Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Soviet-era pill from Bulgaria helps smokers quit; its low price holds hope for poor countries

A pill developed in Bulgaria during the Soviet era shows promise for helping millions of smokers cheaply and safely kick the habit, the first big study of it shows. It could become a new weapon to combat smoking in poor countries, but it is unclear whether it will ever reach the market in the U.S. or Western Europe. The drug, cytisine, is now used just in Eastern Europe, where smokers usually take the pill for three or four weeks. Generic versions cost as little as $5 to $17 a month, compared with about $100 for an eight-week supply of nicotine patches or about $300 for a 12-week supply of Pfizer Inc.'s Chantix pill - common treatments in rich countries to help smokers quit. Cytisine "is so cheap that even in developing countries, if you can afford to smoke, you can afford to stop," said Dr. Robert West of University College London. He led the study, published in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine

Implantable pacemaker inventor Wilson Greatbatch dies

Implantable pacemaker inventor Wilson Greatbatch diesThe man who invented the first successful implantable cardiac pacemaker, Wilson Greatbatch, has died in Buffalo, New York, aged 92. His pacemaker was first implanted in humans in 1960 and keeps the heart beating in a regular rhythm. Now, hundreds of thousands of people receive pacemakers every year. Greatbatch's cause of death is not known. But Larry Maciariello, his son-in-law, told reporters his health had been "intermittent". He held more than 150 patents

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Seasonal Influenza Immunization begins on October 11, 2011

Seasonal Influenza Immunization begins on October 11, 2011Vaccine is available for everyone this Year. All ages benefit from annual influenza vaccine but it is important those considered at high risk be immunized

People at high risk of complications or hospitalization:

* People 65 years of age or older (or turn 65 prior to March 31, 2012)
* Pregnant women
* Children 6 months to 4 years of age
* People who are severely obese
* People of any age who are residents of nursing homes and other chronic care facilities
* Anyone with chronic health conditions

Household and close contacts:

* Of any of the categories listed above
* Of infants less than 6 months of age
* Households expecting a newborn before March 31, 2012

Other groups:

* Healthcare providers, health care students and registered volunteers
* Physicians and medical office staff
* People providing regular child care to children less than 5 years of age
* People employed in the poultry and hog industry

If you have any questions, contact the Saskatoon Health Region at 655-4620

Food Chat with Rochelle Anthony

Do have a question for Rochelle Anthony, Dietitian for the Cardiac Rehab Program? Dates:

Field House:
Wednesday October 5 @ 9am - 11am
Thursday November 24 @ 9am - 10:30am
Wednesday December 7 @ 9am - 11am

Shaw Centre:
Wednesday November 30 @ 9am - 11am
(Please note that Jackie Boschman, Cardiac Rehab Nurse, will be present on this day)

Diabetes on Track - do you have a question regarding your diabetes?

Marlene Matiko, Diabetes Nurse Educator, and Rochelle Anthony, Dietitian, will be in the track area to answer your questions on:

Field House:
Tuesday October 25 @ 8am - 10am
Monday November 7 @ 8am - 11am

Shaw Centre:
Wednesday October 19 @ 8am - 11am

Please bring your logbook and blood sugar meter. No appointments required but you may book a time. Speak to your exercise therapist about this

Craving Change(TM) - changing your relationship with food

Craving Change(TM) - changing your relationship with foodCraving Change(TM) - changing your relationship with food - presented free of charge by LiveWell Dietitians

Understand why you eat the way you do:
Comfort yourself without food - Change your thinking - Change your eating

2 programs available:

Field House:
Thursday October 6 @ 10am - 12pm
Thursday October 20 @ 10am - 12pm
Thursday November 3 @ 10am - 12pm

West Winds:
Tuesday October 18 @ 2pm - 4pm
Tuesday October 25 @ 2pm - 4pm
Tuesday November 8 @ 2pm - 4pm
Please call 655-LIVE or 655-5483 to register

Let's talk about your Diabetes

Let's talk about your DiabetesIf you have diabetes, here is a fun and engaging way to learn more about your diabetes.

