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Heart and Lung Disease Archive    Date Archived:  March 7th 2006

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High Blood Pressure and Kidney Disease will Increase Risk for Heart Disease and Stroke - Diuretics Better than ACE Inhibitors

High Blood Pressure and Kidney Disease will Increase Risk for Heart Disease and Stroke - Diuretics Better than ACE Inhibitors and Calcium Channel Blockers

Dr. Rahman

Older Americans with severe chronic kidney disease are more likely to develop heart disease than people with normal kidney function.  According to new research published in the Fed. 7th issue Annals of Internal Medicine, patients are at a “higher risk for developing heart disease than kidney failure (end stage renal disease)”. 

Newer drugs including ACE inhibitors and calcium-channel blockers are not any better than the older diuretic drugs, according to the new research.  These diuretic drugs (water pills) may even be more effective at preventing heart failure in patients with chronic kidney disease. 

Lead author of the study, Mahboob Rahman M.D. M.S., of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, University Hospitals of Cleveland and the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center said "Overall, ACE inhibitors and diuretics were about equally likely to protect against heart attacks, but diuretics seemed more effective at preventing other kinds of cardiovascular diseases, such as stroke and heart failure."  High Blood Pressure and Kidney Disease will Increase Risk for Heart Disease and Stroke - Diuretics Better than ACE Inhibitors


Pritikin Diet and Exercise Program helped treat Type II Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome in Obese and Overweight Patients

Pritikin Diet and Exercise Program helped treat Type II Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome in Obese and Overweight Patients

Pritikin Weight Loss Book

A recent study published in the online edition of the Journal of Applied Physiology, showed a 50 percent reversal in people with metabolic syndrome, Type 2 diabetes by following the Pritikin diet and exercise program over a 3 week period of time.

The lead researcher, Christian Roberts, from the University of California, Los Angeles said, "The study shows, contrary to common belief, that Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome can be reversed solely through lifestyle changes."

"This regimen reversed a clinical diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome in about half the participants who had either of those conditions. However, the regimen may not have reversed damage such as plaque development in the arteries," Roberts said. "However, if Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome continue to be controlled, further damage would likely be minimized and it's plausible that continuing to follow the program long-term may result in reversal of atherosclerosis."   Pritikin Diet and Exercise Program helped treat Type II Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome in Obese and Overweight Patients


Smokers who use the Nicotine Patch prior to Quitting Smoking are Twice as Likely to Quit - Duke University Research

Smokers who use the Nicotine Patch prior to Quitting Smoking are Twice as Likely to Quit - Duke University Research

Dr. Jed E Rose

Smokers that used the nicotine patch before they quit smoking were twice as likely to quit as those that did not. It is important to not however that the patches are not recommended for people that still smoke.   There are other forms of nicotine replacement products, including gum, nasal sprays, inhalers, lozenges, and tablets. 

Researchers at the Duke University Center for Nicotine and Smoking Cessation Research (DNSCR) say that smokers who use the patch before quitting smoking will double their chances of success. 

Although smoking rates have gone down over the past few decades, there are still 50 million smokers in the United States.  More than half of these smokers say they want to give up the habit for good. Smokers who use the Nicotine Patch prior to Quitting Smoking are Twice as Likely to Quit - Duke University Research


Current Standards for Screening Women with Heart Disease May not be Sufficient - Angiograph Misses Coronary Microvascular Dysfunction

Current Standards for Screening Women with Heart Disease May not be Sufficient - Angiograph Misses Coronary Microvascular Dysfunction

Angiography

Women are different than men when it comes to heart disease.  According to a new study cholesterol plaque may not build up into major blockages in women.  In stead, the plaque builds up “evenly” throughout the artery.  A coronary angiography may indicate the woman has “clear” arteries (i.e. No blockages).  This may be incorrect.

Women may undergo screening and have a clean bill-of-health, or at least be at low risk, when they are actually at a high risk “for heart attack”, according to a newly published research paper from the National Institutes of Health. The plaque will accumulate in the small arteries of the heart (coronary microvascular dysfunction), causing a narrowing of the arteries and a reduction in oxygen flow to the heart.  There may be a pain similar to that of people with blocked arteries, even though plaque does not show up on the standard tests.  In this case, women will go undiagnosed. Current Standards for Screening Women with Heart Disease May not be Sufficient - Angiograph Misses Coronary Microvascular Dysfunction


Erectile Dysfunction (ED) Related to Heart Disease - New Study Links

Erectile Dysfunction (ED) Related to Heart Disease - New Study Links

Dr. Parker Ward

A recent study from the University of Chicago has shown that Erectile Dysfunction (ED) “was a stronger predictor of significant coronary heart disease than any of the traditional office-based risk factors, such as family history, cholesterol levels or blood pressure.”  Erectile Dysfunction patients were also more likely to have reduced exercise endurance and a reduced ejection fraction.  Ejection fraction is a measure of the hearts pumping capacity. 

Earlier studies have linked ED with atherosclerotic vascular disease.  This study links ED with “abnormal results on cardiac stress testing, including evidence for severe coronary artery blockages and markers of a poor cardiovascular prognosis,” according to the researchers.  Erectile Dysfunction (ED) Related to Heart Disease - New Study Links


Fruits and Vegetables will Reduce Risk of Stroke

Fruits and Vegetables will Reduce Risk of Stroke - Study says Good for High Blood Pressure as well

Five servings per day

The more fruits and vegetables you eat the lower your risk of stroke, according to a new analysis of studies. Eating three servings a day will reduce the risk of stroke, but eating five or more will produce an even greater protective effect. 

