Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Scan can spot 'curable cause of high blood pressure'

Scan can spot 'curable cause of high blood pressure'Doctors say they have found a medical test that can diagnose the most common curable cause of high blood pressure. Conn's syndrome - a disease of the adrenal glands that sit above the kidneys - is thought to be the cause behind one in 20 cases of hypertension. But until now it has been difficult to detect, requiring a complex series of tests on blood taken from a vein supplying the adrenal gland. Experts at the University of Cambridge say a simple scan can spot the problem. The hi-tech PET-CT scan looks for small growths in the adrenal glands that are about the size of a five pence piece, the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism reports. These benign growths or tumours - called adenomas - pump out too much of a hormone called aldosterone, which in turn raises blood pressure - BBC

Sunday, November 20, 2011

CARG Newsletter - December 2011

The CARG Newsletter - December 2011 is now available online

Norwegian research center promotes the TrekDesk Treadmill Desk as a way to workout at work

Norwegian research center promotes the TrekDesk Treadmill Desk as a way to workout at workTrekDesk Treadmill Desks have been generating interest, sales and discussions around the world regarding the health risks created by sedentary office environments. Recently TrekDesk was promoted as a novel way to workout at work by the Cardiac Exercise Research Group (CERG) at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). CERG promoted the use of the TrekDesk Treadmill Desk to employers, appealing to their focus on return on investment. "Integrating exercise into the workplace could save money by reducing sick leave and improving morale." They went on to focus on the primary interest of the Center: "Exercise is a wonderful means of improving cardiac health, and with ischemic heart disease reaching epidemic levels, preventative measures are ever-important."

Hockey player in cardiac arrest revived with AED (Canada)

Hockey player in cardiac arrest revived with AED (Canada)Ottawa paramedics are crediting a defibrillator for helping revive a hockey player who collapsed November 19 from cardiac arrest. They said the 41-year-old was playing at the Minto Arena in southeast Ottawa when he collapsed around 11:00 a.m. Bystanders, including an off-duty paramedic, started CPR immediately and shocked him three times with an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to help him regain consciousness. Paramedics said the man was conscious and talking to them when they handed him over to hospital staff. Paramedics said they'd like to acknowledge the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario for providing this particular AED, one of more than 600 in Ottawa that paramedics oversee. They said the "chain of survival", which includes early CPR, early defibrillation and early notification of paramedics, drastically improves survival rates in people who suffer sudden cardiac arrest

Friday, November 18, 2011

Canadian Diabetes Association announces Elsevier as new publisher of Canadian Journal of Diabetes

The Canadian Diabetes Association is pleased to announce that it has entered into an agreement with Elsevier to publish the Canadian Journal of Diabetes beginning in January 2012. CJD is Canada's only diabetes-oriented, peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary journal for diabetes healthcare professionals and scientists. It promotes the sharing and enhancement of knowledge to advance the prevention, cure and management of diabetes and related diseases. The journal publishes original research articles and expert reviews, ranging from basic sciences to clinical applications, education, public and population health, and health policy

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pill may boost HDL 'good' cholesterol

Pill may boost HDL 'good' cholesterolOnce again, an experimental pill that boosts levels of HDL "good" cholesterol has shown promising results in a mid-stage study. In a three-month study of nearly 400 people, the drug evacetrapib raised HDL and lowered LDL, the so-called "bad cholesterol" - both when given alone and with standard cholesterol-lowering statin drugs. Importantly, evacetrapib did not routinely increase blood pressure or produce any of the other toxic effects that halted development of its predecessor, torcetrapib. The big question, however, is whether raising levels of good cholesterol will prevent heart attacks, strokes, and deaths, says Robert Harrington, MD, of Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. He was not involved with the study, but has consulted for the maker of another HDL-boosting drug

Heart&Stroke My Healthy Community Grants (Canada)

Heart&Stroke My Healthy Community Grants (Canada)We know that Saskatchewan is a place where real, substantive change happens at the grassroots. The kind of change that makes a real difference in people's lives. That's why we are introducing Heart&Stroke My Healthy Community Grants. The goal is to help you make healthy change possible in your community... to help you build a healthier future for all. We invite you to apply for a Heart&Stroke My Healthy Community Grant, which is available to help groups and organizations develop and deliver projects that will make a healthy difference, with a particular focus on children, youth and families. Application deadline is December 20, 2011. Contact Heart and Stroke Foundation, 279 - 3 Ave N., Saskatoon, SK S7K 2H8 - (306) 244-2124 - for details

