not a NSAID


Metabolic Syndrome – Increased risk for Heart Failure in Middle Age

Metabolic Syndrome – Increased risk for Heart Failure in Middle Age

Pritikin Diet

Metabolic syndrome is a condition which consists of a group of symptoms.  The symptoms includes abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high triglyceride levels along with low HDL (“good”) and high LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels and diabetes.  Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey said that there are approximately 24 percent of adults in the United States over the age of 20 that have the metabolic syndrome.  Approximately 40 percent of the people over the age of 60 have the metabolic syndrome.  There are about 47 million people in the United States that have metabolic syndrome.

A report in Heart Online First said that people with metabolic syndrome have a significant increased risk for developing heart failure in their middle age years.  Metabolic Syndrome – Increased risk for Heart Failure in Middle Age


Vioxx Danger May Start Early and Last Long After Discontinued Use - Merck Disagrees With Interpretation - FDA Pos. Permanent Damage

Vioxx Danger May Start Early and Last Long After Discontinued Use - Merck Disagrees With Interpretation - FDA Pos. Permanent Damage

Vioxx

There appears to be more bad news for Merck & Co. after a Canadian Medical Association Journal said the drug may raise the risk of heart attack for patients who took Vioxx for less than 2 weeks.  Investigative journalist Evelyn Pringle reports that the study published online this month, found that more than 25% of 239 patients who had heart attacks did so in less than 13 days of being on the drug.

New reports indicate that patients that took the drug may have a higher risk of death for years after taking the drug.  A Reuters reports quotes Curt Furberg, a member of the US Food and Drug Administration's Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee, “It may be that Vioxx is causing permanent damage to the cardiovascular system, accelerating atherosclerosis or a sustained increase in blood pressure."  Vioxx Danger May Start Early and Last Long After Discontinued Use - Merck Disagrees With Interpretation - FDA Pos. Permanent Damage


Hypertension and High Blood Pressure - RESPeRATE helps lower Blood Pressure

Hypertension and High Blood Pressure - RESPeRATE helps lower Blood Pressure

InterCure's RESPeRATE

RESPeRATE is manufactured by InterCure and has gained approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a device that can treat hypertension.  Multiple studies have shown using RESPeRATE consistently will lower blood pressure levels.  RESPeRATE is the only hypertension treatment approved by the FDA that does not have any side effects and is available without a prescription and is classified as over the counter (OTC).

InterCure will present four new studies to the American Society of Hypertension’s 21st Annual Scientific Meeting being held in New York that will show the benefits of using RESPeRATE.  The studies show a reduction in the resistance of narrowed blood vessels to blood flow (peripheral resistance) which lowered blood pressure.  Hypertension and High Blood Pressure - RESPeRATE helps lower Blood Pressure


Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Medications may have dangerous interactions when taken with Grapefruit Juice

Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Medications may have dangerous interactions when taken with Grapefruit Juice

Grapefruit

Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that some prescription drugs can possibly cause dangerous interactions when taken with grapefruit juice. 

It was originally believed that flavonoids from the grapefruit juice caused the interactions; however the researchers believe that it is because of a chemical called furanocoumarins that is found in the grapefruit which contributes to the problem.

Grapefruit juice causes some drugs to not be absorbed because an intestinal enzyme called CYP3A partially destroys the medication before it is absorbed.  The researchers first reported there discovery in the May issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Medications may have dangerous interactions when taken with Grapefruit Juice


Stroke Prevention - Recommendations by the American Stroke Association to lower the Risk of having a Stroke

050506-stroke_prevention_american_stroke_association_recommends_steps_to_lower_stroke_risk.jpg

AlsoSalt salt substitute

Preventative treatments to avoid a stroke have been recommended by the American Stroke Association.  The report of guideline recommendations were published in the rapid access issue of Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

"Stroke remains a major public health problem. Its human and economic toll is staggering," said Larry B. Goldstein, M.D. who is lead author of the report and chair of the association's Stroke Council.  Stroke Prevention - Recommendations by the American Stroke Association to lower the Risk of having a Stroke


Antihistamine Causes Severe Breathing Problems in Children - Promethazine HCL Should Not Be Used On Children Under Two - FDA

Antihistamine Causes Severe Breathing Problems in Children - Promethazine HCL Should Not Be Used On Children Under Two - FDA

Promethazine HCL

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning parents and doctors that medications containing promethazine hydrochloride (HCl) should not be used to treat children under the age of two because of possible breathing problems.  The antihistamine can be found in tablets, syrups, injectables and even suppositories. 

There are reports of breathing problems and even some deaths associated with the drug involving children under the age of two.  The FDA says that parents and caregivers should also be careful and get a doctor’s advice about giving promethazine HCl in any form to children age two and older. 

According to an FDA press release, “the labeling on all products, brand name and generic, has been changed to reflect these strengthened warnings.”  The FDA is especially concerned and has alerted healthcare professionals, other caregivers, and patients that the drug is also found in cold and or cough syrups.  Antihistamine Causes Severe Breathing Problems in Children - Promethazine HCL Should Not Be Used On Children Under Two - FDA


Heart Attacks – Patients that suffered from Heart Attack Damage used Stem Cells to Repair the Heart Muscle

Heart Attacks – Patients that suffered from Heart Attack Damage used Stem Cells to Repair the Heart Muscle

Rush University

A recent study transplanted stem cells to see if the heart muscle would regenerate after a patient had a heart attack.  The researchers delivered the adult mesenchymal stem cells that came from a healthy bone marrow donor by intravenous infusion.

This simple approach of using a standard IV line makes it less invasive than other methods of delivering stem cells.  Other procedures of delivering stem cells involved open surgical procedures through catheterization. 

"A person who has had a single, severe heart attack may survive but can be left with substantial damage to the heart muscle as a result of the blood supply to the heart muscle being cut off during the heart attack. The damaged muscle inhibits the heart's overall ability to pump blood, leading to heart failure," said Rush principal investigator cardiologist Dr. Gary Schaer, head of the Rush Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory. Rush is the only center in Illinois participating in the trial. There are 15 other sites nationwide participating in the study.  Heart Attacks – Patients that suffered from Heart Attack Damage used Stem Cells to Repair the Heart Muscle


Viagra – Miracle Drug for Heart Disease – Sidenafil Citrate Can Be Used To Treat Heart Failure and Enlargement

Viagra – Miracle Drug for Heart Disease – Sidenafil Citrate Can Be Used To Treat Heart Failure and Enlargement

Viagra

John Hopkins researchers say that Viagra reduces the stimulatory effects of hormonal stress on the heart by half.  Previous studies have shown that the erectile dysfunction drug is effective in treating hypertension.  It works by expanding the blood vessels.

In the heart, Viagra (sildenafil citrate) blunts the strengthened heartbeat caused by chemically induced stress, thereby lessening the excess amount of blood and force used to pump it to the body.  David Kass, M.D. says “Sildenafil effectively puts a ‘brake’ on chemical stimulation of the heart.”  Kass is a professor at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and its Heart Institute, and is the study senior author and cardiologist.

According to John Hopkins researchers, these findings are likely the first to confirm that Viagra has a direct effect on the heart.  Researcher knew that the drug could be effective for treating hypertension, but believed it had little direct effect on the heart. Viagra – Miracle Drug for Heart Disease – Sidenafil Citrate Can Be Used To Treat Heart Failure and Enlargement


Asthma – Dirty House is better than a clean one for preventing Asthma in Children

Asthma – Dirty House is better than a clean one for preventing Asthma in Children

Girl with Asthma Inhaler

A study published in the April 18th, online Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology showed that children that were exposed to more dust and microbials had less of a chance of developing asthma.

