Heart(y) News, August 20

August 20, 2010 by  
Filed under HEART AND STROKE

Mipomersen passes hurdle in two trials
The new and upcoming anti-cholesterol drug mipomersen performed quite well in two phase 3 trials. Mipomersen is an antisense inhibitor of apolipoprotein B (apoB) synthesis and was shown to be able to lower LDL-cholesterol significantly compared to placebo (36 vs 13%). The trials demonstrated a good efficacy profile but drop out rates were rather partly because of adverse events that include elevations in liver enzymes. The manufacturer Isis Pharmaceuticals is expected to apply for drug approval next year.

Midodrine hydrochloride: FDA Proposes Withdrawal of Low Blood Pressure Drug
The drug midodrine hydrochloride (ProAmatine), on the other hand, is under threat of being withdrawn from the US market. ProAmatine, which is indicated for low blood pressure was approved by the FDA in 1996 under the accelerated approval system which require postmarketing studies to verify efficacy and safety. However, no studies have been performed. Shire, the drug maker currently holding patent to the drug declared “it had already intended to voluntarily withdraw the drug, long before the FDA went public with the proposal.” Shire acquired ProAmatine when they took over Roberts Pharma in 1999. The drug is also manufactured by other companies in generic form. The withdrawal will take effect on September 30, 2010. The FDA recommends: Patients who currently take this medication should not stop taking it and should consult their health care professional about other treatment options.

NIH Genomic Mapping Study Finds Largest Set of Genes Related to Major Risk Factor for Heart Disease
National Institutes of Health researchers report they have identified largest set of genes underlying high cholesterol and high triglycerides. This major feat was made possible by scanning the genomes of over 100,000 worldwide. The research team consisted of scientists from 17 countries. According to study co-author and NIH Director Dr. Francis S. Collins
“Genetic studies that survey a wide variety of human populations are a powerful tool for identifying hereditary factors in health and disease. These results help refine our course for preventing and treating heart disease, a health problem that affects millions of Americans and many more people worldwide.”

Telemonitoring of HF patients reduces deaths, costs
Australian researchers report success of a telemonitoring and structured telephone support program to reduce “risk of all-cause mortality and heart-failure-related hospitalizations.” Particularly interesting is the fact that most participants were quick in learning the use of the technology.
“Structured telephone support and telemonitoring reduced healthcare costs, were acceptable to patients, improved prescribing of evidence-based pharmacotherapies, improved patient heart-failure knowledge and self-care behaviors, and even improved NYHA functional class in those studies that assessed it.”

What’s the latest in health care, May 22

May 22, 2009 by  
Filed under HEALTHCARE

doctors1The long weekend on our side (most of Europe) started last Thursday. The US long weekend goes on till Monday. Enjoy the extra free time.  But first, your health care updates for this weekend…

What’s the latest update on the H1N1 (swine) flu?

PCR test kit for H1N1 flu
The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) has developed a PCR diagnostic test kit to detect this novel H1N1 virus in patients suspected to have the flu. The test kit has been distributed test kits to all American states and territories. According to the CDC

The test kits are being shipped internationally as well. This will allow states and other countries to test for this new virus. This increase in testing will likely result in an increase in the number of confirmed cases of illness reported. This, combined with ongoing monitoring through Flu View should provide a fuller picture of the burden of disease in the United States over time.

Where to get your updates

Useful resources to get and access information of the H1N1 flu – fast!

What’s the latest updates from the World Health Organization (WHO)

Power of public health lies in strong health systems
Today was the 62nd World Health Assembly and Director-General Dr Margaret Chan emphasized to the delegates of the Assembly that

“The strength of a country’s health system will make the biggest difference in sickness and survival during an influenza pandemic.”

Current novel H1N1 count globally

  • 11,168 confirmed cases in 42 countries around the world,
  • 86 deaths in only four countries – Mexico, the United States, Canada and Costa Rica.

Photo credit: stock.xchng

News from the cancer side, May 22

May 22, 2009 by  
Filed under CANCER

newspaper1News from the cancer patients

Arrest ordered for mom of boy, 13, resisting chemo
The 13-year old boy with Hodgkin’s lymphoma who refused to have chemotherapy has been reported to have disappeared together with his mother. The family belongs to a religious group who believes in natural healing and the boy is convinced that the chemotherapy will kill him. The mother and son disappeared after a court order was issued in favour of the doctors who believe the chemotherapy can save the boy’s life. A warrant of arrest for the mother has been issued.

