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May 19, 2011, 8:43 AM CT

Nanopatch for the heart

Nanopatch for the heart
Engineers at Brown University have created a nanopatch for the heart that tests show restores areas that have been damaged, such as from a heart attack.

Credit: Frank Mullin, Brown University


When you suffer a heart attack, a part of your heart dies. Nerve cells in the heart's wall and a special class of cells that spontaneously expand and contract � keeping the heart beating in perfect synchronicity � are lost forever. Surgeons can't repair the affected area. It's as if when confronted with a road riddled with potholes, you abandon what's there and build a new road instead.

Needless to say, this is a grossly inefficient way to treat arguably the single most important organ in the human body. The best approach would be to figure out how to resuscitate the deadened area, and in this quest, a group of researchers at Brown University and in India may have an answer.

The scientists turned to nanotechnology. In a lab, they built a scaffold-looking structure consisting of carbon nanofibers and a government-approved polymer. Tests showed the synthetic nanopatch regenerated natural heart tissue cells �� called cardiomyocytes � as well as neurons. In short, the tests showed that a dead region of the heart can be brought back to life.

"This whole idea is to put something where dead tissue is to help regenerate it, so that you eventually have a healthy heart," said David Stout, a graduate student in the School of Engineering at Brown and the lead author of the paper published in Acta Biomaterialia........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


April 3, 2011, 9:31 AM CT

Antidepressants linked to thicker arteries

Antidepressants linked to thicker arteries
Antidepressant use has been associated with thicker arteries, possibly contributing to the risk of heart disease and stroke, in a study of twin veterans. The data is being presented Tuesday, April 5 at the American College of Cardiology meeting in New Orleans.

Depression can heighten the risk for heart disease, but the effect of antidepressant use revealed by the study is separate and independent from depression itself, says first author Amit Shah, MD, a cardiology fellow at Emory University School of Medicine. The data suggest that antidepressants may combine with depression for a negative effect on blood vessels, he says. Shah is a researcher working with Viola Vaccarino, MD, PhD, chair of the Department of Epidemiology at Emory's Rollins School of Public Health.

The study included 513 middle-aged male twins who both served in the U.S. military during the Vietnam War. Twins are genetically the same but appears to be different when it comes to other risk factors such as diet, smoking and exercise, so studying them is a good way to distill out the effects of genetics, Shah says.

Scientists measured carotid intima-media thickness � the thickness of the lining of the main arteries in the neck -- by ultrasound. Among the 59 pairs of twins where only one brother took antidepressants, the one taking the drugs tended to have higher carotid intima-media thickness (IMT), even when standard heart disease risk factors were taken into account. The effect was seen both in twins with or without a prior heart attack or stroke. A higher level of depressive symptoms was linked to higher IMT only in those taking antidepressants.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


March 31, 2011, 6:55 AM CT

Migraine headaches and a common heart defect

Migraine headaches and a common heart defect
Cincinnati, OH, March 31, 2011 -- Roughly 15% of children suffer from migraines, and approximately one-third of these affected children have migraines with aura, a collection of symptoms that can include weakness, blind spots, and even hallucinations. Eventhough the causes of migraines are unclear, a newly released study soon to be published in The Journal of Pediatrics suggests a correlation between migraine headaches in children and a heart defect called patent foramen ovale, which affects 25% of people in the U.S.

Dr. Rachel McCandless and his colleagues from the Primary Children's Medical Center and the University of Utah studied children 6-18 years old who were diagnosed with migraines between 2008 and 2009. The 109 children enrolled in the study were treated at the Primary Children's Medical Center, which serves kids from Utah, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Colorado, and parts of Wyoming.

The scientists took two-dimensional echocardiograms of each child's heart, looking for a patent foramen ovale (PFO), a common defect in the wall between the two upper chambers of the heart. Eventhough a PFO is not necessarily dangerous, it can allow unfiltered blood to bypass the lungs and circulate throughout the body. As Dr. McCandless explains, "Some adult studies have suggested a link between having a PFO and migraine headaches".........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


March 28, 2011, 7:31 AM CT

Walnuts are top nut for heart-healthy antioxidants

Walnuts are top nut for heart-healthy antioxidants
A new scientific study positions walnuts in the No. 1 slot among a family of foods that lay claim to being among Mother Nature's most nearly perfect packaged foods: Tree and ground nuts. In a report here today at the 241st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, researchers presented an analysis showing that walnuts have a combination of more healthful antioxidants and higher quality antioxidants than any other nut.

