Urban legend warns shoveling snow causes heart attacks, and the legend seems all too accurate, especially for male wintery excavators with a family history of premature cardiovascular disease. However, until recently this warning was based on anecdotal reports. Two of the most important cardiology associations in the US include snow -shoveling on their websites as a high risk physical activity, but all the citation references indicate that this warning was based one or two incidents. "We thought that this evidence should not be enough to convince us that snow-shoveling is potentially dangerous, " says Adrian Baranchuk, a professor in Queen's School of Medicine and a cardiologist at Kingston General Hospital. Dr. Baranchuk and his team retrospectively reviewed KGH patient records from the two previous winter seasons and discovered that of the 500 patients who came to the hospital with heart problems during this period, 7 per cent (35 patients) had started experiencing symptoms while shoveling snow.
A new study published in the January 2012 edition of American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that beef can play a role in a cholesterol-lowering diet, despite commonly held beliefs. The study found that diets including lean beef every day are as effective in lowering total and LDL "bad" cholesterol as the "gold standard" of heart-healthy diets (DASH, Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension). The Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet (BOLD) clinical study (Effects on Lipids, Lipoproteins and Apolipoproteins), 1 conducted by The Pennsylvania State University (PSU) researchers, evaluated adults with moderately elevated cholesterol levels, measuring the impact of diets including varying amounts of lean beef on total and LDL cholesterol levels. Study participants experienced a 10 percent decrease in LDL cholesterol from the start of the study, while consuming diets containing 4.
How sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra, can alleviate heart problems is reported by Bochum's researchers in cooperation with colleagues from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester (Minnesota) in the journal Circulation. They studied dogs with diastolic heart failure, a condition in which the heart chamber does not sufficiently fill with blood. The scientists showed that sildenafil makes stiffened cardiac walls more elastic again. The drug activates an enzyme that causes the giant protein titin in the myocardial cells to relax. "We have developed a therapy in an animal model that, for the first time, also raises hopes for the successful treatment of patients" says Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Linke of the RUB Institute of Physiology. "Rubber band proteins" can be influenced Sildenafil inhibits a specific enzyme (phosphodiesterase 5 A), which causes the increased formation of a messenger substance (cGMP).
More than half of the older, anemic patients in a New England Journal of Medicine study did not need blood transfusions as they recovered from hip surgery, according to new research co-authored by University of Maryland School of Medicine scientists. The findings could immediately change the way such patients are treated. Doctors have long assumed that transfusions strengthen patients weakened by anemia, improving their chances at recovery from surgery after hip fracture. But the North American study of more than 2, 000 patients found no significant difference in rate of recovery between patients who received transfusions at a moderate level of anemia and those who did not receive transfusions until their anemia was more advanced. "Hip fracture is a major public health problem for our rapidly growing older population, " says senior author Jay Magaziner, Ph.
"It is common for us to see an increase in heart-related issues, particularly around Christmas and New Year's, " said Brandon Stacey, M.D., a cardiologist at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. "It is important to know that if you experience any chest pain or discomfort, seek immediate medical attention or call 911." It's no surprise that the holidays have a tendency to increase the amount of heart problems, but the risk of having a heart attack could be reduced just by sticking to a few common-sense steps. Stacey and the American Heart Association recommend the following tips to keep your heart happy and healthy during this festive time of the year: -- Don't be a glutton. Avoid overindulging in food or alcohol. Drinking too much can lead to abnormal heart rhythm, also known as atrial fibrillation, and can increase the risk of stroke, heart attack and even heart failure.