Join us for a Conversation Map™:

* you learn from others just like you
* share your thoughts and experiences

* Three part session: October, 25; November 8 & 22
* All sessions are 10:30am - 12:30pm at meeting room #2 upstairs at the Field House
* Lunch will be provided
* Facilitators : Marlene Matiko, Diabetes Nurse Clinician and Rochelle Anthony, Dietitian (Phone: 655-2140)
* To register, or for more information, talk to your exercise therapist. Space is limited

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Possible new blood test to diagnose heart attacks (USA)

Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine researchers are reporting a possible new blood test to help diagnose heart attacks. In the Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology, researchers report that a large protein known as cardiac myosin binding protein-C (cMyBP-C) is released to the blood following a heart attack. "This potentially could become the basis for a new test, used in conjunction with other blood tests, to help diagnose heart attacks," said senior author Sakthivel Sadayappan, PhD. "This is the beginning. A lot of additional studies will be necessary to establish cMyBP-C as a true biomarker for heart attacks."

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Melville Communiplex Project Fitness Centre (Saskatchewan)

The Melville Communiplex Project Fitness Centre (Saskatchewan)The walking track and fitness facility will give people in Melville a venue for exercise no matter what the weather is like outside. Health and wellness activities are foundational elements for any community. The Sunrise Health Region, which includes Melville, has comparably high rates of smoking, diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure. Sunrise also has a relatively aging population. For these reasons, the Communiplex is doubly important in Melville. Prevention is an important part of health care and this facility will take a huge step in that direction. The cardiac care centre will provide the people of Melville and area with preventative and recuperative health care. Smoke cessation programs, cardiac rehabilitation, obesity challenges, chronic disease management and Type Two Diabetes intervention are just a few of the resources that will be offered through the centre. Melville is the first community in Saskatchewan to adopt a Cardiac Care Family Fitness initiative. The Sunrise Health Region, St. Peter's Hospital and the Paul Schwann Centre for Rehabilitation will work cooperatively to deliver these services and contribute to a healthier and happier Melville

Monday, September 19, 2011

WHO targets non-communicable 'lifestyle' diseases

The World Health Organization has set out a plan to tackle non-communicable diseases like heart disease, which now pose a greater global burden than infectious diseases. "Lifestyle-related" diseases are now the leading cause of death worldwide, killing 36 million people a year. Much of the toll is in low and middle-income countries and this is where efforts must be focused, says WHO. It suggests affordable steps governments should take. The list includes measures that target the population as a whole, such as excise taxes on tobacco and alcohol, smoke-free indoor workplaces and public places, as well as campaigns to reduce salt and dangerous fats in foods. Other tactics focus on individuals and include screening and treatment for cardiovascular disease and cervical cancer, as well as immunisation against hepatitis B to prevent liver cancer. WHO estimates the total cost for adopting these strategies in all low-and middle-income countries would be $11.4bn (£7.2bn) per year

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Olive Garden, other restaurants set to offer healthier meals (USA)

Olive Garden, other restaurants set to offer healthier meals (USA)Olive Garden, Red Lobster and other sister restaurants are set to offer healthier meals by 2016. According to the Associated Press, Darden Restaurants Inc. pledged to cut 10 percent of both calories and sodium content from all restaurant meals over the next five years. The restaurant chains are expected to reduce these levels further by up to 20 percent within the next 10 years. Aside from sodium and calorie changes in all menu items, the restaurants are expected to make significant changes in their meals for children. According to the AP, children’s meals will no longer have side orders of french fries; kids will have a choice of fruits or vegetables instead. One percent milk will be served with all of the children’s items, unless otherwise requested - ThirdAge

Whitehall targets threaten the Great British Breakfast (UK)