News from the drug regulators

FDA Approves Drug for Treatment of Aggressive Brain Cancer
The US FDA recent approved an extension of Avastatin to treat atyped of brain cancer called glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Avastatin is already approved for the treatment of breast, lung, colorectal cancers. The approval was based on the results of 2 clinical trials which demonstrated that Avastin shrank the tumor size in some patients with GBM. The generic name of Avastin is bevacizumab and is manufactured by Genentech.

News from the stem cell experts

Embryo’s Heartbeat Drives Blood Stem Cell Formation
This research study at the Children’s Hospital Boston discovered that the embryonic heartbeat is what drives the formation of the blood stem cells. The study results “published online by the journals Cell and Nature, respectively, on May 13, together offer clues that may help in treating blood diseases such as leukemia, immune deficiency and sickle cell anemia, suggesting new ways scientists can make the types of blood cells a patient needs. This would help patients who require marrow or cord blood transplants, who do not have a perfect donor match.”

News from the geneticists

Why do people with Down syndrome have less cancer
Researchers have always been intrigued why the incidence of cancer is very low among people with Down’s Syndrome or trisomy 21. American researchers report that the genes in the extra chromosome 21 actually render people with Down’s Syndrome more suppression of cancer formation and tumor growth. The results have been demonstrated in lab mice. According to researcher Dr. Sandra Ryeom “I think there may be four or five genes on chromosome 21 that are necessary for angiogenesis suppression. In huge databases of cancer patients with solid tumors, there are very few with Down syndrome. This suggests that protection from chromosome 21 genes is pretty complete.

Don’t forget

May 22, 2009 is the first “Don’t Fry Day,” Society, jointly sponsored by the American Cancer Society and the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention (NCSCP). Take care of your skin!

 

Photo credit: stock.xchng

CVD News watch, May 15

May 15, 2009 by  
Filed under HEART AND STROKE

worldnews2Our heart(y) news watch for this weekend is focusing on obesity, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Happy reading!

CVD obesity watch

The obesity epidemic in the US is due solely to increased food intake
It’s all about food, according to a study by Australian researchers which was presented at the 2009 European Congress on Obesity in Amsterdam last week. It has always been thought that a sedentary lifestyle (e.g. lack of physical activity) is what is tipping the scales for a large number of Americans. Actually it’s the huge amount of food that they consume that lead to the excess pounds and expanded waistline. It seems that the food intake in the US have been continuously increasing since the 1970s. The study looked into the account energy intake, energy expenditure, and body size in 963 children and 1399 adults. So we just have to cut down, that’s it? It’s not going to be easy, according to the authors. “The food industry has done such a great job of marketing their products, making the food so tasty that it’s almost irresistible, pricing their products just right, and placing them everywhere, that it is very hard for the average person to resist temptation. Food is virtually everywhere, probably even in churches and funeral parlors.

CVD exercise watch

Get Animated with Anna Kournikova
But even though obesity may be solely due to food intake, there is no denying that physical exercise is beneficial to our health. That’s why tennis star Anna Kournikova has teamed up with Cartoon Network to help Boys & Girls Clubs of America get “animated” e.g. teach kids fun, creative ways to stay healthy and active in any typical indoor classroom. The DVD “GET ANIMATED WITH ANNA KOURNIKOVA” presents new and creative ways for kids to be more active and energetic on a daily basis indoors or outdoors, without being especially proficient in a particular sport. Definitely better than watching cartoons, eh?

CVD health care cost watch

Complications and Costs for Obesity Surgery Declining
On another aspect of obesity, a new study by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) showed that the rate of postsurgical complications for bariatric surgey decline by 21% from 2002 to 2006. The health care costs associated with the intervention dropped as well. The improvements are largely due to improved surgical techniques.

CVD health care reform watch

Building Momentum as Democrats Forge Health Care Reform

They are not yet quite there but they are building momentum. Major organizations that represent American doctors, hospitals, health plans, and medical suppliers met last May 11 with the US President and pledged to do their part to achieve the administration’s goal of reducing by 1.5% annually the growth of health care spending over the next decade – saving an estimated $2 trillion. Truly an important step in US health care reform.

