Health and Fitness

New Data Shows That Coffee Consumption May Be Associated With A Lower Risk Of Coronary Heart Disease In Women

A meta-analysis of a number of cohorts studies published in the International Journal of Cardiology1 demonstrates that habitual coffee consumption may be associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) in women. Analysis of data from 21 cohort studies showed that moderate coffee consumption (of up to four cups of coffee per day) were associated with a 18% reduction in risk of CHD in women1. The investigators note that such an effect was unlikely to be caused by chance. These new findings are particularly important as: Coronary heart disease is the UK's biggest killer, with one in every six women dying from the disease2 In women, cardiovascular disease (CVD), including CHD and stroke, accounts for more deaths across all ages than cancer, diabetes or respiratory disorders3 Dr Euan Paul, Executive Director of the British Coffee Association, commented, "A large number of studies have addressed coffee consumption and the risk of CHD, but have not provided definitive results.

New Computer Models Could Lead To Safer, Better Stents

MIT scientists including Elazer R. Edelman, the Thomas D. and Virginia W. Cabot Professor of Health Science and Technology (HST), and HST postdoctoral associate Vijaya B. Kolachalama, developed computer models to predict physiologically realistic drug delivery patterns from stents in branched arterial vessels. They simulated several arterial settings to show that drug distribution in these situations is determined by a complex calculation of the stent's position relative to arterial branches and constant blood flow changes caused by the branching. "We now demonstrate for the first time that spatial variation in drug distribution can be significant when appreciated from a three-dimensional perspective and this viewpoint can only be gained with the use of these model systems, " said Edelman. Drug-eluting stents are now widely used all over the world to treat obstructive arterial disease, yet some patients with the stents have suffered life-threatening side effects: an increase risk of blood clotting and heart attacks.

Barts And The London Heart Expert Recognised For His Innovation, UK

A leading heart expert at Barts and The London NHS Trust has been honoured for pioneering a host of breakthrough treatments for heart disease. Professor Martin Rothman received the inaugural award for "outstanding contribution to innovation" at NHS Innovations London's annual awards dinner last week. Presenting it, Olympic Gold Medallist Tessa Sanderson said: "This award goes to an outstanding innovator, who, by his own admission has said the roots of his success as a cardiologist and cardiac interventionist have been firmly laid in innovation. "He recognised early on the need to kiss a lot of frogs in order to find the princes of ideas, something which has pushed him further and kept him at the leading edge of research." "He's a great advocate of innovation, building a research inheritance to encourage and promote entrepreneurship as clinical activity." Throughout his career Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Professor Rothman has been behind a number of key innovations and is currently the inventor on 25 patent families*.

Texas Health Dallas Researchers Examine Connection Between Nausea And Heart Attacks

Researchers at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas are investigating what symptoms could help doctors better spot heart attacks and if certain symptoms might indicate different types of heart attacks. Their most recent work, "Relation of Nausea and Vomiting in Acute Myocardial Infarction to Location of the Infarct, " appears in the December edition of the American Journal of Cardiology. According to the findings, almost two-thirds of heart attack patients suffer nausea when arriving in the ER -- but whether they have an upset stomach does not indicate where cardiac blood flow is blocked, said senior author Dr. Mark Feldman, chair of internal medicine at Texas Health Dallas. "Previous studies had suggested nausea and vomiting may be more common in patients with heart attacks in one part of the heart, but we found that there's not a strong connection, " he said. "By studying what these symptoms mean and better understanding the signs of heart attacks, we're working toward better treatment of this disease.

UVA Pioneers A New Approach To Preventive Heart Care For Women

When the University of Virginia Health System's new Club Red Clinic was on the drawing board, its organizers envisioned creating an innovative, cost-effective model for healthcare delivery. In a bold move, they decided to meld two timely healthcare concepts prevention and shared medical appointments (SMAs) into a unique clinical offering that has garnered overwhelmingly positive feedback from patients. Since opening its doors in late 2008, Club Red Clinic has specialized in providing preventive heart care for women at all stages of life. Its emphasis is on reducing risk factors by empowering patients to adopt heart-healthy lifestyles. While the clinic offers traditional one-on-one medical appointments, its staff has focused on developing new forms of SMAs, or group visits, tailored to patients' needs. "We believe that aggressive prevention is the most important treatment option for women who have heart disease risk factors, " says Amy Tucker, M.D., a cardiologist who leads SMAs and serves as clinic co-director.

