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But Benefits May Outweigh Risks

Cardiac Caths May Increase Cancer Risk

Cardiac imaging procedures such as catheterizations and nuclear scans may increase radiation exposure as well as long-term cancer risk, finds a research study from McGill University Health Center. In a study of over 80,000 patients who had suffered a heart attack between April 1996 and March 2006, those who had undergone an imaging procedure with low-dose radiation appeared to have an increased cancer risk especially in the abdomen, pelvis, and chest areas. The researchers suggest that doctors should consider the possibilities before having patients undergo unnecessary imaging tests and procedures. In many cases, however, the benefits of the procedures for preventing further cardiac complications outweigh the potential cancer risks.

More at WebMD | Posted 7 years ago by Denise Reynolds

Previously: High Cholesterol Linked to Cancer Risk, Full-Body Scan Cuts Life Span by 42 Minutes

Tags: Cancer, Cancer Risks, Cardiac, Heart, Radiation

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (46%) / No! (54%)

Decreases Heart Size

Weight Loss Surgery May Repair Stressed Heart

Obesity is a risk factor for many types of heart problems, including atrial fibrillation, and cardiovascular disease leading to heart attack or stroke. Obese people often have signs of structural changes to the heart, including excess muscle mass in the left ventricle and enlargement of the right ventricular cavity – both conditions linked to heart failure. A new study which followed 400 patients after gastric bypass surgery finds that, with weight loss, the heart appeared to “remodel” itself, reducing the excess mass and decreasing the size of the ventricular cavity, thus decreasing the stress on the heart. The participants also had lowered blood pressure and heart rate and improved cholesterol levels, also decreasing the risk of a cardiovascular issue.

More at USA Today | Posted 7 years ago by Denise Reynolds

Previously: Bariatric Surgery Lowers Risk of Pregnancy Diabetes, Weight Loss Surgery Carries Unexpected Costs

Tags: Bariatric Surgery, Gastric Surgery, Heart, Heart Failure, Weight Loss, Gastric Bypass

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (50%) / No! (50%)

Alcohol Affects the Heart

Cardiologist Warns of Holiday Heart Syndrome

With all of the holiday parties scheduled this season, it is easy to overdo it when it comes to alcohol consumption. A Cleveland Clinic cardiologist warns that too many nights of heavy drinking can lead to “holiday heart syndrome”, or episodes of atrial flutter or atrial fibrillation, even in those without a known history of heart disease. Dr. Curtis Rimmerman warns in the Heart Advisor Newsletter that if such an episode lasts for longer than five minutes and if you have never experienced rapid heart beating before, you should see a doctor. He also warns heart patients to talk to their physicians about additional medication during holiday festivities. Dr. Rimmerman also reminds us that excess salt intake can also increase blood pressure and affects circulation.

More at Cleveland Clinic Heart Advisor | Hat tip to Orlando Sentinel | Posted 7 years ago by Denise Reynolds

Previously: Age 12 Years Faster with These 4 Bad Habits

Tags: Alcohol, Alcohol Consumption, Heart, Heart Disease, Heart Disease Risks, Holidays

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (51%) / No! (49%)

Allopurinol for Angina

Gout Drug Prevents Angina

A study at Dundee University of 65 patients on allopurinol found they could exercise 25 percent longer before experiencing angina, chest pains due to oxygen-carrying blood not getting to the heart. Allopurinol is used to treat gout, which occurs when uric acid cannot be broken down. It crystallizes and builds up in the joints, manifesting as inflammatory arthritis. The drug may inhibit an enzyme called xanthine oxidase, decreasing the amount of energy the heart uses per beat. Professor Peter Weissberg of the Bristish Heart Foundation, said "What is exciting is that it looks as if allopurinol may work by protecting the heart from oxygen starvation. If that is the case, then it raises the possibility that it could help the heart in other situations as well, such as after a heart attack."

