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Updated: 1 min 22 sec ago

Tobacco aside, e-cigarette flavorings may harm blood vessels

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 04:58
Study Highlights:

  • Flavoring chemicals widely used in e-cigarettes and other tobacco products may be toxic to the cells that line and regulate blood vessel function.
  • The adverse effects observed with chemical flavor additives on endothelial cells could be early warning signs of future heart disease, researchers say.

Embargoed until 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Thursday, June 14, 2018

DALLAS, June 14, 2018 – Flavor additives used in electronic cigarettes and related tobacco products could impair blood vessel function and may be an early indicator of heart damage, according to new laboratory research in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, an American Heart Association journal.

The health effects of “combustible” tobacco products including traditional cigarettes and hookah are well-established, but the potential dangers of e-cigarettes have not yet been extensively studied. E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that heat a liquid — including tobacco-derived nicotine, flavoring and other additives — and produce an aerosol that is inhaled.

Nine chemical flavorings – menthol (mint), acetylpyridine (burnt flavor), vanillin (vanilla), cinnamaldehyde (cinnamon), eugenol (clove), diacetyl (butter), dimethylpyrazine (strawberry), isoamyl acetate (banana) and eucalyptol (spicy cooling) – which are widely used in e-cigarettes, hookah, little cigars and cigarillos were tested for their short-term effects on endothelial cells, the cells which line the blood vessels and the inside of the heart.

Researchers found all nine flavors were dangerous to cells in the laboratory at the highest levels tested and all the flavorings impaired nitric oxide production in endothelial cells in culture (outside of the body). Several of the flavorings – menthol, clove, vanillin, cinnamon and burnt flavoring – resulted in higher levels of an inflammatory marker and lower levels of nitric oxide, a molecule that inhibits inflammation and clotting, and regulates vessels’ ability to widen in response to greater blood flow.

“Increased inflammation and a loss of nitric oxide are some of the first changes to occur leading up to cardiovascular disease and events like heart attacks and stroke, so they are considered early predictors of heart disease,” said lead study author Jessica L. Fetterman, Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine in Massachusetts. “Our findings suggest that these flavoring additives may have serious health consequences.”

Endothelial cells were collected from volunteers (nine non-smokers/non-e-cigarette users; six non-menthol and six menthol cigarette smokers) and tested in the lab. Researchers found that both groups of smokers had a similar deficit in nitric oxide production when stimulated by a chemical called A23187. Nonsmokers’ cells that were treated with menthol or a clove flavoring also had impaired nitric oxide production, suggesting those flavorings cause damage like that found in active smokers.

The team also exposed commercially-available human aortic endothelial cells to the flavorings. Burnt flavor, vanilla, cinnamon and clove flavors impaired nitric oxide production and boosted an inflammatory chemical called interleukin-6 (IL-6) at all concentrations tested, suggesting the endothelium is particularly sensitive to these flavors.

Menthol applied to the cells increased IL-6 at high concentrations and reduced nitric oxide even at low doses. In smokers, scientists don’t see differences in heart disease between menthol and non-menthol users — probably because cigarette smoke is overwhelmingly toxic, Fetterman said. “But menthol is certainly not a benign player, based upon our work.”

At the highest levels tested, all nine chemicals caused cell death, while at lower levels cinnamon, clove, strawberry, banana and spicy cooling flavor did. Dimethylpyrazine/strawberry flavor had that effect even at very low levels, suggesting endothelial cells are especially sensitive to it. Vanillin and eugenol also increased oxidative stress in the cells.

Three flavorings were tested when heated, to mimic what happens in e-cigarettes. Nitric oxide production was impaired with vanillin and eugenol, but not with menthol.

“Our work and prior research have provided evidence that flavorings induce toxicity in the lung and cardiovascular systems. Flavorings are also a driver of youth tobacco use and sustained tobacco use among smokers,” Fetterman said.

A key strength of the new research was that it directly tested effects of just the flavorings, at levels likely to be reached in the body. Limitations include the fact that testing did not heat all the flavorings or include other chemicals used in e-cigarettes. Also, the study gauged just the flavorings’ short-term effects and captured these with cells outside the body, not inside.

“We still don’t know what concentrations of the flavorings make it inside the body,” Fetterman said.

Most adult e-cigarette users are current or former combustible cigarette smokers who may use e-cigarettes as an aid in smoking cessation or as a harm-reduction tool. In addition, e-cigarette use by youth is rising rapidly with 37 percent of high schoolers reporting they have had an e-cigarette in 2015. Flavored tobacco products are a major driver of experimentation among youth.

The American Heart Association cautions against the use of e-cigarettes, stating that e-cigarettes containing nicotine are tobacco products that should be subject to all laws that apply to these products. The Association also calls for strong new regulations to prevent access, sales and marketing of e-cigarettes to youth, and for more research into the product’s health impact.

Co-authors are Robert M. Weisbrod, M.S.; Bihua Feng, M.D.; Reena Bastin; Shawn T. Tuttle; Monica Holbrook, M.S.; Gregory Baker; Rose Marie Robertson, M.D.; Daniel J. Conklin, Ph.D.; Aruni Bhatnagar, Ph.D.; and Naomi M. Hamburg, M.D. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Food and Drug Administration Center for Tobacco Products and the American Heart Association 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 http://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: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

]]>Heart NewsAdvocacy News Stroke NewsThu, 14 Jun 2018 09:00:09 GMTStudy Highlights: Flavoring chemicals widely used in e-cigarettes and other tobacco products may be toxic to the cells that line and regulate blood vessel function. The adverse effects observed with chemical flavor additives on endothelial cells could...https://newsroom.heart.org/news/tobacco-aside-e-cigarette-flavorings-may-harm-blood-vesselsThu, 14 Jun 2018 09:00:00 GMT

Short kids may have higher future stroke risk

Thu, 06/07/2018 - 09:36
Embargoed until 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018

DALLAS, Feb. 15, 2018 –  Being a short kid is associated with increased risk of having a stroke in adulthood, according to Danish research published in Stroke, an American Heart Association journal.

A prospective study examined data on more than 300,000 Danish schoolchildren – born between 1930-1989 who were examined at ages 7, 10 and 13. Researchers noted that boys and girls who were 2 to 3 inches shorter than average for their age were at increased risk of clot-related (ischemic) stroke in adult men and women and of bleeding stroke in men.

While adult height is genetically determined, it is also influenced by factors such as maternal diet during pregnancy, childhood diet, infection and psychological stress. Several of these factors are modifiable and all are thought to affect the risk of stroke.

Researchers noted that a decline in stroke incidence and mortality rates in most high-income countries, primarily in women, occurred simultaneously with a general increase in attained adult height. Taken together, this suggests the involvement of shared underlying mechanisms for height and stroke development.

Researchers say these results have implications for understanding disease origin rather than for clinical risk prediction and future studies should focus on the mechanisms underlying the relationship between childhood height and later stroke.

“Our study suggests that short height in children is a possible marker of stroke risk and suggests these children should pay extra attention to changing or treating modifiable risk factors for stroke throughout life to reduce the chances of having this disease,” said senior study author Jennifer L. Baker, Ph.D., associate professor in the Center for Clinical Research and Prevention at Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg Hospital and Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, at the University of Copenhagen, in Denmark.

Funding sources and author disclosures are detailed in 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

Bridgette McNeill: 214.706.1135; bridgette.mcneill@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsThu, 15 Feb 2018 10:00:05 GMTBeing a short kid is associated with increased risk of having a stroke in adulthood, according to Danish research published in Stroke, an American Heart Association journal.https://newsroom.heart.org/news/short-kids-may-have-higher-future-stroke-riskThu, 15 Feb 2018 10:00:00 GMT

Stroke survivors could gain the most from new blood pressure guidelines

Wed, 06/06/2018 - 04:59
Study Highlights

  • More than half of all strokes can be attributed to uncontrolled high blood pressure.
  • If stroke survivors were treated so their blood pressures reach the new target of less than 130/80 mmHg, deaths might be cut 33 percent compared with previous guidelines with a higher target blood pressure.

Embargoed until 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Wednesday, June 6, 2018

DALLAS, June 6, 2018 — Treating high blood pressure in stroke survivors more aggressively, could cut deaths by one-third, according to new research in Journal of the American Heart Association, the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

“The potential to reduce mortality and recurrent stroke is immense, because more than half of all strokes are attributable to uncontrolled high blood pressure,” said Alain Lekoubou, M.D., M.S., study lead author and clinical instructor in neurology at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.

In the AHA/ACC guideline for hypertension, released in 2017, the threshold for stage 1 hypertension, or high blood pressure was changed to at or above 130 mmHg for the top number or  80 mmHg for the bottom number. The previous threshold for high blood pressure was, at or above 140/90 mmHg.

Overall, while many more people will be diagnosed with hypertension under the new guideline, there will be only a small increase in the percentage of people who require medication. However, blood pressure-lowering medications are recommended for all stroke survivors with blood pressures of 130/80 mmHg or higher, and additional drugs if needed to reduce blood pressure below that threshold.

In the new study, researchers used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys to estimate the nationwide impact of applying that approach. The surveys, conducted between 2003 and 2014, included blood pressure measurement and asked participants about their stroke history and blood pressure treatment.

If clinicians fully shift from the previous guidelines to the new ones, the researchers calculated the impact on stroke would be:

  • a 66.7 percent increase in the proportion of stroke survivors diagnosed with hypertension and recommended for pressure-lowering medication (from 29.9 percent to 49.8 percent);

  • a 53.9 percent increase in the proportion of stroke survivors already taking pressure-lowering drugs who will be prescribed additional medication to reach their target blood pressure (from 36.3 percent to 56 percent); and

  • a 32.7 percent reduction in deaths, based on the difference in death rates in stroke survivors above and below the 130/80 mmHg target blood pressure (8.3 percent vs. 5.6 percent).

“The new guideline offers physicians and policymakers a unique opportunity to reinforce the already decreasing stroke-related mortality trends of the last few decades,” Lekoubou said. “It is our responsibility to ensure that stroke survivors identified with hypertension are treated more aggressively and to ensure that those on treatment remain on treatment.”

While the potential to prevent recurrent strokes and save lives is large, the researchers acknowledge that there are special challenges in treating blood pressure in stroke survivors.

