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Related terms: A-fib, Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation, PAF, AFib, AF

Could Chocolate Guard Against an Irregular Heartbeat?

Posted 3 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 23, 2017 – There's delicious news for chocolate lovers: New research suggests the sweet might help keep a common and dangerous form of irregular heartbeat at bay. The study of more than 55,000 people in Denmark found that those who favored chocolate tended to have a lower risk of atrial fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat that raises stroke risk. The study tracked people's health for more than 13 years, over which time more than 3,300 cases of atrial fibrillation emerged. The study wasn't designed to prove cause and effect. However, compared with people who ate a 1-ounce serving of chocolate less than once a month, the risk of atrial fibrillation was 10 percent lower among those who ate one to three servings a month, 17 percent lower among those who ate one serving a week, and 20 percent lower among those who ate two to six servings of chocolate a week. But the benefit ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Atrial Fibrillation

Sleep Apnea May Boost Odds of Irregular Heartbeat

Posted 3 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 23, 2017 – People with sleep apnea may be more likely to develop the abnormal heart rhythm atrial fibrillation, especially if the oxygen level in their blood drops below normal, Canadian researchers report. Sleep apnea, which obstructs breathing, causes people to wake many times during the night to start breathing again. It's possible, researchers said, that disrupted sleep along with a drop in the level of oxygen in the blood might lead to atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation causes a rapid and irregular heartbeat. This can lead to stroke and heart problems. "Patients who are at risk for obstructive sleep apnea should undergo testing, particularly if they have other cardiac risk factors," said study senior researcher Dr. Richard Leung, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Toronto. "Therapy should be strongly considered for patients who have ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Type 2, Hypertension, Smoking, Atrial Fibrillation, Smoking Cessation, Sleep Apnea, Insulin Resistance, Pre-Diabetes, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Obstructive Sleep Apnea/Hypopnea Syndrome, Diabetes Mellitus, Abnormal Glucose Tolerance, Hypertensive Heart Disease

Heart Health Might Be a Matter of Geography

Posted 11 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 16, 2017 – The county you call home may have a lot to do with your chances of dying from heart disease or stroke, a new U.S. study reveals. Although deaths from cardiovascular disease have been dropping overall for the past 35 years in the United States, there are still pockets across the country where these death rates are unusually high, the researchers said. Poverty and lack of access to quality care may doom many Americans to early deaths, the study authors suggested. "In some counties, the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease is extremely low, while in other counties the risk continues to be very high," said lead researcher Dr. Gregory Roth. He is an assistant professor of cardiology at the University of Washington. In Pitkin County in Colorado, for example, about 35 people out of 100,000 died from heart disease in 2014 – the lowest death rate in the United ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Atrial Fibrillation, Arrhythmia, Aortic Aneurysm, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Endocarditis, Bacterial Endocarditis Prevention, Bacterial Endocarditis Prophylaxis, Ischemic Heart Disease, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis

Better Treatment Might Prevent Hundreds of Thousands of Strokes

Posted 12 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, May 15, 2017 – Hundreds of thousands of strokes might be prevented in the United States each year if more people with a heart rhythm disorder called atrial fibrillation took blood-thinning medications, a new study estimates. Atrial fibrillation causes the heart to quiver instead of beating normally. This causes blood to pool and possibly clot, according to the American Heart Association. If one of those clots breaks free, it can go to the brain and cause a stroke. "Though not a life-threatening rhythm abnormality per se, atrial fibrillation can be associated with devastating life-altering consequences, namely disabling stroke," said one expert, Dr. Nicholas Skipitaris. He directs cardiac electrophysiology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. Unfortunately, too few people are getting the treatment for "a-fib" that they need, the new study found. Taking blood thinners might ... Read more

Related support groups: Warfarin, Coumadin, Atrial Fibrillation, Ischemic Stroke, Xarelto, Pradaxa, Eliquis, Lovenox, Transient Ischemic Attack, Heparin, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Rivaroxaban, Enoxaparin, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Apixaban, Fragmin, Clexane, Arixtra, Hep-Pak, Dalteparin

Blood Thinners May Prevent Dementia in Atrial Fibrillation Patients

Posted 13 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, May 12, 2017 – Blood thinners are often prescribed to prevent strokes in people with the abnormal heart rhythm known as atrial fibrillation. But a new study suggests these drugs may also help keep dementia at bay. The researchers said that the key is to start blood thinners, such as warfarin, soon after atrial fibrillation is diagnosed. That's true even for people at low risk of a stroke who wouldn't normally be given blood thinners. "We found that people who are on warfarin – the most common blood thinner used to prevent stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation – experienced very low rates of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease," said lead researcher Dr. T. Jared Bunch. He's director of heart rhythm research at Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Murray, Utah. Atrial fibrillation is a common heart abnormality that affects nearly 3 million American adults. ... Read more

