Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Detect your heart beat from a meter away (UK)

Detect your heart beat from a meter awayScientists at the University of Sussex think they see a future without clinical electrodes. The non-contact electric potential sensor (EPS) which the team developed may one day enable patients to have their heartbeats monitored while they relax in their hospital bed or home. Other potential applications include MRI sensing probes, human-machine interfaces, non-destructive testing systems and ECG and EEG monitoring systems. The sensitivity of the EPS is sufficient to detect muscle signals and eye movements and potentially even brain and nerve signals

Bing unveils new medical query features

Microsoft has beefed up the medical information results for its Bing search engine. Now when looking for drugs, conditions and information on medical tests, Bing will provide results with an info box containing basic info and links to more data from reputable institutions, such as Mayo Clinic, NIH, and medical associations. New features include:

# Tweets from select health publishers in instant answers
# Instant health data tables for common inquiries like blood pressure or cholesterol levels
# Shortcuts to clinical trials for conditions including various cancer types and other major diseases
# New content partners including Harvard Health and the CDC

CMAJ - 15 June 2010

The Canadian Medical Association Journal - 15 June 2010, Volume 182, Issue 9, is now available online

Study uncovers new diabetes genes (UK)

Study uncovers new diabetes genesTwelve new genes linked with type 2 diabetes have been found in a study into the differences in people's DNA and their risk of having the condition. A consortium including Edinburgh University scientists have identified "important clues to the biological basis of type 2 diabetes". It is hoped the findings will lead to better ways of treating the condition. The genes tend to be involved in working cells producing insulin, which controls levels of glucose in blood. The 12 new genes brings the total number linked with type 2 diabetes to 38. The study was led by researchers at Oxford University and forms part of the Wellcome Trust case control consortium

Anxiety may increase risk of heart disease

Anxiety disorders significantly increase a person's risk of developing heart disease and also raise the odds of suffering a fatal cardiac event, two new studies suggest. The first study, by Annelieke M. Roest, MSc, of Tilburg University in the Netherlands, combined data from 20 studies on nearly 250,000 people. The average follow-up period was 11 years. The researchers found that anxiety was associated with a 26% increased risk of coronary heart disease and a 48% increased risk of heart-related death over the follow-up period, even after adjusting for known heart disease risk factors. The second study, by Imre Janszky, MD, PhD, of Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, also found that anxiety disorders are predictive of future heart disease even after controlling for other risk factors such as blood pressure and smoking. Anxiety more than doubled the subsequent risk of developing coronary blockages or having a heart attack. They examined data on 50,000 young Swedish men evaluated for military service between ages 18 and 20, with a follow-up of about 37 years. The studies and an accompanying editorial by Joel Dimsdale, MD, professor of psychiatry at the University of California-San Diego, are now online and scheduled for publication in the June 29 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Diabetes doubles risk of heart attack, stroke

Diabetes doubles the risk of developing serious blood vessel diseases and life-threatening events such as strokes and heart attacks, a new study shows. The findings emphasize the need to increase efforts to prevent diabetes, researchers report in a study published in The Lancet. The results of the study are also being presented at the American Diabetes Association's 70th annual scientific sessions in Orlando, Fla. British scientists analyzed data on nearly 700,000 people, each of whom had been monitored for about 10 years in 102 surveys in 25 countries

Obesity rate swells in 28 States (USA)

Obesity rate swells in 28 States (USA)Adult obesity rates increased in 28 states in the past year, with the No. 1 ranking going to Mississippi, where 33.8% of adults are obese, according to a new report, "F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2010". High rates of obesity are associated with lower incomes, race, ethnicity, and less education, according to the report from the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Neck ultrasound effective in detecting coronary artery disease

Neck ultrasound could be effective in detecting coronary artery disease. The simple, inexpensive and noninvasive carotid artery ultrasound of the neck may be an alternative to the standard, expensive and more invasive coronary angiography. The ultrasound test can also be used to rule out the diagnosis of CAD in patients presenting with reduced heart pump function. The new study by researchers with NYU Langone Medical Center appears in the June 2010 issue of the American Heart Journal

Cardiac imaging breakthrough helps determine diminished blood flow to the heart

Research presented at the Society of Nuclear Medicine's 57th Annual Meeting is challenging the typical paradigm used to determine whether heart patients will benefit from invasive procedures like stent-placement or open-heart surgery. Current medical practice favors treating patients with coronary atherosclerosis (or hardening of the artery walls due to plaque build-up) with such procedures if a coronary artery is shown to be blocked by 70 percent or more in order to reduce symptoms and potentially prevent heart attack. However, a group of cardiac investigators are now finding that in addition to the degree of blockage, composition of the plaque causing the blockage also has significant impact on coronary artery blood flow. This may help explain why two people with similarly blocked coronary arteries can experience vastly different symptoms - ScienceDaily

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Health warning over World Cup on TV

Health warning over World Cup on TVWatching the World Cup on television could increase the risk of dying from heart disease, scientists have warned. Every hour a day spent sitting in front of a television increases the risk of death from heart disease by a further 7% of an individual's normal risk level, a study of 13,197 healthy middle aged men and women in Norfolk has shown. The Medical Research Council (MRC) research published in the International Journal of Epidemiology found 373 of the group - one in 35 - died from heart disease over a 10-year period. The amount of time spent watching television was a "significant marker" of their likelihood of death from heart disease, the study found. Researchers said an estimated 8% of these deaths, or 30 people, might have been avoided if TV viewing times had been reduced from the UK average of four hours a day to just one hour. The calculation took into account other risk factors such as smoking, obesity, lack of exercise and poor diet. Participants with a history of related diseases such as strokes and heart attacks were excluded from the study, and researchers measured television viewing time from questionnaires - PA