"Walnuts rank above peanuts, almonds, pecans, pistachios and other nuts," said Joe Vinson, Ph.D., who did the analysis. "A handful of walnuts contains almost twice as much antioxidants as an equivalent amount of any other usually consumed nut. But unfortunately, people don't eat a lot of them. This study suggests that consumers should eat more walnuts as part of a healthy diet".

Vinson noted that nuts in general have an unusual combination of nutritional benefits � in addition those antioxidants � wrapped into a convenient and inexpensive package. Nuts, for instance, contain plenty of high-quality protein that can substitute for meat; vitamins and minerals; dietary fiber; and are dairy- and gluten-free. Years of research by researchers around the world link regular consumption of small amounts of nuts or peanut butter with decreased risk of heart disease, certain kinds of cancer, gallstones, Type 2 diabetes, and other health problems.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


March 22, 2011, 10:31 PM CT

Load Up on Fiber Now

Load Up on Fiber Now
A newly released study from Northwestern Medicine shows a high-fiber diet could be a critical heart-healthy lifestyle change young and middle-aged adults can make. The study found adults between 20 and 59 years old with the highest fiber intake had a significantly lower estimated lifetime risk for cardiovascular disease in comparison to those with the lowest fiber intake.

The study will be presented March 23 at the American Heart Association's Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism/Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention Scientific Sessions 2011 in Atlanta, Ga. This is the first known study to show the influence of fiber consumption on the lifetime risk for cardiovascular disease.

"It's long been known that high-fiber diets can help people lose weight, lower cholesterol and improve hypertension," said Donald M. Lloyd-Jones, M.D., corresponding author of the study and chair of the department of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a heart specialist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. "The results of this study make a lot of sense because weight, cholesterol and high blood pressure are major determinants of your long-term risk for cardiovascular disease".

A high-fiber diet falls into the American Heart Association's recommendation of 25 grams of dietary fiber or more a day. Lloyd-Jones said you should strive to get this daily fiber intake from whole foods, not processed fiber bars, supplements and drinks.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


March 7, 2011, 7:06 AM CT

13 new genes to heart disease

13 new genes to heart disease
Insight into the complex biological mechanisms that cause heart disease has taken a major step forward with the discovery of 13 new genes that increase the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD). The influence of the majority of the new genes is independent of other established risk factors, suggesting new, unsuspected causes of CAD. The discovery more than doubles the number of genes known to affect the progression of heart disease.

The research also verified the association of 10 previously identified genes to the population at large, meaning their influence is not confined to a specific population. Of the 23 genes discovered or confirmed, only 6 could be associated with known risk factors such as cholesterol and high blood pressure, underscoring the direct and indirect role that genes play in influencing the course and evolution of heart disease.

"This is a landmark result because we have identified so a number of genes and most operate using completely unknown mechanisms to us right now," said Dr. Robert Roberts, President and CEO, University of Ottawa Heart Institute. "It has opened up significant new avenues for new therapies and underlines the complexities of heart disease".

These discoveries were published online today in Nature Genetics by one of the world's largest consortiums examining the genetic basis of heart disease. More than 100 research organizations participated in the study, including such internationally-acclaimed centres as the University of Lubeck (Gera number of), Stanford University, Harvard Medical School, University of Iceland, Johns Hopkins University, University of Leeds (UK), Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, the University of Ottawa Heart Institute and others.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


January 28, 2011, 7:23 AM CT

Stem cells to repair a child's heart

Stem cells to repair a child's heart
Visionaries in the field of cardiac therapeutics have long looked to the future when a damaged heart could be rebuilt or repaired by using one's own heart cells. A study reported in the recent issue of Circulation, a scientific journal of the American Heart Association, shows that heart stem cells from children with congenital heart disease were able to rebuild the damaged heart in the laboratory.

