Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Lengthy car, plane rides pose risk of clots

Lengthy car, plane rides pose risk of clotsTraveling long distances in cars and planes could put you at risk for deep vein thrombosis - potentially deadly blood clots in the deep veins of the lower legs and thighs, an expert says. Sitting for long periods of time in cramped spaces can limit circulation in the legs, resulting in the formation of a blood clot. The clot can travel through the blood stream and lodge in the lungs, brain, heart and other areas. This can lead to severe damage to organs and possibly death. However, it's easy to prevent deep vein thrombosis. "If you plan to travel overseas or cross country, make sure you get up and walk around at least every two hours, and try not to sleep more than four hours at a time," Dr. Alan Lumsden, chief of cardiovascular surgery at Houston Methodist Hospital's heart and vascular center, said in a hospital news release. "Drink plenty of water or juices, wear loose-fitting clothing, eat light meals and limit alcohol consumption," he added. Elderly people and those with circulation problems should wear compression stockings that help prevent clots from forming in the deep veins, Lumsden suggested. If you can't get up and move around every couple of hours, you can do the following exercises while sitting down:

* Extend both legs and move both feet back and forth in a circular motion.
* Move the knee up to the chest and hold the stretch for at least 15 seconds.
* Put both feet on the floor and point them upward. Also, put both feet flat and lift both heels as high as possible.

If you are pregnant or have a history of heart disease, cancer or blood clots, you should always consult with your doctor before going on a long trip, Lumsden advised. About 2 million Americans develop deep vein thrombosis every year, and nearly 200,000 die. "It's a very serious condition that can simply be avoided by getting up and moving around," Lumsden said. "Symptoms include pain and tenderness, swelling, redness and increased warmth in one leg," Lumsden said. "In some cases, a physician might suggest that a patient go on blood thinners or simply take an aspirin before and during a long trip to avoid deep vein thrombosis."

Exercise in later life is beneficial: study

Exercise in later life is beneficial: studyThe British Journal of Sports Medicine published study has unveiled that doing exercise at elderly age make them stay healthy.
The study has found that those who have been doing exercise in their later life are three times more likely to stay fit in comparison to their inactive peers. In order to reach at the above given result, study researchers from the Montreal Heart Institute at Concordia University has monitored the health of 3,500 people. Average age of these people was 64 and they were tracked for more than eight years. Not only they were tracked, but their medical records were also assessed. Moreover, three categories were made, inactive, moderate activity and vigorous activity. These categories were made on the basis of frequency and intensity of exercises performed by the participants. "Sustained physical activity was prospectively associated with improved healthy ageing - absence of disease, freedom from disability, high cognitive and physical functioning, good-mental health", said study researchers. Doireann Maddock from the British Heart Foundation was of the view the view that it is vital to remain active. Remaining physically active will help in keeping a number of health complications at bay like heart disease. Therefore, taking up exercise is beneficial in later life also

Monday, November 25, 2013

CARG Newsletter - December 2013

The CARG Newsletter - December 2013 is now available online

CARG Collection Coordinator required

CARG Collection Coordinator requiredMary Green, CARG board member writes: Job vacancy: Collection Coordinator. Duties are to organize volunteers to help collect walking fees every month and membership fees once a year and for all new members. Is responsible for a float for change with the volunteers and the therapists. Will check the therapist collection box for fees and coordinate with the treasurer the receipts and monies collected. Look after the red shirt and support shirt inventory. Look after the white hearts and distribution of said hearts. Other duties as assigned. Attend board meetings. For more information please contact Mary Green at bmgreen@sasktel.net or phone 306 343 6552

CARG Christmas Parties 2013

CARG Christmas Parties 2013The CARG Christmas Parties for 2013 will be held again at both the Field House and the Shaw Centre:

Field House: Friday December 13 in room 2 (upstairs) from 9:30am to 11:30am
Shaw Centre: Wednesday December 11 in the main meeting room (main floor) from 9:00am to 11:30am

Monday, November 18, 2013

Johns Hopkins heart researchers develop formula to more accurately calculate 'bad' cholesterol in individual patients

Johns Hopkins heart researchers develop formula to more accurately calculate 'bad' cholesterol in individual patientsJohns Hopkins researchers have developed a more accurate way to calculate low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, the so-called "bad" form of blood fat that can lead to hardening of the arteries and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. If confirmed and adopted by medical laboratories that routinely calculate blood cholesterol for patients, the researchers say their formula would give patients and their doctors a much more accurate assessment of LDL cholesterol. "The standard formula that has been used for decades to calculate LDL cholesterol often underestimates LDL where accuracy matters most - in the range considered desirable for patients at high risk for heart attack and stroke," says Seth S. Martin, M.D., a cardiology fellow at the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease. Martin is first author of the study detailed in a November 19, 2013 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association

