Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Louis Horlick: December 2, 1921 - October 23, 2012 - obituary

Louis Horlick, OC, SOM, MD, FRCPC
Born December 2, 1921 in Montreal, Quebec, died October 23, 2012 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Mourned by his wife Ruth, four sons and their wives, Jonathan (Kathi), Andrew (Anne), Allan and Simon (Margo) and eight grandchildren, Sarah, Leah, Nicholas, Sam, Simon, Jay, Zoe and Abby. On October 7, 2012, he and Ruth celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. His parents, Sophie Katz and Phillip Horlick, separately emigrated from Poland and Russia to New York City to escape religious persecution and make a new life. They met working in the NYC garment district sweat shops, married, and in 1910 immigrated to Montreal, Quebec. Louis was the fourth of seven siblings, predeceased by Jacob, David, Sam, Miriam and Sarah. He is survived by his sister Ruth Krashinsky. In Montreal, Louis attended Devonshire Public School, Baron Byng High School and, through scholarships and the assistance of his siblings, McGill University. He graduated in medicine from McGill in 1945 receiving the Holmes Gold Medal for the highest standing over 4 years of studies. Louis interned at the Montreal General Hospital, spent 2 years as a fellow in the Cardiovascular Institute at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago where he began his career in medical research in the area of experimental atherosclerosis. He became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the American College of Physicians in 1952. Louis completed his training in internal medicine and cardiology at McGill receiving an MSc. and Diploma in Internal Medicine (Experimental Medicine) in 1953.
Louis' goal was to work in academic medicine, and in 1954 he joined the staff of the Department of Medicine of the College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan, when it became a full four year degree granting institution. He had the privilege of teaching the first group of students to graduate in medicine from the UofS. Louis established the Division of Cardiology and its laboratories and developed a research program in atherosclerosis. From 1968 to 1974 he was Professor and Head of the Department of Medicine. He was a highly skilled clinician and treated patients from throughout Saskatchewan over the course of his 50+ years of medical practise at the Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon. He became Emeritus Professor in 1989 and continued to work in cardiology until earlier this year. He published more than 60 papers in scientific journals and gave many papers at scientific meetings in his area of research, cholesterol and atherosclerosis. He was recognized internationally for his research. Louis wrote and edited 3 books dealing with the history of the Uof S College of Medicine and the Royal University Hospital. The first, Medical College to Community Resource: Saskatchewan's Medical School, 1978-1998, added to the history of the first 50 years (1926-1978) of the medical college written by Louis' medical colleague Dr. D. J. Buchan in Greenhouse to Medical Centre. The 2nd, They Built Better Than They Knew: Saskatchewan's Royal University Hospital, 1995-1992 appeared under Louis' name. The third, J. Wendell Macleod, Saskatchewan's Red Dean, was a biography of the man who played a critical role in establishing both the new College of Medicine and the University Hospital.
Louis had the honour and privilege to be involved in many of the important institutions which make up Canadian medicine. He served as a Member of the Medical Research Council of Canada, as Member of the Medical Council of Canada, and as Member of Council and Vice President (Medicine) of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He was a Member of the Saskatchewan Health Research Board and served as Vice-Chairman of that Board. He served as Chairman of the Canadian Council on Hospital Accreditation and served on the UofS Board of Governors.
Recognized for his scholarship and contributions to Canadian Medical research, Louis was the recipient of many awards, including: National Health Scientist Award 1975; National Volunteer Award 1988; Saskatchewan Order of Merit 1991; James Graham Award, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada 1991; Annual Achievement Award, Canadian Cardiovascular Society 1992; Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada Award of Scientific Merit 1994; and Officer of the Order of Canada 1995.
Louis was immensely proud of the Royal University Hospital, the UofS, and especially the College of Medicine where he trained hundreds of physicians who practise throughout Canada. Louis loved teaching medicine and took much satisfaction in the success of UofS medical graduates. He and Ruth embraced Saskatoon as their new home in 1954 and Saskatchewan provided them with many opportunities for which they remain grateful. Together they made many contributions to the cultural life in Saskatoon. A lover of music, he supported the Saskatoon Symphony and sang in the University Chorus. As a long- time volunteer with the Saskatchewan Heart and Stroke Foundation and with their support, Louis Horlick was instrumental in persuading the City of Saskatoon to establish a 9-1-1 emergency system that is relied on every day by over 240,000 Saskatonians. Funeral Service at 1:00 p.m. Friday, October 26, 2012 at Congregation Agudas Israel, 715 McKinnon Ave., Saskatoon. In memory of Louis Horlick contributions to the Saskatchewan Heart and Stroke Foundation are welcomed.

