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Guidelines May Miss Need for Statins in Many U.S. Blacks

Posted 7 days ago by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, March 18, 2017 – U.S. medical organizations have conflicting guidelines on the use of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs in blacks, a new study finds. Researchers say that about one in four black Americans who are recommended to take a statin under guidelines from the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association would no longer qualify for such therapy under new guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). The USPSTF is an influential government-appointed group whose decisions often influence health care, including insurance coverage. The new study was led by Dr. Venkatesh Murthy of the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor. His team noted that while many studies have used artery scans to assess the need for statins by white patients, no such studies have focused on black patients. However, compared with whites, black Americans are at higher ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Vytorin, Rosuvastatin, Hypertriglyceridemia, Pravachol, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Simcor, Lescol, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Baycol

New Cholesterol Drugs May Beat Statins, But Price Tag Is High

Posted 9 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, March 17, 2017 – Two different injectable drugs can lower cholesterol levels even further than statins do, potentially warding off future heart attacks or strokes, new research suggests. However, some heart experts question whether the pricey medications, one of which costs roughly $14,000 a year to take, perform well enough to make them worth the extra money. In fact, some cardiologists said the drugs should be reserved only for patients with the highest heart risks. The drugs, evolocumab (Repatha) and inclisiran, both work by targeting PCSK9, an enzyme that regulates the liver's ability to remove "bad" LDL cholesterol from the bloodstream. By blocking the enzyme, the medications spur the body to screen out more cholesterol. Clinical trial results showed that evolocumab was linked to a 15 percent reduction in the risk of major heart events in patients who are already taking ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Hypertriglyceridemia, Pravachol, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Repatha, Praluent, Lescol, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Alirocumab

Too Much Screen Time May Raise Kids' Diabetes Risk

Posted 12 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 14, 2017 – Kids who get too much screen time may be more likely to have risk factors that increase their chances of type 2 diabetes, new research says. Watching television, playing video games or sitting in front of a computer or other device for more than three hours each day was linked to more body fat and insulin resistance. Those factors mean the body is less able to keep blood sugar levels under control, the British researchers said. They said limiting children's screen time could be necessary to prevent health issues later on. "Our findings suggest that reducing screen time may be beneficial in reducing type 2 diabetes risk factors, in both boys and girls and in different ethnic groups from an early age," wrote the study authors, led by Claire Nightingale, from St. George's University of London. "This is particularly relevant, given rising levels of type 2 ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, High Cholesterol, Insulin Resistance, Pre-Diabetes, Hypertriglyceridemia, Diabetes Mellitus, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Abnormal Glucose Tolerance, Intravenous Insulin Drip

1 in 7 Obese People Has Normal Blood Pressure, Cholesterol

Posted 17 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 9, 2017 – Can people really be healthy and obese? In one of the largest studies to date, researchers quantified the number of U.S. adults who are overweight or obese but don't have typical risk factors for heart disease and diabetes. Of 1.3 million overweight and obese people studied, 14 percent had normal blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure readings, the study found. Doctors use these "cardiometabolic" measures to help identify people at greater risk of having a heart attack or stroke or developing type 2 diabetes. But calling these people "healthy obese" is a misnomer, said lead author Gregory Nichols. "Just because they don't currently have risk factors doesn't mean they're not going to," said Nichols, a senior investigator at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore. The study suggests that might be true: Less than 2.8 percent of ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Obesity, Hypertension, High Cholesterol, Insulin Resistance, Pre-Diabetes, Hypertriglyceridemia, Diabetes Mellitus, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Abnormal Glucose Tolerance, Hypertensive Heart Disease

Cholesterol's Impact on Heart Attack Risk May Change With Age

Posted 18 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 8, 2017 – Cholesterol's impact on heart attack may differ by age, new research suggests. The study found that younger heart attack patients are much more likely to have significantly low levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol, rather than high levels of LDL ("bad") cholesterol. The findings might help doctors pinpoint which of their younger patients are in need of cholesterol-lowering therapies, the researchers said. "We . . . want to look at prescribing patterns for statins in younger patients who are at increased risk for heart disease," said study lead author Bradley Collins, a fourth-year student at Harvard Medical School. "Ultimately, we would like to develop new tools for calculating heart attack risk that are more applicable to younger people," Collins said in a news release from the American College of Cardiology (ACC). Most people who get their cholesterol checked ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Weight Loss, Heart Attack, High Cholesterol, Myocardial Infarction, Hypertriglyceridemia, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis

Many Hospital Workers Are an Unhealthy Lot: Study

Posted 7 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 7, 2017 – More than three-quarters of workers at six Houston hospitals are overweight or obese, a new study shows. Researchers surveyed 924 employees – mostly technicians and administrators – about their health status and diet. Doctors weren't part of the survey. The results showed that 78 percent were overweight or obese. Fruit and vegetable consumption was generally low in all weight groups. Those who were obese had much higher daily consumption of white potatoes such as french fries, regular-fat foods (versus reduced- or low-fat), sugary beverages and added butter and margarine than those of normal weight. The study also found that 65 percent of respondents had no days of vigorous physical activity. About half had no days with moderate physical activity. Compared to those with normal weight, overweight and obese respondents spent more time doing things such as ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Obesity, Lisinopril, Metformin, Weight Loss, Metoprolol, Insulin, Atenolol, Losartan, High Cholesterol, Benicar, Diovan, Lantus, Bystolic, Glipizide, Glucophage, Bisoprolol, Novolog, Ramipril, Humalog

Too Many Americans Have High Blood Pressure, Doctors Warn

Posted 7 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 7, 2017 – A group of family physicians warns that too many Americans struggle with high blood pressure. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart attack and heart failure, said Dr. John Meigs Jr., president of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). Since February is National Heart Month, now is a good time for people to get their blood pressure under control and treated so they can avoid heart disease, Meigs said. A 2016 survey by the AAFP and data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that 29 percent of Americans (75 million people) have high blood pressure, and only 54 percent have it under control. "This finding is concerning because we know that high blood pressure and heart attacks or chronic heart failure are so closely related," Meigs said in an AAFP news release. "According to the CDC, seven out of 10 people who have a ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Obesity, Lisinopril, Hypertension, Metoprolol, Amlodipine, Atenolol, Losartan, Heart Attack, High Cholesterol, Propranolol, Benicar, Diovan, Heart Failure, Flomax, Diltiazem, Congestive Heart Failure, Lasix, Bystolic, Norvasc

Heart Risks May Boost Women's Colon Cancer Risk, Too

Posted 1 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 1, 2017 – Even normal-weight women may be at greater risk for colon cancer if they have certain traits, such as elevated levels of blood fat, high blood sugar, high blood pressure and low levels of good cholesterol, a new study suggests. Among older women of normal weight, those with so-called metabolic risk factors had a 49 percent increased risk for cancers of the colon, rectum and sigmoid colon (the lower part of the intestine connecting the rectum and colon) compared with healthy counterparts. Current guidelines recommend colon cancer screening primarily based on a person's age. But identifying at-risk individuals by their metabolic type could help prevent these cancers and catch them at an earlier stage, saving more lives, the study authors concluded. The takeaway: "Know your own metabolic health, even if your weight is normal," said Juhua Luo, the study's senior ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Obesity, Cancer, Lisinopril, Hypertension, Heart Disease, Losartan, Heart Attack, High Cholesterol, Benicar, Diovan, Spironolactone, Ramipril, Cozaar, Enalapril, Micardis, Valsartan, Benazepril, Colorectal Cancer, Basal Cell Carcinoma

Fat Near the Heart a Hazard for Postmenopausal Women

Posted 31 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 31, 2017 – When a certain type of fat collects around the heart, it may be a sign of developing heart disease in postmenopausal women, a new study suggests. As estrogen levels fall during menopause, deposits of "paracardial" fat increase, the researchers found. This may cause more calcium build-up in the heart's arteries, an early sign of heart disease. Paracardial fat sits in pockets around the heart. These pockets lie between the heart and another type of fat that covers the heart called epicardial fat, the study authors explained. Epicardial fat provides energy to the heart, but paracardial fat has no known beneficial function, the researchers said. "We are showing for the first time that paracardial fat is associated with greater risk of calcification [calcium build-up] in postmenopausal women, more than in premenopausal women," said lead researcher Samar El Khoudary. ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Hot Flashes, Heart Disease, High Cholesterol, Estradiol, Menopausal Disorders, Premarin, Ethinyl Estradiol, Estrace, Postmenopausal Symptoms, Vagifem, Estrace Vaginal Cream, Vivelle, Climara, Atrophic Vaginitis, Hypertriglyceridemia, Estring, Vivelle-Dot, Premarin Vaginal, Estradiol Patch

Many Young Adults With High Cholesterol Not on Statins as Recommended

Posted 4 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 4, 2017 – Too few Americans who need them – especially young adults – are getting cholesterol-lowering statin medications, a new study suggests. The study of nearly 3 million adults found that more than half of younger patients under 40 with too-high blood levels of LDL "bad" cholesterol are getting statins as recommended. "This article clearly articulates the under-usage of statins in young people with severe elevations of LDL cholesterol," said heart specialist Dr. Carl Reimers. Reimers is associate chair of cardiovascular medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. He reviewed the new findings but wasn't involved in the research. Reimers said that younger patients often show early signs of heart trouble linked to cholesterol, but too often aren't treated with statins. That's a shame, he said, because "it is well-established that treating these patients with ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Vytorin, Rosuvastatin, Hypertriglyceridemia, Pravachol, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Caduet, Simcor, Lescol, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Mevacor, Lescol XL

Coming Soon: Lower Cholesterol From a Twice-a-Year Shot?