CVD News watch, April 17

April 17, 2009 by  
Filed under HEART AND STROKE

worldnewsHow has been your spring so far? Isn’t spring the perfect time for walking, cycling, or jogging? How about starting this weekend? Check out our heart(y) news update below!

CVD legislation watch

2009 Lobby Day – You’re the Cure on the Hill
On April 20 to 21, about 500 cardiovascular health advocates will be in Washington DC to lobby for affordable health care coverage, increased funding for cardiovascular research and heart disease and stroke prevention programs. The advocates include American Heart Association president Timothy Gardner, president-elect Clyde Yancy, and other officers who will all be wearing red when they meet their representatives in Congress on Capitol Hill next week. As part of the American Heart Association’s You’re the Cure on the Hill, these advocates will urge their members of Congress to support public policies that will help reduce death and disability from heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases, the nation’s No. 1 killer.

CVD genetic watch

Genomewide Association Studies of Stroke
Doctors and scientists from all over the world teamed up perform “an analysis of genomewide association data generated from four large cohorts composing the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology consortium.” Until recently, the genes behind stroke risk were unknown. The analysis revealed that “a genetic locus on chromosome 12p13 is associated with an increased risk of stroke.” The findings have been published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

CVD drug watch

Radiocast: Aspirin Every Day – Is it Right for You?
This audiocast from the Healthcare 411 news series of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality looks into the use of aspirin as a preventive therapy against stroke and heart attack. According to Dr. Michael LeFevre, member of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, patients should first talk to their doctors before taking aspirin. While aspirin has been shown to prevent first heart attacks, it is also associated with a lot of side effects, including gastrointestinal bleeding. The risks and benefits of aspirin therapy should be weighed first.

CVD medical device watch

FDA clears Myxo ETlogix valve ring under new name but disagrees with earlier decision by Edwards that device did not need 510(k)
The US FDA clears dETlogix annuloplasty ring 5100 for the treatment of mitral-valve insufficiency. Due to disagreement between the regulators and manufacturer (Edwards Lifesciences, Irvine, CA), the product was recalled last autumn. It is now back in the market but has been renamed “Edwards dETlogix,” model 5100. According a compay spoeks person

The product is indicated for use in all mitral-valve insufficiencies irrespective of etiology, including degenerative as well as ischemic, rheumatic, and congenital. The device remains unchanged other than its name.”

Photo credit: stock.xchng

What’s the latest in healthcare, April 3

April 3, 2009 by  
Filed under HEALTHCARE

 doctorsHere are your healthcare updates on this first April weekend. Have fun reading!

What’s New?

President Barack Obama Announces Key FDA Appointments and Tougher Food Safety Measures
In his weekly address to the nation, the American president also announced (in addition to key FDA appointments) moves to increased food safety. These include upgrading food safety laws, closing a loophole “to prevent diseased cows from entering the food supply“, modernizing labs, and increasing the number of food inspectors.

What’s Still Here?

Still Time for Trouble
The flu season is not yet over, according to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC). It started rather late this winter season – around February – so “there’s still time for trouble.” The flu season is expected to last till May!

What’s Up?

Teen Birth Rates Up Slightly in 2007 for Second Consecutive Year
Teenage birth rates are up again in 2007 – for the second year in a row. It has been declining for 14 years till 2006 when it jumped up by 3%. This was followed by another 1% increase in 2007. Let’s see what the 2008 statistics say.

What’s Increasing?

New Report Reveals Treatment Admissions for Prescription Pain Killers are on the Rise
Treatment admissions due to prescription pain killer misuse is on the rise. Admissions due to traditionally abused substances such as alcohol are still highest but is on the decline, whereas those due to heroin remain more or less the same.

What’s In?

Drugs team give out cocaine straws
The Maidstone-based Kent Drug and Alcohol Action Team, (KDAAT) in the UK gave out pieces of paper that were designed for cocaine snorting. The common practice about drug users is using a “cocaine straw” by rolling up bank notes. However, these straws can help in spreading diseases, including hepatitis C. By distributing free, clean cocaine straws, KDAAT hopes to discourage straw sharing and prevent disease transmission.

What’s Out?

