HEALTH NEWS

   'Normal’ LDL-C levels linked to subclinical atherosclerosis

in apparently healthy adults

Top Stories

Even ‘normal’ LDL-C levels linked to subclinical

atherosclerosis in apparently healthy adults
 

Higher low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels—even those 

considered well within normal range—were independently associated

with subclinical atherosclerosis in a study of middle-aged adults without

standard cardiovascular risk factors, researchers reported in the Journal of

the American College of Cardiology.

Positive stress ECG proven to predict cancer death 

A positive echocardiogram (ECG) stress test can predict not just

cardiovascular mortality but also death due to cancer, a team of Italian

researchers reported this week in the Journal of the American Heart

Association.

Electrophysiology & Arrhythmia

Class of ADHD medication linked to increased risk

of congenital heart defects
 

Women who take a class of stimulants used to treat attention deficit

hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) during pregnancy are 28 percent more

likely to have a baby with cardiac malformations, according to a study in 

JAMA Psychiatry.

Structural & Congenital Heart Disease

Featured Articles

Spinal cord injury affects heart function 

Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) directly affect the heart, but the extent of any damage done is

reliant on the severity of an SCI, new research out of the University of British Columbia,

Canada, states.

Vascular & Endovascular

Living near gyms—and away from fast food—tied to smaller waistlines 

A new study out of the United Kingdom suggests people truly are products of their

environments—at least when it comes to developing obesity.

Lipids & Metabolic

From Around the Web

Baby survives after being born with heart outside her body 

A baby born Nov. 22 in Leicester, England, has a chance to beat the odds and survive after

a rare congenital condition caused her to be delivered a month early with her heart beating

outside her chest cavity.

Structural & Congenital Heart Disease

The most important, influential diabetes research of 2017 

The past 12 months have seen a lot of excitement in the field of diabetes research, from

growing national recognition of the disease to improved methods for treating it. Reader’s

Digest compiled a list of the year’s most striking innovations to date.

Lipids & Metabolic

A recent New England Journal of Medicine publication 

shows a long-term survival benefit at 15 years favoring mechanical valves over tissue valves.1

Survival Comparison: Mechanical vs. tissue valve replacement1
  • Mitral: mechanical valves have a survival benefit at 15 years for patients up to 70 years 
  • Aortic: mechanical valves have a survival benefit at 15 years for patients up to 55 years        
Tissue Valves: Early reoperation, SVD, and mortality1
  • “Reoperation rates diverged as early as 6 to 8 years…” 
  • “Structural valve deterioration — which is underestimated by the cumulative incidence of reoperation — and subsequent reoperation may partially explain the difference in mortality.”
Read The Study

Commentary from Physicians:

  • "What this study shows is that the [mortality] difference [between mechanical and tissue] is not just minor;… It brings up the question of whether we should be changing our practice and implement more metallic-valve [i.e. mechanical valve] use…”2 Ravi Dave, MD, Director of Interventional Cardiology at UCLA Health (Los Angeles, CA)
  • “If you’re going to get a mitral valve replacement, it’s better with a mechanical valve.”3 - Robert Bonow, MD, Director of the Center for Cardiovascular Innovation at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine (Chicago, IL)
  • “This study will definitely change the information that I give my patients.”2 - Jennifer Lawton, MD, Professor of surgery and chief of the Johns Hopkins University Division of Cardiac Surgery (Baltimore, MD)
Click here to learn about the benefits of the On-X Aortic and Mitral mechanical valves. 
Read The Study

References:


1. Goldstone AB et al. N Engl J Med 2017;377:1847-1857. 2. Medscape. Mechanical Valves Show Mortality Benefit Over Biologic Valves [press release]. November 12, 2017.https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/888418K, downloaded on 11/13/2017. 3. Reuters. Heart valve replacement success may depend on age, valve type [press release]. November 8, 2017. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-heart-valve-replacement/heart-valve-replacement-success-may-depend-on-age-valve-type-idUSKBN1D835K, downloaded on 11/13/2017.

Potential Adverse Events: Adverse events potentially associated with the use of prosthetic heart valves (in alphabetical order) include, but are not limited to: angina, cardiac arrhythmia, endocarditis, heart failure, hemolysis, hemolytic anemia, hemorrhage, myocardial infarction, prosthesis leaflet entrapment (impingement), prosthesis non-structural dysfunction, prosthesis pannus, prosthesis perivalvular leak, prosthesis regurgitation, prosthesis structural dysfunction, prosthesis thrombosis, thromboembolism, and stroke. It is possible that these complications could lead to: reoperation, explantation, permanent disability, or death.

A recent New England Journal of Medicine publication 

shows a long-term survival benefit at 15 years favoring mechanical valves over tissue valves.1

Survival Comparison: Mechanical vs. tissue valve replacement1
  • Mitral: mechanical valves have a survival benefit at 15 years for patients up to 70 years 
  • Aortic: mechanical valves have a survival benefit at 15 years for patients up to 55 years        
Tissue Valves: Early reoperation, SVD, and mortality1
  • “Reoperation rates diverged as early as 6 to 8 years…” 
  • “Structural valve deterioration — which is underestimated by the cumulative incidence of reoperation — and subsequent reoperation may partially explain the difference in mortality.”
Read The Study

Commentary from Physicians:

  • "What this study shows is that the [mortality] difference [between mechanical and tissue] is not just minor;… It brings up the question of whether we should be changing our practice and implement more metallic-valve [i.e. mechanical valve] use…”2 Ravi Dave, MD, Director of Interventional Cardiology at UCLA Health (Los Angeles, CA)
  • “If you’re going to get a mitral valve replacement, it’s better with a mechanical valve.”3 - Robert Bonow, MD, Director of the Center for Cardiovascular Innovation at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine (Chicago, IL)
  • “This study will definitely change the information that I give my patients.”2 - Jennifer Lawton, MD, Professor of surgery and chief of the Johns Hopkins University Division of Cardiac Surgery (Baltimore, MD)
Click here to learn about the benefits of the On-X Aortic and Mitral mechanical valves. 
Read The Study

References:


1. Goldstone AB et al. N Engl J Med 2017;377:1847-1857. 2. Medscape. Mechanical Valves Show Mortality Benefit Over Biologic Valves [press release]. November 12, 2017.https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/888418K, downloaded on 11/13/2017. 3. Reuters. Heart valve replacement success may depend on age, valve type [press release]. November 8, 2017. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-heart-valve-replacement/heart-valve-replacement-success-may-depend-on-age-valve-type-idUSKBN1D835K, downloaded on 11/13/2017.

