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Heart Disease Blog

Related terms: Congenital Heart Disease

New Blood Pump System Approved

Posted 4 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 24, 2015 – The Impella 2.5 System has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to maintain stable heart function and blood circulation during high-risk cardiac operations, the agency said in a news release. The miniature blood pump is sanctioned for coronary artery disease patients during higher-risk procedures such as angioplasty, when a blocked artery is unclogged using an inflated balloon, the agency said. The system is guided into the left ventricle of the heart via a catheter that's typically inserted into a leg vein. An external controller and monitor turns the pump on and off, measures heart function and allows doctors to adjust the pump as needed, the FDA said. People with coronary artery disease commonly have diminished blood flow to the heart, which could lead to serious complications during surgery, the agency said. The Impella System is produced ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Cardiothoracic Surgery

For Mexican-Americans, Heart Risks Can Rise Even If Not Obese

Posted 8 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, March 20, 2015 – In Mexican-Americans, heart-damaging risk factors such as high blood pressure or high blood sugar levels are common, even in the absence of obesity, a new study finds. Those who weren't obese but were metabolically unhealthy showed similar signs of early artery hardening as those who were obese, according to the study published in the March 18 issue of the Journal of the American Heart Association. Hardening of the arteries increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. The findings suggest that "interventions to maintain metabolic health may be a more important goal than focusing on weight loss alone [for Mexican-Americans]," study lead author Dr. Susan Laing, a professor of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, said in a journal news release. Laing's team used ultrasound to measure the thickness of neck arteries ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Heart Disease, Pre-Diabetes, Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders

New Guidelines Call for No Heart Tests for Low-Risk Patients

Posted 11 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 17, 2015 – Many patients who are at low risk for heart problems don't need to have screening tests such as EKGs and stress tests, a national association of primary care physicians recommends. The new guideline jibes with research that has suggested the tests are overused in patients who don't need them. "These tests are very unlikely to be helpful in low-risk patients. They are unlikely to give findings that will change patient management or improve patient outcomes," said Dr. Roger Chou, director of the Pacific Northwest Evidence-based Practice Center at Oregon Health & Science University. He is the lead author of the guidelines that were released Monday by the American College of Physicians. At issue are electrocardiography (EKG or ECG), echocardiography (echo) and myocardial perfusion imaging (nuclear) tests. All of these can be used in "stress tests" that require ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Diagnosis and Investigation, Abnormal Electrocardiogram

CT Scans Might Spot Heart Risks More Clearly in Patients With Chest Pain

Posted 13 days ago by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, March 15, 2015 – New research suggests that CT scans may help doctors do a better job of diagnosing heart disease in patients with chest pain, compared to standard tests. A Scottish team found that CT scans seemed to spot more heart problems and allowed doctors to act to lower the risk of a heart attack. "A CT scan clarifies the diagnosis, changes treatments and may reduce the risk of a heart attack," said chief investigator Dr. David Newby, a professor at the University of Edinburgh. The patients in question were suffering from chest pain and suspected heart disease. In most cases, the disease is caused by clogged arteries that disrupt the flow of blood in the body. "The chest pain, or angina, is a tightness in the chest which comes on when they exert themselves," Newby said. "Patients are usually seen in the clinic and can undergo a range of potential tests that could include ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Diagnosis and Investigation, Computed Tomography

Study Gauges Value of CT Scans for Heart Patients

Posted 13 days ago by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, March 14, 2015 – In the first head-to-head study of its kind, researchers say that CT scans may offer some advantages over traditional "functional stress tests" for people with symptoms of heart disease. As explained in a news release from the American College of Cardiology (ACC), a heart CT scan gives doctors 3-D images that they can use to assess the degree of narrowing in the heart's arteries. A functional test uses electrical signals, sound waves or imaging to monitor the heart's response to stress, the ACC said. Both CT scans and functional tests are widely used but have never before been compared head-to-head in terms of patient outcomes, according to a team led by Dr. Pamela Douglas, a heart disease expert at Duke University in Durham, N.C. In the new study, Douglas and colleagues tracked outcomes for more than 10,000 patients with suspected heart disease who were ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Diagnosis and Investigation, Computed Tomography

