Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Lengthy car, plane rides pose risk of clots

Lengthy car, plane rides pose risk of clotsTraveling long distances in cars and planes could put you at risk for deep vein thrombosis - potentially deadly blood clots in the deep veins of the lower legs and thighs, an expert says. Sitting for long periods of time in cramped spaces can limit circulation in the legs, resulting in the formation of a blood clot. The clot can travel through the blood stream and lodge in the lungs, brain, heart and other areas. This can lead to severe damage to organs and possibly death. However, it's easy to prevent deep vein thrombosis. "If you plan to travel overseas or cross country, make sure you get up and walk around at least every two hours, and try not to sleep more than four hours at a time," Dr. Alan Lumsden, chief of cardiovascular surgery at Houston Methodist Hospital's heart and vascular center, said in a hospital news release. "Drink plenty of water or juices, wear loose-fitting clothing, eat light meals and limit alcohol consumption," he added. Elderly people and those with circulation problems should wear compression stockings that help prevent clots from forming in the deep veins, Lumsden suggested. If you can't get up and move around every couple of hours, you can do the following exercises while sitting down:

* Extend both legs and move both feet back and forth in a circular motion.
* Move the knee up to the chest and hold the stretch for at least 15 seconds.
* Put both feet on the floor and point them upward. Also, put both feet flat and lift both heels as high as possible.

If you are pregnant or have a history of heart disease, cancer or blood clots, you should always consult with your doctor before going on a long trip, Lumsden advised. About 2 million Americans develop deep vein thrombosis every year, and nearly 200,000 die. "It's a very serious condition that can simply be avoided by getting up and moving around," Lumsden said. "Symptoms include pain and tenderness, swelling, redness and increased warmth in one leg," Lumsden said. "In some cases, a physician might suggest that a patient go on blood thinners or simply take an aspirin before and during a long trip to avoid deep vein thrombosis."

Exercise in later life is beneficial: study

Exercise in later life is beneficial: studyThe British Journal of Sports Medicine published study has unveiled that doing exercise at elderly age make them stay healthy.
The study has found that those who have been doing exercise in their later life are three times more likely to stay fit in comparison to their inactive peers. In order to reach at the above given result, study researchers from the Montreal Heart Institute at Concordia University has monitored the health of 3,500 people. Average age of these people was 64 and they were tracked for more than eight years. Not only they were tracked, but their medical records were also assessed. Moreover, three categories were made, inactive, moderate activity and vigorous activity. These categories were made on the basis of frequency and intensity of exercises performed by the participants. "Sustained physical activity was prospectively associated with improved healthy ageing - absence of disease, freedom from disability, high cognitive and physical functioning, good-mental health", said study researchers. Doireann Maddock from the British Heart Foundation was of the view the view that it is vital to remain active. Remaining physically active will help in keeping a number of health complications at bay like heart disease. Therefore, taking up exercise is beneficial in later life also

Monday, November 25, 2013

CARG Newsletter - December 2013

The CARG Newsletter - December 2013 is now available online

CARG Collection Coordinator required

CARG Collection Coordinator requiredMary Green, CARG board member writes: Job vacancy: Collection Coordinator. Duties are to organize volunteers to help collect walking fees every month and membership fees once a year and for all new members. Is responsible for a float for change with the volunteers and the therapists. Will check the therapist collection box for fees and coordinate with the treasurer the receipts and monies collected. Look after the red shirt and support shirt inventory. Look after the white hearts and distribution of said hearts. Other duties as assigned. Attend board meetings. For more information please contact Mary Green at bmgreen@sasktel.net or phone 306 343 6552

CARG Christmas Parties 2013

CARG Christmas Parties 2013The CARG Christmas Parties for 2013 will be held again at both the Field House and the Shaw Centre:

Field House: Friday December 13 in room 2 (upstairs) from 9:30am to 11:30am
Shaw Centre: Wednesday December 11 in the main meeting room (main floor) from 9:00am to 11:30am

Monday, November 18, 2013

Johns Hopkins heart researchers develop formula to more accurately calculate 'bad' cholesterol in individual patients

Johns Hopkins heart researchers develop formula to more accurately calculate 'bad' cholesterol in individual patientsJohns Hopkins researchers have developed a more accurate way to calculate low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, the so-called "bad" form of blood fat that can lead to hardening of the arteries and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. If confirmed and adopted by medical laboratories that routinely calculate blood cholesterol for patients, the researchers say their formula would give patients and their doctors a much more accurate assessment of LDL cholesterol. "The standard formula that has been used for decades to calculate LDL cholesterol often underestimates LDL where accuracy matters most - in the range considered desirable for patients at high risk for heart attack and stroke," says Seth S. Martin, M.D., a cardiology fellow at the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease. Martin is first author of the study detailed in a November 19, 2013 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association

Friday, November 15, 2013

Texts may help people with diabetes manage care (USA)

Texts may help people with diabetes manage care (USA)What if a doctor's orders were as simple as two text messages a day to keep the ER at bay? A recent study published in Annals of Emergency Medicine used an automated mobile health (mHealth) program to reach low-income inner-city patients with type 2 diabetes and engage them in their own health and disease management outside of emergency facilities. Researchers recruited 128 participants who had sought care for diabetes at the Los Angeles County Hospital of the University of Southern California ED. The study reported that the largest safety-net hospital in the county's public care system annually serves 170,000 patients, 70 percent of them Latino. Study participants could choose English or Spanish versions of the messages, which offered tips on healthy behavior and disease management and did not require a smartphone to receive

Leading Canadian health organizations release a Vascular Declaration calling for urgent action on vascular disease

Leading Canadian health organizations release a Vascular Declaration calling for urgent action on vascular diseaseNinety per cent of Canadians are facing an unacceptable risk of developing vascular disease and we have to act now to reduce its increasing burden, say leading health experts at the Vascular 2013 Congress in Montreal recently. To galvanize action, leading Canadian experts working in the field of vascular health have signed and committed to a Vascular Declaration, a collective approach to reducing vascular disease in Canada. "This Declaration calls for urgent action and outlines a comprehensive approach that can vastly decrease the impact of vascular disease on Canadians," says Dr. Duncan Stewart, the scientific chair of Vascular 2013. "The health sector cannot solve this problem alone." Vascular diseases are a result of disorders in the blood vessels (large and small) throughout the entire human body. Diabetes, stroke, hypertension, heart disease, dementia, kidney diseases, certain lung and eye conditions are all vascular diseases. Five unhealthy behaviors - unhealthy diet, smoking, lack of physical activity, excess alcohol intake and stress - are well-established risks for more than 50 diseases including these. The declaration, called Making the Connection: A Call to Action on Vascular Health, calls for an integrated, multifaceted approach to address the prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and end-of-life care for people with vascular disease. It is a landmark approach to an urgent and debilitating health issue

