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Heart Attack Blog

Timing of First Period Tied to Women's Later Heart Risk: Study

Posted 15 Dec 2014 by

MONDAY, Dec. 15, 2014 – The timing of a woman's first period may be linked to her later risk of heart disease, British researchers report. In a study of more than 1 million women, those who had their first period at age 10 or younger, or at age 17 or older, appeared to have a higher risk of heart disease, stroke and complications from high blood pressure. Women who had their first periods at age 10 or earlier were 27 percent more likely to be hospitalized or die from heart disease, the researchers found. Those who had their first menstrual cycle at or after age 17 were 23 percent more likely to be hospitalized or die from heart disease. The researchers found similar – though slightly weaker – associations for the risk of stroke and high blood pressure complications and early or late periods. "We now understand that the timing of the first menstrual cycle could have a long-term ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Attack, Myocardial Infarction, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

FDA Approves Blood Test That Gauges Heart Attack Risk

Posted 15 Dec 2014 by

MONDAY, Dec. 15, 2014 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved a new blood test that can help determine a person's future odds for heart attack and other heart troubles. The test is designed for people with no history of heart disease, and it appears to be especially useful for women, and black women in particular, the agency said. "A cardiac test that helps better predict future coronary heart disease risk in women, and especially black women, may help health care professionals identify these patients before they experience a serious [heart disease] event, like a heart attack," Alberto Gutierrez, director of the Office of In Vitro Diagnostics and Radiological Health in the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said in an agency news release. The test tracks the activity of a specific biological signal of vascular inflammation, called Lp-PLA2. Vascular ... Read more

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Heart Attacks Rose in N.J. in Hurricane Sandy's Wake

Posted 12 Dec 2014 by

FRIDAY, Dec. 12, 2014 – Hurricane Sandy, which pummeled much of the East Coast in 2012, also may have triggered a rise in heart attacks and strokes, a study of New Jersey residents shows. Researchers found that eight of the hardest-hit counties in the state had 22 percent more heart attacks in the two weeks after the hurricane than during the same time period in the prior five years. On the other hand, there was only a 1 percent spike in cases in the 13 counties that escaped the full fury of the storm, the study found. Although the study was not designed to determine cause-and-effect, the researchers also found that the 30-day death rate from heart attacks jumped 31 percent in the hardest-hit counties, post-Sandy. Overall, "we estimate that there were 69 more deaths from [heart attack] during the two weeks following Sandy than would have been expected," study leader Joel Swerdel, an ... Read more

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Study Questions Safety of Adrenaline Shots for Cardiac Arrest

Posted 3 Dec 2014 by

MONDAY, Dec. 1, 2014 – A shot of adrenaline can jumpstart a heart that's stopped beating and save a life – think of Uma Thurman in "Pulp Fiction," near death from overdose and rescued by a hypodermic needle to the chest. But adrenaline might also harm those it helps, says a new study from France. Four out of five people who receive adrenaline to restart their heart end up suffering significant damage to brain function, the researchers found. The same level of brain damage occurs in only one-third of patients whose hearts restarted without help from adrenaline. Further, chances of brain damage increased with the amount of adrenaline that patients received, the researchers reported in the Dec. 2 online edition of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. These findings should prompt a search for a better alternative to adrenaline, which also is called epinephrine, said Dr. ... Read more

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Coordination of Heart Attack Care Trims Time to Treatment: Study

Posted 19 Nov 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 19, 2014 – Improved coordination between paramedics and hospitals can reduce heart attack deaths nearly fivefold by getting patients quicker treatment, a new study shows. That's the conclusion of a clinical trial that measured the impact of an American Heart Association initiative designed to improve care for heart attack patients. The findings were to be presented Wednesday at the heart association's annual meeting in Chicago. The initiative, called Mission: Lifeline and coordinated through Duke University, has reduced the time patients spend in emergency rooms waiting for treatment to reopen blocked arteries, researchers reported. The initiative, conducted with 484 hospitals and more than 1,200 EMS agencies in 16 cities, resulted in slight reductions in the time it took to get patients from their first contact with a medical professional into an operating room. But ... Read more

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Wireless ECG Speeds Up Heart Attack Treatments, Study Shows

