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Heart Disease Blog

Related terms: Congenital Heart Disease

Study Links Antibiotic to Slight Rise in Heart Patients' Death Risk

Posted 16 May 2012 by

WEDNESDAY, May 16 – The widely prescribed antibiotic azithromycin may slightly raise the risk of death in patients with heart disease, a new study suggests. Several antibiotics have been tied to an increased risk of sudden death among heart patients, and recent reports have suggested azithromycin (Zithromax) might be part of that group, said the researchers, from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. "For patients with elevated cardiovascular risk, the cardiovascular effects of azithromycin may be an important clinical consideration," said study author Wayne Ray, a professor of preventive medicine at the school. "All antibiotics have risks and benefits, which must be considered in the prescribing decision." When patients and their doctors consider an antibiotic, they should weigh the heart risks of azithromycin against the severity of the infection and the effectiveness of ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Azithromycin, Zithromax, Zithromax Z-Pak, Zithromax TRI-PAK, Zithromax IV, Zmax

Today's Kids May Be Destined for Adult Heart Disease

Posted 4 May 2012 by

FRIDAY, May 4 – No longer an adults-only issue, heart health has become increasingly problematic for American children. An array of factors has been deemed key to a healthy heart by the American Heart Association, including maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active on a regular basis, eating a healthy diet, not smoking and keeping blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels normal. But half of U.S. kids meet just four or fewer of these health criteria, according to a report, Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics – 2012 Update, which was published in Circulation. And, among those in high school, 30 percent of girls and 17 percent of boys do not get the recommended 60 minutes a day of physical activity, the report noted. In addition, a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that one in five children had abnormal cholesterol levels, which ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease

Study Finds Direct Link Between Obesity, Heart Disease

Posted 2 May 2012 by

WEDNESDAY, May 2 – A large new study is the first to show a direct link between a high body-mass index and the risk of developing heart disease, British and Danish researchers say. Body-mass index (BMI) is a measurement based on height and weight. People with a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 are normal weight while those with a BMI of 30 or more are obese. Those in between are deemed overweight. For the study, the researchers analyzed data from more than 75,000 people in Copenhagen and found that those with a high BMI had a 26 percent increased risk of developing heart disease. Further analysis using genetic and other data showed that a BMI increase of 4 points increases the risk of heart disease by no less than 52 percent. "By doing epidemiological studies combined with genetic analysis, we have been able to show in a group of nearly 76,000 persons that a high BMI is enough in itself to damage ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Heart Disease

Healthy Weight Loss May Also Cut Your Cancer Risk

Posted 1 May 2012 by

TUESDAY, May 1 – Moderate weight loss reduces levels of inflammation that have been tied to certain cancers, at least in postmenopausal women, a new study suggests. According to the findings, older women who lost at least 5 percent of their body weight through diet alone or diet plus exercise showed significant reductions in key inflammatory blood markers such as C-reactive protein and interleukin-6. In addition to risk for heart disease, elevated levels of these markers have also been associated with increased risk for several cancers, including breast, colon, lung and endometrial cancer. The findings appear May 1 in the journal Cancer Research. "Our findings support weight loss through calorie reduction and increased exercise as a means for reducing inflammatory biomarkers and thereby potentially reducing cancer risk in overweight and obese postmenopausal women," said researchers led ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Heart Disease

No Proof That Gum Disease Causes Heart Disease, Experts Say

Posted 18 Apr 2012 by

WEDNESDAY, April 18 – A new scientific statement issued by the American Heart Association says no convincing evidence exists linking untreated gum disease to heart disease or stroke. Nor is there strong evidence that treating gum disease can reduce your risk of heart disease or stroke, the report says. For more than 100 years, it was said that gum, or periodontal, disease could lead to cardiovascular disease, a major cause of death in the United States, but an extensive analysis found no proof of that connection. "It's a statement that current science does not support a direct association or a causative association," said Dr. Peter Lockhart, a professor, dentist and co-chair of oral medicine at the Carolinas Medical Center, in Charlotte, N.C. The report has been in the works for more than three years, Lockhart said. "It was a matter of finding out, what is the state of the science?" ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Oral and Dental Conditions, Periodontitis

