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Do You Read All Of Blogs?
This page you have reached is an archive page of heart watch blog. If you wish to read current posting of this blog, please go to heart watch blog main page. If you wish to read the archived blog postings, simply scroll down to the lower part of the page.

Do you read all of the blogs published by medicineworld.org? Many of our bloggers are busy keeping you updated on the various health related topics. We publish the following blogs at this time.

Cancer blog: I manage the cancer blog with lots of help and support form other bloggers. Through this cancer blog my friends and I try to bring stories of hope for patients with cancer. The cancer blog often republishes important blog posts from other cancer related blogs at Medicineworld.org. If you are searching for a blog that covers wide variety of cancer topics, this may be the one for you.

Breast cancer blog: Breast cancer blog is run by Emily and other bloggers and they bring you the latest stories, news and events that are related to breast cancer. Increasing awareness about breast cancer among women and in the general population is the main goal of this breast cancer blog.

Lung cancer blog: Lung cancer blog is managed by Scott with the help of other bloggers. Through this blog Scott and his friends constantly remind the readers about the dangers of smoking. It's a never-ending struggle against this miserable disease with which a social stigma of smoking is associated.

Colon cancer blog: Colon cancer blog is run by Sue and other bloggers. Sue brings a personal touch to the colon cancer blog since her mother died of colon cancer few years ago. She writes about stories, research news and advances in treatment related to colon cancer.

Prostate cancer blog: Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among American men. American Cancer Society estimates that over 230,000 new cases of prostate cancer occur in the United state every year. This important blog about prostate cancer is run by Mark and other bloggers. This blog brings news, stories, and other personal observations related to prostate cancer.

Medicineworld.org publishes a diabetes watch blog and this blog is run by JoAnn other bloggers. This diabetes watch blog brings you the latest in the field of diabetes. This includes personal stories, advances in diagnosis and treatment, and other observations about diabetes. Improving awareness about diabetes is an important mission of this group.

Janet      

Jan 24, 2006

Adults With History Of Childhood Heart Repairs

Adults With History Of Childhood Heart Repairs Normal structure of heart
Open-heart surgeries were not very common until 1970s, and the introduction of procedure had brought a radical change in the management of childhood heart defects. Many of these heart defects were surgically corrected or repaired. It is estimated that up to 1 million people born with once-lethal heart defects now have grown up. Physicians and these patients believe that these childhood problems are cured as children and some even don't get any follow-ups.

Expert cardiologists are now warning that survivor of these childhood heart defect repair surgeries should not be considered as cured. As adults they present a challenge to the cardiologists, since they can present with various complications including irregularities of heart beat. Few cardiologists outside of children's hospitals have any idea how to care for these patients who had surgical repair of heart defects.

"The disease as an adult is completely different than the other kinds of heart disease adults get," warns Dr. Karen Kuehl, a pediatric cardiologist at Children's National Medical Center in Washington.

"Here are people in their early young adulthood who have thought that they went through this (childhood surgery) .... and they were going to be fine. In fact, we don't know that," Kuehl adds. "Now we're seeing things nobody would have predicted."

Only recently have enough of the early survivors reached adulthood for doctors to notice a disturbing trend: Starting about 20 years after childhood surgery, the risk for some serious problems like irregular heartbeats, enlarged hearts, heart failure, occasionally even sudden death begins to rise among people who had complex defects repaired.

In adults if such problems are caught early, many are treatable or, better, preventable. Many times the problems go too far advancer and such patients may have serious damage to the heart and heart transplant may be the only remaining option of treatment, says Dr. Roberta Williams of the American College of Cardiology.

Daniel      Permalink


Jan 23, 2006

Don't Count On Veggie Burgers Or Toufu

Don't Count On Veggie Burgers Or Toufu
Do not count on Veggie burgers and tofu to protect you from heart disease. A recent American Heart Association committee review report examined studies spanning over a decade and came up with doubts regarding the claim that soy-based foods and supplements are effective in significantly lowering cholesterol.

These findings are contrary to popular believes and may lead to label regulations regarding this claim on soy containing food by FDA.

This study panel also found that neither soy nor the soy component isoflavone reduced symptoms of menopause, such as ``hot flashes,'' and that isoflavones do not help prevent breast, uterine or prostate cancer. When examining the effects of soy on bone mineral loss in post-menopausal women, the studies showed mixed results. These findings are published in the recent issue of circulation.

However this does not mean that eating soy based food is not good. Often soy-based food is consumed in place of junk food, like burgers and hotdogs and consumption of soy-based food may at least prevent the harmful effects of eating unhealthy food. The only finding that has come out now is that it may not be as beneficial as previously thought especially in terms of cholesterol lowering.

