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Updated: 22 min 51 sec ago

Only 1 in 5 patients seeking specialist for resistant HBP take meds as prescribed

Tue, 06/27/2017 - 08:33
Study Highlights

  • Only one in five patients seeking specialty care for hard-to-control high blood pressure (resistant hypertension) are taking all their prescribed medications.
  • Taking all medication as prescribed can help avoid added tests and treatments based on the misperception that high blood pressure is not controlled despite taking multiple drugs.
  • A frank discussion about medication use and concerns about side effects can help your doctor make needed adjustments to get your blood pressure under control.

Embargoed 3 p.m. CT / 4 p.m. ET, Monday, March 6, 2017

DALLAS, March 6, 2017 – Only one in five patients seeking specialty care for hard-to-control high blood pressure (resistant hypertension) are taking all their prescribed medications, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Hypertension.

“Another twenty percent are not taking any of their blood pressure medications,” said Peter Blankestijn, M.D., Ph.D., senior author of the study and professor of nephrology and hypertension at the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands. “People mistakenly thought to have resistant hypertension – which is high blood pressure despite taking three or more medications – end up seeing specialists and undergoing extra tests because we don’t understand why they are so difficult to treat.”

The surprising results come from a study designed primarily to determine if blood pressure can be lowered if people with resistant hypertension receive renal denervation, in addition to their blood pressure medication. In renal denervation, a slim tube (catheter) is inserted into one of the blood vessels in the groin and advanced through blood vessels until it enters the artery feeding the kidney; then, radio waves or ultrasound destroys sections of the nerves sending messages between the brain and the kidneys.

“There is much evidence to suggest that these nerves play a role in high blood pressure. In the 1930s and 1940s, the nerves were sometimes cut during surgical procedures. Now the nerve destruction can be done in a much less invasive way. Several devices are being studied as possible treatments for resistant hypertension,” Blankestijn said. “This study, one of the first to look in detail at patient compliance, found renal denervation as therapy for resistant hypertension was not superior to usual care.”

Researchers randomly assigned 95 patients (average age 62 years, 42.1 percent male) to undergo renal denervation while not changing their medication, while a control group of 44 patients (average age 60, 29.5 percent male) stayed with their usual medications alone. At the beginning of the study and 6 months later, patients wore a blood pressure monitor to calculate their average daytime systolic (top number) blood pressure and blood tests were taken to measure drug levels (without telling patients that their adherence in taking recommended medications was being assessed).

Researchers found:

  • 20 percent of patients were taking all their medication and 20 percent none of their medication,

  • 31 percent of patients either improved or lessened their medication compliance.

  • After six months, average daytime systolic blood pressure fell two points (mm Hg) more in control patients than in those who had renal denervation, but remained abnormally high in both groups.

  • Among patients with similar blood levels of medication at each assessment, systolic blood pressure fell 3.3 points more in those who received the procedure than in controls.

“Adherence to medication greatly affects the ability to assess the value of another treatment, so researchers need to measure adherence and do what they can to improve it,” Blankestijn said.

Patients can take steps to prevent their blood pressure from remaining high and being labeled as difficult-to-treat, leading to a greater heart disease risk and increased costs for added tests and treatments.

“At a minimum, be open and honest and tell your physician if you don’t want to take your pills for any reason. You and your doctor can discuss options for changing the type of pill or the dose if needed. There are many effective blood pressure pills and the majority of patients with high blood pressure can be successfully treated,” Blankestijn said.

Although this study was conducted in the Netherlands, the results likely apply to patients in the United States, according to researchers.

Co-authors are Rosa L. de Jager, M.D.; Esther de Beus, M.D.; Martine M.A. Beeftink, M.D.; Margreet G. Sanders, M.D., Evert-Jan Vonken, M.D.; Michiel Voskuil, M.D.; Erik M. van Maarseveen, Pharm.D.; and Michiel L. Bots, M.D. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

The Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development, the Dutch Kidney Foundation, and Medtronic Inc. supported the study.

Additional Resources:

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Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content.  Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: (214) 706-1173

Bridgette McNeill: (214) 706-1135; bridgette.mcneill@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: (800)-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

Life is why, science is how . . . we help people live longer, healthier lives.

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsMon, 06 Mar 2017 21:00:15 GMTStudy Highlights: Only one in five patients seeking specialty care for hard-to-control high blood pressure (resistant hypertension) are taking all their prescribed medications. Taking all medication as prescribed can help avoid added tests and treatments based on the misperception that high blood pressure is not controlled despite taking multiple drugs. A frank discussion about medication use and concerns about side effects can help your doctor make needed adjustments to get your blood pressure under control. http://newsroom.heart.org/news/only-1-in-5-patients-seeking-specialist-for-resistant-hbp-take-meds-as-prescribedMon, 06 Mar 2017 21:00:00 GMT

Breastfeeding may reduce a mother’s heart attack and stroke risk

Wed, 06/21/2017 - 15:31
Study Highlights

  • Breastfeeding is not only healthy for children, it may reduce a mother’s risk of having a heart attack or stroke later in life.
  • A study of Chinese women found that the longer a mother breastfeeds, the greater the cardiovascular health benefit appears to be.

Embargoed until 3 p.m. CT / 4 p.m. ET Wednesday, June 21, 2017

DALLAS, June 21, 2017 — Breastfeeding is not only healthy for babies, it may also reduce a mother’s risk of having a heart attack or stroke later in life, according to new research published in of the Journal of the American Heart Association, the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

Previous studies have suggested that mothers get short-term health benefits from breastfeeding, such as weight loss and lower cholesterol, blood pressure and glucose levels after pregnancy. However, the long-term effects of breastfeeding on the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases in mothers are unclear. A new study in China found that women who breastfed their babies had about a ten percent lower risk of developing heart disease or stroke.

Researchers from the University of Oxford, the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking University analyzed data from 289,573 Chinese women (average age 51) participating in the China Kadoorie Biobank study who provided detailed information about their reproductive history and other lifestyle factors. Nearly all were mothers and none had cardiovascular disease when they enrolled in the study. After eight years of follow-up, there were 16,671 cases of coronary heart disease, which includes heart attacks, and 23,983 stroke cases.

Researchers observed that:

  • Compared to women who had never breastfed, mothers who breastfed their babies had a 9 percent lower risk of heart disease and an 8 percent lower risk of stroke.
  • Among mothers who breastfed each of their babies for two years or more, heart disease risk was 18 percent lower and stroke risk was 17 percent lower than among mothers who never breastfed.
  • Each additional 6 months of breastfeeding per baby was associated with a 4 percent lower risk of heart disease and a 3 percent lower risk of stroke.

The researchers considered a range of risk factors for cardiovascular disease, including smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and physical activity that could have biased results.

“Although we cannot establish the causal effects, the health benefits to the mother from breastfeeding may be explained by a faster “reset” of the mother’s metabolism after pregnancy. Pregnancy changes a woman’s metabolism dramatically as she stores fat to provide the energy necessary for her baby’s growth and for breastfeeding once the baby is born. Breastfeeding could eliminate the stored fat faster and more completely,” said co-author, Sanne Peters, Ph.D., a research fellow at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.

The authors noted that women who breastfeed may be more likely to engage in other beneficial health behaviors that lower their risk of cardiovascular disease compared to women who do not breastfeed.

Because this study was observational, relying on information provided by the mothers about their breastfeeding histories, it does not prove cause and effect. Results from observational studies such as this one must be confirmed by a different type of study that can prove that a behavior may results in an outcome.

Compared to women in China, breastfeeding duration is typically shorter among women in the United States. Ninety-seven percent of the women in this study breastfed each of their babies for an average of 12 months, compared to 30 percent of U.S. mothers in 2016, according to the World Health Organization. However, the U.S. Nurses’ Health Study found only women with a lifetime duration of breastfeeding of 2 years or more had a significantly lower risk of coronary heart disease than those who never breastfed. 

 “The findings should encourage more widespread breastfeeding for the benefit of the mother as well as the child,” said Zhengming Chen, M.B.B.S., D.Phil., senior study author and professor of epidemiology at the University of Oxford. “The study provides support for the World Health Organization’s recommendation that mothers should breastfeed their babies exclusively for their first six months of life.”

The American Heart Association suggests breastfeeding for 12 months if possible.

Co-authors are Ling Yang, Ph.D.; Yu Guo, M.Sc.; Yiping Chen, D.Phil.; Zheng Bian, M.Sc.; Jianwei Du, M.D.; Jie Yang, MSc.; Shanpeng Li, M.Sc.; Liming Li, M.P.H. and Mark Woodward, Ph.D. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

The Kadoorie Charitable Foundation, Hong Kong; UK Wellcome Trust; Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology; Chinese National Natural Science Foundation; The British Heart Foundation; UK Medical Research Council; Cancer Research UK; National Natural Science Foundation of China and British Heart Foundation funded the study.

Additional Resources:

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Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke –  the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: (214) 706-1173

Darcy Spitz: (212) 878-5940 ; darcy.spitz@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: (800)-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsWed, 21 Jun 2017 20:00:07 GMTBreastfeeding is not only healthy for children, it may reduce a mother’s risk of having a heart attack or stroke later in life. A study of Chinese women found that the longer a mother breastfeeds, the greater the cardiovascular health benefit appears to be. http://newsroom.heart.org/news/breastfeeding-may-reduce-a-mothers-heart-attack-and-stroke-riskWed, 21 Jun 2017 20:00:00 GMT

ISC17 FRIDAY NEWS TIP

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 12:23
Embargoed for 9:33 a.m. CT/10:33 a.m. ET – Session A33 — Abstract 222

Regular aerobic exercise beginning in middle age may lessen severity of stroke in old age

The network of blood vessels (collateral circulation) shrinks in number and diameter as the brain ages. Collateral circulation allows blood flow to be rerouted when arteries narrow. Using mice, researchers found that this loss of collateral vessels is prevented by exercise, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association’s International Stroke Conference 2017.

The amount of damage to the brain after a stroke and the effectiveness of recovery treatments depend significantly on the extent of collateral circulation.

Mice that started exercising regularly at twelve months-age (equivalent to 40 years-age in humans) had the same abundance of collateral vessels when they reached 25 months-age (equivalent to 70 humans years) as seen at 3 months-age (equivalent to 16 human years), unlike their non-exercising 25-month-old counterparts who had fewer collaterals of smaller diameter. When the exercising 25-month-old mice suffered strokes, they had much less brain damage, i.e., the same as seen in young 3-month-old mice. The exercising mice also had higher levels of molecules that help blood vessels work properly and stay healthy.

Researchers said their findings suggest that regular aerobic exercise may protect the collateral circulation and lessen the severity of strokes later in life.

James E. Faber Ph.D., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Wojciech J. Rzechorzek, M.D., University of North Carolina, Carrboro, North Carolina.

Additional Resources:

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Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Stroke Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position.  The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events.  The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content.  Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

For Media Inquiries and ASA Spokesperson Perspective:

AHA/ASA News Media in Dallas: (214) 706-1173

AHA/ASA News Media Office, Feb. 21-24,

at the George R. Brown Convention Center: (713) 853-8406

For Public Inquiries: (800) AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

Life is why, science is how . . . we help people live longer, healthier lives.

]]>Stroke NewsScientific Conferences & MeetingsWed, 08 Mar 2017 15:31:22 GMTEmbargoed for 9:33 a.m. CT/10:33 a.m. ET – Session A33 — Abstract 222 Regular aerobic exercise beginning in middle age may lessen severity of stroke in old age The network of blood vessels (collateral circulation) shrinks in number and diameter as the...http://newsroom.heart.org/news/isc17-friday-news-tipFri, 24 Feb 2017 15:33:00 GMT

Psychiatric illness may increase stroke risk

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 09:20
Study Highlights: 

  • Short-term stroke risk appears higher in patients hospitalized or treated in the emergency room for psychiatric illness.
  • Risk of stroke was greatest within 15 days of psychiatric diagnosis, declined with time, but persists for at least a year.
  • Healthcare professionals should listen carefully for signs of psychological distress in patients at risk of stroke.

Embargoed until 3 p.m. CT/4 p.m. ET, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017

HOUSTON, Feb. 23, 2017 – Patients hospitalized or treated in the emergency room for depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other psychiatric disorders may have an increased risk for stroke, particularly in the 15 days following their psychiatric diagnosis, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2017.

“Based on my clinical experience in the hospital, I have noticed that many patients believe that stress for whatever reason — work, family, work-life balance — contributed to their stroke,” said Jonah P. Zuflacht, B.A., lead researcher and a fourth-year medical student at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. “But the data to support a connection between stress and stroke is limited and often relies on a patient’s subjective recall of distress, which can bias results.”

Researchers analyzed the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project database for California and found 52,068 stroke patients between 2007-2009. Of these patients, 3,337 patients were hospitalized or treated in the emergency room for depression, anxiety, PTSD or another psychiatric disorder. Using a case-crossover analysis, researchers found that psychiatric distress leading to a hospital visit increased the odds of stroke within five time periods. The odds of a stroke were:

  • 3.48 times higher within 15 days;
  • 3.11 times higher within 30 days;
  • 2.41 times higher within 90 days;
  • 2.23 times higher within 180 days; and
  • 2.61 times higher within 360 days.