“Stroke survivors can face many hurdles in adhering to treatment, including major neurological impairments and depression, which can reduce the motivation to take medication. Caring for stroke survivors may be complicated because it is primarily a disease of the elderly, who are often taking several medications to treat their medical conditions,” said Lekoubou.

The study is limited by relying on self-reports of a history of stroke and the inability to separately analyze the impact of the new guidelines on survivors of clot-caused or bleeding strokes.

“The true magnitude of the impact of these changes in high blood pressure definition and treatment recommendations will best be evaluated by prospective studies, which will also offer the opportunity to identify gaps and improve treatment protocols among stroke survivors,” Lekoubou said.

Co-authors are Kinfe G. Bishu, Ph.D. and Bruce Ovbiagele, M.D., M.Sc., M.A.S., M.B.A. Author disclosures 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

Maggie Francis: 214-706-1382; Maggie.Francis@heart.org  

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsWed, 06 Jun 2018 09:00:08 GMTStudy Highlights: More than half of all strokes can be attributed to uncontrolled high blood pressure. If stroke survivors were treated so their blood pressures reach the new target of less than 130/80 mmHg, deaths might be cut 33 percent compared...https://newsroom.heart.org/news/stroke-survivors-could-gain-the-most-from-new-blood-pressure-guidelinesWed, 06 Jun 2018 09:00:00 GMT

Survivors of childhood heart defects may have higher risk of premature dementia

Mon, 06/04/2018 - 10:08
Study Highlight:

  • Children born with heart defects are more likely to survive into old age because of improved early treatments, but they may be more likely to develop early-onset dementia than people born without heart defects.

Embargoed until 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Monday, February 12, 2018

DALLAS, February 12, 2018 — People born with heart defects who survive into adulthood may be at higher risk of developing dementia, particularly dementia that starts before 65 years of age, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation.

With improved newborn and childhood treatments, more people born with heart defects survive into adulthood. A 2016 study published in Circulation estimated that approximately 1.4 million adults are living with congenital heart defects in the United States.

“Previous studies showed that people born with heart defects have a higher risk of neurodevelopmental problems in childhood, such as epilepsy and autism, but this is, to our knowledge, the first study to examine the potential for dementia later in adult life,” said Carina N. Bagge, B.Sc., lead author of the study and a medical student in the Department of Clinical Epidemiology at Aarhus University Hospital in Aarhus, Denmark.

Using national medical databases and records covering all Danish hospitals, the researchers examined the occurrence of dementia in 10,632 mostly Caucasian adults (46 percent male) born with heart defects between 1890 and 1982 (most between 1960 and 1982), matching each with 10 members of the general population of the same gender born the same year.

Researchers found the risk of dementia from any cause, including vascular dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and others, in people born with heart defects in Denmark was:

  • 60 percent higher overall than the general population;
  • 160 percent (2.6 times) higher for early-onset dementia (diagnosed before age 65);
  • 30 percent higher for dementia diagnosed after age 65.

The study was observational, which means that the researchers were examining individuals with heart defects over time to see if there was an association between being born with a heart defect and developing dementia later in life. While they did find an association, the study does not mean that every person who was born with a heart defect will develop dementia. The study observed a higher risk, but did not prove cause and effect.

Heart defects are the most common group of birth defects, occurring in 4 to 10 of every 1,000 live births in the United States and 8 to 10 out of every 1,000 live births in Denmark’.

“Our study involved an older population born when treatments for heart defects were more limited. Modern treatment has improved greatly, and as a result we can’t directly generalize these results to children born today. We need further work to understand the risks in the modern era,” Bagge said.

Dementia or cognitive impairment is often progressive, and can be caused by many factors, including reduced blood flow to the brain, strokes and Alzheimer’s disease. People with dementia may have problems with memory, reasoning, behavior and other mental functions.

In this study, the risk of dementia was higher in people born with heart defects who developed other heart disease risk factors later in life, such as atrial fibrillation, heart failure, and diabetes. These risk factors are more common in people born with heart defects than in the general population, and they have also been shown to independently raise the risk of dementia.

“While we must be careful to appreciate these findings within the limitations of the study design, continued study of this association may yield important clinical screening and medical management strategies in the future, and there may even be opportunities discovered to aid in the prevention of dementia in this population,” said Nicolas L. Madsen, M.D., M.P.H., senior author of the study and assistant professor of pediatrics at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Co-authors are Victor W. Henderson, M.D., M.S.; Henning B. Laursen, M.D., D.M.Sc.; Kasper Adelborg, M.D., Ph.D.; and Morten Olsen, M.D., Ph.D. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

The study was funded by the Department of Clinical Epidemiology at Aarhus University Hospital, the Heart Institute at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, the National Institute on Aging, the Foundation of the Family Kjaersgaard Sunds, the Foundation of 1870, the Foundation of Raimond and Dagmar Ringgaard-Bohn, the Foundation of Torben and Alice Frimodt, the Foundation of the Family Hede-Nielsen, and the Oticon Foundation.

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

Staff Contact: Darcy Spitz: 212-878-5940; darcy.spitz@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsMon, 12 Feb 2018 10:00:06 GMTStudy Highlight: Children born with heart defects are more likely to survive into old age because of improved early treatments, but they may be more likely to develop early-onset dementia than people born without heart defects. https://newsroom.heart.org/news/survivors-of-childhood-heart-defects-may-have-higher-risk-of-premature-dementiaMon, 12 Feb 2018 10:00:00 GMT

Disponer de escasos conocimientos sobre salud constituye un gran obstáculo para la prevención y el tratamiento de las cardiopatías

Mon, 06/04/2018 - 04:59
Puntos destacados del informe

  • Disponer de escasos conocimientos sobre salud constituye un gran obstáculo para la salud cardíaca, así como para la gestión de las cardiopatías y los accidentes cerebrovasculares.
  • Los conocimientos sobre la salud resultan esenciales para orientarse en el sistema de salud, utilizar la medicación de forma efectiva y mejorar los comportamientos saludables para el corazón.

Prohibida su divulgación hasta las 04:00 CT/ 5:00 (ET) del lunes 4 de junio de 2018

DALLAS, 4 de junio de 2018. Disponer de escasos conocimientos sobre salud constituye un gran obstáculo para que multitud de personas gocen de una buena salud cardiovascular o se beneficien de un tratamiento efectivo frente a ataques cardíacos, insuficiencia cardíaca, accidentes cerebrovasculares y otras enfermedades cardiovasculares, según un informe científico publicado en la revista Circulation de la American Heart Association.

Los conocimientos sobre salud no solo incluyen la capacidad de leer, sino también habilidades como ser capaz de preguntar acerca de nuestra salud, comprender documentos con terminología médica, realizar operaciones aritméticas básicas para tomar correctamente la medicación y negociar con los proveedores de la salud y las compañías de seguros. La incapacidad para realizar estas acciones de forma efectiva puede conllevar consecuencias graves para la salud.

El informe ofrece una descripción general de los problemas a los que se enfrentan las personas con escasos conocimientos sobre salud. Para ello, este informe se basa en la revisión de numerosos estudios sobre este aspecto publicados entre 2004 y 2016. Estos son algunos de los puntos destacados:

  • Más de la mitad de las personas con escasos conocimientos sobre salud no fueron capaces de reconocer una lectura de presión arterial de 160/100 mmHg como anormal. Asimismo, disponer de escasos conocimientos sobre salud reduce entre un 1,8 y 2,7 las posibilidades de que personas con hipertensión sean capaces de controlarla.

  • Las personas con escasos conocimientos sobre salud tienen más probabilidades de desarrollar adicción a la nicotina y 3 veces más de posibilidades de recaer tras seguir un programa para dejar de fumar.

  • Las personas con diabetes y escasos conocimientos sobre salud tienen más probabilidades de desarrollar complicaciones derivadas de la enfermedad, como retinopatía diabética. Igualmente, estas personas tienen un 1,7 menos de posibilidades de utilizar un portal para pacientes en línea, una tecnología de comunicación y gestión de enfermedades cada más utilizada.

  • Los padres con escasos conocimientos sobre salud tienen el doble de posibilidades de percibir como normal el peso de su hijo con sobrepeso.

“Las probabilidades de que haya una falta de entendimiento entre el proveedor de la salud y sus pacientes con factores de riesgo de cardiopatía, insuficiencias cardíacas y enfermedades cardiovasculares crecen exponencialmente”, afirma Jared W. Magnani, M.D., M.Sc., presidente del equipo de redacción del informe científico y profesor asociado de medicina en la Facultad de Medicina de la Universidad de Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. “Un gran número de pacientes no comprende el material escrito que recibe como parte de su asistencia sanitaria, o no dispone de las destrezas matemáticas suficientes como para entender la información cuantitativa. Del mismo modo, el sistema de asistencia sanitaria utiliza una cantidad considerable de terminología especializada que denominamos jerga”.

“Un paciente con escasos conocimientos sobre salud puede no comprender que un test de estrés calificado como “positivo” no es un buen resultado”, continúa Magnani. “Asimismo, instruimos a nuestros pacientes para que sepan identificar y cuantificar su ingesta de sodio e interpretar las etiquetas nutricionales en caso de que no sepan cómo”.

Según el comité, en la actualidad, solo el 12 por ciento de los estadounidenses disponen de los conocimientos sobre salud necesarios para orientarse con éxito en el sistema de asistencia sanitaria y las dificultades asociadas a esta falta de conocimientos empeorará con toda probabilidad. Según los datos del informe, disponer de escasos conocimientos sobre salud es un hecho habitual entre las minorías raciales y étnicas, las personas mayores, los ciudadanos con poco dominio del inglés y las personas con menos nivel educativo y menor estabilidad económica. Los autores del informe hicieron hincapié en el hecho de que incluso las personas con formación universitaria pueden tener escasos o insuficientes conocimientos sobre salud si no están familiarizados con la terminología sanitaria y se enfrentan a situaciones en las que no tienen experiencia.

“La última década ha visto numerosos avances tecnológicos y farmacéuticos en cuanto a la atención sanitaria, dispositivos cardíacos e iniciativas móviles para la salud junto con un énfasis cada vez mayor en la toma de decisiones consensuada y los resultados percibidos por los pacientes. Si no intentamos aumentar los conocimientos sobre salud de las personas, estos avances no beneficiarán a aquellos que más los necesitan”, afirma Magnani. 

Los autores del informe abogan por el uso del sistema de precauciones universales, creado por la agencia federal para la investigación y calidad médica.