``We don't want to lull people into a false sense of security that by eating soy they can solve the problem'' with cholesterol, said Dr. Michael Crawford, chief of clinical cardiology at University of California-San Francisco Medical Center. He was not on the panel that issued the new statement.

The FDA in 1999 started allowing manufacturers to claim that soy products might cut the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol level after studies showed at least 25 grams of soy protein a day lowered cholesterol. A year later, the Heart Association recommended in favor of soy to classify this as a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol.

In the last few years much more research emerged and the Heart Association decided to re-investigate this issue.

These committee members reviewed 22 studies and found that large amounts of dietary soy protein only reduced LDL, or ``bad'' cholesterol, about 3 percent and had no effect on HDL, or ``good'' cholesterol, or on blood pressure.

They also did analysis of isoflavones separately and found that isoflavones also had no effect on lowering LDL cholesterol or other lipid risk factors.

``Soy proteins and isoflavones don't have any major health benefits other than soy protein products are generally good foods,'' said Dr. Frank Sacks, a professor of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston who led the committee.`They're good to replace other foods that are high in cholesterol.''

Sherin      Permalink


Jan 20, 2006

Stress At Work And Risk Of Heart Disease

Stress At Work And Risk Of Heart Disease
Stress and burnout at work place causes several health related problems

Cardiovascular Disease
Many studies suggest that psychologically demanding jobs that allow employees little control over the work process increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Musculoskeletal Disorders
On the basis of research by NIOSH and many other organizations, it is widely believed that job stress increases the risk for development of back and upper- extremity musculoskeletal disorders.

Psychological Disorders
Several studies suggest that differences in rates of mental health problems (such as depression and burnout) for various occupations are due partly to differences in job stress levels. (Economic and lifestyle differences between occupations may also contribute to some of these problems.)

Workplace Injury
Although more study is needed, there is a growing concern that stressful working conditions interfere with safe work practices and set the stage for injuries at work.

Suicide, Cancer, Ulcers, and Impaired Immune Function
Some studies suggest a relationship between stressful working conditions and these health problems. However, more research is needed before firm conclusions can be drawn.

Scientists in Britain said on Friday they had found evidence of why stress at work can raise the odds of developing heart disease and diabetes.

Researchers at University College London (UCL) have shown that work stress is a risk factor for metabolic syndrome which includes high blood pressure, raised cholesterol levels, high blood sugar and excess weight.

"We found quite strong evidence that higher exposure to stress at work is associated with increased risk of the metabolic syndrome," said Tarani Chandola of UCL.

Researchers say that the study provides a possible explanation for the link between stress and heart disease.

In the study of more than 10,000 British civil servants published online by the British Medical Journal the scientists said the higher the stress levels reported by the employees the greater the risk of metabolic syndrome.

The scientists studied the stress levels of the civil servants over the past 20 years and compared them with components of metabolic syndrome which were measured between 1997 and 1999.

Men with chronic work stress were nearly twice as likely to develop the syndrome than workers who reported little or no stress, according to the study.

Daniel      Permalink


Jan 16, 2006

Exercise Reduces Risk Of Pregnancy Induced Diabetes

Exercise Reduces Risk Of Pregnancy Induced Diabetes
Doing regular exercise before and during pregnancy may prevent you from having a pregnancy-induced diabetes, which is also known gestational diabetes.

These findings are from a recently published study, which appeared in the medical journal Epidemiology. Gestational diabetes affects more than 7 percent of pregnancies and is associated with harmful effects on the fetus and mother-to-be, according to the authors of the study in the

Babies born to mothers with gestational diabetes may be abnormally large, may suffer from jaundice, low blood sugar and low calcium, and may experience traumatic births, they explain, while women with gestational diabetes are more likely to become diabetic after pregnancy.

This study was conducted by Dr. Carole B. Rudra and colleagues from the University of Washington. These researchers examined the relation between gestational diabetes and "perceived exertion" in lean and overweight women. They did this, in part, by asking the women how they would rate their level of exertion during usual exercise in the year before becoming pregnant.

The investigators found that the higher the level of perceived exertion, the lower was the risk of pregnancy-related diabetes. Women reporting very strenuous usual exertion were 81 percent less likely to develop gestational diabetes compared with women reporting negligible or minimal exertion. Women reporting moderate usual exertion had a 59 percent risk reduction compared with women reporting negligible or weak exertion.

JoAnn      Permalink


Jan 16, 2006

Laugh, Laugh, Laugh To Prevent Heart Attack

Laugh, Laugh, Laugh To Prevent Heart Attack
Why don't you watch some comedy film and boosts the flow of blood to the heart rather than watching a sad film that would decrease the flow of blood to the heart. This advice is not from me, but from researchers who had conducted a study in this regard.

