Health and Fitness

Compound Shows Promise Against Intractable Heart Failure

A chemical compound found normally in the blood has shown promise in treating and preventing an intractable form of heart failure in a mouse model of the disease, report researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine. The study is published in the February issue of Circulation. More than five and half million Americans have heart failure, according to the American Heart Association, and 670, 000 new cases are diagnosed each year. In heart failure the heart is unable to pump effectively and cannot meet the body's need for blood and oxygen. It is really two diseases, each with about half of all patients, says Dr. Samuel Dudley, professor of medicine and physiology at UIC and chair of the section of cardiology. Systolic heart failure occurs when the heart can no longer contract effectively. In diastolic heart failure, the heart is unable to relax after contraction. "Although we have a number of treatments for systolic heart failure, there are no approved treatments at all for diastolic heart failure, a deadly disease with a 60 percent mortality rate five years after diagnosis, " said Dudley.

Heartache To Heartbreak -- How To Recognize A Heart Attack, Or Avoid One All Together

Not everyone who suffers a heart attack clutches their chest and falls to the floor. "I woke up and felt like a pill was stuck in my throat, " says Betsy, a 68-year-old patient from Upper Providence. "I was taking antibiotics at the time and really didn't think much of it, " she adds. "So I tried drinking water and when the "stuck" feeling didn't go away after 45 minutes, I thought something might be wrong." "My son took me to the Emergency Room and yes, now I realize I should have called 9-1-1 immediately." After the ER staff ran an EKG (a test that measures the electrical activity of the heart), they told Betsy she was having a heart attack. "Next thing I knew, they took me right to the cardiac cath lab and inserted a stent to open up my artery. After two days in the hospital, I came home and started cardiac rehab three times a week for about the last 5 weeks." Betsy's recovery also involved making important changes to her lifestyle like quitting smoking, "which I really didn't want to do, but I had to, " watching her cholesterol, and making time for daily exercis whether it's walking or using free weights.

Hospitals Report Low Compliance With Antibiotic Prophylaxis Guidelines, Australia

Many hospitals are not complying with national guidelines for antibiotic prophylaxis in cardiac surgery, particularly those regarding the duration of antibiotic administration, according to the results of research published in the Medical Journal of Australia. Dr Timothy Haydon, an intensivist at St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne, and his co-authors conducted two point-prevalence surveys of intensive care units in 24 public and 27 private hospitals performing cardiac surgery in Australia in 2004 and 2008. The surveys showed that the use of antibiotic prophylaxis protocols for cardiac surgery patients increased from 50 per cent of private hospitals in 2004 to 69 per cent in 2008, and from 58 per cent of public hospitals in 2004 to 87 per cent in 2008. But compliance with Australian therapeutic guidelines for both drug choice and duration of administration was low, Dr Haydon said, with just 10 per cent and 12 per cent of all hospitals reporting full compliance for coronary artery graft surgery (CAGS) and 4 per cent and 8 per cent for valve surgery, in 2004 and 2008, respectively.

Lower Risk Using Radial Access For Cardiac Catheterizations

Cardiac catheterizations have been a groundbreaking tool in the field of cardiology. This procedure offers a minimally invasive means for obtaining important information about the heart and its blood vessels, while also providing a less invasive treatment for certain heart conditions. "A cardiac catheterization is a very important test that allows interventional cardiologists to see the heart as it pumps blood. The information gathered during this procedure cannot be collected by any other means, " said Interventional Cardiologist Kimberly Skelding, M.D., Director of Geisinger's Women's Heart and Vascular Health Program and Director of Cardiovascular Genomics and Cardiovascular Research at the Henry Hood Center for Health Research. Typically, the catheter is introduced into the body through a vein or artery, usually in the leg, and is guided toward the heart. Although doctors in the United States are increasingly utilizing the radial artery (in the wrist) as an entry point, it is still used less than 10% of the time, according to Dr.

Specialists Available To Discuss Worldwide Epidemic Of Heart Disease Among South Asians

Growing evidence shows that people of South Asian descent-regardless of where they live now-are at significantly higher risk of heart disease. As we approach American Heart Month, the team of physicians and researchers at the South Asian Heart Center at El Camino Hospital are available to discuss this epidemic, and what strategies are being used successfully to combat it. The facts about South Asians and heart disease: - South Asians are four times more likely to suffer a heart attack, and at younger ages, without prior symptoms or warning and without presenting the same risk factors as the general population. - India alone will bear 60% of the heart disease burden in the world by the middle of this decade. - The high rate of heart disease applies even to lifelong vegetarians who exercise regularly, do not smoke, and are not overweight. - More than half of heart attacks among South Asians occur before age 50, compared to an average age of 65.8 for the general male population, and 70.