“Este conjunto de instrumentos nos recuerda que los conocimientos sobre salud no es un problema del paciente sino el resultado de las complejidades del sistema de prestación de asistencia sanitaria. Por otra parte, hace un llamamiento a los profesionales de la salud para que realicen cambios que mejoren el acceso a la atención sanitaria por parte de todos los pacientes”, sostiene Magnani. Estas son algunas de las estrategias recomendadas en el sistema para los proveedores de la salud:

  • Evitar el uso de jerga e integrar imágenes como herramientas de enseñanza.

  • Crear formularios, consentimientos informados y folletos fáciles de entender.

  • Mejorar el seguimiento y el acceso telefónico de los pacientes.

  • Pedir a los pacientes que lleven toda su medicación para que el proveedor de la salud pueda valorar el cumplimiento y la seguridad de la misma.

  • Considerar la cultura, las costumbres y las creencias de los pacientes en su asistencia sanitaria.

  • Vincular a los pacientes con apoyo de especialistas, gestión de casos y recursos comunitarios.

“Empleamos asistencia especializada para nuestros pacientes y esperamos que entiendan las razones para ello, así como que realicen cambios en su estilo de vida y se tomen la medicación a diario, algunos de ellos de por vida. Se lo debemos. Queremos asegurarnos de que comprenden perfectamente su estado y sus tratamientos”, afirma Magnani.

Los coautores del informe son: Mahasin S. Mujahid, Ph.D., M.S.; Herbert D. Aronow, M.D., M.P.H.; Crystal W. Cené, M.D., M.P.H.; Victoria Vaughan Dickson, Ph.D., R.N.; Edward Havranek, M.D.; Lewis B. Morgenstern, M.D.; Michael K. Paasche-Orlow, M.D., M.S.; Amu Pollak, M.D.; y Joshua Willey, M.D. Las declaraciones del autor se encuentran en el manuscrito.

Recursos adicionales:

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La American Heart Association/American Stroke Association recibe fondos principalmente de individuos. Las fundaciones y las corporaciones también realizan donaciones y financian programas y eventos específicos. Se aplican políticas estrictas para evitar que estas relaciones influyan en el contenido científico de la asociación. La información financiera para la American Heart Association, que incluye una lista de contribuciones de compañías farmacéuticas, fabricantes de dispositivos y proveedores de seguros de salud, está disponible en www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

Acerca de la American Heart Association

La American Heart Association se dedica a luchar contra las cardiopatías y los accidentes cerebrovasculares, las dos causas principales de muerte en el mundo. Trabajamos de manera conjunta con millones de voluntarios con el fin de financiar investigaciones innovadoras, conseguir políticas de salud pública más eficaces y proporcionar herramientas e información de emergencia para evitar y tratar estas enfermedades. Con sede en Dallas, la American Heart Association es la organización de la salud integrada por voluntarios más antigua e importante del país, y se dedica a combatir enfermedades cardíacas y accidentes cerebrovasculares. Para obtener más información o sumarse a nuestra misión, llame al 1-800-AHA-USA1, visite heart.org o llame a cualquiera de nuestras oficinas en todo el país. Síganos en Facebook y Twitter.

Si es un representante de un medio de comunicación: 214-706-1173

Darcy Spitz: 212-878-5940; Darcy.Spitz@heart.org

Para consultas públicas: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org y strokeassociation.org

 

 

 

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsMon, 04 Jun 2018 09:00:11 GMTPuntos destacados del informe: Disponer de escasos conocimientos sobre salud constituye un gran obstáculo para la salud cardíaca, así como para la gestión de las cardiopatías y los accidentes cerebrovasculares. Los conocimientos sobre la salud...https://newsroom.heart.org/news/disponer-de-escasos-conocimientos-sobre-salud-constituye-un-gran-obstaculo-para-la-prevencion-y-el-tratamiento-de-las-cardiopatiasMon, 04 Jun 2018 09:00:00 GMT

Stroke journal features women’s studies on how gender influences stroke risk, treatment and outcomes

Fri, 06/01/2018 - 08:09
Embargoed until 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Thurs., Feb. 8, 2018

DALLAS, Feb. 8, 2018 — Many aspects of strokes affect women and men differently, and four articles in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke highlight recent research and identify future research needs.

“Gender influences all aspects of stroke, from risk factors, treatments and outcomes,” said Marc Fisher, M.D editor in chief of the Stroke journal and professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. “Highlighting these studies, all led by female researchers, in February, a month when the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association focuses on women’s health with Go Red For Women, is important. For too long, gender influences were not adequately studied.”

The studies include:

Stroke risk factors unique to women

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in women in the United States and is a leading cause of disability. Each year 55,000 more women than men have a stroke, a discrepancy largely driven by longer life expectancy in women.

This review highlights stroke risk factors specific to women, including fluctuations in naturally occurring hormone levels over women’s lives; adverse effects of supplemental hormones used as contraception or to treat menopausal symptoms; and pregnancy and pregnancy-related complications. The authors suggest that future research is needed to determine whether stroke risk prediction models should include risk factors specific to women such as supplemental hormones and pregnancy.

Preeclampsia: Association with posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome and stroke

Preeclampsia is a complication of pregnancy characterized by high blood pressure which can cause damage to the brain, kidneys and liver. Preeclampsia can advance to eclampsia, which is characterized by seizures. Both of these conditions are associated with an increased risk of maternal death, ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke. Preeclampsia is a treatable and possibly preventable condition which complicates up to 5 percent of pregnancies. The treatment for preeclampsia/eclampsia includes anti-hypertensives and magnesium.

According to this review, the risk of future ischemic stroke is approximately 80 percent greater in women with a history of preeclampsia than in those without the condition. Women whose pregnancy is complicated by preeclampsia or eclampsia should be counseled on the signs and symptoms of stroke and monitored closely in the postpartum period. 

A focused update of sex differences in patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) after stroke

This study is an updated review of sex differences in patient reported outcome measures less than 12 months after stroke, using data from studies published since 2007.

The review confirms that after stroke women suffer more activity limitations, worse health related quality of life and more post stroke depression than men, but do not have worse cognitive impairment or challenges in dealing with everyday life compared to men. The authors note that there is a pressing need for high-quality population-based studies of sex differences in patient reported outcome measures after stroke. Studies exploring potential modifiable contributors to these differences are needed so effective interventions to reduce sex disparities in outcomes can be designed.

Impact of Conventional Stroke Risk Factors on Stroke in Women: An Update

Due to increasing stroke risk with age and a longer life expectancy, women experience more strokes and more death from stroke over their lifetime and have worse functional outcomes following stroke. This study reviews current literature (2013 to present) on ischemic strokes, the most common type of stroke caused by narrowing or blockages in the arteries leading to the brain, and the degree to which conventional risk factors affect men and women differently. 

It concludes that risk factors -- including diabetes, metabolic syndrome, atrial fibrillation and migraine -- carry greater ischemic stroke risk for women compared with men. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of risk factors that significantly raises the risk of heart disease and stroke; atrial fibrillation is a heart rhythm disorder. The association between elevated cholesterol and stroke may be slightly higher among men, and the role of high blood pressure is complicated, with varying effects based on age/race/ethnicity and gender.

The authors also note that treatment disparities between men and women leading to suboptimal stroke prevention in women need to be addressed.

Editorial: Stroke in Women

In this edition of Stroke, the papers by McDermott, Demel, Madsen, Gall/Lisabeth and colleagues argue for further recognition of the factors causing stroke in women as well as for systematic intensification of treatments. Sex differences in stroke burden are most influenced by differences in cardiovascular risk factor burden; thus, the greatest gains in stroke prevention will come from increased screening and treatment of these primary risk factors in women early in life, especially in the obese, women in pregnancy, and those from high-risk ethnoracial groups.

Co-authors, funding sources and author disclosures are on the manuscripts.

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.

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.

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

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

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

 

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsMon, 26 Feb 2018 20:38:29 GMTMany aspects of strokes affect women and men differently, and four articles in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke highlight recent research and identify future research needs.https://newsroom.heart.org/news/stroke-journal-features-womens-studies-on-how-gender-influences-stroke-risk-treatment-and-outcomesThu, 08 Feb 2018 10:00:00 GMT

Top heart disease and stroke research advances of 2017

Fri, 06/01/2018 - 08:09
DALLAS, Feb. 7, 2018 — New medicines to fight heart disease, updated guidelines for strokes and high blood pressure, and research into genome editing are among the top heart disease and stroke advances in 2017, according to the American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary health organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular disease and stroke.

The Association, one of the top funders of heart- and stroke-related research worldwide, has been compiling an annual top 10 list of major advances in heart disease and stroke science since 1996. Here, in no particular order, are the organization’s picks for leading research accomplishments published in 2017.

Advancing the treatment of strokes

Following publication in 2017 of the DAWN study in The New England Journal of Medicine showing benefits of mechanical clot removal for longer periods after a stroke starts, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association released new guidelines for treating acute ischemic stroke. The guidelines were released at the International Stroke Conference in January 2018 and included additional data from DEFUSE 3, also presented at the meeting.

The new guidelines, published in the journal Stroke, say the clot-removal treatment window may be increased from six hours to up to 24 hours for specific patients who have clots in large vessels in the brain. The guidelines also increase the number of patients who will have access to a clot-dissolving drug proven to lower the chances for disability. The guidelines reiterated the need for fast action when a person shows the symptoms of a stroke, the second-leading cause of death in the world and a leading cause of disability.

Fixing a gene mutation in human embryos

A study in Nature suggests genome editing could be used to correct disease-causing mutations in the heart muscle of human embryos. Researchers focused on the MYBPC3 gene – which provides instructions for making a protein found in heart muscle cells and causes a form of inherited hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – and used new approaches to allow safe and accurate correction of the abnormal gene.

While early, this research furthers the potential for genome editing to correct mutations that pass from parent to child.

New high blood pressure guidelines for teens and children

For children, “normal” blood pressure varies based on gender, age and height. So for years, doctors had to refer to sets of charts to calculate whether a child’s blood pressure was normal or high.

Last August, the American Academy of Pediatrics simplified the process by issuing updated guidelines for diagnosing, evaluating and treating children and adolescents with high blood pressure. The guidelines, published in Pediatrics, provide a short, easy-to-understand table that uses a child’s age and gender to determine whether blood pressure is elevated or not.