Earlier studies indicated that consuming more than three servings of fruits and vegetables a day will help lower blood pressure.  High blood pressure is a risk factor for stroke.  Earlier studies have shown that the “Dash Diet” has lowered blood pressure, so it is no surprise that the risk for stroke is also lessened.

Increasing you consumption of fruits and vegetables is good for the heart and other organs for several reasons.  First off, by eating more fruits and veggies you are likely to reduce the consumption of foods with high fat.  You will eat less desert and red meat. Fruits and Vegetables will Reduce Risk of Stroke


Tomatoes can Lower High Blood Pressure - Study in Israel Recommends Tomato Sauce

Tomatoes can Lower High Blood Pressure - Study in Israel Recommends Tomato Sauce

Tomatoes

It appears tomatoes can benefit people with high blood pressure. Israeli scientists asked 54 people with moderately high blood pressure, even when treated with medication, to add a daily dose of concentrated tomato extract in capsule form to their diet. Rather than add another medication the patients opted to try the tomato extract, equivalent to 4 tomatoes per day.     

The researchers conducted a double blind study where the patients were either given a placebo or a capsule of tomato complex.  The complex of ingredients included potent antioxidants, such as lycopene, phytoene, phytofluene, beta-carotene, tocopherols (vitamin E), phospolipids and phytosterols.  In a published article by Jamie Talan in Newsday, Dr. Esther Parn head of the hypertension division at Soroka medical center and professor of medicine at Ben Gurion University in Beer Sheva, Israel, said the drop in blood pressure was equal to drop they would have looked for by prescribing another medication.  “But there are no side effects”, she said.  Tomatoes can Lower High Blood Pressure - Study in Israel Recommends Tomato Sauce


Popular Fermented Scandinavian Milk Drink Lowers Blood Pressure - Valio Brand  

Popular Fermented Scandinavian Milk Drink Lowers Blood Pressure - Valio Brand

Valio Popular Brand

A popular Scandinavian fermented milk drink appears to reduce blood pressure using the same mechanism as common angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitors pills. According to research published in the American Journal of Hypertension, the beverage will help reduce blood pressure in people with hypertension. 

The drinks are made by adding Lactobacillus to milk, which breaks down the milk protein called casein into two protein fragments.  These fragments, called tripeptides, have been shown to reduce blood pressure in animal studies and also people with mild hypertension. 

This study lasted for 10 weeks where 94 people with un-treated hypertension were divided into two groups.  One group drank 150 ml of fermented milk while the other did not.  Participants had their blood pressure monitored.  Popular Fermented Scandinavian Milk Drink Lowers Blood Pressure - Valio Brand  


Common Drug Used During Heart Surgery is Dangerous - Aprotinin (Trasylol) causes Kidney - Heart Attacks and Stokes

Common Drug Used During Heart Surgery is Dangerous - Aprotinin (Trasylol) causes Kidney and Heart Problems and Stokes

Trasylol

A commonly used drug during heart surgery could cause serious complications including kidney damage, an increased risk of hear attack, heart failure and stroke.  The drug called aprotinin (the brand name is Trasylol), is used to control bleeding on as many as 1 million heart and bypass surgery patients per year.

Aprotinin doubles the risk of kidney damage but also increases the risk of heart attack by 48%.  Heart failure risk is also increased by 109% and stroke by 181%.  The study looked at 4,400 patients.

There are safer alternatives.  In fact the generic alternatives cost a tenth as much as aprotinin and are almost as effective, according to a report in the LA Times.  Aprotonin is derived from cow lungs and was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1993.  Common Drug Used During Heart Surgery is Dangerous - Aprotinin (Trasylol) causes Kidney - Heart Attacks and Stokes


FDA Panel Votes to Ban Primatene Mist for Asthma - Over the Counter (OTC) Sales likely to End

FDA Panel Votes to Ban Primatene Mist for Asthma - Over the Counter (OTC) Sales likely to End

Primatene Mist

Over the counter inhalers will be banned if a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Panel has their way.  The ban would not be because the inhalers are dangerous to the user, but because the propellants may harm the ozone layer.  This may lead to a ban on Primatene Mist on other similar inhalers.

The advisory panel voted 11-7 to recommend the FDA remove the “essential use” status of the Primatene Mist and other non-prescription inhalers.  Since the FDA usually follows their outside panels recommendation, the over the counter (OTC) inhalers will likely be banned completely.  It will take a few months before the FDA makes their final ruling but there will be a public comment on the subject.  FDA Panel Votes to Ban Primatene Mist for Asthma - Over the Counter (OTC) Sales likely to End


Statin Drugs Recommended for those Undergoing Surgery to Fight Infections  - Prevent Sepsis

Statin Drugs Recommended for those Undergoing Surgery to Fight Infections  - Prevent Sepsis

Crestor various strengths

Statins may lower the risk of major infections, according to a study published in this weeks The Lancet.  Statins are a class of drugs that lower cholesterol.  Lipitor, Zocor, Pravachol, Lesocol, Crestor and Mevacor are all statin drugs. 

These statin drugs may have side effects including liver and kidney damage according to the newmediaexplorer.org website.  The Bayer statin Baycol was removed from the market because of these side effects.