Sunjay Kaushal, MD, PhD, surgeon in the Division of Cardiovascular Thoracic Surgery at Children's Memorial Hospital and assistant professor of surgery at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, who headed the study, believes these results show great promise for the growing number of children with congenital heart problems. With this potential treatment option these children may avoid the need for a heart transplant.

"Due to the advances in surgical and medical therapies, a number of children born with cardiomyopathy or other congenital heart defects are living longer but may eventually succumb to heart failure," said Kaushal. "This project has generated important pre-clinical laboratory data showing that we appears to be able to use the patient's own heart stem cells to rebuild their hearts, allowing these children to potentially live longer and have more productive lives." .........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


January 18, 2011, 7:24 AM CT

Heart failure patients admitted to general wards

Heart failure patients admitted to general wards
Heart failure patients admitted to general wards are twice as likely to die as those admitted to cardiology wards, shows a national audit of the therapy of the condition, published online in the journal Heart

Women fared worse than men when it comes to appropriate investigations and therapy, the findings suggest, eventhough death rates were similar.

In 2006/7, heart failure accounted for more than a quarter of a million hospital deaths and discharges in England and Wales, equating to around 2.5 million bed days a year and at an annual cost to the NHS of �563 million.

The authors draw their conclusions from a survey of the first 10 patients admitted each month with a primary diagnosis of heart failure to 86 hospitals across England and Wales between April 2008 and March 2009.

During this period, just over 6,000 patients, with an average age of 78, were admitted with the condition. Almost half of these (43%) were women.

At admission, less than a third (30%) were reported to be breathless at rest and under half (43%) as having swollen feet/ankles. These are both diagnostic features of heart failure.

Appropriate investigations were not always carried out, the survey shows, with those admitted to general medical wards less likely to receive these than those admitted to cardiology wards.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


January 18, 2011, 7:17 AM CT

Kidney gene and heart failure risk

Kidney gene and heart failure risk
Gerald W. Dorn II, MD is a researcher at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Credit: Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis

Researchers have identified the first DNA sequence variant common in the population that is not only linked to an increased risk of heart failure, but appears to play a role in causing it.

The variant, a change in a single letter of the DNA sequence, impairs channels that control kidney function.

"It's not a heart gene," says Gerald W. Dorn II, MD, the Philip and Sima K. Needleman Professor of Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and a lead investigator on the study. "It's a kidney gene. This protein is not even expressed in the heart. Nobody has previously considered that kidney-specific gene defects might predispose you to heart failure".

Heart failure is diagnosed when the heart can no longer provide sufficient blood to the body. It can have many causes, including high blood pressure, cancer treatment, viral infections of the heart or heart attack.

"It's a syndrome," Dorn says. "You've had sufficient damage to your heart that it doesn't work very well. You collect fluid in your lungs, you swell up, and you have trouble breathing".

The unexpected results highlight the advantage of performing genome-wide studies to find DNA sequence variants linked to disease.

"I was surprised by the finding," says Thomas P. Cappola, MD, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, also a lead investigator on the study. "This is a good example of how taking unbiased approaches to study human disease can lead you to unexpected targets".........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


January 16, 2011, 9:46 PM CT

Reduction in salt consumption recommended

Reduction in salt consumption recommended
The American Heart Association today issued a call to action for the public, health professionals, the food industry and the government to intensify efforts to reduce the amount of sodium (salt) Americans consume daily.

In an advisory, published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, the association sets out the science behind the American Heart Association's recommendation for the general population, which is to consume no more than 1500 milligrams (mg) of sodium a day because of the harmful effects of sodium - elevated blood pressure and increased risk of stroke, heart attacks and kidney disease. Elevated blood pressure (hypertension) is a major public health problem - approximately 90 percent of all Americans will develop high blood pressure over their lifetime.

Sodium consumption is currently more than two times higher than the recommended upper limit of 1,500 mg daily, with 77 percent of that consumption coming from packaged, processed and restaurant foods. "Even a modest decline in intake - say 400 mg per day -would produce benefits that are substantial and warrant implementation," say the advisory authors. The 2005 United States Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommended a sodium intake limit of 2,300 mg per day, which a number of health experts say is too much for most Americans. Earlier this year, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recommended to the secretaries of the United States Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that the goal should be modified to 1,500 mg per day for the general population. The advisory committee consists of leading researchers who evaluated the most recent scientific studies and created a set of recommendations that are being evaluated by the secretaries.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


January 16, 2011, 9:12 PM CT

Berries may reduce high blood pressure

Berries may reduce high blood pressure
Credit: Susy Morris, Flickr

Hypertension - or high blood pressure - is a main cardiovascular diseases worldwide. It leads to stroke and heart disease and costs more than $300 billion each year. Around a quarter of the adult population is affected globally - including 10 million people in the UK and one in three US adults.