This study comes from University of Maryland researchers, who got 20 young people to watch movie segments lasting between 15 and 30 minutes, taken from comedy films and serious films, with at least 48 hours between the two sessions.

With the help of ultrasound, these subjects were measured for blood flow through the brachial artery, which runs from the shoulder to the elbow. Blood flow was reduced in 14 of the 20 volunteers when they watched extracts such as the distressful opening scenes to "Saving Private Ryan". But it rose in 19 out of 20 when they watched funny clips, such as scenes from "Something About Mary".

The difference between the two flows was more than 50 percent, according to the study, which appears on Tuesday in a British specialized journal heart.

Watching a sad movie has about the same effect on heart flow as doing mental arithmetic, it says.

But watching a comedy is equivalent to a bout of aerobic exercise or starting a course of cholesterol-busting statin drugs. Depression, anxiety, hostility and anger are already known to impair nitric oxide pathways that help blood vessels to dilate.

The authors tentatively suggest that a chuckle may stimulate selected hormones to have the opposite effect.

Daniel      Permalink


Jan 11, 2006

Eating Whole Grains To Decrease Heart Risk

Eating Whole Grains To Decrease Heart Risk
Elderly adults may derive heart benefit from eating whole grains like high-fiber cereals and cooked oatmeal as per findings from a new study. Researchers from University of Maryland in College Park evaluated 535 adults between 60 and 98 years of age and have found that, those who ate more whole-grain foods were less likely to develop a group of risk factors known as metabolic syndrome or to die of cardiovascular disease over the next 12 to 15 years.

Researchers say that the benefits of such whole grain cereals may not be limited to just elderly people and suggested that young and old alike should follow experts' advice to bump up their whole-grain intake to at least three servings a day.

The term metabolic syndrome refers to a group of conditions, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high blood sugar levels, and abdominal obesity, which raise a person's risk of heart disease, stroke and kidney damage.

Previous research has suggested that middle-age adults can lower their risk of metabolic syndrome by favoring whole grains such as bran, oats and brown rice over highly processed grain products like white bread.

It to be noted that until now, no studies had looked specifically at an elderly population and this study represents the first attempt in this direction. Researchers say that the effects of diet on metabolic risk factors may be even more evident in older adults, because with aging comes a greater susceptibility to abnormal blood sugar control.

The elderly patients who participated in this study were required to undergo a physical exam, complete a 3-day food diary to track their eating habits, and provide information on other lifestyle habits such as exercise, smoking and drinking.

The researchers have found that men and women with the highest whole-grain intake, which is typically three servings a day, were less than half as likely to have metabolic syndrome as their peers who consumed less than one serving of whole grains per day.

The researchers also fond that these whole-grain eaters were about half as likely to die from cardiovascular disease over the next 12 to 15 years.

Daniel      Permalink


Jan 11, 2006

Life-style Modifications Quick To Give Benefits

Life-style Modifications Quick To Give Benefits
It only takes three weeks, to start getting benefits from changing your lifestyle. Researchers have shown that those overweight individuals with diabetes, who are willing to modify life-style need not wait too long to derive benefits from his or her life-style modifications.

Researchers say that contrary to widespread belief, Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome can be reversed and corrected solely through lifestyle modifications. Lifestyle modifications may not have reversed damage such as plaque development in the arteries, but, if Type 2 diabetes continues to be controlled, further damage would likely be minimized and it's plausible that continuing to follow the program long-term may result in reversal of cholesterol deposit in the arteries.

It is important and interesting to realize that these changes occurred in the absence of any significant weight loss. This finding challenges the traditional wisdom that an individual has normalized their weight before achieving health benefits.

These study results are published in the recent issue of the Journal of Applied Physiology. This interesting study enrolled 31 men who ate a high-fiber, low-fat diet with no limit to the number of calories they could consume. The participants of the study were required to perform 45-60 minutes of aerobic exercise per day on a treadmill.

Fifteen of the participant had metabolic syndrome (excessive abdominal fat, insulin resistance, and blood fat disorders such as high levels of triglycerides), thirteen of the participants had Type 2 diabetes.

JoAnn      Permalink


Jan 9, 2006

Decrease In Smoking Reduces New Yorker's Heart Attacks

Decrease In Smoking Reduces New Yorker's Heart Attacks
Health department of New York City has stated that there has been a steep decline in the number of people dying of heart attacks, the reason for this is a combination of factors which included better medical care for people with heart disease and the city's campaign against smoking.

The Health Commissioner of the city department Thomas R. Frieden said that there was a drop in the number of fatal heart attacks by 14 percent between 2003 and 2004.