The AHA and American College of Cardiology released new guidelines for adults last November at the Association’s annual Scientific Sessions. The guidance, published in the American Heart Association’s journal, Hypertension, redefined what should be classified as high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. Experts looking at the newest data defined hypertension as a reading of 130 (for the top, or systolic, number) or 80 (for the bottom, or diastolic, number). In the past, hypertension was defined as 140/90.

The change means 46 percent of U.S. adults are identified as having high blood pressure, compared with 32 percent under the previous definition. Lifestyle changes alone, without the need for medication, are recommended for the majority of Americans with newly diagnosed high blood pressure, according to the guidelines.

Economic recession affects the cardiovascular health of African-American teens

Previous research has shown that low household income can adversely affect patients’ health, but a new study found the health of some African-American teenagers was particularly impacted five years following the Great Recession that lasted from 2007-2009.

The study, in the Journal of the American Heart Association, found that 16- and 17-year-olds in the rural U.S. Southeast whose families suffered a financial downturn after the recession showed higher rates of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of disorders that may include abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar and high cholesterol. The results suggest the need for secondary prevention efforts for teens, including lifestyle modification, during and after a large-scale economic decline.

A deeper understanding of heart health for those living in food deserts

Health researchers have focused a lot in recent years on so-called food deserts: low-income neighborhoods with low access to healthy food. But a new study found that it’s not so much the “desert” itself as it is low income in general that is linked to poor heart health.

The study, in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, studied food deserts in metro Atlanta and found people who live there have higher rates of cardiovascular risk factors such as oxidative stress, inflammation and arterial stiffness. However, researchers concluded these associations are mostly due to low income of the area and its residents rather than proximity to a grocery store – a finding which could impact the future use of public health resources in poor neighborhoods.

Cholesterol-lowering drug cuts risk of heart attacks and strokes

A study in The New England Journal of Medicine found that the new injectable cholesterol-lowering drug evolocumab can reduce heart attacks and strokes among high-risk patients. The FOURIER study – paid for by Amgen, which makes and sells the PCSK9 inhibitor evolocumab under the brand name Repatha – showed that the drug cut the risk of having a heart attack, stroke or dying from a cardiovascular cause by 20 percent when added to intensive statin therapy.

The study reported that Repatha lowered “bad” LDL cholesterol by about 60 percent, to a median of 30.

SGLT2 inhibitors may lower rates of death and heart failure for people with diabetes

A large international study in Circulation showed lower rates of death and heart failure for diabetes patients treated with the SGLT2 inhibitors canagliflozin, dapagliflozin or empagliflozin, compared with other glucose-lowering drugs. The CVD-REAL study – paid for by AstraZeneca, which markets dapagliflozin under the brand name Farxiga – looked at more than 300,000 patients with Type 2 diabetes in the U.S., the U.K., Denmark, Norway and Sweden. The results suggest SGLT2 inhibitors may benefit a broad population of patients with Type 2 diabetes.

Improved therapy for treating patients with peripheral artery disease

According to a study in The Lancet, combining low doses of the blood thinner rivaroxaban and aspirin is more effective than aspirin alone in preventing cardiovascular deaths, heart attacks, strokes and major amputations for people with peripheral artery disease, or PAD.

The 33-country COMPASS study looked at 7,470 patients with PAD, a narrowing of the peripheral arteries to the legs, arms, stomach and head. Although major bleeding increased with the combination therapy, fatal or critical organ bleeding did not. Researchers said the new approach is a major advance in treating patients with peripheral artery disease.

A new treatment for fighting inflammation and reducing cardiovascular events

Scientists have long believed that reducing inflammation may reduce the risk of heart disease. The CANTOS study published in The New England Journal of Medicine looked at more than 10,000 high-risk patients who previously had heart attacks and found that canakinumab, a monoclonal antibody that targets interleukin-1 beta and blocks inflammation, significantly lowered their rate of having or dying from a heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular cause. Although the drug did not reduce overall deaths from any cause and was associated with significant side effects, the principle underlying the use of a specific anti-inflammatory antibody is important.

Catheter-based procedure extended for more patients with aortic stenosis

Aortic stenosis – a narrowing of the aortic valve opening – is a common and serious valve disease problem. For patients with severe aortic stenosis at high risk for surgical complications, a procedure called transcatheter aortic-valve replacement, or TAVR, that can be done through a catheter rather than with open-heart surgery, is already an accepted alternative.

The SURTAVI study in The New England Journal of Medicine looked at severe aortic stenosis patients at intermediate risk for complications from surgery and found TAVR to be a viable alternative for them as well.

Additional Resources:

  • Follow AHA/ASA news on Twitter @HeartNews
  • For updates and new science from the Circulation journal follow @CircAHA

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The information is available via an American Heart Association News story. Media may leverage this content for linking, quoting and excerpting. Copyright is owned or held by American Heart Association and all rights are reserved, but permission is granted, at no cost and without need for further request, to link to, quote or excerpt from these stories in any medium anywhere as long as the text is not altered and proper attribution is made to American Heart Association News. Full terms of use and attribution language can be found here.

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: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsMon, 26 Feb 2018 17:45:16 GMTNew medicines to fight heart disease, updated guidelines for strokes and high blood pressure, and research into genome editing are among the top heart disease and stroke advances in 2017, according to the American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary health organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular disease and stroke.https://newsroom.heart.org/news/top-heart-disease-and-stroke-research-advances-of-2017Wed, 07 Feb 2018 20:51:00 GMT

Adults with high blood pressure face higher healthcare costs

Wed, 05/30/2018 - 04:04
Study Highlights:

  • Adults with high blood pressure are estimated to pay almost $2,000 more in annual healthcare costs compared to those without high blood pressure.
  • Nationally, annual healthcare costs for the U.S. population with high blood pressure are estimated to be $131 billion higher compared to those without the disease.

Embargoed until 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Wednesday, May 30, 2018

DALLAS, May 30, 2018 — Adults with high blood pressure face $1,920 higher healthcare costs each year compared to those without high blood pressure, according to new research in Journal of the American Heart Association, the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

Based on the U.S. prevalence of hypertension, researchers estimate the national adjusted annual cost for the adult population with high blood pressure to be $131 billion higher compared to those without the disease.

It is important to note that this twelve-year study was done using previous hypertension guidelines – which defined high blood pressure as 140/90 mm Hg or higher. In 2017, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology lowered the definition of high blood pressure to 130/80 mm Hg or higher.

“The new lower definition of high blood pressure will increase the number of adults in the hypertensive population,” said study lead author Elizabeth B. Kirkland, M.D., M.S.C.R., an assistant professor of internal medicine at Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. “This may decrease the average cost of hypertension for individual patients while increasing the overall societal costs of hypertension.”

For this study, researchers used 2003-2014 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) data that included 224,920 adults, of whom 36.9 percent had high blood pressure, to measure trends and calculate estimated annual healthcare costs. Researchers adjusted for other medical reasons, such as a history of stroke or diabetes, that would contribute to their medical expenses.

Compared to patients without high blood pressure, those with high blood pressure had:

  • 2.5 times the inpatient costs;
  • almost double the outpatient costs; and
  • nearly triple the prescription medication expenditures.

“While the increased cost for patients with high blood pressure remained stable from 2003-2014, the rising prevalence of hypertension will become an increasingly large burden on the U.S. population for hypertension expenditures,” Kirkland said. “The better we can learn to recognize high blood pressure, treat it and manage it, the better we'll be able to address these costs.”

Although expenditures were higher for inpatient and outpatient care, over the course of the study period, the researchers observed a shift toward more cost in the outpatient setting than the inpatient setting, which may reflect a larger societal trend to try to bring care out of the hospital system and into locations that are more accessible to most patients, Kirkland said.

National statistics from the 2017 hypertension guidelines estimate that 46 percent of U.S. adults — 103 million people — have high blood pressure, but only about half of those have their blood pressure controlled despite improvements in diagnosing, treating and controlling hypertension.

Co-authors are Marc Heincelman, M.D.; Kinfe G. Bishu, Ph.D.; Samuel O. Schumann, M.D., M.S.C.R.; Andrew Schreiner, M.D., M.S.C.R.; R. Neal Axon, M.D., M.S.C.R.; Patrick D. Mauldin, Ph.D.; and William P. Moran, M.D., M.S. Author disclosures 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: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsWed, 30 May 2018 09:00:08 GMTStudy Highlights: Adults with high blood pressure are estimated to pay almost $2,000 more in annual healthcare costs compared to those without high blood pressure. Nationally, annual healthcare costs for the U.S. population with high blood pressure are estimated to be $131 billion higher compared to those without the disease. https://newsroom.heart.org/news/adults-with-high-blood-pressure-face-higher-healthcare-costsWed, 30 May 2018 09:00:00 GMT

Severe pre-eclampsia often leads to undetected high blood pressure after pregnancy

Tue, 05/29/2018 - 04:05
Study Highlights:

  • Hypertension commonly occurs in the year following pregnancy among women who had severe pre-eclampsia during pregnancy.
  • The lingering hypertension may go unnoticed because it often doesn’t present as classic high readings in the doctor’s office.
  • Offering post-pregnancy ambulatory blood pressure monitoring to all women who have severe pre-eclampsia may help detect those whose blood pressures might be high despite normal readings in doctors’ offices.

Embargoed 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Monday, February 5, 2018

DALLAS, Feb. 5, 2018 – Lingering hypertension is common and may go unnoticed among women who have severe pre-eclampsia during pregnancy, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Hypertension.

Pre-eclampsia, which is when a woman develops hypertension and elevated protein in the urine during pregnancy, occurs in three to five percent of pregnancies in the developed world. Recent studies have shown that women with pre-eclampsia are more likely than women with normal blood pressure during pregnancy to have high blood pressure post-pregnancy.

Women with severe pre-eclampsia can be seven times more susceptible to develop future cardiovascular disease compared to women with a normal blood pressure during pregnancy, according to study author Laura Benschop, M.D., a researcher in obstetrics and gynecology at Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

“The problem is high blood pressure after pregnancy often goes unnoticed because many of these women have normal blood pressure readings in the doctor’s office,” Benschop said. “We aimed to determine how common it is for women who have pre-eclampsia to have high blood pressure in the year after pregnancy, by looking at more than just their blood pressure readings in the doctor’s office.”

