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Archives Of Heart-watch-blog From Medicineworld.Org


July 23, 2009, 11:55 PM CT

Injection reverses heart-attack damage

Injection reverses heart-attack damage
Injured heart tissue normally can't regrow, but scientists at Children's Hospital Boston have now laid the groundwork for regenerating heart tissue after a heart attack, in patients with heart failure, or in children with congenital heart defects. In the July 24 issue of Cell, they show that a growth factor called neuregulin1 (NRG1), which is involved in the initial development of the heart and nervous system, can spur heart-muscle growth and recovery of cardiac function when injected systemically into animals after a heart attack.

After birth, heart-muscle cells (cardiomyocytes) normally withdraw from the cell cycle meaning they stop dividing and proliferating. But the researchers, led by Bernhard Khn, MD, and Kevin Bersell of the Department of Cardiology at Children's, were able to restart the cell cycle with NRG1, stimulating cardiomyocytes to divide and make copies of themselves -- even though they are not stem cells.

"Eventhough a number of efforts have focused on stem-cell based strategies, our work suggests that stem cells aren't mandatory and that stimulating differentiated cardiomyocytes to proliferate appears to be a viable alternative," says Khn, the study's senior investigator and a practicing pediatric heart specialist at Children's since 2007.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


June 25, 2009, 6:49 PM CT

Big Tobacco dead by 2047

Big Tobacco dead by 2047
President Barack Obama's signature on a bill this week to grant the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulatory authority over tobacco was historic, and represents a step in the march to eliminate tobacco use in this country by 2047, two national tobacco experts said today (June 25).

The pair published "Stealing a March in the 21st Century: Accelerating Progress in the 100-Year War Against Tobacco Addiction in the United States" in the recent issue of the American Journal of Public Health Michael Fiore and Timothy Baker, director and associate director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention (UW-CTRI), respectively, chart milestones in beating tobacco addiction and map a battle plan to eradicate tobacco use in the next few decades. The scientists analyzed data from the 1960s, when the first systemic tracking of smoking rates began, until the present.

"Numerous observers have claimed over time that tobacco use has plateaued and progress against its use has stalled," the authors write. "However, the remarkable decline in rates of tobacco use since the 1960s belies this claim and underscores the remarkable success of tobacco control efforts to date."

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show adults smoking between 1965 and 2007 dropped by an average of one half of one percentage point per year, from 42 percent to the current rate of about 20 percent rate. While this rate of decline hasn't occurred each year, the overall decrease has been quite steady.........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


June 23, 2009, 5:11 PM CT

New therapy to prevent heart failure

New therapy to prevent heart failure
A landmark study has successfully demonstrated a 29 percent reduction in heart failure or death in patients with heart disease who received an implanted cardiac resynchronization treatment device with defibrillator (CRT-D) versus patients who received only an implanted cardiac defibrillator (ICD-only).

MADIT-CRT (Multicenter Automatic Defibrillator Implantation Trial with Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy) is a clinical trial that enrolled more than 1,800 patients in the United States, Canada and Europe and followed the patients for up to 4 years. The results of the trial were released recently by the University of Rochester Medical Center and Boston Scientific, the study's sponsor. The MADIT-CRT Executive Committee stopped the trial on June 22, 2009, when the trial achieved its primary end point significant reduction in heart failure or death with CRT-D versus ICD-only. Heart specialist Arthur Moss, M.D., professor of Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center, led the MADIT-CRT trial.

A previous study (MADIT-II) by Moss and associates in 2002 showed the ICD was effective in reducing mortality. The current MADIT-CRT study sought to determine if CRT-D could reduce the risk of mortality and heart failure, which affects 5.7 million Americans, and the results are very positive.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


June 12, 2009, 5:24 AM CT

Why smoking increases the risk of heart disease and strokes?

Why smoking increases the risk of heart disease and strokes?
Scientists at Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles and Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona have discovered a reason why smoking increases the risk of heart disease and strokes.

The study, which will be presented Thursday, June 11 at The Endocrine Society's 91st annual meeting in Washington, D.C., observed that nicotine in cigarettes promotes insulin resistance, a pre-diabetic condition that raises blood sugar levels higher than normal. People with pre-diabetes are at greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Theodore Friedman, MD, Ph.D., chief of the endocrinology division at Charles Drew University, said the findings help explain a "paradox" that links smoking to heart disease.