Zuflacht said there are several possible explanations for the study findings. Psychological distress may send the body’s fight-or-flight response into overdrive, causing increased blood pressure — the No. 1 risk factor for stroke. Psychologic distress may also cause changes within cells that trigger inflammation and oxidative stress, both of which are thought to increase stroke risk. Another possible explanation for the study findings, he said, is that when people experience psychological distress, they may forget to take medicines prescribed to reduce their risk of stroke.

“Healthcare professionals should listen to their patients for symptoms of psychiatric illness, especially in those who may be at increased risk of stroke,” Zuflacht said. “A patient with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and six months of depressive symptoms should raise concerns regarding possible stroke risk.”

Detailed information about each patient was lacking, which might suggest other factors that increased stroke risk or provide insight into which psychiatric conditions had a stronger association with stroke than others. Researchers also did not include data on psychiatric conditions from outpatient settings in their study.

According to the American Heart Association’s Heart Disease and Stroke Statistical Update, 795,000 Americans have a stroke every year, causing 129,000 deaths, and stroke is the leading cause of disability in the country.

Co-authors are: Yuefan Shao; Mitchell S.V. Elkind, M.D., M.S.; Hooman Kamel, M.D.; Amelia K. Boehme, Ph.D., M.S.P.H.; and Joshua Willey, M.D., M.S. Author disclosures are on the abstract.

Additional Resources:

###

Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

Note: Actual presentation is 5:25 p.m. CT/4:25 p.m. ET Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017 in Hall E.

For Media Inquiries and ASA Spokesperson Perspective:

AHA/ASA News Media in Dallas: (214) 706-1173

AHA/ASA News Media Office, Feb. 21-24,

at the George R. Brown Convention Center: (713) 853-8406

For Public Inquiries: (800) AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

Life is why, science is how . . .we help people live longer, healthier lives.

]]>Scientific Conferences & MeetingsStroke NewsWed, 08 Mar 2017 15:37:14 GMTStudy Highlights:  Short-term stroke risk appears higher in patients hospitalized or treated in the emergency room for psychiatric illness. Risk of stroke was greatest within 15 days of psychiatric diagnosis, declined with time, but persists for at least a year. Healthcare professionals should listen carefully for signs of psychological distress in patients at risk of stroke. http://newsroom.heart.org/news/psychiatric-illness-may-increase-stroke-riskThu, 23 Feb 2017 21:00:00 GMT

ISC17 THURSDAY NEWS TIPS

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 09:20
Tip Headlines:

  • Epilepsy in the elderly linked to increased stroke risk
  • E-cigarettes may pose the same or higher risk of stroke severity as tobacco smoke
  • Biological, not chronological age, better predictor of stroke recovery
  • Parkinson’s disease may have link to stroke
  • Inadequate access to affordable, nutritious food may increase stroke risk factors
  • Symptoms of depression in stroke survivors may predict caregiver depression
  • Men more likely than women to get “ultrafast” stroke treatment
  • Military single-payer health system free of stroke care racial disparity, but rank matters
  • Children more vulnerable to psychological problems after a stroke

Note: All Times are Central (CT). All tips are embargoed until the time of presentation or 3 p.m. CT/4 p.m. ET each day, whichever comes first.

Embargoed for 9:57 a.m. CT/10:57 a.m. ET – Session A20 – Abstract 140

Epilepsy in the elderly linked to increased ischemic stroke risk

Elderly patients with seizures have an increased risk of future stroke, but not heart attack, when compared to those without seizures, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2017.

Researchers analyzed inpatient and outpatient claims data on 1,548,556 Medicare beneficiaries ages 66 and older. One percent (15,055 people) developed epilepsy and nearly 8 percent (121,866 people) had an ischemic (clot-caused) stroke or heart attack during an average follow-up of 4.4 years.

Researchers found:

  • After statistically adjusting for established stroke and heart attack risk factors, epilepsy was associated with a 77 percent increased risk of stroke.
  • On average, patients with seizures were older and were more likely to have other types of vascular disease.
  • Epilepsy was not independently associated with an increased risk of heart attack.

The study suggests that epilepsy in the elderly might signify disease of blood vessels in the brain, but not necessarily diseased vessels elsewhere in the body, researchers said.

Matthew Mercuri, M.D., Weill Cornell Medicine, New York City, New York.

 

Embargoed for 1:42 p.m. CT/2:42 p.m. ET – Session A25 – Abstract LB10 in Grand Ballroom B

E- cigarettes may pose the same or higher risk of stroke severity as tobacco smoke

 NOTE - On Feb. 24 - the e-cigarette tip was updated to correct the third bullet point, per researcher.

Electronic cigarette (e-cigarettes) vaping may pose just as much or even higher risk as smoking tobacco for worsening a stroke, according to a preliminary study in mice presented at the American Heart Association’s International Stroke Conference 2017.

Researchers found:

  • Mice exposed to e-cigarette vapor for 10 days or 30 days had worse stroke outcome and neurological deficits, than those exposed to tobacco smoke.
  • E-cigarette exposure decreased glucose uptake in the brain. Glucose fuels brain activity.
  • Both e-Cig and tobacco smoke exposure for 30 days decreased Thrombomodulin (anti-coagulant) levels. 

From a brain health perspective, researchers said, electronic-cigarette vaping is not safer than tobacco smoking, and may pose a similar, if not higher risk for stroke severity.

Use of e-cigarettes is a growing health concern in both smoking and nonsmoking populations. Researchers said rigorous studies are needed to investigate the effects of the nicotine exposure via e-cigarettes on brain and stroke outcome.

Ali Ehsan Sifat, Graduate Student/Research Assistant, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Amarillo, Texas.

 

Embargoed for 2:30 p.m. CT/3:30 p.m. ET – Session A23 – Abstract 160

Biological, not chronological age, better predictor of stroke recovery

Biological age and not chronological age may help predict a patient’s recovery three months after a stroke, according to a preliminary study presented at the American Heart Association’s International Stroke Conference 2017.

Age is considered an important predictor of the severity of a stroke, but the chronological number is not the only way to measure age.

Researchers analyzed 600 adults with ischemic stroke (clot-caused stroke) who were assessed in Hospital del Mar in Barcelona. Biological age was estimated by analyzing a particular characteristic in DNA molecules that change over time (degree of methylation at 71 specific sites throughout the genome of the individual).

Researchers found DNA structure changes as a person gets older, so the extent of change can be used as an estimate of biological age. Other indicators that may also predict a patient’s recovery are neurological status at admission, degree of changes in mobility after stroke, and promptness of the restoration of blood flow in the brain.

The findings suggest biological age is an important factor in a patient’s recovery after stroke and better stroke recovery is another benefit of healthy aging, researchers said.

Jordi Jimenez-Conde, M.D., Ph.D., Institut Hospital del Mar d'Investigacions Mèdiques, Barcelona, Spain.

 

Embargoed for 3 p.m. CT/4 p.m. ET –  Session P25 – Poster TP165

Parkinson’s disease may have link to stroke

Parkinson’s disease may be linked to stroke, much like Alzheimer’s disease and stroke are linked, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2017.

To see if an association exists between stroke and Parkinson’s disease, a common neurodegenerative condition, researchers studied medical claims information from 2008 to 2014 in a sample of Medicare beneficiaries, aged 66 years and older. In separate analyses, they also studied the relationship between stroke and Alzheimer’s disease for comparison.

In their analysis of 1.6 million patients, researchers found:

  • The annual incidence of ischemic (clot caused) stroke was 1.75 percent among those diagnosed with Parkinson’s compared to 0.96 percent in those without Parkinson’s.
  • In contrast, the annual incidence of ischemic stroke was 1.96 percent among those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, versus 0.96 percent in those without Alzheimer’s.
  • The annual incidence of Parkinson’s disease was 0.97 percent after ischemic stroke versus 0.39 percent in those without ischemic stroke.
  • In contrast, the annual incidence of Alzheimer’s was 3.66 percent in elderly adults diagnosed with stroke, versus 1.17 percent in those without ischemic stroke.

Among Medicare beneficiaries, the relationships between stroke and Parkinson’s disease were similar to those between stroke and Alzheimer’s disease, researcher said.

Benjamin R. Kummer, M.D., Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, N.Y.

Note: Actual presentation is 6:15 p.m. CT/7:15 p.m. ET, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017 in Hall E.

 

Embargoed for 3 p.m. CT/4 p.m. ET – Session P25 – Poster TP183

Inadequate access to affordable, nutritious food may increase stroke risk factors

Food insecurity – the state of being without reliable access to adequate amounts of affordable, nutritious food – is a common issue and may lead to increased stroke risk factors, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2017.

Researchers at a Chicago hospital that serves uninsured and underinsured patients studied 216 patients in the outpatient neurology clinic. Using a standardized two-question screening tool and reviewing electronic medical records, researchers identified 49 patients, or 22.7 percent, as food insecure.

Researchers also found:

  • Of the 64 patients diagnosed with stroke, 18.8 percent were found to be food insecure.
  • In the food insecure stroke group, 84.6 percent also had hypertension; 58.3 percent diabetes; and 16.7 percent had a previous stroke.
  • Among stroke survivors not labelled food insecure, 67.3 percent had hypertension; 28.8 percent had diabetes; and 21.2 percent had a previous stroke.

Food insecurity may lead to an increase in stroke risk factors and can complicate management of these health problems. A better understanding of the magnitude of the problem is necessary and could lead to interventions, researchers said.

Lakshmi Warrior, M.D., John H. Stroger Hospital of Cook County, Chicago, Illinois may be reached through Alexandra Normington, Director of Media at Cook County Health & Hospitals System.

Note: Actual presentation is 6:15 p.m. CT/7:15 p.m. ET, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017 in Hall E.

 

Embargoed for 3 p.m. CT/4 p.m. ET – Session MP14 – Poster TMP49

Symptoms of depression in stroke survivors may predict caregiver depression

Stroke survivors’ depressive symptoms predict caregivers’ depressive symptoms, but caregivers’ well-being does not predict stroke survivors’ depression or quality of life, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2017.

Researchers studied interviews of 248 stroke survivors and their primary caregivers at 9-, 18-, 27- and 36-months after the survivors’ strokes.

They found:

  • Seventeen percent of stroke survivors and 13.7 percent of caregivers had clinically significant levels of depressive symptoms at nine months.
  • The measurements revealed that high stroke survivor depressive symptoms at nine-months post-stroke predicted increases in caregiver depressive symptoms at 18-months post-stroke.
  • There were no predictive effects, over time, for caregivers’ depressive symptoms on stroke survivors’ depression or health-related quality of life.

Treating elevated depressive symptoms in stroke survivors may also improve caregiver well-being, researchers said.

David L. Roth, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland.

Note: Actual presentation is 6:10 p.m. CT/7:10 p.m. ET, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017 in Hall E.

 

Embargoed for 3 p.m. CT/4 p.m. ET – Session MP18 – Poster TMP88

Men more likely than women to get “ultrafast” stroke treatment

Male stroke patients are twice as likely as female patients to get clot-busting stroke treatment less than 30 minutes after hospital arrival, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2017.

The benefits of treating acute ischemic (clot-caused) stroke patients with intravenous tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA) are time dependent. AHA/ASA guidelines recommend that acute ischemic stroke patients get the clot-busting treatment within 60 minutes of hospital arrival, which is called door-to-needle time. Still, researchers suggest that with every 15-minute reduction in treatment time, patients’ health results improve by an estimated 4 percent.

In this study, researchers identified characteristics of patients with treatment times of less than 30 minutes, called ultrafast door-to-needle times. They studied stroke patient information from a 26-hospital health system and found:

  • from 2009 to 2015, 2,695 acute ischemic stroke patients received tPA;
  • of those, 3.9 percent, had ultrafast door-to-needle times; and
  • ultrafast door-to-needle time patients were more than twice as likely to be male, more than four-times as likely to arrive by ambulance, and nearly twice as likely to arrive on a weekday.

The study suggests that only a small percentage of these stroke patients receive ultrafast treatment and highlights the need to better understand the role gender plays in treatment-related decisions, researchers said.

Archit Bhatt, M.D., M.P.H., Providence Brain and Spine Institute, Portland, Oregan.

Note: Actual presentation is 5:25 p.m. CT/6:25 p.m. ET, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017 in Hall E.

 

Embargoed for 3 p.m. CT/4 p.m. ET – Session MP17 – Poster TMP79

Military single-payer health system free of stroke care racial disparity, but rank matters

Racial disparity in the care of stroke patients, which exists in the civilian U.S. healthcare system, does not appear to exist in the U.S. military healthcare system, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2017.

However, they noted better outcomes after stroke for those in higher ranks versus lower ranks.

Researchers studied stroke outcomes, or results, among stroke survivors in the single-payer U.S. military healthcare system, in which every member has the same health benefits. They collected information from 2010 to 2015 on 3,623 patients admitted to military care facilities and discharged with the diagnosis of stroke. They studied race and rank.

They found no correlation between race and total cost of hospitalization or outcome. However, they did find a “statistically significant trend” toward better outcomes after stroke for those in higher ranks versus lower ranks.

Matthew Holtkamp, D.O., Carl R. Darnell Army Medical Center, Harker Heights, Texas.

Note: Actual presentation is 5:40 p.m. CT/6:40 p.m. ET, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017 in Hall E.