There may be some good side effects as well.  Researchers analyzed 69,000 patients who were initially hospitalized for a heart problem.  They followed these patients and found that those who used statin drugs were much less likely to develop sepsis than those that did not use the drug.  Sepsis is a massive bloodstream infection.  Statin Drugs Recommended for those Undergoing Surgery to Fight Infections  - Prevent Sepsis


Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) Benefits and Risks - Heart Disease vs Cancer and Stroke

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) Benefits and Risks - Heart Disease vs Cancer and Stroke

Brigham Hospital

Women that start hormone replacement therapy (HRT) at a younger age are better off than women who start 10 years after menopause begins or after the age of 60, according to a new study.  Dr. JoAnn E. Manson of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston said “The timing of hormone therapy in relation to age and time since menopause may be a key factor in whether these hormones protect the heart or increase risk of heart disease.”

Manson and her colleagues were interested in the association between heart disease and HRT, as they relate to age.  They utilized women in the Nurses’ Health Study that was conducted between 1976 and 2000 to correlate a relationship.  From this data the team found that women who started HRT near the beginning of menopause had a significantly reduced risk of heart disease compared with women who didn't start HRT.  Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) Benefits and Risks - Heart Disease vs Cancer and Stroke


Erectile Dysfunction (ED) Linked to Heart Disease

Erectile Dysfunction (ED) Linked to Heart Disease - Impotence and Blood Pressure and Diabetes

Viagra

According to three new research studies, men with erectile dysfunction (ED) are more likely to have heart disease than their counterparts.  Studies in the US and Canada have found that men with ED are more likely to have diabetes and high blood pressure.

The studies took place at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), the University Of Chicago Medical Center, and the Montreal General Hospital and McGill University in Quebec Canada.  Best Syndication has published previous articles concerning studies that establish Viagra as a treatment for heart failure and heart disease.  See our special Heart and Lung section for those stories.

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) one in five American men suffer from ED, and older men are more likely to experience ED.  UCLA researchers found that the more severe the ED, the more sever the heart disease. This study looked at 2,126 men over the age of 20.  The men were questioned about their sexual function and underwent a physical examination.  Erectile Dysfunction (ED) Linked to Heart Disease - Impotence and Blood Pressure and Diabetes       


Soy Tofu and Supplements Do Not Lower Cholesterol or Prevent Cancer

Soy Tofu and Supplements Do Not Lower Cholesterol or Prevent Cancer

Soy Beans

There have been many claims that soy can improve your health as of late.  Now the American Heart Association concludes soy does not reduce “bad” cholesterol all that much and has no effect on “good” cholesterol. 

It also appears the soy component isoflavone does not reduce the symptoms of menopause either.  Soy does not prevent hot flashes, breast, uterine or prostate cancer.  Earlier this month researchers found that soy may worsen certain heart failure conditions.

This may come as a blow to people that switched to soy as a source of protein.  Eating Tofu, soy butter, soy nuts and soy burgers may not be good for the heart even though they are a good source of polyunsaturated fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals.  Soy Tofu and Supplements Do Not Lower Cholesterol or Prevent Cancer


Work Related Stress Linked to Heart Disease and Diabetes  - British Journal of Medicine

Work Related Stress Linked to Heart Disease and Diabetes  - British Journal of Medicine

Stress at work

Stress at work can lead to a metabolic syndrome that causes heart disease and diabetes, according to researchers at the University College London.  The exact causes are unclear but there is new evidence for the “biological plausibility” link between work stress and heart disease.

The researchers looked at 10,308 British civil servants between the ages of 35 and 55 over a 14 year period.  They measured work stress four times between 1985 and 1999 and they also measured risk factors for the metabolic syndrome between 1997 and 1999.  These risk factors include obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.  The researchers also took into account social position, smoking, heavy alcohol consumption and lack of exercise.  Work Related Stress Linked to Heart Disease and Diabetes  - British Journal of Medicine  


Lawsuit filed by Marlboro Smokers for Lung Cancer Screenings

Lawsuit filed by Marlboro Smokers for Lung Cancer Screenings

Marlboro cigarettes

This past Thursday a group of heavy cigarette smokers filed a lawsuit against Philip Morris USA for reimbursement of medical tests to screen for lung cancer.

This class-action lawsuit was filed by smokers of Marlboro cigarettes that either used to be a heavy smoker or are still smoking a pack or more a day for the past 20 years.  The request of the lawsuit is for Philip Morris USA to pay for a low-dose CT scan to see if they have developed any early stages of lung cancer.  Lawsuit filed by Marlboro Smokers for Lung Cancer Screenings


Saturated Fat Overload causes Cells to Die – Increased risk for Diabetes

Saturated Fat Overload causes Cells to Die – Increased risk for Diabetes

measuring body fat

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis say that too much saturated fat spurs a protein to kill mammalian cells. 

The researchers were able to stop the production of the protein called EF1 A-1 which thrives with high levels of saturated fat palmitate.  When the production of the protein was stopped, it slowed the cell death.  If the cell was abundant with the palmitate fat, the cells would produce the EF1 A-1 protein and this caused these cells to die rapidly.  Saturated Fat Overload causes Cells to Die – Increased risk for Diabetes


Inexpensive Breakthrough Treatment for Cystic Fibrosis Involving Salt Water

Inexpensive Breakthrough Treatment for Cystic Fibrosis Involving Salt Water

Scott Donaldson

Scientists may have discovered a breakthrough treatment for cystic fibrosis (CF).  The treatment is inexpensive, safe and easy to do.  According to researchers at the University of North Carolina, by inhaling a saltwater aerosol solution at least twice a day for between 10 and 15 minutes, patients should be able to avoid a “significant part of the damage the disease causes to their lungs”. 

