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Heart Disease Blog

Related terms: Congenital Heart Disease

New Test Estimates Risk of Heart Disease

Posted 6 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 15, 2014 – A new screening test designed to estimate a person's risk of developing coronary heart disease (CHD) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Results of a manufacturer study reviewed by the FDA indicate the test is better at discerning this risk in women, notably black women, the agency said in a news release. The PLAC Test for Lp-PLA2 Activity, intended for people without a prior history of heart disease, measures a blood biomarker for arterial inflammation, a strong indicator of plaque buildup within arteries that supply blood to the heart. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States among ethnic groups including blacks, Hispanics and whites. The most common form of heart disease, CHD, leads to the deaths of some 385,000 people each year. About two-thirds of women and half of men who die suddenly of CHD have no prior ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Diagnosis and Investigation

Women With Heart Disease at Low Risk When Giving Birth: Study

Posted 19 Nov 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 19, 2014 – Women with congenital heart disease are at low risk for heart-related complications when they give birth, a new study finds. Researchers analyzed data from more than 2.7 million women who gave birth in California, including more than 3,200 who had congenital heart disease and 248 with complex congenital heart disease, which means their condition was more advanced and they likely had heart surgery when they were children. Congenital heart disease occurs when there is a problem with the structure of the heart at birth. In the new study, rates of heart failure, heart rhythm problems and heart attack were low for all three groups of women, and death rates were not significantly higher for those with complex congenital heart disease, the authors reported. The researchers found, however, that cesarean section deliveries were performed in 47 percent of those with ... Read more

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Study Finds No Added Benefit From Routine Heart Scans for Diabetics

Posted 18 Nov 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 18, 2014 – Routine screening for heart disease isn't effective for people with diabetes who have no symptoms but are at high risk for a heart attack, according to a new study. Researchers found the screenings do not help prevent heart attacks or help patients avoid being admitted to the hospital for unstable angina (chest pain that occurs when the heart doesn't receive enough oxygen-carrying blood). Properly controlling diabetes is still the best way to manage risks for heart-related complications, the study authors said. The findings were published Nov. 17 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, to coincide with a presentation of the study at the American Heart Association annual meeting in Chicago. "We found that the best treatment to prevent heart attacks and death among diabetics is excellent diabetes management," lead researcher Dr. Brent Muhlestein, said ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Heart Disease

Early Heart Disease May Lead to Impotence, Study Says

Posted 18 Nov 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 18, 2014 – Early stage vascular disease may lead to impotence for men later in life, a new study says. "Erectile function can be a window into men's cardiovascular and overall health. Erectile dysfunction and cardiovascular disease commonly coexist," lead author David Feldman, a research assistant at Johns Hopkins University's Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease, said in an American Heart Association news release. The study, to be presented Tuesday at the American Heart Association annual meeting in Chicago, included more than 1,800 men without heart disease who were tracked for more than nine years. "We looked at which measurement of early vascular disease was the best predictor for erectile dysfunction. We also looked at whether those men with multiple abnormalities, such as increased plaque in addition to arterial stiffness and dysfunction, were more likely to ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Erectile Dysfunction

Feeling 'Worn Out'? Your Heart May Pay the Price

Posted 17 Nov 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 17, 2014 – Otherwise healthy people on the verge of burning out are more likely to develop heart disease, according to new research. Those suffering from so-called vital exhaustion – a toxic combination of fatigue, irritability and demoralization – have a 36 percent increased risk of developing heart disease, researchers report. "In our increasingly busy lives, we're just under a lot of stress. And I think, when that stress is left unchecked for a period of time, it can start to eat away at our psychological and physical well-being," said study co-author Dr. Randy Cohen, a cardiologist at Mt. Sinai St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City. Results of his research show that vital exhaustion is on par with other proven psychological risk factors for heart disease, including depression and anxiety, Cohen added. Vital exhaustion goes far beyond mere fatigue, he ... Read more

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

Posted 16 Nov 2014 by Drugs.com

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

Emotional Stress Affects Women's Hearts

Posted 16 Nov 2014 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, Nov. 16, 2014 – Emotional stress is more likely to physically impact younger women with heart disease compared to men with heart disease and seniors of both genders, new research shows. The study included 534 patients with stable coronary heart disease who were given a mental stress test that involved recalling a stressful life event and talking about it to a small audience. During the test, nuclear imaging showed that women aged 55 and younger had a reduction in blood flow to the heart that was three times greater than men of the same age, and women aged 56 to 64 had coronary blood flow reduction twice that of men the same age. There was no difference in coronary blood flow among women and men aged 65 and older during periods of emotional stress, according to the findings, which were to be presented Sunday at the American Heart Association annual meeting in Chicago. The group ... Read more

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Researchers Find Gene Mutation That May Protect Against Heart Disease

Posted 12 Nov 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 12, 2014 – Mutations that affect a single gene may significantly reduce the risk of heart disease, a new study suggests. People have two copies of most genes. One copy is usually inherited from each parent. Researchers found that people with rare mutations that switch off a single copy of a gene called NPC1L1 are protected against high levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol and narrowing of the heart's arteries. People with one inactive copy of the gene have a 50 percent reduced risk of heart attack, according to the study. The research was published Nov. 12 in the New England Journal of Medicine. The researchers also noted that NPC1L1 is targeted by the cholesterol-lowering drug ezetimibe (Zetia). "This analysis demonstrates that human genetics can guide us in terms of thinking about appropriate genes to target for clinical therapy," study first author Dr. Nathan Stitziel, a ... Read more