 

Embargoed for 3 p.m. CT/4 p.m. ET – Session P33 – Poster TP405

Children more vulnerable to psychological problems after a stroke

Children who have suffered ischemic (clot-caused) strokes are more likely to have psychological problems, including anxiety and behavioral difficulties, than children who have not had a stroke, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2017.

Researchers studied 50 children who had suffered an ischemic stroke at a range of ages – from one month to about 17 years. Parents completed a behavioral checklist at least 10 months after their child’s stroke.

Researchers found:

  • Children with stroke had notably greater mood, anxiety, somatic (physical), oppositional defiance and conduct problems than children without stroke.
  • Children who had strokes at ages younger than six years had notably higher anxiety levels than older children who had stroke. That could be due to changes in family dynamics when young children suffer a neurological injury, researchers said.

“These results support the need for careful psychological follow-up in this vulnerable population,” researchers said.

Emily Maxwell, Ph.D., University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, Colorado.

Note: Actual presentation is 6:15 p.m. CT/7:15 p.m. ET, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017 in Hall E.

Additional Resources:

###

Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Stroke Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position.  The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events.  The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content.  Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

For Media Inquiries and ASA Spokesperson Perspective:

AHA/ASA News Media in Dallas: (214) 706-1173

AHA/ASA News Media Office, Feb. 21-24,

at the George R. Brown Convention Center: (713) 853-8406

For Public Inquiries: (800) AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

Life is why, science is how . . . we help people live longer, healthier lives.

]]>Stroke NewsScientific Conferences & MeetingsFri, 24 Feb 2017 17:28:40 GMTTip Headlines: Epilepsy in the elderly linked to increased stroke risk; E-cigarettes may pose the same or higher risk of stroke severity as tobacco smoke; Biological, not chronological age, better predictor of stroke recovery; Parkinson’s disease may have link to stroke; Inadequate access to affordable, nutritious food may increase stroke risk factors; Symptoms of depression in stroke survivors may predict caregiver depression; Men more likely than women to get “ultrafast” stroke treatment; Military single-payer health system free of stroke care racial disparity, but rank matters; Children more vulnerable to psychological problems after a stroke. http://newsroom.heart.org/news/isc17-thursday-news-tipsThu, 23 Feb 2017 21:00:00 GMT

Horse, rhythm-and-music therapies may boost recovery after stroke

Thu, 06/15/2017 - 15:19
Study Highlights

  • Horseback riding and rhythm-and-music therapies may improve balance, gait, cognition and long-term perception of recovery for stroke survivor’s years after their stroke.
  • Researchers said significant improvements are still possible years after stroke using motivating, comprehensive therapies that combine physical, sensory, cognitive and social components to stimulate and increase brain activity.

Embargoed until 3 p.m. CT / 4 p.m. ET Thursday, June 15, 2017

DALLAS, June 15, 2017 — Horseback riding and rhythm-and-music therapies may improve stroke survivors’ perception of recovery, gait, balance, grip strength and cognition years after their stroke, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke.

A variety of interventions that engage patients in physical, sensory, cognitive and social activities simultaneously target a range of functions. Researchers said this combination of different activities and stimuli, rather than the individual components, appear to produce additional beneficial effects for stroke recovery.

“Significant improvements are still possible, even years after a stroke, using motivating, comprehensive therapies provided in stimulating physical and social surroundings to increase brain activity and recovery,” said Michael Nilsson, M.D., Ph.D. senior author and Director of the Hunter Medical Research Institute and Professor at the University of Newcastle in Australia and University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Researchers studied 123 Swedish men and women (age 50-75) who had suffered strokes between 10 months and 5 years earlier. Survivors were randomly assigned to rhythm-and-music therapy, horse-riding therapy or ordinary care (the control group). The therapies were given twice a week for 12 weeks.

Researchers found that among the survivors who felt they experienced an increased perception of recovery:

  • 56 percent were in the horse-riding group;
  • 38 percent in the rhythm and music group; and
  • 17 percent in the “control or usual care” group.

The perception of recovery was sustained at three-month and six-month follow-ups.

Horse-riding therapy produces a multisensory environment and the three-dimensional movements of the horse’s back create a sensory experience that closely resembles normal human gait and is beneficial for stroke survivors.

In rhythm-and-music therapy patients listen to music while performing rhythmic and cognitively demanding hand and feet movements to visual and audio cues. Researchers found that the rhythm-and-music activity helped survivors with balance, grip-strength and working memory.

Limitations of the study include the relatively small number of participants and survivors with severe disabilities could not be considered for the therapy. In addition, researchers doubt these therapies would be cost-effective if patients with mild deficiencies had been included.

Further analyses of the study results and follow-up studies involving more participants are planned to help determine efficiency, timing and costs.

Co-authors are Lina Bunketorp-Käll, Ph.D.; Åsa Lundgren-Nilsson, Ph.D.; Hans Samuelsson, Ph.D.; Tulen Pekny, M.D.; Karin Blomvé, M.D.; Marcela Pekna, M.D., Ph.D.; Milos Pekny, M.D., Ph.D.; and Christian Blomstrand, M.D., Ph.D. Author disclosures and funding are on the manuscript.

Additional Resources:

###

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke –  the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: (214) 706-1173

Karen Astle: (214) 706-1392; karen.astle@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: (800)-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

Life is why, science is how . . . we help people live longer, healthier lives.

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsThu, 15 Jun 2017 20:00:07 GMTStudy Highlights: Horseback riding and rhythm-and-music therapies may improve balance, gait, cognition and long-term perception of recovery for stroke survivor’s years after their stroke. Researchers said significant improvements are still possible years after stroke using motivating, comprehensive therapies that combine physical, sensory, cognitive and social components to stimulate and increase brain activity. http://newsroom.heart.org/news/horse-rhythm-and-music-therapies-may-boost-recovery-after-strokeThu, 15 Jun 2017 20:00:00 GMT

Receiving a clot-buster drug before reaching the hospital may reduce stroke disability

Thu, 06/15/2017 - 13:11
Study Highlights:  

  • A preliminary study shows that giving a clot-busting drug in a mobile stroke unit ambulance may lead to less disability after stroke, compared to when the clot-buster is given after reaching the hospital.
  • The study suggests that ambulances with the personnel and equipment capable of diagnosing ischemic stroke may be worth the extra cost, due to the decrease in patient disability afterward.

Embargoed until 8:12 a.m. CT/9:12 a.m. ET, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017

HOUSTON, Feb. 23, 2017 – stroke patients receiving clot-busting medications before arriving at the hospital have a lower risk for disability afterward, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2017.

Researchers analyzed results from 658 stroke patients who were treated with tPA – a drug that dissolves blood clots. About half of the participants received the clot-busting drug at the hospital, and half received it while still in the ambulance.

This preliminary study showed that three months after stroke, 182 out of every 1,000 patients treated before arriving at hospital were less disabled, including 58 patients who had zero disability, compared to people who received treatment after reaching the hospital.

“Time is brain in acute stroke after vascular collaterals fail, and faster treatment yields better outcomes,” said May Nour, M.D., Ph.D., lead researcher, interventional neurologist and director of UCLA’s Mobile Stroke Rescue Program. “Our study shows pre-hospital clot-busting is a promising, evolving approach to providing tPA stroke therapy. Its better outcomes could offset the increased costs of a mobile stroke unit.”

Past research showed the sooner that a clot-busting tPA drug is given after an ischemic stroke – one in which a clot is blocking blood flow – the better patients fare. But tPA is not indicated and could hurt a patient’s chances if they are having a hemorrhagic stroke, in which a blood vessel ruptures. That is why patients need a CT scan to confirm the type of stroke before receiving tPA.

Every second counts, in the current standard of care, patients who experience stroke-like symptoms and call 9-1-1 arriving to the hospital by ambulance are assessed by clinical examination and imaging (CT or MRI scan) in the Emergency Department. This takes a certain amount of time from the patient’s symptom onset which prompted the 9-1-1 call.

In a mobile stroke unit, a specialized ambulance is equipped with a CT scanner, a paramedic, a critical care nurse, a CT technologist and a neurologist in person or by telemedicine. The ambulance arrives, does the CT on-site, gives the clot-busting drug if indicated and then transports the patient to the hospital.

Nour’s team used data from Berlin’s PHANTOM-S study, which took place from 2011 to 2015 and included 427 participants (median age 72) which were compared to 505 patients who received conventional care with in-hospital clot busting. Researchers analyzed information about patients’ disabilities to determine how many needed to be treated in the mobile stroke unit to yield a greater benefit in disability outcomes when compared to patients who received tPA at the hospital.

The findings bordered on statistical significance, suggesting that future clinical trials with a greater number of patients are needed to show similar benefits.

“People should know the warning signs of stroke and call 9-1-1 as soon as they observe stroke signs,” said Nour. “Treatment then needs to happen as quickly as possible, and a mobile stroke unit may allow that to happen.”

Coauthors include Sidney Starkman, M.D.; Latisha Sharma, M.D.; and Jeffrey Saver, M.D.

Author disclosures are on the abstract.

The study was funded by the Arline and Henry Gluck Foundation.

Additional Resources:

###

Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

Note: Actual presentation is 8:12 a.m. CT/9:12 a.m. ET, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017.

For Media Inquiries and ASA Spokesperson Perspective:

AHA/ASA News Media in Dallas: (214) 706-1173

AHA/ASA News Media Office, Feb. 22-24,

at the George R. Brown Convention Center: (713) 853-8406

For Public Inquiries: (800) AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

Life is why, science is how . . . we help people live longer, healthier lives.

]]>Scientific Conferences & MeetingsStroke NewsThu, 23 Feb 2017 14:12:07 GMTStudy Highlights:  A preliminary study shows that giving a clot-busting drug in a mobile stroke unit ambulance may lead to less disability after stroke, compared to when the clot-buster is given after reaching the hospital. The study suggests that ambulances with the personnel and equipment capable of diagnosing ischemic stroke may be worth the extra cost, due to the decrease in patient disability afterward. http://newsroom.heart.org/news/receiving-a-clot-buster-drug-before-reaching-the-hospital-may-reduce-stroke-disabilityThu, 23 Feb 2017 14:12:00 GMT

Many stroke patients do not receive life-saving therapy

Thu, 06/15/2017 - 13:11
Study Highlights: 

  • Many ischemic stroke patients do not get tPA, which can decrease their chances for recovery.
  • Blacks, Hispanics, women and “Stroke Belters” are less likely to get tPA.
  • Patients treated in large, urban hospitals, stroke-certified hospitals and hospitals participating in the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines®─Stroke program are more likely to get tPA.
  • Patients with private insurance were more likely to receive tPA than those with Medicare.

Embargoed until 7:36 a.m. CT/8:36 a.m. ET, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017

HOUSTON, Feb. 23, 2017 – Although tPA treatment for stroke is increasing over time, minorities, women and residents of 11 southeastern states that make up the “Stroke Belt” are left behind when it comes to receiving tPA, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2017.

Tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, is the only treatment approved by the Food and Drug Administration for ischemic stroke, the most common kind of stroke. If administered within 4.5 hours of the first signs of stroke, tPA can dissolve the blood clot and restore blood flow to the affected part of the brain.

“Hospitals, governments and other organizations are undertaking efforts to increase the number of patients who receive tPA,” said Tracy Madsen, M.D., Sc.M., lead researcher and Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Brown University in Rhode Island. “We wanted to see if these quality improvement efforts were making a difference.”

The study reviewed records from the National Inpatient Sample of 563,087 patients (median age 74) who had an ischemic stroke between 2005 and 2011. Overall, 3.8 percent of patients received tPA, with the number growing each year.

Researchers found:

  • Blacks were 38 percent less likely than whites to receive tPA.
  • Hispanics were 25 percent less likely than whites to receive tPA.
  • Women were 6 percent less likely than men to receive tPA.
  • Those with private insurance were 29 percent more likely to receive tPA compared to those with Medicare.
  • Residents of the “Stroke Belt” were 31 percent less likely than those living elsewhere to receive tPA.

Researchers also found that patients discharged from a designated stroke center or a hospital participating in the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines®─Stroke program were more likely to receive tPA. Likewise, patients were more likely to receive tPA at large, urban, or teaching hospitals compared to hospitals discharged from small, rural, or non-teaching hospitals.

Madsen said that the growing number of hospitals participating in the Get With The Guidelines®─Stroke program and legislation requiring emergency services to take stroke patients to regional stroke centers are likely to increase the number of patients receiving tPA.

 “Some previous studies have found that up to three-fourths of patients arrived after the time window for tPA had closed,” Madsen said. “Many patients across all groups do not arrive at the hospital in time, but this is particularly true for underrepresented minorities.”

An important limitation of the study data is that researchers could not determine why patients did not receive tPA.  The study is also limited because we were not able to adjust for patient level factors such as time to arrival and other tPA exclusion criteria, stroke severity, patient education, and socioeconomic status.  “More research needs to be done to help figure out why many patients do not receive tPA,” Madsen said.

“There is also a lot of work to do in the realm of stroke education so that patients recognize stroke symptoms and call EMS immediately,” Madsen said.

According to the American Heart Association’s Heart Disease and Stroke Statistical Update, 795,000 Americans have a stroke every year, causing almost 129,000 deaths. Residents of the Stroke Belt—Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia—suffer even higher rates of stroke and stroke death.

