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Rural Americans at Higher Risk of 5 Preventable Causes of Death: CDC

Posted 4 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Jan. 12, 2017 – Americans who live in rural areas have a higher risk of death from five leading causes than people who live in urban locations, a federal study reveals. In 2014, there were many potentially preventable deaths among rural Americans, including 25,000 from heart disease, 19,000 from cancer, 12,000 from accidental injuries, 11,000 from chronic lower respiratory disease and 4,000 from stroke, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "This new study shows there is a striking gap in health between rural and urban Americans. To close this gap, we are working to better understand and address the health threats that put rural Americans at increased risk of early death," CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said in an agency news release. About 46 million Americans – 15 percent of the nation's population – live in rural areas. Several factors – ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Obesity, Cancer, Hypertension, Heart Disease, Smoking, Ischemic Stroke, Smoking Cessation, Transient Ischemic Attack, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Hypertensive Heart Disease

Blood Levels of Meat-Linked Chemical Tied to Odds of Heart Trouble

Posted 6 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 11, 2017 – A molecule produced in the digestion of red meat, eggs and dairy products is linked to an increased risk of a fatal heart attack or stroke, researchers say. Patients with high blood levels of trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) were six times more likely within the next month to die, suffer a heart attack or stroke, or require surgery to reopen a blocked artery, according to the study. TMAO also predicted long-term health risks, researchers said. People with the highest blood levels of TMAO were nearly twice as likely to die within seven years. "A high TMAO level predicted who went on to experience a major cardiovascular event," said lead researcher Dr. Stanley Hazen, chair of cellular and molecular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic's Lerner Research Institute. TMAO is produced by gut bacteria during digestion of animal-based food, and accumulates in blood plasma, ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Ischemic Stroke, Heart Attack, Transient Ischemic Attack, Myocardial Infarction, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Diagnosis and Investigation, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis

High Blood Pressure Increasing Worldwide

Posted 6 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 10, 2017 – As the number of people around the world with elevated or high blood pressure increases, so do the number of deaths linked to this "silent killer," a new study contends. An international analysis of nearly 9 million people states that the rate of high blood pressure (hypertension) and elevated blood pressure (prehypertension) jumped between 1990 and 2015. "There are almost 900 million people in the world with hypertension, and there are almost 3.5 billion people with elevated blood pressure that doesn't quite meet the definition of hypertension," said study lead author Christopher Murray. He directs the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle. "Blood pressure is the leading cause of premature death and disability in the world," Murray said. Blood pressure is made up of two numbers. The top number, called systolic ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Obesity, Hypertension, Ischemic Stroke, Weight Loss, Heart Attack, Transient Ischemic Attack, Myocardial Infarction, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Hypertensive Emergency, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis, Hypertensive Heart Disease

A Lengthy, Stable Marriage May Boost Stroke Survival

Posted 14 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 14, 2016 – Stroke patients may have better odds of surviving if they're in a long-term stable marriage, a new study suggests. Researchers found that among more than 2,300 stroke sufferers, those who'd been "continuously" married had a better chance of surviving – versus both lifelong singles and people who'd been divorced or widowed. The long-term marrieds' outlook was better even compared to people who'd gotten remarried after divorcing or losing a spouse. The reasons for the findings aren't completely clear, and the study doesn't prove a cause-and-effect relationship. But researchers said the study highlights the potential importance of "social support" in stroke recovery. "This implies that the support of a lifelong partner has benefits," said Dr. Ralph Sacco, a professor of neurology at the University of Miami and a past president of the American Heart Association. ... Read more