Published next month in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the new findings show that bioactive compounds in blueberries called anthocyanins offer protection against hypertension. Compared with those who do not eat blueberries, those eating at least one serving a week reduce their risk of developing the condition by 10 per cent.

Anthocyanins belong to the bioactive family of compounds called flavonoids and are found in high amounts in blackcurrants, raspberries, aubergines, blood orange juice and blueberries. Other flavonoids are found in a number of fruits, vegetables, grains and herbs. The flavonoids present in tea, fruit juice, red wine and dark chocolate are already known to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

This is the first large study to investigate the effect of different flavonoids on hypertension.

The team of UEA and Harvard researchers studied 134,000 women and 47,000 men from the Harvard established cohorts, the Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study over a period of 14 years. None of the participants had high blood pressure at the start of the study. Subjects were asked to complete health questionnaires every two years and their dietary intake was assessed every four years. Occurence rate of newly diagnosed high blood pressure during the 14-year period was then correlation to consumption of various different flavonoids.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


December 29, 2010, 6:06 AM CT

Poor response to anti-anemia drug predicts higher risk

Poor response to anti-anemia drug predicts higher risk
Testing of patients with diabetes, kidney disease and anemia who don't respond to an anti-anemia drug treatment has demonstrated a higher risk of cardiovascular disease or death. The testing was led by Dr. Robert Toto and was administered by Tammy Lightfoot, clinical research manager.

Credit: UT Southwestern Medical Center

Patients with diabetes, kidney disease and anemia who don't respond to therapy with an anti-anemia drug have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease or death, scientists at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found.

The results suggest that testing such patients' responsiveness to the drug and keeping blood iron levels a little low might reduce their risk, said Dr. Robert Toto, professor of internal medicine and clinical sciences and a senior author of the study, which appeared in the New England Journal (NEJM)

"These patients mandatory higher doses and ended up having lower hemoglobin anyway," Dr. Toto said. "The results of this study might lead us in directions that can help".

The results were an unexpected finding of a study on darbepoetin alpha, which stimulates the production of red blood cells to counteract anemia. The drug, manufactured by Amgen, is sold under the name Aranesp.

The study, called the Trial to Reduce Cardiovascular Events with Aranesp Therapy (TREAT) showed that darbepoetin alpha works no better than a placebo for improving cardiovascular and kidney outcomes, but it did lower the risk for blood transfusion and resulted in modest improvement in patient-reported outcomes among people with diabetes, kidney disease and anemia. However, people receiving darbepoetin alpha had nearly a twofold higher risk for stroke. Cancer deaths were also higher among people receiving the drug.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


November 30, 2010, 7:55 AM CT

Sleep apnea and heart disease

Sleep apnea and heart disease
People with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a sleep disorder linked to obesity, have more non-calcified or "bad" plaque in their coronary arteries, as per a research studypresented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

"Our study reveals that individuals with obstructive sleep apnea are prone to developing an aggressive form of atherosclerosis that puts them at risk for impaired blood flow and cardiovascular events," said U. Joseph Schoepf, M.D., professor of radiology and medicine and director of cardiovascular imaging at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, S.C.

Typically osa is caused by obstruction of the upper airway during sleep and is characterized by periodic pauses in breathing, which last for 10 or more seconds. OSA is also usually linked to snoring.

As per the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, millions of Americans have OSA, and approximately half of them are overweight.

