Tuesday, November 30, 2010

How much exercise is enough? (UK)

"A British physiotherapist says, after not smoking and proper nutrition, exercise is the best protection against disease. Leslie Alford of the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, reviewed 40 international studies on exercise and health. Included in his study, published in International Journal of Clinical Practice, is Alford's answer to the question, "How much exercise is enough?" He recommends healthy adults ages18-65 aim for 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity a week - for example, 30 minutes of brisk walking five days a week. Those undertaking more vigorous exercise - such as jogging - should aim for 20 minutes - three days a week. "It is with certainty that all health care professionals can recommend some form of physical activity to their patients," Alford says in a statement. Alford recommends healthy adults also include two weekly strength-training sessions that work the body's major muscle groups. In short, Alford advises people who are physically active to continue to exercise even when they become middle-aged or elderly. He says those who aren't exercising should consult their physician about increasing their physical activity. Older people especially benefit from exercise that helps maintain balance and flexibility, Alford says"

Diabetes may clamp down on cholesterol the brain needs (USA)

The brain contains more cholesterol than any other organ in the body, has to produce its own cholesterol and won't function normally if it doesn't churn out enough. Defects in cholesterol metabolism have been linked with Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative conditions. Now researchers at Joslin Diabetes Center have discovered that diabetes can affect how much cholesterol the brain can make. Scientists in the laboratory of C. Ronald Kahn, M.D., head of Joslin's Integrative Physiology and Metabolism research section, found that brain cholesterol synthesis, the only source of cholesterol for the brain, drops in several mouse models of diabetes. Their work was reported online in the journal Cell Metabolism on November 30

Sixth International Conference on Cell Therapy for Cardiovascular Disease (USA)

The Sixth International Conference on Cell Therapy for Cardiovascular Disease (IC3D) is a one-and-a-half day comprehensive program dedicated to the evolving field of cell-based therapies for the repair and regeneration of cardiac and vascular disease, as well as related diseases such as diabetes and stroke. This year's conference will focus on commercialization aspects of the field, highlighting the status of molecular, cell, and tissue products in addition to delivery systems - January 20-21, 2011 - New York City

Researchers find link between sugar, diabetes and aggression (USA)

"A spoonful of sugar may be enough to cool a hot temper, at least for a short time, according to new research. A study found that people who drank a glass of lemonade sweetened with sugar acted less aggressively toward a stranger a few minutes later than did people who consumed lemonade with a sugar substitute. Researchers believe it all has to do with the glucose, a simple sugar found in the bloodstream that provides energy for the brain. "Avoiding aggressive impulses takes self control, and self control takes a lot of energy. Glucose provides that energy in the brain," said Brad Bushman, co-author of the study and professor of communication and psychology at Ohio State University. "Drinking sweetened lemonade helped provide the short-term energy needed to avoid lashing out at others." The finding is more than just a medical curiosity, Bushman said. In two published papers, he and his colleagues did several studies showing that people who have trouble metabolizing, or using, glucose in their bodies show more evidence of aggression and less willingness to forgive others. The problem is that the number of people who have trouble metabolizing glucose - mainly those with diabetes - is rising rapidly. From 1980 through 2008, the number of Americans with diabetes has more than tripled (from 5.6 million to 18.1 million)" - EurekAlert

Women 'in the dark' on heart risk (UK)

Women 'in the dark' on heart risk (UK)"Only one in 10 women aged 50 or older say they have discussed their risk of heart disease during a GP visit, according to a survey. The British Heart Foundation poll of more than 4,000 UK women also found many unaware of the symptoms of a heart attack. It says that both women, and doctors, should be more aware of the threat. While the death toll from heart disease in middle age is lower for women than for men, it still kills more than 40,000 UK women each year. Specialists say that spotting more cases early could make a marked difference to the number of heart attacks and deaths" - BBC

Friday, November 26, 2010

Passive smoking 'kills 600,000' worldwide

Passive smoking 'kills 600,000' worldwideThe first global study into the effects of passive smoking has found it causes 600,000 deaths every year. One-third of those killed are children, often exposed to smoke at home, the World Health Organization (WHO) found. The study, in 192 countries, found that passive smoking is particularly dangerous for children, said to be at higher risk of sudden infant death syndrome, pneumonia and asthma. Passive smoking causes heart disease, respiratory illness and lung cancer. "This helps us understand the real toll of tobacco," said Armando Peruga, of the WHO's Tobacco-Free Initiative, who led the study.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Danish researchers finally solve the obesity riddle