It has been approximated by the health officials of New York that the number of smokers had come down by around 200,000 due to the cigarette taxes levied in 2002 and a year after which smoking was banned in most of the public places. The moment a person stops smoking, the health of his heart begins to improve almost immediately.

The mortality rate of the people who smoke is twice at every age when compared with the people who don't. Frieden said hundreds of deaths perhaps were avoided due to lower smoking rates.

Daniel      Permalink


Jan 6, 2006

Where You Live May Affect Heart Attack Risk

Where You Live May Affect Heart Attack Risk

Where you live and the economic situation of people in your neighborhood may affect your risk of developing a heart attack as per new research findings from Sweden.

Researchers Dr. Maria K. Stjarne and colleagues from Stockholm University analyzed data found that from 3,610 adults living near the urban area of Stockholm. They found that, those living in lower-income neighborhoods had a higher rate of heart attack than those in more affluent areas. And the risk was not fully explained by a person's own income, education and occupation - factors that many studies have linked to disease and death risk.

The implication, the researchers report in the journal Epidemiology, is that neighborhood characteristics can add to the health effects of an individual's economic situation.

People with lower incomes and education levels generally have higher rates of heart disease risk factors, like smoking, inactivity and obesity, and so these problems are more prevalent in low-income neighborhoods.

But, the study authors write, people's living environments also shape their attitudes and behavior, meaning that even if their personal income goes up, the neighborhood "context" could still have health effects.

In addition, the infrastructure and resources in a neighborhood could be important factors in heart attack risk. Neighborhood status was defined by the typical household income in a residential area, as well as the neighborhood diversity - whether people with similar incomes were clustered together or whether there was a greater mix of incomes.

Overall, women in low-income neighborhoods were 88 percent more likely to have had a heart attack than those in high-income areas. Men in low-income areas had a 52 percent greater risk of heart attack.

Daniel      Permalink


Jan 4, 2006

Heart Failure Drug Related Deaths

Heart Failure Drug Related Deaths
Manufacturer of the drug Natrecor has informed the authorities that two additional patients died 30 days after taking the heart-failure drug.

Johnson and Johnson has fortified the drug as a safe and useful treatment for patients whose damaged hearts are not capable of adequately pumping blood to other parts of the body.

The company said that the two additional deaths in the study had not originally been reported to the company. The study, explained in a recent issue of the Journal of Emergency Medicine, specified that there was no statistical difference in the number of deaths among the patients consuming Natrecor and those taking placebos 30 days following the commencement of the treatment.

Since the data did not comprise of the two deaths that have now come to light, the diversified health care company said it is now trying to find out if Natrecor indeed poses higher risk of death.

The warning label on Natrecor already mentions that the potential for low
blood pressure, kidney problems and more deaths have occurred in clinical trials compared to that are seen with nitroglycerin.

Daniel      Permalink


Jan 3, 2006

Coronary Plaque Detection By Molecular Imaging

Coronary Plaque Detection By Molecular Imaging
Now it may be possible to detect those atherosclerotic coronary artery plaques that are about to be ruptured by a molecular technique as per a published study in the Journal of Nuclear medicine.

Considering the fact that about 14 million people in the United States are having coronary artery disease, this is very exciting news. More than two-thirds of acute coronary events result from rupture of coronary plaques. These plaques that are about to rupture are likely to large lipid (fat) collections, which are often associated with hemorrhages and harbor significant inflammation.

Researchers used radiolabeled protein annexin A5 for the noninvasive imaging of atherosclerotic plaques in experimental rabbit models and found the radiotracer uptake had a significant correlation with inflammatory cell prevalence and the magnitude of cell death in plaques.

The study's findings "allow us to propose that stabilization of these plaques is a possibility," he said. This supports "the paradigm of prevention rather than therapy of a coronary event," said Artiom Petrov, Ph.D one of theco-authors of the study.

Daniel      Permalink


Jan 1, 2006

Insights Into Early Early Heart Development

Insights Into Early Early Heart Development
Researchers at The Burnham Institute for Medical Research have provided detailed insights into the early formation of the heart. A team lead by Dr. Rolf Bodmer found that two proteins, called Robo and Slit, are required for normal development of the heart and that malfunction of either of these proteins severely impacts the heart's structure, resulting in congenital heart defects. These findings were published in the recent issue of journal Current.

Congenital heart defects involve the malformation in one or more structures of the heart or blood vessels while the fetus is developing in the uterus. According to the American Heart Association, congenital heart disease affects about 35,000 infants each year, and claims the lives of "nearly twice as many children" annually in the United States "as die from all forms of childhood cancer". Symptoms may arise at birth, during childhood, and sometimes not until adulthood.