Researchers from Utrecht University in the Netherlands and Massey University in Wellington, New Zealand measured how much children were exposed to microbials when they were 3 months old and followed up and measured again at 4 years old.

The children were watched for the development of asthma symptoms such as wheezing or atopic sensitization.  Atopic sensitization can develop into allergies and may be inherited from one of their parents; if a child develops this allergy the reaction is instant when coming into contact with the allergen. Asthma – Dirty House is better than a clean one for preventing Asthma in Children


Telithromycin Effective Treatment for Asthma - Study Found Antibiotic Can Be Used To Treat Acute Asthma Attacks and Symptoms

Telithromycin Effective Treatment for Asthma - Study Found Antibiotic Can Be Used To Treat Acute Asthma Attacks and Symptoms

Asthma Treatment

London researchers say that the antibiotic, telithromycin, can hasten the recovery time of patients who have had asthma attacks by three days, as will reduce symptoms and improving lung function.  The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, demonstrated that this antibiotic can be used effectively to treat acute asthma attacks.

The antibiotic is not currently used for treating asthma.  Telithromycin is made by the world’s third largest pharmaceutical company, sanofi-aventis.  The study, part of the TELICAST (TELIthromycin, Chlamydophila and ASThma) study, investigated 278 patients at 70 centers around the world.

This was a randomized double blind study.  Within 24 hours of an acute asthma attack, patients were given either a single 800mg dose of telithromycin daily, or a placebo, in addition to their usual treatment.  Telithromycin Effective Treatment for Asthma - Study Found Antibiotic Can Be Used To Treat Acute Asthma Attacks and Symptoms


Estrogen and Heart Disease - Women's Health Initiative - Hormone Replacement Therapy Potential Risks and Benefits - HRT

Estrogen and Heart Disease - Women's Health Initiative - Hormone Replacement Therapy Potential Risks and Benefits - HRT

WHI

This new analysis of the Women's Health Initiative Estrogen-Alone trial is being touted much too strongly by the media, Wyeth, and certain physicians. They have looked at the data, run with it, and made conclusions, which is VERY irresponsible at this point in time.

The analysis showed an insignificant "trend" toward heart disease prevention among women in their 50s, the group of women at lowest risk for heart disease. There were no trends seen for older women. The problem with interpreting these results as "beneficial" is that the number of younger women was too few to draw any conclusions.

What's more, the only significant "trend" regarding estrogen alone and heart disease was in the first 2 years of the study, which showed a small INCREASED risk. After that, almost half of the women dropped out of the study, thus potentially obscuring the results. Like estrogen-progestin, estrogen alone significantly upped the risk of stroke and there was also a small risk of blood clots.  Estrogen and Heart Disease - Women's Health Initiative - Hormone Replacement Therapy Potential Risks and Benefits - HRT


Shock Wave Blasting Treatment of Kidney Stones Increases Risk of Diabetes and High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) - Lithotripsy

Shock Wave Blasting Treatment of Kidney Stones Increases Risk of Diabetes and High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) - Lithotripsy

Kidney and Bladder

The use of shock waves to break up impassable kidney stones significantly increased the risk for diabetes and hypertension later in life.  Mayo Clinic researchers conducted a study concerning this common treatment that emits shockwaves to break the kidney stone into smaller “sandlike” pieces which are able to pass spontaneously with the urine, usually within a month. 

According to Amy Krambeck, MD, “This is a completely new finding. This opens the eyes of the world of urology to the fact that hypertension and diabetes are potential side effects. We can't say with 100 percent certainty that the shock wave treatment for the kidney stones caused diabetes and hypertension, but the association was very strong. The risk of developing diabetes after shock wave lithotripsy is almost four times the risk of people with kidney stones treated with medicine, and the risk of developing hypertension is one and one-half times, which is a significant risk increase."  Amy is a clinical urology resident at the Mayo Clinic and lead author of the study. Shock Wave Blasting Treatment of Kidney Stones Increases Risk of Diabetes and High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) - Lithotripsy


High Blood Pressure and Renal Disease – Possible New Approach to treating Hypertension and avoiding Kidney Damage

High Blood Pressure and Renal Disease – Possible New Approach to treating Hypertension and avoiding Kidney Damage

Blood Pressure Monitor

Researchers from the University of Florida tested gene therapy by using RNA interference for treatment of high blood pressure.  They were able to stop the high blood pressure from increasing in mice and also were able to prevent kidney damage.  The study was first reported in the online journal called Gene Therapy.

A corrective gene was injected into mice that were exposed to cold weather.  The treated mice had blood pressure that did not get worst and their kidney had almost no damage.  The cold weather caused the mice to have constricted blood vessels.  By constricting the blood flow the kidneys would be overloaded with hormones that could cause damage.

Cold weather can increase blood pressure and more heart attacks and strokes happen during the cold winter months.  That is why they studied 3 different groups of mice that were kept in an environment of 44 degree Fahrenheit for a total of five weeks.  They measured the blood pressure of the mice for a 3 week period of time.  High Blood Pressure and Renal Disease – Possible New Approach to treating Hypertension and avoiding Kidney Damage


Middle Aged People That Sleep Less Have Higher Blood Pressure - Lack of Sleep Linked to Increased Risk of Hypertension - Lack of Sleep

Middle Aged People That Sleep Little Have Higher Blood Pressure - Lack of Sleep Linked to Increased Risk of Hypertension

Sleep is Important

Researchers believe that lack of sleep increases the risk for developing high blood pressure. Study participants who slept five or fewer hours per night per night were significantly more likely to be diagnosed with hypertension (high blood pressure) after taking into account other risk factors including obesity, diabetes, physical activity, salt and alcohol consumption, smoking, depression, age, education, gender, and ethnicity.

Sleep is important because it allows the heart to slow down, thus lowering the blood pressure.  James E. Gangwisch, PhD said “However, people who sleep for only short durations raise their average 24-hour blood pressure and heart rate. This may set up the cardiovascular system to operate at an elevated pressure."  Gangwisch, is lead author of the study and post-doctoral fellow in the psychiatric epidemiology training (PET) program at the Mailman School.  Middle Aged People That Sleep Less Have Higher Blood Pressure - Lack of Sleep Linked to Increased Risk of Hypertension - Lack of Sleep


Sleep Apnea – CPAP Treatment helps Improve Heart Function

Sleep Apnea – CPAP Treatment helps Improve Heart Function

Respironics ComfortCurve Mask

A recent study being published in the upcoming April 4th issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that patients with obstructive sleep apnea had improvements with the heart’s ability to pump blood when they used a CPAP machine during sleep.  Many patients with obstructive sleep apnea have enlarged and thickened heart abnormalities which reduce the amount of blood it can pump.

