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Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders News

Which Heart Bypass Surgery Works Best?

Posted 17 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 17, 2017 – Five years after heart bypass surgery, patients whose operation was done using a heart-lung pump lived longer than those whose surgeons didn't use the device, a new study finds. Since the 1990s, two different approaches have been commonly used by heart surgeons to perform coronary artery bypass graft operations. Coronary artery bypass creates new routes for blood to flow to the heart because old routes are blocked by plaque in the artery. A piece of blood vessel is taken from another area of the body (often the leg) and used to "bypass" a blocked vessel going to the heart, according to the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The two different ways to do this surgery have been referred to as "on-pump," assisted by a heart-lung machine, or "off-pump." Which procedure produces better results has been controversial, the researchers said. "The ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Acute Coronary Syndrome, Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders, Acute Coronary Syndrome - Prophylaxis, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Coronary Arteriography

Obesity Slows Recovery for Heart Surgery Patients: Study

Posted 10 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 10, 2017 – Obese heart surgery patients spend more time in intensive care and take longer to recover than those who aren't obese, a new Canadian study finds. Researchers examined data from nearly 5,400 patients who had heart surgery at the New Brunswick Heart Center between January 2006 and December 2013. Of those, 36 percent were obese. After heart surgery, obese patients were four times more likely to need extra time in the ICU; three times more likely to need extra time on mechanical ventilation; and three times more likely to be readmitted to the ICU, the study showed. Obese patients also had longer overall hospital stays and were more likely to be discharged with home care. It all adds up to more labor-intensive and costly care for these patients, according to the researchers. The study was published online Aug. 10 in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery. "Obesity is a ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Obesity, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders, Surgical Prophylaxis, Cardiothoracic Surgery

A Reminder That Meds and Grapefruit Don't Always Mix

Posted 23 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, July 23, 2017 – If you like grapefruit juice, you need to be aware that it can affect the way some medications work, especially those used to treat high blood pressure or an irregular heart rhythm. That's the message from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The FDA requires some prescription and over-the-counter drugs taken by mouth to include warnings against drinking grapefruit juice or eating grapefruit while taking the drug. In most types of medications that interact with grapefruit juice, "the juice lets more of the drug enter the blood. When there is too much drug in the blood, you may have more side effects," the FDA's Shiew Mei Huang said in an agency news release. Examples of types of drugs that can be affected by grapefruit include: Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, such as Zocor (simvastatin) and Lipitor (atorvastatin). High blood pressure drugs, such as ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Grapefruit, Atorvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Allegra, Amiodarone, Lovastatin, Zocor, Restasis, Fexofenadine, Cyclosporine, Rosuvastatin, Allegra-D, Red Yeast Rice, Pravachol

Patient's Education Level May Be Key to Heart Risk

Posted 12 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 12, 2017 – How far people go in school seems to be linked to their odds for heart disease, new research suggests. A team led by Dr. Yasuhiko Kubota, of the University of Minnesota, tracked data from nearly 14,000 white and black Americans, followed from 1987 through 2013. For men, the risk of cardiovascular disease – coronary heart disease, heart failure and stroke – between ages 45 to 85 ranged from 59 percent for those with a grade school education, to 42 percent for those who'd earned a graduate degree. Among women, nearly 51 percent of those with a grade school education had heart disease, compared to just 28 percent of those who'd completed graduate school, the findings showed. The study couldn't prove a cause-and-effect relationship, but Kubota's team noted that the finding remained even after they adjusted for other factors, such as income, occupation or how well ... Read more

Related support groups: Lisinopril, Metoprolol, Amlodipine, Losartan, Atenolol, Heart Disease, Benicar, Diovan, Diltiazem, Lasix, Bystolic, Norvasc, Furosemide, Verapamil, Ramipril, Bisoprolol, Nifedipine, Valsartan, Enalapril, Cozaar