Benschop and colleagues studied 200 women who during their pregnancies were diagnosed with severe pre-eclampsia, defined by such criteria as a systolic blood pressure of 160 mmHg or higher and/or diastolic blood pressure of 110 mmHg or higher. They followed the women for one year after their pregnancies, monitoring blood pressure during the day and night and taking blood pressure readings in the clinic.

They found:

  • More than 41 percent of the women in the study had high blood pressure in the year after pregnancy.
  • The most common type of hypertension detected (17.5 percent) was masked hypertension, which is normal blood pressure in the doctor’s office, but high readings outside of the office; followed by sustained hypertension (14.5 percent); then, white coat hypertension (9.5 percent), which occurs when people have higher blood pressure readings at the doctor’s office than outside the clinic setting.
  • If the ambulatory readings hadn’t been taken and only in-clinic readings were used, doctors would have missed 56 percent of the women with high blood pressure.
  • Forty-six percent of the women studied had an insufficient decrease in blood pressure from daytime to nighttime, which is unhealthy.
  • Night-time hypertension, which increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and death, affected 42.5 percent of women in the study.

“Our findings suggest women who have high blood pressure during pregnancy should continue to monitor their blood pressure long after they’ve delivered their babies. It’s not only important to monitor blood pressure in the doctor’s office, but also at different times of the day and night, at home,” Benschop said. “We’ve shown here that high blood pressure comes in many forms after pregnancy. Women who know their numbers can take the proper steps to lower their blood pressure and avoid the health consequences of high blood pressure later in life.”

This study has limitations, including that the findings might not be applicable across races and income levels. The women in this study were predominately highly educated and Caucasian.

According to new hypertension treatment guidelines recently released by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Clinical Practice Guidelines, high blood pressure is now defined as readings of 130 mm Hg and higher for the systolic blood pressure measurement, or readings of 80 and higher for the diastolic measurement. That is a change from the old definition of 140/90 and higher, reflecting complications that can occur at those lower numbers.

Co-authors are Johannes J Duvekot, M.D., Ph.D.; Jorie Versmissen, M.D., Ph.D.; Valeska van Broekhoven, M.D.; Eric AP Steegers, M.D., Ph.D.; and Jeanine E Roeters van Lennep, M.D., Ph.D. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

This study did not receive outside funding.

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: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

 

 

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsMon, 05 Feb 2018 10:00:04 GMTStudy Highlights: Hypertension commonly occurs in the year following pregnancy among women who had severe pre-eclampsia during pregnancy. The lingering hypertension may go unnoticed because it often doesn’t present as classic high readings in the doctor’s office. Offering post-pregnancy ambulatory blood pressure monitoring to all women who have severe pre-eclampsia may help detect those whose blood pressures might be high despite normal readings in doctors’ offices. https://newsroom.heart.org/news/severe-pre-eclampsia-often-leads-to-undetected-high-blood-pressure-after-pregnancyMon, 05 Feb 2018 10:00:00 GMT

South Asian Americans are at high risk for heart disease and stroke

Thu, 05/24/2018 - 04:11
Statement Highlights

  • South Asian Americans are more likely to die of atherosclerosis than other Asians and people of European ancestry.
  • Higher rates of diabetes and lack of exercise appear to be important factors in their increased risk.

Embargoed until 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Thurs., May 24, 2018

DALLAS, May 24,2018 — South Asians are more likely to die of heart disease, such as heart attacks and strokes caused by atherosclerosis – the disease process that narrows arteries – than East Asians and non-Hispanic whites living in the United States, according to a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association published in its journal Circulation.

The statement provides an overview of the behaviors that influence the risk factors for heart disease and stroke among South Asians living in the United States based on a review of existing scientific research.

“Statistics about heart disease and stroke risk among Asians can be deceiving when all people of Asian ethnicity are combined into one group. Overall, Asians are at a lower risk for heart disease and stroke compared to people of European ancestry. But when you look at South Asians – both immigrants and people of South Asian ancestry born in the United States – their risk for heart disease and stroke is higher than people from East Asia and people of European ancestry,” said Annabelle S. Volgman, M.D., chair of the statement’s writing group and professor of medicine at Rush Medical College and medical director of the Rush Heart Center for Women in Chicago, Illinois. 

More than 3.4 million people who identify themselves as South Asians live in the United States, and about 80 percent come from India. Others come from Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. This group includes both immigrants and people of South Asian ancestry who were born in America, according to the United States Census.

Compared to people of European ancestry South Asian Americans:

  • have a greater risk of having severe atherosclerosis – the narrowing of the arteries that underlies most heart disease and strokes;
  • are more likely to have multiple segments of their arteries narrowed by atherosclerosis;
  • have higher levels of artery clogging LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and lower levels of HDL (good) cholesterol, which predispose the arteries to develop fatty deposits in artery walls that cause them to narrow;
  • have a higher level of calcium deposits, a marker for atherosclerosis, if they are of Indian ancestry and over age 60;
  • are more likely to have diabetes, which is believed to accelerate atherosclerosis; and
  • develop diabetes at a younger age.  

The statement also focuses on behavioral factors that may increase the risk of developing atherosclerosis among South Asian Americans and suggests ways that they can be changed to improve health.

Volgman notes that diet is a key factor – many South Asians, even if they are vegetarians, eat a lot of saturated fats from tropical oils – such as palm and coconut oil – and refined carbohydrates, – such as sugar, white bread and highly processed foods.

Ongoing studies are looking into improving diet quality among South Asians by reintroducing traditional whole grains which were once a mainstay of diet in the region, in addition to suggesting replacing ghee (butter with all the water removed) with monounsaturated oils, such as olive, corn or other oils.

South Asian Americans also engage in less physical activity than other minority group members, according to the statement “As healthcare providers, we need to do a better job of helping our South Asian patients understand the importance of exercise, because many don’t realize how important it is to their health,” said Volgman. A recent study found that only 49 percent of South Asian Americans believed that exercise was important in preventing heart disease.

The authors cite studies that suggest that community programs that encourage South Asians to exercise and reduce stress through yoga and Bollywood dancing or other culturally specific physical activities are likely to be more successful than other forms of physical activity.

South Asians represent one of the fastest growing ethnic groups in the U.S. The statement concludes with a call to action to include more South Asians in research studies to better understand how to reduce their risk for heart disease and stroke.

Co-authors are Latha S. Palaniappan, M.D., (Vice-Chair); Neelum T. Aggarwal, M.D.; Milan Gupta, M.D.; Abha Khandelwal, M.D.; Aruna V. Krishnan, Ph.D.; Judith H. Lichtman, Ph.D.; Laxmi S. Mehta, M.D.; Hena N. Patel, M.D.; Kevin S. Shah, M.D.; Svati H. Shah, M.D.; and Karol E. Watson, M.D., Ph.D. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

Additional Resources:

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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 and device manufacturers 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: 214-706-1173

Darcy Spitz: 212-878-5940; Darcy.Spitz@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsThu, 24 May 2018 09:00:05 GMTStatement Highlights: South Asian Americans are more likely to die of atherosclerosis than other Asians and people of European ancestry. Higher rates of diabetes and lack of exercise appear to be important factors in their increased...https://newsroom.heart.org/news/south-asian-americans-are-at-high-risk-for-heart-disease-and-strokeThu, 24 May 2018 09:00:00 GMT

More than 100 million Americans have high blood pressure, AHA says

Wed, 05/23/2018 - 16:38
DALLAS, Jan. 31, 2018 — The number of Americans at risk for heart attacks and strokes just got a lot higher. An estimated 103 million U.S. adults have high blood pressure, according to new statistics from the American Heart Association. That’s nearly half of all adults in the United States.

“With the aging of the population and increased life expectancy, the prevalence of high blood pressure is expected to continue to increase,” said epidemiologist Dr. Paul Muntner, co-chair of the group that wrote the AHA’s Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2018 Update, published Wednesday in Circulation. Read more from AHA News

 American Heart Association News covers heart disease, stroke and related health issues. Not all views expressed in American Heart Association News stories reflect the official position of the American Heart Association.  Copyright is owned or held by the American Heart Association, Inc., and all rights are reserved. Permission is granted, at no cost and without need for further request, to link to, quote, excerpt or reprint from these stories in any medium as long as no text is altered and proper attribution is made to the American Heart Association News. See full terms of use.  

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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 http://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.

Media Inquiries:  For American Heart Association News stories on Heart.org, please contact editor@heart.org.

For other media inquiries: please call 214-706-1173

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

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

Life is why we fund scientific breakthroughs that save and improve lives.

]]>Media AlertsHeart NewsStroke NewsMon, 26 Feb 2018 19:38:42 GMTDALLAS, Jan. 31, 2018 — The number of Americans at risk for heart attacks and strokes just got a lot higher. An estimated 103 million U.S. adults have high blood pressure, according to new statistics from the American Heart Association. That’s nearly...https://newsroom.heart.org/news/more-than-100-million-americans-have-high-blood-pressure-aha-saysWed, 31 Jan 2018 18:00:00 GMT

Stress and diet associated with brain bleeds in sub-Saharan Africa

Fri, 05/18/2018 - 13:48
Embargoed until 8:45 a.m. Pacific Time 11:45 a.m. Eastern Time, Friday, Jan. 26, 2018

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 26, 2018 — Stress may double the risk of brain bleeds related to high blood pressure, while consuming green leafy vegetables is strongly protective, according to the largest study of stroke in sub-Saharan Africa, presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2018, a world premier meeting dedicated to the science and treatment of cerebrovascular disease for researchers and clinicians.

Intracerebral hemorrhage – bleeding within the brain – takes a high toll on working-age people in Nigeria and Ghana, with high blood pressure accounting for more than 90 percent of this often-lethal type of stroke.

In a new report from the Stroke Investigative Research and Educational Network, researchers studied 682 patients (average age 53.7 years) at 15 sites in Nigeria and Ghana who experienced brain bleeds. Bleeding strokes accounted for 32.2 percent of all strokes in the study (a much higher percentage than in the United States). Of the bleeding strokes, 93.9 percent were determined to be related to high blood pressure, 7.2 percent to structural abnormalities such as a bulging weak area of a blood vessel, and much smaller percentages to other medical conditions or medication use.

Comparing patients with high blood pressure-related brain bleeds to similar people in the same communities without stroke, the researchers found that the risks were:

  • 2.33 times as high in people with diabetes;
  • 2.22 times as high in people who reported more stress at home and work;
  • 1.69 times as high in people with abnormal cholesterol levels;
  • 10.01 times as high in tobacco smokers; and
  • 64 percent lower in people who reported eating more green, leafy vegetables.