"Not only are the shape and size of the heart affected, the right side of the heart was dilated and the heart muscle on the left side was thicker in patients with obstructive sleep apnea, but the pump function was also reduced. The changes were directly related to the severity of the problem. Treating the problem brought significant improvements in the affected parameters, as well as in symptoms, in a relatively short period of time of six months," said Bharati Shivalkar, M.D., Ph.D. who is from the University Hospital Antwerp located in Antwerp, Belgium.  Sleep Apnea – CPAP Treatment helps Improve Heart Function


Moderate Drinking may not Prevent Heart Attacks - New Study Says Older Studies May Be Flawed - Glass of Wine Every Day Shows No Benefit

Moderate Drinking may not Prevent Heart Attacks - New Study Says Older Studies May Be Flawed - Glass of Wine Every Day Shows No Benefit

Not as Healthy?

Earlier studies that suggest moderate drinking or a drinking a glass of wine everyday may help prevent a heart attack might be flawed.  This may be because people in the studies that quit drinking may have quit consuming alcohol because of poor health.  This could have skewed the results to favor drinking.  According to the report, “This was only the case, however, when they deliberately included error by evaluating both long-term abstainers with people who had reduced alcohol intake or quit drinking recently. Study authors caution their report has not disproved the notion that light drinking is good for health.” 

The new study simply questions the extent to which these benefits actually translate into longer life.  Kaye Fillmore, Ph.D. of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), said “We know that older people who are light drinkers are usually healthier than their non-drinking peers.  Our research suggests light drinking is a sign of good health, not necessarily its cause."  Moderate Alcohol Drinking may not Prevent Heart Attacks - Older Studies May Be Flawed - Glass of Wine Every Day Shows No Benefit


Loneliness Can Cause High Blood Pressure - Increases Risk of Hypertension

Loneliness Can Cause High Blood Pressure - Increases Risk of Hypertension

Best to have Friends

Researchers from the University of Chicago studied elderly people over the age of 50 and found that those that were lonely could have blood pressure readings up to 30 points higher than those who were surrounded by friends and family.   They believe that loneliness could be as bad as being overweight or inactive. 

It is estimated by the year 2010, 30 million Americans will be living alone, that's a 20 percent increase over 25 years ago.  It is now known that loneliness can lead to both stress and hypertension (high blood pressure).  E.J. Mundell suggests in Healthday News that loneliness may be its own risk factor.  According to two individuals involved in the research, Louise Hawkley and Richard Suzman, the results were surprising.  They were surprised by the "specificity" of the findings -- that it was loneliness, per se, and not attendant states such as depression or anger, that appeared to be responsible for the boost in blood pressure.  Hawkley said "So, that means that people who are lonely have a double whammy -- they are feeling the stress and they are lonely."  Loneliness Can Cause High Blood Pressure - Increases Risk of Hypertension 


Metabolic Syndrome could be prevented by Eating a Diet Rich with Magnesium

Metabolic Syndrome could be prevented by Eating a Diet Rich with Magnesium

Soybeans

A 15 year study found that people that ate the most magnesium in their diets had a 31 percent less of a chance for developing metabolic syndrome. 

Metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions that include high blood pressure, high triglycerides, and low levels of “good” HDL cholesterol.  The metabolic syndrome people usually have an excessive amount of weight around their waist.  They struggle with blood sugar levels and can often develop type 2 diabetes.  They are also at an increased risk for developing heart disease.  Metabolic Syndrome could be prevented by Eating a Diet Rich with Magnesium


Emphysema - Smokers can get Healthier Lungs by eating more Fruits and Vegetable containing Beta Carotene and Vitamin E

Emphysema - Smokers can get Healthier Lungs by eating more Fruits and Vegetable containing Beta Carotene and Vitamin E

Carrots are high in beta carotene

Researchers measured beta carotene levels in blood samples of men and women and found that those that had higher levels also had better lung function.  If you are a smoker, you probably think about lung cancer and emphysema and know that the best thing to do is quit smoking altogether.  In the mean time you might want to consider eating foods rich in beta carotene as well.

This study suggests that by eating fruits and vegetables that are high in beta-carotene, like carrots and sweet potatoes can help your lungs breathe better over time.  The researchers also measured for vitamin E and found this to be helpful too.

According to a recent Ivanhoe publication, there were approximately 1,200 men and women between the ages of 20 - 44 that participated.  In 1992, the participants had blood test to measure their level of beta carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin E.  They also did a lung function test when the blood sample was taken.  The lung function test measures the volume of air exhaled after one second of taking a deep breath.  The test is called FEV1 and is used to determine a person’s lung function.  Emphysema - Smokers can get Healthier Lungs by eating more Fruits and Vegetable containing Beta Carotene and Vitamin E


Diabetes Type 2 – Sleep Duration can increase risk for developing Adult Diabetes – Is Sleep Apnea the Culprit?

Diabetes Type 2 – Sleep Duration can increase risk for developing Adult Diabetes – Is Sleep Apnea the Culprit?

ResMed CPAP machine

A recent study of 1,709 men from ages 40 – 70 years of age were found that those that were not getting enough sleep or were getting to much sleep had an increased risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes.  The optimal sleep was found to be between 6 – 8 hours of sleep each night.

The study was a joint effort between researchers from the New England Research Institutes and the Yale School of Medicine.  The results were first published in the March issue of Diabetes Care.

The 1,709 men were participants in a 15 year research project called the Massachusetts Male Aging Study.  Researchers made house calls, had survey questionnaires and took blood samples over the 15 years of the study.  Diabetes Type 2 – Sleep Duration can increase risk for developing Adult Diabetes – Is Sleep Apnea the Culprit?


Heart Failure Patient first to have HeartWare’s HVAD Mechanical Circulatory Assist Device Implanted

Heart Failure Patient first to have HeartWare’s HVAD Mechanical Circulatory Assist Device Implanted

HVAD device

The first patient, a 48 year old male with heart failure, received an implant of the HeartWare’s HVAD mechanical circulatory assist device on March 22nd, 2006 at the Vienna General Hospital in Austria.

The surgical team was lead by Dr. Georg Wieselthaler, who is the Clinical Director of Mechanical Circulatory Support with the University of Vienna commented on the progress of the patient, "Our first clinical experience of the HVAD was extremely positive. The procedure was completed quickly and without incident, and our patient's early post-operative recovery has been excellent.  The device's small size and configuration facilitated a relatively fast implant procedure. The surgery took only 85 minutes, significantly less than the time typically required to implant other devices. The patient was moved from the operating theatre into the post operative recovery area, conscious and off ventilation within seven hours. He continues to recover quickly and has met with his family. We are very pleased with these results."   Heart Failure Patient first to have HeartWare’s HVAD Mechanical Circulatory Assist Device Implanted


Sudden Death Heart Attacks Rare in Women While Exercising - Men are 19 Times more Likely to Die - But Moderate Exertion Will Lower Long Term Risk

Sudden Death Heart Attacks Rare in Women While Exercising - Men are 19 Times more Likely to Die - But Moderate Exertion Will Lower Long Term Risk

Dr. Albert

There were three heart attacks and two deaths associated with the heart attacks at the Los Angeles Marathon the other day.  Experts want to remind people that sudden cardiac death during exertion is extremely rare in women.  All three heart attacks at the marathon involved men and this was the first time there was more than one heart attack during the LA Marathon.

Typically regular exercise may significantly lower the long-term risk, according to a study in the March 22/29 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on women's health.  Always check with your doctor before you begin an exercise regimen.