Snake Venom May One Day Help Heart Patients

Posted 8 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 8, 2017 – Scary pit vipers may need an image upgrade: Their venom might end up helping human heart patients, research suggests. Taiwanese scientists say a blood thinner drug based on venom from the Wagler's pit viper was effective in mice, and might prove safer than current anti-clotting meds for humans one day. The serpent-medicine connection isn't new, one cardiologist noted, since venom typically kills by disrupting the blood's clotting mechanisms. "Blood thinner medications have a long and storied history with snake venom," said Dr Satjit Bhysri, a heart specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. In fact, "many current blood thinners are based on initial experiments from proteins found in snake venom," he added. In the new study, a team led by Tur-Fu Huang, a pharmacology researcher at National Taiwan University, focused on the venom of the ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Diagnosis and Investigation, Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders

Bystander CPR Helps Save Brain Function After Near-Drowning

Posted 26 May 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, May 26, 2017 – Near-drowning victims are more likely to recover with good brain function if bystanders immediately begin chest compressions rather than wait for emergency personnel to arrive, researchers report. "What we found is that when bystanders begin CPR [cardiopulmonary resuscitation] before emergency personnel arrive, the person has a higher chance of leaving the hospital and leading a life reasonably close to the one they had before the drowning," said study leader Dr. Joshua Tobin. He is an associate professor of clinical anesthesiology at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine. Drowning claims about 10 lives a day in the United States, the study authors said in a school news release. The new study included more than 900 cases of people who suffered cardiac arrest after almost drowning. "When we talk about cardiac arrest, there's no doubt that ... Read more

Related support groups: Cardiac Arrhythmia, Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders, Cardiac Arrest, Cardiogenic Shock

Bystander CPR Not Only Saves Lives, It Lessens Disability: Study

Posted 4 May 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 4, 2017 – When someone goes into cardiac arrest, quick action from bystanders can have a long-lasting impact, researchers say. Not only were the patients more likely to survive, they were also significantly less likely to sustain brain damage or enter a nursing home in the following year, a new study found. It's well known that cardiac arrest victims have a better shot at surviving if witnesses jump into action, said lead researcher Dr. Kristian Kragholm. That means performing chest compressions or, if possible, using an automated external defibrillator (AED) – a layperson-friendly device that can "shock" a stopped heart back into rhythm. The new study findings, Kragholm noted, show those actions have long-term benefits, too. "Our study findings underscore the importance of learning how to recognize cardiac arrest, how to do chest compressions, and how to employ an AED," ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Heart Attack, Myocardial Infarction, Cardiac Arrest, Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders, Cardiogenic Shock, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis, Post MI Syndrome

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

Just 17 U.S. States Require Defibrillators in Some Schools

Posted 27 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 27, 2017 – Automated external defibrillators in schools save lives, but only about one-third of U.S. states require the devices in at least some schools, a new study reveals. As of February 2016, researchers found that 33 states had no legislation requiring automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) in schools. The portable devices treat sudden cardiac arrest – the abrupt, unexpected loss of heart function. They deliver a shock meant to restore normal heart rhythm. Defibrillators are easy to use by bystanders, but time is crucial. The chances of survival decrease 10 percent for every minute a shock is not applied, research has shown. "This review should be used to inform the debate about expanding community-access AEDs into schools," said study lead author Dr. Mark Sherrid. Of the 17 states with AED requirements, only one requires them in public and private grade schools ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Attack, Arrhythmia, Myocardial Infarction, Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders, Cardiac Arrest, Cardiogenic Shock

Fewer Successful Malpractice Claims in U.S., But Higher Payouts

Posted 27 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 27, 2017 – The rate of paid medical malpractice claims in the United States has declined significantly, dropping nearly 56 percent between 1992 and 2014, researchers report. At the same time, the average payout for successful malpractice claims rose about 23 percent – topping $353,000 in 2009-2014, up from about $287,000 during the 1992-1996 period, the study found. These two trends could reflect the influence of tort reform on malpractice lawsuits, said lead author Dr. Adam Schaffer, an instructor at Harvard Medical School. Laws that limit, or cap, damage claims could make it tough to find an attorney to take on your case, resulting in fewer claims filed, Schaffer said. "Fewer attorneys could be interested in taking claims if there's going to be a smaller potential payout, given that most attorneys are paid on a contingency basis," he explained. Tort reform also has ... Read more