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Deaths From Heart Disease Drop Quickly After Stent Procedure: Study

Posted 10 Nov 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 10, 2014 – Heart attack survivors who receive prompt treatment to unclog blocked arteries and keep them open have a lower long-term risk of dying from heart disease, a new study finds. However, they still have an increased risk of death from noncardiac causes, such as cancer and lung problems. The study included more than 2,800 heart attack patients in Denmark who were treated quickly with angioplasty to clear arteries and stents to keep them open on a procedure known as percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), and then followed for a median of almost five years. The rate of heart-related deaths among the patients was high in the first month after treatment, but then fell to less than 1.5 percent a year, the study found. After the first month, nearly 65 percent of deaths among the patients were due to noncardiac causes such as cancer and lung conditions, according to the ... Read more

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Health Tip: Risk Factors for Heart Disease in Women

Posted 6 Nov 2014 by Drugs.com

-- Heart disease is the leading cause of death among women in the United States, government statistics show. The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute says risk factors for heart disease in women include: Having diabetes, pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome. Using birth control pills. Smoking. Having high cholesterol, high triglycerides or high blood pressure. Being overweight or obese. Living a sedentary lifestyle. Eating a fatty diet. Undergoing stress. Being depressed. Read more

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Women Often Ignore Signs of Heart Trouble

Posted 29 Oct 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 29, 2014 – When it comes to heart disease, a new study finds women are more likely than men to delay care when they have symptoms that spell trouble. "The main danger is that when someone comes to the hospital with a more severe or advanced stage of heart disease, there are simply fewer treatment options available," study author Catherine Kreatsoulas, a Fulbright Scholar and research fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health, said in a news release from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. In the study, researchers talked to patients who sought medical care for angina and were waiting to undergo angiogram tests to look for signs of coronary artery disease. Angina, or chest pain, occurs when the heart doesn't get as much blood and oxygen as it needs because of a blockage in the heart's arteries. The researchers found that men acted more quickly when they ... Read more

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Stress Affects Women, Men With Heart Disease Differently, Study Shows

Posted 13 Oct 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 13, 2014 – Stress triggers different physical and mental reactions in women and men with heart disease, new research indicates. The study involved 254 men and 56 women with stable heart disease who did three mentally stressful tasks: an math test, a mirror tracing test and an anger recall test. Stress had a greater impact on blood pressure and heart rate in men, while women were more likely to experience decreased blood flow to the heart and increased clumping of blood cells associated with clot formation. Women also had a greater increase in negative emotions and a larger decline in positive emotions while doing the stressful tasks, according to the study published Oct. 13 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. "The relationship between mental stress and cardiovascular disease is well known," study author Dr. Zainab Samad, an assistant professor of medicine ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress, Heart Disease

Genes May Make Some More Prone to Heart Disease When Under Stress

Posted 1 Oct 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 1, 2014 – Genes may interact with stress to trigger heart disease in some people, a new study suggests. The genetic risk occurs in about 13 percent of people, but only in those who are white. The finding could help these people reduce their heart disease risk through simple measures such as exercise, a healthy diet and stress management, the Duke University researchers said. The study authors analyzed genetic data from nearly 6,000 people and found a strong link between variations in the EBF1 gene and higher levels of central obesity, as measured by hip circumference. In people with these gene variations, their hips grew wider as their stress levels increased. Further investigation revealed a "significant pathway" to high blood sugar levels, diabetes and heart disease, most notably a narrowing of the arteries. "These findings suggest that a stress reduction ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress, Heart Disease

Could a Fading Sense of Smell Point to Earlier Death?

Posted 1 Oct 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 1, 2014 – Older adults who have trouble smelling the roses – literally – may face an increased risk of dying in the next several years, new research suggests. In a study of over 3,000 older Americans, researchers found those who were unable to detect scents such as rose, orange and peppermint were more than three times as likely to die in the next five years, versus those with a sharp sense of smell. In fact, anosmia – the inability to distinguish odors – was a bigger predictor of death than major killers such as heart disease, lung disease or cancer, the researchers reported Oct. 1 in the online journal PLOS One. "We were pretty surprised it was such a strong predictor," said lead researcher Dr. Jayant Pinto, a surgeon at the University of Chicago who specializes in nasal disorders. Now, the question is why. No one is saying anosmia itself kills people, stressed ... Read more

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Diabetics Face Much Greater Risk of Heart Damage, Study Says

Posted 11 Sep 2014 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 11, 2014 – Using a new ultra-sensitive test, Johns Hopkins researchers found that people with diabetes may have a sixfold higher risk of heart failure even if their cholesterol is low and they appear otherwise healthy. Results of the new study suggest that people with diabetes and pre-diabetes may be suffering undetectable – but potentially dangerous – heart muscle damage, the researchers concluded. This heart damage is occurring regardless of a diabetic's cholesterol levels, which had no effect on test results, said lead author Elizabeth Selvin. She co-director of the Cardiovascular Epidemiology Training Program at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. "Even if we treat people with diabetes with statins, we may not be able to fully address the increased risk of death and heart failure in that population," Selvin said. "This underscores the need for ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Heart Disease

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