The new saline water treatments appear to promote the “clearance of the naturally occurring mucus the body uses to trap harmful bacteria, viruses and other foreign particles.”  The solution may produce a “water layer” in the lungs promoting the removal.

It now appears the surfaces of the lungs of CF patients are dehydrated.  Healthy people have a 5 to 10 micron thick, coating of water in the lungs that helps lubricate the open areas of the lungs.  By restoring hydration with the hypertonic saline solution, you are treating the “basic cause of this disease”.   Inexpensive Breakthrough Treatment for Cystic Fibrosis Involving Salt Water 


Aspirin Helps Prevent Strokes in Women and Heart Attacks in Men

Aspirin Helps Prevent Strokes in Women and Heart Attacks in Men

81mg coated aspirin

An article in the Journal of the American Medical Association touts the benefits of aspirin again.  According to researchers at Duke University, aspirin will reduce the risk of heart attacks in men and strokes in women. This highlights the way drugs affect the genders differently.

Aspirin does carry an increased risk of bleeding.  This is the case with both sexes.  Most previous studies looked at aspirin’s effects on men.  This new study compares the effects on both sexes. 

According to a press release from Dunk University, cardiology fellow Jeffrey Berger, MD says that both men and women “who can tolerate aspirin should be taking the medication for the prevention of cardiovascular disease.”  Of course check with your doctor first.  Aspirin Helps Prevent Strokes in Women and Heart Attacks in Men


Viagra May Help Prevent and Treat Heart Disease and Failure

Viagra May Help Prevent and Treat Heart Disease and Failure

Viagra

Viagra relieves stress on the heart caused by excess blood and force used to pump it in the body.  In a study conducted by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and its Heart Institute, the duress on the heart was cause adrenaline-like chemical.

Sildenafil citrate (Viagra) has widely been prescribed for erectile dysfunction.  Dr. David Kass, MD of John Hopkins found that Viagra may help treat and prevent heart failure due to stress.  Dr. Kass has found that “Sildenafil effectively puts a ‘brake’ on chemical stimulation of the heart.”

According Kass, Viagra blunts the strengthening heartbeat caused by chemically induced stress, thereby lessening the excess amount of blood and force used to pump it to the body. Viagra May Help Prevent and Treat Heart Disease and Failure


Heart Disease - Plant Compounds slow down Blood Clots - Sweet Pepper and Cocoa

Heart Disease - Plant Compounds slow down Blood Clots - Sweet Pepper and Cocoa

Chinese wolfberry

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists have discovered two plant compounds that may be potentially healthy for your heart.  A person with heart disease may be helped by the plant compounds by slowing down the blood clotting process.

The research conducted by Jae B. Park at the Human Nutrition Research Center’s Phytonutrient Laboratory was first reported in the current issue of Agricultural Research magazine.  The two plant compounds were N-caffeoyldopamine and N-coumaroyldopamine.  The plant compounds are naturally occurring and are found in sweet peppers, Chinese wolfberry, and cocoa.  Heart Disease - Plant Compounds slow down Blood Clots - Sweet Pepper and Cocoa


Heart Failure Patients with Sleep Apnea Benefit by Drug Acetazolamide

Heart Failure Patients with Sleep Apnea Benefit by Drug Acetazolamide

Heart

Researchers have found that heart failure patients with sleep apnea who take a single dose of acetazolamide before going to bed exhibit less sleep apnea, improved blood oxygen levels and fewer daytime symptoms of sleepiness.  Acetazolamide is a mild diuretic and respiratory stimulant.

This is important because many heart failure patients suffer from sleep apnea or have been diagnosed with sleep apnea.  Earlier studies have shown a link between the two.  Sleep apnea is a condition where the sleeper stops breathing several times an hour while asleep.

There are two types of sleep apnea; central and obstructive.  Younger patients usually suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) while central sleep apnea (CSA) usually occurs as we age.  Recent research indicates CSA is caused by loss of brain stem cells.  Almost all people with sleep apnea are unaware that they have the condition because it occurs while they are asleep.  Heart Failure Patients with Sleep Apnea Benefit by Drug Acetazolamide


Low Calorie Diet Helps Keep Heart Young Healthy and Elastic

Low Calorie Diet Helps Keep Heart Young Healthy and Elastic

Calorie Counting Best?

A low caloric diet may slow aging of your heart, according to investigators at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.  The researchers studied the heart function of members of the Caloric Restriction Society.

The hearts of these people appear to be more elastic than those of age and gender matched control subjects.  There hearts were able to relax between beats similar to the hearts of young people. 

Luigi Fontana MD PhD said "This is the first study to demonstrate that long-term calorie restriction with optimal nutrition has cardiac-specific effects that ameliorate age-associated declines in heart function.”  He is the assistant professor of medicine at Washington University and an investigator at the Istituto Superiore di Sanita, Rome, Italy.  Low Calorie Diet Helps Keep Heart Young Healthy and Elastic


Obesity is Separate Risk factor for Death – Weight Control and Diet Very Important

Obesity is Separate Risk factor for Death – Weight Control and Diet Very Important

BMI and Heart Disease

According to a new study, excess weight is an independent risk factor by itself for heart attacks, strokes and diabetes.  Cholesterol and high blood pressure have been known risk factors for decades, but even people with normal levels are at risk if they are overweight.

Research done at the Northwestern University tracked 17,643 patients for over three decades and found that those overweight had substantially increased risk of dying of heart disease later in life.  This includes the overweight people that began the study with normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels. 