Friday, November 15, 2013

Texts may help people with diabetes manage care (USA)

Texts may help people with diabetes manage care (USA)What if a doctor's orders were as simple as two text messages a day to keep the ER at bay? A recent study published in Annals of Emergency Medicine used an automated mobile health (mHealth) program to reach low-income inner-city patients with type 2 diabetes and engage them in their own health and disease management outside of emergency facilities. Researchers recruited 128 participants who had sought care for diabetes at the Los Angeles County Hospital of the University of Southern California ED. The study reported that the largest safety-net hospital in the county's public care system annually serves 170,000 patients, 70 percent of them Latino. Study participants could choose English or Spanish versions of the messages, which offered tips on healthy behavior and disease management and did not require a smartphone to receive

Leading Canadian health organizations release a Vascular Declaration calling for urgent action on vascular disease

Leading Canadian health organizations release a Vascular Declaration calling for urgent action on vascular diseaseNinety per cent of Canadians are facing an unacceptable risk of developing vascular disease and we have to act now to reduce its increasing burden, say leading health experts at the Vascular 2013 Congress in Montreal recently. To galvanize action, leading Canadian experts working in the field of vascular health have signed and committed to a Vascular Declaration, a collective approach to reducing vascular disease in Canada. "This Declaration calls for urgent action and outlines a comprehensive approach that can vastly decrease the impact of vascular disease on Canadians," says Dr. Duncan Stewart, the scientific chair of Vascular 2013. "The health sector cannot solve this problem alone." Vascular diseases are a result of disorders in the blood vessels (large and small) throughout the entire human body. Diabetes, stroke, hypertension, heart disease, dementia, kidney diseases, certain lung and eye conditions are all vascular diseases. Five unhealthy behaviors - unhealthy diet, smoking, lack of physical activity, excess alcohol intake and stress - are well-established risks for more than 50 diseases including these. The declaration, called Making the Connection: A Call to Action on Vascular Health, calls for an integrated, multifaceted approach to address the prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and end-of-life care for people with vascular disease. It is a landmark approach to an urgent and debilitating health issue

Monday, November 11, 2013

Horrible bosses really ARE bad for your health: Chronic stress can lead to heart disease and diabetes, experts warn

Horrible bosses really ARE bad for your health: Chronic stress can lead to heart disease and diabetes, experts warnWorking for a difficult boss can come with stress, long hours and a poor office atmosphere. But new research has found it can also be bad for your health. The stress of working for a bad boss over a long period of time can cause serious harm to employees, the study found. The researchers found that chronic stress causes changes in the gene activity in immune cells. These changes cause the cells to be primed to fight an infection that doesn't exist. This leads to inflammation in the body which is associated with many health problems, including heart disease and diabetes. Scientists at Ohio State University made this discovery while studying mice. Their colleagues at other institutions also tested blood samples from people living in poor areas and found that similarly primed immune cells were present in these chronically stressed people. "The cells share many of the same characteristics in terms of their response to stress," said Dr John Sheridan, associate director of Ohio State University's Institute for Behavioural Medicine Research, and co-lead author of the study. The research is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Scan can predict heart attacks (UK)

Scan can predict heart attacks (UK) Scientists have devised a way to scan for fatty deposits that cause heart attacks, bringing accurate prediction of risk one step closer. The breakthrough allows doctors to identify "ticking time bomb" patients by detecting fatty deposits in arteries and administering drugs before an attack takes place. It has been described by experts as a major step towards accurately predicting heart attacks and relies on technology used in cancer diagnosis which is already found in many hospitals. The discovery was made in a study researching whether a scanner could pick up the outlines of fatty "plaques" in arteries. The results are published in 'The Lancet' recently. Scientists tested two groups of patients - 40 people who had just suffered heart attacks and 40 others who had angina - and found the scans picked up affected areas. Problem points in blood vessels were highlighted on images of 90% of those scanned who recently suffered a heart attack. Close to half of the scans of patients with angina also successfully detected the fatty build-ups. The study is significant because there is no current way to find those people at highest risk from heart attacks. "We have developed what we hope is a way to 'light up' plaques on the brink of rupturing and causing a heart attack," explained researcher Dr Marc Dweck

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Stroke Survivors' Declaration (UK)

The Stroke Survivors' Declaration (UK)At the heart of the work of the Campaigns and Policy team is the Stroke Survivors' declaration. Written by over 120 stroke survivors, it sets out what levels of care and support should be provided when survivors come out of hospital after a stroke, keen to get on with getting back to their best possible quality of life. The declaration builds on existing policy and best practice - and so does not require those who plan or provide health and social care to find extra resources, merely to ensure that they "get the basics right more of the time". The declaration covers issues such as ensuring stroke survivors' needs are regularly assessed, ensuring carers are not left to fend on their own (without support) and ensuring the benefits systems are truly aware of the financial impact of stroke and their role in supporting people through this difficult time. Given the fact that health and social care are devolved issues, namely decided in each of the 4 nations of the UK, there are separate versions for each of the nations