Ontario doctors launch assault on obesity, urging tobacco-like warnings on bad food

Ontario doctors launch assault on obesity, urging tobacco-like warnings on bad foodOntario doctors have launched an assault on obesity, saying society should aggressively fight the epidemic using the tools that have made major inroads in the battle against smoking. The campaign calls for graphic warnings - like the ones tobacco companies must print on cigarette packages - on high-calorie, low-nutritional value foods such as sugar-sweetened soft drinks, french fries and even fruit juices. It also calls for higher taxes on sugary or fatty foods, lower taxes on healthy foods, and restrictions on sales of junk foods in sports venues and other recreational facilities used by children and teenagers. The types of changes needed to fight obesity won't come into effect overnight, Dr. Doug Weir, president of the Ontario Medical Association, admitted at a news conference. But Weir said society needs to start addressing obesity or it will face epidemic levels of weight-induced illnesses, including Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

New Cross Hospital leads the way with pioneering robotic heart surgery (UK)

New Cross Hospital leads the way with pioneering robotic heart surgery (UK)Pioneering robotic heart surgery which reduces recovery time from months to weeks has been performed for the first time in the UK at Wolverhampton's New Cross Hospital. Surgeons carried out the open heart operation - which involves directing four robot arms from a separate console - in the hospital's renowned Heart and Lung Centre. The procedure is more common in America, where the Da Vinci robotic technology was developed, but only currently available at two other hospitals in Europe, in Finland and Sweden. A tiny camera on the end of an arm - which can rotate up to 540 degrees - gives surgeons unrivalled views of the heart, while surgical metal 'fingers' do the crucial work required.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

CARG Newsletter - November 2012

The CARG Newsletter - November 2012 is now available online

The University of Saskatchewan awards Dr. Bruce McManus with the 2012 Alumni Achievement Award

Dr. Bruce McManus, the Director of the PROOF Centre has received the 2012 Alumni Achievement Award from the University of Saskatchewan. Dr. McManus received BA and MD degrees from the University of Saskatchewan. His time at the University of Saskatchewan blazed the way for a brilliant career in cardiovascular pathology and translational research. He earned an MSc in Applied Physiology from Pennsylvania State University, a PhD in Exercise Physiology and Biochemistry from the University of Toledo, and pursued post-doctoral fellowships in Environmental Physiology at the University of California, and in Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Pathology at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in Bethesda, MD. Dr. McManus completed his residency training in Internal Medicine and Anatomic Pathology at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital at Harvard University. The Alumni Awards Reception to recognize this year's award recipients will be held on November 2, 2012, at the Delta Bessborough Hotel in Saskatoon

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Ottawa stroke expert named to Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

Ottawa stroke expert named to Canadian Medical Hall of FameAntoine Hakim, a neurologist whose work has led to improved prevention and treatment of stroke in Canada, is among six medical heroes named to the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. "I'm sort of floating," Hakim, 70, said in a phone interview from Brazil. "This is a terrific honour." Hakim heads the neuroscience program at The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, and is a professor of neurology at University of Ottawa. In 2000, he founded the Canadian Stroke Network, which brings together researchers, government and industry with the goal of reducing the burden of stroke on people and health care budgets. Hakim and his network team, with the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, promoted the Canadian Stroke Strategy in 2005. That initiative transformed care across the country. Within five years, Ontario alone saw stroke patient admissions decrease by 11 per cent and referrals to stroke prevention clinics increase by 34 per cent

Reflections from Ruth Redden

Reflections from Ruth ReddenIn March of 2002 I suffered a heart attack and became part of the rehabilitation program at the Field House approximately one month of being released from hospital. While in intensive care I was given literature about the CARG program at the Field house by one of the educational nurses as well as a dietician who encouraged me to get involved in the program offered as soon as I was able.