Researchers say reducing stress and increasing green leafy vegetable consumption may be a novel way to reduce the rates of brain bleeds.

National Institutes of Health (NINDS, NHGRI and NIH Common fund) funded the study under the H3Africa initiative.

Mayowa Owolabi, Sc.M, Dr.M, FAAN, Center for Genomic and Precision Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

Presentation location: Room 502B

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.

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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.

For Media Inquiries and AHA Spokesperson Perspective:

AHA News Media in Dallas: 214-706-1173

AHA News Media Office, Jan. 24-26, 2018 at the Los Angeles Convention Center: 213-743-6262

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

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

 

]]>Scientific Conferences & MeetingsStroke NewsFri, 26 Jan 2018 16:46:04 GMTLOS ANGELES, Jan. 26, 2018 — Stress may double the risk of brain bleeds related to high blood pressure, while consuming green leafy vegetables is strongly...https://newsroom.heart.org/news/stress-and-diet-associated-with-brain-bleeds-in-sub-saharan-africaFri, 26 Jan 2018 16:45:00 GMT

Cancer patients less likely to receive clot-busting drugs after stroke

Fri, 05/18/2018 - 13:48
Embargoed until 8:12 a.m. Pacific Time 11:12 a.m. Eastern Time, Friday, Jan. 26, 2018

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 26, 2018 — When a stroke occurs in patients with cancer, they are one-third less likely to receive standard clot-busting medication as patients without a malignancy, according to preliminary research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2018, a world premier meeting dedicated to the science and treatment of cerebrovascular disease for researchers and clinicians.

Cancer patients frequently have strokes, which can occur due to traditional risk factors or from risks associated with cancer (such as blood that clots more easily) or its treatment. Over time, the use of both clot-dissolving drugs and procedures that mechanically remove clots following stroke have increased. The current study sought to determine whether these approaches increased as much in stroke patients with cancer (excluding those with brain cancer).

In a national sample, the researchers found:

  • The use of clot-busting medication rose from 0.01 percent in 1998 to 4.23 percent in 2013 in cancer patients with stroke, but its use remains about one-third lower than in patients without cancer.
  • The use of newer procedures to mechanically remove clots rose from 0.05 percent in 2006 to 1.07 percent in 2013 in cancer patients with stroke, and is similar to its use in patients without cancer.

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

Babak B. Navi, M.D., Weill Cornell Medicine, New York City.

Presentation location: Room 515A

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.

###

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.

For Media Inquiries and AHA Spokesperson Perspective:

AHA News Media in Dallas: 214-706-1173

AHA News Media Office, Jan. 24-26, 2018 at the Los Angeles Convention Center: 213-743-6262

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

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

 

]]>Scientific Conferences & MeetingsStroke NewsFri, 26 Jan 2018 16:12:03 GMTLOS ANGELES, Jan. 26, 2018 — When a stroke occurs in patients with cancer, they are one-third less likely to receive standard clot-busting medication as patients...https://newsroom.heart.org/news/cancer-patients-less-likely-to-receive-clot-busting-drugs-after-strokeFri, 26 Jan 2018 16:12:00 GMT

Simple test speeds recognition of posterior stroke

Fri, 05/18/2018 - 13:48
Embargoed until 3 p.m. Pacific Time 6 p.m. Eastern Time, Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 25, 2018 — A simple finger-to-nose test by medical professionals almost doubled the recognition of possible stroke involving the circulation at the back of the brain, according to preliminary research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2018, a world premier meeting dedicated to the science and treatment of cerebrovascular disease for researchers and clinicians.

Posterior strokes represent up to a quarter of all stroke admissions to the hospital, but there are often delays in diagnosis because the patients may not have the typical stroke signs included in screening tools used by emergency medical technicians (EMTs).

In a new study, researchers compared the recognition of posterior strokes between EMTs who received standard training in stroke screening with EMTs who received standard training plus in-person training in the “finger-to-nose test.” In this simple coordination test the patient alternates touching their own nose and the examiner’s finger. Performance can be impaired in posterior stroke.

The researchers found:

  • After training including the finger-to-nose test, EMTs recognized 12 of 16 (75 percent) posterior strokes, compared with 9 of 26 (38 percent) in the 12 months prior to training.

  • After routine training (not including the finger-to-nose test), EMTs recognized 13 of 28 (46 percent) posterior strokes, compared with 10 of 36 (28 percent) in the 12 months prior to training, an improvement that was not statistically significant.

The Midwest Affiliate of the American Heart Association (American Heart Association Mentored Clinical & Population Research Award) funded the study.

John A. Oostema, M.D., Michigan State University, College of Human Medicine, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Note: Scientific presentation is 5:15 p.m. PT, Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018.

Presentation location: Hall H

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.

###

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.

For Media Inquiries and AHA Spokesperson Perspective:

AHA News Media in Dallas: 214-706-1173

AHA News Media Office, Jan. 24-26, 2018 at the Los Angeles Convention Center: 213-743-6262

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

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

 

]]>Scientific Conferences & MeetingsStroke NewsThu, 25 Jan 2018 23:00:06 GMTLOS ANGELES, Jan. 25, 2018 — A simple finger-to-nose test by medical professionals almost doubled the recognition of possible stroke involving the circulation at the back...https://newsroom.heart.org/news/simple-test-speeds-recognition-of-posterior-strokeThu, 25 Jan 2018 23:00:00 GMT

In-womb air pollution exposure associated with higher blood pressure in childhood

Mon, 05/14/2018 - 04:16
Study Highlights:

  • Children who were exposed to higher levels air pollution while in the womb had a higher risk of elevated blood pressure in childhood.
  • This is one of the first studies to show that air pollution may have negative health effects on offspring exposed during pregnancy.

Embargoed 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Monday, May 14, 2018

DALLAS, May 14, 2018 – Children who were exposed to higher levels of air pollution during the third trimester of their mother’s pregnancy had a higher risk of elevated blood pressure in childhood, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Hypertension.

Fine particulate matter of 2.5 microns or less (PM2.5) is a form of air pollution produced by motor vehicles and the burning of oil, coal and biomass, and has been shown to enter the circulatory system and negatively affect human health. Previous studies found, direct exposure to fine air pollution was associated with high blood pressure in both children and adults and is a major contributor to illness and premature death worldwide.

“Ours is one of the first studies to show breathing polluted air during pregnancy may have a direct negative influence on the cardiovascular health of the offspring during childhood,” said Noel T. Mueller, Ph.D., M.P.H., senior author of the study and an assistant professor of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland. “High blood pressure during childhood often leads to high blood pressure in adulthood and hypertension is the leading cause of cardiovascular disease.”

Researchers examined 1,293 mothers and their children who were part of the large, ongoing Boston Birth Cohort study. Blood pressure was measured at each childhood physical examination at 3- to 9- years old. A systolic (top number) blood pressure was considered elevated if it was in the highest 10 percent for children the same age on national data. Researchers also adjusted for other factors known to influence childhood blood pressure, such as birthweight and maternal smoking.

They found:

  • Children exposed to higher levels (the top third) of ambient fine-particulate pollution in the womb during the third trimester were 61 percent more likely to have elevated systolic blood pressure in childhood compared to those exposed to the lowest level (the bottom third).
  • Higher exposure to air pollution in the third trimester, when fetal weight gain is the most rapid, was already known to influence (lower) birthweight, but this study found the association with elevated blood pressure regardless of whether a child was of low-, normal- or high birthweight.
  • A woman’s fine-particulate matter exposure before pregnancy was not associated with blood pressure in her offspring, thus providing evidence of the significant impact of in-utero exposure.

“These results reinforce the importance of reducing emissions of PM2.5 in the environment. Not only does exposure increase the risk of illness and death in those directly exposed, but it may also cross the placental barrier in pregnancy and effect fetal growth and increase future risks for high blood pressure,” Mueller said.

Researchers used each woman’s residential address and information from the nearest U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) air quality monitor to estimate exposure to air pollution in each trimester of pregnancy.

The concentrations of PM2.5 in the highest category in this study (11.8 micrograms per cubic meter or higher) were slightly lower than the EPA’s National Air Quality Standard (12 micrograms per cubic meter).

“The science on the health effects of air pollution is under review by the EPA. The findings of our study provide additional support for maintaining, if not lowering, the standard of 12 micrograms of PM2.5 per cubic meter set in 2012 by the National Ambient Air Quality Standards under the Clean Air Act. We need regulations to keep our air clean, not only for the health of our planet but also for the health of our children” Mueller said.

This study established an association. It did not prove a direct cause-and-effect relationship. However, the by size of the study, follow-up and ability to adjust for many factors that might influence childhood blood pressure add to the strength of the findings, researchers noted.

Co-authors are Mingyu Zhang, B.Sc, BEcon; Hongjian Wang, M.D., Ph.D.; Xiumei Hong, M.D., Ph.D.; Lawrence J. Appel, M.D., M.P.H.; and Xiaobin Wang, M.D., M.P.H., Sc.D. The researchers reported no disclosures.

The Boston Birth Cohort received grant support from The March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the Maternal and Child Bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration.