Smokers experience a high degree of cardiovascular deaths, Friedman said. "This is surprising considering both smoking and nicotine may cause weight loss and weight loss should protect against cardiovascular disease".

The scientists studied the effects of twice-daily injections of nicotine on 24 adult mice over two weeks. The nicotine-injected mice ate less food, lost weight and had less fat than control mice that received injections without nicotine.

"Our results in mice show that nicotine administration leads to both weight loss and decreased food intake," Friedman said. "Mice exposed to nicotine have less fat. In spite of this, mice have abnormal glucose tolerance and are insulin resistant (pre-diabetes)."........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


June 9, 2009, 5:14 AM CT

Diabetes patients should have regular exercise

Diabetes patients should have regular exercise
To reduce their cardiovascular risk, people with type 2 diabetes should do at least two-and-a-half hours per week of moderate-intensity or one-and-a-half hours per week of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercises, plus some weight training, as per an American Heart Association scientific statement published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

The global increase in overweight and obesity has led to an "unprecedented epidemic" in type 2 diabetes (when the body is unable to use insulin efficiently to help turn glucose, or blood sugar, into energy for the body's cells). In 2007, type 2 diabetes in the United States cost an estimated $174 billion in direct medical costs and indirect costs such as disability, lost productivity and premature death. That amount represents a 30 percent increase from the $132 billion estimated in 2002, as per the statement.

Furthermore, heart and blood vessel disease is responsible for nearly 70 percent of deaths in people with type 2 diabetes.

"Given the observed increases in type 2 diabetes in adults over the last few decades in developed countries, and the increasing numbers of overweight and obese individuals throughout the world, we must look at ways to reduce the cardiovascular complications of diabetes, and exercise is one of those ways," said Thomas H. Marwick, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the writing group and professor of medicine and director of the Centre of Clinical Research Excellence in Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease at the University of Queensland School of Medicine in Brisbane, Australia.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


June 5, 2009, 5:05 AM CT

Crowded Emergency Departments and Patients with Heart Attacks

Crowded Emergency Departments and Patients with Heart Attacks
Patients with heart attacks and other forms of chest pain are three to five times more likely to experience serious complications after hospital admission when they are treated in a crowded emergency department (ED), as per a newly released study reported in the journal Academic Emergency Medicine. The authors say that this dramatic difference in rates of serious complications underscores the need for action on the part of hospital administrators, policymakers and emergency physicians to find solutions to what has been termed "a national public health problem." More than six million patients per year come to U.S. emergency departments with chest pain.

"What shocked us is that these complications were not explained by what goes on in the ED, like getting aspirin or a rapid electrocardiogram," says main author Jesse M. Pines, M.D., MBA, an assistant professor of emergency medicine and epidemiology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and a senior fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics. "The adverse events occurred after the patient had been admitted to the hospital. Emergency department crowding is really more of a marker of a dysfunctional hospital".

The study followed 4,574 patients who were admitted to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania for symptoms of chest pain over an eight-year period. Ultimately, 802 were diagnosed with an acute coronary syndrome (chest pain of cardiac origin); of those, 273 had a true heart attack. There were 251 complications that occurred in the hospital after initial emergency department therapy. Complications included serious events, such as heart failure, delayed heart attacks, dangerously low blood pressure, heart arrhythmias and cardiac arrest.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


June 1, 2009, 5:12 AM CT

Individualized treatment for heart failure

Individualized treatment for heart failure
Telemonitoring systems, by which the symptoms of heart failure can be remotely assessed, now provide a strategy for the improved personalised care of patients, as per Professor John Cleland from the University of Hull, UK.1 He told Heart Failure Congress 2009 that the management of heart failure is complex but most effective when tailored to the individual patients' needs and condition.2 "Unfortunately," he added, "the resources mandatory to offer this tailored therapy outside a hospital setting are generally not available. Current services provide, at best, only a crude attempt to deliver long-term, personalised healthcare, but telemonitoring provides a strategy which could radically change this situation".

Professor Cleland explained that the first generation of home monitoring devices for heart failure were relatively simple. They were designed to measure symptoms, weight, heart rate and rhythm, and blood pressure. But, he said, "from the patient's perspective, they were relatively unrewarding since the systems provide little in the way of advice or feedback. Nonetheless, a series of randomised controlled trials have shown a reduction in mortality and in days spent in hospital, eventhough not in the rate of hospitalisation."