Sudden death heart attacks are more likely to strike men than women.  Christine Albert, M.D., told NBC reporters in an interview that "In comparison to a prior study that we did among male physicians, the risk of sudden cardiac death during vigorous exertion was approximately 19 times higher in men than in women."  Sudden Death Heart Attacks Rare in Women While Exercising - Men are 19 Times more Likely to Die - But Moderate Exertion Will Lower Long Term Risk 


Gastric Bypass Surgery with Severely Obese patients helped Lower Blood Pressure

Gastric Bypass Surgery with Severely Obese patients helped Lower Blood Pressure

Body Weight calculate BMI

A new study from the University of Pittsburgh found that exceedingly obese patients that undergo gastric bypass bariatric surgery often have a long-term benefit of lowered blood pressure and some patients no longer need to take hypertensive medications.  This study was first published in the March issue of the Archives of Surgery.

The reason for the correction in blood pressure is that after the stomach is reduced in size the patients lose a large amount of weight.  This improves the patients overall health.  There are approximately two-thirds of the excessively obese patients that have high blood pressure.  Gastric Bypass Surgery with Severely Obese patients helped Lower Blood Pressure


Possible Lawsuits - Trasylol Patients and Clinical Trial Subjects Beware 

Possible Lawsuits - Trasylol Patients and Clinical Trial Subjects Beware

Authors Website

Thirteen years ago, the FDA approved Trasylol (aprotinin) for use in patients undergoing heart bypass surgery. In January 2006, doctors, consumer advocates and a medical research group called for the removal of the drug from the market after a study found it to have deadly side effects.

Heart bypass surgery is performed to redirect blood around clogged arteries to increase blood flow and oxygen to the heart. A patient may undergo one, two, three or more bypasses depending on how many arteries are blocked. It is the most commonly performed major surgery in the US, with approximately 500,000 procedures conducted each year, according to Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery at Heart Center Online.

The FDA approved Trasylol in 1993 to control bleeding in patients undergoing heart surgery by blocking enzymes that dissolve blood clots. Although it was only approved for heart surgery, the drug has been administered off-label to patients undergoing other types of surgery. Possible Lawsuits - Trasylol Patients and Clinical Trial Subjects Beware 


Link Between Asthma and Leptin Found

Link Between Asthma and Leptin Found

Lungs and Airway

Research from the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield suggests that there may be link between leptin and asthma.  Previous studies have determined that there was a link between leptin levels and childhood asthma.  This prompted researchers to determine if the same was true for adults.

Doctor Akshay Sood and colleagues looked at data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Study, and found that there was a correlation between leptin levels and asthma.  Of the 5,876 participants they found that the association was stronger in women than men, and stronger in premenopausal women than in postmenopausal women.  Link Between Asthma and Leptin Found


Open Heart Surgery Recovery Is a Full-Time Job

Open Heart Surgery Recovery Is a Full-Time Job

 Maggie Lichtenberg

You are now home from the hospital, and while the healing process is well underway, or you would not have been discharged, there are miles to go. There seem to be so many instructions to remember. You simply will not be up to much in the first few weeks, and in some cases, for several more. I won’t understate this.

Yes, an upbeat approach by the hospital medical staff may have sent you waltzing home and it’s thrilling to be leaving the hospital, where you haven’t been permitted to sleep through the night. Yet you are returning home greatly fatigued, with a medications schedule to manage, possibly a tank of oxygen, and perhaps recurrent irregular heartbeats or other complications that remain unresolved. Now is the time to dedicate yourself to the hard work of recovery. Alternating rest and exercise, and above all patience with the physical and emotional trials ahead, is your assignment for the next several weeks.  Open Heart Surgery Recovery Is a Full-Time Job


Alzheimer's Disease Risk Reduced By Blood Pressure Medicine - Hydrochlorothiazide (HCT) Potassium Sparing Diuretics and Beta Blockers May Prevent Disease

Alzheimer's Disease Risk Reduced By Blood Pressure Medicine - Hydrochlorothiazide (HCT) Potassium Sparing Diuretics and Beta Blockers May Prevent Disease

Various HCT pills

Certain blood pressure lowering medications may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), according to a study that will be published in the May 2006 print issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.  Although hypertension (high blood pressure) may increase the risk of Alzheimer’s, it is unclear what the exact mechanism is that reduces the risk. 

The link between hypertension and AD prompted research to examine whether antihypertensive agents (medications prescribed to treat high blood pressure), could reduce the risk of AD.  The drugs include diuretics and beta blockers.  Diuretics make the kidneys excrete water and salt.  Beta blockers slow the heart rate reducing the hearts pumping action and widening blood vessels.  Alzheimer's Disease Risk Reduced By Blood Pressure Medicine - Hydrochlorothiazide (HCT) Potassium Sparing Diuretics and Beta Blockers May Prevent Disease 


Early Antibiotic Use May be Linked to Asthma - Ear Infections Bronchitis and Upper Respiratory Infection Treatments May Lead to Childhood Asthma

Early Antibiotic Use May be Linked to Asthma - Ear Infections Bronchitis and Upper Respiratory Infection Treatments May Lead to Childhood Asthma

Asthma Patient X-ray

Researchers warn that antibiotic use may double the risk of childhood asthma.  According to a study by the University of British Columbia, “children under age 1 who are treated with an antibiotic are twice as likely to develop asthma in childhood.”

Current guidelines recommend antibiotics for children under the age of 2 who contract ear infections.  The study’s coauthor, Fawziah Marra, M.D, said “In children, antibiotics are commonly used to treat ear infections, upper respiratory tract infections, and bronchitis, but not every childhood infection requires an antibiotic.”  Since most upper respiratory tract infections and bronchitis are viral, antibiotics are ineffective.

Previous studies involving several hundred to several thousand youngsters have suggested a link between antibiotic use and asthma.  These earlier studies have been criticized for being too small, for relying on imprecise records on past antibiotic use.  This new analysis combines studies to create a larger pool for extrapolating the data.  Early Antibiotic Use May be Linked to Asthma - Ear Infections Bronchitis and Upper Respiratory Infection Treatments May Lead to Childhood Asthma


High Blood Pressure – The sooner treated with Medication the less likely of developing Hypertension

High Blood Pressure – The sooner treated with Medication the less likely of developing Hypertension

Blood Pressure Monitor

Early intervention of high blood pressure by treating with medication as well as dietary changes can help prevent the development of hypertension later on.  Adults that showed pre-hypertensive or high normal blood pressure (HNBP) had shown a benefit by early treatment with prescription drugs.

Pre-hypertension is still is has its health risks.  There is an estimated double the risk of having a heart attack or stroke compared with those that have normal blood pressure.

The research was first presented at today’s American College of Cardiology’s 55th Annual Scientific Session and will also be presented in the New England Journal of Medicine.  The lead researcher Stevo Julius, M.D., Professor Emeritus of Medicine and Physiology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor had conducted this four year trial called TROPHY.  Funding for the trial came from AstraZeneca who are the makers of ATACAND (candesartan cilexetil).  High Blood Pressure – The sooner treated with Medication the less likely of developing Hypertension


Intensive Crestor Treatment Lowers Plaque Buildup in Arteries - Reverses Heart Disease and Unclogs Arteries - Statin Drugs Breakthrough Study

Intensive Crestor Treatment Lowers Plaque Buildup in Arteries - Reverses Heart Disease and Unclogs Arteries - Statin Drugs Breakthrough Study

Crestor

A breakthrough in the fight against plaque buildup in the coronary arteries was announced today at the American College of Cardiology's 55th Annual Scientific Session.  The drug rosuvastatin (brand name Crestor) is known to prevent the progression of coronary arteriosclerosis, but this is the first time that it has been shown to actually reduce it. 