"Researchers at the Faculty of Life Sciences (LIFE), University of Copenhagen, can now unveil the results of the world's largest diet study: If you want to lose weight, you should maintain a diet that is high in proteins with more lean meat, low-fat dairy products and beans and fewer finely refined starch calories such as white bread and white rice. With this diet, you can also eat until you are full without counting calories and without gaining weight. Finally, the extensive study concludes that the official dietary recommendations are not sufficient for preventing obesity. The large-scale random study called Diogenes has investigated the optimum diet composition for preventing and treating obesity. The study was conducted by eight European research centres and headed by Thomas Meinert Larsen, PhD, and Professor Arne Astrup, DrMedSc and Head of Department at the Faculty of Life Sciences (LIFE) and is funded by an EU grant of EUR 14.5 million. The results were recently published in the distinguished New England Journal of Medicine and have already attracted considerable international attention"

England has best heart surgeons in Europe: report

For the first time comprehensive data on cardiac surgery across 23 countries has been compared. Patients in the NHS in England and Wales were 25 per cent more likely to survive their operation and recovered faster than the European average, the report found. It means around 250 more patients survive surgery each year because their operations were in England or Wales - Telegraph

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Binge drinking 'doubles heart risk'

Binge drinking 'doubles heart risk'"Binge drinkers have a risk of heart disease twice that of people who consume the same amount of alcohol but more steadily, researchers say. The study compared 10,000 male drinkers from "booze-bingeing" Belfast and "moderate" France over 10 years. It concluded that downing lots of alcohol in one or two sessions is worse than drinking more regularly in a week. Experts said the British Medical Journal work reinforced what was known but was a wake-up call for bingers."

Monday, November 22, 2010

$1.6 million to take forward breakthrough research in heart disease (Scotland)

"Clues to the causes of serious, and often fatal, diseases and conditions, such as heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure, are being investigated at the Universities of Strathclyde and Glasgow, both in Scotland, with the use of a £1 million grant. Scientists at the universities have made a breakthrough in techniques for exploring faults in 'smooth' muscles, which play a major part in controlling blood flow, blood pressure and the digestion of food. For all of this to operate properly, the muscles must act in a co-ordinated way but how they do so is still not fully understood. However, it is known that calcium plays a part and the researchers have developed an innovative system for looking at calcium in targeted areas of blood cells. They have received a £1million programme grant from the Wellcome Trust to take their investigation further"

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Reindeer Run (UK)

Reindeer Run (UK)"Get into the Christmas spirit and join us for The Stroke Association's first ever Reindeer Run on Sunday 5 December! The event will take place in the beautiful Richmond Park, which is home to 650-free roaming deer and guaranteed to get you in the mood for Christmas! Our event is all about fun so it doesn't matter whether you run, walk or wheel your way round Richmond Park... it's the taking part that counts! We will be offering antlers to all our participants on the day and our marshals will be in fancy dress to keep your entertained and motivated along the course!"

Anna Power-Horlick speaks at the CARG 25th anniversary dinner

Anna Power-Horlick speaks at the CARG 25th anniversary dinnerThank you to the Board members for agreeing to this opportunity for me to share what it is like for a family member to be connected to the CARG experience.

I have the honour of being the daughter of Sylvia and Douglas Power who have been with the CARG group since the start. While this is not the "club" they imagined joining, I have to say that it has been a life giving experience.

From the first connection that was made in hospital through the Nurse Coordinators and following with the transition through to CARG, our family heard the names, Leslie, Ken, Audrey, Blanche, and other support staff even more that the names of health medications.

Several years after my mother's heart attack, she was faced with the news about bypass surgery. Our whole family felt the impact. My Mom remembers to this day that Roly, from CARG came to see her right away and reassured Mom that she would get through this. His honest appraisal of the challenge of surgery was important and his message of a hopeful recovery made it easier for us to accept the necessary decision. A great team of health care professionals in the hospital made it possible to get through the surgery and five day post operative stay; but getting back to life was through the community of the CARG.