Monday, November 11, 2013

Horrible bosses really ARE bad for your health: Chronic stress can lead to heart disease and diabetes, experts warn

Horrible bosses really ARE bad for your health: Chronic stress can lead to heart disease and diabetes, experts warnWorking for a difficult boss can come with stress, long hours and a poor office atmosphere. But new research has found it can also be bad for your health. The stress of working for a bad boss over a long period of time can cause serious harm to employees, the study found. The researchers found that chronic stress causes changes in the gene activity in immune cells. These changes cause the cells to be primed to fight an infection that doesn't exist. This leads to inflammation in the body which is associated with many health problems, including heart disease and diabetes. Scientists at Ohio State University made this discovery while studying mice. Their colleagues at other institutions also tested blood samples from people living in poor areas and found that similarly primed immune cells were present in these chronically stressed people. "The cells share many of the same characteristics in terms of their response to stress," said Dr John Sheridan, associate director of Ohio State University's Institute for Behavioural Medicine Research, and co-lead author of the study. The research is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Scan can predict heart attacks (UK)

Scan can predict heart attacks (UK) Scientists have devised a way to scan for fatty deposits that cause heart attacks, bringing accurate prediction of risk one step closer. The breakthrough allows doctors to identify "ticking time bomb" patients by detecting fatty deposits in arteries and administering drugs before an attack takes place. It has been described by experts as a major step towards accurately predicting heart attacks and relies on technology used in cancer diagnosis which is already found in many hospitals. The discovery was made in a study researching whether a scanner could pick up the outlines of fatty "plaques" in arteries. The results are published in 'The Lancet' recently. Scientists tested two groups of patients - 40 people who had just suffered heart attacks and 40 others who had angina - and found the scans picked up affected areas. Problem points in blood vessels were highlighted on images of 90% of those scanned who recently suffered a heart attack. Close to half of the scans of patients with angina also successfully detected the fatty build-ups. The study is significant because there is no current way to find those people at highest risk from heart attacks. "We have developed what we hope is a way to 'light up' plaques on the brink of rupturing and causing a heart attack," explained researcher Dr Marc Dweck

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Stroke Survivors' Declaration (UK)

The Stroke Survivors' Declaration (UK)At the heart of the work of the Campaigns and Policy team is the Stroke Survivors' declaration. Written by over 120 stroke survivors, it sets out what levels of care and support should be provided when survivors come out of hospital after a stroke, keen to get on with getting back to their best possible quality of life. The declaration builds on existing policy and best practice - and so does not require those who plan or provide health and social care to find extra resources, merely to ensure that they "get the basics right more of the time". The declaration covers issues such as ensuring stroke survivors' needs are regularly assessed, ensuring carers are not left to fend on their own (without support) and ensuring the benefits systems are truly aware of the financial impact of stroke and their role in supporting people through this difficult time. Given the fact that health and social care are devolved issues, namely decided in each of the 4 nations of the UK, there are separate versions for each of the nations

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Study says soda tax would cut obesity rates by 1.3 per cent in UK, W. Europe's fattest country

Slapping a 20 per cent tax on soda in Britain could cut the number of obese adults by about 180,000, according to a new study. Though the number works out to a modest drop of 1.3 per cent in obesity, scientists say that reduction would still be worthwhile in the U.K., which has a population of about 63 million and is the fattest country in Western Europe. About one in four Britons is obese. Researchers at Oxford University and the University of Reading estimated a 20 per cent tax on soft drinks would reduce sales by 15 per cent and that people would buy beverages like orange juice, milk and diet drinks instead. They said the tax would have the biggest impact on people under 30, who drink more sugary drinks than anyone else. No funding was provided by any advocacy or industry groups for the study, published online Thursday in the journal, BMJ. "Every possible alternative that people would buy is going to be better than a sugary drink," said Mike Rayner of Oxford, one of the study authors. "(The tax) is not a panacea, but it's part of the solution."

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

How hiking is good for body and mind

How hiking is good for body and mindHiking outdoors comes with a bounty of perks: nice views, fresh air, and the sounds and smells of nature. Hiking is a powerful cardio workout that boasts all the health benefits of walking, including less risk of heart disease, diabetes, breast cancer, and colon cancer, as well as better blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Because hiking is a weight-bearing exercise - you're moving against gravity while staying upright - it boosts bone density and helps combat osteoporosis (thinning bones). Hiking is also good for muscle strength. The activity targets your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, hip flexors, and lower leg muscles. It works your shoulders, strengthens your core, and improves balance. And hiking can help you control your weight. It's also a powerful mood booster. "Research shows that hiking has a positive impact on combating the symptoms of stress and anxiety," says Gregory A. Miller, PhD, president of the American Hiking Society. "Being in nature is ingrained in our DNA, and we sometimes forget that."

Gardening, home improvements help reduce heart/stroke risk (Sweden)

Gardening, home improvements help reduce heart/stroke risk (Sweden)Gardening and home do-it-yourself projects can reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke by 30 percent in those age 60 and older, researchers in Sweden say. Elin Ekblom-Bak of Karolinska University Hospital, Bjorn Ekblom of the The Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, Max Vikstrom of the Institute of Environmental Medicine at the Karolinska University Hospital and colleagues based their findings on almost 4,000 60-year-olds in Stockholm, whose cardiovascular health was tracked for about 12.5 years. At the start of the study, participants took part in a health check, which included information on lifestyle, such as diet, smoking, and alcohol intake and how physically active they were. The study participants were asked how often they had included a range of daily life activities, such as gardening, DIY, car maintenance and blackberry picking in the previous 12 months, as well as any formal exercise. Their cardiovascular health was assessed by lab tests and physical examinations and check for blood fats, blood sugars and blood clotting factor - high levels of which are linked to a raised heart attack and stroke risk. The study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, found the highest level of daily physical activity was associated with a 27 percent lower risk of a heart attack or stroke and a 30 percent reduced risk of death from all causes, compared with the lowest level of activity, irrespective of how much regular formal exercise was taken in addition

Cancer and cardiovascular organizations team up to improve the health of Canadians