The study known as ASTEROID, was conducted in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia, and involved 507 patients with atherosclerosis.  The subjects were given four times the normal dosage of 10mg Crestor.  The coronary arteries were measured with intravascular ultrasound (IVUS), a technique in which a tiny ultrasound probe is inserted into the coronary arteries to measure plaque. 

The measurements were taken before the patients underwent the intensive regimen of Creston and after 24 months of treatment.  The results were “unprecedented”, according to the researchers. Intensive Crestor Treatment Lowers Plaque Buildup in Arteries - Reverses Heart Disease and Unclogs Arteries - Statin Drugs Breakthrough Study


Children with Sleep Apnea have a hard time using the PAP machine

Children with Sleep Apnea have a hard time using the PAP machine

ResMed CPAP machine

A recent six month study from John Hopkins Children’s Center along with two other pediatric hospitals found that children with Positive airway pressure (PAP) have a hard time using the equipment on a regular basis.  This research study was first reported in the March issue of Pediatrics.

The PAP mask which allows for air to flow steadily in the air passage way improves the health of obstructive sleep apnea patients.  If the child fails to use the equipment on a regular basis the health benefits are not seen.  Young children also can have breathing problems during sleep that can affect how they behave during the day and at school.  Children with Sleep Apnea have a hard time using the PAP machine


Heart Patients taking Crestor Statin Prescription Drug removed Plaque Build-up in their Arteries

Heart Patients taking Crestor Statin Prescription Drug removed Plaque Build-up in their Arteries

Crestor manufactured by AstraZeneca

This has been a landmark trial for the use of a cholesterol drug to reverse the buildup of plaque in coronary artery disease patients.

The Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company, AstraZeneca, reported this past Monday that their cholesterol drug, Crestor, has shown to reverse the atherosclerosis in a major clinical study.

The study was conducted over a two year period with 349 patients taking 40 milligrams of Crestor, a statin drug, once each day.  There were two-thirds of these patients that had shown regression of heart artery plaque build up when they were taking the maximum dose of Crestor.  Heart Patients taking Crestor Statin Prescription Drug removed Plaque Build-up in their Arteries


High Blood Pressure – Study shows that using Salt Substitute can help Lower Blood Pressure

High Blood Pressure – Study shows that using Salt Substitute can help Lower Blood Pressure

Salt Substitute NoSalt

Researchers who presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 55th Annual Scientific Session in Atlanta, GA showed a changing to a salt substitute was a simple treatment for reducing blood pressure.

The salt substitute study was conduct in Rural Northern China.  It was called The China Salt Substitute Study. 

"It's only recently been realized that chronic diseases are the main cause of death in China," said Bruce C. Neal, M.D., Ph.D. who is the director of the cardiac and renal division of The George Institute for International Health, Sydney, Australia. "We were interested in trying to find a new, practical way of addressing this very serious health problem."  High Blood Pressure – Study shows that using Salt Substitute can help Lower Blood Pressure


Plavix and Aspirin Together is not Better than Aspirin Alone in Preventing a First Heart Attack in High Risk Patients with Heart Disease

Plavix and Aspirin Together is not Better than Aspirin Alone in Preventing a First Heart Attack in High Risk Patients with Heart Disease

Plavix

A new study shows that patients adding Plavix to aspirin does not prevent first heart attacks in people at high risk.  Previous research has shown the anti-clotting drug Plavix and aspirin to be helpful in reducing the risk of subsequent heart attacks. It is because of these earlier findings that many physicians assumed it would help prevent the initial heart attack.

The researchers studied 15,603 high risk patients who either had been diagnosed with heart disease or had multiple-risk factors, such as diabetes, hardening of the arteries, high blood pressure or high cholesterol.  The subjects were from 32 different countries, and were all over the age of 45.  The results were presented at the American College of Cardiology conference Sunday by Dr. Eric Topol and Dr. Deepak Bhatt of the Cleveland Clinic.  Plavix and Aspirin Together is not Better than Aspirin Alone in Preventing a First Heart Attack in High Risk Patients with Heart Disease 


Folic Acid and Vitamin B did not Reduce Subsequent Heart Attack Risk - Two Studies Found Supplements Lowered Homocysteine Levels Not Risk

Folic Acid and Vitamin B did not Reduce Subsequent Heart Attack Risk - Two Studies Found Supplements Lowered Homocysteine Levels Not Risk

Artery

Combination Folic Acid with Vitamin B supplements may not lower cardiovascular risk, according to a new studies in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).  Researchers announced at the American College of Cardiology, in Atlanta that lowering homocysteine levels by supplementation has no effect in preventing heart attacks, and may even trigger them.  The studies focused on people that have already had heart attacks or suffer from diabetes and other ailments.

There were two studies in the NEJM concerning the supplements.  One of the studies indicated that there may be a "marginally significant" decrease in stroke risk after supplementation. This may not be worth the risk though.  The authors of one of the studies (Homocysteine Lowering and Cardiovascular Events after Acute Myocardial Infarction) concluded that “Treatment with B vitamins did not lower the risk of recurrent cardiovascular disease after acute myocardial infarction. A harmful effect from combined B vitamin treatment was suggested. Such treatment should therefore not be recommended.”  Folic Acid and Vitamin B did not Reduce Subsequent Heart Attack Risk - Two Studies Found Supplements Lowered Homocysteine Levels Not Risk 


Heart Failure Patients Benefit More from Blood Filtering Than Diuretics Water Pills – New Inexpensive Filtration Machine May Save Lives

Heart Failure Patients Benefit More from Blood Filtering Than Diuretics Water Pills – New Inexpensive Filtration Machine May Save Lives

Filtering Machine

A new study, involving 200 heart failure patients’ shows that those that underwent blood filtering lost more weight and experienced greater net fluid loss than those treated with intravenous diuretics. 

According to the Midwest Heart Foundation in Lombard Illinois, heart failure is the leading cause of hospitalization in the US.  The foundation presented their filtration / diuretic comparison results to American College of Cardiology meeting in Atlanta. 

There are a million Americans admitted to the hospital with heart failure per year, according to a report by Reuters International.  This discovery may be very important for these patients’ recovery.  According to Dr. Maria Rosa Costanzo of the Midwest Heart Foundation, the findings “are immediately applicable to a large number of patients with decompensated heart failure."  Heart Failure Patients Benefit More from Blood Filtering Than Diuretics Water Pills – New Inexpensive Filtration Machine May Save Lives


Obesity Risk – Fat causes Killer Inflammation Response in the Obese and Overweight

Obesity Risk – Fat causes Killer Inflammation Response in the Obese and Overweight

Fat Cells

Multiple research studies are coming to the same conclusion that excess body fat causes an inflammation response in their body that can be deadly.

A recent report in the International Journal of Obesity by researchers from the University of Warwick Medical School found that the biggest health risk to overweight and obese people is the killer inflammation response created from the excess body fat.