Toshiba Service Earns The Most Top Rankings In IMV ServiceTrak Imaging Cardiovascular X-ray User Survey

As health care facilities today seek the best value in imaging and customer service, Toshiba America Medical Systems, Inc.'s Service organization strives to deliver top-tier service and customer satisfaction. The result of this dedication was once again confirmed by IMV, Ltd., which provides independent analysis of service trends in the imaging industry. In IMV's 2009 ServiceTrak™ Imaging report on cardiovascular X-ray system service, Toshiba received more top rankings than any other imaging vendor. Toshiba's cardiovascular X-ray service received the top ranking in 18 out of 36 attributes, including overall service performance, overall satisfaction with a manufacturer, reliability of hardware and reliability of software. "Today's health care facilities look for an imaging partner with reliable equipment and quality customer service, " said Ted Nemetz, vice president, Service, Toshiba. "Toshiba has a history of delivering both quality imaging products and timely, excellent service support, which continues to be validated by third parties like IMV ServiceTrak.

Cardiologist Available To Comment On Bill Clinton's Heart Condition

On Thursday, February 11, former president Bill Clinton experienced chest pains and was taken to a New York City hospital where he underwent a stent procedure to open one of his coronary arteries, according to published reports. This, six years after he had quadruple bypass surgery. Brian H. Annex, M.D., chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine in the Department of Medicine at the University of Virginia Health System, is available to speak expertly about Clinton's procedure and the signs and symptoms of heart disease that should not be ignored. Annex's clinical and research areas include a focus on peripheral arterial disease (PAD) where blockages in arteries cause illness and ongoing problems. PAD can be a sign of an accumulation of fatty deposits in the arteries, reducing blood flow to the heart, brain and legs. Source University of Virginia Health System

Low Levels Of Natural Antibody Linked To Stroke Risk

New research from Sweden reveals that a person's chance of having a stroke is linked to low levels of a natural antibody in the immune system: the researchers hope to develop a vaccine that stimulates the immune system to boost levels of the antibody and thus increase the body's own defences against arteriosclerosis and stroke. The finding is the result of a study led by Professor Johan Frosteg rd at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, and you can read a report about it online in the 11 February issue of Stroke, a journal of the American Heart Association. Arteriosclerosis is when plaque accumulate on the walls of blood vessels. It eventually bursts, causing a blood clot (thrombosis). It is a common cause of stroke (where a clot blocks blood flow in the brain), and myocardial infarctions or heart attacks. Frosteg rd and colleagues had previously shown that high levels of a natural immunoglobulin M antibody known as anti-PC (anti-phosphorylcholine) are linked to slower progression of arteriosclerosis, and that low levels of anti-PC are associated with higher risk for cardiovascular disease.

American Heart Association Comment On Hospitalization Of President Bill Clinton

Volunteers and staff of the American Heart Association extend their thoughts and well wishes to former President Bill Clinton upon the reports that he has undergone a procedure to insert stents to widen narrowed coronary arteries. President Clinton, who underwent quadruple coronary bypass surgery in 2004, partnered with the Association through his Foundation to jointly form the Alliance for a Healthier Generation to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity in the United States. "While we don't know the exact particulars of President Clinton's situation, we do know that stents work and work well for chest pain, especially in abrupt or emergency settings, " said Clyde Yancy, president of the American Heart Association and medical director at the Baylor Heart and Vascular Institute in Dallas, Texas. "Bypass surgery is effective but it is not a cure and recurrent pain such as it appears he experienced is not unexpected." Yancy said if a bypass is done with veins, there is about a 50 percent chance of some disease reoccurring in the bypass grafts;

Woman To Woman: Tips For A Healthy Heart

Heart disease is the single leading cause of death for American women. Nearly twice as many women in the United States die of heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases than from all forms of cancer, including breast cancer. Dr. Karla Kurrelmeyer, a cardiologist at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center in Houston, focuses on research and treatment of women with heart disease. Kurrelmeyer is somewhat unique among practicing cardiologists, not only because her focus is on female heart health, but also because she is a woman. Less than 20 percent of cardiologists in the U.S. are women. American Heart Month, recognized in February by the American Heart Association, gives her an opportunity to share with women on a broader scale what she shares with her patients year round. Heart Health By Dr. Karla Kurrelmeyer, cardiologist at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center in Houston. The most important thing I tell my female patients is to stay to as physically fit as possible.

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