When my Mom was overwhelmed at home following the surgery and Dad and I wondered how she would recover, we called CARG and a wonderful lady, named Pat came to the house and visited and encouraged my Mom. That was just the medicine we needed. As time went on, my Dad, not be outdone by mom, also had a cardiac event and made a comfortable switch from support person status to full membership as a "red shirt" member.

I am an R.N. and I have the joy of telling my patients who have chronic conditions that if they ever need inspiration about what health education and support can do - spend 10 minutes observing the CARG gang at the Field House and now also the Shaw Centre. YOU have a community, which is vitally important to good health, AND you have fun!!

You also set a terrific intergenerational example. I know many of you have had family and grandchildren join you in walking the track. My children have loved coming to the Field House since they were toddlers to have fun. They brag about their grandparents who "work out" at the Field House three times a week. They also have the joy of being the grandchildren of Ruth and Dr. Louis Horlick, so they have a great connection to the legacy of the CARG community.

So now I can say that I have a family history of heart disease, which makes me an associate member of the CARG group. I know through your example of knowledge and prevention that we can make a difference in decreasing cardiac risk factors and improve the management of heart disease.

Congratulations to the pioneers - you all look fantastic. Congratulations to everyone on this terrific anniversary. You are all part of a winning team working for the best of health.

Thank you,

Anna Power-Horlick

Friday, November 19, 2010

Garlic 'remedy for hypertension' (Australia)

Garlic 'remedy for hypertension' (Australia)"Garlic may be useful in addition to medication to treat high blood pressure, a study suggests. Australian doctors enrolled 50 patients in a trial to see if garlic supplements could help those whose blood pressure was high, despite medication. Those given four capsules of garlic extract a day had lower blood pressure than those on placebo, they report in scientific journal Maturitas. The British Heart Foundation said more research was needed. Garlic has long been though to be good for the heart. Garlic supplements have previously been shown to lower cholesterol and reduce high blood pressure in those with untreated hypertension. In the latest study, researchers from the University of Adelaide, Australia, looked at the effects of four capsules a day of a supplement known as aged garlic for 12 weeks. They found systolic blood pressure was around 10mmHg lower in the group given garlic compared with those given a placebo"

Vic Zapf thanks 25th anniversay dinner volunteers

On behalf of the members of CARG I would like to take this opportunity to say a BIG thank you for your time and enthusiasm shown as you sold and collected tickets for the 25th anniversary dinner. Your devotion to the event truly helped in making it the success that it was. Listed below are the names of these volunteers. When you see them, give them a big thank you:

Bonnie Wudrick; Lloyd Wudrick; Scheilla Retzlaff; Ann Smart; Larry Mullen; Susan Clark; Glen Clark; Zorn Kerr; Hal Shockey; Don Campbell; Pat Aupperle; Dan Danaher; Gordon Shuttle; Caroline Shuttle; Birdie Kitella; Vi Remenda; Ruth Redden.

Thank you again
Vic Zapf for CARG Social Committee

From the President of CARG's desk

I am delighted to humbly submit this report to the CARG members. As you know, I just completed the first year as President of CARG. This responsibility was more challenging than I had anticipated. I tried to do as good a job as I could. I realize that everything did not work out perfectly; there were shortcomings and it is possible that some of you were not fully satisfied. Any how, a lot was achieved and all this happened with the support that I received from you both morally as well as in performing the required tasks.

The major challenge this past year was to nurture the Coronary Artery Rehabilitation program at the Shaw Centre and bring it to the level of the program we have at the Field House. The CARG activities started in September 2009 with all three lanes rented from 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM. The starting time has since been extended; the tracks are now available from 7:30 AM to 11:30 AM. Resistance exercise equipment provided by the Saskatoon Health Region and purchased by CARG with part funding from the Saskatoon Lions Club is also available.

The CARG members who walk in the Field House have, hopefully, noticed the changes that have taken place in the Field House facilities. The resistance equipment owned by CARG was maintained in good working order. The Health Region / Field House have built new office accommodation for use by the Exercise instructors. This freed a lot of space in the Resistance Exercise Room; this space has been used by bringing in new equipment. Also, two storage cabinets have been acquired in which materials that were previously being stored in boxes are now stored in the storage cabinets. The Saskatoon Health Region has provided two computing systems to exercise instructors for accessing medical records of CARG members and participants in other fitness programs for discussing their exercise needs as well as for use during emergencies. CARG provided two additional computing systems to exercise instructors.