Middle ages people need to watch their weight, not just their cholesterol and blood pressure.  Last year a US government study said that a little excess weight is OK, but being overweight is not.  Obesity is Separate Risk factor for Death – Weight Control and Diet Very Important


High Blood Pressure patients - many have abnormal Sodium and Potassium

High Blood Pressure patients - many have abnormal Sodium and Potassium

diuretics

A study published in this month’s issue of British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology found that one in five patients taking prescription diuretics have abnormal blood serum levels of sodium and potassium.

Despite the number of patients that is affected by this only one third of these patients taking the diuretics will get blood tests to measure the electrolyte levels.  With medications causing variations of electrolyte levels serious health problems can happen.  High Blood Pressure patients - many have abnormal Sodium and Potassium


Lower Blood Pressure by Eating More Vegetables - Vegetable Protein Better

Lower Blood Pressure by Eating More Vegetables - Vegetable Protein

Vegetable Proteins

When you think of protein you typically think of meat.  New research indicates that people with a higher intake of vegetable protein have lower blood pressure.  The researchers believe that amino acids found in the vegetable protein play a role.

Other compounds found in vegetables including magnesium may also help lower blood pressure by interacting with amino acids.  According to the researchers “Vegetable protein intake was inversely related to blood pressure. This finding is consistent with recommendations that a diet high in vegetable products be part of healthy lifestyle for prevention of high blood pressure and related diseases.”  Lower Blood Pressure by Eating More Vegetables - Vegetable Protein Better


Heart Disease can be caused by Stress

Heart Disease can be caused by Stress

Blood Pressure monitor

A recent study published in Psychophysiology confirms that mental stress raises blood pressure and also causes negative emotions in the brains regions which cause a physical response to the whole body.

Because of the activity in the cingulated cortex while the person is having mental stress it may cause their blood pressure to rise and this puts the individual at a higher risk for heart disease.  Heart Disease can be caused by Stress

 


HCM Heart Disease May Worsen with a Soy Diet or Supplements Products

HCM Heart Disease May Worsen with a Soy Diet or Supplements Products

HCM Heart Disease

Soy products may worsen a specific heart disease condition, according to researchers at the University of Colorado.  Heart muscles in people with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) are considerably thicker than those without the disease.  In this study mice that carried the gene mutation associated with HCM disease were subjected to different diets. 

The researchers were amazed at the impact diet had on heart function. When the male mice were taken off the soy diets their heart function significantly improved compared to the mice that continued on the diet.  Female mice with HCM did not show any significant change.

Males are more affected by HCM disease than females. The effects to the male mice might have been exceptional because females already had large amounts of estrogen in their bodies. There are estrogen compounds found in soy products. HCM Heart Disease May Worsen with a Soy Diet or Supplements Products


PAD Peripheral Artery Disease Progression Slowed by Walking

PAD Peripheral Artery Disease Progression Slowed by Walking

Walking benefits

A new study indicates that people with peripheral artery disease (PAD) can slow the disease progression and improve their walking ability by walking for exercise at least three times per week.  Sufferers of PAD can suffer leg pain that is caused by decreased blood blow in the arteries.

PAD is caused by blockages to the arteries that supply blood to the legs.  Certain risk factors are associated with this disease including smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol. The condition gets more profound as we age.

This study conducted at the Northwestern University in Chicago included 417 women and men.  The researchers found that those who walked three or more times per week had a significantly smaller average decline in walking speed and distance when compared to those that walked only once or twice a week.  PAD Peripheral Artery Disease Progression Slowed by Walking


Multiple Fiber Sources Best to Prevent Heart Disease

Multiple Fiber Sources Best to Prevent Heart Disease

Multiple Sources

Another study shows a link between a high fiber diet and a lower heart disease risk.  The new study went a step further and compared various sources of fiber.  The French research looked at fiber from nuts, fruit, grains and vegetables.

The study led by Denis Lairon, researcher at the French National Health Institute (INSERM) indicates that multiple sources of fiber can benefit the heart in multiple ways.  For instance fiber from whole grains helps lower blood pressure, the body mass index (BMI) and the blood protein called homocysteine.  Homocysteine can be a contributing risk factor for heart disease.

Fruit fiber is associated with lower blood pressure and less abdominal fat according to Reuters Health.  Both homocysteine concentrations and blood pressure may be lowered by eating vegetables.  Multiple Fiber Sources Best to Prevent Heart Disease


Arial Sharon Heart Surgery Condition is Common But Very Serious

Arial Sharon Heart Surgery Condition is Common But Very Serious

Dacron patches / seals

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon will undergo a catheterization procedure within the next couple weeks to repair a hole between the atrial chambers of his heart.  This is relatively common birth defect that affects 15 to 25 percent of the population. 

The hole was discovered by doctors when Mr. Sharon was treated for a minor stroke last week.  It was a tiny hole measuring just 1 or 2 millimeters. 

Sharon is lucky.  There was a time when this condition required open heart surgery, where the chest is cut open and the sternum is opened up.  Patients used to be hooked up to a heart lung machine that took over heart and lung functions while the surgeons operated on the heart.  Arial Sharon Heart Surgery Condition is Common But Very Serious


High Blood Pressure Medicine - Potassium and Heart Arrhythmias

High Blood Pressure Medicine - Potassium and Heart Arrhythmias

See Chart below

It is important to monitor your blood pressure. It is called the silent killer for a reason.  Most people don’t realize they have it.  The good news is there are treatments for hypertension (high blood pressure), and these treatments may save your life.  See your doctor for regular checkups.   

There are several causes for blood pressure including high cholesterol and hardening of the arteries.  Personally, my cholesterol was fine, but my blood pressure has risen with age.  My doctor prescribed me some medicine for treatment.

