Patrick Cox's Tech Digest - View by Tag "heart disease"

Where You Live May Affect How You Fare After Heart Failure

August 21, 2014

Yale Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation came out with a study this week indicating a correlation between what kind of neighborhood a person lives in and their likelihood of readmission to a hospital for heart disease-related problems. The paper that was published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes looked at over 1,500 cases. The wealth and overall socioeconomic status (SES) of an individual was not the determining factor this study was looking for, however. The researchers controlled for these variable in their analysis in order to determine as precisely as possible the effect that neighborhood factors had on an individual’s heart health. The hope of these researchers is that these factors can be controlled in the future.

Gene Variant Found Protective Against Heart Attack and Stroke

August 26, 2014

Finnish researchers, writing in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics, reveal that the low-expression version of the FABP4 gene, strongest when received from both parents, provides genetic defense against heart attack and stroke. In their study, the scientists identified an eight-fold decrease in heart attack risk among low-expression FABP4 subjects compared to wider populations. In a previous study, tests on lab animals suppressing FABP4 with an oral drug were shown to slow the process of arteries hardening and also reduced stroke risk factors. The next step is to determine if FABP4 suppression can safely benefit humans as well.

Eating Whole Grains May Be Linked to Living Longer

January 6, 2015

Reuters reports that according to a large observational study of two health surveys conducted between 1984 and 2010, those who consume more whole grains generally have a longer lifespan and suffer less incidence of heart disease. This analysis, led by Harvard School of Public Health researchers, found that higher consumption of oats, brown rice, and other whole grains can help reduce heart disease and diabetes even when other lifestyle factors are taken into account. Though the study couldn’t point to which exact amounts provide the most benefit, it confirms the USDA’s recommendation that at least half the grains consumed on a daily basis should be whole grains.

Personalized Therapy for Cardiovascular Disease

January 14, 2015

Montreal Heart Institute researchers, writing in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics, reveal that given a specific genetic profile, certain cardiovascular disease patients who take the drug dalcetrapib show a 39% lower incidence of heart attack, stroke, and other negative outcomes. In the future, further advances in personalized medicine could make it possible for a patient’s genetic profile to inform their treatment for a variety of diseases and ailments. Rather than relying on testing medications via trial and error, a genetic roadmap could point doctors directly to the most effective drug for each patient.

Faking Fasting and the Hunger Games

August 7, 2015

For the first time in history, Americans have begun to voluntarily cut back on calorie intake. The reduction is less than a hundred calories per person over the last decade, but it is sufficiently significant to have produced palpable health benefits. If you have the econometric gene, you’re probably wondering if this trend was caused by the Great Recession. The answer, according to the researchers whose article was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition is no.

Macrophages, Obesity, FGF21, and the Arrival of Winter in the Subtropics

January 22, 2016

Winter has come to South Florida at last, along with quite a few of our Canadian friends. For the first time this year, I’ve turned on central heating. I’ve even worn pants a few times. Typically, we resist running the heater until we absolutely have to. Part of the reason is that South Floridians tend to view the arrival of cold weather from the north as free air conditioning. Personally, I look forward to colder temperatures because of recent research regarding brown fat and metabolic disorders (basically obesity).

“Immortal” and Self-Regenerative Stem Cells Are the Answer to Aging Populations

April 11, 2016

It’s been 55 years since two Canadian scientists, Drs. James Till and Ernest McCulloch, accidentally proved the existence of “immortal” embryonic stem cells (eSCs). (Unlike theologians and science fiction writers, biologists use the word “immortal” to describe cells that do not age.)

The Defense Department and Antarctic Eelpouts May End America’s Biggest Medical Killer

January 9, 2017

What’s the one medical condition most likely to kill you? If you follow statistics, you’d probably say heart disease. About one in four deaths in the US is due to the condition. Each year, more than a million Americans have a heart attack. Though heart disease tops most “causes of death” lists, far more Americans die due to the transplant organ shortage.

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