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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, High Cholesterol, Weight Loss, Hypertriglyceridemia, Gastric Bypass Surgery, 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, High Cholesterol, Heart Attack, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Excedrin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Myocardial Infarction, Aggrenox, Rosuvastatin, Alka-Seltzer, Fiorinal, Excedrin Migraine, Pravachol, Ecotrin, Livalo

Genetic High-Cholesterol Condition More Common Than Thought

Posted 14 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 14, 2016 – Twice as many people as previously thought are genetically predisposed to develop dangerously high cholesterol levels, new research suggests. Familial hypercholesterolemia, as this condition is called, significantly ups the risk for an early heart attack. The study found it affects about one in every 250 American men and women, rather than one in 500. The new numbers don't reflect a problem on the rise, however, said study author Dr. Sarah de Ferranti, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. Instead, the condition was previously "under-recognized," she explained. For those who have this potentially deadly condition, "it is extremely important to get early, consistent preventive care," de Ferranti said. "The key is for you and your clinician to understand and distinguish between mild to moderately high cholesterol that comes on in middle ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Zetia, Rosuvastatin, Hypertriglyceridemia, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, Pravachol, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Ezetimibe, Hyperlipoproteinemia Type IIa (Elevated LDL), Hyperlipoproteinemia, Lescol

High-Dose Statins May Ease Macular Degeneration for Some

Posted 4 Feb 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 4, 2016 – High doses of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs – medicines such as Lipitor, Crestor and Zocor – may help people with a common eye disease called macular degeneration, a small study suggests. In the early stage clinical trial, a team from Harvard Medical School assessed the effects of statin treatment in people with the dry form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD affects more than 150 million people worldwide. The dry form is much more common and accounts for about 85 percent of cases, according to the researchers. Effective treatments are available for the wet form of AMD, but not the dry form, so dry-form AMD remains the leading cause of blindness in the developed world. In AMD, fat deposits form under the retina, so that patients develop blurring or blindness in the center of their vision. In the study, 23 patients with dry-form AMD were given ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Macular Degeneration, Rosuvastatin, Hypertriglyceridemia, Pravachol, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Fluvastatin, Pitavastatin

Statins May Reduce Heart Risks Linked to Sleep Apnea: Study

Posted 6 Jan 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 6, 2016 – A new discovery about the way sleep apnea may raise the risk of heart disease also suggests that taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs might reduce that risk, according to a new study. Sleep apnea is a common disorder that involves irregular breathing while asleep, with oxygen intake dropping frequently for brief periods. The condition can triple a person's risk of stroke, high blood pressure and other heart problems, said study author Dr. Sanja Jelic, an associate professor of medicine at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. Statins such as Crestor (rosuvastatin) and Lipitor (atorvastatin) are already taken by millions of Americans to reduce their risk of heart disease. "If the beneficial effects of statins on blood vessel health in patients with obstructive sleep apnea is confirmed in larger clinical trials, obstructive sleep apnea may ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Sleep Apnea, Rosuvastatin, Hypertriglyceridemia, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, Pravachol, Livalo, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous, Red Yeast Rice, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Hyperlipoproteinemia Type IIa (Elevated LDL), Hyperlipoproteinemia, Lescol

Health Tip: Understanding Risk Factors for Hardening Arteries

Posted 25 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

-- Atherosclerosis, the medical term for hardening of the arteries, occurs when the arteries narrow and become rigid. Left undetected or untreated, one or more of these vessels may become completely blocked. The American Academy of Family Physicians explains these risk factors: Having high blood pressure. Having high cholesterol. Being diabetic. Being overweight or obese. Using tobacco. Eating an unhealthy diet. Getting insufficient exercise. Having family members with heart disease. Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Obesity, Hypertension, Smoking, High Cholesterol, Smoking Cessation, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Acute Coronary Syndrome, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Acute Coronary Syndrome - Prophylaxis, Hypertensive Heart Disease

Healthy Habits Help Reduce Risk of Heart Failure, Study Finds

Posted 23 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Dec. 22, 2015 – Following seven healthy habits might reduce your risk of heart failure, a new study says. "Even though there is awareness about the importance of a healthy lifestyle, many people don't act on those messages," said senior study author Vanessa Xanthakis, an assistant professor of medicine and biostatistics at Boston University. The study included just over 3,200 Americans, average age 59, who were followed for up to 12 years. During that time, 188 developed heart failure. This is a condition where the heart can't pump enough blood to meet the body's needs. Those who had high scores on the American Heart Association's Life's Simple 7 checklist for a healthy heart had a lower risk of heart failure, the study found. The measures on the checklist are: manage blood pressure, control cholesterol, reduce blood sugar, get physically active, eat better, lose weight and ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Type 2, Obesity, Hypertension, High Cholesterol, Weight Loss, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Pre-Diabetes, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Abnormal Glucose Tolerance, Hypertensive Heart Disease

U.S. Task Force Backs Statins for Those 40 to 75 at Heightened Heart Risk

Posted 22 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 21, 2015 – Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs should be used to prevent a first heart attack or stroke in certain at-risk patients, according to a draft recommendation released Monday by the nation's leading experts in preventive medicine. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force said statins can provide maximum preventive benefits for adults 40 to 75 years old who have an existing risk factor for heart disease and at least a 10 percent or greater risk of a heart attack or stroke sometime within the next 10 years. The independent panel added that people with a 10-year risk of heart attack and stroke between 7.5 percent and 10 percent might also benefit from statins, and should discuss the matter with their doctor. "Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death, and people with no signs or symptoms or past history of cardiovascular disease can still be at risk," said ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Hypertriglyceridemia, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, Pravachol, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Hyperlipoproteinemia Type IIa (Elevated LDL), Hyperlipoproteinemia, Lescol, Hyperlipoproteinemia Type IIb (Elevated LDL + VLDL), Lescol XL