My blood pressure has been below 140 (systolic) for my whole life but when I turned 45 it rose to 150 and soon went even higher.  When I became sick I had it tested again and found it had risen to 180 over 90.  High Blood Pressure Medicine - Potassium and Heart Arrhythmias


High Blood Pressure Cold and Flu Medicine - Remedy Coricidin

High Blood Pressure Cold and Flu Medicine - Remedy Coricidin

Coricidin

If you have high blood pressure you understand the problem of finding something to treat a cold or flu.  There are warnings on decongestants against taking the product if you have high blood pressure. 

Recently I have seen ads on TV for a new medicine for treating a cold.  In fact the ad says Coricidin is especially helpful for those with high blood pressure.  Many other medicines have the decongestant mixed with expectorant and cough suppressant and or antihistamine. 

Coricidin is supposed to be safe for those with high blood pressure.  It is a good idea to check with your doctor before you take any new medication.  According to the Atlanticville website out of New Jersey, “side effects may include nausea, vomiting, irregular heartbeat, loss of consciousness and death”. But to be fair even the prescribed blood pressure medicine to lower blood pressure in the first place can raise potassium levels causing heart arrhythmia.   We will be writing an article about this in the future.  High Blood Pressure Cold and Flu Medicine - Remedy Coricidin


How to prevent Blood Clots in the Leg on Long Distance Trips

How to prevent Blood Clots in the Leg on Long Distance Trips

Leg Blood Clots

Long Trips can be dangerous to your health, according to UK Department of Transportation.  Prolonged immobility can hasten the formation of blood clots.  The study investigated air travel incidences and found one DVT (deep vein thrombosis) case in 6000 journeys that lasted four hours or more.

The report said that these clots are more common in people that stay in the hospital than people that travel.  Forbes reports UK transportation minister Karen Buch said the “research project has shown that DVT can occur in any form of travel where people remain seated for a long time”.  Long trips in the car can be just as dangerous. 

The longer the journey the more likely an embolism will develop.  Pregnant women are at a greater risk of developing a leg blood clot.  Also, older people, those with a hereditary blood condition, tall people and women using contraceptive pills are more likely to develop DVT. How to prevent Blood Clots in the Leg on Long Distance Trips


Diabetics can cut Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke by increasing Insulin Injections

Diabetics can cut Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke by increasing Insulin Injections

Blood Sugar Testing

Researchers have found that increasing the number in insulin injections per day will substantially reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in Type 1 diabetes patients.  Cardiovascular disease is one of the deadliest complications of the condition. 

The risk of heart disease is 10 times greater in people with type 1 diabetes.  The good news is that aggressively controlling blood sugar by increasing the number of injections a day will cut the risk  of heart attack in half.  Most diabetics will inject themselves once or twice a day.  Aggressive control would mean five or six injections a day.

Dr. Saul M Genuth, chairman of a research project initiated in 1983 said "When you bring your blood glucose as close to normal as possible, that is what counts most,” reports Newsday.  The first trial ended in 1993 and included 1,441 type 1 patients.  Diabetics can cut Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke by increasing Insulin Injections


Diet and Exercise Techniques for Lowering High Blood Pressure

Diet and Exercise Techniques for Lowering High Blood Pressure

Your Blood Pressure

A recent study indicated that an intake of fruits and vegetables is the best diet for lowering blood pressure.  This type of diet is also typically prescribed for lowering cholesterol which could lead to high blood pressure. 

There is a proven diet that lowers blood pressure.  The American Heart Association published a finding that indicates the Dash Diet is effective in lowering blood pressure.  According to the Journal Hypertension, up until 2003 scientists were not sure why the Dash Diet worked so well.  Now it is known that that the diet acts as a natural diuretic, causing more frequent urination. 

Best Syndication writer Nicole Wilson wrote an article detailing the diet.  The goal is to lower the sodium intake by eating several servings of both vegetables and fruits every day.  Stay away from red meat.  The diet is quite different than the Atkins diet, but combined with exercise it appears to lower blood pressure naturally.  Diet and Exercise Techniques for Lowering High Blood Pressure


High Blood Pressure Related to Diet with Fruits and Vegetables

High Blood Pressure Related to Diet with Fruits and Vegetables

Dr. Lyn M. Steffen

According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition people that consume more fruits and vegetables and less meat reduce their risk of high or elevated blood pressure.  This has been suspected to be the case, but based on this dietary assessments conducted for 15 years, it appears to be true.

An elevated or high blood pressure is defined as a systolic (upper number) pressure over 140 (and / or 85 diastolic).  This study defined it as over 130.  They compared 4,300 subjects between the ages of 18 and 30.  They were roughly equal numbers of black and white men and women. 

They found that individuals that ate more plant food reduced the risk of high blood pressure.  They divided the subjects into five groups or quintiles.  Relative to the lowest quintile of intake, the second through fifth quintiles of intake cut their risk from 27% to 36% respectively.  High Blood Pressure Related to Diet with Fruits and Vegetables


Lung Function and Vitamin D link identified in New Zealand Study

Lung Function and Vitamin D link identified in New Zealand Study

Lungs

There may be a link between vitamin D and lung health according to a new study out of New Zealand. Researchers led by Peter Black at the University of Auckland looked at 14,091 persons over the age of 20 from the U.S. Third national health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) carried out between 1988 and 1994. The participants had spirometry performed and had serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D measured.

The participants were divided into five groups based on vitamin D levels.  Typically the higher the vitamin D levels the better the subjects performed on two lung function tests.