Posted 18 Nov 2014 by

TUESDAY, Nov. 18, 2014 – A new wireless electrocardiogram (ECG) can cut the time it takes for heart attack patients to receive treatment, new research suggests. A study from Doha, Qatar, examined outcomes among 510 heart attack patients, and found a trans-satellite wireless 12-lead ECG cut the ambulance-to-angioplasty time by more than half an hour compared to standard treatments. The research, by Dr. Abdurrazzak Gehani, chief cardiologist at the Heart Hospital in Doha, and colleagues was to be presented Tuesday at the American Heart Association meeting in Chicago. The data and conclusions of research presented at medical meetings should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal. Ambulance crews used the ECG to take a patient's heart readings, which were immediately transmitted via satellite to the hospital so that cardiologists could determine the best ... Read more

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Cholesterol Drug Vytorin Linked to Reduced Heart Attack Risk

Posted 17 Nov 2014 by

MONDAY, Nov. 17, 2014 – Driving "bad" LDL cholesterol down to extremely low levels with a combination drug appears to significantly reduce heart attacks and strokes in high-risk patients with clogged arteries, a new study found. Patients experienced fewer heart attacks and strokes when taking Vytorin, a drug that combines a cholesterol-lowering statin called simvastatin with a non-statin medication called ezetimibe, said principal investigator Dr. Christopher Cannon, a cardiologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and a professor at Harvard Medical School. Vytorin reduced LDL cholesterol levels in patients to just under 54 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) of blood. That's far below where cholesterol levels ended up with statin therapy alone – 69 mg/dL, according to the researchers. This is the first study to show that reducing bad cholesterol by combining statins with ... Read more

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Certain Heart Attacks Are Deadlier in Hospital

Posted 16 Nov 2014 by

SUNDAY, Nov. 16, 2014 – A new study finds that patients are more likely to die of a certain type of heart attack if they suffer it in a hospital while being treated for non-cardiac conditions. At issue are heart attacks known as ST-elevation myocardial infarction, or STEMI. The treatments include opening narrowed arteries with a stent or using medication to dissolve clots. But health officials haven't focused much on treating patients who suffer these attacks while already in the hospital, the researchers pointed out in their study. The findings were published in the Nov. 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, but released Sunday to coincide with the American Heart Association annual meeting in Chicago. The study authors examined statistics from 2008 to 2011 in California. They found 62,021 cases of these heart attacks in 303 hospitals, including 3,068 that ... Read more

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Deaths From Heart Disease Down, Up for Blood Pressure, Irregular Heartbeat

Posted 16 Nov 2014 by

SUNDAY, Nov. 16, 2014 – Deaths from heart disease are dropping, but deaths related to high blood pressure and irregular heartbeats are on the rise, a new government study finds. From 2000 to 2010, the overall death rate from heart disease dropped almost 4 percent each year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researchers found. At the same time, death rates linked to high blood pressure-related heart disease increased 1.3 percent a year, according to the study. The researchers also found that deaths tied to irregular heartbeats rose 1 percent a year. "While we are continuing to improve in the overall heart disease death rate, we still have considerable work to do," said lead researcher Matthew Ritchey, a CDC epidemiologist. "During this 11-year period, more than 7 million heart disease-related deaths still occurred, including 600,000 deaths in 2010, making heart ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Heart Attack, Atrial Fibrillation, Myocardial Infarction

Asthma Raises Heart Attack Risk, Research Suggests

Posted 16 Nov 2014 by

SUNDAY, Nov. 16, 2014 – People suffering from asthma who have to take medication every day to control it may face an increased risk of heart attack, new research suggests. And a second study confirms that having active asthma also increases your heart risk. "People with asthma should make an effort to optimally control their asthma symptoms, because proper asthma control not only improves asthma symptoms and quality of life but also reduces the risk of heart attack," said Dr. Young Juhn, a pediatrics professor at the Mayo Clinic who was lead researcher on one of the studies. Juhn and his colleagues studied 543 heart attack patients, comparing them with 543 people who didn't have a heart attack. After accounting for heart disease risk factors, such as obesity, high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes and high cholesterol, they found that patients with active asthma had about a 70 percent ... Read more