FDA: Insulin Pens and Insulin Cartridges Must Not Be Shared
Single-use insulin pens and cartridges aren’t to be used in multiple patients, the US FDA warns health care professionals. Like their predecessors the syringes, these devices can also transmit blood-borne diseases such as HIV and hepatitis even if the disposable needles are changed with each patient. The warning was issued because of reports of 2 hospitals using a single pen in multiple patients. The FDA emphasizes that all insulin pens are approved only for single-patient use (one device for only one patient).

What happened?

CDC Hosts 43rd National Immunization Conference
On March 26, 2009, health experts from all over met in Dallas Texas for the 43rd National Immunization Conference with the there “Immunization – Blazing the Trail to Healthier Living.” Discussed were the “latest developments in vaccine science, policy, education, technology, and planning issues related to immunization in general and vaccine-preventable disease.  Topics will include the impact of new vaccines on health, addressing vaccine hesitancy, monitoring vaccine safety, effect of state laws on uptake of recommended vaccines…”

Photo credit: stock.xchng

CVD Newswatch, March 27

March 27, 2009 by  
Filed under HEART AND STROKE

worldnews1Heart(y) news round up for you on this Friday morning.

CVD legislation news

Texas lawmakers once again mull controversial bill based on SHAPE cardiac-screening proposal
The Heart Attack Prevention Bill has been presented in the Texas legislature earlier this month. The bill mandates “private insurance companies to cover the cost of cardiac screening in people at intermediate risk of a cardiac event.” The bill is very similar to “the controversial Screening for Heart Attack Prevention and Education (SHAPE) task-force recommendations calling for blanket screening for subclinical atherosclerosis” that was rejected last year. The author of the two bills is representative René O Oliveira who just had CABG surgery.

CVD drug news

FDA postmarketing surveillance data show no cancer risk with ezetimibe
Good news for manufacturers of cholesterol-lowering drug Zetia (ezetimibe). US FDA postmarketing surveillance data indicate that ezetimibe use is not associated with cancer risk. This is true whether ezetimibe is used alone or in combination with Vytorin (simvastatin). The two drugs are produced by Merck/Schering-Plough.

CVD population news

Heart Failure Before Age 50 Substantially More Common in Blacks
NIH News reports that as many as 1 in 100 African American adults develop heart failure before the age of 50. This is 20 times higher than the rate reported in whites. The disease is linked it untreated risk factors such as high blood pressure, chronic kidney disease, and obesity that started 10 to 20 years earlier. These are the findings of the observational study Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study (CARDIA) and will bepublished in the March 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

CVD guidelines news

New Guidelines on Interpretation and Reporting of CCTA
New guidelines for the interpretation and reporting of coronary computed tomographic angiography (CCTA) studies will be published in the March/April 2009 issue of the Journal of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography. The guidelines were developed by the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography (SCCT).

CVD clinical trial news.

CAPTIVATE published: Trial stopped early, and pactimibe development discontinued based on IVUS results
CAPTIVATE stands for Carotid Atherosclerosis Progression Trial Investigating Vascular ACAT Inhibition Treatment Effects. The 2-year trial was discontinued after 15 months when the drug pactimibe did not show any benefit or effect on thickness on maximum carotid intima-media thickness (IMT). The results of the trial have now been published Journal of the American Medical Association.

CVD innovation news

Brain surgery on Monday, home on Tuesday
A new, less invasive form of surgery can now repair life-threatening aneurysms of the brain. A new generation of neurologists use catheter technology to “repair aneurysms, open clogged arteries, extract blood clots and repair blood vessel malformations in the brain.” The catheter, a thin tube, is inserted in an artery in the patient’s leg and guided up to the brain. The technique is less invasive and presents less risks that conventional brain surgery which involves opening the skull.

Photo credit: stock.xchng

What’s the latest in Healthcare, March 20

March 20, 2009 by  
Filed under HEALTHCARE

doctorsEvery two weeks, I will be bringing you a news round up of what’s the latest in health care and the pharmaceutical industry. And it starts today.

What’s New?

Incoming chief to tackle woes of US food and drug agency
Margaret Hamburg, MD, has been nominated by President Obama to be the next US FDA head. She used to be the youngest health commissioner for New York City. “She would bring to the commissioner’s job a background of public-health experience that runs from working at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to advising the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and from bioterrorism planning to pandemic-flu preparation and tuberculosis control”, according to Nature News. The nomination still has to be approved by the Senate.