The National Inpatient Sample is the largest publicly available database of inpatient health care in the U.S.

Coauthors are Shannon Melluzo, B.A.; Charles R. Wira III, M.D.; Zainab Magdon-Ismail, Ed.M., M.P.H.; David Day, B.S.; and Toby I. Gropen, M.D.

Author disclosures are on the abstract.

The study was funded by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Founders Affiliate, and the Northeast Cerebrovascular Consortium.

Additional Resources:

###

Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

For Media Inquiries and ASA Spokesperson Perspective:

AHA/ASA News Media in Dallas: (214) 706-1173

AHA/ASA News Media Office, Feb. 22-24,

George R. Brown Convention Center: (713) 853-8406

For Public Inquiries: (800) AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

Life is why, science is how . . . we help people live longer, healthier lives.

]]>Scientific Conferences & MeetingsStroke NewsThu, 23 Feb 2017 13:36:10 GMTStudy Highlights:  Many ischemic stroke patients do not get tPA, which can decrease their chances for recovery. Blacks, Hispanics, women and “Stroke Belters” are less likely to get tPA. Patients treated in large, urban hospitals, stroke-certified hospitals and hospitals participating in the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines®─Stroke program are more likely to get tPA. Patients with private insurance were more likely to receive tPA than those with Medicare. http://newsroom.heart.org/news/many-stroke-patients-do-not-receive-life-saving-therapyThu, 23 Feb 2017 13:36:00 GMT

Muchos pacientes de ataque cerebral no reciben una terapia que les podría salvar la vida

Thu, 06/15/2017 - 13:11
Lo más sobresaliente del estudio: 

  • Muchos pacientes de ataque cerebral isquémico no reciben tPA, lo que puede disminuir sus probabilidades de recuperación.
  • Los afroamericanos, hispanos, mujeres y la gente de la región del “Stroke Belt” (un área donde surgen más ataques cerebrales) son menos propensos a recibir tPA.
  • Los pacientes que son tratados en hospitales urbanos grandes, hospitales certificados en cuidados de ataque cerebral y hospitales que participan en el programa Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke de la American Heart Association son más propensos a recibir tPA.
  • Los pacientes con seguro privado son más propensos a recibir tPA que los que tienen Medicare.

No publicar hasta el jueves 23 de febrero de 2017 a las 7:36 a.m. CT/8:36 a.m. ET

HOUSTON, 23 de febrero de 2017 – A pesar de que el tratamiento tPA para ataques cerebrales ha aumentado con el tiempo, las minorías, mujeres y residentes de 11 estados del sudeste que componen el “Stroke Belt” (la region donde surgen más ataques cerebrales) son dejados de lado cuando se trata de recibir tPA, de acuerdo con una investigación presentada en la Conferencia Internacional sobre ataque cerebral de la American Stroke Association 2017.

El Activador Tisular del Plasminógeno, o tPA, es el único tratamiento aprobado por la Administración de Alimentos y Medicamentos de los Estados Unidos (FDA) para ataques cerebrales isquémicos, el tipo de ataque cerebral más común. Si se administra en las primeras 4.5 horas de los primeros signos de ataque cerebral, la tPA puede disolver el coágulo sanguíneo y restaurar el flujo sanguíneo a la parte del cerebro afectada.

“Los hospitales, gobiernos y otras organizaciones están llevando a cabo esfuerzos para aumentar el número de pacientes que reciben tPA,” dijo Tracy Madsen, M.D., Sc.M., investigadora principal y profesora asistente de Medicina de Urgencias en la Universidad de Brown en Rhode Island. “Queríamos ver si estos esfuerzos en mejorar la calidad estaban haciendo una diferencia”.

El estudio revisó los registros de National Inpatient Sample de 563,087 pacientes (edad media de 74) que sufrieron un ataque cerebral isquémico entre 2005 y 2011. En general, 3.8 por ciento de los pacientes recibió tPA, con el número creciendo cada año.

Los investigadores descubrieron que:

  • Los afroamericanos fueron 38 por ciento menos propensos que los caucásicos a recibir tPA.
  • Los hispanos fueron 25 por ciento menos propensos que los caucásicos a recibir tPA.
  • Las mujeres fueron 6 por ciento menos propensas que los hombres a recibir tPA.
  • Quienes tenían seguro privado fueron 29 por ciento menos propensos a recibir tPA en comparación con quienes tenían Medicare.
  • Los residentes del “Stroke Belt” fueron 31 por ciento menos propensos a recibir tPA que los que vivían en cualquier otro lugar.

Los investigadores también descubrieron que los pacientes dados de alta de centros de ataque cerebral u hospitales designados que participan en el programa American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines®─Stroke fueron más propensos a recibir tPA. De igual manera, los pacientes fueron más propensos a recibir tPA en hospitales urbanos grandes u hospitales universitarios en comparación con los pacientes dados de alta de hospitales rurales, pequeños o no universitarios.

Madsen dijo que probablemente el número creciente de hospitales participando en el programa Get With The Guidelines®─Stroke y la legislación que requiere que los servicios de emergencia lleven a los pacientes de ataque cerebral a centros regionales de ataque cerebral aumentarán el número de pacientes que reciben tPA.

 “Algunos estudios previos han encontrado que hasta tres cuartos de los pacientes llegan cuando ya ha cerrado la ventana para aplica tPA”, dijo Madsen. “Muchos pacientes en todos los grupos no llegan al hospital a tiempo, declaración que es particularmente cierta para las minorías subrepresentadas”.

Una limitante importante de la información del estudio es que los investigadores no pudieron determinar por qué los pacientes no reciben tPA. El estudio también está limitado porque no pudimos ajustarnos a factores a nivel del paciente como el tiempo de llegada y otros criterios de exclusión de tPA, severidad del ataque cerebral, educación del paciente y nivel socioeconómico. “Se necesita más investigación para entender la razón por la que muchos pacientes no reciben tPA,” dijo Madsen.

“Igual hay mucho trabajo que hacer en el ámbito de la educación sobre ataques cerebrales para que los pacientes reconozcan los síntomas de ataques cerebrales y llamen inmediatamente a los servicios de emergencia,” comentó Madsen.

De acuerdo con el Heart Disease and Stroke Statistical Update de la American Heart Association, 795,000 estadounidenses sufren un ataque cerebral al año, causando casi 129,000 muertes. Los residentes del “Stroke Belt”—Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Carolina del Norte, Carolina del Sur, Tennessee y Virginia— sufren tasas todavía más altas de ataques cerebrales y muertes a causa de un ataque cerebral.

La National Inpatient Sample es la base de datos más grande públicamente disponible de cuidado médico hospitalario en los Estados Unidos.

Los coautores del estudio son Shannon Melluzo, B.A.; Charles R. Wira III, M.D.; Zainab Magdon-Ismail, Ed.M., M.P.H.; David Day, B.S., y Toby I. Gropen, M.D. Author disclosures are on the abstract.

El estudio fue financiado por la American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Founders Affiliate y el Northeast Cerebrovascular Consortium.

Recursos adicionales:

###

Las declaraciones y conclusiones de los autores del estudio presentadas en las reuniones científicas de la  American Heart Association son propias de los autores del estudio y no reflejan necesariamente la política o posición de la Asociación. La Asociación no representa ni garantiza su exactitud o confiabilidad. La Asociación recibe fondos principalmente de individuos. Las fundaciones y corporaciones (incluyendo farmacéuticas, fabricantes de dispositivos y otras compañías) también realizan donaciones y financian programas y eventos específicos de la asociación. La Asociación tiene políticas estrictas para prevenir que estas relaciones influyan el contenido científico. Los ingresos de las corporaciones farmacéuticas y de dispositivos están disponibles en www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

Para consultas de los medios y para conocer la perspectiva del vocero de la ASA:

AHA/ASA News Media in Dallas: (214) 706-1173

AHA/ASA News Media Office, 22-24 de febrero,

Centro de convenciones George R. Brown: (713) 853-8406

Para consultas públicas: (800) AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org y strokeassociation.org

Es por la vida, es con la ciencia . . . que ayudamos a la gente a vivir vidas más largas y saludables

 

]]>Foreign Language News ReleasesScientific Conferences & MeetingsStroke NewsThu, 23 Feb 2017 13:36:06 GMTLo más sobresaliente del estudio:  Muchos pacientes de ataque cerebral isquémico no reciben tPA, lo que puede disminuir sus probabilidades de recuperación. Los afroamericanos, hispanos, mujeres y la gente de la región del “Stroke Belt” (un área donde surgen más ataques cerebrales) son menos propensos a recibir tPA. Los pacientes que son tratados en hospitales urbanos grandes, hospitales certificados en cuidados de ataque cerebral y hospitales que participan en el programa Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke de la American Heart Association son más propensos a recibir tPA. Los pacientes con seguro privado son más propensos a recibir tPA que los que tienen Medicare. http://newsroom.heart.org/news/muchos-pacientes-de-ataque-cerebral-no-reciben-una-terapia-que-les-podria-salvar-la-vidaThu, 23 Feb 2017 13:36:00 GMT

Los mexicanos-estadounidenses pueden recibir menos rehabilitación después del ataque cerebral que los caucásicos no latinos

Thu, 06/15/2017 - 09:03
Los sobrevivientes mexicanos-estadounidenses de ataque cerebral son más propensos a recibir rehabilitación en casa, a diferencia de los caucásicos no hispanos, quienes reciben rehabilitación más intensiva cuando están hospitalizados, de acuerdo con una investigación presentada en la Conferencia Internacional sobre ataque cerebral de la American Stroke Association 2017.

Como parte del proyecto Brain Attack Surveillance in Corpus Christi (BASIC), los investigadores le dieron seguimiento a 72 sobrevivientes de ataque cerebral por tres meses después de sufrir el ataque. Cincuenta fueron mexicanos-estadounidenses y 22 caucásicos no hispanos. No hubo diferencias étnicas entre los pacientes que fueron dados de alta sin servicios de rehabilitación.

Los investigadores descubrieron que:

  • Entre los 48 que recibieron rehabilitación, el 73 por ciento de los caucásicos no hispanos fueron dados de alta con rehabilitación en el hospital, en comparación a un 30 por ciento de mexicanos-estadounidenses.
  • Ninguno de los caucásicos no hispanos del estudio recibió rehabilitación en casa después del ataque cerebral a diferencia de un 51 por ciento de los pacientes mexicanos-americanos.

Los investigadores comentaron que esta disparidad puede explicar, en parte, por qué los mexicanos-estadounidenses muestran peores resultados neurológicos, funcionales y cognitivos después del ataque cerebral que los caucásicos no hispanos.

Lewis B. Morgenstern, M.D., Universidad de Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Nota: La presentación real es el miércoles 22 de febrero del 2017 a las 6:15 p.m. CT/7:15 p.m. ET, en el Hall E.

Recursos adicionales:

###

Las declaraciones y conclusiones de los autores del estudio presentadas en las reuniones científicas de la American Stroke Association son propias de los autores del estudio y no reflejan necesariamente la política o posición de la Asociación. La Asociación no representa ni garantiza su exactitud o confiabilidad. La Asociación recibe fondos principalmente de individuos. Las fundaciones y corporaciones (incluyendo farmacéuticas, fabricantes de dispositivos y otras compañías) también realizan donaciones y financian programas y eventos específicos de la asociación. La Asociación tiene políticas estrictas para prevenir que estas relaciones influyan el contenido científico. Los ingresos de las corporaciones farmacéuticas y de dispositivos están disponibles en www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

Para consultas de los medios y para conocer la perspectiva del vocero de la ASA:

AHA/ASA News Media en Dallas: (214) 706-1173

AHA/ASA News Media Office, 21-24 de febrero

en el Centro de Convenciones George R. Brown: (713) 853-8406

Para consultas públicas: (800) AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org y strokeassociation.org

Es por la vida, es con la ciencia . . . que ayudamos a la gente a vivir vidas más largas y saludables

]]>Foreign Language News ReleasesScientific Conferences & MeetingsStroke NewsWed, 22 Feb 2017 21:02:08 GMTLos sobrevivientes mexicanos-estadounidenses de ataque cerebral son más propensos a recibir rehabilitación en casa, a diferencia de los caucásicos no hispanos, quienes reciben rehabilitación más intensiva cuando están hospitalizados, de acuerdo con una...http://newsroom.heart.org/news/los-mexicanos-estadounidenses-pueden-recibir-menos-rehabilitacion-despues-del-ataque-cerebral-que-los-caucasicos-no-latinosWed, 22 Feb 2017 21:00:00 GMT

ISC17 Wednesday News Tips

Thu, 06/15/2017 - 09:03
Tip headlines:

  • Circadian light may relieve depressive symptoms in stroke rehab patients
  • The monster within: Aged gut bacteria linked to poor outcomes after stroke
  • Recurrent stroke risk higher among older blacks than whites
  • Liver cirrhosis associated with increased stroke risk
  • “Good” cholesterol may have different chemical properties in Alzheimer’s patients
  • Bypassing emergency department for “angio-suite” reduced treatment time in stroke patients
  • Mexican Americans may get less intensive stroke rehab than non-Hispanic whites
  • Researchers find association between gum disease and ischemic stroke risk
  • BE FAST assessment tool accurately identifies stroke
  • Tai Chi may reduce stroke risk

Note: All Times are Central (CT). All tips are embargoed until the time of presentation or 3 p.m. CT/4 p.m. ET each day, whichever comes first.

