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Cardiac regeneration using stem cells may heal hearts even years after heart attacks

HeartOct 27 05

Left ventricular function and exercise capacity increased, while the area of heart muscle damage shrank, in 18 patients given infusions of their own bone marrow stem cells up to eight years after a heart attack, according to a new study in the Nov. 1, 2005, issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

“This new therapy is able to treat until now irreversible heart complaints and function disturbances in patients with chronic coronary artery disease after myocardial infarction, even many years after heart attack. Therefore there is hope for this large amount of patients with previous myocardial infarction and non-treatable complaints,” said Bodo E. Strauer, M.D. from the Heinrich-Heine-University in Dusseldorf, Germany.

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MI Mortality Higher for All at Hospitals With High Black-Patient Prevalence

HeartOct 25 05

Race aside, acute MI patients are more likely to die within 90 days of the event if they are treated at a hospital that has a disproportionately high number of black patients, researchers here reported today.

The higher death risk was observed among both black and white patients, said Jonathan Skinner, Ph.D., a professor of economics and community and family medicine at Dartmouth Medical Center here.

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Cardiologist says Vioxx plaintiff had risk factors

HeartOct 19 05

A postal worker who blames Merck & Co Inc.‘s Vioxx painkiller for his heart attack was under work-related stress just prior to the 2001 attack, a cardiologist testifying for the drug company said on Tuesday.

Dr. Theodore Tyberg told jurors in the second Vioxx product liability trial that stress and pre-existing factors such as age, weight and a sedentary lifestyle—not Vioxx—likely led to Frederick “Mike” Humeston’s non-fatal heart attack.

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Heart drug therapy complex, costly for elderly

HeartOct 19 05

Because elderly patients with heart failure are faced with ever more complex and expensive medication regimens, more effort should go into optimizing their treatment, according to a new report.

“Physicians should be aware of the drug regimens they are expecting their patients to take,” Dr. Frederick A. Masoudi from Denver Health Medical Center, Colorado told Reuters Health. “They should consider the number of drugs they prescribe, the complexity of these regimens, and what their patients must pay to obtain them.”

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Beta-Blockers Called Poor Choice for Hypertension

HeartOct 19 05

Beta-blockers are no better at preventing heart attacks in patients with hypertension than other agents, and are less effective at preventing strokes, investigators here reported.

A meta-analysis of 13 randomized controlled trials involving nearly 106,000 patients, published online today in The Lancet by Swedish investigators, found that the relative risk of stroke was 16% higher for beta-blockers compared with other drugs.

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Cryoplasty Effectively Treats Challenging Peripheral Artery Blockages

HeartOct 18 05

Today, research presented at the Cardiovascular Research Foundation’s (CRF) Annual Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) scientific symposium, in Washington, D.C., has shown that cryoplasty, a minimally-invasive treatment that utilizes freezing-cold nitrous oxide injected into an angioplasty balloon, appears to be more effective than standard therapies in the treatment of peripheral artery disease in the lower limbs.

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) affects approximately 8 to 12 million Americans. Left untreated, PAD causes poor circulation in the legs and increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, amputation or even death. Treatment for PAD typically involves lifestyle changes or medication, but in some instances, surgery such as angioplasty is recommended because it is minimally invasive and cost-effective. However, in the arteries below the hip, angioplasty has had disappointing results - approximately 40% of patients will need to be treated again within one year because of artery re-blockage due to scar tissue accumulation, which cryoplasty has been shown to prevent.

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Statins before carotid surgery may be beneficial

HeartOct 15 05

Patients with symptoms of low blood flow to the brain who take statins before undergoing carotid endarterectomy, a type of surgery that may help prevent strokes, may fare better early after the surgery than those who do not, Canadian researchers have found.

The carotid arteries, which lie on each side of the neck, are the major vessels that supply blood to the brain. Strokes can occur when plaques that have formed in the carotids break off or otherwise obstruct blood flow to the brain. Carotid endarterectomy involves making a small incision in the affected artery and inserting an instrument to remove the plaque.

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After a heart attack, many continue to smoke

HeartOct 13 05

Fewer than half of cigarette smokers quit after experiencing a first cardiac event, according to a survey of Europeans. One in five continue to light up despite personal advice from their doctor to stop smoking, the survey shows.

It is “unbelievable” that so many people continue to smoke after a life-threatening event for which smoking is a major risk factor, Dr. Wilma Scholte op Reimer said in a statement. She wonders whether they are “truly aware of the risk that they are taking.”

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Cardiovascular Fitness Gains Can Come Without Pain

HeartOct 13 05

Side-stepping the “no pain, no gain” mantra, researchers here reported that the amount of exercise, not necessarily its intensity, can help improve cardiovascular fitness.

Duke investigators found that patients who walked at a brisk pace for about 12 miles a week matched the cardiovascular benefits for those who jogged that amount in a much shorter time.

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Diabetic and Obese Teen Carotids Appear Elderly

HeartOct 09 05

The carotid arteries of type 2 diabetic or obese teenagers have the look of those their grandfathers might have, suggests a small study.

This study, led by Silva Arslanian, M.D., a pediatric endocrinologist at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, adds to a growing body of evidence that cardiovascular disease takes root in childhood.

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Extra Rich Cocoa May Improve Heart Function in Smokers

HeartOct 08 05

Confirmed smokers might improve their heart health if they traded a “cuppa joe” for a cup of cocoa, according to researcher here. But the best advice to smokers remains the proven message: kick the habit.

A special very dark chocolate cocoa increased plasma concentrations of nitric oxide and improved flow mediated dilation response by almost 50% in a small group of smokers recruited for the study, said Malte Kelm, M.D. of the Heinrich Heine University here.

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Patients still smoke after heart attack

HeartOct 07 05

Having a heart attack is a good incentive to quit smoking, but an international survey published on Thursday shows that only half of patients who have an attack manage to quit.

Dr. Wilma Scholte op Reimer, of the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam in the Netherlands, was stunned by the results of her survey.

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Music is good for the heart

HeartOct 07 05

A new study shows that listening to music that has a slow or meditative tempo has a relaxing effect on people, slowing their breathing and heart rate, whereas listening to faster music with a more upbeat tempo has the opposite effect—speeding up respiration and heart rate.

The results, which appear in the journal Heart, support a growing body of research on the potential stress-reducing health benefits of music.

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Many With Coronary Disease Continue to Smoke Despite Physicians’ Advice

HeartOct 07 05

Coronary disease is not always a wake-up call for smokers.

One in five European patients with established coronary heart disease keeps smoking despite physicians’ efforts to get them to quit, according to an international multicenter survey.

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Coronary heart disease in women

HeartOct 06 05

Coronary heart disease remains the leading cause of death in men and women worldwide, and cardiovascular deaths exceed the number of deaths from all cancers combined. In the United Kingdom, coronary heart disease causes almost 114 000 deaths a year, and one in six occurs in women. In the UK and Europe, one woman dies every six minutes of heart disease and in the United States, one every minute. Moreover, in Europe, cardiovascular disease kills a higher percentage of women (55%) than men (43%). Yet coronary heart disease is still considered a disease of men.

Many women are unaware that coronary heart disease is their main killer; their biggest fear is breast cancer. Even more worrying, however, is the apparent lack of awareness of cardiovascular disease in women among healthcare professionals. At the time of presentation with heart disease, women tend to be 10 years older than men, and at the time of their first myocardial infarction they are usually 20 years older. As coronary heart disease is a disease of the older woman, many women believe that they can postpone attempts to reduce their risk.

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