I took the education program offered by the nurse educators and began the "Yellow Shirt" program. Due to the severity of my event, I had a long recovery road ahead.

I continued to participate in the walking program as much as possible until I had bypass surgery and mitral valve replacement in December of 2002.

It took me approximately one year to earn my "Red Shirt", and all during that time I had support from the staff at the field house, encouraging me to continue and not give up.

During the past ten years, I met a number of people who have become valued friends and continue to be a great support to me some ten years later. As I realized the value of the program, I became involved as a volunteer in various areas of our program in Saskatoon as well as various other related programs within the Saskatoon Health Region and the Heart & Stroke Foundation who all support the rehab program here.

I have not had the good fortune to have a dedicated support walker with me and cannot emphasize enough how important this is for a patient to have - to encourage and prod you on when you don't feel like exercising. Somehow the laps seem shorter when you have someone walking with you.

We are so fortunate in this city that Dr. Merriman, Dr. Horlick and the many dedicated doctors and therapists had the foresight to implement this program, knowing that exercise would be beneficial to recovering heart patients. There are very few programs that are as comprehensive as the one here in Saskatoon. (Photo taken at the CARG Christmas party, 2008)

Friday, October 19, 2012

A daily brisk walk halves heart attack risk (UK)

A daily brisk walk halves heart attack risk (UK)People who go on a fast daily walk have been found to have a 50 per cent lower chance of having a heart attack or stroke than those who don't. This power walking was even found to be more effective than jogging, which lowered it by 40 per cent. Walking daily but at a leisurely pace was found to have little to no effect on heart attack or stroke risk, suggesting it's intensity rather than time when it comes to exercise. The findings were published by Danish scientists in the BMJ Open. They spent a decade studying the health of 4,000 volunteers aged between 21 and 98. The scientists compared the chances of developing 'metabolic syndrome', a term that collectively describes a number of conditions including obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Those with metabolic syndrome are more likely to suffer from heart attack or stroke as they get older. The report stated: "Significantly lower risk of metabolic syndrome was found in the moderately and highly physically active groups compared to their sedentary counterparts." But the team added: "Light physical activity and even more than one hour of walking daily did not confer protection against metabolic syndrome." The important difference between a slow stroll and a more intense brisk or 'power' walk is that a faster walk increases the heart rate. The heart is a muscle, so it needs working out and getting it to move faster is the key to preventing heart attack and stroke. Senior Cardiac Nurse at the British Heart Foundation Maureen Talbot said: "If you want to make the walk to work or to the shops part of keeping your heart healthy then try turning it from a leisurely stroll into a power walk to get the benefits."

Huge fall in deadly heart attacks (UK)

Heart attack deaths have halved in less than a decade, according to a major study of over 800,000 patients in England. The research has been extensively reported, with news sources suggesting a range of possible reasons, such as better treatments and a reduction in numbers of people smoking. As the study itself points out, many developed countries have seen reductions in heart-related death over the last 40 years, but it is unclear whether the trend is due to better treatment following a heart attack or steps designed to prevent heart attacks in the first place. This new study found that in England the death rate from heart attacks halved between 2002 and 2010. The researchers calculated that just over half this decline was caused by fewer people having heart attacks and just under half by more people who had heart attacks surviving. The study was carried out by researchers from the University of Oxford's Department of Public Health. The individual authors were funded by various institutions, including the Medical Research Council and the British Heart Foundation. Part of the research was funded by the National Institute for Health Research. The study was published in the peer-reviewed British Medical Journal. Newspapers generally covered the research accurately and appropriately

Good Samaritan gives CPR to Canadian tourist suffering heart attack in midtown (USA)