Embargoed for 8 a.m. CT/9 a.m. ET – Session A2 – Abstract 13

Circadian light may relieve depressive symptoms in stroke rehab patients

A circadian hospital lighting system reduced depressive mood symptoms among stroke patients admitted for long-term rehabilitation, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2017.

Circadian light drives the body’s natural wakefulness and sleep cycle. Blue light is the strongest determinate and modifying factor in the light spectrum, which makes it the main body clock driver. Sunlight is the main source of blue light but it also can be found in fluorescent, LED lighting and flat-screen TVs. Blue light has been shown to boost alertness, help memory and cognitive function, and elevate mood.

Stroke patients admitted for long-term rehabilitation often lack the blue light in daytime because they spend so much time indoors. They’re also often exposed to blue light at the wrong time of day, such as in the evenings, as blue light is in standard lightning and flat screen televisions.

Researchers studied 84 stroke rehabilitation patients in an acute stroke unit. Patients participated in at least two weeks of rehabilitation in either a unit with circadian lighting or in one with standard lighting. Researchers measured the patients’ depressive moods based on two scales that rate depression and found that patients in the unit with circadian light were significantly less depressed at discharge than those in the standard light unit.

Circadian lighting should be considered as part of rehabilitation unit environments, researchers said.

Anders West, M.D., Stroke Center, Rigshospitalet, Glostrup, University of Copenhagen,  Denmark.

 

Embargoed for 9:21 a.m. CT/10:21 a.m. ET – Session A7 – Abstract 46

The monster within: Aged gut bacteria linked to poor outcomes after stroke

Our intestines are filled with a vast community of gut bacteria and other microbes known as the “microbiome". The microbiome changes significantly over the course of our lifetime and may increase the severity of brain damage after a stroke, according to a preliminary study in mice presented at the American Heart Association’s International Stroke Conference 2017.

Mice that were treated with gut bacteria from older mice after stroke had impaired recovery compared to mice who received “youthful” gut bacteria from young mice. Furthermore, mice who received gut bacteria from older mice had higher levels of γδ T cells in the gut after stroke, immune cells that have been previously shown to worsen stroke severity.

A deeper understanding of the role of gut bacteria in stroke recovery may help identify new treatments for stroke patients, researchers said.

Javiera B. Bravo-Alegria, Ph.D., University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, Texas.

 

Embargoed for 3 p.m. CT/4 p.m. ET – Session MP5 -- Poster WMP58

Recurrent stroke risk higher among older blacks than whites

Among ischemic (non-bleeding) stroke survivors age 65 or older, black Americans are more likely than white Americans to have recurrent strokes, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2017.

Researchers studied information on 128,789 Medicare beneficiaries who had their first ischemic stroke between 1999 and 2013, and compared one-year recurrent ischemic stroke risk in older black and white Americans.

Overall, they found that 7.8 percent of whites and 11 percent of blacks had a recurrent ischemic stroke. Blacks were 24 percent to 50 percent more likely to have recurrent stroke during each time period studied. While the disparity between black and white patients for recurrent ischemic stroke remained stable for patients age 75 years and older, it increased for those age 66 to 74.

The risk for ischemic stroke recurrence among older Americans who survived an initial ischemic stroke remains higher for blacks than whites, regardless of age group, researchers said.

Karen C. Albright, D.O., M.P.H.; The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama.

Note: Actual presentation is 6 p.m. CT/7 p.m. ET, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017 in Hall E.

 

Embargoed for 3 p.m. CT/4 p.m. ET – Session MP5 – Poster WMP60

(Tip contains updated information not in the abstract.)

Liver cirrhosis associated with increased stroke risk

Liver cirrhosis is associated with an increased risk of stroke, particularly hemorrhagic (bleeding) stroke, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2017.

Researchers studied a sample of Medicare beneficiary claims from 2008 to 2014.

They found:

  • Among 1,618,059 people, 1.0 percent had been diagnosed with liver cirrhosis.
  • Each year, stroke occurred in 2.2 percent of those who had liver cirrhosis, versus 1.1 percent in patients who didn’t have liver cirrhosis.
  • After adjusting for other risks, researchers found that patients with liver cirrhosis had a 40 percent higher risk of suffering a stroke than those free of the disease.
  • The higher stroke risk was more pronounced for bleeding strokes — intracerebral and subarachnoid strokes — than for ischemic (clot-caused) stroke.

The findings build on recent research examining bleeding and clotting complications of liver cirrhosis outside of the gastrointestinal system, researchers said.

Neal S. Parikh, M.D., Weill Cornell Medical College, New York City, New York. 

Note: Actual presentation is 6:10 p.m. CT/7:10 p.m. ET Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017 in Hall E.

 

Embargoed for 3 p.m. CT/4 p.m. ET – Session A14 – Abstract 97

“Good” cholesterol may have different chemical properties in Alzheimer’s patients

High-density lipoprotein (HDL – “good” cholesterol) in people with Alzheimer’s disease has different chemical properties than HDL in adults without the disease, and this may contribute to cognitive impairment in those with Alzheimer’s, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2017.

HDL is the only type of lipoprotein that can cross into and out of the blood brain barrier, and adequate HDL is associated with good cognitive function. Researchers analyzed the chemical components in HDL from the blood of Alzheimer’s patients and compared them to HDL from healthy adults.

They found that compared to healthy people, Alzheimer’s patients had a 5.5 times increase of a dysfunctional HDL subfraction, as well as a decreased protein/lipid ratio.

The associated reduction in proteins needed for brain function, such as albumin, and increase in proinflammatory components could favor inflammation in the brain and contribute to cognitive impairment.

Hua-Chen Chan, Ph.D., Assistant Investigator, Center for Lipid Biosciences, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Note: Actual presentation is 4:30 p.m. CT/5:30 p.m. ET, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017.

 

Embargoed for 3 p.m. CT/4 p.m. ET – Session MP1 – Poster WMP3

Bypassing emergency department for “angio-suite” reduced treatment time in stroke patients

Bypassing the emergency department to transfer stroke patients directly to an angiography procedure room (angio-suite) reduced time to start an endovascular treatment, for eligible stroke patients, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2017.

Barcelona researchers reviewed the feasibility and safety of a direct-transfer angio-suite for acute stroke patients eligible for the mechanical removal of a clot blocking brain flow (endovascular treatment).

Beginning in June 2016, hospital staff transferred stroke patients admitted to the hospital within 4.5 hours of when their stroke symptoms started directly to an angio-suite, bypassing the emergency department. The patients were evaluated and treated in the suite.

Of the 16 patients transferred, one wasn’t eligible for endovascular treatment because a scan revealed the patient had an intracranial hemorrhage (bleeding), not an ischemic stroke. The other 15 underwent endovascular treatment.

Researchers found:

  • The median time from admission to procedure start was 15 minutes among direct transfer patients as compared to 65 minutes in those who did not go directly to the angio-suite.
  • Direct transfer patients had a higher rate of non-treatable occlusions, or clots, compared to patients who first went to the ED.
  • Endovascular treatment took an average 36 minutes for the direct transfer patients, versus 55 minutes for those who received standard of care.
  • Results from the procedure were similar for both groups of patients.

“In a subgroup of acute stroke patients presenting in the early (4.5-hour) window, direct transfer and triage in the angio-suite seems feasible, safe and achieves a significant reduction in hospital workflow times,” the authors wrote.

Marc Ribo, M.D., Ph.D., Stroke Unit, Hospital Vall d'Hebron, Barcelona, Spain.

Note: Actual presentation is 5:25 p.m. CT/6:25 p.m. ET, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017, in Hall E.

 

Embargoed for 3 p.m. CT/4 p.m. ET – Session P7 – Poster WP165

Mexican-Americans may get less intensive stroke rehab than non-Hispanic whites

Mexican-American stroke survivors are more likely to receive home-based rehabilitation, while non-Hispanic whites are more likely to get more intensive inpatient rehabilitation, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2017.

As part of the Brain Attack Surveillance in Corpus Christi (BASIC), researchers followed 72 stroke survivors for three months after their strokes. Fifty were Mexican-American and 22 were non-Hispanic white. There were no ethnic differences among the patients who were discharged home without rehabilitation services.

Researchers found:

  • Among the 48 who received rehabilitation, 73 percent of non-Hispanic whites were discharged to inpatient rehabilitation, compared to 30 percent of Mexican-Americans.
  • While none of the non-Hispanic whites studied received home rehabilitation after stroke, 51 percent of Mexican-American stroke patients received at-home rehab.

This disparity may, in part, explain why Mexican-Americans have worse neurologic, functional and cognitive results after stroke than non-Hispanic whites, researchers said.

Lewis B. Morgenstern, M.D., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Note: Actual presentation is 6:15 p.m. CT/7:15 p.m. ET, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017 in Hall E.

 

Embargoed for 3 p.m. CT/4 p.m. ET – Session P8 – Poster WP193

Researchers find association between gum disease and ischemic stroke risk

Adults with gum, or periodontal, disease may be at greater ischemic stroke risk, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2017.

Researchers assessed 6,711 adults, who had not had a stroke, for periodontal disease and categorized the adults according to whether they had mild, moderate or severe periodontal disease. They followed patients for 15 years for the incidence of stroke, also documenting the stroke subtype based on cause.

A total of 299 ischemic strokes occurred during the 15 years, including 47 percent that were thrombotic stroke, from a clot within the brain’s blood vessels; 26 percent that were cardioembolic, when a blood clot forms in the heart; and 20 percent that were lacunar strokes, which occurs when there is a blockage of small arteries that supply blood to the brain.

They found:

  • Participants with mild periodontal disease were 1.9 times more likely to have an ischemic stroke than those without periodontal disease. Those with moderate periodontal disease had 2.1 times higher ischemic stroke risk and adults with severe gum disease were 2.2 times more likely to suffer an ischemic stroke than those who had no periodontal disease.
  • The association between increasing levels of periodontal disease and stroke risk was most pronounced in the cardioembolic and thrombotic stroke subtypes.

The graded association between the level of gum disease and incident ischemic stroke, supports a possible causal association between gum disease and ischemic stroke, researchers said.

Souvik Sen, M.D., M.S., M.P.H., Professor and Chair of Neurology, University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia, South Carolina.

Note: Actual presentation is 6:15 p.m. CT/7:15 p.m. ET, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017 in Hall E.

For more research on dental care and stroke SEE ALSO Session MP19 – Poster TMP107 “Regular dental care reduces the risk for ischemic stroke: Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study, embargoed for 3 p.m. CT/4 p.m. ET, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017.

Note: Actual presentation is 6 p.m. CT/7 p.m. ET, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017 in Hall E.

 

Embargoed for 3 p.m. CT/4 p.m. ET – Session P10 – Poster WP264

BE FAST assessment tool accurately identifies stroke

A modified version of a simple prehospital stroke assessment tool, called BE FAST, is useful for identifying patients with large vessel occlusion (or blockages of large vessels that supply blood to the brain), according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2017.

Researchers studied the accuracy of the modified BE FAST, which evaluates for Balance/Coordination, Eye Deviation, Facial Weakness, Arm/Leg Weakness, Slurred Speech/Sensory Deficits, Time of Onset. They looked at 455 ischemic stroke patient charts from July 2014 to June 2015, using information about patients’ symptoms, physical findings and more to determine BE FAST scores.

The researchers found the sensitivity (rate at which the tool positively recognizes a large vessel occlusion) for the BE FAST score to be 83 percent.

The tool’s simplicity may reduce the time it takes to deliver the appropriate treatment for stroke patients, but research involving the actual use of the tool is needed to confirm these results, researchers said.

Currently, the American Stroke Association teaches the acronym F.A.S.T. as an easy way to remember the most common stroke warning signs and how to respond: Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty, Time to call 911.

Swati Laroia Coon, D.O., University of Pittsburgh Medical Center-Hamot, Erie, Pennsylvania.

Note: Actual presentation is 6:15 p.m. CT/7:15 p.m. ET, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017 in Hall E.

 

Embargoed for 3 p.m. CT/4 p.m. ET – Session P16 – Poster WP416

Tai Chi may reduce stroke risk

Weekly Tai Chi exercise sessions may reduce stroke risk by lowering high blood pressure and increasing the good cholesterol, or high-density lipoprotein (HDL), according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2017.

Researchers studied how Tai Chi compared to brisk walking for reducing stroke risk in 246 adults with known stroke risk factors, including high blood pressure. Participants were randomly assigned to a group that participated in two 60-minute Tai Chi sessions each week; a walking group that walked briskly for 30 minutes every day; or a control group, which was told to maintain the activities they were doing before the study.

At three months into the assigned activities, researchers found:

  • The Tai Chi group had notably greater reductions of 10.25 mm Hg in systolic (upper number) and 6.5 mm Hg in diastolic (lower number) blood pressure measurements than those in the control group.
  • The Tai Chi group also had an average 0.16 millimole (mmol/L) increase in HDL, compared to the control group.
  • There were no notable differences in blood pressure or HDL in the walking group.
  • None of the groups experienced notable changes in total cholesterol, blood sugar levels, body mass index, waist circumference or body fat percentage.

