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Heart Disease Blog

Related terms: Congenital Heart Disease

Do Heart Surgery Patients Get Too Many Blood Tests?

Posted 2 days 9 hours ago by

MONDAY, March 2, 2015 – The high number of blood tests done before and after heart surgery can sometimes lead to excessive blood loss, possibly causing anemia and the need for a blood transfusion, new research suggests. The study included almost 1,900 patients who had heart surgery at the Cleveland Clinic between January 2012 and June 2012. From the time they first met their heart surgeons until they left the hospital, the patients collectively had more than 221,000 blood tests. That works out to 116 tests per patient, according to the study. The total median amount of blood gathered during an entire hospital stay was about 15 ounces (454 milliliters) per patient, the researchers found. Results of the study were published in the March issue of The Annals of Thoracic Surgery. "We were astonished by the amount of blood taken from our patients for laboratory testing. Total phlebotomy ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Blood Transfusion

Certain Painkillers Ill-Advised After Heart Attack: Study

Posted 8 days ago by

TUESDAY, Feb. 24, 2015 – Common painkillers such as ibuprofen and Celebrex may raise the risk for heart attack, stroke and/or serious bleeding among heart attack survivors taking prescription blood thinners, a new study says. The finding could prompt widespread concern, given that these painkillers – known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – and anti-clot medications are widely used by heart attack survivors, researchers said. "For all sorts of reasons, many of us have been concerned about NSAIDs in a heart attack context for a long time," said Dr. Charles Campbell, chief of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Tennessee Erlanger Health Systems in Chattanooga. "For example, we know NSAIDs have an adverse effect on the kidney. And we have long worried that what this study has found was going to be the case." There appeared to be no safe window period for taking ... Read more

Related support groups: Ibuprofen, Heart Disease, Naproxen, Heart Attack, Celebrex, Diclofenac, Advil, Voltaren, Aleve, Motrin, Myocardial Infarction, Flector, Naprosyn, Cataflam, Zipsor, Naprelan '375', Naprelan, Celecoxib, Cambia, Intracranial Hemorrhage

Mental Illness, Homelessness Linked to Heart Disease in Study

Posted 8 days ago by

TUESDAY, Feb. 24, 2015 – Homeless people with mental illness are at high risk for heart disease, a new study suggests. Canadian researchers found that they have a 24.5 percent risk of heart attack, fatal or nonfatal stroke, or sudden cardiac death over 30 years. The risk is about 10 percent for a person of the same age and gender who does not smoke, does not have diabetes or high blood pressure, and is not overweight, the researchers noted. The risk of cardiovascular disease in homeless people with mental illness was highest among men and those with substance abuse disorders, according to the study published Feb. 23 in the journal BMC Public Health. "Many of the factors that we thought would be associated with the 30-year cardiovascular risk among homeless adults with mental illness were actually not significant, such as not having a family doctor or having a diagnosis of psychosis or ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Heart Disease, Heart Attack, Major Depressive Disorder, Myocardial Infarction, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis, Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders, Depressive Psychosis

First 'Epigenomes' Map Highlights How Genes Spur Health, Disease

Posted 14 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 18, 2015 – In what may be a big step forward in human biology, scientists are issuing the first comprehensive map of "human epigenomes" – the range of chemical and structural shifts that determine how genes govern health. The new map is the result of years of work by an international consortium of researchers. Experts say the new data will help scientists better understand how genetic disruption affects a wide range of illnesses, including autism, heart disease and cancer. "The DNA sequence of the human genome is identical in all cells of the body, but cell types such as heart, brain or skin cells have unique characteristics and are uniquely susceptible to various diseases," researcher Joseph Costello, of the University of California, San Francisco, explained in a university news release. He said that epigenomic factors effectively "allow cells carrying the same DNA to ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Heart Disease, Autism

'Calculators' Doctors Use May Overestimate Heart Risks, Study Says

Posted 15 days ago by

TUESDAY, Feb. 17, 2015 – The various "calculators" that doctors use to estimate patients' odds of future heart trouble often overestimate the risks, a new study suggests. Researchers found that four of five widely used formulas may overestimate people's risk of heart attack, stroke or other related complications by as much as 154 percent in some cases. That includes the most recently developed risk calculator, unveiled alongside new treatment guidelines in 2013 by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and American Heart Association (AHA). However, the findings do not mean the calculators should be tossed, experts stressed. "I'm not calling for the [ACC/AHA] guidelines or the risk calculator to be dismantled," said lead researcher Dr. Michael Blaha, of the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease, in Baltimore. Instead, he said, any risk calculator should be ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders

More Evidence That Even 'Moderate' Exercise Helps Women's Hearts

Posted 16 days ago by

MONDAY, Feb. 16, 2015 – Even a few bouts of moderate exercise each week can cut a middle-aged woman's odds for heart disease, blood clots and stroke, a new study finds. The British study also found that exercising more frequently didn't lead to greater reductions in heart risk. The take-home message, according to study lead author Miranda Armstrong: "To prevent heart disease, stroke and blood clots, women don't have to be super athletes or strenuously exercise daily to experience the benefits of physical activity." In fact, adding lots of extra strenuous exercise may offer "little additional benefit above that from moderately frequent activity," Armstrong said in a news release from the American Heart Association. She is a physical activity epidemiologist at Oxford University in England. The findings are published Feb. 16 in the journal Circulation. In the study, Armstrong's team ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Ischemic Stroke