Working with Drosophilia melanogaster, also known as the fruitfly, the researchers showed that the Slit and Robo proteins accumulate in a specific alignment during the formation of the heart tube, a linear tube representing the primitive heart before its cells assume their rhythmical contractile functions. Proper alignment of the heart tube cells is critical for heart assembly and proper shape, or morphology. The researchers found that mutation or misexpression of these proteins leads to misalignment of the heart tube and results in observed heart defects.

Daniel      Permalink


Dec 29, 2005

What's the better option for heart attack patients?

What's the better option for heart attack patients? Balloon angioplasty
Medical treatment involving clot dissolving drugs or emergency angioplasty; which one is better for the heart attack patients? A new clinical trial from U.K. shows emergency angioplasty is the better option for patients who had a myocardial infarction.

This new finding will have great impact here in America across the Atlantic where a large number of patients are rushed to a hospital emergency room when they have a heart attack.

"This trial comes in a timely fashion," said Dr. Samin Sharma, director of interventional cardiology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. The finding is already affecting medical practice in this country because preliminary results were presented at a recent medical meeting, Sharma added, but "a lot of people have been waiting to see the final word in print."

Angioplasty has been the recommended emergency treatment for a heart attack, Sharma said. But many American hospitals lack the ability to do that treatment on an emergency basis; from 50 percent to 60 percent of U.S. patients get clot-dissolving drugs when they arrive at the emergency room, he said.

Daniel      Permalink


Dec 29, 2005

How high-fat diet causes diabetes?

How high-fat diet causes diabetes?
Scientists from Howard Hughes Medical Institute scientists have discovered a molecular that links between a high-fat, developments of type 2 diabetes. These initial studies were done in mice, which showed, a high-fat diet disrupts insulin production, resulting in the typical symptoms and signs of type 2 diabetes.

Findings of these researchers are published in a recent issue of the journal Cell. They report that knocking out a single gene encoding the enzyme known as GnT-4a glycosyltransferase (GnT-4a ) disrupts insulin production. Researchers also reports that a high-fat diet suppresses the activity of this enzyme and leads to type 2 diabetes due to failure of the pancreatic beta cells.

This new finding, offering explanation regarding the link between high-fat diet and development of type-2 diabetes may aid in the development of new drugs that specifically target this enzyme. Researchers believe that in earliest phases, the disease causes failure of insulin-secreting beta cells in the pancreas, which leads to elevated blood glucose levels. As the disease progresses, the insulin-secreting beta cells overcompensate for the elevated blood glucose, and eventually pump out too much insulin. This leads to insulin resistance and full-blown type 2 diabetes.

This enzyme GnT-4a was known to maintain glucose transporters on the surface of beta cells in the pancreas. The new studies showed that in the absence of sufficient GnT-4a enzyme, Glut-2 lacks an attached glycan that is mandatory for it to be expressed at the cell membrane. Without that glycan, Glut-2 leaves the cell surface and becomes internalized, where it can no longer transport glucose into the cell. In turn, this failure impairs insulin secretion, causing type-2 diabetes in the mice.

JoAnn      Permalink


Dec 28, 2005

Heart Attack And Blood Thinners

Heart Attack And Blood Thinners
How much of blood thinning is enough in patients with heart attack. That's the subject of new research for scientists from Duke University. Patients who had heart attack are usually given overdoses of powerful blood-thinning drugs in the emergency room, and this increasing their risk of serious bleeding, as per these researchers.

Researchers studied 30,136 heart attack patients who were treated last year at 387 hospitals located within the United States and found that, 42 percent got excessive doses of blood thinners. The chances of getting overdoses were particularly common in thin people, women, the elderly and those with kidney problems.

Those who received overdoses of the newer forms of blood thinners like lovenox or Fragmin, which is a low molecular weight form of commonly used heparin had more than a 30 percent increased chance of major bleeding than those given the recommended dose.

It is estimated that a total of 117,000 episodes of bleeding occur each year in these patients, including excessive bleeding at catheter sites, from pre-existing stomach ulcers, and in the brain, where it is particularly dangerous. The study suggests that 15 percent of these bleeding episodes are from overdoses and may be avoidable.

Daniel      Permalink


Dec 27, 2005

Heart Device's Export Blocked

Heart Device's Export Blocked
The Food and Drug Administration has barred Guidant Corp., a maker of medical devices, from exporting heart-rhythm stabilizers made in its Minnesota plant because the company could not assure the public that its products were being properly made.

In a warning letter from the agency, the troubled company was also informed that it had to make significant improvements in its manufacturing practices before any additional company devices could be approved for sale.