What’s Cool?

FDA Assessing Feasibility of Using Nanotechnology Test to Detect Anthrax Following a Bioterrorist Attack
A new nanotechnology-based test that can quickly and accurately detect anthrax toxin even to the very smallest amount is not so far away. The US FDA has announced it has just completed a “proof-of-concept” study on the test. The results of the study have been published in the March issue of Clinical and Vaccine Immunology.

Watch out!

FDA warns about risk of wearing medicated patches during MRIs
Adhesive patches are widely used nowadays to deliver medication transdermally. They range from smoking cessation drugs (nicotine patches) to vaccines. These patches, however, may contain metals that can interfere with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and some of these products do not contain warnings on their labels. Patients should report any patch use before a scheduled MRI.

What’s being discussed?

The Medical Device Safety Act of 2009
A landmark US Supreme Court decision that granted immunity to medical device companies against litigation by patients sparked a heated debate over patient safety. An editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine (Issue March 18, 2009) reviews the events that led to the introduction of The Medical Safety Act of 2009 to the US Congress. The Act aims to amend certain clauses in the Medical Device Amendment Act on which the court decision was based, thus reverse the medical device companies’ immunity.

What’s developing?

Big interest in heavy drugs
By simply switching atoms, pharma companies can come up with better and heavier drugs. Simply put, that is what “deuterated drugs” are all about. The trick is to replace a normal hydrogen atom with a heavier isotope – deuterium. A normal hydrogen atom has 1 proton and 1 electron. Deuterium has an extra neutron. It is heavier and can make stronger chemical bonds. These “heavier” deuterium versions of certain drugs are still being tested.

Photo credit: stock.chng

News from the cancer side, March 20

March 20, 2009 by  
Filed under CANCER

I have some interesting cancer news for you today. Check them out!

News from the statisticians

Hospitalizations for brain cancer 2006
“People in the Northeastern United States are one-third more likely than those in the South or West to be hospitalized for treatment of brain cancer or to have brain cancer when they are hospitalized for another illness or complication.” This is according to the recent statistical brief from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHQR). 73,500 hospitalizations were related to brain cancer, which is 24.6 hospitalizations in 100,000, incurring $655.5 million in hospital costs.

News from the geneticists

U-M researchers ID gene involved in pancreatic cancer
This gene is called Ataxia Telangiectasia Group D Complementing gene (ATDC) and its expression means is on average having 20 times more in pancreatic cancer cells than in cells from a normal pancreas. It also makes pancreatic cancer cells resistant to current therapies, according to researchers at the University of Michigan. They found that ATDC is overexpressed in 90% of cases of pancreatic cancer.

News from the researchers

Mobile phone use not associated with melanoma of the eye
German researchers report that mobile phones do not cause melanoma of the eye (uveal melanoma) as previously feared. The study looked at 459 people with this type of melanoma and 1,194 without and followed them up to about 10 years. The authors concluded: “we observed no overall increased risk of uveal melanoma among regular mobile phone users or users of radio sets in Germany, where digital mobile phone technology was introduced in the early 1990s.”

News from the screening experts

Perspective Round Table: Screening for Prostate Cancer
Experts from Europe and North America have recently met to discuss the latest research results on the efficacy of screening for prostate cancer. This topic will be discussed in detail in a resource post on our Battling Cancer section next week. Stay tuned.

newspaper

FDA Approved First DNA Test for Two Types of Human Papillomavirus
The US FDA announced the approval pf the first DNA test for the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) last week. The test can detect the DNA sequences for HPV type 16 and HPV type 18 in cervical cells. These two are the HPV types that commonly cause cervical cancers. The test, called Cervista HPV 16/18 is recommended for women aged 30 and above or those with “borderline cytology” e.g. suspicious but not so clear indication on the paps smear. It can be a very useful tool for risk assessment of cervical cancer.

Photo credit: stock.xchng

News from the cancer side, February 13

February 13, 2009 by  
Filed under CANCER

Your cancer news round up for this weekend…

News from the pharmaceutical industry

Deal watch: Bristol-Myers Squibb and Exelixis collaborate on kinase inhibitors
Nature Reviews report that Bristol-Myers Squibb and Exelixis have agreed to collaborate and together develop two kinase inhibitors, including the multi-target kinase inhibitor XL184, which is currently in Phase III trials. Certain kinase inhibitors are involved in oncogenesis and can be used to target different types of cancers.