I am delighted to report that CARG received from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Saskatchewan a commitment for $2,000 per year for a period of two years in support of our Heart Pillow project. Funds for the 2009-10 year have since been received.
The Social, Hospital Visitation and Heart Pillow Committees continued to function very effectively with the able leaderships of Vic Zapf, Ethelyne Eichhorn and Darlene Urban respectively.

The CARG web site has been maintained and a very educational Blog has been developed. These facilities keep members informed of CARG activities as well as provide information on important developments in health care in general and cardiac health in particular.

The highlight of the year was the twenty-fifth anniversary celebrations. These started with the pancake breakfast to welcome CARG members back in the exercise programs. This was followed by the next event that was the Anniversary dinner; this was attended by more than 200 members and guests. Two congratulatory messages were received; one from Honourable Don McMorris, Minister of Health, Government of Saskatchewan and the other from the Saskatoon Health Region. The highlight of the dinner consisted of CARG presenting plaques to Dr. Louis Horlick, Dr. Whitmer Firor and Dr. John Merriman thanking them for their foresight and initiative in starting forty years ago the Cardiac Rehab program that led to the formation of CARG. All these activities became possible solely by the initiative and assistance several members of CARG. Some of these are Peter Scott, Curt Weberbauer, Ron Fleming, Vic Zapf, Howard Hrehirchuk and their teams of volunteers who worked hard to make the CARG operation a success.

Finally, CARG Board of Directors considered ways to increase dialog with the members. It decided that, in the New Year, two Directors will make themselves available at the Field House to meet with the members for answering their inquiries and for listening to their views and suggestions. The minutes of the Board of Directors meetings will also be posted on the CARG web site.


Merck drug for cutting cholesterol is promising (USA)

"Merck has a potential blockbuster in anacetrapib, an experimental cholesterol drug that increases HDL, or 'good' cholesterol even as it lowers LDL, the 'bad' cholesterol. The drug could potentially have sales of more than $1 billion a year, John Boris, an analyst at Citigroup, wrote in a note to investors on Wednesday. But don't hold your breath. Cardiologists, patients and investors will have to wait until at least 2015 to find out whether anacetrapib protects the heart by reducing heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems, Merck said. Anacetrapib works by inhibiting an enzyme called CETP, which is involved in transforming particles of good cholesterol into bad cholesterol" - New York Times

A Message from the Honourable Don McMorris, Minister of Health, on CARG's 25th birthday

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Leslie Worth read greetings from Saskatoon Health Region at CARG's 25th birthday dinner

Regretfully neither Maura Davies, President and CEO of the Saskatoon Health Region nor I as the Vice President of Community Services were able to accept your kind offer to attend the 25th anniversary celebrations of the Coronary Artery Rehabilitation Group. It would have been a pleasure for both of us to be in your company for an evening of celebration of an important milestone. As we both have other commitments I have asked Leslie Worth (pictured right) to read this message to you aloud. It will not take the place of our attendance, but hopefully will assure you of our ongoing support and pleasure in working together.

Since its inception 25 years ago the Coronary Artery Rehabilitation Group has been an esteemed partner of the Saskatoon Health Region (or Saskatoon District Health, Tri hospital rehab. or any other previous iteration!). Those of us who are responsible for community health services have long recognized the importance of prevention and rehabilitation, in the spirit of community volunteerism and empowering people to make healthy choices and healthy decisions for themselves. CARG can take pride in the huge numbers of people who have found health through your programs and their own participation in activities to support them in their quest for healthier living. For those who have had serious health problems and want to take part in their own recovery, this program is and has been an ideal model which has been shared nationally and internationally.

Twenty five years is a long time. On behalf of the health region I want to take this opportunity to thank all the members of CARG and your wonderful volunteer base for your "STAYING POWER". Many programs emerge for a period of time and are not sustained because their approach is too heavily reliant on "the flavour of the day" or the subsidized services of a formal organization. CARG has taken the best of both community and volunteer involvement and the leverage with Saskatoon Health Region sponsorship and made a perfect partnership that has endured. You have provided support by organizing ongoing education and social events, in hospital visitations, offering the patient and family perspective at education days and conferences for health care providers, serving on regional, national committees and partnering with the Heart and Stoke Foundation. The list goes on and on.

