April 3, 2013 |
The financial toll of caring for Americans with dementia adds up to at least $159 billion a year, making it more expensive than treatments for patients with heart disease or cancer, according to a new report in the New England Journal of Medicine. Dementia is characterized by a group of symptoms that prevent people from carrying out the tasks of daily living. Reduced mental function makes it impossible for them to do things like keep track of their medications or their finances.
April 1, 2013 |
The proportion of American adolescents who exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet and are free of risk factors for future heart disease is "alarmingly low," says a major new survey of teen health. The comprehensive five-year assessment of teens' health status warns that the "disconcertingly high" rate of poor health habits among the nation's youth "may contribute to unacceptably high rates of adult-onset cardiovascular disease" as this cohort matures into adulthood. The new survey , published Monday in the American Heart Assn.'s journal Circulation, culled data on teens from a yearly gauge of the nation's health called the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES)
March 26, 2013 |
The long-awaited results of a study gauging the benefits of a controversial heart disease therapy have once more pitted the alternative medicine community against mainstream cardiologists. A clinical trial that cost taxpayers $30 million and took researchers more than a decade to complete suggests that chelation -- the removal of heavy metals from the body -- may offer some benefits to patients who have suffered a heart attack . But those findings were immediately discounted by the editors of the influential journal that published the study's findings.
March 13, 2013 |
These days, thanks to advances in treatment and detection, millions of women survive breast cancer. But surviving the disease doesn't necessarily mean the entire battle is over, a population-based study of breast cancer survivors in Sweden and Denmark, published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine , seems to suggest. Assessing a total of 2,168 women whose breast cancer was treated with radiation therapy between 1958 and 2001, a team of researchers found that women's chances of having a major coronary event - a heart attack, bypass surgery or heart disease death - rose in proportion with the radiation dose they received, even at the lower doses of radiation delivered in newer treatments.
March 12, 2013 |
As medical director of the MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute at Long Beach Memorial Hospital, preventive cardiologist Dr. Gregory Thomas counsels modern-day patients, urging them to eat right, exercise and quit smoking to keep their hearts healthy. But for the last five years or so, Thomas and a 19-member "dream team" of cardiologists, anthropologists and radiologists from all over the world have also been spending a lot of time focusing on a different set of patients, long-deceased: mummies. Traveling from Egypt to Peru to the hallways of great American museums, they have been seeking permission to place the preserved bodies of ancient people in CT scanners to look for evidence of hardened arteries. Their hope is to figure out why it is that so many people today develop the vascular blockages that lead to heart attacks and strokes.
March 11, 2013 |
People tend to think of heart disease as a scourge of modern life, brought on by vices such as greasy fast food, smoking and the tendency to be a couch potato. But 21st century CT scans of 137 antique mummies gathered from three continents show that hardened arteries have probably plagued mankind for thousands of years - even in places like the Aleutian Islands, where hunter-gatherers subsisted on a heart-healthy marine diet and occasional snacks of berries. Fully a third of the mummies examined - who lived in the American Southwest and Alaska as well as Egypt and Peru as much as 5,000 years ago - appeared to have the same vascular blockages that cause heart attacks and strokes in Americans today.
February 25, 2013 |
People who volunteer are often known to say they get more out of the experience than those who are being helped. A study in Canada concurs that that may be true: Researchers say that high school students who volunteered improved their own health. The researchers recruited and assessed 106 10 th graders from western Canada. Half were assigned to volunteer weekly with elementary school children for two months. At the end of that time, the high school students showed significantly lower markers for cardiovascular disease risk, including body mass index and cholesterol levels when compared with students in a control group.
January 14, 2013 |
Younger women who ate at least three servings per week of strawberries or blueberries reduced their likelihood of suffering a heart attack by one-third compared with their sisters who incorporated fewer of the colorful berries into their diet, a new study says. The berry benefit was sufficiently strong that it held even after researchers adjusted for age, high blood pressure, family history of heart attack, body-mass index, exercise, smoking, and caffeine or alcohol intake. Researchers suggested that a group of dietary flavenoids called anthocyanins, which give blueberries and strawberries their jewel-like colors, may be responsible for the health benefits seen in the study's large sample of subjects.
November 6, 2012 |
Black men and women are twice as likely to die from coronary heart disease as white men and women, according to a study led by University of Alabama doctors. Death rates from heart attacks and coronary heart disease have fallen since the 1970s, but that statement rings far truer for whites than for blacks. Studies have shown a widening gap between whites and blacks in heart disease deaths and in heart-attack hospitalizations, and new research pins down just how deadly that difference is. A paper published in this week's Journal of the American Medical Assn.
November 6, 2012 |
Visibly aging but young at heart? Don't count on it, suggested researchers Tuesday. In a study following more than 10,000 people over 35 years, the presence of visible signs of aging signaled an increased risk of heart attack and heart disease. The research was presented at the American Heart Assn.'s Scientific Sessions in Los Angeles and was conducted in Denmark by University of Copenhagen biochemist Dr. Anne Tybjaerg-Hansen and colleagues. The team analyzed data collected from participants in a large study of heart disease, noting whether subjects developed heart disease and also whether they had any of six signs of aging: baldness at the crown of the head, receding hairline at the temples, gray hair, wrinkles, earlobe crease and fatty deposits around the eyelids.