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Studies: Intense Treatment Doesn’t Help Diabetics

Key results from a landmark federal study are in, and the results are disappointing for diabetics: Adding drugs to drive blood pressure and blood-fats lower than current targets did not prevent heart problems, and in some cases caused harmful side effects.

A decade ago, the federal government launched the three-part study to see whether intensely lowering blood sugar, blood pressure, or fats in the blood would reduce heart attacks and strokes in diabetics. The first piece of the study – about blood sugar – was stopped two years ago, when researchers saw more instead of less risk with that approach. Now, the other two parts of the study are in.


March 15, 2010 Posted by | diabetes, healthcare | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Heart and Stroke Risk Factors

Psoriasis is a risk factor for heart attack, stroke
Psoriasis may raise the risk of heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular problems, likely through a shared inflammatory response, Danish researchers told a cardiology conference. Study data showed severe psoriasis raised the risk of a heart attack by 24%, and having moderate or severe disease increased the odds of a stroke by 45%. HealthDay News

March 15, 2010 Posted by | Chronic conditions, healthcare, High Blood Pressure | , , , , | 1 Comment

Too Many Tests – Impact Your Health


Top Stories

Study Suggests Too Many Invasive Heart Tests Given
A troublingly high number of U.S. patients who are given angiograms to check for heart disease turn out not to have a significant problem, according to the latest study to suggest Americans get an excess of medical tests. [ Associated Press | Mar 10,

March 11, 2010 Posted by | healthcare, hospitals, Overuse, quality, Safety | , , , , | Leave a comment

Workplace Wellness Programs Work

Employees who used them lost weight, lowered heart disease risk, study finds

TUESDAY, March 2 (HealthDay News) — Workplace wellness programs help employees lose weight and reduce their risk of heart disease, a new study shows. U.S. researchers followed 757 hospital workers who took part in a voluntary 12-week, team-based wellness program that focused on diet and exercise. Data on the participants’ weight, lifestyle behavior and heart disease risk factors were collected at the start of the study, at the end of the wellness program and a year after the program ended.

More information

The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute offers tips on how to prevent and control heart disease.

March 3, 2010 Posted by | Chronic conditions, healthcare, High Blood Pressure | , , , , | Leave a comment

Butter Leads to Lower Blood Fats Than Olive Oil, Study Finds

Editor’s note: This article goes under the heading as we learn more. Or, what we thought we knew, we really didn ‘t.

ScienceDaily (Feb. 10, 2010) — High blood fat levels normally raise the cholesterol values in the blood, which in turn elevates the risk of atherosclerosis and heart attack. Now a new study from Lund University in Sweden shows that butter leads to considerably less elevation of blood fats after a meal compared with olive oil and a new type of canola and flaxseed oil. The difference was stronger in men than in women.

The main explanation for the relatively low increase of blood fat levels with butter is that about 20 percent of the fat in butter consists of short and medium-length fatty acids. These are used directly as energy and therefore never affect the blood fat level to any great extent. Health care uses these fatty acids with patients who have difficulty taking up nutrition — in other words, they are good fatty acids.

“A further explanation, which we are speculating about, is that intestinal cells prefer to store butter fat rather than long-chain fatty acids from vegetable oils. However, butter leads to a slightly higher content of free fatty acids in the blood, which is a burden on the body,” explains Julia Svensson, a doctoral candidate in Biotechnology and Nutrition at Lund University.

More of Butter Leads to Lower Blood Fats Than Olive Oil, Study Finds

February 11, 2010 Posted by | Chronic conditions, healthcare, Prevention and Wellness | , , | Leave a comment

High Blood Pressure Requires Urgent Attention

“While exact projections are difficult to establish, data from the Framingham Heart Study and the NHANES II indicate that even small improvements in blood pressure control can have a major impact on public health. Lowering the DBP by only 2 mmHg could result in a 6 percent reduction in the risk of coronary heart disease, and a 15 percent reduction in the risk of stroke and transient ischemic attacks.13 <>  Moreover, in individuals with a SBP of 140–159 mmHg and/or a DBP of 90–99 mmHg, a sustained 12 mm reduction in SBP for a period of 10 years has been estimated to prevent one death among every 11 patients treated.1 <>  “

January 27, 2010 Posted by | Chronic conditions, healthcare, High Blood Pressure | , , , , | Leave a comment

As More Becomes Known About Cholesterol Drugs

Statins Such as Lipitor and Zocor Can Damage Your Liver and Kidneys
While statins have proven beneficial for some cardiac patients, new research from the Mayo Clinic suggests that other cardiac patients should avoid these drugs. [ | Nov 8

November 9, 2009 Posted by | drugs, healthcare, quality | , , , , | Leave a comment

Cost of Coronary Heart Disease in the US

Estimated Direct and Indirect Costs (in Billions of Dollars) of Coronary Heart Disease: US: 2009


  Coronary Heart Disease
Direct Costs  
Hospital $54.6
Nursing Home $12.3
Physician/other professionals $13.4
  Medical durables $10.3
  Home Health Care $2.2
Total Expenditures $92.8
Indirect Costs  
  Lost productivity/morbidity $10.6
  Lost productivity/mortality $62.0
Grand Totals $165.4


Source: American Heart Association. “Heart Disease & Stroke Statistics – 2009 Update At-A-Glance”

November 2, 2009 Posted by | Chronic conditions, healthcare | , , | Leave a comment

Vitamin D Appears to Play a Role in Heart Attack and Stroke

Low vitamin D tied to heart, stroke deaths: American Journal of Epidemiology

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Low vitamin D levels in the body may be deadly, according to a new study in the American Journal of Epidemiology hinting that adults with lower, versus higher, blood levels of vitamin D may be more likely to die from heart disease or stroke.

Vitamin D is an essential vitamin mostly obtained from direct sunlight exposure, but also found in foods and multivitamins.

Dr. Annamari Kilkkinen, at the National Institute for Health and Welfare in Helsinki, Finland, and colleagues compared blood levels of vitamin D and deaths from heart disease or stroke over time in 2,817 men and 3,402 women in Finland.

During follow-up of about 27 years on average, 640 of the participants (358 men) died from heart disease and another 293 (122 men) died from stroke.

More of Low vitamin D tied to heart, stroke deaths: American Journal of Epidemiology

October 30, 2009 Posted by | Chronic conditions, healthcare | , , | Leave a comment

What Role Do Lower Drug Costs Play

Many discharged heart patients don’t get recommended drugs
Only one-third of hospitalized heart failure patients are sent home with recommended, inexpensive pills shown to reduce hospitalizations and deaths, despite being seen at hospitals participating in a program designed to encourage adherence to treatment guidelines. Researchers said a lack of marketing for the drugs and safety concerns may be behind the poor adherence. The Wall Street Journal/The Associated Press (10/21)

October 21, 2009 Posted by | healthcare | , , , , | Leave a comment