The exercise program, had it's beginning in the bowels of RUH with participants walking the hallways and playing volleyball in the Ellis Hall gym and it would not be 800 strong and multi-site if it were not for the dedication provided by CARG. Over the years CARG Volunteers have devoted countless hours to collecting fees, tracking members, and purchasing equipment which has allowed the exercise program to continue beyond the initial phase of recovery with many members still attending the program faithfully three times per week since 1985.

You have changed over the years and adopted a current approach to stay with the times now offering an electronic newsletter called Heart A Facts, e-mail and website links as well. It is always important to stay relevant with the changing environment and you have done that in spades! HEALTH, FITNESS, and FELLOWSHIP -- a perfect combination of these three ingredients for life you have been able to achieve together.

On behalf of all of us within the Saskatoon Health Region please accept our best wishes for many more years of service and enjoyable satisfying healthy exercise programs at the Field House and the Shaw Centre. Thank you for being a strong and fit partner and collaborator for good health. Enjoy your evening together.


Shan Landry
Vice President Community Services, Saskatoon Health Region

Boomers fight aging with exercise

Boomers fight aging with exercise"Fitness goals and objectives change drastically as you move into your mid-40s to 60s. The shift moves from exercise for physical appearance to good health. Boomers want quality of life. They want to look and feel good, and are fighting the effects of aging every step of the way. Boomers will not give in to the aging process easily; however, natural physiological changes will guide their activity choices. For people who have been active throughout their life, moving into this stage of life can be frustrating as joint injuries, strains and pains and other health issues begin to appear. These changes in physiology affect the volume, intensity and type of exercises that can be performed. It is common to see endurance runners become endurance cyclists as joint problems make it more appealing to ride than run. A health crisis may be the motivation that gets boomers active who may not have previously been involved in fitness activity. Careful exercise design is critical for anyone who has been inactive for a period of time and is coming back after a health issue. As boomers strive to stay young, more and more research is pointing to exercise as the fountain of youth. When it comes to exercise choice and preference, this generation tends to look for health benefits: a combination of cardiovascular activities, resistance training and stretching is highly recommended. - Calgary Herald

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Kidney zap lowers blood pressure (UK)

"A short blast of radio waves to the kidneys can help control high blood pressure in patients who do not respond to medication, a study shows. The pioneering work, described in The Lancet medical journal, selectively severs nerves to the kidney that play a key role in regulating blood pressure. Although still in the testing phase, experts say the procedure could one day help hundreds of thousands of patients. Half of patients fail to achieve good blood pressure control with drugs. This is partly because it can be difficult to remember to take medication every day. But for up to a fifth of patients it is because the drugs simply have no effect. High blood pressure is an exceedingly common condition, affecting around one in three adults in England. Experts believe the new procedure could help many of these better control their condition, thereby lowering their risk of future strokes and heart attacks"

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Stem cells used in stroke trial (UK)

"Doctors in Glasgow have injected stem cells into the brain of a stroke patient in an effort to find a new treatment for the condition. The elderly man is the first person in the world to receive this treatment - the start of a regulated trial at Southern General Hospital. He was given very low doses over the weekend and has since been discharged - and his doctors say he is doing well. Critics object as brain cells from foetuses were used to create the cells. The patient received a very low dose of stem cells in an initial trial to assess the safety of the procedure. Over the next year, up to 12 more patients will be given progressively higher doses - again primarily to assess safety - but doctors will be looking closely to see if the stem cells have begun to repair their brains and if their condition has improved" - BBC

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Women with high job strain have 40 percent increased risk of heart disease