The first test was the FEV1 (forced expiratory volume).  This measured the total amount of air blown out in the first second of maximum exhalation.  The second test was the FVC (forced vital capacity) test.  This test measured the amount of air blown out during a maximum exhalation.  Lung Function and Vitamin D link identified in New Zealand Study


Heart Arrhythmia Causes and Treatments

Heart Arrhythmia Causes and Treatments

Heart Arrhythmia

Heart arrhythmias are caused when electrical impulses in your heart that coordinate the heartbeat do not function properly or are out of sync.  The heart can beat too fast or too slow or just irregularly. 

Considering that your heart beats 100,000 times per day an arrhythmia is not that uncommon.  Most arrhythmias are harmless.  People may feel a brief irregular heartbeat that feels like it skipped, or in some cases like your heart is racing.  It is important to have a doctor make that diagnosis because some arrhythmias can be dangerous and life threatening. 

Some arrhythmias may not produce any signs or symptoms. Sometimes you can detect a fluttering in the chest, or a racing or slow heartbeat.  There could be chest pain or a shortness of breath.  In some cases the sufferer could experience lightheadedness, dizziness or a fainting sensation (syncope) or near fainting.  Heart Arrhythmia Causes and Treatments


New American Heart Association CPR Guidelines

New American Heart Association CPR Guidelines

CPR Guidelines

More than 300,000 Americans die from cardiac arrest every year and the use of CPR can double the chances that a person will survive.  New guidelines suggest it is better to “push hard and push fast” next time you give CPR. The American Heart Association now urges people to give 30 compressions instead of 15 for every two breaths.

According to Dr. Michael Sayre, an Ohio State University emergency medicine professor who helped develop the new guidelines “Basically, the more times someone pushes on the chest, the better off the patient is."

The guidelines are for all ages and “’the guidelines recommend that rescuers minimize interruptions to chest compressions and suggest that rescuers.”  What's important is to keep the blood flowing.”  New American Heart Association CPR Guidelines


Drinking Coffee does not Raise Blood Pressure But Soda Does

Drinking Coffee does not Raise Blood Pressure But Soda Does

Coffee Beans

Women that drink coffee may not show an increase in blood pressure.  According to a new study appearing in the November 9th issue of Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) coffee drinking has no links to temporary hypertension or even persistent high blood pressure.

The Study, authored by Dr. Wolfgang Winkelmayer assessed the relationship between coffee intake and physician diagnosed hypertension (blood pressure).  They did find that cola consumption increased the risk for hypertension. 

Caffeine “acutely” increases blood pressure according the team.  The study followed women that were free from physician diagnosed hypertension for 12 years.  Through questionnaires they compared coffee and cola intake with blood pressure. Drinking Coffee does not Raise Blood Pressure But Soda Does


Viagra may help Treat and Prevent Heart Failure due to Stress

Viagra may help Treat and Prevent Heart Failure due to Stress

Viagra

According to research at the John Hopkins University Viagra may reduce the effects of hormonal stress on the heart by 50 percent.  Viagra expands blood vessels and has recently been used as a treatment for pulmonary hypertension. The effect of expanding blood vessels is how Viagra aids in maintaining erections. 

Earlier studies by lead researcher Dr. David Kass, a professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins, found that Viagra blocked the short-term effects of hormonal stress in the hearts of mice.  Amazingly, Viagra prevented and reversed the long-term cardiac effects of chronic high blood pressure.

In this study, 35 men and women without signs of heart disease were given two injections of dobutamine over a three hour period.  Between the injections some of the participants were given Viagra and others were given a placebo.    Viagra may help Treat and Prevent Heart Failure due to Stress


New Research may find a way to Lower Blood Pressure without Drugs

New Research may find a way to Lower Blood Pressure without Drugs

Blood Pressure

If you suffer from high blood pressure like I do, you are always looking for ways to lower it without medication.  We may try to control our breathing or diet.  Some of us (me included) take medications. 

It appears that researchers in London have found the exact location in the brain where blood pressure is regulated. They have found the exact area of the brain that controls blood pressure. 

The team of neurosurgeons and physiologists at the Oxford University and Imperial College in London has found that by stimulating specific regions of the brain with electrodes, they can make the patient’s blood pressure increase or decrease. 

Similar techniques  have been used to relieve pain and to alleviate symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.  They found the blood pressure changes were accompanied by analogous changes in diastolic blood pressure and pulse. New Research may find a way to Lower Blood Pressure without Drugs


SEPS1 Gene Discovered Regulates Inflammation in Humans

SEPS1 Gene Discovered Regulates Inflammation in Humans

Cell Inflammation

Researchers in the U.S. and Australia have discovered a gene that regulates inflammation.  They accessed the role of genetic variations in the selenoprotein S (SEPS1, also called SELS or SELENOS), a gene involved in stress response in the endoplasmic reticulum and inflammation control.

This could have far-reaching implications because inflammation has been shown to have an underlying role in cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and Alzheimer’s diseases.  It has been reported that the research could lead to a therapy in two to four years.  RNA interference could play a role in therapy.  SEPS1 Gene Discovered Regulates Inflammation in Humans


Combination of Treatment for Blood Pressure is Best

Blood pressure combination of drugs is best JAMA study

Combination of drugs is best
Click the image to enlarge

Most Americans over the age of 80 have high blood pressure and many do not get adequate treatment for it according to the latest research.  High blood pressure has been called the silent killer because there are few symptoms and the result could be heart attack or stroke. 