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Survey on Living with Chronic Diseases in Canada

Data from the 2011 Survey on Living with Chronic Diseases in Canada are now available. The objective of the survey (sponsored by the Public Health Agency of Canada) was to assess the impact of diabetes and respiratory conditions (asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) on quality of life and to provide more information on how Canadians manage their chronic condition. Data were collected in the fall of 2010 and the spring of 2011. Approximately 6,500 individuals in the 10 provinces were interviewed. For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Statistics Canada's National Contact Centre (613-951-8116; toll-free 1-800-263-1136; infostats@statcan.gc.ca), Communications Division

Mayo Clinic study confirms smoke-free workplaces reduce heart attacks

Mayo Clinic researchers have amassed additional evidence that secondhand smoke kills and smoke-free workplace laws save lives. Their research shows that the incidence of heart attacks and sudden cardiac deaths was cut in half among Olmsted County, Minn., residents after a smoke-free ordinance took effect. Adult smoking dropped 23 percent during the same time frame, as the rates of other risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and obesity remained stable or increased.

Cardiac cells 'heal heart damage' (UK)

Stem cells taken from a patient's own heart have, for the first time, been used to repair damaged heart tissue, researchers claim. The study, published in the Lancet, was designed to test the procedure's safety, but also reported improvements in the heart's ability to pump blood. The authors said the findings were "very encouraging". Other experts said techniques with bone marrow stem cells were more advanced and that bigger trials were needed. The scientists say this is the first reported case of cardiac stem cells being used as a treatment in people after earlier studies had shown benefits in animals

New blood thinner helps heart attack survivors avoid a repeat, cuts risk of death, study finds

People recovering from a heart attack or severe chest pain are much less likely to suffer another heart-related problem or to die from one if they take a new blood-thinning drug along with standard anti-clotting medicines, a large study finds. But this benefit had a cost: a greater risk of serious bleeding, usually in the digestive tract. Still, some doctors said the drug, Xarelto, could become a new standard of care for up to a million Americans hospitalized each year for these conditions. A low dose of the drug substantially cut the risk of dying of any cause during the study. "Mortality trumps everything," so a drug that improves survival is a win, said Dr. Paul Armstrong of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He had no role in the study, discussed at an American Heart Association conference in Florida and published online by the New England Journal of Medicine. The study was sponsored by the drug's makers - Johnson & Johnson and Bayer Healthcare - and some researchers work or consult for the companies. Xarelto is approved now at higher doses for preventing strokes in people with a common heart rhythm problem and for preventing blood clots after joint surgeries. It works in a different way than aspirin and older blood thinners do

1 adult in 10 could have diabetes by 2030, experts say

World Diabetes Day 2011 marked the release of the International Diabetes Federation's 5th edition of the Diabetes Atlas. New figures indicate that the number of people living with diabetes is expected to rise from 366 million in 2011 to 552 million by 2030, if no urgent action is taken. This equates to approximately three new cases every ten seconds or almost ten million per year. IDF also estimates that as many as 183 million people are unaware that they have diabetes. In some of the poorest regions in the world such as Africa, where infectious diseases have traditionally been the focus of health care systems, diabetes cases are expected to increase by 90% by 2030. At least 78% of people in Africa are undiagnosed and do not know they are living with diabetes

American Heart Association and Wiley-Blackwell launch open access journal for heart disease and stroke

The American Heart Association and Wiley-Blackwell have announced an innovative venture to publish a new open access journal, Journal of the American Heart Association: Cardiovascular and Cerebrovascular Disease, which will launch this fall. Journal of the American Heart Association will serve as the first online-only open access journal for the AHA, and joins the AHA's prestigious portfolio of 11 peer-reviewed print and online subscription-based scientific journals, including Circulation; Stroke; Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology; Circulation Research; and Hypertension

Sunday, November 13, 2011

CARG Christmas Parties 2011

The CARG Christmas Party in the Field House is scheduled for December 9, 2011

The CARG Christmas Party at the Shaw Centre is scheduled for December 14, 2011. The party will start at 11:00 AM and will last for about two hours