More at BBC | Posted 7 years ago by Kristie Hayes

Tags: Heart, Angina, Gout, Allopurinol, Allopurinol to Treat Gout, Chest Pains

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (51%) / No! (49%)

Clean Teeth, Clean Health

Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day or Risk Heart Disease

"All this study found is that slobs have a higher risk of heart disease: slobs eat crap and don't exercise (and don't brush their teeth)"
- Crenobula in the comments

Brushing your teeth won't just keep the dentist away, but also cardiac doctors too. A new published research has found that those who have poor oral hygiene have an increased risk of heart disease, compared to those who brush their teeth twice a day. Professor Richard Watt from University College London analyzed data from over 11,000 adults who participated in the Scottish Healthy Survey. The research shows that participants who didn't frequently brush their teeth had a 70 percent increased risk of heart disease, compared to those who have a good oral hygiene routine. Professor Watt adds that, "Further experimental studies will be needed to confirm whether the observed association between oral health behavior and cardio vascular disease is in fact causal or merely a risk marker."

More at E! Science News | Posted 7 years ago by Yi Chen

Tags: Cardiovascular Disease, Dentist, Disease, Health, Heart, Professor Richard Watt, University College London, Teeth, Tooth, Brush, Hygiene, Oral, Dental, Cardio, Cardiac

Read the Comments (1) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (46%) / No! (54%)

Wireless Safer for Patients

Wireless Heart Defibrillators Could Become Reality

Defibrillators deliver a jolt of electricity to the heart to interrupt a potentially fatal heart rhythm and restore normal beating. Current devices require that an electrical sensing wire be threaded through a blood vessel into the heart, but that could be changing soon. Dr. Gust H. Bardy, of the Seattle Institute for Cardiac Research in Seattle, and other researchers report that initial trials of a new wireless defibrillator were successful, although more testing is required for FDA approval. Wired defibrillators pose a risk because the wires could puncture the heart during implantation or fracture while in place. The new version delivers the electrical jolt with a sensor implanted under the skin near the chest bone and a power unit placed under the skin on the side of the chest.

More at New York Times | Posted 7 years ago by Marty Shaw

Previously: Overtime Hurts the Heart

Tags: Heart, Defibrillator, Wireless Technology, New Research

Read the Comments (1) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (41%) / No! (59%)

Tech and Health

IPhone That Can Detect Your Mood in a Heartbeat

Apple's recent patent shows a heart rate monitor embedded into an iPhone. The heart sensor-like technology will be able to seamlessly identify the user by his/her heart beat and even able to detect their mood. You probably know by now that everyone has different fingerprints. But did you know that each individual also has a unique heartbeat? Apple taps into this biometric technology so that the iPhone can simply authenticate the user as you as you pick up the phone, rather than requiring passwords or complicated face or fingerprint scans. By monitoring your heartbeats, the device will also be able to tell how you're feeling, what you've been eating and if you've just come back from a jog.

More at TFTS | Posted 7 years ago by Yi Chen

Tags: Heart, IPhone, Apple, Biometric, Heartbeat, Heart Rate, Monitor, Mood, Identify, Patent, Unique, Seamless

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (45%) / No! (55%)

An Unintended Effect

Antidepressant Use May Lead to Birth Defect

Women who use bupropion during early pregnancy may have an increased risk of having a baby with a particular type of heart defect. Bupropion is used in the antidepressant medication Wellbutrin as well as the smoking cessation drug Zyban. Researchers from the CDC found that the risk of a left outflow defect, which affects the flow of blood from the heart’s left chamber to the rest of the body, occurred in 2 out of every 1000 infants born to women who used bupropion during the first trimester. Prior studies have indicated that the use of other antidepressants during pregnancy, such as Prozac and Zoloft, also increased the risk of birth defects. Dr. Jennita Reefhuis, senior epidemiologist at the CDC, asks women to discuss the risks with their physician before discontinuing meds.

More at Yahoo News | Posted 7 years ago by Denise Reynolds

Previously: Depression Drug Side Effect Not Reported

Tags: Depression, Pregnancy, Depression Medications, Birth Defects, Heart

Read the Comments (1) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (48%) / No! (52%)