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Archives Of Heart-watch-blog From Medicineworld.Org

March 4, 2008, 4:40 PM CT

Women are Treated Less Frequently than Men with Statins

Women are Treated Less Frequently than Men with Statins
Women and men experience a similar prevalence of adverse drug reactions in the therapy of coronary artery disease; however, women are significantly less likely than their male counterparts to be treated with statins, aspirin, and beta-blockers as per a new study by scientists at Rush University Medical Center. The study is reported in the recent issue of the journal Gender Medicine.

"Developments in disease recognition and novel therapy strategies have led to a significant decline in overall cardiovascular death rate among men, but these dramatic improvements have not been observed in women," said Dr. Jonathan R. Enriquez, lead author of the study and resident internal medicine doctor at Rush. "This may be correlation to underutilization of medical therapies such as aspirin, ß-blockers, ACE inhibitors or statins".

In association with Dr. Annabelle Volgman and the Rush Heart Center for Women, the study involved 304 consecutive patients with coronary artery disease at the outpatient cardiology clinic at Rush. A retrospective observational analysis waccording toformed to determine the usage and adverse reactions reported from aspirin, ß-blockers, angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or statins. Baseline clinical characteristics were also determined to identify the independent association of gender on usage of standard medical coronary artery disease therapys.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source

March 4, 2008, 4:21 PM CT

Diagnosis of heart disease with a single CT scan

Diagnosis of heart disease with a single CT scan
In the current issue of the journal Circulation, a research team from the Medical University of South Carolinas (MUSC) Heart & Vascular Center report their initial experience with a novel imaging technique that enables comprehensive diagnosis of heart disease based on a single computerized tomographic (CT) scan.

The team, led by Balazs Ruzsics, MD, PhD; Eric Powers, MD, medical director of MUSC Heart and Vascular Center; and U. Joseph Schoepf, MD, director of CT Research and Development, explored how Computerized axial tomography scans can now detect blocked arteries and narrowing of the blood vessels in the heart in addition to poor blood flow in the heart muscle.

The single-scan technique would also provide considerable cost savings, as well as greater convenience and reduced radiation exposure for patients. For their approach, the MUSC physicians used a Dual-Source Computerized axial tomography scanner. The MUSC scanner was the first unit worldwide that was enabled to acquire images of the heart with the dual-energy technique. While the Computerized axial tomography scan dissects the heart into thin layers, enabling doctors to detect diseased vessels and valves, it could not detect blood flow. The MUSC scientists added two x-ray spectrums, each emitting varying degrees of energy like a series of x-rays, to gain a static image of the coronary arteries and the heart muscle. This dual-energy technique of the Computerized axial tomography scan enables mapping the blood distribution within the heart muscle and pinpointing areas with decreased blood supply.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source

March 2, 2008, 8:52 PM CT

Snoring linked to cardiovascular disease

Snoring linked to cardiovascular disease
Loud snoring with breathing pauses is linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and increased health care utilization, as per a research studyreported in the March 1 issue of the journal SLEEP.

The study, authored by Marta Novak, MD, PhD, of the Institute of Behavioral Sciences at Semmelweis University in Budapest, Hungary, focused on interviews with 12,643 Hungarian individuals. Interviews were carried out in the homes of the participants and questions about snoring were asked.

As per the results, loud snorers had 40 percent greater odds of having hypertension, 34 percent greater odds of having a heart attack and 67 percent greater odds of having a stroke, compared with people who do not snore, after statistical adjustment for age, sex, body mass index, diabetes, level of education, smoking, and alcohol consumption. Quiet snoring was associated only with an increased risk for high blood pressure in women. Loud snoring was also linked to increased use of health care resources (emergency visits and hospitalization).

Our findings suggest that loud snoring with breathing pauses carries a significantly increased risk for cardiovascular disease and is close to obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) on the spectrum of sleep disordered breathing, therefore this simple question may identify high risk individuals whom may benefit from a sleep study, said Istvan Mucsi, MD, PhD, of Semmelweis University and Humber River Regional Hospital and Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto in Canada, co-author of the study.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source

February 25, 2008, 8:58 PM CT

Many Stroke, Heart Attack Patients May Not Benefit from Aspirin

Many Stroke, Heart Attack Patients May Not Benefit from Aspirin
Up to 20 percent of patients taking aspirin to lower the risk of suffering a second cerebrovascular event do not have an antiplatelet response from aspirin, the effect thought to produce the protective effect, scientists at the University at Buffalo have shown.