Whitehall targets threaten the Great British Breakfast (UK)For many, a plate of bacon, sausage and eggs makes the perfect start to a lazy Sunday. But Government targets are about to put the great British breakfast under threat. Butchers and other food retailers say health diktats to reduce salt levels could ruin the taste of some of our favourite dishes, with producers of bacon and sausages facing the greatest difficulties. More than 60 food firms and supermarkets have pledged to meet salt reduction targets agreed by the Coalition. But as the deadline grows closer, they fear compromising the familiar tastes valued by customers unless extra additives are introduced. They also fear risking safety, because of the role of salt as a preservative - Telegraph

Eyelid marks warn of heart attack (Denmark)

Eyelid marks warn of heart attack (Denmark)Yellow markings on the eyelids are a sign of increased risk of heart attack and other illnesses, say researchers in Denmark. A study published on the BMJ website showed patients with xanthelasmata were 48% more likely to have a heart attack. Xanthelasmata, which are mostly made up of cholesterol, could be a sign of other fatty build-ups in the body. Cardiologists said the findings could be used by doctors to help diagnose at-risk patients. The research team at the Herlev Hospital in Denmark started following 12,745 people in the 1970s. At the start of the study, 4.4% of patients had xanthelasmata

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Elizabeth Banks has heart attack for a cause (USA)

Elizabeth Banks has teamed up with the American Heart Association to put out a funny little public service announcement in support of heart wellness issues. In the video, part of the association's Go Red for Women campaign, Banks plays an over-stressed mom busy taking care of everything around her house while neglecting her own heart. Humor is a good way of broaching difficult subjects and the video combines serious facts along with a touch of Banks' Emmy-nominated flair. Heart disease is the number one killer of American women, according to the American Heart Association. It's also a personal issue for Banks. Her mother, father and sisters all suffer from heart disease. As a new mother, Banks says it's important for her to stay healthy for her son

Apple a day 'keeps strokes away'

Apple a day 'keeps strokes away'It is a well known saying that 'an apple a day keeps the doctor away'. But now nutritionists say there is some truth in the assertion - and believe that eating just one apple or pear daily could half the risk of having a stroke. Both are examples of white-fleshed fruit, which is important because that means they contain large amounts of a plant compound called quercetin. This biochemical has been shown to reduce inflammation, which is relevant because inflammation is linked to hardening of the arteries: cardiovascular disease. Researchers at Wageningen University in the Netherlands who studied 20,000 adults, found those who ate more white-fleshed fruit and vegetables were less likely to suffer a stroke over 10 years. They calculated that stroke risk decreased by nine per cent for every 25g (just under one ounce) of apple or pear eaten each day

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Million Hearts (USA)

Million Hearts (USA)Million Hearts is a national initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes over the next five years. Heart disease and stroke are two of the leading causes of death in the United States. Million Hearts brings together communities, health systems, nonprofit organizations, federal agencies, and private-sector partners from across the country to fight heart disease and stroke

New IDF data reveals diabetes epidemic continues to escalate

New Diabetes Atlas figures released by the International Diabetes Federation confirm that the diabetes epidemic continues to worsen. Data from global studies demonstrates that the number of people with diabetes in 2011 has reached a staggering 366 million, 4.6 million deaths are due to diabetes and health care spending on diabetes has reached 465 billion USD

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Smoking in Canada hits all-time low in 2010

According to new statistics the smoking rate in Canada has dropped to 17% in 2010. This is the lowest level ever recorded, according to annual results of the 2010 Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey. "The numbers announced today are encouraging, as they show more Canadians are making the healthy choice when it comes to smoking," said the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health. "I am particularly encouraged by the numbers when it comes to youth." According to the 2010 survey, smoking rates have significantly declined for key age groups. For example, in 2010 smoking among teens aged 15 to 17 fell to 9% - the lowest recorded rate in an age group often seen as key in the fight against smoking. CTUMS, a national survey conducted by Statistics Canada on behalf of Health Canada since 1999, provides essential input to the development of sound and effective tobacco control policies and programs, as well as their evaluation

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Heart scan could replace angiogram for some patients