U.S. Task Force Stays Neutral on Cholesterol Screening for Kids

Posted 22 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 21, 2015 – There's not enough evidence to recommend screening all children and teens for high cholesterol, experts say. It's not clear if such screening up to age 20 reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease in adulthood, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force said in a draft recommendation released Monday. This is unchanged from a 2007 recommendation. "There is currently not enough research to determine whether screening all average-risk children and adolescents without symptoms leads to better cardiovascular health in adulthood," task force vice chair Dr. David Grossman said in a news release from the task force. "In addition, the potential harms of long-term use of cholesterol-lowering medication by children and adolescents are not yet understood," Grossman added. The task force is an independent, volunteer panel of national experts in prevention and evidence-based ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Hypertriglyceridemia, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, Pravachol, Livalo, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous, Red Yeast Rice, Hyperlipoproteinemia Type IIa (Elevated LDL), Hyperlipoproteinemia, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor

One in Five U.S. Kids Over Age 5 Has Unhealthy Cholesterol: CDC

Posted 10 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 10, 2015 – Twenty-one percent of American children and teens have some form of "abnormal" blood cholesterol reading that leaves them at heightened risk for heart disease and stroke as they reach adulthood. That's the conclusion of a review of 2011-2014 federal health data compiled by researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Overall, slightly more than 13 percent of kids had unhealthily low levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol – the kind that actually might help clear out arteries. The CDC says just over 8 percent had too-high levels of other forms of cholesterol that are bad for arteries, and more than 7 percent had unhealthily high levels of "total" cholesterol. Obesity helped drive these trends, the CDC said. For example, more than 43 percent of children who were obese had some form of abnormal cholesterol reading, compared to less than 14 ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Weight Loss, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Hypertriglyceridemia, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, Pravachol, Livalo, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Red Yeast Rice, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis

Too Few Americans Are Taking Needed Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs: CDC

Posted 3 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 3, 2015 – Nearly half of American adults who should be taking cholesterol-lowering drugs don't, federal government researchers report. They also found that blacks and Hispanics were less likely than whites to take medications that lower levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol. "Nearly 800,000 people die in the U.S. each year from cardiovascular diseases – that's one in every three deaths – and high cholesterol continues to be a major risk factor," said Carla Mercado, a scientist in the division for heart disease and stroke prevention at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "This study reveals opportunities to reduce existing [racial] disparities through targeted patient education and cholesterol management programs," she said in a CDC news release. The CDC study team analyzed national data from 2005 to 2014 and found that nearly 37 percent of U.S. adults – ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Transient Ischemic Attack, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Hypertriglyceridemia, Pravachol, Livalo, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Red Yeast Rice, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis, Ischemic Heart Disease, Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders, Lescol

Negative News on Statins Tied to Dropped Prescriptions

Posted 2 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2, 2015 – News reports on the downsides of statins may push some people to stop taking the cholesterol-lowering drugs, a new study hints. The findings, published Dec. 2 in the European Heart Journal, cannot prove that media stories drive statin users to give up their prescriptions. Instead, Danish researchers found a broad correlation between "negative" media coverage and people's odds of quitting a statin within six months of their first prescription. But even without a clear cause-and-effect connection, experts said it's reasonable to assume that media stories had an influence over some statin users in the study. It rings true to Dr. Thomas Whayne Jr., of the Gill Heart Institute at the University of Kentucky. "I've seen this happen a lot," said Whayne, who was not involved in the study. "News stories come out, and you have patients saying, 'I'm not going to take ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Muscle Pain, Heart Disease, High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Zetia, Pre-Diabetes, Vytorin, Rosuvastatin, Hypertriglyceridemia, Pravachol, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Cutting Sugar From Diet Boosts Kids' Health Immediately: Study

Posted 27 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 27, 2015 – Cutting most of the sugar from a child's diet can immediately improve health, even if the diet still contains the same amount of calories and carbohydrates as before, a new study suggests. Researchers put a group of 43 obese kids on a nine-day diet that severely restricted sugar intake, but replaced added sugars with starchy foods to maintain the children's intake of calories and carbs. That diet caused immediate reductions in their high blood pressure and improvement in their blood sugar and cholesterol levels, the investigators found. "Every aspect of their metabolic health got better, with no change in calories," said study author Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital in San Francisco. "This study definitively shows that sugar is metabolically harmful not because of its calories or its effects on weight. Rather, ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Type 2, Obesity, Hypertension, High Cholesterol, Weight Loss, Hypertriglyceridemia, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Hypertensive Heart Disease

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Hyperlipoproteinemia Type IIa (Elevated LDL), Hyperlipoproteinemia Type IIb (Elevated LDL + VLDL), Hyperlipoproteinemia Type IV (Elevated VLDL), Hyperlipoproteinemia Type V (Elevated Chylomicrons + VLDL), Hyperlipoproteinemia Type III (Elevated beta-VLDL + IDL), High Cholesterol

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