A study longer than three months is needed to monitor the effects of continuing Tai Chi and brisk walking for stroke prevention, researchers suggested.

Aileen W. Chan, Ph.D., The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong.

Note: Actual presentation is 6:15 p.m. CT/7:15 p.m. ET, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017 in Hall E.

Additional Resources:

###

Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Stroke Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position.  The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events.  The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content.  Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

For Media Inquiries and ASA Spokesperson Perspective:

AHA/ASA News Media in Dallas: (214) 706-1173

AHA/ASA News Media Office, Feb. 21-24,

at the George R. Brown Convention Center: (713) 853-8406

For Public Inquiries: (800) AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

Life is why, science is how . . . we help people live longer, healthier lives.

]]>Scientific Conferences & MeetingsStroke NewsWed, 22 Feb 2017 21:00:11 GMTTip headlines: Circadian light may relieve depressive symptoms in stroke rehab patients; The monster within: Aged gut bacteria linked to poor outcomes after stroke; Recurrent stroke risk higher among older blacks than whites; Liver cirrhosis associated with increased stroke risk; “Good” cholesterol may have different chemical properties in Alzheimer’s patients; Bypassing emergency department for “angio-suite” reduced treatment time in stroke patients; Mexican Americans may get less intensive stroke rehab than non-Hispanic whites; Researchers find association between gum disease and ischemic stroke risk •BE FAST assessment tool accurately identifies stroke; Tai Chi may reduce stroke risk. http://newsroom.heart.org/news/isc17-wednesday-news-tipsWed, 22 Feb 2017 21:00:00 GMT

Infections, other factors raise risk of pregnancy-related stroke in women with preeclampsia

Thu, 05/25/2017 - 15:46
Study Highlights                                                                                                                                        

  • Infections, chronic high blood pressure and bleeding or clotting disorders increase the risk of pregnancy-related stroke in women with preeclampsia.
  • Although pregnancy-related stroke is rare, women with preeclampsia are at higher risk of stroke during pregnancy and postpartum.

Embargoed until 3 p.m. CT / 4 p.m. ET Thursday, May 25, 2017

DALLAS, May 25, 2017 — Urinary tract infections, chronic high blood pressure and bleeding or clotting disorders may increase the risk of pregnancy-associated stroke in women with preeclampsia, a high-blood pressure disorder unique to pregnancy, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke.

Women with preeclampsia are at higher risk of stroke during pregnancy and after delivery. But while preeclampsia affects 3 percent to 8 percent of all pregnancies, pregnancy-related stroke remain rare.

In a study of women admitted to hospitals in New York State from 2003 through 2012, researchers identified 88,857 women with preeclampsia. Of that number, 197 had pregnancy-associated stroke.

Compared with women who had preeclampsia but did not have a stroke, women who had preeclampsia and pregnancy-associated stroke were:

  • seven times more likely to have severe preeclampsia or eclampsia; and
  • about three times more likely to have infections when they arrive at hospital, or had high blood pressure before developing preeclampsia or had blood disorders involving clots or excessive bleeding.

“Preeclampsia is a very complex disorder that’s not completely understood,” said Eliza Miller, M.D., study lead author and vascular neurology fellow at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. “Our study sought to discover if there are other risk factors or clues that may help identify the women with preeclampsia who are at the highest risk for pregnancy-related stroke. We were looking for risk factors that could be prevented or treated.”

Researchers noted a link with urinary tract infections was interesting “because those infections are not only treatable, but could be preventable,” Miller said. 

Using billing data from the New York State Department of Health inpatient database, researchers compared women aged 12 to 55 years old with preeclampsia and pregnancy-associated stroke to a matched control group of women with preeclampsia who did not have strokes. Among the women with preeclampsia and stroke, most strokes occurred postpartum, after women had been discharged home after delivery. More than one in 10 of the preeclampsia-related strokes were fatal.

The study’s reliance on patients’ billing data limited the level of detail researchers could analyze and restricted them from drawing definitive conclusions. But the associations were strong enough, Miller said, to help generate new ideas and directions for more research.  

“Preeclampsia is a very common disorder, and a lot of people are not aware of its association with stroke,” Miller said. “Women with preeclampsia should take any neurological symptoms, such as severe headache, very seriously, especially during the postpartum period. This needs to be a major focus of future stroke research in women.”

The American Heart Association recommends home blood pressure monitoring for all people with high blood pressure.

Co-authors are Hajere Gatollari, M.P.H.; Gloria Too, M.D.; Amelia Boehme, Ph.D., M.S.P.H.; Lisa Leffert, M.D.; Randolph Marshall, M.D.; Mitchell Elkind, M.D., M.S.; and Joshua Willey, M.D., M.S. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

The National Institutes of Health National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke funded the study.

Note: May is American Stroke Month and Preeclampsia Awareness Month.

Additional Resources:

###

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke –  the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: (214) 706-1173

Bridgette McNeill: (214) 706-1135; bridgette.mcneill@heart.org  

For Public Inquiries: (800)-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

Life is why, science is how . . . we help people live longer, healthier lives.

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsThu, 25 May 2017 20:00:06 GMTInfections, chronic high blood pressure and bleeding or clotting disorders increase the risk of pregnancy-related stroke in women with preeclampsia. Although pregnancy-related stroke is rare, women with preeclampsia are at higher risk of stroke during pregnancy and postpartum. http://newsroom.heart.org/news/infections-other-factors-raise-risk-of-pregnancy-related-stroke-in-women-with-preeclampsiaThu, 25 May 2017 20:00:00 GMT

Kicking the salt shaker habit may not be enough

Mon, 05/08/2017 - 15:34
Study Highlights

  • Restaurant foods and commercially processed foods sold in stores accounted for about 70 percent of dietary sodium intake in a study in three U.S. regions.
  • Salt added at home during food preparation or at the table accounted for a small fraction of dietary sodium.
  • These findings confirm earlier recommendations from the Institute of Medicine to lower dietary sodium by decreasing the amount in commercially processed foods.

Embargoed until 3 p.m. CT / 4 p.m. ET, Monday, May 8, 2017

DALLAS, May 8, 2017 — Restaurant foods and commercially processed foods sold in stores accounted for about 70 percent of dietary sodium intake in a study in three U.S. regions, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation.

Sodium is an important contributor to high blood pressure, one of the leading causes of heart attack and stroke. The American Heart Association recommends a maximum of 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium a day, which is equivalent to 1 teaspoon of salt. For nearly 70 percent of U.S. adults, the maximum sodium intake recommendation is even lower – 1500 mg/day – based on their age, race or ethnicity, or existing high blood pressure. Sodium can be difficult to avoid, especially when people eat a lot of processed food from grocery stores or restaurants. In fact, the average American adult consumes more than 3,400 mg of sodium per day. To address this serious health threat, in 2010 the Institute of Medicine recommended gradually decreasing sodium levels in commercially processed foods.

Between December 2013 and December 2014, researchers recruited 450 study participants in Palo Alto, California; Birmingham, Alabama; and Minneapolis, Minnesota; divided evenly among each location. Half of participants were female, and equal percentages, overall, were Hispanic, African American, Asian and white. They ranged in age from 18 to 74 years old.

Participants visited the clinic once at the beginning of the study and then kept records of daily food intake for four days, which they reported to researchers in four telephone interviews along with providing samples of salt replicating the amount they had added to food at home.

Across age groups, the level of dietary sodium was similar, with an average 3,501 mg consumed per day —  over 50 percent more than the recommended 2,300 mg.

Researchers found:

  • Sodium added to food outside the home was the leading source (70.9 percent) and sodium found naturally in food was the next highest (14.2 percent);
  • Sodium from salt added in home food preparation (5.6 percent) and added to food at the table (4.9 percent) were next highest.
  • Sodium in home tap water, dietary supplements and antacids contributed minimally (less than 0.5 percent).

“Telling patients to lay off the salt shaker isn’t enough,” said Lisa J. Harnack, Dr.PH., study lead author and professor at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. “Rather, commercially processed and restaurant foods should be the primary focus when educating patients on strategies for lowering sodium in the diet. Food manufacturers and restaurants should be encouraged to lower the sodium content in their food products to support Americans in consuming a diet consistent with sodium intake recommendations.”

“If you’re aiming to limit your sodium intake to the recommended level of less than 2,300 milligrams per day, you’ll need to choose foods wisely when grocery shopping and dining out,” Harnack said. “For packaged foods, the nutrition fact panel may be useful in identifying lower sodium products, and for menu items diners can request sodium content information. Also, if you frequently add salt to food at the table or in home food preparation, consider using less.”

The study was limited in that it did not represent the overall U.S. population because participants were selected based on location and also may have changed their sodium consumption during the study because they knew that it was under watch.

According to the American Heart Association, restaurant and prepackaged food companies must be a part of the solution to reduce sodium and give Americans the healthy options they need and deserve. The American Heart Association encourages packaged food companies and restaurants to reduce the sodium in their products to help make meaningful impact on the health of all Americans. The association has developed a sodium reduction campaign to help.

Co-authors are Mary E. Cogswell, Dr.PH.; James M. Shikany, Ph.D.; Christopher D. Gardner, Ph.D.; Cathleen Gillespie, M.S.; Catherine M. Loria, Ph.D.; Xia Zhou, M.S.; Keming Yuan, M.S.; and Lyn M. Steffen, Ph.D. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention supported the study.

Additional Resources:

###

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke –  the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: (214) 706-1173

Carrie Thacker: (214) 706-1665; carrie.thacker@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: (800)-AHA-USA1 (242-8721); heart.org and strokeassociation.org

Life is why, science is how . . . we help people live longer, healthier lives

 

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsMon, 08 May 2017 20:00:05 GMTStudy Highlights: Restaurant foods and commercially processed foods sold in stores accounted for about 70 percent of dietary sodium intake in a study in three U.S. regions. Salt added at home during food preparation or at the table accounted for a small fraction of dietary sodium. These findings confirm earlier recommendations from the Institute of Medicine to lower dietary sodium by decreasing the amount in commercially processed foods. http://newsroom.heart.org/news/kicking-the-salt-shaker-habit-may-not-be-enoughMon, 08 May 2017 20:00:00 GMT

American Heart Association/American Stroke Association joins fans sending Country Music Legend Loretta Lynn wishes for a speedy recovery after suffering a stroke

Fri, 05/05/2017 - 23:10
Dallas, May 5, 2017 –  Country Music Legend Loretta Lynn, age 85, is expected to make a full recovery after suffering a stroke Thursday night at her home near Nashville, according to news reports tonight. The reports say she was rushed to a Nashville hospital for treatment and her doctors say she is responsive and recuperating.  

 Stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of long term disability in the United States, but what many people may not know is stroke is largely treatable and the faster you are treated, the more likely you are to recover.  

Studies show ischemic stroke patients who receive the clot-busting drug alteplase (IV r-tPA) within 90 minutes of symptom onset are almost 3 times more likely to recover with little or no disability. And 91 percent of stroke patients who were treated with a stent retriever within 2.5 hours of symptom onset recovered with little or no disability.

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association wants everyone to know the warning signs of stroke. 

Remember F.A.S.T. Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty, Time to call 9-1-1.

To learn more about lowering your risk for stroke, visit www.strokeassociation.org, May is American Stroke Month.

About the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association

The American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association are devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. The American Stroke Association is a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Media Contact: Julie Del Barto, julie.delbarto@heart.org  

]]>Advisories & CommentsStroke NewsSat, 06 May 2017 03:18:28 GMTDallas, May 5, 2017 –  Country Music Legend Loretta Lynn, age 85, is expected to make a full recovery after suffering a stroke Thursday night at her home near Nashville, according to news reports tonight. http://newsroom.heart.org/news/american-heart-associationamerican-stroke-association-joins-fans-sending-country-music-legend-loretta-lynn-wishes-for-a-speedy-recovery-after-suffering-a-strokeSat, 06 May 2017 02:05:00 GMT

Nearly 1 in 5 with highest cardiac risk don’t think they need to improve health

Wed, 05/03/2017 - 15:40
Study Highlights

  • A Canadian study found that nearly one in five of those at highest risk for a heart attack did not believe they needed to improve their health.
  • While most of those at highest risk for a heart attack were more likely to agree on needed health improvements, more than half of those perceiving this need identified barriers to making changes.
  • Older and white participants were more likely than younger and minority group members to express a desire to improve their health.

Embargoed until 3 p.m. CT / 4 p.m. ET Wednesday, May 3, 2017

DALLAS, May 3, 2017 — Nearly one in five people who reported the greatest number of cardiac risk factors did not believe they needed to improve their health, according to new research in Journal of the American Heart Association, the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

While most people in the study at the highest risk for a heart attack were more likely to agree on needed health improvements, more than half of those perceiving this need identified barriers to change, which were most commonly lack of self-discipline, work schedule and family responsibilities.

“Understanding what motivates changes in behavior is key to improving the health of individuals and communities,” said F. Daniel Ramirez, M.D, lead study author and a research fellow at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. “Our study sheds light on how knowledge of personally modifiable risk factors for heart attack, such as quitting smoking and exercising, affects people’s perception of the need to improve their health.”