Cancer and cardiovascular organizations team up to improve the health of CanadiansThe Canadian Partnership Against Cancer and the Heart and Stroke Foundation have announced a $16 million investment in a first of its kind partnership between the cancer and cardiovascular research communities that will strengthen our understanding of chronic disease. The Canadian Alliance for Healthy Hearts and Minds, with $14 million from the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer and $2 million from the Heart and Stroke Foundation, will build on the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project, a pan-Canadian research platform, by expanding efforts to identify the early root causes that lead to chronic diseases of the brain, the heart and the cardiovascular system. "Nearly two-thirds of deaths in Canada are due to chronic diseases," said Dr. Heather Bryant, VP of Cancer Control at the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. "The data collected through the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project will help researchers better understand why some people develop these diseases while others don't. Ultimately the research will make a difference in the lives of future generations." This new investment will gather detailed information from about 10,000 Canadian participants on their environments, lifestyle and behaviours that could affect their cardiovascular health. Participants will also be assessed by magnetic resonance imaging scan of the brain, blood vessels, heart and liver. Adding this to the health and biological information assembled over many years within CPTP will allow researchers to explore how these factors contribute to the development of chronic disease leading to heart failure and dementia

The D2d Study (USA)

The goal of the Vitamin D and type 2 diabetes (D2d) study is to determine whether vitamin D supplementation is safe and effective in delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes in people at risk for the disease and to gain a better understanding of how vitamin D affects glucose metabolism. There are over 79 million Americans who are at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Lifestyle changes, such as healthy eating, exercise and weight loss, can decrease the chances of developing diabetes. However, many people still develop diabetes despite efforts at changing their lifestyle. Therefore, there is a continued need for the identification of modifiable risk factors and interventions that are safe, inexpensive and easy to implement to prevent type 2 diabetes and decrease disease burden. Based on recently published studies, vitamin D has emerged as a potential determinant of type 2 diabetes risk. However, according to reports by the Institute of Medicine and the Endocrine Society, the evidence to support vitamin D supplementation for prevention of diabetes is inconclusive and there is a need for definite studies in this area, such as the D2d study. The D2d study is a large multi-center clinical trial conducted in twenty cities around the United States. The D2d study will enroll approximately 2,400 participants who are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Participants are randomly assigned to receive either vitamin D or placebo and be followed for up to 4 years for development of diabetes. The D2d study is expected to define the role of vitamin D supplementation in modifying diabetes risk in people at risk for the disease

Friday, October 25, 2013

Making the business case for cardiac rehab programs

Making the business case for cardiac rehab programsYou know the saying: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. When it comes to cardiac rehabilitation, a study presented recently at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress has the numbers to prove it. "We found that cardiac rehabilitation programs have a financial 'return on investment' of about seven per cent," says author Dr. Dennis Humen, a professor of medicine at Western University. "Not only is cardiac rehab the pillar of preventing a second cardiac event; it also makes good business sense." The study also revealed that, for patients, the "return on investment" for participating in these programs also makes good heart sense: cardiac rehab leads to a 31 per cent reduction in hospital readmission and a 26 per cent drop in cardiovascular mortality. "There are more than 60,000 hospitalizations for heart attacks in Canada each year and another 160,000 due to coronary heart disease," says Dr. Humen. "This opens a huge window of potential: if we could provide intensive cardiac rehab services to just 60,000 individuals, there could be a reduction in healthcare costs for this group of about $8.5 million per year." If CR reduces cardiac events, mortality and hospital readmission rates, why isn't it funded more broadly? Governments often cite high costs as a barrier to funding comprehensive CR, which combines regular exercise with intensive education around lifestyle changes. Yet the Western University study shows that on a financial basis the investment is more than offset by the ensuing cost savings

'Hungry gene' discovery may help solve the obesity problem

'Hungry gene' discovery may help solve the obesity problemScientists have discovered a "hungry gene" which they believe could cause obesity. A study has identified a possible genetic root to the insatiable appetite and slow metabolism in some people. Looking at 2,101 patients who were severely obese, they found those with mutations of a gene called KSR2 were hungrier and burned fewer calories than people with a normal copy of the gene. Dr Sadaf Farooqi, of Cambridge University, said: "Changes in diet and levels of physical activity underlie the recent increase in obesity. However, some people gain weight more easily than others. This variation between people is largely influenced by genetic factors. "The discovery of a new obesity gene, KSR2, demonstrates that genes can contribute to obesity by reducing the metabolic rate - how well the body burns calories." Dr Farooqi said the discovery could provide clues as to how obesity develops and help develop new drugs to treat the condition as well as type-2 diabetes, which is linked with it. The study was published in the journal Cell

Text messages are saving Swedes from cardiac arrest

Text messages are saving Swedes from cardiac arrestSweden has found a faster way to treat people experiencing cardiac emergencies through a text message and a few thousand volunteers. A program called SMSlivräddare - or SMSLifesaver - solicits people who have been trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). When a Stockholm resident dials 112 for emergency services, a text message is sent to all volunteers within 500 meters of the person in need. The volunteer then arrives at the location within the crucial first minutes to perform lifesaving CPR. The odds for surviving cardiac arrest drop 10% for every minute it takes first responders to arrive. "The traditional emergency services, especially the ambulance - they have problems in the Stockholm area," said Dr. Mårten Rosenqvist, a professor of cardiology and spokesman for the group. "First there are not so many, second there is heavy traffic in Stockholm, and third, they are usually occupied by doing other things: transporting patients to the emergency room, or transporting patients between hospitals." With ambulance resources stretched thin, the average response time is some eight minutes, allowing SMSlivräddare volunteers to reach victims before ambulances in 54% of cases

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

CARG Newsletter - November 2013

The CARG Newsletter - November 2013 is now available online

Flu shot halves risk of heart attack or stroke in people with history of heart attack

Flu shot halves risk of heart attack or stroke in people with history of heart attackThe flu vaccine may not only ward off serious complications from influenza, it may also reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke by more than 50 per cent among those who have had a heart attack, according to new research led by Dr. Jacob Udell, a cardiologist at Women's College Hospital and clinician-scientist at the University of Toronto. What's more, the vaccine's heart protective effects may be even greater among those who receive a more potent vaccine. "Our study provides solid evidence that the flu shot helps prevent heart disease in vulnerable patients - with the best protection in the highest risk patients," Dr. Udell said. "These findings are extraordinary given the potential for this vaccine to serve as yearly preventative therapy for patients with heart disease, the leading cause of death among men and women in North America." Published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the study reviewed six clinical trials on heart health in people who received the flu vaccine. The studies included more than 6,700 patients with a history of heart disease

