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Media, News & Topics on prevention, diagnosis & treatment of cardiovascular disease
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Walking Vs Treadmill Workouts

Walking Vs Treadmill Workouts | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it
Health, Heart, Lifestyle and More....

Via Rehabmyheart
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Atrial Fibrillation Toolkit

Atrial Fibrillation Toolkit | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it

ACC has pulled together a toolkit to help treat patients with atrial fibrillation (AFib) based on the most recent evidence and best practices. Developed by experts and field-tested, the AFib Toolkit is a valuable and free reference or point-of-care resource you can use on your own time.

There is a very useful patient education section at the bottom which paitents will find valuable

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Variability in High-Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (CRP)

Variability in High-Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (CRP) | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it

C-reactive protein (CRP) is a marker of systemic inflammation and cardiovascular disease. CRP has been recommended as an adjunct screening tool to stratify cardiovascular risk in the general population. Evidence regarding within-person variability of CRP in the general population is limited. Short-term variability in CRP has important implications for its use & interpretation in clinical practice and research studies.  This study found significant short-term (approximately 2.5 weeks) within-person variability in CRP levels, particularly at high values. Approximately one-third of persons with elevated CRP levels were reclassified as having normal CRP levels after repeated testing. Our results are consistent with those of previous studies conducted in small selected populations (eg, patients with ischemic heart disease) or in which measurements were months or years apart.

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China probes use of 'gutter oil' in antibiotics

China probes use of 'gutter oil' in antibiotics | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it

My comment:  Gross!!   We find out about concerning, unethical, unsafe manufacturing practices from Chinese manufacturers of prescription drugs (in this case the common antibiotics of the cephalosporin class)  We previously had similar issues with heparin leading to US deaths.  Beyond this (and pertinent to my concerns about Vitamins and "natural therapies" (see my scoop and YouTube) is that non-prescription therapies are not even regulated for purity like prescription drugs so the hazard may be even greater and harder to detect.

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Chinese authorities are investigating allegations that several antibiotic makers in China used so-called gutter oil, repurposed oil salvaged from restaurant waste and drains, in their products instead of more expensive soybean oil.

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Vitamins Herbal & Natural - A Cardiologists Perspective

Pentucket Medical cardiologists Seth Bilazarian and Sunny Srivastava discuss vitamins and dietary supplements as alternative, complimentary and natural therapies.

Patients often think doctors are "against" the use of vitamin or herbal therapies.  I try to explain on our community program "Matters of the Heart"  the doctors viewpoint on Vitamin supplements - cautions and recommendations.  I speak about Vitamin D deficiency and its treatment.

Because its a VItamin or because it says its natural doesn't mean its good.

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For physicians & patients, time is the best medicine

For physicians & patients, time is the best medicine | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it

My comment:  This is apt and timely.  There isn't a physician who would not want to take more time with paitents since that is the fufilling part of our profession.  Systemic finanacing structures prevent it.  Its not physicians unwillingness.

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Boston internist Suzanne Koven's 21-day experiment in “slow medicine” . She says, "that longer visits made me a more empathic, more cost-effective, and happier,physician. During those three weeks, I felt more relaxed and — was it my imagination?"

During those slowed-down three weeks, I felt more relaxed and — was it my imagination? — my patients seemed more relaxed, too. I spent less time scribbling notes (if I typed in front of patients, a practice I’ve resisted, I suspect I would have done less of that as well) and more time looking at my patients and listening to them.

But even these innovations, even a radical change in how we finance health care, won’t soon undo the subtle and often subconscious expectations of doctors and patients that medicine — like everything else in our culture — is supposed to work fast.

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Linda Holroyd's curator insight, October 22, 2:44 PM

Will more time with doctors help improve the health of patients?

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What's Really in Your Cigarette?

What's Really in Your Cigarette? | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it

Ammonia, sugars, cocoa and more. Once-secret documents reveal some surprising ingredients.

Global consumption of cigarettes has now reached six trillion sticks a year, which turns out to be more than 300 million miles of cigarettes—enough to make a continuous chain from the Earth to the sun and back, with enough left over for a couple of side trips to Mars. On that long journey, smokers deserve to know exactly what's in their cigarettes, and why.

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Happy 25th birthday, lovastatin (Mevacor)! What next?