Related support groups: Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders

House Republicans Unveil Their Rx for Obamacare

Posted 8 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 7, 2017 – House Republicans have unveiled their long-anticipated plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with a stripped-down system of individual tax credits. The proposed legislation would preserve some of the most popular features of the controversial health reform law sometimes called Obamacare, while eliminating some aspects that never caught on with the public. Young adults could still stay on their parents' health plans until age 26, and insurers still could not deny coverage or charge more to people with pre-existing conditions, according to a summary released Monday evening by the House Ways and Means Committee. House Republican leaders also have said they would maintain the Affordable Care Act's ban on lifetime insurance coverage caps, according to The New York Times. The proposed legislation would eliminate two of the Affordable Care Act's most ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Heart Disease, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders

For Elderly Needing Home Medical Care, Are Nurse Practitioners the Answer?

Posted 6 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 6, 2017 – Nurse practitioners could meet the growing need for house calls to frail, elderly Americans, but restrictions in some states may get in the way, researchers say. An analysis of Medicare data showed that in 2013, nurse practitioners made more than 1 million home visits nationwide, compared with 925,000 visits a year earlier. Doctors made 1 million home visits both years, the new study finds. The total number of home visits made by all types of health care providers increased from 4.9 million in 2012 to 5.2 million in 2013, the researchers found. The findings have "implications for both house-call providers and nursing education," said lead researcher Nengliang Yao. "If we want to take care of our geriatric population, we really need more providers to do so," added Yao, an assistant professor in the University of Virginia Medical School's department of public ... Read more

Related support groups: Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis, Fracture, bone, Prevention of Osteoporosis, Osteopenia, Compression Fracture of Vertebral Column, Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders, Prevention of Falls, Prevention of Fractures

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

Snowstorms May Bring Blizzard of Heart Troubles

Posted 31 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Jan. 30, 2017 – Snowstorms may leave more than a big mess in their wake: New research shows a sharp spike in hospital admissions for heart trouble two days after these weather events. Hospital admissions for heart attacks, chest pain and stroke actually fell on the day of the storm, the study found, possibly because people can't get out for care. But they rebounded again within the next 48 hours. The reasons for the trends aren't clear, the researchers said. "We're not talking to people and asking them, 'Why did you go to the hospital on this day and not that day?' " said study lead author Jennifer Bobb. Bobb was a postdoctoral researcher at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health when she worked on the study. She's now an assistant investigator at the Group Health Research Institute in Seattle. With emergency travel bans in place during major snowstorms, "maybe people ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders, Ischemic Heart Disease, Hypertensive Heart Disease, Prevention of Falls

More Than Half of Americans Have Chronic Health Problem: Study

Posted 3 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 2, 2016 – More than half of Americans have at least one chronic disease, mental illness or problem with drugs or alcohol, according to a new study. "The health of individuals in the U.S.A. is increasingly being defined by complexity and multimorbidity, the co-occurrence of two or more chronic medical conditions," said the study authors, Elizabeth Lee Reisinger Walker and Dr. Benjamin Druss. They emphasized that people with multiple health issues need more access to care and better coordination among their health care providers. The Emory University researchers examined public health records to find out what percentage of U.S. adults have chronic medical conditions, mental illness or substance abuse problems, and how many were also living in poverty. Chronic medical conditions looked at in the study included asthma, cirrhosis, diabetes, heart disease, hepatitis, high ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Bipolar Disorder, High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Smoking, Heart Disease, Schizophrenia, Smoking Cessation, Alcohol Dependence, Angina, Psychosis, Alcoholism, Psychiatric Disorders, Substance Abuse, Hangover, Drug Psychosis, Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders, Ischemic Heart Disease, Acute Alcohol Intoxication, Hypertensive Heart Disease

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