Monday, October 21, 2013

Heart failure operation first in UK

Heart failure operation first in UKSurgeons at King's College Hospital have used a pioneering procedure which can improve the function of failing hearts. The operation, a form of "cardiac sewing", is the first of its kind in the UK and involves removing scar tissue whilst the heart is still beating, reducing the size of the heart so that it can pump more efficiently. Patients with heart failure struggle to pump blood around the body, which can leave them breathless during make mild exercise and day-to-day tasks. Sevket Gocer, 58, was the first patient to be treated in the UK. His heart function is said to have "improved significantly" after the operation. Mr Olaf Wendler, a professor of cardiac surgery at King's College Hospital, commented: "In the technique we have now used for the first time in the UK, one does not need to stop the heart, one does not even necessarily need to place the patient on a heart-lung machine. "It's a less traumatic and less invasive type of procedure." The procedure is also being trialled by other hospitals across Europe

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Some blood pressure medications may reduce Alzheimer's risk

Some blood pressure medications may reduce Alzheimer's riskCertain blood pressure medications may reduce the risk of dementia due to Alzheimer's disease, U.S. researchers say. Dr. Sevil Yasar, an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, found about 3,000 people age 75 and older with normal cognition who used diuretics, angiotensin-1 receptor blockers and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors showed a reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease dementia by at least 50 percent. "Our study was able to replicate previous findings, however, we were also able to show that the beneficial effect of these blood pressure medications are maybe in addition to blood pressure control, and could help clinicians in selecting an anti-hypertensive medication based not only on blood pressure control, but also on additional benefits." In addition, diuretics were associated with 50 percent reduced risk in those in the group with mild cognitive impairment. Beta blockers and calcium channel blockers did not show a link to reduced risk, the scientists said. "Identifying new pharmacological treatments to prevent or delay the onset of AD dementia is critical given the dearth of effective interventions to date," Yasar said

Making exercise a prescription for diabetes (Canada)

Making exercise a prescription for diabetes (Canada)Most Canadians would agree that physical activity and exercise plays an important role in preventing or managing the devastating effects of chronic diseases, including diabetes. But what we say and what we do can be very different. In fact, the majority of Canadians do not meet the physical activity guideline recommendations established by the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology and the Canadian Diabetes Association. A unique team of health care and exercise professionals representing medicine, physiotherapy, dietetics, kinesiology, and psychology, comprising the Exercise is Medicine® Canada National Task Force, is aiming to change this reality by bringing physical activity and exercise into mainstream patient care. Dr. Jan Hux, Chief Scientific Advisor for the Canadian Diabetes Association, says the Canadian Diabetes Association's 2013 Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Management of Diabetes in Canada (Guidelines) recommends all individuals with diabetes participate in at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity aerobic exercise each week, and encourages resistance training three times a week. "Providing diabetes care providers with practical and effective strategies for incorporating physical activity into a management plan is extremely valuable for people living with diabetes," she says

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Saskatoon Council on Aging - "Help us make our web site better"

Saskatoon Council on Aging - Virginia Dakiniewich, Advancement Officer Saskatoon Council on Aging Inc. writes: The Saskatoon Council on Aging is looking for seniors to participate in our web site project. All levels of experience are welcome. We are hoping to get advice from seniors themselves on how we could make our web site easier to use and to find information they need. For more information or to register, please visit us online at http://www.scoa.ca/getinvolved or call tel:306-652-2255"

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

New class of drug targets heart disease (Alberta)

New class of drug targets heart disease (Alberta)Researchers at the University of Alberta have developed a synthetic peptide that could be the first in a new class of drugs to treat heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Researchers at the U of A found that a deficiency in the peptide apelin is associated with heart failure, pulmonary hypertension and diabetes. They also developed a synthetic version that targets pathways in the heart and promotes blood vessel growth. Lead author Gavin Oudit, an associate professor in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, said the synthetic form of apelin is far more stable and potent than the naturally occurring peptide, making drug therapies possible. "It's a new group of drugs that we hope can be used for a wide variety of disorders, all of which have a huge economic burden on the health-care system," said Oudit, a cardiologist and clinician-scientist at the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute. Oudit's research group studied apelin deficiency in the hearts of mice and humans through the Human Explanted Heart Program, or HELP. The HELP program allows for the study of specimens obtained from patients undergoing a heart transplant

Ottawa scientist discovers possible early treatment for heart disease

Ottawa scientist discovers possible early treatment for heart diseaseResearch by an Ottawa scientist and his team could lead to groundbreaking new treatment for certain forms of heart disease, care that could affect as much as 15 per cent of the population. Dr. Lynn Megeney, a specialist in regenerative medicine at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and an associate professor at the University of Ottawa, has discovered that certain proteins involved in normal cell death also play a significant role in abnormal thickening of the heart muscle. In a paper recently published in the online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, he says that by blocking these specific proteins in the heart, such damage can be prevented, and even reversed. The thickening, known as cardiac hypertrophy, can be a beneficial response to exercise or pregnancy. But it is often the unwelcome result of such stresses as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart failure and genetic conditions, and can cause the heart to grow to twice its size and eventually cease functioning properly, leaving transplant as the only viable treatment. It is, says Megeney, perhaps the most significant and least talked about long-term ramification of unregulated high blood pressure. "We often think of kidney problems and stroke, but nobody really discusses cardiac hypertrophy."

Study finds that participation in cardiac rehab programs can result in huge gains for recovery in stroke patients

Study finds that participation in cardiac rehab programs can result in huge gains for recovery in stroke patientsStroke patients who participate in a cardiac rehabilitation program for six months make rapid gains in how far and fast they can walk, the use of weakened limbs and their ability to sit and stand, according to a study presented today at the Canadian Stroke Congress. On average, participants saw a 21-per-cent improvement in the strength and range of motion of weakened limbs; a 19-per-cent improvement in walking speed; and a 16-per-cent improvement in the distance they could walk. "There should be a seamless referral of patients with mild to moderate effects of stroke to the network of established outpatient cardiac rehab programs in Canada," says lead researcher Dr. Susan Marzolini of Toronto Rehabilitation Institute/University Health Network. "Early referral is also important. In our study, those who started the cardiac rehab program earlier had the strongest results." Cardiac rehabilitation incorporates exercise training (aerobic and resistance/strength training), nutrition counseling, risk factor counseling and management (lipids, blood pressure, diabetes, weight management, smoking cessation and psychosocial management,) delivered by an interprofessional health care team. All of the 120 patients who participated in the study saw improved recovery