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

11 Percent of Stroke Survivors Struggle With Epilepsy

Posted 4 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, Dec. 3, 2016 – More than one in 10 stroke survivors develop epilepsy, and the greater the brain damage caused by stroke, the higher the risk of seizures, a new study reports. Epilepsy is a chronic neurological condition marked by recurrent, unprovoked seizures, muscle spasms or convulsions. Researchers analyzed data from 450 stroke survivors in the United Kingdom and found that 11 percent developed epilepsy after their stroke. The study found that those who developed epilepsy had twice the amount of brain damage as those who did not develop seizures. Those who developed epilepsy were an average of 44 years old, compared with an average age of 56 for those who did not develop epilepsy. But the study did not prove that more brain damage causes epilepsy risk to rise. Brain damage from stroke tends to be more extensive in younger people, putting them at higher risk for epilepsy, ... Read more

Related support groups: Seizures, Ischemic Stroke, Epilepsy, Seizure Prevention, Transient Ischemic Attack, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Seizure Prophylaxis, Status Epilepticus

Pradaxa Blood Thinner May Beat Warfarin After Bleeding Episode: Study

Posted 2 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 1, 2016 – Use of a blood thinner is routine for many heart patients, but these drugs come with a risk of episodes of excess bleeding. What, if any, anticoagulant (blood thinner) should these patients take after such episodes arise? A new study suggests that the blood thinner Pradaxa (dabigatran) may be a better choice than the standby drug warfarin in these cases. The reason: Pradaxa is less likely than warfarin to cause recurrent bleeding in patients who recently suffered a bleeding stroke or other major bleeding event, the researchers found. "Our results should encourage clinicians to seriously consider resuming anticoagulation among patients who survived a major bleeding event, particularly if the source of bleeding was identified and addressed," said study senior author Dr. Samir Saba. He's associate chief of cardiology at the University of Pittsburgh Heart and ... Read more

Related support groups: Bleeding Disorder, Warfarin, Coumadin, Ischemic Stroke, Xarelto, Pradaxa, Eliquis, Lovenox, Transient Ischemic Attack, Heparin, Rivaroxaban, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Enoxaparin, Apixaban, Fragmin, Clexane, Arixtra, Hep-Pak, Jantoven, Intracranial Hemorrhage

Wider Low-Dose Aspirin Use Would Save U.S. $692 Billion: Study

Posted 30 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 30, 2016 – Taking low-dose aspirin daily can reduce older Americans' risk of heart disease and cancer, and lead to significant savings in health care spending, a new study contends. University of Southern California researchers used national data to assess the long-term benefits of daily aspirin usage. They calculated that taking low-dose aspirin every day would prevent 11 cases of heart disease and four cases of cancer for every 1,000 Americans ages 51 to 79. "Although the health benefits of aspirin are well-established, few people take it," said study lead author Dr. David Agus. He's the founding director and CEO of the university's Lawrence J. Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine. "Our study shows multiple health benefits and a reduction in health care spending from this simple, low-cost measure that should be considered a standard part of care for the ... Read more

Related support groups: Aspirin, Ischemic Stroke, Excedrin, Transient Ischemic Attack, Aggrenox, Alka-Seltzer, Fiorinal, Excedrin Migraine, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Ecotrin, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Arthritis Pain, Fiorinal with Codeine, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Arthritis Pain Formula, Bayer Aspirin, Soma Compound, Norgesic, Excedrin Extra Strength, Norgesic Forte

Doctors Should Counsel Even Low-Risk Patients on Heart Health

Posted 29 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 29, 2016 – Primary care doctors should offer counseling about healthy lifestyle habits to prevent heart disease – even to adults who have a low or average risk of developing heart troubles, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force advises. The task force is an influential, independent panel of national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine. "For people who are not at increased risk for heart disease, counseling on healthy eating and physical activity may help prevent heart disease for some people," task force vice chair Susan Curry said in a panel news release. Curry is dean of the University of Iowa College of Public Health. This latest draft recommendation reaffirms a prior advisory from the task force in 2012. "The task force encourages primary care professionals to individualize this counseling and consider offering it to adults who are interested in and ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Ischemic Stroke, Insulin Resistance, Transient Ischemic Attack, Pre-Diabetes, Diabetes Mellitus, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Ischemic Heart Disease, Abnormal Glucose Tolerance