In the study, 49 obese patients, mean age 61, with OSA and a mean body mass index (BMI) of 33, and 46 obese patients without the disorder (mean age of 60 and mean BMI of 30) underwent coronary CT angiography (cCTA), which provides detailed pictures and information on plaque buildup and narrowing in the vessels. The OSA group included 26 men and 23 women, and the matched control group included 22 men and 24 women.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


October 26, 2010, 8:00 AM CT

Cardiac wakeup call for Canadian kids

Cardiac wakeup call for Canadian kids
Poor sleep patterns and lack of proper sleep could be threatening thousands of Canadian adolescents with premature heart disease and stroke, warns Heart and Stroke Foundation researcher Dr. Brian McCrindle, a pediatric heart specialist at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.

"Sleep disorders in kids are on the increase. They are marching hand in hand with other increasing cardiovascular risk factors such as overweight and obesity, lack of physical activity, a poor diet, and high levels of unhealthy cholesterol," Dr. McCrindle today told the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress 2010, co-hosted by the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Cardiovascular Society.

"Teens who experience more disordered sleep − in terms of duration, quality, and pattern − have a higher body mass index and a correspondingly higher risk of overweight and obesity," says Dr. McCrindle. "This, in turn, can lead to higher levels of cholesterol, another risk factor".

Over 1,600 students in grade 9 (ages 14 to 16) participated in the Healthy Schools screening program run by Heart Niagara. Overall, 22 per cent of students rated their sleep as fairly or very bad. Fourteen per cent of students reported difficulty staying awake during the day one to two times a week. Five per cent reported problems staying awake during the day more than three times a week.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


October 12, 2010, 7:32 AM CT

No heart benefits for folic acid supplements

No heart benefits for folic acid supplements
Use of folic acid supplements appears to lower blood levels of the amino acid homocysteinetheorized to be a risk factor for heart and blood vessel diseasebut does not appear to be linked to reduced rates of cardiovascular events, cancer or death over a five-year period, as per a meta-analysis of previously published studies in the October 11 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

"Elevated plasma total homocysteine [an amino acid created by the body, commonly as a byproduct of eating meat] has been suggested as a potentially modifiable risk factor for coronary heart disease, stroke and other occlusive vascular conditions," the authors write as background information in the article. High rates of cardiovascular disease in children with homocystinuriaa rare genetic condition causing extreme elevations in homocysteine levelsled scientists to hypothesize that moderate increases in blood homocysteine levels may increase cardiovascular disease risk in the general population.

Supplementation with B vitamins, and in particular folic acid, lowers blood homocysteine levels and reduces cardiovascular disease risk among individuals with homocystinuria. Several large clinical trials conducted in patients without the condition have been inconclusive. "Consequently, a collaboration between their researchers was established in 2004 to conduct a meta-analysis based on individual participant data from all large randomized trials of folic acidbased B-vitamin supplementation intended to lower plasma homocysteine levels for the prevention of cardiovascular disease," the authors write.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


September 9, 2010, 6:37 AM CT

High stress levels and mortality

High stress levels and mortality
High levels of the stress hormone cortisol strongly predict cardiovascular death among both persons with and without pre-existing cardiovascular disease as per a newly released study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).

In stressful situations, the body responds by producing the hormone cortisol. The effects of cortisol are intended to help the body recover from stress and regain a status of homeostasis, however chronically elevated cortisol levels have been linked to cardiovascular risk factors, such as the metabolic syndrome and accelerated atherosclerosis.

"Prior studies have suggested that cortisol might increase the risk of cardiovascular mortality, but until now, no study had directly tested this hypothesis," said Nicole Vogelzangs, PhD, of VU University Medical Center in The Netherlands and main author of the study. "The results of our study clearly show that cortisol levels in a general older population predict cardiovascular death, but not other causes of mortality".

In this study, scientists reviewed 861 people aged 65 years and older who participated in a prospective cohort study. Within six years of the beginning of the study 183 participants had died. Urinary cortisol levels of subjects were measured at the beginning of the study and cause of death was ascertained from death certificates. Scientists observed that urinary cortisol did not increase the risk of non-cardiovascular mortality but did increase cardiovascular mortality risk. The third of the subjects with the highest urinary cortisol had a five-fold increased risk of dying of cardiovascular disease.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


August 31, 2010, 6:53 AM CT

Heart attacks jump in young Italian women

Heart attacks jump in young Italian women
The occurence rate of acute myocardial infarction in Italy sharply increased, especially among young women, between the years 2001 and 2005, as per a comprehensive study funded by the Human Health Foundation (HHF), a nonprofit Italian charity for biomedical research and health education in Spoleto, Italy. The results were published in Aging Clinical Experimental Research

"The study suggests that more information on measures to reduce risk factors for heart failure should be directed towards young women," says Antonio Giordano, MD, PhD, President and Founder of the Sbarro Health Research Organization for Biotechnology (SHRO), located in the College of Science and Technology at Temple University in Philadelphia and the Founder and Director of the Scientific Advisory Committee for the HHF.