Europe to launch tiny, wireless pacemaker

Europe to launch tiny, wireless pacemaker The European Union has recently approved the use of a tiny and wireless pacemaker. This pacemaker does not require invasive surgery to be implanted because it is small enough to be intravenously inserted directly in the heart. Even though the design is relatively new, experts find this type of technology to be a very "exciting development." The new pacemaker was created by a start up company named Nanostim from the United States. It is smaller than the conventional pacemaker by 10 percent and is charged by a built in battery. The tiny pacemaker is implanted using a catheter that is inserted into the femoral vein by the groin. The built-in battery, which is much smaller than an AAA battery, can last between nine and 13 years. The procedure to get the device fitted takes only around half an hour. Since the procedure does not require surgery, patients will not have a scar. Even though this device has yet to receive full approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), experts believe that it could change how conventional pacemakers are used

Monday, October 14, 2013

Survey claims staff cuts hitting cardiac care (Ireland)

Survey claims staff cuts hitting cardiac care (Ireland)Research by two leading groups in cardiac care claims that staff cuts are creating serious problems for patients and the battle against heart disease. The Irish Association of Cardiac Rehabilitation and the Irish Heart Foundation surveyed the 36 hospitals providing cardiac rehab. The results say that staffing cuts meant that none of these hospitals had all the expertise required to provide the life-saving services. More than 1,800 patients - including many with life threatening conditions - are on a waiting list of up to six months for cardiac rehab. The research showed that over half were missing at least four of the ten team members needed to deliver proper cardiac rehab services. "This survey exposes the impact of sustained cutbacks in cardiac rehabilitation and how these now threaten its long-term viability," said IACR President, Dr Charles McCreery. "Cardiac rehab is vital to thousands of patients coping with the physical and psychological impacts of heart attacks and heart surgery. But it is being treated almost like an optional service and that needs to change," he added. A full team includes a medical director, rehab coordinator, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, nursing, social worker, psychologist, pharmacist, dietitian plus administrative support. The survey says that 27 cardiac rehab units have no access to psychology and 29 have no medical social worker

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Heart and Stroke Foundation pledges 10-year funding to Canada's leading institutions to help save more lives, faster

Heart and Stroke Foundation pledges 10-year funding to Canada's leading institutions to help save more lives, fasterThe Heart and Stroke Foundation has an ambitious goal: to reduce Canadians' rate of death from heart disease and stroke by 25 per cent by 2020. To help achieve this goal, the Foundation has made an unprecedented commitment to research, pledging $300 million over 10 years to 19 of Canada's leading institutions. "Simply put, there's an urgent need to save more lives faster and that's why the Foundation has created the Heart and Stroke Foundation Research Leadership Circle," said David Sculthorpe, CEO, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. "This $300-million commitment will allow our partners an unprecedented ability to plan major research projects, foster greater collaboration and attract even more of the world's best researchers within and outside of Canada to fight these insidious diseases." Since 1952, the Foundation has provided more than $1.35 billion to heart and stroke research - second only to the federal government. But, this funding has never been an up-front commitment that can support long-term research planning. "The time has come to establish a new, more aggressive and coordinated approach to ending heart disease and stroke, so we've partnered with some of the highest performing researchers in Canada to get the job done," said Irfhan Rawji, past Chair of the Foundation and one of the architects of the Research Leadership Circle. "We're now counting on the generosity of Canadian philanthropists, our millions of longstanding donors as well as new supporters, to join with us to make this bold commitment succeed."

Monday, October 7, 2013

Open Heart Journal

Open Heart JournalOpen Heart is an online-only, Open Access cardiology journal, published by BMJ in partnership with the British Cardiovascular Society. It is "open" in many ways: open access (free access for all readers), open peer review (unblinded peer review) and supports open data (data sharing). It is dedicated to publishing high quality, peer-reviewed, medical research in all disciplines and therapeutic areas of cardiovascular medicine. Research is published across all study phases and designs, from study protocols to phase I trials to meta-analyses, including small or specialist studies. Opinionated discussions on controversial topics are welcomed. Open Heart aims to operate a fast submission and review process with continuous publication online, to ensure timely, up-to-date research is available worldwide. The journal adheres to a rigorous and transparent peer review process, and all articles will go through a statistical assessment to ensure robustness of the analyses. Papers will be considered on methodological soundness rather than priority or novelty

The "Walking Works" report (UK)

The Tens of thousands of lives could be saved each year in the UK if people got off the sofa and stretched their legs more, say charities. The "Walking Works" report by the Ramblers and Macmillan Cancer Support said walking was a free activity which could transform people's health. Being physically active decreases the odds of heart problems and stroke. But it also makes a difference in other conditions such as type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and many cancers. Recently a British Medical Journal study showed that exercise was as good a medicine as pills for some conditions including heart diseases and another study showed walking at least an hour a day significantly cut the risk of breast cancer. The latest report said that if everyone, in England alone, did the recommended 150 minutes of moderate physical exercise every week it would: save 37,000 lives each year; prevent 6,700 cases of breast cancer; stop 4,700 people getting colorectal cancer; lead to nearly 300,000 fewer cases of type 2 diabetes

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Study: World not prepared to support growing elderly population

Study: World not prepared to support growing elderly populationThe world is aging so fast that most countries are not prepared to support their swelling numbers of elderly people, according to a global study being issued recently by the United Nations and an elder rights group. The report ranks the social and economic well-being of elders in 91 countries, with Sweden coming out on top and Afghanistan at the bottom. Canada is at fifth place. "In 2011, an estimated five million Canadians were 65 years of age or older, a number that is expected to double in the next 25 years," the report said. The study reflects what advocates for the old have been warning, with increasing urgency, for years: Countries are simply not working quickly enough to cope with a population greying faster than ever before. By the year 2050, for the first time in history, seniors older than 60 will outnumber children younger than 15.