Guidant said in its statement that it has "taken a broad, thorough and systemic review of its quality system and has made substantial steps toward addressing all" of the FDA's concerns. The company has fulfilled 90 percent of its upgrade commitments the statement said.

The intensive FDA inspection followed a series of recalls and warnings issued for Guidant's heart defibrillators and pacemakers because of reported malfunctions, some of them fatal. Federal and state officials are investigating the company, which faces dozens of lawsuits over its recalls.

After the inspection, FDA officials said that the company did not properly warn doctors about software problems that caused some pacemakers to malfunction, that company quality control was ineffective at several levels, and that record-keeping was poor.

Daniel      Permalink


Dec 26, 2005

Air Pollution Causes Atherosclerosis In Laboratory Mice

Air Pollution Causes Atherosclerosis In Laboratory Mice
Experimental results with laboratory mice illustrate a direct cause-and-effect relationship between contact with fine particle air pollution and development of atherosclerosis, usually known as hardening of the arteries.

Mice that were provided with a high-fat diet and exposed to air with fine particles had 1.5 times more plaque production than mice provided with the same diet and exposed to fresh filtered air. The study results are published in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study may explain why people living in highly polluted areas have a higher risk of heart disease.

These results have significant implications for the long-term impact of fine particle air pollution on urban populations.

Fine particle pollution consists of microscopic particles of dust and soot less than 2.5 microns in diameter which penetrates deep into the respiratory tract, diminishing lung function and deteriorating conditions like asthma and bronchitis

"The average particle exposure over the course of the study was 15 micrograms per cubic meter, which is characteristic of the particle concentrations that urban area residents would be exposed to, and well below the federal air quality standard of 65 micrograms per cubic meter in a 24-hour period," said Sanjay Rajagopalan, M.D., a vascular medicine specialist and cardiologist with the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and senior author of the study.

Daniel      Permalink


Dec 26, 2005

Implantable Defibrillators As Efficient In Women As In Men

Implantable Defibrillators As Efficient In Women As In Men
A University of Rochester study finds women who have had a heart attack obtain as much survival advantage as men from implanted cardioverter defibrillators (ICD) devices designed to check the pumping rhythm of the heart and shock it back to normal when necessary.

IDCs are designed to watch the heart's rhythm and counter arrhythmias -- electrical malfunctions that fling the heart out of rhythm. Such arrhythmias are the major cause of sudden cardiac death (SCD). SCD can take place when disfigured tissue left over by a heart attack impedes with the heart's electrical system, bringing on arrhythmia.

The use of ICDs has been found to decrease death by 31 percent in patients who had a heart attack.

However some specialists have inquired whether the ICD advantage extends to women, who have been underrepresented in previous studies and continue to be under-treated for heart disease in general, according to the American Heart Association

To address the gap, University of Rochester Medical Center researchers evaluated the data and established that women have comparable risk of both overall mortality and SCD after heart attack as men. The study also found that both genders get identical advantages from ICD therapy, which condensed mortality risk in women by an expected 43 percent, and in men by 34 percent.

Daniel      Permalink


Dec 25, 2005

Merry Christmas From Medicineworld.org

Merry Christmas From Medicineworld.org
Medicineworld wishes all our readers merry Christmas.

Oh, jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh

A day or two ago
I thought I'd take a ride
And soon Miss Fanny Bright
Was seated by my side
The horse was lean and lank
Misfortune seemed his lot
We got into a drifted bank
And then we got upsot

Oh, jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh yeah

Janet      Permalink


Dec 25, 2005

Do You Read All Of Our Medical Blogs?

Do You Read All Of Our Medical Blogs?
Do you read all of the medical blogs published by medicineworld.org? Many of our bloggers are busy keeping you updated on various medical topics. Medicieworld.org is publishing a wide variety of blogs on different topics.

Breast cancer blog: Breast cancer blog is run by Janet and colleagues. Latest post from this breast cancer blog reads as follows: Location of Breast Cancer Does Matter - Does it really matter which part of the breast you develop cancer? Researchers say yes.
Researchers from Switzerland recently reported that women with early breast cancer in the lower inner quadrant (the lower part of the breast, closer to the center of the body) are twice as likely to die of their cancer as women with cancer diagnosed in other parts of the breast. Researchers speculate this could be due to undetected spread of the cancer to the lymph nodes of the internal mammary chain (lymph nodes near the center of the chest). These lymph nodes are difficult to be evaluated for the presence of cancer.......

Lung cancer blog: Lung cancer blog is run by Scott and colleagues. Latest post from this lung cancer blog reads as follows: Cancer Death Rate Continues to Drop in U.S. - It is comforting to know that the cancer death rates continue to drop and cancer diagnosis rate continue to be stable in the United States. This is true for most of the common types of cancer including breast cancer, lung cancer, colorectal cancer and the prostate cancer. This information is released by the National Cancer Institute.......