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

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

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsMon, 14 May 2018 09:00:06 GMTStudy Highlights: Children who were exposed to higher levels air pollution while in the womb had a higher risk of elevated blood pressure in childhood. This is one of the first studies to show that air pollution may have negative health effects on offspring exposed during pregnancy. https://newsroom.heart.org/news/in-womb-air-pollution-exposure-associated-with-higher-blood-pressure-in-childhoodMon, 14 May 2018 09:00:00 GMT

Twenty things you didn’t know about stroke, that may save a life

Tue, 05/01/2018 - 13:12
DALLAS, May 1, 2018 — Stroke is a leading cause of preventable death, but lack of awareness, education and resources are major barriers to stopping it. During May, American Stroke Month, the American Stroke Association, the world’s leading voluntary organization devoted to saving people from stroke, reveals 20 important things you probably didn’t know about stroke, in recognition of its 20th Anniversary: 

  1. There are different types of strokes: ischemic, hemorrhagic and transient ischemic attack (TIA). An ischemic stroke is a clot-caused blockage in an artery to the brain, while a hemorrhagic stroke occurs when an artery ruptures in the brain. A TIA or “mini stroke” is caused by a temporary blockage. Eighty-seven percent of all strokes are ischemic.
  2. During a stroke, nearly 120 million brain cells die every hour. Compared with the normal rate of cell loss in brain aging, the brain ages 3.6 years each hour without treatment. The sooner the patient gets medical care, the better their chances of recovery.
  3. About 66 percent of the time, someone other than the patient makes the decision to seek treatment – recognizing the warning signs and sudden symptoms of stroke to receive treatment fast, could help save a life.
  4. F.A.S.T. is an acronym used to teach the most common warning signs and sudden symptoms of stroke. F.A.S.T. stands for (F) face drooping, (A) arm weakness, (S) speech difficulty, (T) time to call 9-1-1. Less than half of the population is aware of the signs.
  5. Stroke symptoms can also include sudden numbness, sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes, sudden severe headache with no known cause and sudden trouble walking.
  6. Calling 9-1-1 and arriving at the hospital in an ambulance is the fastest way to get treated quickly during a stroke emergency. Driving to the hospital is a common mistake people make, that can result in longer wait times before the patient receives medical care.
  7. Patients who have an ischemic stroke, may have a treatment window for mechanical clot removal within six hours to up to 24 hours in certain patients with clots in large vessels.
  8. Alteplase (also known as tPA) is a drug used to dissolve a blood clot that causes stroke. Stroke patients who arrive at a hospital within 90 minutes of symptom onset and qualify to receive tPA are almost 3 times more likely to recover with little or no disability.
  9. TeleStroke is videoconferencing, similar to Facetime and Skype, connecting patients with neurological experts separated by distance. TeleStroke Units are increasing access to acute stroke care in rural areas and improving patient outcomes.
  10. Having a stroke increases the risk of a second one (1 in 4 survivors have another stroke). Prevention is crucial because second strokes can be more debilitating than first strokes.
  11. In some ischemic stroke cases, the cause is unknown (cryptogenic stroke). It’s a challenge to prevent a second stroke, when the cause of the first one is unknown. The patient should work with their healthcare team to find the root cause.
  12. Stroke survivors stopping their aspirin regimen can up their risk of having another stroke, possibly due to increased clotting levels from the loss of aspirin’s blood-thinning effects. Following an aspirin regimen can help prevent stroke in some survivors.
  13. First-ever ASA rehabilitation guidelines call for intensive, team approach. For the first three months after a stroke, the brain is ready to learn. This ability for our brains to adjust is known as neuroplasticity and it plays a crucial role in recovery.
  14. Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke is an in-hospital program that promotes adherence to the latest scientific guidelines to improve quality of stroke care. The program has expanded from 24 hospitals in 2003 to more than 2,000 hospitals to-date.
  15. In the Stroke Belt, an 11-state region in southeast U.S., the risk of stroke is 34 percent higher for the general population.
  16. More strokes are happening to people in their 30s and 40s.
  17. High blood pressure is the most common controllable cause of stroke. Recent guidelines redefined high blood pressure as a reading of 130/80 mm Hg or higher. A normal reading would be any blood pressure below 120/80 mm Hg and above 90/60 mm Hg in an adult.
  18. Nearly half of all adults in the U.S. (an estimated 103 million) have high blood pressure.
  19. Other stroke risk factors: obesity, diabetes, cholesterol, smoking and family history.
  20. Eighty percent of strokes are preventable. Eating healthfully, being physically active and controlling risk factors are important lifestyle changes that can help prevent and beat it.

“We must aggressively continue our efforts to reduce stroke, especially in multicultural communities and to reach people at younger ages,” said Mitchell S.V. Elkind, M.D., a professor of Neurology and Epidemiology at Columbia University and chair of the American Stroke Association. “If people are not aware of how to prevent, treat and beat stroke, they can’t take advantage of the progress made over the last twenty years to save lives.”

The American Stroke Association’s Together to End Stroke® initiative continues to expand critical awareness of stroke, in part thanks to national sponsors Medtronic and Bayer® Aspirin.

To learn more about stroke, visit StrokeAssociation.org.

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 http://www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

For Media Inquiries: 214-706-1173

Mara Silverio: Mara.Silverio@heart.org, 214-706-1508

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

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

]]>Program NewsStroke NewsTue, 01 May 2018 17:55:52 GMTStroke is a leading cause of preventable death, but lack of awareness, education and resources are major barriers to stopping it. During May, American Stroke Month, the American Stroke Association, the world’s leading voluntary organization devoted to saving people from stroke, reveals 20 important things you probably didn’t know about stroke, in recognition of its 20th Anniversary: https://newsroom.heart.org/news/twenty-things-you-didnt-know-about-stroke-that-may-save-a-lifeTue, 01 May 2018 14:00:00 GMT

Men younger than 50: the more you smoke, the more you stroke

Thu, 04/19/2018 - 04:17
Study Highlights:

  • The more cigarettes men younger than 50 smoked, the more likely they were to have a stroke.
  • Researchers say, while smoking cessation is the goal, just reducing the number of cigarettes younger men smoke could help reduce their stroke risk.

Embargoed until 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Thursday, April 19, 2018

DALLAS, April 19, 2018 — Men under 50 who smoked were more likely to have a stroke, and their risk increased with the number of cigarettes they smoked, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke.

An increasing number of young adults are suffering ischemic stroke, which is the most common stroke type. Tobacco use is on the rise among young adults. It is already established that the more young women smoke the greater their stroke risk; however, little is known about young men’s stroke risk from smoking.

“The key takeaway from our study on men younger than 50 is ‘the more you smoke, the more you stroke,’” said lead study author Janina Markidan, B.A., a medical student at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.

Researchers studied 615 young men (age 15-49) who had a stroke in the prior three years. Researchers compared the men with stroke to 530 healthy men in the same age range. They also categorized participants as never smokers, former smokers and current smokers. Current smokers were divided into groups based on the number of cigarettes smoked daily, 1 to 10, 11 to 20, 21 to 39 or 40 or more.

Researchers found:

  • Men who smoked were 88 percent more likely to have a stroke than men who never smoked.
  • Among current smokers, men who smoked fewer than 11 cigarettes daily were 46 percent more likely to have a stroke than those who never smoked.
  • But the heavier smokers, smoking at least two packs a day, were nearly 5 times, more likely to have a stroke than those who never smoked. 

“The goal is to get these young men to stop smoking, however if they can smoke fewer cigarettes it could help reduce their stroke risk,” Markidan said.

Researchers did not record the concurrent use of other tobacco products which could have affected results. They also did not control for factors such as alcohol consumption, physical activity or recall bias. However, similar findings in a Swedish study, suggested that there was not a major effect from recall bias.

Co-authors are John W. Cole, M.D., M.S.; Carolyn A. Cronin, M.D., Ph.D.; Jose G. Merino, M.D., M. Phil.; Michael S. Phipps, M.D.; Marcella A. Wozniak, M.D., Ph.D.; and Steven J. Kittner, M.D., M.P.H. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

The Department of Veterans Affairs, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health 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 heart.org/corporate funding.

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.

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

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

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

]]>Stroke NewsThu, 19 Apr 2018 09:00:08 GMTStudy Highlights: The more cigarettes men younger than 50 smoked, the more likely they were to have a stroke. Researchers say, while smoking cessation is the goal, just reducing the number of cigarettes younger men smoke could help reduce their stroke risk. https://newsroom.heart.org/news/men-younger-than-50-the-more-you-smoke-the-more-you-strokeThu, 19 Apr 2018 09:00:00 GMT

Wildfire smoke associated with more ER visits for heart, stroke ailments among seniors

Wed, 04/11/2018 - 04:19
Study Highlight:

  • Exposure to smoke from wildfires was associated with increased rates of emergency room visits for heart- and stroke-related illness, especially among adults age 65 and older.

Embargoed until 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Wednesday, April 11, 2018

DALLAS, April 11, 2018 — Smoke from wildfires may send people – particularly seniors – to hospital emergency rooms (ERs) with heart, stroke-related complaints, according to new research in the Journal of the American Heart Association, the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

Previous studies have shown that wildfire smoke exacerbates respiratory conditions but yielded inconsistent results for effects on the heart, brain or blood vessels.

The study was the product of a collaboration between researchers at the University of California San Francisco, California Department of Public Health and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Researchers reviewed more than one million ER visits in northern and central California during intense wildfires in the summer of 2015. They examined the relative risk of daily heart-, brain- and blood vessel-related ER visits on light, medium and dense smoke days relative to days without wildfire smoke exposure.

They found that smoke exposure was associated with increased rates of ER visits, not just for breathing trouble, but also ischemic heart disease, irregular heart rhythm, heart failure, pulmonary embolism and stroke. The risk was greatest for adults age 65 and older.  

The greatest increased relative risk was noted within a day of dense wildfire smoke. During these times, researchers found rates of ER visits among adults 65 and older increased:

  • 42 percent for heart attack; and
  • 22 percent for ischemic heart disease.

Overall, ER visits for all cardiovascular and cerebrovascular causes were elevated across all smoke days, with the greatest increase on dense smoke days and among adults age 65 and older. Respiratory conditions also were increased, as anticipated.

“This is one of the most extensive studies of wildfire health impacts in California to date,” said Ana Rappold, Ph.D., study senior author and statistician with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Durham, North Carolina.

Wildfire smoke contains many pollutants including ozone, carbon monoxide and fine particulate matter – which is linked to cardiovascular risk. People with underlying cardiovascular disease risk factors may be at risk for an acute heart, brain or blood vessel event when exposed to wildfire smoke.

A 2010 AHA statement on air pollution noted that particulate matter has been associated with increased risks of heart attack, stroke, irregular heart rhythm and heart failure exacerbation within hours to days of exposure in susceptible individuals. In addition, long term exposure to particulate matter can reduce life expectancy by a few years.

“The findings have public health and clinical implications,” said Wayne E. Cascio, M.D., study author and acting director for the National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory in the EPA’s Research and Development Office. “I think it will have a significant impact on how clinicians and public health officials view future wildfire events and the smoke that's generated from them.”

Research has shown that wildfire season in North America is increasing in intensity and duration. As wildfires likely become a bigger problem, it is important to continue research for wider-ranging health impacts from smoke exposure and ways to help people prevent these health outcomes, said Zachary S. Wettstein, B.A., study first author and graduating medical student from the University of California San Francisco.