Exercise is 'as effective as pills' for patients with heart disease

Exercise is 'as effective as pills' for patients with heart diseaseExercise may be just as effective as drugs at treating common diseases, according to a large study. The research, on more than 339,000 people, found being active was just as good as medicine for those with existing heart disease and in the prevention of diabetes. It also appeared to be a more effective treatment than drugs for people who had suffered a stroke. Experts at the London School of Economics, Harvard Medical School and Stanford University School of Medicine examined the findings of 305 trials on four conditions: pre-diabetes, heart disease, stroke and heart failure. Of the studies, 57 looked specifically at the effect of exercise and included 14,716 people. More than 200 trials examined drug treatment for the conditions, such as the effects of statins, beta blockers and anti-platelet therapy on preventing significant illness in those with heart disease. The results showed that exercise was just as effective as drugs in treating people with heart disease and whose blood sugar control suggested they were at high risk of diabetes. The results on heart failure were more unclear, with diuretic drugs being found to be more effective than exercise and all other types of drug treatment. The findings were most impressive for stroke, with exercise found to be more beneficial than drug treatment. Writing online in the British Medical Journal, the team concluded: "Our analysis suggests that exercise potentially had similar effectiveness to drug interventions with two exceptions. "In the case of stroke rehabilitation, exercise seemed to be more effective than drug interventions. "In heart failure, diuretics outperformed all comparators, including exercise." The experts said their findings suggest "exercise interventions should therefore be considered as a viable alternative to, or alongside, drug therapy

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

CARG Newsletter - October 2013 now available

The CARG Newsletter - October 2013 is now available online

Cardiac Education Classes for Fall 2013

Cardiac Education Classes for Fall 20131 week Cardiac Education Classes for Fall 2013 - Saskatoon Field House - sessions lead by Nurses, Dieticians, and Pharmacists! Topics include emotional adjustment, heart healthy food choices, cardiac medications, smoking cessation, stress, risk factors for heart disease, and importance of regular exercise!

October Class - October 7-11, 2013
November Class - November 4-8, 2013
December Class - December 9-13, 2013

New at the SHAW Center this Fall! EXPRESS EDUCATION Sessions!

Quick 20 minute sessions on the track on a variety of health related topics! (including, exercise, food choices, sugar control, medications).
Watch for dates and times - to be announced
Ask your Exercise Therapist about upcoming sessions.

Questions? Ashley Cheveldayoff - phone 306-655-2148

Cardiac Nurse track visits for Fall 2013

Cardiac Nurse track visits for Fall 2013Have questions about medications, or how your heart is feeling? How are you feeling emotionally? Bring your questions or concerns to the track at the below dates:

No track visits for the month of October
Field House - Wednesday, November 13, 2013 (8am-10am)
SHAW Center - Wednesday, November 27, 2013 (8am-10am)
Field House - Friday, December 6, 2013 (8am-10am)
SHAW Center - Wednesday, December 18, (8am-10am)

Questions? Phone Ashley Cheveldayoff 306-655-2148

CARG need volunteers

Mohindar Sachdev, Chair Nominations Committee, writes: CARG is a non-profit organization that provides facilities and assistance to people who are concerned with the health of their hearts. The facilities include exercise programs aimed at rehabilitating their cardiac systems, education on topical issues and fellowship with colleagues with similar concerns. The cost of providing the facilities and services by CARG is the lowest in Canada. A large number of volunteers spending countless hours in organizing the programs and making sure that they function properly achieve this. These volunteers are not paid any remuneration and, therefore, the administrative cost of the program is minimal.

The last fiscal year of CARG ended on August 31, 2013 and the Annual General Meeting will be held in late October or early November. At that meeting, a Board of Directors will be elected. It is likely that two or three members of the present Board of Directors will not be available for serving on the Board next year.

A Nominating Committee was formed at the Board of Directors meeting held on August 15, 2013; this Committee consists of Board Members Mohindar Sachdev (Chair), Blake Adamson, Mary Green and Jim McKay. The Committee is looking for volunteers who would be willing to serve on the Board in the next fiscal year. The responsibilities of these volunteers would include the following tasks:

Treasurer of CARG: The Treasurer would be expected to perform the following duties:

Keep all records of the incoming and outgoing funds of CARG including receiving all monies, issuing cheques for payment of expenditures and issuing receipts for all donations received;

Report the state of the Group's finances at the Board meetings that are usually held on the last Thursday of each month;

Prepare and submit Registered Charity Information Return to the Canada Revenue Agency;

Prepare a budget for presenting at the Annual General Meeting and present it to the Board for approval.

Other duties assigned by the President.

The Treasurer should be familiar with keeping accounts using the accounting software "Quick Books".

Member-at-Large (1) who would be responsible for the following tasks:

Receive the fees collected at the Field House each month and deposit them in the CARG Account at the Affinity Credit Union.

Record details of fees paid by individual members in a spreadsheet every month and reconcile the details with the collected monies.

Provide a copy-file of the month's collection on about the 15th day of each month for preparing the month-end consolidated statement for use during the following month's fee collection activity.

This member should be familiar with using software like the Microsoft Excel for keeping details of the fees paid by individual members.

Member-at-Large (2) who would be responsible for the following tasks:

Record details of fees paid by individual members in a spreadsheet every month and reconcile with the records kept by Member-at-Large (1).

Prepare a consolidated list showing the fees paid in the month and fees paid in advance for the following month.

Keep records of names and addresses of members of CARG.

Assign Membership Number to all new members.

Prepare month-end statement of fees collected during the month and prepaid fees for the upcoming month for use during the following month's fee collection activities.

Prepare an up-to-date member list for use during the following month's fee collection activities and keeping membership information.

This member should be familiar with using software like the Microsoft Excel for keeping details of the fees paid by individual members.

Please convey your consent or nomination of a friend to Mohindar Sachdev (Telephone: 306-261-5252), Blake Adamson (Telephone: 306-382-6594), Mary Green (Telephone: 306-343-6552) or James McKay (Telephone: 306-373-9798) along with half a page of the nominee's past experience.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Influenza Immunization Program to begin Monday, October 21, 2013 - Saskatoon

Influenza Immunization Program to begin Monday, October 21, 2013 - SaskatoonAll 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
* Pregnant women in all trimesters
* Children 6 months up to and including 59 months of age (younger than 5 years old)
* 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, 2013

Other groups:

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

(Phone 306-655-7500 for more details, or ask your health professional)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Heart attacks in young women - not all have chest pain (Canada)

Heart attacks in young women - not all have chest pain (Canada)Chest pain is recognized as a symptom of heart troubles, but one out of five women aged 55 years or less having a heart attack do not experience this symptom, according to a study led by the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre. The research findings, gathered from partner institutions across Canada including the University of British Columbia, are the first to describe this phenomenon in young women. The study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, has implications for emergency room healthcare professionals and for at-risk individuals, as seconds matter when it comes to the accurate diagnosis and treatment of heart attack. "We need to move away from the image of an older man clutching his chest, when we think about acute coronary syndrome (ACS - the umbrella term referring to heart attacks and angina), says senior author of the study, Dr. Louise Pilote, director of the Division of General Internal Medicine at the MUHC and McGill University and professor of medicine at McGill University. "The reality is that chest pain, age and gender are no longer the definers of a heart attack. Our study demonstrates that young people and women who come into the emergency without chest pain, but other telltale ACS symptoms such as weakness, shortness of breath and/or rapid heartbeats, are in crisis. We need to be able to recognize this and adapt to new standard assessments in previously unrecognized groups such as young women."