Salt May Be Bad for More Than Your Blood Pressure

Posted 15 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, March 13, 2015 – Even if you don't develop high blood pressure from eating too much salt, you may still be damaging your blood vessels, heart, kidneys and brain, a new study warns. Researchers reviewed available evidence and found that high levels of salt consumption have harmful effects on a number of organs and tissues, even in people who are "salt-resistant," which means their salt intake does not affect their blood pressure. High salt consumption levels can lead to reduced function of the endothelium, which is the inner lining of blood vessels. Endothelial cells are involved in a number of processes, including blood clotting and immune function. High salt levels can also increase artery stiffness, the researchers said. "High dietary sodium can also lead to left ventricular hypertrophy, or enlargement of the muscle tissue that makes up the wall of the heart's main pumping ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Sodium Chloride, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, HalfLytely and Bisacodyl, Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders, Hyper-Sal, Rhinaris, Saline Nasal Mist, Ayr Saline Nasal, Potassium Chloride/Sodium Chloride, Bisacodyl/Polyethylene Glycol 3350/Potassium Chloride/Sodium Bicarbonate/Sodium Chloride, Ocean, Rhino-Mist, Thermoject, Pediamist, Dextrose/Sodium Chloride, Normal Saline Flush, Nasal Saline, Dextrose/Sodium Chloride/Potassium Chloride, SaltAire

Stress, Depression a 'Perfect Storm' of Trouble for Heart Patients

Posted 18 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 10, 2015 – Heart disease, depression and stress can be a deadly combination, a new study finds. Researchers looking at the effect of significant stress and deep depression on nearly 4,500 patients with heart disease called the pairing a "psychosocial perfect storm." "The combination of high stress and high depression symptoms may be particularly harmful for adults with heart disease during an early vulnerability period," said lead researcher Carmela Alcantara, an associate research scientist at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. "We found that those who reported both high stress and high depression were 48 percent more likely than those with low stress and low depression to have another heart attack or die in the first 2.5 years of follow-up," she said. Longer follow-up did not show a significant association, however. People with both stress and ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Anxiety and Stress, Heart Disease, Heart Attack, Major Depressive Disorder, Myocardial Infarction

Good Heart Health May Help Stave Off Dementia, Study Says

Posted 18 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 10, 2015 – Good heart health may help protect you against Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia, a new study suggests. Vanderbilt University researchers analyzed data from just over 1,000 people who were followed for 11 years. During that time, 32 participants developed dementia, including 26 with Alzheimer's. People with poorer heart function were two to three times more likely to develop dementia than those with healthy hearts, according to the study recently published online in the journal Circulation. "Heart function could prove to be a major risk factor for dementia and Alzheimer's disease," principal investigator Angela Jefferson, director of the Vanderbilt Memory and Alzheimer's Center, said in a university news release. "A very encouraging aspect of our findings is that heart health is a modifiable risk. You may not be able to change your genetics or ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Ischemic Heart Disease

More Evidence That Hormone Therapy Might Not Help Women's Hearts

Posted 18 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 10, 2015 – There's yet another study looking at the potential dangers of hormone replacement therapy for menopausal symptoms, and this one supports the notion that the treatment may not help women's hearts. The research, a review of collected data on the issue, found that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) does not protect most postmenopausal women against heart disease and may even increase their risk of stroke. Also, the findings suggest that the harms and benefits of hormone therapy may vary depending on woman's age when she started the therapy, explained study lead author Dr. Henry Boardman, of the cardiovascular medicine department at the University of Oxford in England. "This 'Timing Hypothesis' may be the critical key to the use of HRT," agreed one expert, Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, director of women and heart disease at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "For ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Hot Flashes, Microgestin Fe 1/20, Loestrin 24 Fe, Menopausal Disorders, Estradiol, Premarin, Estrace, Ethinyl Estradiol, Lo Loestrin Fe, Postmenopausal Symptoms, Prempro, Vivelle, Junel Fe 1/20, Vagifem, Climara, Estrace Vaginal Cream, Necon 1/35, Microgestin 1/20, Estratest

Early Onset Hot Flashes May Point to Raised Heart Disease Risk

Posted 5 Mar 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 3, 2015 – Women who start having hot flashes at a younger age may be at increased risk for heart disease, according to two studies conducted by the same team of researchers. One of the studies also found that women who have more frequent hot flashes during a typical day may be at raised heart risk. Led by Rebecca Thurston, of the University of Pittsburgh, the studies found that women who begin experiencing hot flashes earlier in life appear to have poorer function of the lining of the blood vessels than those who have hot flashes at a later age, or not at all. Impaired function in the blood vessel's walls – called reduced endothelial function – is the earliest sign of heart disease, the researchers noted. "Hot flashes occur at a time in a woman's life when her risk for heart disease increases," said Thurston, who is an associate professor of psychiatry, psychology and ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Hot Flashes, Menopausal Disorders, Postmenopausal Symptoms, Perimenopausal Symptoms, Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders, Hypertensive Heart Disease

Do Heart Surgery Patients Get Too Many Blood Tests?

Posted 2 Mar 2015 by Drugs.com

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 24 Feb 2015 by Drugs.com

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, Anaprox

Mental Illness, Homelessness Linked to Heart Disease in Study

Posted 24 Feb 2015 by Drugs.com

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 18 Feb 2015 by Drugs.com

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 17 Feb 2015 by Drugs.com

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

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