Posted 15 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 15, 2016 – Instead of popping a pill every day, people might soon control "bad" LDL cholesterol by getting an injection at their doctor's office two or three times a year. Researchers testing a new injectable drug called Inclisiran found it cut LDL cholesterol by half or more. According to early clinical trial data, the effect could last for four to six months. Inclisiran produced "significant and durable reductions in LDL cholesterol, and thus could potentially impact cardiovascular events," said study presenter Dr. Kausik Ray, a professor of public health at Imperial College London in England. Such long-lasting effects could provide a major advance in preventing heart disease, heart attack and stroke, by helping reduce hardening of the arteries, the researchers said. The trial results were presented Tuesday at the American Heart Association annual meeting in New ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, Hypertriglyceridemia, Pravachol, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Repatha, Caduet, Lescol, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Lescol XL

Stroke Hospitalization Down for Many in U.S.

Posted 12 May 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 11, 2016 – While Americans suffered fewer strokes overall from 2000 to 2010, stroke rates climbed substantially among younger adults and blacks, a new study found. Hospitalizations for strokes caused by artery blockages dropped 18.4 percent overall during the decade, with greater decreases among the elderly, University of Southern California researchers found. Within the overall decrease, however, some groups saw an increase in hospitalizations as the burden of stroke shifted to younger adults. For example, although stroke hospitalizations dropped 50 percent for people 65 and older, they increased nearly 49 percent among 25- to 64 year-olds. Stroke hospitalizations also varied by race – up almost 14 percent among blacks. Dr. Paul Wright, chair of neurology at North Shore University Hospital, in Manhasset, N.Y., said, "There are things we can do to help prevent strokes." ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Ischemic Stroke, High Cholesterol, Insulin Resistance, Transient Ischemic Attack, Pre-Diabetes, Diabetes Mellitus, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Hypertensive Emergency, Intracranial Hemorrhage, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Abnormal Glucose Tolerance, Hypertensive Heart Disease

Weight Loss Surgery May Boost Good Cholesterol in Obese Boys

Posted 5 May 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 5, 2016 – Weight loss surgery could help severely obese teenage boys reduce their risk for heart disease by increasing their levels of "good" cholesterol, a preliminary study suggests. The surgery also enhances the protective effects of HDL cholesterol, the researchers said. "We already knew that weight loss surgery improves weight and cholesterol numbers. This new research shows that there are actually changes in the way HDL functions in adolescents, which may lead to a reduction in long-term cardiovascular risk," study author Dr. Amy Shah, a pediatric endocrinologist at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital, said in an American Heart Association news release. The small study involved 10 severely obese teen boys. The participants had an average age of 17 and weighed an average of 367 pounds. The researchers noted that 90 percent of the boys were white. The teens underwent a ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Weight Loss, High Cholesterol, Gastric Bypass Surgery, Hypertriglyceridemia, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Hyperlipoproteinemia

Pharmacists Can Manage Some Chronic Conditions Effectively, Study Suggests

Posted 26 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 25, 2016 – Pharmacists may do a better job than doctors helping chronically ill patients manage their blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels if they're allowed to direct people's health care, a new evidence review suggests. The review also found that pharmacists could manage chronic diseases with about the same efficiency as doctors. However, current evidence doesn't show whether pharmacists can actually improve a patient's overall health if they take over someone's care from a doctor, said study senior author Dr. Timothy Wilt. He's a professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota Medical School, and a staff physician at the Minneapolis VA Health Care System. Wilt and his colleagues also couldn't show whether having a pharmacist manage your care can help you live longer or reduce symptoms caused by chronic ailments such as heart disease or diabetes. ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, High Cholesterol, Hypertriglyceridemia, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Abnormal Glucose Tolerance, Hypertensive Heart Disease

Gaps in Care Can Harm Patients After Heart Attack

Posted 23 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 23, 2016 – Heart attack patients who wait a long period to have a follow-up medical appointment after leaving the hospital are less likely to take their medications as prescribed, endangering their health. That's the finding of a new study of 21,000 Medicare patients over 65 who survived a heart attack. One heart doctor said timely care is key to a good recovery for these patients. "Many patients with heart attack are treated with coronary stents, and in those patients, missing their medications for more than a couple of days can be life-threatening," said Dr. Lawrence Ong, a cardiologist at Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, N.Y. The new study was led by Dr. Tracy Wang, of Duke Clinical Research Institute in Durham, N.C. The researchers noted that of the estimated 1 million Americans hospitalized with heart attack each year, 470,000 are expected to have another heart ... Read more

Related support groups: Aspirin, Heart Attack, High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Excedrin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Aggrenox, Alka-Seltzer, Myocardial Infarction, Rosuvastatin, Fiorinal, Excedrin Migraine, Pravachol, Livalo, Arthritis Pain

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