"Millions of people use low-dose aspirin either for prevention of a second stroke, second heart attack or second episode of peripheral artery disease," said Francis M. Gengo, Pharm.D., lead researcher on the study.

Gengo is professor of neurology in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and professor of pharmacy practice in the UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

"In those three indications, it's crystal clear that aspirin reduces the risk of a second heart attack or stroke in most patients. But we have known for years that in some stroke and heart attack patients, aspirin has no preventive effect".

With no definitive data on the frequency of this condition, known as aspirin resistance, physicians were left with a best guess of between 5 and 50 percent, said Gengo.

UB scientists now have confirmed the 20 percent figure through a strictly controlled study conducted over 29 months in 653 consecutive stroke patients seen at Dent Neurologic Institute offices in the Buffalo suburbs Amherst and Orchard Park.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source

February 11, 2008, 10:46 PM CT

Hostility, Depression And Heart Disease

Hostility, Depression And  Heart Disease
Scientists led by Jesse Stewart, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, report that hostility and depression appear to act together in a complex way to elevate inflammatory proteins in the human body, possibly putting hostility plus depression on the list of risk factors for heart disease along with high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, and smoking.

The findings, that hostility enhances inflammatory processes relevant to heart disease only in the presence of depressive symptoms, are reported in the February-March 2008 issue of Psychosomatic Medicine. Dr. Stewart and his colleagues examined associations of depressive symptoms and hostility with blood levels of two inflammatory proteins, interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein, that are predictive of future heart disease. Participants in the study were 316 healthy men and women aged 50-70.

Prior studies have observed depression to be linked to raised inflammatory protein levels. Other studies have confirmed links between hostility and inflammatory proteins that are predictive of heart disease. But this study is the first to find that, among elderly adults, the relationship between hostility and these inflammatory proteins depends on the level of depression.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source

February 4, 2008, 10:23 PM CT

Key interaction in cholesterol regulation

Key interaction in cholesterol regulation
Scientists at UT Southwestern Medical Center have determined the specific way in which a destructive protein binds to and interferes with a molecule that removes low-density lipoproteins (LDL), the so-called bad cholesterol, from the blood.

The practical benefit of this finding is that we can now search for new ways to lower cholesterol by designing targeted antibodies to disrupt this interaction, said Dr. Jay Horton, professor of internal medicine and molecular genetics and a senior author of the study, which appears online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The protein, called PCSK9, has emerged as an important regulator of bad cholesterol in the blood, said Dr. Horton, whose research focuses in part on understanding the proteins function.

PCSK9 disrupts the activity of a key molecule called the low-density lipoprotein receptor, or LDLR. This molecule, which juts out from the surface of cells, latches on to bad cholesterol in the bloodstream and removes it by drawing it into the cells.

The PCSK9 protein also can latch on to the LDL receptor. This binding, however, triggers a chain of biochemical reactions that leads to the destruction of the LDL receptor. With fewer receptors available, more bad cholesterol remains in the bloodstream.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source

January 31, 2008, 10:53 PM CT

Severe hypertension: 'Silent killer' still on the loose

Severe hypertension: 'Silent killer' still on the loose
Honolulu, HI Hypertension may be one of the top killers in the country, but youd never know it by the way were behaving, say researchers attending the annual congress of the Society for Critical Care Medicine (SCCM).

Research shows that some 73 million people in the U.S. have high blood pressure, yet a number of of them dont even know it. And among those that do, a large number are not taking the medications they need to control it," says Dr. Christopher Granger, a heart specialist at Duke University Medical Center. Weve discovered that these patients are getting highly variable therapy. Moreover, we also found out that we arent doing a very good job following up with these folks once they leave the hospital, he adds.

Granger and his colleagues at nearly two dozen institutions around the country created a special registry to find out what happens to patients with acute, severe high blood pressure those with blood pressure readings above 160/110 when they come to an emergency department or critical care setting for therapy.