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Study says soda tax would cut obesity rates by 1.3 per cent in UK, W. Europe's fattest country

Slapping a 20 per cent tax on soda in Britain could cut the number of obese adults by about 180,000, according to a new study. Though the number works out to a modest drop of 1.3 per cent in obesity, scientists say that reduction would still be worthwhile in the U.K., which has a population of about 63 million and is the fattest country in Western Europe. About one in four Britons is obese. Researchers at Oxford University and the University of Reading estimated a 20 per cent tax on soft drinks would reduce sales by 15 per cent and that people would buy beverages like orange juice, milk and diet drinks instead. They said the tax would have the biggest impact on people under 30, who drink more sugary drinks than anyone else. No funding was provided by any advocacy or industry groups for the study, published online Thursday in the journal, BMJ. "Every possible alternative that people would buy is going to be better than a sugary drink," said Mike Rayner of Oxford, one of the study authors. "(The tax) is not a panacea, but it's part of the solution."

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

How hiking is good for body and mind

How hiking is good for body and mindHiking outdoors comes with a bounty of perks: nice views, fresh air, and the sounds and smells of nature. Hiking is a powerful cardio workout that boasts all the health benefits of walking, including less risk of heart disease, diabetes, breast cancer, and colon cancer, as well as better blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Because hiking is a weight-bearing exercise - you're moving against gravity while staying upright - it boosts bone density and helps combat osteoporosis (thinning bones). Hiking is also good for muscle strength. The activity targets your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, hip flexors, and lower leg muscles. It works your shoulders, strengthens your core, and improves balance. And hiking can help you control your weight. It's also a powerful mood booster. "Research shows that hiking has a positive impact on combating the symptoms of stress and anxiety," says Gregory A. Miller, PhD, president of the American Hiking Society. "Being in nature is ingrained in our DNA, and we sometimes forget that."

Gardening, home improvements help reduce heart/stroke risk (Sweden)

Gardening, home improvements help reduce heart/stroke risk (Sweden)Gardening and home do-it-yourself projects can reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke by 30 percent in those age 60 and older, researchers in Sweden say. Elin Ekblom-Bak of Karolinska University Hospital, Bjorn Ekblom of the The Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, Max Vikstrom of the Institute of Environmental Medicine at the Karolinska University Hospital and colleagues based their findings on almost 4,000 60-year-olds in Stockholm, whose cardiovascular health was tracked for about 12.5 years. At the start of the study, participants took part in a health check, which included information on lifestyle, such as diet, smoking, and alcohol intake and how physically active they were. The study participants were asked how often they had included a range of daily life activities, such as gardening, DIY, car maintenance and blackberry picking in the previous 12 months, as well as any formal exercise. Their cardiovascular health was assessed by lab tests and physical examinations and check for blood fats, blood sugars and blood clotting factor - high levels of which are linked to a raised heart attack and stroke risk. The study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, found the highest level of daily physical activity was associated with a 27 percent lower risk of a heart attack or stroke and a 30 percent reduced risk of death from all causes, compared with the lowest level of activity, irrespective of how much regular formal exercise was taken in addition

Cancer and cardiovascular organizations team up to improve the health of Canadians

Cancer and cardiovascular organizations team up to improve the health of CanadiansThe Canadian Partnership Against Cancer and the Heart and Stroke Foundation have announced a $16 million investment in a first of its kind partnership between the cancer and cardiovascular research communities that will strengthen our understanding of chronic disease. The Canadian Alliance for Healthy Hearts and Minds, with $14 million from the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer and $2 million from the Heart and Stroke Foundation, will build on the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project, a pan-Canadian research platform, by expanding efforts to identify the early root causes that lead to chronic diseases of the brain, the heart and the cardiovascular system. "Nearly two-thirds of deaths in Canada are due to chronic diseases," said Dr. Heather Bryant, VP of Cancer Control at the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. "The data collected through the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project will help researchers better understand why some people develop these diseases while others don't. Ultimately the research will make a difference in the lives of future generations." This new investment will gather detailed information from about 10,000 Canadian participants on their environments, lifestyle and behaviours that could affect their cardiovascular health. Participants will also be assessed by magnetic resonance imaging scan of the brain, blood vessels, heart and liver. Adding this to the health and biological information assembled over many years within CPTP will allow researchers to explore how these factors contribute to the development of chronic disease leading to heart failure and dementia