Professor F.P. Cappuccio and Dr. M.A. Miller looked at 3 different ethnic groups that were overweight or obese.  They measured the Body Mass Index (BMI) and the participant’s Waist-Hip Ratio (WHR) to determine the amount of body fat a person was carrying.  Obesity Risk – Fat causes Killer Inflammation Response in the Obese and Overweight


How to Lower Cholesterol by eating a selection of Heart Healthy Foods

How to Lower Cholesterol by eating a selection of Heart Healthy Foods

rolled oats

A recent study of cholesterol lowering foods such as soy protein, almonds, plant sterols that are put in special margarines, oats and barley showed that they will do a better job at lowering cholesterol when used together.  The participants that stayed on a specific diet of these foods were able to lower their LDL “bad” cholesterol as well as the first generation statin drugs did.

The study by Professor David Jenkins from the University of Toronto reported these findings in the current issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  How to Lower Cholesterol by eating a selection of Heart Healthy Foods


Begin a Cardiac Rehabilitation Program For a Heart Healthy Lifestyle

Begin a Cardiac Rehabilitation Program For a Heart Healthy Lifestyle

Exercise Programs

Two months after my open-heart surgery, through my cardiologist’s referral, I was cleared to begin a physician-sponsored cardiac rehabilitation program ­ a program of exercise and risk-factor education for individuals recovering from serious heart procedures and heart disease.

Some patients are healed enough to begin sooner, some later. The gym facility where I live in Santa Fe, NM, called the Center for Living Well, is spaciously housed in the basement of our one hospital. In the last thirty years, thousands of cardiac rehabilitation programs have sprung up far and wide in the U.S. alone, all featuring similar characteristics.  Begin a Cardiac Rehabilitation Program For a Heart Healthy Lifestyle


Gene Can Determine Heart Attack Risk for Coffee Drinkers - Caffeine May Increase Risk and Cause Decreased Blood Flow During Exercise

Gene Can Determine Heart Attack Risk for Coffee Drinkers - Caffeine May Increase Risk and Cause Decreased Blood Flow During Exercise

2 cups maximum

A new study indicates that there may be genetic link between caffeine and heart attacks.   According to researchers from the University of Toronto, an enzyme called cytochrome P450 1A2 (CYP1A2) metabolizes caffeine in the liver.  A gene variation for this enzyme can slow or quicken caffeine metabolism.

The Toronto team wanted to study whether this gene variation may be associated with an increased risk of non-fatal heart attacks.  They compared 2,014 patients with a first nonfatal heart attack with 2,014 healthy people. 

Their findings showed that participants with the slow-metabolism variation of the gene, who drank two to three cups of coffee a day, had a 36-percent increased risk of having a heart attack. Gene Can Determine Heart Attack Risk for Coffee Drinkers - Caffeine May Increase Risk and Cause Decreased Blood Flow During Exercise


Mental Stress May Play Bigger Role in Heart Disease Than Previously Thought - Silent Ischemia without Chest Pain and Symptoms

Mental Stress May Play Bigger Role in Heart Disease Than Previously Thought - Silent Ischemia without Chest Pain and Symptoms

Human Heart

According to research from the University of Florida, heart disease patients could still pass stress tests done on a treadmill or with chemical stressors after treatment, their hearts may still suffer silent ischemia during mental stress.  Ischemia means that a heart, or other organ, does not get adequate blood flow and lacks vital oxygen and nutrients. 

The ischemia produced by mental stress has been associated with an increased risk of death in heart patients, who also suffer ischemia during physical stress.  David S. Sheps, M.D, said that the study just showed that mental stress ischemia can happen even in heart patients who are free of exercise-induced ischemia. The researchers are not sure whether the silent ischemia they detected is hazardous to the health of the patients.   

The researchers found that mental stress induced ischemia is more common than had been recognized before. The research supports proposals that suggest that mental stress works through a different mechanism than physical stress.   Mental Stress May Play Bigger Role in Heart Disease Than Previously Thought - Silent Ischemia without Chest Pain and Symptoms


Low Serotonin Levels May Play Role in Heat Disease – Raise Your Serotonin Levels Possibly with SAM-e and 5-HTP and Other Digestive Enzymes

Low Serotonin Levels May Play Role in Heat Disease – Raise Your Serotonin Levels Possibly with SAM-e and 5-HTP and Other Digestive Enzymes

5-HTP

Researcher may have found a link between serotonin levels and heart disease.  According to a study presented by University of Pittsburgh researchers at the 64th Annual Scientific Conference of the American Psychosomatic Society in Denver, a less active brain serotonin system is associated with early hardening of the arteries. 

This breakthrough could be helpful in developing a treatment for preventing heart disease and stroke.  Matthew F. Muldoon, M.D., said "Many of the known risk factors for heart disease and stroke – high blood pressure and cholesterol, obesity, diabetes, smoking and lack of exercise – can, to some extent, be controlled by our lifestyle choices."  He said that there were no previous studies that examined brain abnormalities and atherosclerosis.  Low Serotonin Levels May Play Role in Heat Disease – Raise Your Serotonin Levels Possibly with SAM-e and 5-HTP and Other Digestive Enzymes 


Tahitian Noni Juice Drink Lowers Bad Cholesterol and Triglycerides - Alternative Methods to Lowering LDL Besides Statin Medicine or Medications

Tahitian Noni Juice Drink Lowers Bad Cholesterol and Triglycerides - Alternative Methods to Lowering LDL Besides Statin Medicine or Medications

The Popular Noni Drink

The human body needs a small amount of cholesterol to function, but too much cholesterol can cause health problems, including coronary heart disease.  Americans spent over $16 billion on statin drugs last year, according to the New York Times.  These drugs include Lipitor and Zocor.  

Consumers are always looking for inexpensive ways to lower their cholesterol without medication.  A recent study has shown that the Tahitian noni juice may lower the bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides in smokers.  The sales of the drink have ballooned to over $1 billion after various news agencies including ABC News, reported on the study. 

Noni juice is made from a bumpy fruit of the noni plant.  The plants are found in the Polynesian Islands and have a medicinal history among the locals for some 2000 years.  Recent research has found that the drink contains high levels of anti-oxidants.   Tahitian Noni Juice Drink Lowers Bad Cholesterol and Triglycerides - Alternative Methods to Lowering LDL Besides Statin Medicine or Medications


Heart Disease Patients Using SSRIs Higher Risk of Death - Anti-Depressant Drugs Increase May Be Dangerous - Duke University Medical Center

Heart Disease Patients Using SSRIs Higher Risk of Death - Anti-Depressant Drugs Increase May Be Dangerous - Duke University Medical Center

SSRIs

Researchers from Duke University Medical Center have discovered that coronary artery disease patients who take common antidepressant drugs may have a significantly higher risk of death.  Even after accounting for such factors as age, degree of heart disease and severity of depression, the researchers found that heart patients taking antidepressant medications had a 55 percent higher risk of dying.

The study suggests that doctors should reconsider treatment options for heart disease patients with depression.  The Duke team-leader, Lana Watkins, Ph.D., say that the findings add further support the potential role of non-pharmocological approaches to treating depression, such as exercise, for reducing the risk of death in depressed heart patients.  She recommends close monitoring of heart patients taking antidepressants. Heart Disease Patients Using SSRIs Higher Risk of Death - Anti-Depressant Drugs Increase May Be Dangerous - Duke University Medical Center


High Blood Pressure and High Cholesterol can be lowered by eating Rice Bran

High Blood Pressure and High Cholesterol can be lowered by eating Rice Bran

brown rice

A group of scientists from Japan reported in the March 8th issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry that eating rice bran, the outer coating of brown rice, can lower blood pressure as well as cholesterol.  The researchers discovered that the rice bran acts in the same manor as an ACE inhibitor prescription medicine.