Blood pressure is considered high if the systolic (top number) number exceeds 140mm Hg.  It is best to keep the diastolic pressure below 90.  Normal blood pressure is considered 120 / 80 according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institutes (NHLBI) guidelines.   

In the study 74 percent of participants over the age of 80 had high blood pressure.  Between the ages 60 and 79 about 63 percent had high blood pressure.  Of these two older groups only about two thirds got adequate treatment.

A combination of drugs may be the best way to treat high blood pressure.  Of those treated for high blood pressure in the study, 60% of the participants were only using one single medication.  Studies have shown that a combination of medications is best.  Combination of Treatment for Blood Pressure is Best


Dark Chocolate lowers Blood Pressure

Dark Chocolate lowers blood pressure Study shows

Dark Chocolate

Researchers compared individuals that ate dark chocolate with those that did not over a two week period.  All the participants had untreated high blood pressure.  Those that ate the dark chocolate had a “clinically meaningful decline” in pressure. 

The research is published in this month’s American Heart Association journal Hypertension (July 18th). They were most interested in the Flavonoid component of dark chocolate. 

Half of the study subjects were given a 3 ½ ounce bar of dark chocolate per day.  The other half of the 20 participants were given white chocolate.  The white chocolate lacks flavinoids, but contains the other components including fat, sugar and calories.  Dark Chocolate lowers Blood Pressure

Sunflower Oil Lowers Cholesterol

Sunflower

A new study from Pennsylvania State University showed that by modifying the American diet, and changing the fat source to sunflower oil, participants lowered LDL cholesterol levels by 6 percent. 

A study consisting of 31 men and women followed three different combinations of dietary fats consumed for 4 weeks at a time. The conclusions are reported in the July issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.  One fat combination was with sunflower oil (30%) which is a balance of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.  Another dietary fat choice was olive oil (also 30%) which is monounsaturated fats.  The last group was the control. This typical American diet had saturated fats of the 34% of total dietary fat intake.  Sunflower Oil Lowers Cholesterol


Blood Pressure Enzyme may be used to treat SARS

  Start Now!

Researchers from Canada, Austria and China may have discovered why SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) is so deadly using laboratory mice.  The principal investigator Dr. Josef Penninger, head of the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology in Vienna, believes the protein called ACE2 (angiotensin-converting enzyme 2) not only plays a role in blood pressure regulation, but also may play a role in triggering acute lung failure (acute respiratory distress syndrome). The SARS virus uses a protein on cell surfaces as pathway to invade, as reported to the journal Nature. 

The researchers found that when the mice were infected with the SARS corona virus, the resulting drop in ACE2 caused their lungs to fill with fluid.  ACE2 was a crucial receptor for the SARS virus.  This triggered the lungs to fail. The researchers then injected the mice with bioengineered ACE2, which halted the SARS-induced lung damage.  Blood Pressure Enzyme may be used to treat SARS


DASH diet may help lower blood pressure

Blood Pressure Monitor

One out of four American adults currently has high blood pressure.  For those over 60 years of age the proportion goes up to one in two.  Americans are at an increased risk for heart attacks and strokes because of high blood pressure. 

Many doctors claim the solution may lay in the diet.  The DASH diet may be the answer. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.  If your systolic pressure (the upper number) is between 120 and 139 you may be considered pre-hypertension.  Anything over 140 is considered Hypertension. Many doctors will prescribe medication at this point including Lisinopril, Diovan and or Hydrochlorothiazide (a water pill).  

"In the 1970s, we found that blood pressures were lower in vegetarians, who eat little or no fat and cholesterol and lots of fruits, vegetables, and grains rich in potassium, magnesium, and fiber," says Frank Sacks, who helped author the DASH study.  This diet approach may also cut the risks for getting diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis.  DASH diet may help lower blood pressure


CPAP may help prevent heart failure

CPAP machine

A CPAP machine may lower the risk of death due to heart disease / failure.  The CPAP (Constant Positive Air Pressure) machine has been used to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and now a new study indicates it may help reduce the sympathetic nervous system activity in the morning.  There are various manufacturers including , Respironics, GoodKnight and others.

The study was carried out by physicians and researchers in Toronto Canada..  Complete Article.


 


Heart Surgery markedly improve symptoms and afford normal longevity

Surgery for thickening of heart increases life expectancy

Right Image shows HCM

A new study indicates that surgery for a thickened heart muscle not only gives relief of the symptoms, but will also lead to a normal life.  Thickening of the heart muscle affects more than 500,000 Americans and is a leading cause of sudden cardiac death in young people. 

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic evaluated records from 289 patients with severe “obstructions” who had undergone myectomy; an operation relieve symptoms of obstructive Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), or thickening of the heart muscle.  They compared the patients with 820 Patients with HCM, but did not have a blood flow obstruction.  Myectomy Surgery improves Longevity


Loss of Brain Stem Cells may cause Central Sleep Apnea

Loss of Brain Stem Cells may cause Central Sleep Apnea Study UCLA CPAP machine

CPAP machine

Researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) reported Monday that they believe that people who die in their sleep may stop breathing because they have lost too many brain cells.  They tested Rats and determined that the loss of key brain stem cells may halt autonomic functions such as breathing.

As we age we naturally lose these brain stem cells.  According to Jack Feldman, the principle investigator and distinguished professor of neurobiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA "We wanted to reveal the mechanism behind central sleep apnea, which most commonly affects people after age 65."  UCLA Sleep Apnea Research

 
 
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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Sunday, July 11, 2010 01:18 AM