Wales will be the first in the UK to introduce a screening programme to identify people who are at risk of heart attacks due to high cholesterol, Health Minister Edwina Hart announced today. It is estimated that up to 6, 000 people in Wales have Familial hypercholesterolaemia but as many as 4, 800 may be unaware they have the potentially life-threatening condition. Familial hypercholesterolaemia - or FH - is an inherited condition which causes high levels of cholesterol from birth, and if untreated, leads to coronary heart disease and heart attacks in young adults. The Welsh Assembly Government in partnership with the British Heart Foundation is funding the roll-out of a screening programme to find people at risk of the condition.
An article published in this week's edition of The Lancet reports that treatment to lower high systolic blood pressure in non-diabetic patients is associated with a reduction in left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), a thickening of the heart muscle that can lead to heart failure and rhythm problems. As a result, a lowering of systolic blood pressure targets from the currently recommended 140 mm/Hg or less to below 130 mm Hg should be the treatment goal in low-risk patients with high blood pressure. Although there is a need for further confirmation, hypertension guidelines advise that blood pressure be lowered to less than 140/90 mm Hg. Evidence from earlier trials does not suggest a blood pressure target of below 130/80mm Hg in high-risk patients with cardiovascular disease or diabetes.
Device Alternative To Long Term Warfarin Therapy Could Be An Option For Patients With Non-Valvular Atrial Fibrillation At Risk Of Stroke
Patients with atrial fibrillation at risk of stroke could be offered percutaneous closure of the left atrial appendage instead of long-term warfarin therapy. The findings, from the PROTECT AF study, are reported in an Article in this week's edition of The Lancet, written by Professor David R Holmes, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA, and colleagues. Atrial fibrillation is the most common sustained cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), and its prevalence is expected to increase as the world's populationages. Atrial fibrillation causes the upper chambers of the heart to quiver, this can cause blood to pool and form blood clots in an area of the heart called the left atrial appendage (LAA).
Tony Huesman, the world's longest surviving single heart transplant recipient died at age 51 of cancer on Sunday evening, nearly 31 years after receiving a heart from an anonymous donor at a US hospital. Huesman, who lived in Washington Township, Dayton, Ohio, died from melonoma, a form of skin cancer, his wife Carol told Dayton Daily News. She said her husband, who had been in and out of hospital all summer, had found it difficult to accept that he was going to die of cancer after he had lived so long with the transplanted heart. At age 16, Huesman was diagnosed with the degenerative heart disease viral cardiomyopathy and by the time he was 20, his heart was worn out.
TCT will also host a forum on electronic medical records WHAT: The Cardiovascular Research Foundation has announced the late breaking trials that will be presented at TCT (Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics) 2009, the largest global medical and scientific symposium dedicated to interventional cardiovascular medicine. TCT 2009 will also feature a new session on Electronic Medical Records (EMR). Leading experts will discuss the latest developments in EMR and its relevance to health care reform. WHEN: The TCT Scientific Symposium will be held September 21-25, 2009. Late-breaking clinical trials will be highlighted during press conferences scheduled for Wednesday, September 23, Thursday, September 24, and Friday, September 25.
Arizona researchers have added another piece to the mounting body of evidence that suggests during resuscitation efforts to treat patients in cardiac arrest, "passive ventilation" significantly increases survival rates, compared to the widely practiced "assisted ventilation." The study, published in an online edition of Annals of Emergency Medicine, compared the numbers of patients who had suffered a cardiac arrest outside a hospital setting and were resuscitated in the field by Emergency Medical Services personnel. Rescuers used either bag-valve-mask ventilation, which forces air into the patient's lungs, or facemasks with a continuous flow of oxygen, which work in a similar fashion to those carried on airplanes in case the cabin pressure drops.