Heart scan could replace angiogram for some patientsA team of researchers, with funding from the British Heart Foundation, have shown that a heart test using a magnetic scanner could help some patients living with heart failure. Some patients with heart failure have an enlarged heart, a condition called dilated cardiomyopathy. For these patients, it can be difficult to work out if their symptoms are caused by coronary artery disease, or a number of other conditions that can make the heart pump less effectively

Monday, September 5, 2011

Mesoblast receives clearance to begin first European trial of allogeneic or 'off-the-shelf' stem cell treatment for heart attacks

Global regenerative medicine company, Mesoblast Limited has announced that it had received clearance from the European Medicines Agency to begin a 225-patient multi-center Phase 2 clinical trial in Europe for its lead cardiovascular product Revascor(TM) in conjunction with angioplasty and stent procedures to prevent heart failure after a major heart attack. Revascor(TM) is an allogeneic, or "off-the-shelf", adult stem cell product derived from Mesoblast's proprietary Mesenchymal Precursor Cell platform technology which is being developed for use in a range of cardiovascular diseases including congestive heart failure, chronic angina, and heart attacks (acute myocardial infarction)

Scripps Research scientists establish new class of anti-diabetic compound

In a joint study, scientists from The Scripps Research Institute and Harvard University's Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have established a new class of anti-diabetic compound that targets a unique molecular switch. The finding paves the way for the development of anti-diabetic therapeutics with minimal adverse side effects plaguing currently available drugs such as Avandia (rosiglitazone), scheduled to be removed from pharmacy shelves this fall due to concerns about increased risk of heart attack. The new study, led by Patrick R. Griffin, professor and chair of the Department of Molecular Therapeutics at Scripps Florida, Bruce Spiegelman, professor of cell biology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Theodore Kamenecka, associate scientific director of medicinal chemistry at Scripps Florida, was published September 4, 2011, in the journal Nature. The study describes a new compound known as SR1664

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Longer CPR not necessarily beneficial: study (Canada)

Longer CPR not necessarily beneficial: study (Canada)A huge Canadian-led study of cardiac arrest patients may lead to changes in international guidelines on how long CPR should be performed before paramedics or other emergency personnel check whether a defibrillator can restart the heart. The study of almost 10,000 cardiac arrest patients across North American has shown that extending the period of initial cardiopulmonary resuscitation from one minute to roughly three minutes provides no benefit. Principal investigator Ian Stiell, chairman of emergency medicine at Ottawa Hospital, said the finding resolves a worldwide controversy about how cardiac arrest should be dealt with in those first crucial minutes after a patient collapses.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Opticians 'should offer blood sugar checks' (UK)

Opticians 'should offer blood sugar checks' (UK)Opticians should offer blood sugar checks alongside eye tests to help spot patients with undiagnosed diabetes, experts propose. A simple finger prick blood test in this setting could identify hundreds of thousands of people with type 2 diabetes, according to researchers. A pilot study in northern England found the targeted screening picked up one case for every 100 people tested. This would capture people who do not routinely visit their GP, experts say. The Department of Health said people in England aged 40 to 72 were offered a check for diabetes alongside other vascular diseases as part of the NHS Health Check programme

US stroke rates 'rising in young'

US stroke rates 'rising in young'More children and young adults in the US are having strokes - with unhealthy lifestyles being a likely cause, scientists have said. Researchers at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analysed hospital data on up to eight million patients a year between 1995 and 2008. In Annals of Neurology, they say stroke rates in five to 44-year-olds rose by about a third in under 10 years. Higher blood pressure, diabetes and obesity were common in stroke patients

Thursday, September 1, 2011

UK stem cell stroke trial passes first safety test

The world's first clinical trial of brain stem cells to treat strokes is set to move to its next phase. An independent assessment of the first three patients to have had stem cells injected into their brain at Glasgow's Southern General Hospital has concluded it has had no adverse effect. The assessment paves the way for the therapy to be tested on more patients to find a new treatment for stroke. The hope is that the stem cells will help to repair damaged brain tissue. The trial is being led by Prof Keith Muir of Glasgow University. He told BBC News that he was pleased with the results so far