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Heart Attack Blog

Coordination of Heart Attack Care Trims Time to Treatment: Study

Posted 9 days ago 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

Related support groups: Heart Attack, Myocardial Infarction

Wireless ECG Speeds Up Heart Attack Treatments, Study Shows

Posted 10 days ago 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

Related support groups: Heart Attack, Myocardial Infarction

Cholesterol Drug Vytorin Linked to Reduced Heart Attack Risk

Posted 11 days ago 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

Related support groups: Heart Attack, Vytorin, Myocardial Infarction, Ezetimibe/Simvastatin

Certain Heart Attacks Are Deadlier in Hospital

Posted 12 days ago 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

Related support groups: Heart Attack, Myocardial Infarction

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

Posted 12 days ago 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 12 days ago 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

Related support groups: Asthma, Heart Attack, Myocardial Infarction

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

Related support groups: Depression, Heart Attack, Myocardial Infarction

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

Related support groups: Heart Attack, Myocardial Infarction

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

Related support groups: Heart Attack, Myocardial Infarction

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

Heart Attack Patients Face Greater Death Risk if Any Treatment Step Missed: Study

Posted 15 Sep 2014 by

MONDAY, Sept. 15, 2014 – People who've had a heart attack are at greater risk of death if even one of nine critical steps in their treatment is missed, according to a new study. Researchers in the United Kingdom noted patients who missed a part of their treatment early on, such as an electrocardiogram within hours of developing symptoms, were more likely to miss other steps in their care later on. The researchers added, however, that outcomes among heart attack patients can be improved if all nine steps critical to their care are followed. "The tragedy of all this is that these deaths are avoidable," study leader Dr. Chris Gale, of the University of Leeds School of Medicine, said in a university news release. "There is a clear relationship between the ability to provide comprehensive and timely care, and treatment and improved chance of heart attack survival." The researchers ... Read more

Related support groups: Lisinopril, Aspirin, Heart Attack, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Losartan, Benicar, Diovan, Crestor, Pravastatin, Atorvastatin, Cozaar, Micardis, Ramipril, Enalapril, Zocor, Lovastatin, Benazepril, Avapro, Atacand

For Heart Attack Survivors, More Exercise Isn't Always Better, Study Says

Posted 12 Aug 2014 by

TUESDAY, Aug. 12, 2014 – Heart attack survivors are encouraged to exercise regularly to improve their cardiac health, but new research suggests there's a point of diminishing returns. "More isn't always better," said study researcher Paul Williams, staff scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif. Williams tracked nearly 2,400 heart attack survivors from his long-term study of runners and walkers for about 10 years. In general, increased exercise reduced their risk of dying from a heart attack by up to 65 percent, he said. But running more than 30 miles a week or walking beyond 46 miles weekly had the opposite effect, more than doubling heart attack risk, the study found. Over the decade-long study, 526 people died, nearly three-quarters because of heart attacks and heart disease. Because the study was limited to heart attack survivors, Williams can't say ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Attack, Myocardial Infarction

Heart Attack Patients Treated at Night, Weekends May Have Worse Outcomes

Posted 29 Jul 2014 by

TUESDAY, July 29, 2014 – The time at which heart attack patients arrive at the hospital may affect their chances for survival, new research suggests. Showing up at the emergency room at night, on weekends or during holidays is associated with a 13 percent higher risk for death than arriving during regular business hours, researchers report. Every year, more than 250,000 people suffer a ST-elevation myocardial infarction – the most severe type of heart attack, which is caused by a complete blockage of blood flow to the heart. Restoring blood flow as quickly as possible by giving clot-busting medication or performing an angioplasty to open the blocked vessel is critical for survival, according to the American Heart Association (AHA). In conducting the study, the researchers analyzed the treatment and survival of more than 27,000 patients who experienced this type of severe heart attack ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Attack, Myocardial Infarction

Inflammatory Muscle Disorder May Raise Risk for Heart Attack, Stroke

Posted 28 Jul 2014 by

MONDAY, July 28, 2014 – A common inflammatory muscle disorder that causes pain and stiffness in older people may increase the risk for heart attack and stroke, new research suggests. A British study found that patients with polymyalgia rheumatica are more likely to develop vascular disease – conditions that affect the blood vessels. Doctors should carefully manage the vascular risk factors of patients with polymyalgia rheumatica to reduce their risk for complications, the study authors concluded. Unlike other inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus, the link between polymyalgia rheumatica and an increased risk for vascular disease has not been well-established. "Polymyalgia rheumatica is one of the most common inflammatory rheumatologic conditions in older adults," the study authors wrote. To date, evidence regarding the risk of vascular disease in ... Read more

Related support groups: Ischemic Stroke, Heart Attack, Myocardial Infarction, Polymyalgia Rheumatica

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