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Many With Irregular Heartbeat Not on Meds They Need: Study

Posted 15 days ago 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

For Stroke Survivors, Exercise Is Good for the Brain: Review

Posted 23 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 22, 2017 – A structured exercise program can help stroke survivors recover not only physically but mentally as well, a new review says. The analysis of 13 clinical trials found that exercise therapy was generally good for stroke patients' "cognition." Cognition refers to vital mental processes such as thinking, learning, understanding and remembering. A stroke, which cuts off blood flow to the brain, can impair those abilities. The findings bolster what experts have long believed: Exercise can aid stroke recovery in multiple ways. "This isn't new," said Daniel Lackland, a spokesman for the American Stroke Association who was not involved in the research. "We've known that exercise is good after a stroke." But, he said, the findings offer more clarity on exactly what works. They suggest, for example, that a combination of moderate aerobic exercise and training in ... Read more

Related support groups: Ischemic Stroke, Transient Ischemic Attack, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis, Diagnosis and Investigation, Intracranial Hemorrhage

A Little Alcohol Each Day May Cut Your Risk of Stroke

Posted 24 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Nov. 24, 2016 – Light or moderate drinking may reduce the risk of one type of stroke but not another, while heavy drinking increases the risk of both types, a new study suggests. A research team from England and Sweden reviewed 25 studies as well as national data from Sweden. The investigators reported that consumption of up to two drinks a day was associated with a lower risk of ischemic stroke (blocked blood flow to the brain), but appeared to have no effect on the risk of bleeding (hemorrhagic) stroke. According to the American Stroke Association, about 87 percent of strokes are ischemic strokes, while the other 13 percent are hemorrhagic. High-to-heavy drinking (two to more than four drinks a day) was associated with an added risk of both types of stroke, according to the findings published online Nov. 23 in the journal BMC Medicine. "Our results showed that heavy ... Read more

Related support groups: Ischemic Stroke, Alcohol Dependence, Transient Ischemic Attack, Alcoholism, Hangover, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis, Intracranial Hemorrhage, Alcoholic Gastritis, Acute Alcohol Intoxication, Alcoholic Psychosis

Could Common Heartburn Drugs Up Stroke Risk?

Posted 15 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 15, 2016 – A popular category of heartburn medications – including Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec and Protonix – may increase your risk of stroke, a new study suggests. Known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), these drugs increased people's overall stroke risk by 21 percent, said study lead author Dr. Thomas Sehested. However, the risk appears to be driven by people who take high doses, added Sehested, research director at the Danish Heart Foundation in Copenhagen. "People treated with a low dose of PPIs did not have a high risk of stroke," he said. "Those treated with the highest doses of PPIs had the highest risk of stroke." The extent of risk also depends on the specific PPI taken. At the highest dose, stroke risk ranged from 30 percent for lansoprazole (Prevacid) to 94 percent for pantoprazole (Protonix), the researchers said. Takeda Pharmaceutical, the maker of ... Read more

Related support groups: GERD, Heart Disease, Ischemic Stroke, Omeprazole, Nexium, Dementia, Prilosec, Zantac, Indigestion, Protonix, Pantoprazole, Alzheimer's Disease, Ranitidine, Lansoprazole, Dexilant, Prevacid, Transient Ischemic Attack, Pepcid, Barrett's Esophagus, Aciphex

Device Approved to Prevent Second Strokes in Certain Heart Patients

Posted 30 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Oct. 28, 2016 – The Amplatzer PFO Occluder device has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to prevent another stroke among people who had at least one prior stroke involving a PFO (patent foramen avale). A PFO is a small hole in the heart that could allow passage of a blood clot. Up to 30 percent of Americans have a PFO, the FDA explained in a news release. The condition typically causes no health issues and doesn't require treatment. However, in a small number of cases, the PFO provides "a path for a blood clot to travel to the brain where it [blocks] a blood vessel resulting in a stroke," the agency added. The new device is inserted via a catheter in a leg vein and is advanced to the heart. It was FDA approved nearly a decade ago, but its manufacturer withdrew the application for approval after the agency told the manufacturer that more than 4,000 people ... Read more

Related support groups: Transient Ischemic Attack, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis, Cardiothoracic Surgery