Colon cancer blog: Colon cancer blog is run by Sue and colleagues. Latest post from this cancer blog post reads as follows: Cancer Death Rate Continues to Drop in U.S. - It is comforting to know that the cancer death rates continue to drop and cancer diagnosis rate continue to be stable in the United States. This is true for most of the common types of cancer including breast cancer, lung cancer, colorectal cancer and the prostate cancer. This information is released by the National Cancer Institute...............

Prostate cancer blog: Prostate cancer blog is run by Mark and colleagues. Latest post from this prostate cancer blog reads as follows: Cancer Death Rate Continues to Drop in U.S. - It is comforting to know that the cancer death rates continue to drop and cancer diagnosis rate continue to be stable in the United States. This is true for most of the common types of cancer including breast cancer, lung cancer, colorectal cancer and the prostate cancer. This information is released by the National Cancer Institute...............

We have a diabetes watch blog as well and this is run by JoAnn and colleagues. The latest post from this diabetes watch blog reads as follows: Health Canada Issues Warning For Avandia and Avandamet - Health Canada is issuing warnings for two commonly used drugs to treat Type-2 diabetes. The warning states that use of these drugs may lead to new cases or worsening of a vision problem called macular edema.......

Heart watch blog: Heart watch blog is run by Daniel and colleagues. The latest post from this heart watch blog reads as follows: Fish Oil Combats Heart Problem Related To Pollution - You probably can't do much to improve the air pollution around you, but now you can protect yourself from some of the harmful effects of air pollution on the heart. A new research finding suggests that daily supplementation with omega-3 fatty acid (fish oil) prevents a potentially-deadly decline in heart rate variability (HRV) associated with exposure to indoor air pollution, researchers from the US and Canada report......

Cancer blog: I manage the cancer blog with lots of help and support form other bloggers. The latest post from this cancer blog reads as follows: Pancreatic Cancer: Looking Forward To Skin Rash! - Probably you all know that a new drug combination Tarceva and Gemzar has been FDA approved recently for the treatment of pancreatic cancer. Did you know that, if you are developing a bad skin rash while on this treatment it is a good sign! I am not kidding, the study that led to the approval of this combination was presented in the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in 2005. This study has shown that the combination of Tarceva and Gemzar works best in patients who had a bad skin rash!......

Scott      Permalink


Dec 23, 2005

Fish Oil Combats Heart Problem Related To Pollution

Fish Oil Combats Heart Problem Related To Pollution
You probably can't do much to improve the air pollution around you, but now you can protect yourself from some of the harmful effects of air pollution on the heart. A new research finding suggests that daily supplementation with omega-3 fatty acid (fish oil) prevents a potentially-deadly decline in heart rate variability (HRV) associated with exposure to indoor air pollution, researchers from the US and Canada report

Heart rate variability measures the variability in the intervals between heartbeats, with lower variability being associated with higher risks of heart disease and death.

"Imagine," explained Dr. Fernando Holguin, "that a normal heart does not always have the same time intervals between beats, but every so often (in cycles) the interval between cardiac beats changes; i.e. a little shorter, or longer. How frequent these variations occur are a measure of the effect of the nervous regulation of the heart. It is a fine-tuning that we are not aware of. A sick heart losses this fine tuning."

In the elderly, exposure to fine particulate matter, a common air pollutant, has been associated with reductions in HRV. But in their study of 50 relatively healthy elderly nursing home residents, Holguin and colleagues found that a daily two-gram fish oil supplement prevented a decline in HRV.

Holguin, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and colleagues report their finding in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Daniel      Permalink


Dec 22, 2005

That Elusive Heart Failure

That Elusive Heart Failure Image courtesy of Mississippi College
The increasing intricacy of congestive heart failure (CHF) patients and the extensive range of accessible therapies have led to the need for an integrated approach to analysis and cure that uses the skills of many health care disciplines.

In recent years, cardiologists have begun to observe acute heart failure syndrome (AHFS) as a distinct condition, not simply a part of the chronic heart failure continuum. However, there is not yet an agreement on a definition, epidemiology, suitable treatment and instructions for prospective research for acute heart failure syndrome, says a Special Report published in the Circulation journal.

Heart failure is the powerlessness of the heart to provide sufficient blood flow and oxygen to peripheral tissues and organs. "We've been successful in finding ways to treat chronic heart failure," says Dr. Mihai Gheorghiade, MD, associate chief, Division of Cardiology at the Bluhm cardiovascular Institute of Northwestern Memorial Hospital. "And, superficially it looks like we're successful at treating ACHF. Patients are treated, feel better and are discharged. The problem is that within 90 days of discharge, nearly 10 percent of patients die and about 30 percent are readmitted."