The study was conducted with rats.  The scientists from Tohoku University and Japan’s National Research Institute of Brewing showed that rats that were hypertensive and stroke-prone were able to lower their systolic blood pressure approximately 20 percent in the same method as ACE inhibitors.  High Blood Pressure and High Cholesterol can be lowered by eating Rice Bran


Pfizer Disputes New Zealand Celebrex Heart Attack Link Study - Merck & Co Wins Second Vioxx Lawsuit

Pfizer Disputes New Zealand Celebrex Heart Attack Link Study - Merck & Co Wins Second Vioxx Lawsuit

Celebrex

A New Zealand study found that People taking Celebrex were twice as likely to suffer a heart attack as those using other pain relief treatments.  A similar drug, Merck & Company’s Vioxx, had been removed from the market in September 2004 because of safety concerns. 

The research, conducted by the New Zealand Medical Research Institute, entailed reviewing six studies of 12,780 patients.  The researchers wanted to determine if the problems associated with Vioxx were also associated with Celebrex. 

Both Vioxx and Celebrex are cox-2 inhibitors, commonly prescribed for treating arthritis pain.  The study found that there was a 1.88-fold increased risk of heart attack with Celebrex, compared with the other arthritis treatments.  Pfizer Disputes New Zealand Celebrex Heart Attack Link Study - Merck & Co Wins Second Vioxx Lawsuit


Chocolate May Lower Risk of Death by Heart Disease - Dutch Study Suggests Cocoa can Lower Blood Pressure and Lead to Better Health

Chocolate May Lower Risk of Death by Heart Disease - Dutch Study Suggests Cocoa can Lower Blood Pressure and Lead to Better Health

Unsweetened Dark Chocolate Best

Researchers from the Netherlands say that chocolate consumers were half as likely to die from cardiovascular problems as those who did not partake in the sweet products.  The data was extrapolated from Zutphen Elderly Study conducted between 1985 and 2000. 

Brian Bujisse of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in Bilthoven, measured the cocoa intake of 470 men between the ages of 65 and 84. 

The researchers measured how many grams of cocoa each man consumed and divided the men into three groups according to their intake.  ABC News reported that the men who ate the most cocoa products had half the “risk of death”.  The experts have identified 24 cocoa-containing foods that the elderly men ate.  None of the men were taking blood pressure medicine, according to a report in Scientific American.   Chocolate May Lower Risk of Death by Heart Disease - Dutch Study Suggests Cocoa can Lower Blood Pressure and Lead to Better Health 


Premature Birth and Gum Disease Link - Periodontal Ailments Linked to Heart Illness, Early Births and Type 2 Diabetes

Premature Birth and Gum Disease Link - Periodontal Ailments Linked to Heart Illness, Early Births and Type 2 Diabetes

Periodontal Disease

New research reinforces the belief that there is a connection between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease, as well as premature births.  Now it appears that one way to reduce the risk of heart disease may be to manage other risk factors for the disease as well, including dental hygiene.  Dr. Moise Desyarieux, MD said "It appears a relationship exists, but we don't know exactly what it is and if it is a causal relationship.  Therefore, we can't make recommendations for people with periodontal disease in respect to cardiovascular disease." 

Dr. Desvarieux is an infectious disease epidemiologist in the Department of Epidemiology at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.  His team coordinated the (INVEST) study to investigate the oral health-cardiovascular disease relationship.

The main risk factors for cardiovascular disease should also be addressed.  Dr. Desvarieux said "To reduce their risk for cardiovascular disease, patients must manage all their risk factors, including smoking, diabetes, and weight."  Premature Birth and Gum Disease Link - Periodontal Ailments Linked to Heart Illness, Early Births and Type 2 Diabetes  


Embryonic Stem Cell Treatments Show Promise for Degenerative Diseases and Paralysis - Alzheimer's Parkinson's Cancer Heart Disease and More

Embryonic Stem Cell Treatments Show Promise for Degenerative Diseases and Paralysis - Alzheimer's Parkinson's Cancer Heart Disease and More

Embryonic Stem Cells

Stem cell research and treatment may yield extraordinary results for ailments including heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, cancer and diabetes.  Embryonic stem cells also show promise for people that are paralyzed. 

The CBS News program 60 minutes ran a segment on the subject Sunday night.  Ed Bradley’s report included an interview with Dr. Hans Keirstead, a 38-year-old biologist, who said he is ready to try a stem cell procedure on people paralyzed by spinal cord injuries.  The doctor’s earlier trial showed success in treating a laboratory rat whose hind legs were completely paralyzed. 

Amazingly, after injecting the rat with human embryonic stem cells, the paralyzed rat was able to move its hind legs.  Dr. Keirstead told Mr. Bradley that “If it does the same thing in humans, I think we’ve hit something here that’s gonna be truly remarkable."  He hopes to begin clinical trials on patients that have recently been paralyzed first.  Embryonic Stem Cell Treatments Show Promise for Degenerative Diseases and Paralysis - Alzheimer's Parkinson's Cancer Heart Disease and More


Trasylol used during Heart Surgery has Serious Side Effects- Lawyers may have Lawsuit

Trasylol used during Heart Surgery has Serious Side Effects- Lawyers may have Lawsuit

legal scales

Researchers reported in the New England Journal of Medicine found that Bayer’s Trasylol (generic is Aprotinin) which is used during heart surgery to prevent excessive blood loss has serious side effects.  Trasylol has double the risk for kidney failure and stroke and increases the risk of heart failure or heart attack by 55 percent. 

The FDA announced on February 8th that there is a public health advisory for Trasylol due to the recent study.  The FDA recognizes that there are two recent scientific publications that found a link for kidney problems, heart attacks and strokes for patients that used Trasylol during artery bypass graft surgery.  The FDA is sending the warning out to surgeons that perform these operations.  Trasylol used during Heart Surgery has Serious Side Effects- Lawyers may have Lawsuit


Heart Attack or Stroke Risk for Dying Increased by a Low-Salt Diet

Heart Attack or Stroke Risk for Dying Increased by a Low-Salt Diet

Salt Shaker

A long term study showed that people who said they limited their salt intake were 37% more likely to die from coronary heart disease or a stroke when compared with those who ate more than the US recommended daily allowance of 2,300 milligrams a day (approximately a teaspoon of salt.)  The researcher’s report was first published online in today’s issue of The American Journal of Medicine.

Researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine studied data of interviews of people’s dietary habits from 1976 through 1980.  The survey data was based purely on what a person remembered eating in their diet.  Each person may be affected differently by the consumption of salt.  It still may be good to restrict salt in a diet for some people.  Further research would need to pinpoint if salt intake needs to be more or less and if some people are not able to handle salt in their diet as well.  Heart Attack or Stroke Risk for Dying Increased by a Low-Salt Diet


Arterial Tonometer - Painless Quick Test for Heart Disease

Arterial Tonometer is Noninvasive way to Test for Heart Disease

artery plaque

A group of researchers from the Mayo Clinic used an arterial tonometer to help diagnose patients for hardened arteries and coronary artery calcium who have no outward symptoms of heart disease.  The results were first reported in the current issue of Hypertension, published by the American Heart Association.