Related support groups: Aspirin, Warfarin, Coumadin, Atrial Fibrillation, Ischemic Stroke, Xarelto, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Excedrin, Eliquis, Transient Ischemic Attack, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Aggrenox, Alka-Seltzer, Fiorinal, Rivaroxaban, Excedrin Migraine, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Arthritis Pain, Ecotrin

Taller, Bigger Women May Face Irregular Heartbeat Risk

Posted 10 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 10, 2017 – Big or tall women are nearly three times as likely to develop the dangerous irregular heart rhythm known as atrial fibrillation as smaller women, a preliminary study says. The larger a woman's body size as a young adult, the more likely she is to develop the heart disorder later in life, according to the researchers. "There was a stepwise elevation in risk with increasing body size," said study author Dr. Annika Rosengren. "The group with the highest body surface area had nearly three times the risk as those with the lowest body surface area," added Rosengren, a professor of internal medicine at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heartbeat that develops in the atria – the two upper chambers of the heart. The quivering heartbeat increases risk of stroke, heart failure and other heart rhythm problems, according to the ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Atrial Fibrillation, Arrhythmia, Cardiac Arrhythmia, Abnormal Electrocardiogram

Heart Devices 101: Guide to the Tools That Keep You Ticking

Posted 3 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, April 2, 2017 – Pacemakers, defibrillators and other medical devices have saved the lives of millions of people worldwide. Someone you know probably has received one of these heart-health enhancers, although not all have become household words. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration evaluates and regulates these and other medical devices in the United States. Below, the agency provides a brief glossary of terms that might come in handy when a doctor recommends a cardiac tool: Heart pacemakers: These small, battery-powered devices are implanted in the body. They deliver an electric shock to restore normal heart rhythm when the heart beats too slowly. Implantable cardioverter defibrillators: These deliver a shock to restore normal heart rhythm when the heart beats too fast. Automated external defibrillators: These portable, automatic devices are found in many public locations. ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Atrial Fibrillation, Heart Attack, Arrhythmia, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Tachyarrhythmia, Angina, Supraventricular Tachycardia, Prosthetic Heart Valves, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Cardiac Arrhythmia, Mitral Valve Prolapse, Myocardial Infarction, Ventricular Tachycardia, Prosthetic Heart Valves - Mechanical Valves, Mitral Insufficiency, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Atrial Flutter, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)

Exercise a Great Prescription to Help Older Hearts

Posted 24 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 23, 2017 – Regular exercise is potent medicine for older adults with heart disease, a new American Heart Association scientific statement says. Physical activity should be a key part of care for older adults with heart disease who want to reduce their symptoms and build their stamina, said geriatric cardiologist Dr. Daniel Forman. He's chair of the panel that wrote the new statement. "Many health-care providers are focused only on the medical management of diseases – such as heart failure, heart attacks, valvular heart disease and strokes – without directly focusing on helping patients maximize their physical function," Forman said in a heart association news release. Yet, after a heart attack or other cardiac event, patients need to gain strength. Their independence may require the ability "to lift a grocery bag and to carry it to their car," said Forman, a professor ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Atrial Fibrillation, Ischemic Stroke, Heart Attack, Arrhythmia, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Transient Ischemic Attack, Myocardial Infarction, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Ischemic Heart Disease

Heart Drug Digoxin May Raise Death Risk for Some Patients: Study

Posted 22 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 22, 2017 – The heart drug digoxin might raise the risk of death in people with a common heart rhythm disorder, and those patients should not take the drug, a new study suggests. Researchers analyzed data from nearly 18,000 atrial fibrillation patients in an international stroke prevention trial, including about 32 percent who were on digoxin at the start of the trial and nearly 7 percent who started taking the drug at some point during the trial. There was no significant association between digoxin use and death risk among patients who were already taking digoxin and therefore more likely to tolerate it, said study author Dr. Renato Lopes, a member of the Clinical Research Institute at Duke University in Durham, N.C. However, even among those patients, the risk of death was related to digoxin concentration in the blood. For every 0.5 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) ... Read more

Related support groups: Atrial Fibrillation, Digoxin, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Lanoxin, Digitek, Digox, Lanoxicaps, Cardoxin

Pradaxa Beats Warfarin After Heart Rhythm Procedure: Study

Posted 20 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 20, 2017 – Patients undergoing a surgical procedure to treat an irregular heartbeat are less likely to suffer problematic bleeding when given the blood thinner Pradaxa rather than warfarin, a new study finds. The two blood thinners were evaluated in a study of more than 600 patients. All had a minimally invasive procedure called catheter ablation to correct the heart rhythm disorder known as atrial fibrillation. The risk of having a major bleeding event among patients taking warfarin (Coumadin) was about 7 percent, whereas the risk among those taking Pradaxa (dabigatran) was just under 2 percent, said lead researcher Dr. Hugh Calkins. "It's an absolute risk difference of 5 [percentage points], or a 77 percent lower risk," said Calkins, a professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. "I think this will change practice," he said. ... Read more

Related support groups: Warfarin, Coumadin, Atrial Fibrillation, Pradaxa, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Jantoven, Dabigatran, Reversal of Dabigatran

Are Blood Thinners Overused in Patients With Irregular Heartbeat?