Potential Adverse Events: Adverse events potentially associated with the use of prosthetic heart valves (in alphabetical order) include, but are not limited to: angina, cardiac arrhythmia, endocarditis, heart failure, hemolysis, hemolytic anemia, hemorrhage, myocardial infarction, prosthesis leaflet entrapment (impingement), prosthesis non-structural dysfunction, prosthesis pannus, prosthesis perivalvular leak, prosthesis regurgitation, prosthesis structural dysfunction, prosthesis thrombosis, thromboembolism, and stroke. It is possible that these complications could lead to: reoperation, explantation, permanent disability, or death.
 
 
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Study Raises Questions Over Pay-For-Performance Programs
As more and more providers participate in value-based payment models, the study raises questions about whether programs with weak incentives and limited risk-adjustment may exacerbate healthcare disparities without improving practice performance or reducing spending.
 
Pharma Charity May Shut After U.S. Faults Drugmakers' Influence
A medical charity that received hundreds of millions of dollars from pharmaceutical companies lost a crucial stamp of approval from the U.S. government.

Virtual Doctor Visits: Convenient And Cheap
Virtual visits also hold the potential of lowering costs by lessening unnecessary visits to doctors’ offices, urgent care clinics and emergency departments. And they could improve access to care.

Why Marriage Is Linked to a Lower Risk of Dementia
People who have never married or whose spouse has died are at increased risk of developing dementia compared to married people, according to a new review.

More doctors Embracing Direct Primary Care
More doctors are choosing to not accept insurance and instead charge monthly fees. It's called Direct Primary Care and many patients, like Chuck Gulat have already made the switch.

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Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez suffered severe damage to parts of the brain that play an important role in memory, impulse control and behavior, a researcher who studied his brain said Thursday.

Dr. Ann McKee, director of the CTE Center at Boston University, said she could not “connect the dots” between Hernandez’s severe case of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which is linked to repeated blows to the head, and his behavior.

The 27-year-old hanged himself in April, while serving life in prison for murder.

But McKee said she says Hernandez experienced substantial damage to key parts of the brain, including the hippocampus — which is important to memory — and the frontal lobe, which is involved in problem solving, judgment and behavior.

“In any individual we can’t take the pathology and explain the behavior,” said McKee, who has studied hundreds of brains from football players, college athletes and even younger players, donated after their deaths. “But we can say collectively, in our collective experience, individuals with CTE — and CTE of this severity — have difficulty with impulse control, decision-making, inhibition of impulses or aggression, often emotional volatility and rage behaviors,” she said.

Hernandez hanged himself in prison days after he was acquitted in the 2012 drive-by shootings of two men in Boston and just hours before his former teammates visited the White House to celebrate their latest Super Bowl victory.

Prosecutors claimed he gunned the two men down after one accidentally spilled a drink on him in a nightclub — and then got a tattoo of a handgun and the words “God Forgives” to commemorate the crime.

He had been serving a life sentence without parole in the 2013 killing of semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd when he killed himself in April.

Hernandez, who said he was innocent, did not raise CTE in his defense at either trial.

But after his death and September CTE diagnosis, his attorneys filed a lawsuit against the NFL and football helmet maker Riddell, accusing them of failing to warn Hernandez about the dangers of football. The lawsuit, which seeks damages for Hernandez’s young daughter, said he experienced a “chaotic and horrendous existence” because of his disease.

Hernandez inherited a genetic profile that may have made him more susceptible to developing the disease, McKee said. She said Hernandez had the most severe case of CTE they have seen in someone his age. Hernandez was diagnosed with Stage 3, out of 4, of the disease.

While the outside of Hernandez’s brain appeared normal, the inside showed evidence of previous small hemorrhages, which experts associate with head impacts. Other parts of his brain had begun to shrink and show large holes in the membrane, McKee said.

“Individuals with similar gross findings at autopsy were at least 46 years old at the time of death,” McKee said.









Doctors Work To Save Player’s Leg After
Horrific NFL Injury
Chicago Bears tight end Zach Miller had to
undergo emergency surgery in a New Orleans
hospital as doctors struggled to save his
left leg following a devastating accident
during a game Sunday.

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Cardiac Effects Of Licorice
 MeYes, It Can Be
The Worst
In a report released Monday,
the FDA says,
"If you're 40 or older, eating
 2 ounces of black licorice a
day for at least two weeks
could land you in the hospital with an irregular heart rhythm or arrhythmia."

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Drones Can Save Lives—
If the
Government Lets Them
Recently a team of researchers from Johns Hopkins University
successfully transported
blood samples across the
Arizona desert sky via an
unmanned aerial aircraft.

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This Is the Healthiest Time
 to Eat Your Halloween
Candy
Pairing candy with real food
is a must. But Briquette
says there's also an even
better way to minimize the
damage of a trick-or-treat
haul: pop a couple of pieces
of Halloween candy with
a post-workout protein shake.