Air Pollution May Even Harm Blood Vessels of Healthy Young

Posted 25 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 25, 2016 – Even young, healthy adults can suffer blood vessel damage from air pollution, a new study finds. Periodic exposure to fine particulate matter – tiny pollutants from cars, factories, power plants and fires – isn't a health risk only for the ill and the elderly, the researchers concluded. The three-year study in Provo, Utah, tied this form of air pollution to abnormal changes in the blood of young adults, age 23 on average. Over time, these abnormalities could lead to heart disease, the researchers said. The findings suggest that living in a polluted environment could promote development of high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke more pervasively and at an earlier stage than previously thought, said study researcher Timothy O'Toole. He's with the Diabetes and Obesity Center at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. "Although we have known for some time ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Cough, Hypertension, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Transient Ischemic Attack, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis, Respiratory Tract Disease

Review Says Calcium Supplements Won't Harm the Heart

Posted 24 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 24, 2016 – Calcium supplements, taken within recommended levels, can be considered safe for the heart, according to new guidelines. Over the past decade, a number of studies have raised questions about whether calcium supplements might contribute to heart disease or stroke. Just this month, a study of U.S. adults found that supplement users were more likely than nonusers to have plaque buildup in their heart arteries. (Calcium is a component of artery-clogging "plaques.") But a new research review, commissioned by the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), has come to a different conclusion. On balance, the review found, the evidence doesn't support a connection between calcium supplements and heart disease or stroke. As long as people don't go overboard, calcium supplements should be considered "safe from a cardiovascular standpoint," say the guidelines from the NOF and ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis, Caltrate 600 with D, Citracal + D, Calcium/Vitamin D, Citracal Petites, Oysco 500 with D, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis, Calcium 600 D, Citracal Creamy Bites, Calcet, Oyster Shell Calcium, Calcarb with D, Zingiber, Sedecal D, Risacal-D, Calcio Del Mar

Pregnancy May Boost Stroke Risk in Younger Women: Study

Posted 24 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 24, 2016 – Pregnancy may raise the risk of stroke in younger women, when compared to their non-pregnant peers, a new study suggests. While the overall risk in younger women is very small, it seems to rise during and after pregnancy, according to the study authors. It's not clear why the risk seems to exist, although the researchers said pre-eclampsia – which is dangerously high blood pressure during pregnancy – may play a role. "We should be cautious about reading too much into these results," said study author Dr. Eliza Miller, a vascular neurology fellow with New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. Still, "one in five strokes in women under the age of 35 in our study were related to pregnancy, while it was more like one in 100 in the 35-and-older crowd," she said. How do pregnancy and its aftermath seem to affect the risk of ... Read more

Related support groups: Ischemic Stroke, Delivery, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation during Pregnancy/Lactation, Toxemia of pregnancy, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

Irregular Heart Rhythm Patients May Not Always Need Blood Thinners: Study

Posted 18 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 18, 2016 – People with an abnormal heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation typically take powerful blood thinners to prevent strokes. But, some patients who have implanted pacemakers or defibrillators may not always need the drugs, a new study suggests. Those who suffered only short bouts of atrial fibrillation – estimated at 20 seconds or less – were at no more risk for stroke or other heart complications than people without atrial fibrillation, the researchers found. "Some patients have atrial fibrillation 100 percent of the time, while others might have only a few seconds of atrial fibrillation once a year," explained study author Dr. Steven Swiryn. He's a clinical professor of cardiology at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago. "Where atrial fibrillation only happens rarely and lasts a short time, it can be difficult to detect," ... Read more

Related support groups: Warfarin, Coumadin, Atrial Fibrillation, Ischemic Stroke, Xarelto, Eliquis, Transient Ischemic Attack, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Rivaroxaban, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Apixaban, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis, Arixtra, Jantoven, Fondaparinux, Coagulation Defects and Disorders, Edoxaban, Savaysa, Arixtra 5 mg/dose, Dicumarol

Fitful Sleep May Take Toll on Older Women's Hearts

Posted 6 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 6, 2016 – The sleep woes that many women suffer during menopause may be more than a nuisance: New research suggests a link between lost sleep and an increase in risk factors for heart disease and stroke. When loss of sleep was measured both objectively and subjectively, the researchers found it correlated with a higher risk of plaque buildup in blood vessels and a thickening of artery walls. "Our results indicate that short or poor sleep is associated with some increased risk for cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke," said lead researcher Rebecca Thurston, director of the Women's Biobehavioral Health Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh. The increased risk, she said, "is probably somewhere around small to moderate, not large." Thurston couldn't explain the link, and added that the study did not prove that sleep troubles cause heart risks to rise. ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Fatigue, Heart Disease, Ischemic Stroke, Menopausal Disorders, Postmenopausal Symptoms, Transient Ischemic Attack, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis

A Woman's Weight Has Complex Link to Stroke Risk

Posted 7 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 7, 2016 – Excess weight may put women at increased risk for the most common form of stroke, but at lower risk for a less common stroke type, new research shows. Still, experts say the overall message remains the same: Keep trim to help keep stroke at bay. "While the results of this study may appear contradictory or somewhat confusing, the take-home message is that overall, obesity causes more harm than good," said Dr. Richard Libman, who reviewed the findings. He's vice chair of neurology at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y. Specifically, the British study of more than 1.3 million women found that overweight and obese women were more likely to suffer an ischemic stroke, where blood flow is blocked to the brain. According to the American Stroke Association, it is by far the leading form of stroke, accounting for about 87 percent of cases. The ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Ischemic Stroke, Transient Ischemic Attack, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis, Intracranial Hemorrhage

Heart Rhythm Disorder May Be Tied to Wider Range of Ills

Posted 7 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 7, 2016 – Atrial fibrillation, a common type of heart rhythm disorder, is associated with a wider range of conditions than previously believed, researchers report. The findings add "to the growing literature on the association between atrial fibrillation and cardiovascular outcomes beyond stroke," researchers at the University of Oxford in England and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology wrote. The team reviewed 104 studies involving more than 9 million people, including nearly 590,000 people with atrial fibrillation. They concluded that the heart rhythm disorder was also associated with heart disease, heart failure, kidney disease, sudden cardiac death and death from all causes. The study did not prove atrial fibrillation caused these additional health risks, just that there was an association. Risk for heart failure was the most significant of these ... Read more

Related support groups: Atrial Fibrillation, Heart Disease, Heart Attack, Renal Failure, Transient Ischemic Attack, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Myocardial Infarction, Chronic Kidney Disease, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis

Alcohol Plus Heart Rhythm Disorder Ups Stroke Risk: Study

Posted 2 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Sept. 2, 2016 – Excessive alcohol consumption and age may increase risk of stroke in people with a common heart rhythm disorder called atrial fibrillation, a new study finds. "Doctors should ask their [atrial fibrillation] patients about alcohol use and advise patients to cut down if they are drinking more than is recommended," said Dr. Faris Al-Khalili, who led the study. Al-Khalili is a cardiologist at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. The study included more than 25,000 Swedish adults, ages 18-64, with atrial fibrillation that wasn't related to valve problems. Atrial fibrillation increases odds of stroke, but because these patients had few additional risk factors, they were considered at low risk for ischemic stroke (blocked blood flow to the brain). Over a follow-up of about five years, the researchers found two factors were significantly associated with increased ... Read more

Related support groups: Atrial Fibrillation, Ischemic Stroke, Alcohol Dependence, Transient Ischemic Attack, Alcoholism, Hangover, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis, Acute Alcohol Intoxication

Sleep Apnea Mask Treatment Fails to Curb Heart Risks

Posted 30 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 30, 2016 – The nighttime breathing difficulties of obstructive sleep apnea have long been linked to an increase in cardiovascular risks. However, a new study throws confusion into that link. While treatment with CPAP did lower sleep apnea symptoms, it did nothing to lower users' long-term odds for heart attack, stroke or heart-related death. CPAP stands for "continuous positive airway pressure," with users wearing a special mask during the night to help them breathe easier. Unfortunately, "our study does not support the use of CPAP treatment solely for the prevention of future cardiovascular events in patents who have established [heart] disease," said study author Dr. Doug McEvoy. He's a clinician at the Adelaide Institute for Sleep Health at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia. In the study, McEvoy's team selected more than 2,700 people with moderate-to severe ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Attack, Sleep Apnea, Transient Ischemic Attack, Myocardial Infarction, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis, Obstructive Sleep Apnea/Hypopnea Syndrome, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis, Post MI Syndrome

Study Links Sleep Problems to Stroke Risk, Recovery

Posted 3 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 3, 2016 – Too little or too much sleep may be a risk factor for stroke and might hinder recovery, new research suggests. The review of 29 previously published studies found that sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea are related to stroke risk and recovery. "Sleep disturbances are more prevalent in stroke patients, even more than in the general population," said lead researcher Dr. Dirk Hermann. He's a professor of neurology at University Hospital Essen in Germany. For example, evidence has existed for a number of years that sleep apnea, a sleep-related breathing disorder that is common in elderly patients and especially so in those who've had a stroke, is a risk factor for stroke, he said. Some studies show that sleep apnea was present before the stroke and may have contributed to the risk. Further, patients with more severe sleep apnea may have more severe ... Read more

Related support groups: Insomnia, Ischemic Stroke, Nightmares, Sleep Apnea, Transient Ischemic Attack, Night Terrors, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis, Obstructive Sleep Apnea/Hypopnea Syndrome, Intracranial Hemorrhage

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