Women who report having high job strain have a 40 percent increased risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks and the need for procedures to open blocked arteries, compared to those with low job strain, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2010. In addition, job insecurity – fear of losing one's job – was associated with risk factors for cardiovascular disease such as high blood pressure, increased cholesterol and excess body weight. However, it'snot directly associated with heart attacks, stroke, invasive heart procedures or cardiovascular death, researchers said. Job strain, a form of psychological stress, is defined as having a demanding job, but little to no decision-making authority or opportunities to use one's creative or individual skills. "Our study indicates that there are both immediate and long-term clinically documented cardiovascular health effects of job strain in women," said Michelle A. Albert, M.D., M.P.H., the study's senior author and associate physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Mass. "Your job can positively and negatively affect health, making it important to pay attention to the stresses of your job as part of your total health package." Researchers analyzed job strain in 17,415 healthy women who participated in the landmark Women's Health Study. The women were primarily Caucasian health professionals, average age 57 who provided information about heart disease risk factors, job strain and job insecurity. They were followed for more than 10 years to track the development of cardiovascular disease. Researchers used a standard questionnaire to evaluate job strain and job insecurity with statements such as: "My job requires working very fast." "My job requires working very hard." "I am free from competing demands that others make." - EurekAlert

World COPD Day 2010

World COPD DayWorld COPD Day is an annual event organized by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) to improve awareness and care of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) around the world. World COPD Day 2010 will take place on November 17 around the theme "2010 - The Year of the Lung: Measure your lung health - Ask your doctor about a simple breathing test called spirometry"

Richard Bing, pioneering heart researcher, dies at 101 (USA)

Richard Bing, pioneering heart researcher, dies at 101 (USA)"Dr. Richard J. Bing, a pioneering cardiologist whose research led to new understandings of blood flow, congenital heart disease and the mechanics of the heart, died on Monday at his home in La Cañada, Calif. He was 101. His death was confirmed by his son John. Dr. Bing, who earned his medical degree in Germany but emigrated soon after Hitler rose to power, did groundbreaking research on the physiology of the heart and kidneys for more than half a century. In the 1950s, his research made it possible to measure blood flow to the heart and determine its mechanical efficiency. In the 1960s, he developed an early version of the PET scan. His work on congenital heart disease led to the identification of a variety of cardiac malformations that surgeons were then able to treat" - New York Times

Additional cardiac testing vital for patients with anxiety and depression (Canada

People affected by anxiety and depression should receive an additional cardiac test when undergoing diagnosis for potential heart problems, according to a new study from Concordia University, the Université du Québec à Montréal and the Montreal Heart Institute. As part of this study, published in the Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention, a large sample of patients received a traditional electrocardiogram (ECG), where they were connected to electrodes as they exercised on a treadmill. Patients also received a more complex tomography imaging test, which required the injection of a radioactive dye into the bloodstream followed by a nuclear scan to assess whether blood flow to the heart was normal during exercise

Developing world warned of 'obesity epidemic'

Developing world warned of 'obesity epidemic'Developing countries should act now to head off their own "obesity epidemic", says a global policy group. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) says obesity levels are rising fast. In a report in the Lancet medical journal, it says low-income countries cannot cope with the health consequences of wide scale obesity. Rates in Brazil and South Africa already outstrip the OECD average - BBC

Bereavement 'raises risk of dangerous heart changes'

Bereavement 'raises risk of dangerous heart changes'Recently-bereaved people have heart rhythm changes which may make some of them more vulnerable to health problems, say researchers. The University of Sydney study, released at a US heart conference, monitored the hearts of 78 bereaved spouses and parents. They beat faster on average than unaffected volunteers, with more common periods of very rapid heart rates. A UK specialist recommended check-ups for those with-existing heart problems. It is known that the trauma of bereavement can mean an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes in the months immediately following the death of a close relative - BBC

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Skipping breakfast might put your heart at risk - Australian study

"A new Australian study found that people who skipped breakfast had a greater risk of heart diseases. The study noticed that those skipping breakfast at an early age often did have larger waist circumferences and had higher levels of cholesterol and insulin in their blood. Overall, they had less healthy lifestyles and may have detrimental effects on cardio-metabolic health. Researchers at University of Tasmania and other places in Australia assessed the cardiovascular and metabolic risks. Breakfast habits of the adults, followed up from childhood, were assessed at the same time as their cardiovascular risk; however researchers say the link between the two is still uncertain. Therefore, it is still a bit unclear whether people who skip breakfast as a child are in fact at greater risk of heart-related illness. The team followed a sample of Australian children aged 9 to 15 years old in 1985, and revisited them between 2004 and 2006, when they were aged up to 36 years old"