Happy 25th birthday, lovastatin (Mevacor)! What next? | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it

As we mark an important birthday of the first statin (lovastatin), it's good to celebrate the success of this class of drugs and ponder what the next big thing in prevention of cardiovascular disease will be.  Statins are the mopst important achievement in cardiovascular medicine in the last 25 years and demonstrates the best of industry and clinician collaboration.  Stains moved from feared unknown drugs to standard of care.

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Cuppa Joe: Friend or Foe?

Coffee Consumption and Cardiovascular Risk: Over the past three decades, many epidemiologic
studies have extensively examined the cardiovascular risk (CV) effects of coffee consumption, yet the issue remains controversial. Case–control studies have tended to implicate coffee as  potentially increasing CV risk, whereas prospective cohort studies have tended to show no associations with coffee intake and CV disease, even among individuals with higher coffee consumption. A brief review of relevant findings follows.

Summary
Currently available data from prospective studies suggests that coffee consumption may decrease the risk of T2DM, and neurodegenerative diseases such as AD and PD. Coffee does not appear to increase the risk of CHD. Coffee consumption could plausibly confer reductions in risks for diabetes, stroke, total mortality, neuro-degenerative diseases, and depression. The precise nature of the relation between coffee and BP is not yet clear, although most evidence suggests that chronic coffee intake does not raise BP to a clinically significant degree, & does not increase risk of development if HTN. Available data suggest that coffee intake of up to 6 cups/day does not affect QT interval or risk of serious dysrhythmias. The currently available evidence on coffee consumption and risk of CV disease is largely reassuring. The majority of studies also showed that there may be a modest inverse relationship between coffee consumption and all-cause mortality. The observational data do not prove a cause-and-effect relationship, and thus increasing coffee as a prevention strategy cannot currently be recommended. 

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Radiation Safety in Heart Imaging Tests

Radiation Safety in Heart Imaging Tests | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it

My comment: Useful information for patients undergoing cardiac testing.  The 10 questions are excessive.  Patients should be sure they understand the answers to questions 1,2 4 & 9.

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Recent public concern regarding radiation exposure in a cardiac test provides an important opportunity for all patients to discuss with their doctors the benefits and risk of testing. Within the medical community, there is controversy regarding the projected cancer risk resulting from radiation exposure during cardiac testing, such as a nuclear scan or catheterization. Research experts studying the projected cancer risk agree that there is a very low risk of cancer following radiation exposure during medical testing for certain procedures including a nuclear scan or catheterization.

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Counterpoint to Cheesecake Factory Medicine

Counterpoint to Cheesecake Factory Medicine | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it

Political counterpoint to the Big Medicine piece of Dr Atul Gawande in the New Yorker.,  (See my scoop).

The highlighted aspects are the corporatization of medical practices and the Payment advisory Board.

 

'The "most important institutional change" after ObamaCare passed in 2010: the Independent Payment Advisory Board composed of 15 philosopher kings who will rule over U.S. health care."

 

The unknown aspects of who, what and why and perceived hazards of this decision making process are discussed.

 

"The longer-run danger is ... cost board starts to decide what types of care "work" for society at large and thus what individual patients are allowed to receive.     '

 

"The Cheesecake Factory is a great place to eat but you probably wouldn't want to be operated on there—especially if it's run by the government."

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Things you should never say to someone trying to lose weight

Things you should never say to someone trying to lose weight | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it

I'm doing this the old-fashioned way by eating healthy and exercising. Plain and simple. I know these comments come from a place of love -- the people I've heard these from mean well. It just comes out wrong and winds up bugging me. So without further ado, here are the things I "nevah evah nevah" want to hear again about my loss of 45+ pounds:

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Rosie O'Donnell describes googling about heart attack symptoms

Rosie O'Donnell describes googling about heart attack symptoms | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it

i became nauseous
my skin was clammy
i was very very hot
i threw up

maybe this is a heart attack
i googled womens heart attack symptoms
i had many of them
but really? – i thought – naaaa

i took some bayer aspirin
thank god
saved by a tv commercial
literally

i did not call 911
50% of women having heart attacks never call 911
200,000 women die of heart attacks
every year in the US

by some miracle i was not one of them
the next day i went to a cardiologist
the dr did an EKG and sent me to the hospital
where a stent was put in

my LAD was 99% blocked
they call this type of heart attack
the Widow maker
i am lucky to be here

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Health System Waste Tallied - Report and Infographic from Institute of Medicine

Health System Waste Tallied - Report and Infographic from Institute of Medicine | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it

Infographic has harsh data on use of information technology, making healthcare safer & more transparent and collaborative between providers and patients.