Diabetes on Track - Field House Fall Dates

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

Tuesday, October 22: 8:30am - 10:30am
Monday, November 4: 8:30am - 10:30am
Tuesday, December 17: 8:30am - 10:30am

Please bring your logbook and blood sugar meter. Appointments not required.

Also, Nutrition Tips - have a question for Rochelle Anthony, LiveWell CDM Dietitian?

Wednesday, October 9: 9:00am - 11:00am
Tuesday, November 19: 9:00am - 11:00am
Monday, December 9: 9:00am - 11:00am

Smart phone strategy: reminder call helps control blood pressure (USA)

Smart phone strategy: reminder call helps control blood pressure (USA)Better blood pressure control may be as simple as an automated telephone call. In a study published in the September issue of The Journal of Clinical Hypertension, researchers from Kaiser Permanente Southern California made automated phone calls to hypertensive patients reminding them to visit their doctor's office to have their blood pressure checked. Patients who received the calls controlled their blood pressure significantly better than the control group who received no calls (32.5 percent vs. 23.7 percent). Kaiser Permanente Southern California is a health delivery system that provides care to more than 3.5 million people. "This study provides new information about how an automated telephone message can lead to improved BP [blood pressure] control among patients with hypertension," said the study's lead author, Teresa Harrison, SM, in a press release. "We found that this simple outreach program can improve blood pressure control, especially among patients with multiple chronic conditions."

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Restarting hearts: new machine could make big difference for London cardiac patients (UK)

Restarting hearts: new machine could make big difference for London cardiac patients (UK)Middlesex-London EMS crews are already among the best in the country at saving cardiac-arrest victims, but new equipment they're testing could see that success rate climb. The national average for survival of cardiac arrest is a terrifying 10%. Middlesex-London paramedics, however, boast a 30% survival rate, superintendent of education Jay Loosley said. "We're seeing the highest rates of survival from cardiac arrest that we've ever seen," he said. Loosley said paramedics have been striving to minimize the crucial few seconds between shocking the patient with a defibrillator and the resumption of CPR. "The longer you're off the chest doing something, the more the chance of survival goes down," said. "We're trying to focus on hands off the chest, shock him, and hands back on the chest. Some of our medics are doing it in about one or two seconds, which is amazing." Upping the odds is a machine that performs CPR automatically, freeing the paramedic to offer more treatment to the patient. Crews are in the midst of a three-month trial with the machine. "It provides mechanical chest compressions to cardiac arrest victims," Loosley said. "The benefit is it can allow paramedics to have their hands free. They don't need to be on the chest and it's always perfect.” Currently, three of them are being tested, but the cost is prohibitive at $12,000 apiece. Loosley's a fan, though. "When you stop CPR to do anything, even for a few seconds, that's when you see your (chance of) survival go down," he said. "With this, someone is always on the chest."

Monday, September 16, 2013

HealthLine (Saskatchewan)

HealthLine is a confidential, 24-hour health information and support telephone line, staffed by Registered Nurses, Registered Psychiatric Nurses and Social Workers. The professionals who work at HealthLine are experienced and specially trained to help you make decisions about your health care options. They can help you decide whether to treat your own symptoms, go to a clinic, see your primary health care provider, or access emergency medical care, if necessary. HealthLine is available to anyone in Saskatchewan, free of charge. HealthLine is not for emergency situations. Call 9-1-1 if you are experiencing a medical emergency. When you call HealthLine, you have the option to speak with a Registered Nurse or a mental health and addictions professional. If you choose to speak with a Registered Nurse, the nurse will assess your symptoms and provide you with the most appropriate health support or information. If you choose to speak to a mental health and addictions professional, you will be able to discuss your concerns in a safe, caring, and confidential manner with a Registered Psychiatric Nurse or Social Worker. They may help you with crisis counseling, strategies to help you manage your situation, or provide information about resources in your community. HealthLine is here to support you and your health care team. It is not designed to replace the advice of your primary care provider, eliminate the need for regular check-ups, or provide a diagnosis. HealthLine services are offered in English, with translation available in over 100 languages. TTY access for the hearing impaired is available at 1-888-425-4444. HealthLine is a Saskatchewan Government program, with service provided by Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region. For more information, call:
Roberta Wiest - Director, HealthLine 306-766-6000
Tami Denomie - Director, Health Promotion, Ministry of Health 306-787-7110

Spine injuries raise risk of heart attack or stroke

Spine injuries raise risk of heart attack or strokeCanadian researchers say patients with spinal cord injuries have a higher risk of heart disease and stroke, similar to that of smokers, diabetics and the obese. The risk of cardiovascular disease was nearly 3 times higher for spinal cord patients, according to a study published in the journal Neurology. The risk of stroke was almost 4 times higher. "To put these values into context, the heightened odds ratios reported here are similar in magnitude to the estimated odds ratios in the general population for the relationship between smoking and myocardial infarction (heart attack)," wrote lead author Jacquelyn Cragg of the University of British Columbia. Cragg and her colleagues studied health data from over 60,000 people who participated in the 2010 Canadian Community Health Survey. From that sample, they identified 354 people who reported having both a spinal cord injury and a stroke, and 356 people who had a spinal cord injury and cardiovascular disease. While the research did not establish a cause for the higher risk profile, the authors noted that spine injuries can increase several risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as physical inactivity, high blood pressure, and chronic inflammation

Phone support boost to COPD patients (IAustralia)

Phone support boost to COPD patients (IAustralia)Researchers from Australia have found that even brief phone contact from medical professionals can provide benefits to patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). But a structured telephone-delivered mentoring program over 12 months provided additional advantages with regard to self-management capacity and disease knowledge. The team randomly assigned 31 general practices in Tasmania to intervention or control, with 74 and 80 COPD patients subsequently assigned to the respective groups completing the study. Patients in the intervention group received a median of 9.5 30-minute telephone calls from community nurses trained as health mentors. They provided cognitive behavioral-based support, including psychoeducation, self-management skills, cognitive coping skills training, communication skills, and self-efficacy promotion. Meanwhile patients in the control group received usual care as well as a median of nine phone calls, lasting on average 1 minute, from a research nurse. Reporting in BMJ Open, the team found that patients in the mentored group experienced significantly greater improvements in chronic disease self-management scores, according to the Partners in Health scale