News from the celebrities

Gwyneth Paltrow on smoking
The March issue of the fashion magazine Elle will feature actress Gwyneth Paltrow where she will open up about her love for smoking and her fear of cancer. Paltrow’s father died of cancer so she knows the deadly dangers of smoking. But she admits she loves the taste of cigarettes. She quit smoking the day she found out she was pregnant with her daughter Apple and plans to start smoking again when she is 70 “when it wouldn’t make much of a difference anymore.” Bravo! Gwyneth for managing to quit and for the right motivation.

News from clinical trials

Stem cells ready for prime time
The US FDA gave the go-signal first clinical trials of a therapy using human embryonic stem cells. The treatment has been developed by Geron, a California-based biomedical company. The stem-cell-derived therapy is indicated for spinal cord injury. According to a company spokesma (source: Nature News):

There was a lot of scepticism as to whether we could reliably reproduce these manufactured products at levels of purity and identity sufficient to even allow the FDA to allow a phase I clinical trial…[the company] has convinced the FDA that those cells could be manufactured reliably enough for at least the first clinical trials. That is a milestone. A lot of the critics said it would be 30-50 years before we got there.”

News from the regulators

Regulatory Meeting with Manufacturers and Users of Bisphenol A-containing Materials
Regulators from the uS and Canada met up with representatives of American and Canadian manufacturers and food packagers to discuss bisphenol A (BPA) and how to minimize its levels in food. With regard to BPA generally, based on all available evidence, the consensus of regulatory agencies in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Japan is that the current levels of exposure to BPA through food packaging do not pose an immediate health risk to the general population, including infants and young children, says the US FDA

News from the government agencies

The CDC has just launched the National Program of Cancer Registries-Modeling Electronic Reporting Project (NPCR-MERP). This is a collaborative effort to develop a model for sending data from clinical electronic health records (EHR) to hospital and state cancer registries.

Photo credit: stock.xchng

CVD News Watch, February 6

February 6, 2009 by  
Filed under HEART AND STROKE

Don’t forget! Today, February 6, is US National Wear Red Day.

Join thousands of people and show your solidarity against heart disease by wearing anything that’s red.

Andie MacDowell joins the fight against heart disease
Actress Andie MacDowell joins other women celebrities in support of Go for Red Women. It seems that Andie has her own heart story to tell, too.

Macy’s Wear Red Sale!
From February 5 to 8, Macy’s is supporting the National Wear Red campaign with a Wear Red Sale by giving those wearing red a 15 to 20% discount in-store. You can also avail the discount online by using the promo code WEARRED.

CVD diabetes watch

New Survey Results Show Huge Burden of Diabetes
A new national survey showed that the burden of diabetes may be higher than previously thought. In the US, “nearly 13 percent of adults age 20 and older have diabetes, but 40 percent of them have not been diagnosed“, according to epidemiologists from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition, nearly one third of those aged 65 and above also have diabetes while 30% of adults have pre-diabetic symptoms.

CVD health care watch

Obama Signs Children’s Health Insurance Bill
US President Barack Obama signed the Children’s Health Insurance Bill which is an extension of State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). The bill entitles all children, citizens and legal immigrants alike to free health care, including dental care as well as equal coverage for mental and physical illnesses. The enrolment in SCHIP has risen by 4% in 2008, according to recent figures from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This is equivalent to 7.4 million American children. The increase in SCHIP enrollment has been attributed to the economic crisis and increased unemployment.

CVD fun watch

CDC health e-cards
You can now send electronic greeting cards to friends and family. The colourful e-cards contain health reminders from recalls to traffic safety to unintentional injuries and can be personalized. They are also available in Spanish.

CVD drug watch

FDA advisory panel votes unanimously in favor of prasugrel
A US FDA advisory panel recommended the approval of prasugrel for the treatment of acute coronary. Prasugrel is an anti-platelet agent manufactured by Lilly/Daiichi Sankyo. The vote by the nine panel members of the Cardiovascular and Renal Drugs Advisory Committee was unanimous. The data on prasugrel was based on the pivotal study Trial to Assess Improvement in Therapeutic Outcomes by Optimizing Platelet Inhibition with Prasugrel (TRITON-TIMI 38).