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Donation boon for cardiac care (Saskatoon, Canada)

Donation boon for cardiac care (Saskatoon, Canada)"Royal University Hospital will be creating a state-of-the-art cardiac treatment facility thanks to a $1.5-million donation from the Kinsmen Telemiracle Foundation. The new facility, a cardiac electrophysiology laboratory, will deal with the diagnosis and treatment of abnormal heart rhythms, which are often fatal. Cardiovascular disease accounts for 35 per cent of all deaths in Canada - around 78,000 annually. About 50 per cent of these deaths are sudden, due to a lethal cardiac arrhythmia. Two cardiologists currently conduct electrophysiology procedures at RUH, but due to lack of a lab they can only do these procedures one day per week. The waiting list for treatment is eight to nine months long and those in need of advanced procedures must go out of province. Having a dedicated laboratory could help prolong the lives of many patients and may offer a cure to others. Picture shows Arla Gustafson, with the Royal University Hospital Foundation, giving Kinsmen Telemiracle Foundation members a tour of the donation wall - Star Phoenix

Pacemaker firm to pay $9.2M (USA)

In a four-year-old case with nationwide implications, Ela Medical has agreed to pay $9.2 million to settle a whistle-blower case brought by a former Miami technician who charged the company used several schemes to pay kickbacks to South Florida doctors. Tania Lee's original lawsuit against Ela, manufacturer of pacemakers and other heart devices, had named a dozen South Florida hospitals and 25 doctors, but her amended complaint was only against Ela. 'Ela is a window into something much bigger that is widespread in the healthcare industry,' Jon May, one of her attorneys, said on Monday. 'It's how the healthcare industry is set up, offering such incentives for medicines and procedures. Every place you look, every rock you turn over, you see...that as long as we pay doctors for procedures and devices rather than outcomes, there is a huge incentive for doctors to do more.' Ela, the Denver-based subsidiary of an Italian company, issued a brief statement on the settlement: 'Closure of this investigation places this legacy issue firmly behind us and clearly enhances our ability to execute on our plans for CRM [cardiac rhythm management] in the United States. Our commitment to provide patients and healthcare providers with life-saving and life-enhancing innovation, and to conduct our business in a highly ethical manner is stronger than ever.' - Miami Herald

New cardiac equipment at Rochdale Infirmary (UK)

New cardiac equipment at Rochdale Infirmary (UK)"Consultant cardiologists at Rochdale Infirmary are all smiles following the delivery of a specialist piece of equipment to the Silver Heart cardiac catheter unit. The intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) machine takes ultrasound images within coronary arteries on patients who are experiencing chest pains or heart problems. The machine will allow medical staff to more clearly define the anatomy within the coronary arteries and then decide on the best way to treat them. Costing £50,000, the IVUS machine has been contracted to the Infirmary on permanent loan by Boston Scientific. Hoping to perform around 40 IVUS tests per year initially, patients will no longer have to be transferred to either Manchester Royal Infirmary or Wythenshawe Hospital to undergo the procedure"

Heart failure patients need team help: MD (Canada)

Heart failure patients need team help: MD (Canada)"The 20 per cent of heart failure patients who don't see a doctor soon after leaving the hospital have a higher likelihood of dying within a year, a Canadian study indicates. Despite the seriousness of the condition, one in five heart failure patients fail to see a family doctor within 30 days of discharge from the emergency department (ED), which can lead to more visits to the hospital, according to a study in Tuesday's online issue of the journal Circulation. Distinct from sudden heart attacks or cardiac arrest, heart failure is defined as a heart's inability to pump enough blood to meet the body's needs. The study looked at data for 10,599 patients who visited emergency departments in Ontario between April 2004 and March 2007

Exercise 'can prevent a cold', a study shows (BBC)

"People who exercise regularly are less likely to get a cold, researchers say. A study of 1,000 people found that staying active nearly halved the odds of catching cold viruses and, failing that, made the infection less severe. Experts told the British Journal of Sports Medicine that this could be because exercise helps bolster the immune system to fight off bugs. But you may not have to actually do much exercise - those who merely think they are fit enjoy the same lower risk. Adults can expect to suffer two to five colds per year. This latest research suggests there are lifestyle choices you can make to improve your odds of either avoiding them, or suffering too badly from them