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Positive attitude linked to longer life in heart patients (Denmark)

Positive attitude linked to longer life in heart patients (Denmark)Heart disease patients with an upbeat outlook are likely to live longer than those with a negative attitude, a new study says. Researchers used a questionnaire to assess the moods of 600 coronary artery disease patients in a Denmark hospital and conducted a follow-up five years later. The study found that the death rate for those with the most positive attitudes was 42 percent lower than for those with negative attitudes, about 10 percent versus 16.5 percent. Positive mood and exercise was also linked to a reduced risk of heart-related hospitalizations, according to the study published September 10 in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. The differences in death rates between optimistic and low-spirited heart patients weren't as large when both groups exercised, the investigators found. However, information on the types and amounts of exercise was not available. "We should focus not only on increasing positive attitude in cardiac rehabilitation, but also make sure that patients perform exercise on a regular basis, as exercise is associated with both increased levels of optimism and better health," researcher Susanne Pedersen said in a news release from the American Heart Association

Bypass surgery a safer option than stents for diabetics with clogged arteries

Bypass surgery a safer option than stents for diabetics with clogged arteriesA new study suggests that bypass surgery is a better option for opening blocked cardiac arteries than inserting a stent if the patient is a diabetic. The study found that diabetics who had bypass surgery were about 33 per cent more likely to be alive five years later than those who underwent a procedure to have the blockage opened with a stent. In recent years, the number of cardiac bypass surgeries has declined as doctors have opted for the less invasive stenting procedure, where a tiny tube is threaded into place in the artery from a small incision in the patient's groin. But questions have remained about whether stents are a good option for diabetics, who often have more blockages than other patients. This study, which was led by doctors at Toronto's St. Michael's Hospital, pooled data from eight clinical trials to try to answer the question. The authors say the substantial survival advantage of bypass surgery suggests it should be strongly considered for diabetics needing artery-opening procedures. "It is a pretty significant effect. And it is kind of startling to think that there's still some debate about this when results like these kinds of significant differences are coming out," said Dr. David Latter, a cardiac surgeon and one of the authors of the study

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Night owls have higher risk of being overweight and at heart risk

Night owls have higher risk of being overweight and at heart riskPeople who keep late hours may elevate their risk of obesity and heart attack, a U.S. researcher says. Giovanni Cizza of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., says many in the United States don't get enough sleep and weigh more than they should. A study indicates people who stay up late, sleep too little and are obese also have signs that raise concern about potential heart attack risk. Cizza analyzed data on 119 people who fit the categories of staying up late, sleeping too little and weighing more than they should. The study, published in the journal Plos One, found those who stayed up late and lost sleep had higher resting heart rates and higher stress hormone levels. "If you are an evening person, you tend to eat more, you tend to eat more fat than carbohydrate, and eat more often after 8 p.m," Cizza said

Study: Caregivers in Canada, 2012

Study: Caregivers in Canada, 2012In 2012, about 8.1 million individuals, or 28% of Canadians aged 15 years and older, provided care to a family member or friend with a long-term health condition, disability or aging needs. New data from the 2012 General Social Survey showed that women represented the slight majority of caregivers at 54%. The survey also found that caregiving responsibilities most often fell to those aged 45 to 64, with 44% of caregivers in this age category. Ailing parents were the most common recipients of care, with 39% of caregivers looking after the needs of their own parents and another 9% doing so for their parents-in-law. The least common were spouses, at 8%, and children, at 5%. For the first time, the survey looked at the types of health conditions requiring care. Age-related needs topped the list, with 28% of caregivers providing care for these needs. Cancer was next at 11%, followed by cardio-vascular disease at 9%, and mental illness at 7%

200,000 heart disease deaths preventable (USA)

200,000 heart disease deaths preventable (USA)While cardiovascular disease causes nearly one-third of deaths in the U.S. every year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in its September issue of Vital Signs that at least 200,000 of these deaths can be prevented through lifestyle changes. As the Affordable Care Act improves access to preventive health care, providers should play a key role in encouraging preventive efforts, the agency argued. Among the steps they can take are:

Use electronic health records to determine which patients smoke or have other risk factors such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure and support them.
Undertake efforts to make clinical improvements, such as implementing patient care teams, by using national quality indicators.
Encourage patients to make lifestyle changes and monitor their efforts.
Make anti-hypertensive and cholesterol-lowering medications more affordable by lowering or eliminating co-payments.
Offer patients information about available community resources that will, for example, help them quit smoking or monitor their blood pressure.
Help patients get information about where to get affordable health insurance.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Pioneering heart attack stem cell trial treats 1st patient (Canada)

Pioneering heart attack stem cell trial treats 1st patient (Canada)The first patient has been treated in a groundbreaking medical trial in Ottawa that could lead to a new way to repair damaged tissues following a heart attack. Researchers recently announced that a Cornwall, Ontario, woman who suffered a severe heart attack in July was their first test subject. The woman's heart had stopped beating before she was resuscitated, causing major damage to her cardiac muscle. The hope is that a new form of combined gene and stem cell therapy will be able to better repair her heart and those of potentially millions of other heart attack patients. The therapy involves injecting a patient's own stem cells into their heart to help fix areas that become damaged in a heart attack. Stem cells are a fertile regenerative tissue that can replicate into millions of new, healthy cells. But the Ottawa study, led by cardiologist Duncan Stewart of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, takes the technique one step further, combining the stem-cell treatment with gene therapy - which the researchers say is novel. "Stem cells are stimulating the repair. That's what they're there to do," Stewart said in an interview. "But what we've learned is that the regenerative activity of the stem cells in these patients with heart disease is very low, compared to younger, healthy patients"

Clearing more arteries works in angioplasty trial

Clearing more arteries works in angioplasty trialHeart attack patients who undergo angioplasty for a clogged artery that caused the attack may do better if other clogged arteries are done at the same time, new research suggests. Patients who had multiple coronary arteries opened with angioplasty techniques during emergency surgery were 65 percent less likely to die, have a repeat heart attack or chest pains known as angina during the follow-up period than those who only had the so-called "culprit artery" opened. The randomized trial of 465 patients in Britain was halted early, in January 2013, when the results in the group in which multiple arteries were opened became evident, the researchers reported. The study was published online September 1 in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with presentation of the results at the European Society of Cardiology 2013 Congress in Amsterdam