Researchers analyzed 45,443 responses from adults participating in the 2011-12 Canadian Community Health Survey. The survey gathered information about eight established risk factors for heart attack that people can change, including smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, stress, excessive alcohol consumption, lack of physical activity and poor diet. Along with high cholesterol, which was not included in the survey, researchers noted these factors account for 90 percent of heart attack risk. The survey also asked participants if they thought “there is anything you should do to improve your physical health?”

Researchers found:

  • 73.6 percent reported there was something they should do to improve their health.
  • 90.7 percent of those identifying a specific change indicated they wanted to quit/reduce smoking, exercise more, lose weight or eat better.
  • 81.1 percent desiring a change said they intended to improve their health in the coming year.
  • 17.7 percent at greatest risk (5 or more risk factors) did not feel a need to improve their health.

Respondents who reported that they had high blood pressure or diabetes also weren’t more likely to perceive the need to improve their health than those without those conditions. The survey did not include information about whether this group took medications to control these health problems, which may have affected their perceptions about the need to improve their health.

Still, “lifestyle modifications are very important for these conditions, particularly diabetes, even for those on medications,” said Benjamin Hibbert, M.D., Ph.D. senior study author and an interventional cardiologist and assistant professor at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. 

The study also looked at factors that might bias results, including age, education, income and whether respondents had a regular healthcare provider. After adjusting for these factors, researchers found that older and white participants were more likely than younger and minority group members to express a desire to improve their health.

Hibbert said the study’s take-home message is that recognizing the risk factors for heart attack is effective for motivating some, but not all people to improve their physical health. Effectively convincing people to adopt and sustain healthy lifestyle changes requires a better understanding of what makes them tick, he said.

Despite many similarities between Canada and the United States, researchers said they couldn’t say whether differences in healthcare systems and culture would limit generalizing study findings to the United States.

Co-authors are Yue Chen, Ph.D.; Pietro Di Santo, M.D.; Trevor Simard, M.D.; and Pouya Motazedian, B.Sc. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

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Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: (214) 706-1173

Darcy Spitz : (212) 878-5940; darcy.spitz@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: (800)-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

Life is why, science is how . . . we help people live longer, healthier lives.

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsWed, 03 May 2017 20:00:12 GMTStudy Highlights: A Canadian study found that nearly one in five of those at highest risk for a heart attack did not believe they needed to improve their health. While most of those at highest risk for a heart attack were more likely to agree on needed health improvements, more than half of those perceiving this need identified barriers to making changes. Older and white participants were more likely than younger and minority group members to express a desire to improve their health. http://newsroom.heart.org/news/nearly-1-in-5-with-highest-cardiac-risk-dont-think-they-need-to-improve-healthWed, 03 May 2017 20:00:00 GMT

Golden years are longer and healthier for those with good heart health in middle age

Mon, 05/01/2017 - 15:26
Study Highlights

  • People who have better cardiovascular health in middle age live longer and spend fewer of their later years with chronic illnesses of all types.
  • They also save money on healthcare costs.

Embargoed until 3 p.m. CT / 4 p.m. ET, Monday, May 1, 2017

DALLAS, May 1, 2017 — People with no major heart disease risk factors in middle age live longer and stay healthy far longer than others, according to a 40-year study reported in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation.

“Good cardiovascular health in middle age delays the onset of many types of disease so that people live longer and spend a much smaller proportion of their lives with chronic illness,” said Norrina Allen, Ph.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

In the first study to analyze the impact of cardiovascular health in middle age on the duration of illness later in life, researchers examined data from the Chicago Health Association study, which did initial health assessments in the late 1960s/early 1970s and has followed participants on an ongoing basis using Medicare health records. Researchers determined how many participants had favorable factors: non-smokers, free of diabetes and normal weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels; versus those with elevated risk factors or high risk factors.

Comparing those who had two or more high-risk factors in middle age among the 17,939 participants who reached age 65 without a chronic illness, researchers found that those with all favorable factors:

  • lived an average of 3.9 years longer;
  • survived 4.5 years longer before developing a chronic illness;
  • spent 22 percent fewer of their senior years with a chronic illness (39 percent vs. 50 percent); and
  • saved almost $18,000 in Medicare costs.

“Health professionals need to let young adults know that maintaining or adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle makes it more likely that you’ll live longer and still be healthy enough to do the things you love to do when you’re older,” Allen said.

Looking solely at heart disease in 18,714 participants who reached age 65 without having a heart attack, stroke or congestive heart failure, those with all favorable risk factors:

  • lived 6.9 years longer without heart disease; and
  • spent 46.5 percent fewer of their senior years with heart disease.

Allen noted that at the start of the study, when their average age was 44, only 5.6 percent of participants had all favorable factors.

That data is even more grim than a 2011-2012 national survey suggesting only 8.9 percent of U.S. adults age 40-59 had five or more “ideal” health factors, according to The American Heart Association’s Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics - 2017 Update.

“We need to think about cardiovascular health at all stages of life,” she said. “The small proportion of participants with favorable levels in their 40s is a call for all of us to maintain or adopt healthy lifestyles earlier in life. But risk factors and their effects accumulate over time, so even if you have risks it’s never too late to reduce their impact on your later health by exercising, eating right, and treating your high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes.”

The American Heart Association created My Life Check ® to educate the public on improving health by aiming to achieve seven health measures called Life’s Simple 7. It’s a composite measure of seven modifiable heart-healthy factors: cigarette smoking, physical activity, diet, body mass index, blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels.

The study recruited people from Chicago worksites in 1967-1972 and lacks information on how chronic illnesses affected the quality of life of participants. 

Co-authors are Lihui Zhao, Ph.D.; Lei Liu, Ph.D.; Martha Daviglus, M.D., Ph.D.; Kiang Liu, Ph.D.; James Fries, M.D.; Tina Shih, Ph.D.; Daniel Garside, M.S.; Thanh Huyen Vu, M.D.; Jeremiah Stamler, M.D.; and Donald M. Lloyd-Jones, M.D., Sc.M. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute funded the study.

Additional Resources:

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Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: (214) 706-1173

Bridgette McNeill: (214) 706-1135; bridgette.mcneill@heart.org  

For Public Inquiries: (800)-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

Life is why, science is how . . . we help people live longer, healthier lives

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsMon, 01 May 2017 20:23:59 GMTPeople who have better cardiovascular health in middle age live longer and spend fewer of their later years with chronic illnesses of all types. They also save money on healthcare costs. http://newsroom.heart.org/news/golden-years-are-longer-and-healthier-for-those-with-good-heart-health-in-middle-ageMon, 01 May 2017 20:00:00 GMT

One in three American adults may have had a warning stroke, American Stroke Association survey finds

Sun, 04/30/2017 - 23:10
Embargoed until 12 a.m. ET on Monday, May 1, 2017

DALLAS, May 1, 2017 – About one in three American adults experienced a symptom consistent with a warning or “mini” stroke, but almost none – 3 percent – took the recommended action, according to a new survey from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA).

Thirty-five percent of respondents reported having experienced at least one sign of a warning stroke, called a transient ischemic attack or TIA. Those who did were more likely to wait, rest or take medicine than call 911, said the AHA/ASA, the nation’s leading voluntary health organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

The survey was conducted as part of the American Stroke Association’s Together to End Stroke™ warning signs campaign sponsored by Medtronic. Participants included 2,040 adults nationwide.

The difference between a TIA and a stroke is that the blockage is transient, or temporary. A TIA has the same symptoms, but usually lasts a few minutes and up to 24 hours. The American Stroke Association recommends calling for emergency help immediately, even if symptoms go away.

“Ignoring any stroke sign could be a deadly mistake,” said Mitch Elkind, M.D., chair of the American Stroke Association. “Only a formal medical diagnosis with brain imaging can determine whether you’re having a TIA or a stroke. If you or someone you know experiences a stroke warning sign that comes on suddenly — whether it goes away or not —call 911 right away to improve chances of an accurate diagnosis, treatment and recovery.”

If a diagnosis shows a clot is blocking blood flow to the brain – ischemic stroke, the most common type --  the patient may be eligible for a clot-busting drug. In some cases, a medical device called a stent retriever is also used to remove the clot, helping to reduce long-term disability.

If the diagnosis is a TIA or a stroke, the patient will need to fully understand their risk factors and work with their doctor on a tailored secondary prevention plan. These plans may include lifestyle changes, medications to manage known risk factors, and the addition of an antiplatelet medication such as aspirin.

“Officially, about five million Americans, or 2.3 percent, have had a self-reported, physician-diagnosed TIA, but as this survey suggests, we suspect the true prevalence is higher because many people who experience symptoms consistent with a TIA fail to report it,” Elkind said.

About 15 percent of strokes are heralded by a TIA. People who have a TIA are significantly more likely to have a stroke within 90 days.

To easily remember the most common stroke signs, the American Stroke Association recommends consumers learn the acronym F.A.S.T., which stands for:

  • Face drooping

  • Arm weakness

  • Speech difficulty

  • Time to call 911.

Other stroke warning signs include sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding; sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body; sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes; sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination, or sudden severe headache with no known cause.

Additional survey findings:

  • Respondents who experienced trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination, or numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg were most likely to call 911 (5 percent).
  • The most common symptom reported was sudden, severe headache with no known cause (20 percent). The second most common was sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination (14 percent).
  • 77 percent of respondents had not heard of transient ischemic attack or TIA.
  • 55 percent of respondents said they would call 911 first if they suspected themselves or someone else was experiencing symptoms of a TIA, but only 3 percent of people who reported having experienced a TIA-like symptom did.

Additional Resources:

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About the American Stroke Association

The American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from stroke — the No. 2 cause of death in the world and a leading cause of serious disability. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat stroke. The Dallas-based association officially launched in 1998 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit StrokeAssociation.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association receives funding mostly from individuals. Foundations and corporations donate as well, and fund specific programs and events. Strict policies are enforced to prevent these relationships from influencing the association's science content. Financial information for the American Heart Association, including a list of contributions from pharmaceutical companies and device manufacturers, is available at www.​heart.​org/​corporatefunding.

For Media Inquiries: (214) 706-1173

Jayme Sandberg: Jayme.Sandberg@heart.org, (214) 706-2169

For Public Inquiries: (800) AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

Life is why, science is how . . . we help people live longer, healthier lives.

 

 

]]>Program NewsStroke NewsMon, 01 May 2017 04:00:13 GMTDALLAS, May 1, 2017 – About one in three American adults experienced a symptom consistent with a warning or “mini” stroke, but almost none – 3 percent – took the recommended action, according to a new survey from the American Heart Association/American (AHA/ASA).http://newsroom.heart.org/news/one-in-three-american-adults-may-have-had-a-warning-stroke-american-stroke-association-survey-findsMon, 01 May 2017 04:00:00 GMT

Uno de cada tres adultos estadounidenses ha experimentado una señal de advertencia de ataque o derrame cerebral, según la American Stroke Association

Sun, 04/30/2017 - 23:10
EMBARGADO PARA LAS 12 AM ET, LUNES 1 DE MAYO

DALLAS, primero de mayo del 2017 – Alrededor de uno de cada tres adultos estadounidenses experimentó un síntoma consistente con una advertencia o un "mini" ataque o derrame cerebral, pero casi ninguno – solo el 3 por ciento - tomó la acción recomendada, de acuerdo a una nueva encuesta de la American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA).

El treinta y cinco por ciento de los encuestados reportaron haber experimentado al menos una señal de advertencia de ataque o derrame cerebral, llamado ataque isquémico transitorio o TIA. Aquellos que lo hicieron tenían más probabilidades de esperar, descansar o tomar medicamentos antes de llamar al 911, dijo la AHA/ASA, la principal organización voluntaria de salud del país dedicada a combatir las enfermedades cardiovasculares y los ataques o derrames cerebrales, también conocido como una embolia.

La encuesta se realizó como parte de la campaña de señales de advertencia Together to End Stroke ™ de la American Stroke Association patrocinada por Medtronic. Los participantes incluyeron 2.040 adultos de todo el país.

La diferencia entre un TIA y un ataque o derrame cerebral es que el bloqueo es transitorio o temporal. Un TIA tiene los mismos síntomas, pero suele durar unos minutos y hasta 24 horas. La American Stroke Association recomienda llamar inmediatamente a ayuda de emergencia, aun si los síntomas desaparecen.

"Ignorar cualquier señal de un derrame cerebral podría ser un error mortal," dijo Mitch Elkind, MD, presidente de la American Stroke Association. "Solamente un diagnóstico médico formal con la proyección de imagen del cerebro puede determinar si usted está teniendo un TIA o un ataque o derrame cerebral. Si usted o alguien que usted conoce experimenta una señal de advertencia que sucede repentinamente – aun si los síntomas desaparecen - llame al 911 enseguida para mejorar la probabilidad de recibir un diagnóstico correcto, tratamiento y recuperación."

Si un diagnóstico muestra un bloqueo del flujo sanguíneo al cerebro causado por un coágulo - un ataque o derrame isquémico, el tipo más común - el paciente puede ser elegible para recibir un tratamiento médico para disolver el coágulo y, en algunos casos, un dispositivo médico llamado “stent retriever” para remover el coágulo y reducir la discapacidad a largo plazo.

Si el diagnóstico es un TIA o un ataque o derrame cerebral, el paciente tendrá que comprender plenamente sus factores de riesgo y colaborar con su médico en un plan individual de prevención secundaria. Estos planes pueden incluir cambios en el estilo de vida, medicamentos para controlar los factores de riesgo conocidos y la adición de un medicamento anti plaquetario como la aspirina.