“We need to study effective interventions that might decrease exposure to smoke and the associated health impacts,” Wettstein said. “These findings urge us to study these impacts over longer periods of time and within susceptible populations.”

The study did not examine the effect of personal traits such as past medical history, race, socioeconomic status and other factors that might affect the association between smoke exposure and ER visits but did examine differences by sex and age.

Other co-authors are Sumi Hoshiko, M.P.H.; Jahan Fahimi, M.D., Ph.D.; and Robert Harrison, M.D., M.P.H. The authors reported no conflicts of interest.

The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health, 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 heart.org/corporate funding.

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: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsWed, 11 Apr 2018 09:00:07 GMTStudy Highlight: Exposure to smoke from wildfires was associated with increased rates of emergency room visits for heart- and stroke-related illness, especially among adults age 65 and older. https://newsroom.heart.org/news/wildfire-smoke-associated-with-more-er-visits-for-heart-stroke-ailments-among-seniorsWed, 11 Apr 2018 09:00:00 GMT

Depression negatively impacts heart and stroke patients

Sat, 04/07/2018 - 14:02
Study Highlights:

  • People with cardiovascular disease who haven’t been diagnosed with depression but are at high-risk for it are more likely to report worse healthcare experiences and use emergency room services more often than those diagnosed with depression.
  • Heart attack patients diagnosed with depression are more likely to be hospitalized, use emergency rooms and annually spend more on healthcare than heart attack patients without depression.
  • More aggressive screening for depression among people with cardiovascular disease could enhance patient experiences and increase healthcare efficiency and costs, researchers said.

Embargoed until 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Saturday, April 7, 2018

ARLINGTON, Virginia, April 7, 2018 — Depression, even when undiagnosed, can have many negative effects on cardiovascular patients, including poor healthcare experiences, more use of healthcare resources and higher health costs, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association’s Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions 2018, a premier global exchange of the latest advances in quality of care and outcomes research in cardiovascular disease and stroke for researchers, healthcare professionals and policymakers.

About one-fifth of cardiovascular disease patients suffer from depression.

“While we don’t know which comes first--depression or cardiovascular disease—the consensus is that depression is a risk marker for cardiovascular disease, meaning if you have cardiovascular disease, there is a higher likelihood that you could also have depression, when compared with the risk in the general population,” said Victor Okunrintemi, M.D., M.P.H., a research fellow at Baptist Health South Florida in Coral Gables, Florida, and lead author of a pair of studies that looked into different aspects of depression and cardiovascular disease.

In one study, Okunrintemi and colleagues evaluated patient experience, healthcare expenditure and resource use in a large population of adult cardiovascular disease patients, dividing them into two groups: those who had been diagnosed with depression and those who had not been diagnosed with depression. Based on responses from a health questionnaire, patients who had not been diagnosed with depression were divided into high- and low-risk groups for depression.

When researchers compared high- and low-risk groups of cardiovascular patients without depression, they found:

  • Those at high risk for depression spent more on overall and out-of-pocket healthcare expenditures yearly when compared with patients in the low-risk group.

  • High-risk patients for depression were more than two times more likely to be hospitalized and used the emergency room than those at low risk.

  • High-risk patients were more than five times more likely to have a poor self-perceived health status, and almost four times more likely to be dissatisfied with their healthcare.

  • Patients at high risk for depression had notably worse healthcare-related quality of life.

“When we compared non-depressed patients to those who had been diagnosed with depression, we found those who were not depressed and yet had a higher risk for depression had worse healthcare experiences, increased use of the emergency room, poorer perception of their health status and a lower health-related quality of life than those who actually had depression,” Okunrintemi said. “That could be because people at high risk for depression simply haven’t been diagnosed and treated for depression yet.”

In a second study comparing health resource use and expenditures among heart attack patients with and without depression, Okunrintemi and colleagues found that heart attack patients diagnosed with depression were 54 percent more likely to be hospitalized and 43 percent more likely to have emergency room visits, compared to those not diagnosed with depression.

Furthermore, heart attack patients with depression spent an estimated $4,381 more, annually on healthcare expenses, compared with those without depression.

“Depression and heart attack often coexist, which has been associated with worse health experiences for these patients,” he said. “As a quality improvement measure to increase healthcare efficiency, we recommend more aggressive depression screening at follow-up visits for heart attack patients.”

In a separate study by a different group of researchers, stroke patients diagnosed with depression prior to having a stroke were more likely than those without depression to report functional declines and worse stroke impact on health and quality of life months after their stroke.

Researchers studied more than 1,600 stroke patients with similar stroke severity and functional status when discharged from the hospital. Three and six months after the strokes, they found those diagnosed with depression before having a stroke were 56 percent more likely than those without depression to report functional declines and a greater negative stroke-related impact on health and life.

The researchers call for strategies to more effectively manage existing depression among stroke patients to improve patients’ health and quality of life post stroke.

Dr. Okunrintemi’s co-authors are: Javier Valero-Elizondo, M.D., M.P.H.; Erin Michos, M.D., M.H.S.; Joseph Salami, M.D., M.P.H.; Oluseye Ogunmoroti, M.D., M.P.H.; Chukwuemeka Osondu, M.D., M.P.H.; Martin Tibuakuu, M.D., M.P.H.; Eve-Marie Benson, M.D., M.P.H.; Timothy Pawlik, M.D., M.P.H.; and Khurram Nasir, M.D., M.P.H.

Authors of the stroke study are: Shreyansh Shah; Haolin Xu; Ying Xian; Lesley Maisch; Deidre Hannah; Brianna Lindholm; Barbara L. Lytle; Michael J. Pencina; DaiWai M. Olson; Eric E. Smith; Gregg C. Fonarow; Lee H. Schwamm; Deepak L. Bhatt; Adrian F. Hernandez; and Emily C. O'Brien.

Author disclosures are on the abstracts.

Additional Resources:

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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.

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 Spokesperson Perspective: 214-706-1173

AHA Staff Contact: Cathy Lewis; 214-706-1324; cathy.lewis@heart.org

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

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

 

]]>Heart NewsScientific Conferences & MeetingsStroke NewsSat, 07 Apr 2018 18:00:09 GMTStudy Highlights: People with cardiovascular disease who haven’t been diagnosed with depression but are at high-risk for it are more likely to report worse healthcare experiences and use emergency room services more often than those diagnosed with...https://newsroom.heart.org/news/depression-negatively-impacts-heart-and-stroke-patientsSat, 07 Apr 2018 18:00:00 GMT

Higher blood pressure before pregnancy may increase miscarriage risk

Mon, 04/02/2018 - 05:08
Study Highlights:

  • Higher blood pressure prior to conception may increase the risk of miscarriage, even in women not diagnosed with hypertension.
  • The study involved women who had already experienced at least one pregnancy loss and were trying again.
  • If confirmed, the findings imply that lowering heart disease risk factors in young adulthood may also improve reproductive health.

Embargoed 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Monday, April 2, 2018

DALLAS, April 2, 2018 – Elevated blood pressure before becoming pregnant and early in pregnancy may increase the risk of pregnancy loss, even if the woman doesn’t have a hypertension diagnosis, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Hypertension.

“Elevated blood pressure among young adults is associated with a higher risk of heart disease later in life, and this study suggests it may also have an effect on reproductive health,” said Carrie J. Nobles, Ph.D., lead author of the study and a postdoctoral fellow in the Epidemiology Branch of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) in Bethesda, Maryland.

The study – which cannot reach a cause-and-effect conclusion – is the first to look at preconception blood pressure and reproductive outcomes in healthy women not diagnosed with high blood pressure or heart disease.

Researchers studied 1,228 women (average age 28.7 years, 95 percent white) who had already experienced 1-2 pregnancy losses and were currently trying to become pregnant. The women were part of a clinical trial to determine whether taking low-dose aspirin might reduce the risk of miscarriage.

During the study, women had their blood pressure measured when they were trying to become pregnant and again during early pregnancy. Average blood pressure prior to pregnancy was 111.6 mm Hg /72.5 mm Hg. Of the 797 women who conceived within six months, 24 percent suffered a pregnancy loss.

Researchers also found:

  • Every 10-point increase in diastolic blood pressure (lower number) was associated with an 18 percent increased risk of pregnancy loss.
  • Every 10-point increase in mean arterial pressure (an average of the lower and higher numbers) was associated with a 17 percent increased risk of pregnancy loss.
  • The findings were similar for preconception and early-pregnancy blood pressure.

“The impact of cardiovascular risk factors starts really early in life. Physicians treating women of reproductive age should pay attention to slightly elevated blood pressure because it may have other not-well-recognized effects, such as adverse pregnancy outcome,” said Enrique F. Schisterman, Ph.D., senior author of the study and Senior Investigator and Chief of the Epidemiology Branch of NICHD. “Preconception is a previously unrecognized critical window for intervention such as lifestyle changes that can help prevent later heart disease and may also improve reproductive health.”

Whether women had been randomly assigned to take low-dose aspirin as part of this clinical trial (Effects of Aspirin in Gestation and Reproduction) made no difference in the impact of blood pressure on pregnancy loss, the researchers found.

Because the study was conducted in women who already had experienced a miscarriage, it is unclear whether the results can be generalized to all young women. Additionally, the study was mostly composed of white participants, and further research is needed to ensure the results apply to women of different races.

Other co-authors are Pauline Mendola, Ph.D.; Sunni L. Mumford, Ph.D.; Ashley I. Naimi, Ph.D.; Edwina H. Yeung, Ph.D.; Keewan Kim, Ph.D.; Hyojun Park, Ph.D.; Brian Wilcox, M.D., Ph.D.; Robert M. Silver, M.D.; Neil J. Perkins, Ph.D.; and Lindsey Sjaarda, Ph.D. The authors reported no conflicts of interest.

The Intramural Research Program of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (National Institutes of Health) in Bethesda, Maryland funded 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

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

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsMon, 02 Apr 2018 09:00:07 GMTStudy Highlights: Higher blood pressure prior to conception may increase the risk of miscarriage, even in women not diagnosed with hypertension. The study involved women who had already experienced at least one pregnancy loss and were trying again. If confirmed, the findings imply that lowering heart disease risk factors in young adulthood may also improve reproductive health. https://newsroom.heart.org/news/higher-blood-pressure-before-pregnancy-may-increase-miscarriage-riskMon, 02 Apr 2018 09:00:00 GMT

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