Good Samaritan gives CPR to Canadian tourist suffering heart attack in midtown (USA) The family of a Canadian tourist who suffered a heart attack in midtown want to say "thank you" the stranger who saved his life. Relatives of Jason Kroft, a Toronto lawyer, have put up fliers around 6th Ave. and 45th St. hoping the good Samaritan works in the area and will come forward. Kroft, 40, was visiting family in Manhattan on October 5th when he clutched his chest and fell to his knees, his brother Ryan Kroft told ABC. The family called 911, but with no time to spare, a stranger emerged from the crowd. "The man appeared and asked a few questions and the next thing I knew he was giving mouth-to-mouth," Kroft said. As the ambulance arrived, Jason Kroft's wife, two daughters and brother rushed to see him into the ambulance. The life-saving stranger had already disappeared into the crowd. The family has only been able to identify the man as red-haired, in his 40's, and wearing a blue jacket and dress pants. Kroft was recovering after open-heart surgery at St. Luke's Hospital. "We would definitely like to find the guy and thank him, but if he doesn't want to be identified, we don't want to force him," Ryan Kroft said

Research: Statins cause heart disease

New research shows that statins, drugs which lower cholesterol, cause heart disease. These drugs cause calcified plaques to form in coronary arteries in humans, thus causing or worsening heart disease. A new study shows that the use of statins increases calcified plaque in coronary arteries. Coronary artery calcification is a measure of coronary atherosclerosis, predicts coronary heart disease, and has been described as the strongest predictor of cardiac risk in patients with no symptoms. The study was led by Ryo Nakazato of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute and Department of Imaging, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles and examined 6673 subjects with no known coronary heart disease. One group of 2413 was on statins and another group of 4260 wasn't on statins. Those who used statins had a higher prevalence of obstructive coronary artery disease and a higher number of coronary segments that had calcified plaques. The study was published in the journal Atherosclerosis. Another recent study on diabetic subjects with advanced atherosclerosis also shows that frequent statin use causes accelerated coronary artery calcification. The study, published in the journal Diabetes Care, also shows that in those who weren't initially using statins, the progression of coronary and abdominal artery calcification was significantly increased in those who used statins frequently. Furthermore, another new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology Foundation Cardiovascular Imaging also shows that CAC is associated with heart failure. Thus statin drugs can cause coronary heart disease by increasing coronary artery calcification in healthy and diabetic subjects. Previous research has also shown that statins don't reduce the risk of all-cause mortality. Because coronary artery calcification strongly predicts coronary heart disease, and statins increase artery calcification, their wide-spread use must be questioned. If you use statins, discuss their use with your doctor, and preferably with a cardiologist. CAC can be determined with electron beam computed tomography or multidetector computed tomography scan. Ask your cardiologist to undergo CAC scoring so you can evaluate the effects of the statins on your arteries and to make an educated decision if you should discontinue them or not

Hearts & Goals (UK)

Hearts & Goals (UK)Fabrice Muamba has launched a new campaign to help prevent and treat sudden cardiac arrests. The former Arsenal, Birmingham and England Under-21 player suffered a cardiac arrest during Bolton's FA Cup tie against Tottenham at White Hart Lane last season. The midfielder's heart stopped for 78 minutes but the attention of medical staff from both clubs, a cardiologist who was attending the game as a fan and doctors at the London Chest Hospital saved his life. Now retired from football on medical advice, Muamba, 24, is involved in a year-long campaign, Hearts & Goals, to raise awareness. He is aiming to provide 500 defibrillators along with training for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to football clubs. "I am really pleased to be able to lead this campaign," he said. "I was staggered to find out that 100,000 people a year die from sudden cardiac arrest. "Anyone suffering from a sudden cardiac arrest who is treated with CPR and a defibrillator is ten times more likely to survive than just having CPR alone. "We have got a number of key initiatives, such as providing CPR training, and I will be learning how to use an AED (Automated external defibrillator), and I hope that we can create something really good from this campaign." The campaign is being supported by Bolton Wanderers and Arrhythmia Alliance, the heart rhythm charity