"Oficialmente, alrededor de cinco millones de estadounidenses, o el 2,3 por ciento, han tenido un TIA auto reportado, diagnosticado por un médico, pero como sugiere esta encuesta, sospechamos que la verdadera prevalencia es mayor porque muchas personas que experimentan síntomas compatibles con un TIA no lo informan,” dijo Elkind.

Alrededor del 15 por ciento de los ataques o derrames cerebrales son anunciados por un TIA. Las personas que tienen un TIA son significativamente más propensas a tener un ataque o derrame cerebral dentro de 90 días.

Para recordar fácilmente las señales de advertencia más comunes de un ataque o derrame cerebral, la American Stroke Association recomienda a los consumidores que aprendan el acrónimo F.A.S.T., que significa:

  • Face drooping/Rostro caído
  • Arm weakness/Brazo débil
  • Speech difficulty/Dificultad para hablar
  • Time to call 911/Tiempo de llamar al 911

Los encuestados que experimentaron dificultad para caminar, mareos, pérdida de equilibrio o coordinación, o entumecimiento o debilidad de la cara, brazo o pierna fueron más propensos a llamar al 911 (5 por ciento).

  • El síntoma más frecuente fue dolor de cabeza repentino y severo sin causa conocida (20 por ciento). La segunda más frecuente fue la dificultad repentina para caminar, mareos, pérdida de equilibrio o coordinación (14 por ciento).

  • 77 por ciento de los encuestados no habían oído hablar de ataque isquémico transitorio o TIA.

  • El 55 por ciento de los encuestados dijeron que primero llamarían al 911 si sospechaban que ellos o alguien más estaba experimentando síntomas de TIA, pero sólo el 3 por ciento de las personas que reportaron haber experimentado un síntoma similar a TIA lo hicieron.

Para aprender más acerca de los ataques o derrames cerebrales, visite a www.StrokeAssociation.org.

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Acerca de la American Stroke Association

La American Stroke Association se dedica a salvar a personas de ataques fulminantes – el asesinos número 2 mundialmente y una de las causas principales de discapacidad grave. Nos unimos a millones de voluntarios para llevar a cabo investigaciones innovadoras, luchar por políticas de salud más agresivas, y proveer recursos e información para prevenir, tratar y vencer a los ataques cerebrales. La asociación con sede en Dallas fue oficialmente creada en el 1998 como una división de la American Heart Association. Para obtener más información o para participar, llame al 1- 888- 4STROKE o visite strokeassociation.org.

Para preguntas de los medios:

Jayme Sandberg: Jayme.Sandberg@heart.org, (214) 706-2169

Mara Silverio: Mara.Silverio@heart.org, (214) 706-1508, (en español)

]]>Foreign Language News ReleasesStroke NewsMon, 01 May 2017 04:00:06 GMTDALLAS, primero de mayo del 2017 – Alrededor de uno de cada tres adultos estadounidenses experimentó un síntoma consistente con una advertencia o un "mini" ataque o derrame cerebral, pero casi ninguno – solo el 3 por ciento - tomó la acción recomendada,...http://newsroom.heart.org/news/uno-de-cada-tres-adultos-estadounidenses-ha-experimentado-una-senal-de-advertencia-de-ataque-o-derrame-cerebral-segun-la-american-stroke-associationMon, 01 May 2017 04:00:00 GMT

Energy drinks linked to more heart, blood pressure changes than caffeinated drinks alone

Wed, 04/26/2017 - 15:46
Study Highlights

  • Two hours after drinking 32 ounces of a commercially available energy drink, the heart’s electrical activity was abnormal compared to drinking a caffeine-matched control drink.
  • Both caffeine and energy drinks raised systolic blood pressure initially but blood pressure normalized faster after caffeine.

Embargoed until 3 p.m. CT / 4 p.m. ET Wednesday, April 26, 2017

DALLAS, April 26, 2017 — Drinking 32 ounces of a commercially available energy drink resulted in more profound changes in the heart’s electrical activity and blood pressure than drinking 32 ounces of a control drink with the same amount of caffeine – 320 milligrams (mg), according to new research in Journal of the American Heart Association, the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration generally considers caffeine in doses of less than 400 mg as safe, energy drinks often consist of not only caffeine but proprietary energy blends. With more than 500 types of energy drinks on the market, there has been an increase in energy-drink-associated emergency room visits and deaths, prompting questions about their safety, researchers said.

“We decided to study energy drinks’ potential heart health impact because previous research has shown 75 percent of the base’s military personnel have consumed an energy drink. And nearly 15 percent of military personnel, in general, drink three cans a day when deployed, which is more than we studied here,” said Emily A. Fletcher, Pharm.D., study author and deputy pharmacy flight commander from David Grant U.S.A.F. Medical Center at Travis Air Force Base in California.

Eighteen young participants were randomly divided into two groups. The first group received 32 ounces of a commercially-available energy drink (containing 108 g of sugar, 320 mg of caffeine, and various other compounds). The second group was given a control drink containing 320 mg of caffeine, 40 ml of lime juice and 140 ml of cherry syrup in carbonated water. After a six-day washout period, participants switched drinks.

Researchers measured the electrical activity of the volunteers’ hearts by electrocardiogram. They also measured their peripheral and central blood pressures at the study’s start and at one, two, four, six and 24 hours after drink consumption.

“Peripheral blood pressure is the measurement of the pressure in an outlying artery, typically an upper arm. Central blood pressure is the measurement of the pressure in the aorta near the heart,” she said. “Blood pressures at each location are not always affected equally when a substance is introduced, such as medications. Central blood pressure is an emerging and potentially superior method to assess health outcomes related to elevated blood pressure.”

They found that, when compared to the caffeine group, those in the energy drink group had a corrected QT interval 10-milliseconds higher at 2 hours.

“The QT interval is the measurement of the time it takes ventricles in the heart (the lower chambers) to repolarize, or prepare to generate a beat again. It’s the pause from the end of the electrical impulse generating the heart to beat to the next impulse,” Fletcher said. “If this time interval, which is measured in milliseconds, is either too short or too long, it can cause the heart to beat abnormally. The resulting arrhythmia can be life threatening.”

To put the 10-millisecond difference in perspective, there are medications that affect the corrected QT interval by 6 milliseconds and have warnings about the effect on product labels, Fletcher said.

While both the energy drink and caffeine-only groups had similar increases in systolic blood pressure, systolic pressures in the caffeine group had almost returned to their original readings after six hours.

“On the other hand, those who consumed the energy drinks still had a mildly elevated blood pressure after six hours,” Fletcher said. “This suggests that ingredients other than caffeine may have some blood pressure altering effects, but this needs further evaluation.”

Based on this preliminary evidence in young, healthy adults, people who have high blood pressure, underlying cardiac conditions or other health issues might want to avoid or use caution when consuming energy drinks until more is known about their impact on heart health, Fletcher said.

“This is a small study and further studies are needed to confirm these results,” Fletcher said.

Co-authors are Carolyn S Lacey, M.D.; Melenie Aaron, B.S.; Mark Kolasa, M.D.; Andrew Occiano, Pharm.D.; and Sachin A Shah, Pharm.D. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

The Clinical Investigations Facility at Travis Air Force Base, California funded this study.

Additional Resources:

###

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: (214) 706-1173

Karen Astle: (214) 706-1392; karen.astle@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: (800)-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

Life is why, science is how . . . we help people live longer, healthier lives.

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsWed, 26 Apr 2017 20:00:09 GMTStudy Highlights: Two hours after drinking 32 ounces of a commercially available energy drink, the heart’s electrical activity was abnormal compared to drinking a caffeine-matched control drink. Both caffeine and energy drinks raised systolic blood pressure initially but blood pressure normalized faster after caffeine.http://newsroom.heart.org/news/energy-drinks-linked-to-more-heart-blood-pressure-changes-than-caffeinated-drinks-aloneWed, 26 Apr 2017 20:00:00 GMT

Diet drinks and possible association with stroke and dementia; current science suggests need for more research

Thu, 04/20/2017 - 15:36
Study Highlights

  • Framingham study participants who reported drinking one or more artificially sweetened beverage daily compared to less than one a week had almost three times the risk of developing either stroke or dementia.
  • The study calls for more research into the mechanisms underlying this association and whether it could be due to other confounding issues.

Embargoed until 3 p.m. CT / 4 p.m. ET, Thursday, April 20, 2017

DALLAS, April 20, 2017 — Drinking at least one artificially sweetened beverage daily was associated with almost three times the risk of developing stroke or dementia compared to those who drank artificially-sweetened beverages less than once a week, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke.

The authors caution that the long-term observational study was not designed or able to prove cause and effect, and only shows a trend among one group of people.

“Our study shows a need to put more research into this area given how often people drink artificially-sweetened beverages,” said Matthew Pase, Ph.D., a senior fellow in the department of neurology at Boston University School of Medicine, Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia, and the Framingham Heart Study.

“Although we did not find an association between stroke or dementia and the consumption of sugary drinks, this certainly does not mean they are a healthy option. We recommend that people drink water on a regular basis instead of sugary or artificially sweetened beverages.”

The researchers analyzed the Framingham Heart Study Offspring Cohort of 2,888 people, primarily Caucasian, over the age of 45 for the stroke study and 1,484 people over the age of 60 for the dementia arm of the study. Over a period of seven years, the researchers reviewed what people were drinking at three different points in time. Participants reported their eating and drinking habits by responding to food frequency questionnaires. The researchers then followed up with the study subjects for the next 10 years to determine who developed stroke or dementia, then compared the dietary information to the risk of developing stroke and dementia over the course of the study. The data collected did not distinguish between the types of artificial sweeteners used in the beverages.

At the end of the 10-year follow-up period, the researchers noted 97 cases (3 percent) of stroke, 82 of which were ischemic (caused by blockage of blood vessels), and 81 (5 percent) cases of dementia, 63 of which were diagnosed as Alzheimer’s disease. 

The researchers used statistical models, adjusted for various risk factors such as age, sex, caloric intake, education, diabetes mellitus and the presence of a variant of the Alzheimer’s risk gene apolipoprotein E, to determine potential links between artificially-sweetened drink consumption and the risk of stroke or dementia. They found that people who drank at least one artificially-sweetened beverage a day were three times as likely to develop ischemic stroke and 2.9 times as likely to develop Alzheimer's disease dementia.

Although the prospective nature of the study design increases the reliability of its findings, there are limitations. The participants were overwhelmingly white, and it is possible that ethnic preferences may influence how often people select sugary or artificially sweetened drinks, Pase said. People did not drink sugary sodas as often as diet sodas, which Pase said could be one reason the researchers did not see an association with regular soda since the participants may have been health conscious and just not consuming them as frequently. The main limitation, Pase said, is the important point that an observational study like this cannot prove that drinking artificially-sweetened drinks is linked to strokes or dementia, but it does identify an intriguing trend that will need to be explored in other studies.

“Even if someone is three times as likely to develop stroke or dementia, it is by no means a certain fate,” Pase said. “In our study, three percent of the people had a new stroke and five percent developed dementia, so we're still talking about a small number of people developing either stroke or dementia.”

According to an accompanying editorial, the current body of scientific research is inconclusive regarding whether or not drinking artificially sweetened beverages can actually lead to stroke, dementia or other cardiovascular conditions. However, there are a growing number of population based studies, such as this study by Pase, et.al, that show associations between frequent consumption of artificially sweetened beverages and undesirable effects on blood vessels throughout the body. This suggests that it may not be advisable to substitute or promote artificially sweetened drinks as healthier alternatives to sugar-sweetened drinks. “Both sugar and artificially sweetened soft drinks may be hard on the brain,” said senior editorial author Ralph Sacco M.D., a former president of the American Heart Association and the chairman of the Department of Neurology at the Miller School of Medicine at University of Miami in Florida.

“We know that limiting added sugars is an important strategy to support good nutrition and healthy body weights, and until we know more, people should use artificially sweetened drinks cautiously. They may have a role for people with diabetes and in weight loss, but we encourage people to drink water, low-fat milk or other beverages without added sweeteners,” said Rachel K. Johnson, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D., past chair of the American Heart Association’s Nutrition Committee and professor of nutrition at the University of Vermont.

Co-authors are Jayandra J. Himali, Ph.D.; Alexa S. Beiser, Ph.D.; Hugo J. Aparicio, M.D.; Claudia L. Satizabal, Ph.D.; Ramachandran S. Vasan, M.D.; Sudha Seshadri, M.D.; and Paul F. Jacques, D.Sc. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

This work was supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the USDA Agricultural Research Service, and the Department of Medicine and Evan’s Foundation’s Evans Scholar Award.

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]]>Stroke NewsThu, 20 Apr 2017 20:00:08 GMTStudy Highlights: Framingham study participants who reported drinking one or more artificially sweetened beverage daily compared to less than one a week had almost three times the risk of developing either stroke or dementia. The study calls for more research into the mechanisms underlying this association and whether it could be due to other confounding issues. http://newsroom.heart.org/news/diet-drinks-and-possible-association-with-stroke-and-dementia;-current-science-suggests-need-for-more-researchThu, 20 Apr 2017 20:00:00 GMT

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