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

Many With Common Irregular Heartbeat Unaware of Stroke Risk

Posted 16 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 16, 2016 – Nearly one-third of Americans newly diagnosed with the common heart rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation (AF) don't realize the condition puts them at increased risk for stroke, a new study finds. The irregular heartbeat in AF patients can cause blood to pool, which can cause blood clots that can lead to stroke, researchers explained. The study revealed misconceptions some patients had about atrial fibrillation. "This helps us see gaps in knowledge and understanding," said lead author Emily O'Brien, from the Clinical Research Institute at Duke University in Durham, N.C. O'Brien and her team surveyed 1,000 people diagnosed with atrial fibrillation in the past six months. Their median age was 69. About 63 percent strongly agreed that stroke is a major risk factor of atrial fibrillation. However, around 32 percent believed that heart attack is a major risk factor ... Read more

Related support groups: Atrial Fibrillation, Ischemic Stroke, Transient Ischemic Attack, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis

Having Rheumatoid Arthritis May Increase Heart Risk

Posted 15 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 15, 2016 – People with rheumatoid arthritis may have an increased risk for a heart attack, stroke and other heart disease-related problems, a new study suggests. Researchers examined data from 353 rheumatoid arthritis patients in the Netherlands who were followed for up to 15 years. The rate of heart disease-related events in these patients was more than twice that of the general population, the findings showed. The rate among rheumatoid arthritis patients was similar to that of people with type 2 diabetes. The risk among rheumatoid arthritis patients remained as much as 70 percent higher than the general population even after the researchers adjusted for known heart disease risk factors, according to the report authors. But, the study didn't prove a cause-and-effect relationship. The research was only designed to show that rheumatoid arthritis was associated with heart ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Ischemic Stroke, Heart Attack, Transient Ischemic Attack, Myocardial Infarction, Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, Still's Disease, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis, Felty's Syndrome

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

Migraine and Stroke Risk Linked Again

Posted 15 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 15, 2016 – Women who experience migraines have more than double the risk of suffering a stroke, new research shows. The finding adds evidence to the suspected link between these two conditions. Although it's not yet clear why this connection may exist, study lead author Dr. Cecil Rambarat said it's important for health care providers to be aware of the link. "This is important since migraine is generally not considered a risk factor for cardiovascular disease," said Rambarat. He's a resident physician at the University of Florida Shands Hospital in Gainesville. "Maybe providers need to factor in migraine headaches as a potential risk factor for cardiovascular disease among women," he said. "This is not being done currently." Previous research has linked migraines – especially the form known as migraine with aura – to stroke. Migraine with aura is estimated to affect one ... Read more

Related support groups: Plan B, Migraine, Mirena, NuvaRing, Sprintec, Provera, Nexplanon, Implanon, Depo-Provera, Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Tri-Sprintec, Microgestin Fe 1/20, Yasmin, Loestrin 24 Fe, Plan B One-Step, Heart Disease, Ortho Evra, Smoking, TriNessa, High Cholesterol

Trouble Sleeping Tied to Higher Risk for Irregular Heartbeat

Posted 14 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 14, 2016 – There may be yet another reason to try and get a good night's sleep: New research ties poor sleep to a higher odds for a dangerous irregular heartbeat. The condition in question is called atrial fibrillation, a common heart arrhythmia that is strongly tied to an increased risk for clotting and strokes. Now, two studies suggest that trouble getting your Zzzs may raise the risk for atrial fibrillation. One cardiologist who reviewed the studies said the theory may have merit. While neither study could prove cause-and-effect, changes in a person's physiology by a "disturbed sleep cycle may be the mechanism for development and recurrence of atrial fibrillation," said Dr. Jianqing Li. She's a cardiologist at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, N.Y. In one study, a team led by Dr. Gregory Marcus of the University of California, San Francisco, tracked data from ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Fatigue, Atrial Fibrillation, Heart Disease, Arrhythmia, Transient Ischemic Attack, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Cardiac Arrhythmia, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Ischemic Heart Disease

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

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