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Study: Coffee, tea cut heart disease risk

A large study in the Netherlands found moderate consumption of coffee or tea cuts the risk of heart disease significantly, researchers say. Dr. Yvonne van der Schouw of the University Medical Center Utrecht said the multiyear study suggests coffee and tea drinking do not increase the risk of death from any cause. She and her colleagues tracked 37,514 people for 13 years in one of the biggest studies on the subject. Tea had a bigger impact than coffee, van der Schouw said. Those who drank between three and six cups of tea daily were 45 percent less likely to suffer coronary disease than those who drank less than one cup, while with heavy drinkers - more than six cups - the risk was reduced by 36 percent. The risk of heart disease was cut by 20 percent among those who drank two to four cups of coffee. The researchers noted coffee drinkers are more likely to smoke. Van der Schouw believes antioxidants in coffee and tea are responsible for the health benefits. The study was published in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Being short 'raises heart risk'

Being short 'raises heart risk'"Short people are more likely to develop heart disease, researchers say. Being under 5ft 4in or 165.4cm if you are a man and below 5ft or 153cm if you are a woman poses a risk, they say. After analysing data on over 3m people, they found shorter adults were 1.5 times more likely to develop and die from heart disease than tall adults. Shorter people may have smaller blood vessels to the heart that clog more easily, the Finnish team suggested in the European Heart Journal. Or factors that can stunt growth, like poor nutrition during childhood, could play a role, they add" - BBC

Cause of death of Italian saint uncovered

Cause of death of Italian saint uncovered"Researchers have used X-ray techniques to uncover the cause of death of a 700-year-old Italian saint. Santa Rosa - who died when she was 18 or 19 years old - was most likely killed by a blood clot in the heart, say the Italian research team. It is said the 13th Century saint had miraculous powers that allowed her to raise someone from the dead and to survive the flames of a burning pyre. Her mummified remains are conserved in a monastery near Rome. The research team had been asked in 1995 to carry out some preservation work on the body, which was showing signs of damage. As part of the restoration work, they were able to take X-rays using a mobile device" - BBC

Cancer link to common heart drugs

Cancer link to common heart drugs"A class of drugs commonly used to treat heart problems has been linked with a "modestly" increased risk of cancer. Analysis of published data from all trials of angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARBs) found one extra case of cancer for every 105 patients treated. The US researchers said the evidence from nine trials should prompt drug regulators to investigate. But they advised people not to stop taking the drugs, but to see their doctors if concerned. The results are published in The Lancet Oncology. ARBs are mainly prescribed for conditions such as high blood pressure and heart failure. They are used by millions of people worldwide" - BBC

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Manulife Bike and Hike for Heart reaches goal (Canada)

"Close to 1,000 cyclists, walkers and volunteers took part in the 18th annual Manulife Bike and Hike for Heart today to support local heart health. Organizers continue to tally donations, which will reach $200,000 for St. Mary's Regional Cardiac Care Centre in Kitchener. Including today's results, the event has raised more than $3.1 million for heart health in Waterloo Region since it was first launched in 1993"

Women and heart disease: Cardiovascular profile of women in Australia

Cardiovascular disease is Australia's biggest killer. This report focuses on its impact on the health of Australian women - a group who may not be aware of how significant a threat this disease is to them. The report presents the latest data on prevalence, deaths, disability, hospitalisations, services, treatments, risk factors and expenditure, as well as comparisons to other important diseases among women. This report is a useful resource for policy makers, researchers, health professionals and anyone interested in cardiovascular disease in Australian women

Enayah launches Emirates Cardiology Mobile Center

The Emirates National Field Hospital, Enayah (Care) under a voluntary framework has launched Emirates Mobile Cardiology Center to provide curative and preventive services for needy heart patients under the supervision of a group of local and foreign physicians and surgeons. The launch of the Centre comes in cooperation with Emirates Heart Center, World Heart Foundation with an initiative by Emirates World Heart Group and in partnership with government and private institutions of the UAE.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Link established between erectile dysfunction and calcified coronary arteries (USA)

In the largest study to date evaluating erectile dysfunction (ED) and coronary artery calcification, researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine have determined that men with ED are at a significantly increased risk of high coronary artery calcification scores (CACS), a known predictor of future cardiovascular events. The research was presented this week at the American Urological Association (AUA) meeting in San Francisco

Girl Scouts sew pillows for cardiac patients (USA)

Girl Scouts sew pillows for cardiac patientsGirl Scouts from Rainbow Stars Service Unit Troop 724, Texas, came together recently to help patients recovering from heart surgery. With the help of local eighth-grade science teacher Mary Bley the Girl Scouts sewed and tied 10 pillows for patients in the cardiac unit of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center Home. The pillows are for patients to hold to their chest when coughing or sneezing, to help prevent stitches from tearing

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

mHealth 2010

mHealth 2010mHealth 2010 brings together leading players from across the entire mobile healthcare ecosystem. It will feature 35+ top executive presentations and global case studies. The conference will facilitate the global development of mobile healthcare and explore ways in which universal healthcare can be delivered with the aid of mobile technology - 14-15 September - Dubai, UAE

June is Stroke Month (Canada)

June is Stroke Month (Canada)June is Stroke Month (Canada)