They observed that eventhough 90 percent of them already had a diagnosis of high blood pressure, about a quarter of them were not taking the medicines they were supposed to. The scientists also observed that extremely hypertension was correlation to high complication and death rates. A number of of the patients already had major organ damage and over six percent of them died in the hospital. Upon discharge, most of the patients were given prescriptions for at least two medicines, but 41 percent had to be readmitted within three months. What may be most unsettling, however, is the fact that the researchers could not find any evidence in the discharge records of about 60 percent of the patients that there had been any attempt to schedule a follow-up appointment for them.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source

January 30, 2008, 9:05 PM CT

CHD Patients Continue With Poor Diet

CHD Patients Continue With Poor Diet
More than 13 million Americans have survived a heart attack or have been diagnosed with coronary heart disease (CHD), the number one cause of death in the United States. In addition to medications, changes in lifestyle, such as a healthy diet and exercise, are known to reduce the risk for subsequent cardiac events. Despite this evidence, a high proportion of heart attack survivors do not follow their doctor's advice to adhere to a healthy diet, as per scientists at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS).

A number of studies have centered on determining dietary risk factors for developing CHD, but few investigations have studied the diets of CHD patients following diagnosis. In "Dietary Quality 1 Year after Diagnosis of Coronary Heart Disease," reported in the recent issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, scientists measured the diet quality of 555 CHD patients one year after a diagnostic coronary angiography. Using the Alternative Health Eating Index (AHEI) to assess diet quality, they observed that a high proportion of those patients had not made the necessary improvements to their diets to help reduce the risk of a secondary CHD event. Proven to be a strong predictor of CHD, the AHEI is a measure that isolates dietary components that are most strongly associated with CHD risk reduction.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source

January 28, 2008, 10:20 PM CT

Diuretics Excel in Drug Comparison Trial

Diuretics Excel in Drug Comparison Trial
UT-Houston's Barry Davis, M.D., Ph.D., Sara Pressel,
M.S., and Charles Baimbridge.
Diuretics were linked to reduced heart disease in a drug comparison trial involving 23,077 people with both hypertension and the metabolic syndrome, a cluster of risk factors for heart disease, report scientists from The University of Texas School of Public Health and Case Western Reserve University in the Jan. 28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. The cardiac benefits connected with diuretics were especially pronounced in blacks, who have a high occurence rate of hypertension or hypertension.

"In hypertensive patients with metabolic syndrome, initial therapy for high blood pressure should include a diuretic," said senior author Barry Davis, M.D., Ph.D., professor of biostatistics and the director of the Coordinating Center for Clinical Trials at the UT School of Public Health. "Diuretics are preferred over other major classes of blood pressure medications to prevent one or more forms of cardiovascular disease."

Hypertension is one of the risk factors included in the metabolic syndrome along with diabetes or pre-diabetes, excessive belly fat, high triglyceride levels, or low levels of high-density lipoprotein ("good" cholesterol). It is estimated that about 40 percent of adults age 60 years or older can be classified as having the metabolic syndrome.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source

January 24, 2008, 10:46 PM CT

Popular Arthritis Drug May Disrupt Heart Rhythm

Popular Arthritis Drug May Disrupt Heart Rhythm
Celebrex, a popular arthritis drug that blocks pain by inhibiting an enzyme known as COX-2, has been shown in laboratory studies to induce arrhythmia, or irregular beating of the heart, via a novel pathway uncorrelation to its COX-2 inhibition.

University at Buffalo scientists discovered this unexpected finding while conducting basic research on potassium channels.

They observed that low concentrations of the drug, corresponding to a standard prescription, reduced the heart rate and induced pronounced arrhythmia in fruit flies and the heart cells of rats.

The drug inhibited the normal passage of potassium ions into and out of heart cells through pores in the cell membrane known as delayed rectifier potassium channels, the study showed.

"The adverse effects of drugs like Celebrex and Vioxx based on their selective inhibition of COX-2 currently are a topic of intense discussion in the medical community," said Satpal Singh, Ph.D., associate professor of pharmacology and toxicology in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and senior author on the study. Vioxx was withdrawn from the market in September 2004.

"We now have shown an important new effect of Celebrex through a totally different pathway, one that is uncorrelation to the drug's effect as a pain reducer," Singh said. "The adverse effect arising from this unexpected mechanism definitely needs to be studied more closely, because the potassium channels inhibited by the drug are present in heart, brain and a number of other tissues in the human body.........

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. Archives of heart-watch-blog

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