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Summary from NY Times: The health care system squanders $750 billion a year, 30 cents of every medical dollar, through unneeded care, byzantine paperwork, fraud and other waste.  Controlling health care costs is one of the keys to reducing the deficit. The report came from an 18-member panel of experts, including doctors, business people and public officials.

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Medicare Premiums Holding Steady

Medicare Premiums Holding Steady | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it

A morsel of good news about Medicare drug coverage for the coming year: 2013 premiums will remain basically level for the fourth year in a row.

As it has since 2010, the average monthly premium is projected to hover around $30, the federal Department of Health and Human Services has announced. Last year, the actual amount came in a few cents lower, at $29.67. And the dread doughnut hole, which this year suspends coverage once spending hits $2,930, will kick in a few dollars later, at $2,970.

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JAMA Article Says FDA Let Risky Drugs Hit Market

JAMA Article Says FDA Let Risky Drugs Hit Market | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it

My comment: Do you want your drug approvals too fast or too slow? As a practioner I would like access to new therapies for my patients so we can make best decisions based on our assessment of the risks & benefts from the avaialble data.  Making drugs available does not require them to be used.  Not approving drugs absolutely prevents us from using them.

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An FDA effort to speed approval of new medicines allowed drugs onto the market without proper safety analysis, according to two drug-safety experts.

" the FDA could strike a better balance of safety versus innovation by insisting that companies produce more safety and effectiveness data soon after the drug is approved—and by insisting on automatic withdrawal of a drug if the data don't materialize. "Once a drug is approved, it is often very difficult to put the genie back in the bottle,"

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Trying a New Line of Attack in Heart Disease

Trying a New Line of Attack in Heart Disease | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it

Two major clinical trials are testing for the first time whether treating inflammation can reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke, potentially opening up a new line of attack in the battle against cardiovascular disease.

Research over two decades has shown that people with chronic inflammation—detectable at low levels, for instance, with a high-sensitivity test for a marker called C-reactive protein—are at significantly higher risk of heart attack and stroke compared with those with evidence of little or no such inflammation.

These are especially high-risk patients for whom current optimal treatment often fails. "We've kind of run out of our tool kit for these individuals and yet they're still having events," said Gary Gibbons, director of the NIH's National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, which officially funded the study.

The CANTOS trial sponsored by Novartis is testing the company's anti-inflammatory antibody called canakinumab, has already enrolled 3,000 patients of a planned 17,000 patients with stable cardiovascular disease and elevated levels of inflammation. (Ilaris is marketed for inflammatory disease called Muckle-Wells Syndrome.) In proof-of-concept studies, it yielded  "provocative" evidence of benefit in coronary arteries.

 

PMA is participating in the CANTOS trial.  For more information see http://www.pmaonline.com/PDF/CACZ885M2301_trial.pdf

 

 

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A pill that tells you when to take it?

A pill that tells you when to take it? | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it

Pills for anything from the common cold to diabetes or cancer can be embedded with tiny ingestible chips that keep track of whether a patient is taking their medicine on time.  

The digital feedback technology, in the form of the Proteus Pill,  devised by Redwood City, California-based Proteus Digital Health Inc, can also prompt patients to take their medicine and even ask them to take a walk if they have been inactive for too long. 

Will [patients embrace this strategy to improve adherence to medication use and the feedback aspects to their physician caregivers?

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Changing Our Tune on Exercise

Changing Our Tune on Exercise | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it
Decades of messages that regular physical activity is necessary for health have cast exercise as a pill to be swallowed.

What would it take to persuade you to exercise?

A desire to lose weight or improve your figure? To keep heart disease, cancer or diabetes at bay? To lower your blood pressure or cholesterol? To protect your bones? To live to a healthy old age?

Many, if not most, people start exercising because they want to lose weight. But very often they abandon exercise when the expected pounds fail to fall off. Study after study has found that, without major changes in eating habits, increasing physical activity is only somewhat effective for losing weight, though it helps people maintain weight loss and shedding even a few pounds, especially around one’s middle, can improve health.

