Tag Archives: Heart Disease

Health Studies: 80% Of Married Couples Share Heart Disease Risks, Poor Health Lifestyles (JAMA)

OCTOBER 26, 2020

In this cross-sectional study of 5364 couples consisting of employees and spouses (or domestic partners) undergoing an annual employer-sponsored health assessment, 79% of the couples were in the nonideal category of a CV health score. This within-couple concordance of nonideal CV health scores was associated mostly with unhealthy diet and inadequate physical activity.

The study included 10 728 participants (5364 couples): 7% were African American, 11% Hispanic, 21% Asian, and 54% White (median [interquartile range] age, 50 [41-57] years for men and 47 [39-55] for women). For most couples, both members were in the ideal category or both were in a nonideal category.

Concordance ranged from 53% (95% CI, 52%-54%) for cholesterol to 95% (95% CI, 94%-95%) for diet. For the CV health score, in 79% (95% CI, 78%-80%) of couples both members were in a nonideal category, which was associated mainly with unhealthy diet (94% [95% CI, 93%-94%] of couples) and inadequate exercise (53% [95% CI, 52%-55%] of couples). However, in most couples, both members were in the ideal category for smoking status (60% [95% CI, 59%-61%] of couples) and glucose (56% [95% CI, 55%-58%]).

Except for total cholesterol, when 1 member of a couple was in the ideal category, the other member was likely also to be in the ideal category: the adjusted odds ratios for also being in the ideal category ranged from 1.3 (95% CI, 1.1-1.5; P ≤ .001) for blood pressure to 10.6 (95% CI, 7.4-15.3; P ≤ .001) for diet. Concordance differed by ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and geographic location.

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Health: “Assessment Of Chest Pain” (BMJ Podcast)

BMJ Best PracticeChest pain is a common chief complaint. It may be caused by either benign or life-threatening aetiologies and is usually divided into cardiac and non-cardiac causes. James E. Brown, Professor and Chair, Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, Kettering, Ohio, gives us an overview of assessing chest pain in the emergency setting. 

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Infographic: “Don’t Ignore Heart Symptoms During Coronavirus”

Coronavirus-and-Your-Heart-Dont-Ignore-Heart-Symptoms-600px

Hospitals across the U.S. are experiencing an influx of COVID-19 patients, but clinicians are reportedly seeing fewer patients going to the emergency room for heart attack or stroke.

Experts worry that patients who need critical care are delaying their treatment over COVID-19 concerns.

To encourage patients to pay close attention to their symptoms and call 9-1-1 immediately if they believe they are having a heart attack or stroke, ACC’s CardioSmart team developed the Coronavirus and Your Heart Infographic.

The infographic urges patients not to ignore symptoms, especially if they have a heart condition, and reassures them that hospitals have safety measures to protect patients from infection with the novel coronavirus.

New Medical Podcasts: E-Cigarette Deaths, Heart Disease And 10-Weeks To Crush The Curve (NEJM)

New England Journal of Medicine Podcast This WeekFeaturing articles on deaths due to e-cigarette– or vaping-associated lung injury, apixaban for venous thromboembolism in cancer, the management of coronary disease in patients with advanced kidney disease, health-status outcomes in the ISCHEMIA-CKD trial,  and ten weeks to crush the curve. 

Additionally, renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system inhibitors in patients with Covid-19, and teasing the immune system to repair the heart; a review article on the care of patients with diabetic retinopathy; a case report of a man with high blood pressure, renal insufficiency, and hematuria; and Perspective articles on clinical and social risk adjustment, on prediction models, and on medical care during the pandemic.

Heart Health Video: “Beta Blockers” Lower CVD Risks Of Harmful Gut Microbes

Hazen and colleagues find that gut bacteria play a central role in the conversion of dietary proteins into a compound, phenylacetylglutamine ( PAGln), which not only is associated with future cardiovascular disease risk in humans but also promotes platelet responsiveness and blood clotting potentially via adrenergic receptors, according to mouse models.

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Digital Health: Wearable Sensor Data Can Predict Heart Failure 6 Days Before Hospitalization

From a “Circulation: Heart Failure” Journal study (Feb 25, 2020):

Circulation Heart Failure logoThe study shows that wearable sensors coupled with machine learning analytics have predictive accuracy comparable to implanted devices.

We demonstrate that machine learning analytics using data from a wearable sensor can accurately predict hospitalization for heart failure exacerbation…at a median time of 6.5 days before the admission.

Heart failure (HF) is a major public health problem affecting >23 million patients worldwide. Hospitalization costs for HF represent 80% of costs attributed to HF care. Thus, accurate and timely detection of worsening HF could allow for interventions aimed at reducing the risk of HF admission.

Data collected by the sensor are streamed to a phone and then encrypted and uploaded to a cloud analytics platform.
Data collected by the sensor are streamed to a phone and then encrypted and uploaded to a cloud analytics platform.

Several such approaches have been tested. Tracking of daily weight, as recommended by current HF guidelines, did not lead to reduction of the risk of HF hospitalization, most likely because the weight gain is a contemporaneous or lagging indicator rather than a leading event. Interventions based on intrathoracic impedance monitoring also did not result in reduction of readmission risk. The results suggest that physiological parameters other than weight or intrathoracic impedance in isolation may be needed to detect HF decompensation in a timely manner. In fact, 28% reduction of rehospitalization rates has been shown with interventions based on pulmonary artery hemodynamic monitoring. More recently, in the MultiSENSE study (Multisensor Chronic Evaluation in Ambulatory HF Patients), an algorithm based on physiological data from sensors in the implantable cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillators, was shown to have 70% sensitivity in predicting the risk of HF hospitalization or outpatient visit with intravenous therapies for worsening of HF.

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Heart Health: “Statins” Are Beneficial Only With Healthy Diets & Lifestyle

Taking a statin helps keep your cholesterol levels in check. How can that be?

Mayo Clinic LogoDr. Stephen Kopecky explains that some people ask to be put on a statin. That’s because statins, while important and effective, are just one part of the whole heart-healthy picture. When you combine a statin with regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, controlling stress, not smoking and eating foods based on the Mediterranean diet, you can improve your heart health.

Dr. Kopecky says if you work in lifestyle changes slowly over time, you’ll be on your way to better heart health.

Statins are drugs that can lower your cholesterol. They work by blocking a substance your body needs to make cholesterol. Statins may also help your body reabsorb cholesterol that has built up in plaques on your artery walls, preventing further blockage in your blood vessels and heart attacks.

Several statins are available for use in the United States. They include:

  • atorvastatin (Lipitor)
  • lovastatin (Altoprev)
  • pitavastatin (Livalo)
  • pravastatin (Pravachol)
  • rosuvastatin (Crestor)
  • simvastatin (Zocor)

Sometimes, a statin is combined with another heart health medication. Examples are atorvastatin/amlodipine (Caduet) and simvastatin/ezetimibe (Vytorin).

Increasing evidence suggests that statins do more than just lower bad cholesterol. Research has found that the medicines can safely prevent heart disease in certain adults ages 40 to 75. But the benefits aren’t entirely clear for the elderly. And doctors still want to know more about the side effects of statins.