Posted 17 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, March 17, 2017 – Many people living with the heart rhythm disorder known as atrial fibrillation may be taking unneeded blood thinners, a new study suggests. These blood thinners, which include aspirin, Plavix and warfarin, are believed to reduce the risk of stroke that can come with atrial fibrillation. But for many atrial fibrillation patients with a low stroke risk, the medications might actually increase both bleeding and stroke risk, researchers reported. The way most doctors decide whether a patient needs a blood thinner is by using a simple score called CHADS2, which assigns points to patients based on age and other medical risks. A score of 2 is usually needed to recommend a blood thinner, the researchers explained. But, "people are realizing that the CHADS2 scores are putting too many people above the threshold – it's pretty easy to get a 2," explained study author ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Aspirin, Atrial Fibrillation, Plavix, Ischemic Stroke, Excedrin, Clopidogrel, Transient Ischemic Attack, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Aggrenox, Alka-Seltzer, Fiorinal, Excedrin Migraine, Arthritis Pain, Ecotrin, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Fiorinal with Codeine, Arthritis Pain Formula, Bayer Aspirin

Many With Irregular Heartbeat Not on Meds They Need: Study

Posted 14 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 14, 2017 – Many people with an irregular heartbeat who suffer a stroke may not have been on medications that might have prevented their stroke, a new study suggests. Duke University researchers found that 84 percent of stroke patients with the heart condition known as atrial fibrillation (AF) had not been getting adequate clot-preventing therapy. Dr. David Wilber, a cardiologist at Loyola University Medical Center in Illinois, called the findings "sobering." "This emphasizes the fact that probably the most important cause of stroke in AF patients is under-anticoagulation or no anticoagulation," said Wilber, who is also editor-in-chief of the journal JACC: Clinical Electrophysiology. Study lead researcher Dr. Ying Xian agreed. "We estimate that the vast majority of these strokes could have been prevented if patients had the appropriate anticoagulation," said Xian, an ... Read more

Related support groups: Warfarin, Coumadin, Atrial Fibrillation, Ischemic Stroke, Xarelto, Pradaxa, Eliquis, Transient Ischemic Attack, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis, Jantoven

Shocks From Implanted Defibrillators Trigger Health Costs of Their Own

Posted 15 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 15, 2017 – While implanted defibrillators can deliver a potentially lifesaving shock to a heart that's beating erratically, patients often wind up in the emergency room or the hospital needing medical procedures afterwards, a new study shows. That was the case whether the shock was needed or not, and in 38 percent of cases it wasn't, the researchers added. "I see two implications," said study co-author Dr. Matthew Reynolds. "First, we need to do all we can to minimize these shock events, which are known to negatively affect patients' quality of life, are undesirable clinically and, in our study, trigger costly medical interventions." These procedures include invasive measures to test the heart's function, according to the study. "Second, there is no standard approach to managing these events . . . so we need to develop a better understanding of which interventions are ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Atrial Fibrillation, Arrhythmia, Cardiac Arrhythmia, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Ventricular Arrhythmia, Ischemic Heart Disease

Heart Disease Could Cost U.S. $1 Trillion Per Year By 2035: Report

Posted 14 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 14, 2017 – Heart disease is increasing at a troubling pace in the United States, with costs expected to double from $555 billion in 2016 to a whopping $1.1 trillion in 2035, a new American Heart Association report estimates. "Our new projections indicate cardiovascular disease is on a course that could bankrupt our nation's economy and health care system," said AHA President Steven Houser. He's also associate dean of research at Temple University in Philadelphia. By 2035, 45 percent of the total U.S. population – about 131 million people – will have at least one health problem related to heart disease, the AHA report projected. Heart disease is spreading much more quickly than previously estimated, Houser said at a news conference. The last time the AHA performed these calculations, in 2011, researchers projected that by 2030 about 40 percent of the United States would ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Atrial Fibrillation, Ischemic Stroke, Heart Attack, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Myocardial Infarction, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Ischemic Heart Disease, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis

Hospitalizations for Common Heart Rhythm Problem on the Rise

Posted 6 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 6, 2017 – U.S. patients with a common heart rhythm disorder called atrial fibrillation (AFib) are ending up in the hospital more often than before, a new study says. The good news is that they're surviving more, too. "The more intensive and costly inpatient care that we're providing for AFib recently is associated with decreasing rates of readmission and both short- and longer-term death rates," study first author Dr. James Freeman said in a Yale University news release. He is an assistant professor of medicine (cardiology) at the school. Freeman noted that use of several newer treatments increased during the study period, including catheter ablation and medications. The use of ablation, which involves burning or freezing specific areas of the heart, rose along with improvements in hospitalizations and death rates. Atrial fibrillation – marked by electrical irregularities ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Atrial Fibrillation, Arrhythmia, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders, Cardiothoracic Surgery

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