Preterm Delivery Linked to Heart Disease, Stroke Risk in Mothers

Posted 10 Feb 2015 by

TUESDAY, Feb. 10, 2015 – Women who have a preterm baby may face an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, a preliminary study suggests. Researchers analyzed data from 10 large studies conducted in Denmark, Finland, Norway, Scotland and Sweden to examine the possible link between spontaneous preterm delivery and heart disease risk. The smallest study had more than 3,700 women. The largest study had more than 923,000, according to the researchers. Preterm delivery is a birth that occurs before 37 weeks of pregnancy, according to the researchers. Spontaneous preterm delivery occurs naturally. There are also medically induced preterm deliveries, which may be done due to health problems that threaten the mother or baby. Women with a history of spontaneous preterm delivery had a 38 percent increased risk for fatal and nonfatal heart disease that involved blocked vessels. The risk of ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Ischemic Stroke, Premature Labor

A Pill a Day? No Way, Survey Says

Posted 3 Feb 2015 by

TUESDAY, Feb. 3, 2015 – One out of three adults would sooner face a shorter life span than take a daily pill to prevent heart disease, a new Internet survey found. And about one in five would be willing to pay $1,000 or more to avoid taking that daily pill, the survey also found. "There were a not-insignificant number of people who were ready to accept a large risk of death to avoid taking a pill for the rest of their lives," said lead author Dr. Robert Hutchins, a resident physician in the department of medicine at University of California, San Francisco. "Many patients are willing to say, 'I'd rather not do that, I'd rather risk the chance of death.' " But while pills seemed to provoke a strong repulsion in some survey respondents, most simply shrugged and accepted the benefits over the inconveniences, the study found: 62 percent weren't willing to gamble any risk of immediate death ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease

Eczema Linked to Other Health Problems

Posted 23 Jan 2015 by

FRIDAY, Jan. 23, 2015 – Adults with eczema – a chronic, itchy skin disease that often starts in childhood – may also have an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, according to a new study. This increased risk may be the result of bad lifestyle habits or the disease itself. "Eczema is not just skin deep," said lead researcher Dr. Jonathan Silverberg, an assistant professor of dermatology at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. "It impacts all aspects of patients' lives and may worsen their heart-health," he said. The researchers found that people with eczema smoke and drink more, are more likely to be obese and are less likely to exercise than adults who don't have the disease. The findings also suggest that eczema itself may increase the risk for heart disease and stroke, possibly from the effects of chronic inflammation, he said. "It was ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Ischemic Stroke, Eczema

Pneumonia Raises Heart Disease Risk for Years: Study

Posted 20 Jan 2015 by

TUESDAY, Jan. 20, 2015 – Older patients hospitalized with pneumonia appear to have an increased risk of heart attack, stroke or death from heart disease for years afterward, a new study finds. This elevated risk was highest in the first month after pneumonia – fourfold – but remained 1.5 times higher over subsequent years, the researchers say. "A single episode of pneumonia could have long-term consequences several months or years later," said lead researcher Dr. Sachin Yende, an associate professor of critical care medicine and clinical and translational sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. This year's flu season is particularly hard on older adults, and pneumonia is a serious complication of flu, he said. Getting a flu shot and the pneumonia vaccine "may not only prevent these infections, but may also prevent subsequent heart disease and stroke," Yende said. Pneumonia, which ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Pneumonia

Rotating Night Shift Work May Raise Risks of Heart Disease, Lung Cancer: Study

Posted 5 Jan 2015 by

MONDAY, Jan. 5, 2015 – Working rotating night shifts may pose a threat to your health, a new study suggests. The study defined rotating shift work as at least three nights spent working each month, in addition to days and evenings worked in the month. In the new study, researchers led by Dr. Eva Schernhammer of Harvard Medical School tracked 22 years of data from about 75,000 nurses across the United States. While the study couldn't prove cause-and-effect, it found that people who worked rotating night shifts for more than five years had an 11 percent increased risk of death from all causes. The risk of death from heart disease was 19 percent higher among those who worked such shifts for six to 14 years, and 23 percent higher for those who worked such shifts for 15 or more years, Schernhammer's group found. Nurses who worked rotating night shifts for 15 or more years also had a 25 ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Lung Cancer

Health Tip: Coping With Heart Disease

Posted 29 Dec 2014 by

-- Heart disease, usually characterized by plaque buildup in the arteries that reduces blood flow to the heart, can lead to emotional problems from anxiety to depression. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute says potential sources of support include: Talking with your health care team about your emotions and concerns. Joining a support group to meet others who live with heart disease. Confiding in family and friends. Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease

Nearly All Diabetics Should Be on Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs: Experts

Posted 23 Dec 2014 by

TUESDAY, Dec. 23, 2014 – New guidelines from the American Diabetes Association (ADA) call for giving the cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins to all people with diabetes to help prevent heart disease. These new standards bring the association in line with the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association, which also recommend giving low- or high-dose statins to all people at risk for heart disease, including people with diabetes. "We agree that the decision to start a statin should be based on a patient's risk," said Dr. Richard Grant, a research scientist at Kaiser Permanente Division of Research and chairman of the ADA's professional practice committee. "It turns out that patients with diabetes have the same risk as people with heart disease, so all of our patients need to be on statins," he said. However, Grant said some people with diabetes may not need ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Heart Disease, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Atorvastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Red Yeast Rice, Livalo, Pravachol, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Baycol, Fluvastatin, Altoprev

New Test Estimates Risk of Heart Disease

Posted 15 Dec 2014 by

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

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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