The Daily Heart Beat

News, information and commentary from the heart

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Written by heartcurrents

July 2, 2012 at 3:26 pm

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A Stronger Heart Beat!

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Written by heartcurrents

March 17, 2010 at 5:14 pm

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Slideshow: Cholesterol Lowering Medications

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Written by heartcurrents

March 17, 2010 at 12:05 am

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Slideshow: Lowering Cholesterol

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Written by heartcurrents

March 16, 2010 at 1:56 am

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Slideshow: Heart Disease

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Emedicine Health

Written by heartcurrents

March 15, 2010 at 1:50 am

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Slideshow: 25 Heart Healthy Foods

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Emedicine Health

  • Salmon
  • Flaxseed
  • Oatmeal
  • Black or Kidney Beans
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Red Wine
  • Tuna   [Not necessarily a good choice because of mercury]
  • Tofu
  • Brown Rice
  • Soy Milk
  • Blueberries
  • Carrots
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Sweat Potatoes
  • Red Bell Peppers
  • Asparagus
  • Oranges
  • Tomatoes
  • Acorn Squash
  • Cantelope
  • Papaya
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Tea

Written by heartcurrents

March 14, 2010 at 11:36 pm

Posted in heart conditions

Yoga Good for Heart Health

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Yoga Boosts Heart Health, New Research Finds

ScienceDaily (Nov. 25, 2009) — Heart rate variability, a sign of a healthy heart, has been shown to be higher in yoga practitioners than in non-practitioners, according to research to be published in a forthcoming issue of the International Journal of Medical Engineering and Informatics.

The autonomic nervous system regulates the heart rate through two routes — the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. The former causes the heart rate to rise, while, the parasympathetic slows it. When working well together, the two ensure that the heart rate is steady but ready to respond to changes caused by eating, the fight or flight response, or arousal.

The ongoing variation of heart rate is known as heart rate variability (HRV), which refers to the beat-to-beat changes in heart rate. In healthy individuals HRV is high whereas cardiac abnormalities lead to a low HRV.

Written by heartcurrents

March 14, 2010 at 7:36 pm

Posted in heart conditions

Warning about Plavix and Low Metabolisers

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Prescribing information for clopidogrel (Plavix) will now include a boxed warning that the drug can be less effective in poor metabolizers, the FDA indicated.

The new warning suggests that many if not all patients on clopidogrel should undergo genetic testing to determine whether they have variants of the CYP2C19 gene associated with poor metabolism of the antiplatelet drug.

Clopidogrel is actually a prodrug that requires metabolic activation by the CYP2C19 enzyme to become effective. Poor metabolizers get little or no benefit from the drug at standard doses, and therefore are at increased risk for thrombotic events and death, the FDA said.

The drug’s label has carried a similar warning since May 2009, but the FDA said today that “it was important to highlight this risk in a boxed warning” in light of a subsequent review of data.

Seven different variants of the CYP2C19 gene are associated with poor metabolism of clopidogrel. According to the FDA, patients with two loss-of-function alleles, which do not have to be identical, will be poor metabolizers.

The agency estimated that 2% to 14% of patients are poor metabolizers, with some racial-ethnic groups more likely to be affected than others. Whites have the lowest prevalence of poor metabolism and Asians have the highest.

Written by heartcurrents

March 13, 2010 at 3:28 am

Posted in heart conditions

Avoiding Cardiac Catheterization

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New methods needed to ID cardiac catheterization candidates

Published: Wednesday, March 10, 2010 – 18:25 in Health & Medicine

It’s time to re-think how patients are selected for cardiac catheterization, say doctors at Duke University Medical Center, after reporting in a new study that the invasive procedure found no significant coronary artery disease in nearly 60 percent of chest pain patients with no prior heart disease. “Our data show that up to two thirds of the patients undergoing invasive cardiac catheterization are found not have significant obstructive disease,” says Manesh Patel, MD, a cardiologist with the Duke Heart Center. He’s the lead author of the study published in the March 11 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

“We’re spending a lot of energy and money to evaluate chest pain which often leads to cardiac catheterization, which, we now know, often finds that patients don’t have significant obstructive disease,” Patel says. “Our research shows that our methods for identifying patients at risk for obstructive disease need significant improvement.”

E! Science Daily; March 10. 2010

Written by heartcurrents

March 12, 2010 at 6:23 am

Posted in heart conditions

New Class of Medications for LDL Reduction

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Experimental Drug That Mimics Thryoid Hormone Safely Lowers ‘Bad’ Cholesterol

ScienceDaily (Mar. 11, 2010) — People whose “bad” cholesterol and risk of future heart disease stay too high despite cholesterol-lowering statin therapy can safely lower it by adding a drug that mimics the action of thyroid hormone. In a report published in the Mar. 11, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, Johns Hopkins and Swedish researchers say an experimental drug called eprotirome lowered cholesterol up to 32 percent in those already on statins, an effect equal to that expected from doubling the statin drug doses, without harmful side effects.

The researchers caution that the results don’t suggest that eprotirome will or should replace statins, which are the current gold standard for treating high LDL cholesterol. However, the results of their small trial on 168 patients do suggest that eprotirome may eventually be a promising addition to statin therapy, a substitute for statins in people who can’t tolerate their side effects, or a novel treatment for mixed dyslipidemia, a condition in which people have high levels of lipids other than cholesterol such as triglycerides or apolipoprotein B (apo B).

Science Daily;  March 11, 2010

Written by heartcurrents

March 11, 2010 at 7:10 am

Posted in heart conditions