Ongoing trials of second generation equipment, he continued, reflect the same measure of symptom evaluation but a more interactive experience for the patient. "These newer systems," he explained, "provide education, feedback to patients on their results, therapy and appointment reminders and a limited amount of advice on adjusting treatment. They are likely to deliver even greater health gains than first generation systems".........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


June 1, 2009, 5:10 AM CT

Obesity and diabetes double risk of HF

Obesity and diabetes double risk of HF
The twin epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes will continue to fuel an explosion in heart failure, already the world's most prevalent chronic cardiovascular disease, as per John McMurray, professor of cardiology at the Western Infirmary, Glasgow, and President of the Heart Failure Association. He reported that around one-third of patients with heart failure have evidence of diabetes, and for them the outlook is very serious. For doctors, he added, effective therapy is "very difficult".

Obesity, like diabetes, is increasing in prevalence. The latest report from Euroaspire, Europe's largest survey of cardiovascular risk factors in coronary patients, observed that the prevalence of obesity had increased from 25 per cent in 1997 to 38 per cent in just ten years and this in people who had already had at least one heart attack.

Now, a session at Heart Failure 2009 emphasises that obesity is not just linked to an increased risk of heart attack, but also and particularly - with an increased risk of heart failure.1,2 "Obesity is at least as great a risk factor for heart failure as it is for heart attack or stroke," says Professor McMurray. "Obesity more than doubles the risk".

The pathways by which obesity plays such a role in heart failure are still not fully understood, but have been shown to have an indirect effect via hypertension, or heart attack, or diabetes and a direct effect on the heart muscle itself. "We know that the underlying changes in the structure and function of the heart appears to be different in obese and non-obese patients with heart failure," says Professor McMurray. An even more "intriguing" suggestion, he added, is that adipose cells might act as an endocrine tissue, secreting substances which may have a harmful effect on heart tissue and blood vessels.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


May 15, 2009, 5:25 AM CT

Heart disorder and Alzheimer's disease

Heart disorder and Alzheimer's disease
Scientists at Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake City think that they have made a breakthrough correlation between atrial fibrillation, a fairly common heart rhythm disorder, and Alzheimer's disease, the leading form of dementia among Americans.

In a study presented Friday, May 15, at "Heart Rhythm 2009," the annual scientific sessions of the Heart Rhythm Society in Boston, scientists unveiled findings from the study of more than 37,000 patients that showed a strong relationship between atrial fibrillation and the development of Alzheimer's disease.

The study, which drew upon information from the Intermountain Heart Collaborative Study, a vast database from hundreds of thousands of patients treated at Intermountain Healthcare hospitals, found:

Patients with atrial fibrillation were 44 percent more likely to develop dementia than patients without the heart disorder.

Younger patients with atrial fibrillation were at higher risk of developing all types of dementia, especially Alzheimer's. Atrial fibrillation patients under age 70 were 130 percent more likely to develop Alzheimer's.

Patients who have both atrial fibrillation and dementia were 61 percent more likely to die during the study period than dementia patients without the rhythm problem.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


May 15, 2009, 5:19 AM CT

Comparison of Three Aspirin Types

Comparison of Three Aspirin Types
For a number of years, it has been known that aspirin is beneficial to patients suffering heart attacks and near-heart attacks. But which of the a number of different types of aspirin is likely to help the most?

A group of scientists led by Dr. Sean Nordt from the University of California, San Diego gave three different types of aspirin to a group of volunteer research subjects: regular aspirin swallowed whole, regular aspirin chewed and swallowed, and chewable aspirin chewed and swallowed. Blood levels of aspirin were then measured, to see which route led to the highest aspirin levels in the body.

The chewable aspirin consistently showed greater and more rapid absorption than the regular aspirin, whether swallowed whole or chewed. This seemingly quite simple finding could lead to improvements in the care of heart attack patients.

The presentation, entitled "Comparison Of Three Aspirin Formulations" will be given by Dr. Sean Nordt in the Cardiovascular forum at the 2009 SAEM Annual Meeting at the Sheraton New Orleans on Friday, May 15 at 1:00 PM. Abstracts are published in Vol. 16, No. 4, Supplement 1, April 2009 of Academic Emergency Medicine, the official journal of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine.........

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.

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