It’s how these activities make me feel: more energized, less stressed, more productive, more engaged and, yes, happier — better able to smell the roses and cope with the inevitable frustrations of daily life.

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FAQ: Obama vs. Ryan on Controlling Medicare Spending

FAQ: Obama vs. Ryan on Controlling Medicare Spending | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it

President Barack Obama and GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan are pushing the same target rate for controlling Medicare spending, but their approaches to curbing costs are very different, as will...

"There is a consensus, an agreement that Medicare is unsustainable," That's where the agreement is, and it's where the agreement ends."

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Prevent Hypertension - resources for Patients & Physicians

Prevent Hypertension - resources for Patients & Physicians | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it

Information on diagnosis and treatment of Resistant Hypertension defined as blood pressure above goal despite compliance with three maximum dose medications including at least one diuretic.

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Medical costs: Doctors urged to be more mindful of costs of procedures they order

Medical costs: Doctors urged to be more mindful of costs of procedures they order | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it

There is no other industry where the price for the exact same thing varies so widely. which compiles medical price data. For a patient paying out of pocket, a colonoscopy can cost from just under $1,000 to about $3,500, depending on the facility. If you add in the fact that each insurance company maintains dozens of different plans, the system is opaque to doctors as well as patients. "The lack of transparency about prices within the medical system is staggering,"  "There is a cloud of secrecy over the whole system, and the patients who can least afford it often get the highest bills." Levy said that if an uninsured or underinsured patient asks him what a medical bill would be, it's a question he does not know how to answer. "We are totally insulated from price, what medical care actually costs the patient". "I can't tell when a test I order becomes a bill or if and when my patient gets charged by it, and that's absurd."

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Why Severe Heart Attacks Are Becoming Less Deadly = Stents

Why Severe Heart Attacks Are Becoming Less Deadly = Stents | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it

Severe heart attacks may not be as deadly as they used to be, according to new research.  A new French study demonstrated that patients hospitalized for severe heart attacks – technically known as ST-elevation myocardial infarctions – the chances of dying within 30 days dropped from 13.7% in 1995 to 4.4% in 2010, an improvement of 68%.
Researchers looked at data from nationwide registries in France 1995- 2010 of 6,700 patients who had heart attacks and were admitted to intensive care units. They found that the improvement in survival was likely related to a number of factors, including demographic changes, more timely presentation to hospitals, improvements in medications and treatments, and higher rates of STENTING open up blocked arteries.

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The Widespread Problem of Doctor Burnout

The Widespread Problem of Doctor Burnout | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it

My comment - I am hearing with increasing frequency from doctors older AND younger that the system's current burdens (electronic records, documentation, coding, reimbursement declines) are reaching a breaking point.  Unfortunately the burdens are likely to accelerate in the coming years.

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Analyzing questionnaires sent to more than 7,000 doctors, researchers found that almost half complained of being emotionally exhausted, feeling detached from their patients and work or suffering from a low sense of accomplishment. The researchers then compared the doctors’ responses with those of nearly 3,500 people working in other fields and found that even after adjusting for variables like gender, age, number of hours worked and amount of education, the doctors were still more likely to suffer from burnout.

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Concern about Armstrong/ Livestrong philanthropy

Concern about Armstrong/ Livestrong philanthropy | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it

My comment: now that Lance Armstrong and I have an equal number of Tour de France victories under our belt - I wanted to learn more about Livestrong

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IT'S NOT ABOUT THE LAB RATS
If Lance Armstrong went to jail and Livestrong went away, that would be a huge setback in our war against cancer, right? Not exactly, because the famous nonprofit donates almost ­nothing to scientific research. BILL GIFFORD looks at where the money goes and finds a mix of fine ideas, millions of dollars aimed at “awareness,” and a few very blurry lines.

Michael J. Fox Foundation had about the same revenue as Livestrong in 2008—$40 million—and gave away $33 million of that in grants for Parkinson’s research. The Susan G. Komen foundation also does a huge amount of pink-ribbon “awareness” work, but it still dished out $145 million in breast-cancer research grants over the past two years. Livestrong’s resources pay for a very large amount of marketing and PR. During those years, the foundation raised $84 million and spent just over $60 million. (The rest went into a reserve of cash and assets that now tops $100 million.)

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