Iftikhar Kullo, M.D., of Mayo Clinic, the lead author of the study said, "About 40 percent of the American public is considered to be at moderate risk for heart disease.  Nearly half the heart attacks come without warning, which means we need to do a better job of screening people. This test has that potential."   Arterial Tonometer - Painless Quick Test for Heart Disease


Begin a Cardiac Rehabilitation Program For a Heart Healthy Lifestyle

Begin a Cardiac Rehabilitation Program For a Heart Healthy Lifestyle

Authors Book

Two months after my open-heart surgery, through my cardiologist’s referral, I was cleared to begin a physician-sponsored cardiac rehabilitation program ­ a program of exercise and risk-factor education for individuals recovering from serious heart procedures and heart disease.

Some patients are healed enough to begin sooner, some later. The gym facility where I live in Santa Fe, NM, called the Center for Living Well, is spaciously housed in the basement of our one hospital. In the last thirty years, thousands of cardiac rehabilitation programs have sprung up far and wide in the U.S. alone, all featuring similar characteristics.

In my book, The Open Heart Companion: Preparation and Guidance for Open-Heart Surgery Recovery (Open Heart Publishing, 2006) I advise, "systematically increase your walking every day, to the point where you can visualize and look forward to the strength retraining and aerobic stamina offered in a good cardiac rehabilitation program.   Begin a Cardiac Rehabilitation Program For a Heart Healthy Lifestyle


Vice President Dick Cheney Hunting Accident - Silent Heart Attacks Go Undiagnosed in Women More than Men

Vice President Dick Cheney Hunting Accident - Silent Heart Attacks Go Undiagnosed in Women More than Men

Dick Cheney

A Dutch study concerning silent heart attacks came out about the same time that Vice President Cheney’s hunting buddy, Harry Whittington, suffered a “minor heart attack.”  According to the Dutch study, four in 10 heart attacks go “unrecognized.”

Whittington did not even know he was having a heart attack.  He experienced no pain or symptoms.  The doctors picked up on it because he had an irregular heart beat.   Evidently one of the pellets migrated to the heart causing a temporary blockage of blood flow.

Whittington was lucky, but the Dutch research found that heart attacks in women go unrecognized more often than they do in men.  Senior author of the Dutch study, Dr Jacqueline Witteman, Associate Professor of Epidemiology, said “Overall, 43% of the total heart attacks had been clinically unrecognized – a third of the male heart attacks and more than a half of the female heart attacks. This is a significant proportion of all the MIs."   Vice President Dick Cheney Hunting Accident - Silent Heart Attacks Go Undiagnosed in Women More than Men


Rimonabant Diet Pills Work and Lower HDL Cholesterol and Triglycerides - Weight Loss Drug for the Obese

Rimonabant Diet Pills Work and Lower HDL Cholesterol and Triglycerides - Weight Loss Drug for the Obese

Rimonabant

The diet pill rimonabant not only helped lower weight in test subjects and keep it off, it also lowered the bad cholesterol HDL and triglyceride levels.  According to the background information in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) article, the researchers believe that besides weight loss, obesity management should target improvement in certain cardiometabolic risk factors, which include abnormal cholesterol and glucose (blood sugar) levels and excess weight around the waist.

This research determined just that.  It looked at rimonabant in conjunction with promoting reductions in weight, waist circumference, long-term weight maintenance, and reduction of cardiometabolic risk factors in obese and higher risk overweight patients.  Rimonabant Diet Pills Work and Lower HDL Cholesterol and Triglycerides - Weight Loss Drug for the Obese


Study Conflicts – Does Hormone Replacement Therapy HRT Cause Heart Attacks Strokes or Breast Cancer?

Study Conflicts – Does Hormone Replacement Therapy HRT Cause Heart Attacks Strokes or Breast Cancer?

Dr. Lila Nachtigall

A study in 2002 showed an increase risk of breast cancer, stroke and heart attack for women that took hormone replacement therapy (HRT).  The researchers looked at the data from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), which began in the early 90’s with nearly 50,000 women.  Their findings left women with a tough decision:  Should they continue with the risky HRT or should they stop?

They found that women had a 30% increased risk of heart attack when taking HRT.  Now a follow up study has reevaluated the data, and found no increased risk of heart attack when women take estrogen alone, without progestin.

The research, published in the February 13th issue of archives of Internal Medicine – one of JAMA/Archives journals, said “Estrogen therapy does not appear to reduce the risk of heart attack or coronary death in healthy postmenopausal women, although some data suggest a lower coronary heart disease risk in women aged 50 to 59 years”.  Study Conflicts – Does Hormone Replacement Therapy HRT Cause Heart Attacks Strokes or Breast Cancer?


Congestive Heart Failure Death Risk reduced by taking Diuretics

Congestive Heart Failure Death Risk reduced by taking Diuretics

Congestive Heart Failure

Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) is a build up of fluid in the body, and when treated with diuretics it can reduce the risk of death in the long term. Previously it has been widely used for quick relief of the fluid build up of CHF but a new research project confirmed that there is benefit for long term treatment with diuretics.

 "The available data from several small trials show that in patients with chronic heart failure, conventional diuretics appear to reduce the risk of death and worsening heart failure compared to placebo," stated the analysis team which was led by Dr. Rajaa Faris of Saudi Arabia. Congestive Heart Failure Death Risk reduced by taking Diuretics


Does a Low Fat Diet Reduce the Risk of Breast Cancer? - Stroke? Heart Disease?

Does a Low Fat Diet Reduce the Risk of Breast Cancer? - Stroke? Heart Disease?

Fruit and Vegetable Diet

The new study by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, and colleagues with the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) Dietary Modification Trial that claims a low fat diet was no healthier than normal fat diet did more than raise eyebrows.  It has experts debating back and forth whether the study was legitimate.

Was it a flawed study?  The data was extrapolated from a huge number of participants; nearly 50,000 postmenopausal women.   Of those, 40% were asked to make dietary modifications including “consumption of a reduced amount of fat (20 percent of energy) and of an increased amount of vegetables and fruits (5 or more servings a day) and grains (6 or more servings a day).” The other 60% made no dietary modifications.

The study found little difference in breast cancer rates, cardiovascular disease or stroke.  The rate of breast cancer for the women that modified their diet was 3.35% while the rate for women that did not modify their diet was 3.66%.  The difference was considered slight.  Does a Low Fat Diet Reduce the Risk of Breast Cancer? - Stroke? Heart Disease?


Metabolic Acidosis Patients at Twice the Risk for Mortality in Intensive Care Units

Metabolic Acidosis Patients at Twice the Risk for Mortality in Intensive Care Units

Medical Symbol

A study published in today’s journal, Critical Care, shows that patients with certain types of metabolic acidosis are almost twice as likely to die as those that do not have the abnormal acidic blood PH.

The risk is especially true for patients that suffer from lactic acidosis and for patients that have a strong ion gap (SIG) acidosis.  Both of these types of patients need to be monitored more carefully when admitted to an intensive care unit (ICUs).

Kyle Gunnerson from Virginia Commonwealth University and colleagues from the University of Pittsburgh researched 851 patients that were suspected as having metabolic acidosis and were admitted to the ICUs of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.  After careful analysis 548 patients were diagnosed with metabolic acidosis while 303 patients did not have the condition.  Metabolic Acidosis Patients at Twice the Risk for Mortality in Intensive Care Units

 
 
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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Sunday, July 11, 2010 01:18 AM