More Smog Might Mean More Hospitalizations

Posted 18 Apr 2012 by

WEDNESDAY, April 18 – Long-term exposure to fine-particle air pollution may increase older adults' risk of being hospitalized for lung and heart disease, stroke and diabetes, a new study says. Harvard School of Public Health researchers compared air-quality data with hospital admission records on all Medicare patients aged 65 and older admitted to 3,000 New England hospitals between 2000 and 2006. The researchers focused on fine air particles known as PM2.5, which have a diameter of 2.5 microns or less and are narrower than the width of a human hair. These particles – emitted by vehicles, power plants, wood-burning devices and some industrial processes – can lodge in the lungs and cause inflammation throughout the body. "Our study found that long-term rates of admissions for pneumonia, heart attacks, strokes and diabetes are higher in locations with higher long-term average particle ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Asthma, Heart Disease, Ischemic Stroke, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Respiratory Tract Disease

Spouses of Cancer Patients May Have Raised Risk of Heart Disease, Stroke

Posted 11 Apr 2012 by

WEDNESDAY, April 11 – The spouses of cancer patients are at increased risk of heart disease and stroke, a new study suggests. Researchers said the explanation might be that stress takes a toll on the health of caregivers. Using the national Swedish cancer registry and the Swedish inpatient registry, researchers found that risk for heart disease and stroke increased by 13 to 29 percent in people whose partner had cancer. "Our study shows that preventive efforts aimed at reducing psychological stress and negative risk factors are important for people whose life partner has got cancer," Jianguang Ji, a researcher from the Centre for Primary Healthcare Research in Malmo, Sweden, said in a university news release. "Previous studies have shown that preventive work can considerably reduce stress and anxiety in close relatives of patients." The study authors considered another explanation for ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Ischemic Stroke

EKG Heart Test May Predict Risk in Older Adults

Posted 10 Apr 2012 by

TUESDAY, April 10 – Minor changes in the results of a commonly used heart test – an electrocardiogram, or EKG – translate into a 35 percent increased risk of heart events, such as heart attacks, hospitalizations for chest pain or the need for heart surgery, in people over 70, according to new research. For people with major abnormalities in their EKG, the risk of having a heart event is even higher, compared to people with normal tests. "We analyzed data from the Health, Aging and Body Composition Study. More than 3,000 patients had an electrocardiogram done at baseline, but we only included the people who didn't have a previous history of coronary heart disease or cardiovascular disease, so no heart attacks or strokes," said lead study author Dr. Reto Auer, a research fellow in the department of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco. "We found ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Heart Disease, Angina, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders

Witnessing, Experiencing Traumatic Events May Worsen Heart Disease

Posted 4 Apr 2012 by

WEDNESDAY, April 4 – Large amounts of lifetime exposure to traumatic stress – even when it doesn't result in post-traumatic stress disorder – boosts inflammation levels in heart disease patients, a new study suggests. The findings are important because it's known that heart disease patients with higher levels of inflammation tend to fare worse, according to the researchers at the University of California, San Francisco and the San Francisco VA Medical Center. They looked at the exposures to 18 types of traumatic events experienced by nearly 1,000 patients aged 45 to 90 with cardiovascular disease. All the traumatic events involved either experiencing or witnessing a direct threat to life or physical well-being. The more traumatic stress patients experienced in a lifetime, the more likely they were to have elevated levels of inflammatory markers in their bloodstream. When the ... Read more

Related support groups: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Heart Disease

Ob/Gyn Visit a Good Time to Screen for Heart Disease: Study

Posted 26 Mar 2012 by

MONDAY, March 26 – Women should be screened for heart disease – a leading cause of death among women in the United States – during routine visits to obstetrics and gynecology clinics, a new study suggests. Researchers from Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City found that heart screenings performed during visits to obstetrician/gynecologists could help identify women with undetected risk factors for the condition. In addition, the screenings could significantly increase awareness among women about heart disease prevention and treatment, the researchers added. "There is a real disparity in the medical community where we tend to think heart disease is a disease of men, and historically we have not done a very good job of screening women for cardiovascular risk factors," the study's principal investigator, Dr. Roxana Mehran, director of interventional cardiovascular research and ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease

Both Too Little and Too Much Sleep Bad for the Heart: Study

Posted 25 Mar 2012 by

SUNDAY, March 25 – When it comes to what's best for their hearts, people walk a fine line between getting too much and too little sleep, a new study suggests. Adults who get fewer than six hours or more than eight hours of sleep a night are at greater risk for a variety of heart conditions, according to research led by Dr. Rohit Arora, chairman of cardiology at the Chicago Medical School. Sleeping too little puts people at significantly higher risk of stroke, heart attack and congestive heart failure, the researchers found. On the other hand, people who sleep too much have a higher prevalence of chest pain (angina) and coronary artery disease, a narrowing of the blood vessels that supply the heart with blood and oxygen. The findings are scheduled for presentation Sunday at the American College of Cardiology annual meeting in Chicago. The researchers analyzed data from more than 3,000 ... Read more

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

Giving Birth to Small Babies Linked to Heart Disease in Moms: Study

Posted 15 Mar 2012 by

THURSDAY, March 15 – Women who deliver full-term infants with low birth weights have nearly double the risk of developing ischemic heart disease, a new study says. These types of pregnancies may cause long-term cardiovascular changes that increase a mother's risk for heart disease, according to the researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. Ischemic heart disease affects the supply of blood to the heart. The researchers analyzed data from more than 6,600 women who took part in the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 1999 and 2006. Ischemic heart disease occurred in 9.6 percent of women who delivered an infant that was small for their gestational age, defined as weighing less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces after 37 weeks of gestation. The rate of heart disease was 5.7 percent in women who gave birth to a normal-weight baby. The researchers ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease

Health Tip: Protect Yourself From Heart Disease

Posted 9 Mar 2012 by

-- The most common type of heart disease occurs when fatty plaque deposits build up on the walls of vessels that carry oxygenated blood to the heart. The website offers these suggestions to help lower your risk: Keep cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure under control. Don't smoke. Maintain a healthy body weight. Get plenty of regular exercise. Limit alcohol consumption. Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease

Depression Could Worsen Mental Decline in Heart Patients

Posted 5 Mar 2012 by

MONDAY, March 5 – Older people with heart disease who have undergone a cardiac catheterization may be at much greater risk for mental decline if they also show persistent signs of depression, according to a new study. Researchers from the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada, followed 350 patients aged 60 or older who had a nonemergency catheterization and found those who had persistent symptoms of depression experienced significantly greater mental decline 30 months after their procedure. Being depressed within the first year after surgery was a significant risk factor for continued decline over the next 18 months. Lead researcher Elizabeth Freiheit and her colleagues found mental declines were most severe for people with a specific gene form – the apolipoprotein E epsilon-4 allele – which is believed to be a genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease. For patients with heart ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Heart Disease

BPA Exposure May Raise Risk of Heart Disease

Posted 28 Feb 2012 by

TUESDAY, Feb. 28 – Exposure to bisphenol A (BPA), a controversial chemical commonly used to make plastics, increases a person's risk of developing heart disease later in life, a new study suggests. People primarily are exposed to BPA through packaged foods and drinks, but also may be exposed through drinking water, dental sealants and inhaling household dust. Over a 10-year period, researchers compared BPA levels in 758 people who were initially healthy but later developed heart disease to levels in 861 people who did not develop the disease. These subjects were part of a long-term population study led by the University of Cambridge, in the U.K. The study found that the subjects who developed heart disease had higher levels of the chemical in their urine at the start of the study than those who did not develop the disease. The researchers, from the Peninsula College of Medicine and ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease

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Arrhythmia, Cardiomyopathy, Ischemic Heart Disease, Endocarditis, Pericarditis, Abnormal Electrocardiogram, Hemopericardium, Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders

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