Beijing residents suffer from diabetes

Beijing's Health Bureau says 8.6 percent of the city's permanent residents between the ages of 18 and 79 suffer from diabetes. Diabetes has become one of the most serious health threats in Beijing, Xinhua, China's state-run news agency, reported. Along with confirmed patients, the bureau said 5.1 percents of Beijing residents in the same age group are potential diabetes patients

Cardiac scare woman is one of the youngest Scots to receive transplant

Cardiac scare woman is one of the youngest Scots to receive transplantSamantha Bell only realised how rare her condition was when she walked into a cardiac rehab class and everyone else was 50 years older than her. And when they found out this glamorous young woman in her 20s had just become one of Scotland's youngest adult transplant patients, they were as shocked as she was. Six years ago, aged just 22, Samantha was diagnosed with the often fatal condition cardiomyopathy. By this summer, her situation had become so severe that she was kept alive by a machine doing the work of her heart. The organ could no longer function on its own and once failed completely, leaving her unconscious in a restaurant until the defibrillator device inside her fired up and jolted her back to life. But after five months on the critical transplant list, Samantha, now 28, received her incredible gift of life in July when a suitable match became available and the vital transplant op could go ahead

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Angina treatment 'increases heart attack severity'

Dosing up heart disease patients with nitroglycerin, routinely used to widen blood vessels, could end up damaging the organ, according to American scientists. The Stanford University team found that rats dosed with it for 16 hours sustained twice the muscle damage when they had heart attacks, compared to those spared nitroglycerin. Nitroglycerin is often used to help treat angina, while it is also used immediately after a heart attack. Daria Mochly-Rosen, a professor of translational medicine, said they carried out the study because they were concerned that nitroglycerin use in angina patients could be increasing the severity of heart attacks. The team has found that giving an enzyme killed by nitroglycerin at the same time protected rats' hearts from the harmful side-effect. The study is published in the journal Science Translational Medicine

Cardiac rehab tops secondary prevent guidelines

Participation in a comprehensive outpatient cardiac rehabilitation program is strongly recommended in updated American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology guidelines for secondary prevention in patients with atherosclerotic vascular disease.
Patients who have an acute coronary syndrome or who have just undergone CABG or percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) should be referred to a cardiac rehab program no later than the first follow-up office visit, according to a Class I recommendation from a writing group chaired by Sidney Smith Jr., MD, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
All eligible outpatients with an acute coronary syndrome, a history of CABG or PCI, chronic angina, peripheral artery disease, or a combination of those factors within the past year should be referred for a comprehensive outpatient cardiovascular rehab program, although low-risk patients can use a home-based program, the guidance stated.
In addition, the authors included a Class IIa recommendation stating that an exercise-based outpatient cardiac rehab program can be safe and beneficial for stable patients with a history of heart failure.
The guidelines, which update a previous document published in 2006 and cover a wide range of preventive therapies, were published online in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology

Thursday, November 3, 2011

FDA approves first artificial aortic heart valve placed without open-heart surgery (USA)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first artificial heart valve that can replace an aortic heart valve damaged by senile aortic valve stenosis without open-heart surgery. Senile aortic valve stenosis is a progressive, age-related disease caused by calcium deposits on the aortic valve that cause the valve to narrow. As the heart works harder to pump enough blood through the smaller valve opening, the heart eventually weakens, which can lead to problems such as fainting, chest pain, heart failure, irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias), or cardiac arrest

English-style diet 'could save 4,000' in rest of UK

Eating like the English could save 4,000 lives a year in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, a study claims. People in England eat more fruit and vegetables and less salt and fat, reducing heart disease and some cancers, say Oxford University experts. A tax on fatty and salty foods and subsidies on fruit and vegetables could help close the diet divide, they add. The British Heart Foundation says the study shows inequalities in the nations that must be addressed by authorities. Death rates for heart disease and cancer are higher in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland than in England, according to official figures. Diet is known to be an important factor. Last year researchers estimated that more than 30,000 lives a year would be saved if everyone in the UK followed dietary guidelines on fat, salt, fibre, and fruit and vegetables. Now, the same experts - from the Department of Public Health at the University of Oxford - have turned their attention to differences within the UK - BBC