Sorin Group Announces The First Inclusion In The Clepsydra Clinical Study In The US

Sorin Group (MIL:SRN) announced today the first inclusion of a patient in the Clepsydra clinical trial. The study will investigate the sensitivity to changes in heart failure status of PhD™ , a unique diagnostic feature using the dual sensor technology of minute ventilation and accelerometer to monitor patient's breathing and activity levels every day. The algorithm aims to provide physicians with both trends and indicators in order to highlight sustained changes in overall health status that could relate to heart failure (HF) evolution. PhD™ is available in the Paradym™ family of Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICD) in Europe and under clinical evaluation in Implantable Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy Defibrillators (CRT-D) in Europe and US. According to the American Heart Association (AHA) and the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Guidelines, heart failure currently affects about 5 million Americans and 15 million people in the 35 countries under the auspices of the ESC.

VIA Pharmaceuticals Completes Patient Visits In Phase 2 Trial Of VIA-2291

VIA Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: VIAP), a biotechnology company focused on the development of compounds for the treatment of cardiovascular and metabolic disease, announced that it has completed the last patient visit in its Phase 2 FDG-PET clinical trial of VIA-2291. The FDG-PET trial enrolled 52 patients and was carried out at five sites in the US and Canada including Massachusetts General Hospital, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, University of Massachusetts, Winthrop University Hospital and Montreal Heart Institute. The study is designed to measure the impact of VIA-2291 on reducing inflammation in carotid plaque in treated patients. Patients were enrolled following an acute coronary syndrome event, such as heart attack or stroke, into the 24 week, randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled study. Endpoints in the study include reduction in atherosclerotic plaque inflammation as measured by serial FDG-PET scans. Completion of the data analysis and presentation of clinical trial results are anticipated in early 2010.

Pre-Surgery Stress Tests And Beta Blockers No Longer Deemed Necessary

Physicians should "throttle back" from routinely ordering stress tests and prescribing beta blockers to patients before non-cardiac surgeries, according to a report by the University of Michigan released online this week. Studies suggest such pre-operative tests and medications do not save lives and patients can skip them without suffering complications later, the U-M physicians write in a special report released ahead of print in Annals of Internal Medicine. The article by U-M physicians appears as the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association release new guidelines showing pre-operative medications should be reserved for only high risk patients undergoing complicated surgeries. But U-M physicians go a step further by critically evaluating other costly pre-operative practices -- stress testing and coronary revascularizations such as stenting and bypass surgery for patients with stable heart disease. These patients do not benefit from revascularization as studies show that it may trigger as many events as it prevents.

Toshiba Introduces New Hybrid Catheterization Table For Five-Axis Cardiovascular X-Ray Line

Toshiba America Medical Systems, Inc. has introduced the CAT-880B, a new hybrid catheterization table, for its five-axis InfinixTM-i cardiovascular X-ray line. Toshiba will feature the new hybrid table at this year's Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) annual meeting, held in Chicago, Nov. 29 - Dec. 4 (Booth #5629, South Hall). The new integrated hybrid catheterization table offers head-to-toe tilting and side-to-side cradling to meet the needs of both interventionalists and surgeons during hybrid intervention. Combining the new table with the unparalleled patient access and coverage achieved by Toshiba's Infinix-i five-axis X-ray systems creates a best-in-class hybrid lab unmatched in the industry today. Dr. John Cheatham, director, Cardiac Catheterization and Interventional Therapy, and Dr. Mark Galantowicz, chief, Cardiothoracic Surgery, both of The Heart Center of Nationwide Children's Hospital, are recognized for pioneering the hybrid approach to treat congenital heart conditions.

New Safety Concern Related To Antipsychotic Treatment

Overall, antipsychotic medications are reasonably effective, and fairly well tolerated treatments for mood and psychotic disorders. However, treatment with a number of antipsychotic medications is associated with weight gain, and for some, hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia. In the current issue of Biological Psychiatry, published by Elsevier, researchers discuss this cluster of metabolic side effects and how it may contribute to the risk for diabetes, hypertension, and other medical disorders associated with heart disease. This is of particular concern because there is a higher cardiovascular mortality among the severely mentally ill compared to the general population. Researchers already know that differences exist between antipsychotics in their effect on clinical measures associated with cardiovascular risk, namely weight, lipids and glucose. Systemic inflammation has recently emerged as an important marker of cardiovascular risk, but the effects of antipsychotics on inflammatory markers in the blood have not been extensively studied until now.

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