Monday, October 15, 2012

New Saskatchewan Research Chair in Clinical Stroke Research

New Saskatchewan Research Chair in Clinical Stroke ResearchSaskatoon brain surgeon and U of S medical researcher Dr. Michael Kelly has been awarded the Saskatchewan Research Chair in Clinical Stroke Research to pursue his work in the operating room and at the Canadian Light Source synchrotron to advance understanding of strokes and improve prevention and treatment. "The creation of this Chair in Clinical Stoke Research increases our health research capacity and enables collaboration toward Saskatchewan solutions in dealing with strokes, which have a devastating effect on individuals and their families," said Rob Norris, Saskatoon Greystone MLA on behalf of Health Minister Dustin Duncan. The chair will provide $1 million over five years, jointly funded by SHRF and HSF. The U of S will provide an additional $200,000 for equipment and personnel costs, as well as providing protected research time and salary. The Saskatoon Health Region is also providing contributions through additional access to equipment, facilities and personnel

Sitting for long periods 'increases risk of chronic illness'

Sitting for long periods 'increases risk of chronic illness'People who regularly sit around for long periods of time may be more likely to develop diabetes and heart disease, a study has found. Researchers at the University of Leicester and Loughborough University analysed the results of 18 previous studies involving almost 800,000 people. They found that sitting for protracted periods of time was associated with a twofold increase in a person's risk of diabetes, heart disease and death. These associations were still apparent in people who did the recommended amount of moderate-to-vigorous exercise in the times when they were not sitting down

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Strokes in young people 'rising', study finds (USA)

A new study shows that the risk for stroke is becoming more common among people younger than 55 years old. The study, supported by National Institutes of Health and published in the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, found that strokes among people under 55 made up a greater percentage of all strokes over time, growing from about 13 percent in 1993-94 to 19 percent in 2005. "The reasons for this trend could be a rise in risk factors such as diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol," said study author Brett Kissela, MD, MS, with the University Of Cincinnati College Of Medicine in Ohio and a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology

Anniversary joy for heart-transplant Kaylee (UK)

Anniversary joy for heart-transplant Kaylee (UK)Transplant baby Kaylee Davidson-Olley is celebrating a quarter of a century since her historic operation. The Houghton woman became the first UK baby to successfully survive a heart transplant when at five months old, she underwent the procedure at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle. Despite experiencing such trauma at a young age, Kaylee has gone on to lead a normal life, combining work as a sales adviser at Marks & Spencer and competing in the World Transplant Games, while also studying at college. Ahead of the anniversary, Kaylee, 25, speaking as she met 30 other transplant patients, said: "I cannot believe that I am fit and healthy 25 years after my heart transplant." "This was only made possible because of the generosity of a family who made that important decision about organ donation, a decision that saved my life. "Without that family discussing organ donation, I simply would not be here"

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Teen smoking linked to earlier death

Teenagers who smoke are more likely to die of heart disease decades down the line, even if they quit by the time they're middle-aged, researchers have found. Still, the worst off were people who started smoking in adolescence and kept up the habit their entire lives. They were twice as likely to die early as were non-smokers, according to findings published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. "The risks are cumulative," said David Batty, who worked on the new study at University College London. "If you smoke across a life course, you're at much higher risk than if you just smoked around the college years," he told Reuters Health. "The positive message is, it's never too late to stop."

Monday, October 1, 2012

Fat-rich 'cafeteria diets' setting Canada's youth up for premature strokes, researchers warn

Fat- and calorie-rich junk-food diets are leading to typically middle-age diseases in children and setting them up for potential strokes when they're in their 30s and 40s, Canadian researchers are warning. What's more, the ongoing research suggests junk-food diets may alter the brain's anatomy, prematurely aging and damaging the network of blood vessels that supply it with oxygen. "If you go into any children's hospital in Canada today, and you ask, 'What’s going on with our young children?' they'll tell you that a lot of the kids they're seeing now are diabetic, they're hypertensive, they have altered lipids (blood fats)," said Dr. Dale Corbett, scientific director of the Heart and Stroke Foundation Centre for Stroke Recovery and professor of neurosciences at the University of Ottawa. "This used to happen in middle age and now it's happening in very young people. It's really a ticking time bomb." Close to one-third of children ages five to 17 - 1.6 million youth in Canada - are overweight or obese, according to a recent report from Statistics Canada