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Early Signs of Plaque in Arteries Signals Future Heart Trouble: Study

Posted 4 Nov 2014 by

TUESDAY, Nov. 4, 2014 – Even the early signs of coronary artery disease significantly increase the risk of heart attack and early death, a new study warns. Researchers from the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs looked at people with non-obstructive coronary artery disease, which is when there is plaque build-up in the arteries but not enough to obstruct blood flow or cause symptoms such as chest pain. The investigators found that non-obstructive coronary artery disease significantly increased the risk of heart attack and death during the study. "This is a key study revealing that no level of established coronary arterial disease is considered OK or safe," said Dr. David Friedman, chief of heart failure services at North Shore-LIJ's Franklin Hospital, in Valley Stream, N.Y. Coronary artery disease, "found in any form, needs to be aggressively treated with well-tolerated and useful ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Attack, Myocardial Infarction, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)

Depression After Heart Attack May Be More Common for Women

Posted 22 Oct 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 22, 2014 – Women are at greater risk for anxiety and depression after a heart attack than men, a new study finds. Researchers looked at 160 patients in Lithuania who were interviewed at least one month after suffering a heart attack. About one-quarter of the patients were depressed and 28 percent of those had been treated with antidepressants. Women were more likely than men to have depression and anxiety, and the conditions were more severe in women, according to the findings presented Sunday in Geneva at the annual meeting of the Acute Cardiovascular Care Association of the European Society of Cardiology. Further research is needed to determine why women are more likely than men to develop anxiety and depression after a heart attack, study author Dr. Pranas Serpytis of Vilnius University in Lithuania said in an association news release. The study showed smokers were ... Read more

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Sudden Cardiac Death a Risk for Women Living Near Major Roads: Study

Posted 14 Oct 2014 by

MONDAY, Oct. 13, 2014 – Women who live near major roads may be at increased risk for sudden cardiac death, a new study suggests. Researchers analyzed data from more than 107,000 American women, average age 60, who took part in the Nurses' Health Study from 1986 to 2012. Sudden cardiac death occurred in 523 of the women. The risk of sudden cardiac death was 38 percent higher among women who lived within 50 meters (164 feet) of a major road than among those who lived at least 500 meters (0.3 miles) from a major road. Each 100 meters (328 feet) closer to a major road was linked to a 6 percent increase in the risk of sudden cardiac death, according to the study published Oct. 13 in the journal Circulation. Living close to a major road is as important a risk factor for sudden cardiac death as smoking, obesity and poor eating habits, study author Jaime Hart, an instructor in medicine at ... Read more

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Social Support May Be Key to Heart Attack Recovery

Posted 30 Sep 2014 by

TUESDAY, Sept. 30, 2014 – Young and middle-aged heart attack survivors are more likely to have poor health and low quality of life if they have fewer family and friends to support them in their recovery, a new study suggests. The study included more than 3,400 survivors, aged 18 to 55, who were assessed immediately after their heart attack and again one month and 12 months later. The first assessment found that patients with low social support were more likely to be single, unemployed, live alone, smoke, abuse alcohol and to have heart risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes and depression. One and 12 months after a heart attack, patients with low social support tended to have poorer mental health, more symptoms of depression and lower quality of life, according to the study published Sept. 30 in the Journal of the American Heart Association. The findings are consistent with ... Read more

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Study: Healthy Lifestyle Behaviors May Prevent 80 Percent of Heart Attacks

Posted 22 Sep 2014 by

MONDAY, Sept. 22, 2014 – Five recommended health behaviors may prevent four out of five heart attacks in men, a new study suggests. Middle-aged and older men were much less likely to have heart attacks over an average of 11 years if they drank moderately, didn't smoke and did everything right on the diet, exercise and weight fronts, the study found. Only about 1 percent of men involved in the study fit into this ultra-healthy-living category. But they were 86 percent less likely to have heart attacks than those who ate poorly, were overweight, exercised too little, smoked and drank too much alcohol, the researchers said. The healthiest men could still eventually die of a heart attack, of course, and the study didn't say if they live longer than others. Still, "there is a lot to gain and money to be saved if people had a healthier lifestyle," said study lead author Agneta Akesson, an ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Attack, Myocardial Infarction, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

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