The study shows that the total number of acute myocardial infarctions were over 118,000 (of which 75,000 were men and 43,000 women) in the year 2005 against 96,000 in 2001.

"The increase was 17.2% in men and 29.2% in women," says main author Prisco Piscitelli, MD, an epidemiologist at the ISBEM (Euro Mediterranean Biomedical and Scientific Institute) in Brindisi, Italy, SHRO and HHF. "The greatest number of hospitalizations for heart failure was recorded in men aged 45 to 64 years (29,900 cases in 2005) and in women over 75 years of age (26,500 cases). In the later age group women overtook men, who had 24,000 admissions in 2005".........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


August 11, 2010, 7:27 PM CT

More heart attacks in cooler weather

More heart attacks in cooler weather
Lower outdoor temperatures are associated with an increase in the risk of heart attacks, as per a newly released study by researchers at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).

For the study (reported in the British Medical Journal and released online today at bmj.com), the researcher, led by Krishnan Bhaskaran of LSHTM observed that each 1 degree C reduction in temperature on a single day is linked to around 200 extra heart attacks.

Bhaskaran and his colleagues analysed data on 84,010 patients admitted to hospital with a heart attack between 2003 and 2006 and compared this with daily temperatures in England and Wales. The results were adjusted to take into account factors such as air pollution, influenza activity, seasonality and long term trends.

He observed that a 1 degree C reduction in average daily temperature was linked to a cumulative 2% increase in risk of heart attack for 28 days. The highest risk was within two weeks of exposure. The heightened risk may seem small but in the UK there are an estimated 146,000 heart attacks every year, so even a small increase in risk translates to around 200 extra heart attacks for each 1 degree C reduction in temperature on a single day.

"Older people between the ages of 75 and 84 and those with prior coronary heart disease seemed to be more vulnerable to the effects of temperature reductions," comments Krishnan Bhaskaran, "while people who had been taking aspirin long-term were less vulnerable." He continues, "We found no increased risk of heart attacks during higher temperatures, possibly because the temperature in the UK is rarely very high in global terms. Our results suggest that even in the summer, the risk is increased by temperature reductions." In conclusion, he says "our study shows a convincing short term increase in the risk of myocardial infarction (heart attacks) linked to lower ambient temperature, predominantly in the two weeks after exposure."........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


August 11, 2010, 7:05 AM CT

Hear sounds in cardiac failure

Hear sounds in cardiac failure
For emergency department patients with shortness of breath and a risk of heart failure, physicians usually grab one thing first: a stethoscope.

It allows them to hear the S3, an abnormal third sound in the heart's rhythm strongly associated with cardiac disease and heart failure. However, the low-frequency, low-pitch sound is notoriously very difficult to hear with a stethoscope alone.

In a study available online in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, a UC emergency medicine doctor concludes that acoustic cardiography, a new technology combining a 12-leed ECG with cardiac acoustic data, can aid physicians in detecting the S3ultimately increasing the accurate diagnosis of acute heart failure in certain subsets of patients.

The study involved analyzing data from one of the largest emergency department-based trials in acute heart failure, the HEart failure and Audicor technology for Rapid Diagnosis and Initial Treatment (HEARD-IT) multinational trial. The trial, conducted at nine sites from March to October 2006, measured the diagnostic accuracy provided by adding acoustic cardiography to an emergency medicine physician's tools.

"The S3 is highly associated with heart failure," says Sean Collins, MD, UC emergency medicine associate professor and lead author of the study. "So we studied how measuring the presence of the S3 changed physicians' impressions of what was going on, how it potentially changed their workup and treatment for patients".........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source

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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.

Medicineworld.org: Heart Watch Blog

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