Even though acute heart failure is different from chronic heart failure, traditionally, cardiologists have treated chronic heart failure and acute heart failure in the same manner and have been unsuccessful in improving mortality," says Dr. Gheorghiade.

The report calls for organized investigative efforts on the scientific application and conversion of hopeful basic science outcomes and a focus on the option of suitable management strategies.

Daniel      Permalink


Dec 21, 2005

Good Diabetes Control Cuts Heart Risk

Good Diabetes Control Cuts Heart Risk
Diabetes is a risk factor for the development of heart disease including heart attacks. Now there is good evidence to suggest that diabetics who used insulin aggressively to control their blood sugar for 6-1/2 years cut their risk of heart attack, stroke or bypass surgery in half compared to those who did not.

These findings are published in the latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The study says that complications due to diabetes, such as eye, nerve and kidney damage that can be prevented by careful glucose control in people with Type 1 diabetes.

"Much to our delight, it appears that this intensive therapy introduced years and years ago seems to have this long-term benefit on heart disease and stroke," author David Nathan of Massachusetts General Hospital told Reuters.

It shows that aggressive diabetes treatment "should begin as early as possible and be maintained as long as possible," said co-author Saul Genuth of Case Western Reserve University.

The new discovery is an offshoot of a study begun in 1983 involving 1,441 people age 13 to 39 with Type 1 diabetes, which was once known as juvenile diabetes.

Half of the diabetics on this study were given intensive treatment using an insulin pump or at least three insulin injections a day, combined with careful monitoring, for an average of 6-1/2 years. The remainder received conventional treatment of one or two shots daily.

Most of the patients who got conventional treatment had more than one serious health event, so the Nathan team calculated that aggressive treatment cut the risk of heart attack, stroke or death from any cardiovascular problem by 57 percent.

JoAnn      Permalink


Dec 21, 2005

Impotence Heart Disease Connection

Impotence Heart Disease Connection
You may ask, what's the connection between impotence and heart attack? I didn't know one existed until today. A large study published today suggests men age 55 and older who are suffering from impotence may be at high risk of developing heart attack.

This study has found that men with impotence were more likely than other men to experience chest pain, a heart attack or a stroke during the next seven years.

The message is that men who see their doctors for impotence drugs also should consider getting screened for heart disease, says study co-author Dr. Ian Thompson of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

"There are many men who die suddenly of a heart attack, never having seen a physician and never having their cardiovascular risk assessed," Thompson said. "Some of these men may never have had a symptom of cardiovascular disease."

The study appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Researchers already knew that heart disease and erection problems share risk factors, including obesity, smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure and physical inactivity.

But the study is the first to look at a large group of healthy men and monitor them over time, Thompson said. Researchers used data on 8,063 men without pre-existing heart conditions who participated in a study on prostate cancer prevention.

The researchers found erectile dysfunction to be almost as good a predictor for cardiovascular disease as a family history of heart attack.

Daniel      Permalink


Dec 20, 2005

Enjoy Your Chocolate And Save Your Heart

Enjoy Your Chocolate And Save Your Heart
Now there is more reason to enjoy your favorite dark chocolate and give to your friends and relatives as gift during this Christmas season. A recent research finding shows that eating dark chocolate every day might cut the risk of serious heart disease by helping to stave off the hardening of arteries, according to a study published on Tuesday.

Researchers from University Hospital in Zurich studied 20 male smokers, who are at greater risk of hardening arteries characteristic of coronary heart disease, to see the effects of dark and white chocolate on arterial blood flow.

The group, who were asked to abstain from eating foods rich in antioxidants for 24 hours, were given 40 grams (2 ounces) of chocolate to eat.

After two hours, ultrasound scans revealed that dark chocolate which is made up of 74 percent cocoa solids, significantly improved the smoothness of arterial flow, whilst white chocolate, with four percent cocoa, had no effect, the study published in Heart magazine said.

The researchers, who said further studies were needed, suggested that the possible benefits arose from the antioxidants in dark chocolate.

"Only a small daily treat of dark chocolate may substantially increase the amount of antioxidant intake and beneficially affect vascular health," they said.

Daniel      Permalink




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Heart disease
About 13 million Americans (about 7 percent of the total population) suffer from coronary artery disease. Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death in American men and women amounting a staggering 20 percent of all causes of death. About half of all deaths related to cardiovascular diseases occur from coronary artery disease. Through this heart watch blog we will have our humble contribution towards making men and women aware of the risks of heart diseases.

Heart Watch Blog: From Medicineworld.org

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