 

Photo credit: Go Red for Women

Diabetes News, Late Friday, July 18, 2008

July 18, 2008 by  
Filed under DIABETES

We Have Winners here at Battling Diabetes!!!

The 30-Day Diabetes Miracle: Lifestyle Center of America’s Complete Program to Stop Diabetes, Restore Health and Build Natural Vitality (January 2008)

Won by Missy !!

and the companion cookbook-

The 30-Day Diabetes Miracle Cookbook: Stop Diabetes with an Easy-to Follow Plant-Based, Carb-Counting Diet (May 2008)

Won by Mary !!!

Congratulations, ladies.

Read more

News From the Alzheimer’s Association

June 13, 2008 by  
Filed under ALZHEIMER'S

I am interrupting my series of posts on organization to share this important information from the Alzheimer’s Association. My hope is that it will help to put things into perspective as you battle the (now growing) monster, Alzheimer’s disease.

Dear Loretta,

I’m writing to you today with an urgent message. I wanted you to be among the first to know this news because of your interest in our goal of a world without Alzheimer’s disease.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics today reported that Alzheimer’s disease has surpassed diabetes as a leading cause of death. Alzheimer’s is now the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States. With our nation facing an unprecedented population shift of aging baby boomers, and Alzheimer’s poised to strike 10 million of them, it is clear this escalating epidemic must be addressed now with your help.

Please forward this e-mail to friends and family who want to be counted as Champions in the cause to end Alzheimer’s.

The personal and economic impact of Alzheimer’s will require all levels of government and the private sector working together to accelerate research. Write Congress today and tell your legislators to increase federal Alzheimer research funding and support crucial clinical trials.

The Alzheimer’s Association is the oldest and largest organization dedicated to Alzheimer research, care and support. Your generous support will help us achieve our vision of a world without Alzheimer’s.

Sincerely,
Angela Geiger
National Vice President
Alzheimer’s Association

P.S. Every 71 seconds someone in America develops Alzheimer’s. We can slow the pace of this epidemic now with your help.

Good or bad, I would not consider myself as a political activist. However, if anything (other than the nail-biting race between Hillary and Barack) would get me engaged in the process, it’s Alzheimer’s disease. Nothing would make me happier than for Alzheimer’s disease to fall from sixth leading cause of death to like the 50th leading cause of death. But it’s not going to just happen…I’d love to have to write about something else because there just aren’t enough people with Alzheimer’s disease. But for now, the numbers are what they are. We need more research, we need more resources. We need a cure, but even more than all of those things, we need prevention. In the meantime though, let’s support the Alzheimer’s Association and other organizations that are working to support the people who are battling this disease.

OK Go – Here It Goes Again (video)

March 26, 2007 by  
Filed under OBESITY

The 2006 YouTube Award Winners

Heads up from: The Blog Herald

Most Creative – OK Go

Anyone who’s ever approached the treadmill with dread need only to watch this video from Chicago-born band OK Go. Masterful choreography meets infectious pop, transforming the group’s modest success into real-world sensation. Prior to winning a YouTube Video Award, this video also won a Grammy for “Best Short-Form Music Video.” The clip was filmed in one continuous shot and, when the video shoot ended, the eight rented treadmills went back where they came from. A staggering 13 million people have watched this video on YouTube.

Great way to lose weight! Dancing and Treadmills!

Stress linked to nurses’ health problems: study

December 11, 2006 by  
Filed under STRESS

Work stress, low autonomy and lack of respect have been linked, at higher than average rates, to health problems among Canada’s 314,900 nurses, says a new study by Statistics Canada.

Thirty-one per cent of nurses reported a high work stress — defined as when their job’s psychological demands exceeded their discretion in deciding how to do their work. The average rate among all employed women is 26 per cent.

“We believe that the core reason for much of these findings is the fact that there is job overload,” Marlene Smadu, President of the Canadian Nurses Association, told Canada AM on Monday. “Nurses go into work repeatedly when they are short-staffed.”

The study, based on findings from the 2005 National Survey of the Work and Health of Nurses, showed job strain was strongly connected to fair or poor physical and mental health among nurses. Seventeen per cent of nurses who perceived high job strain reported 20 or more sick days in the past year, compared to 12 per cent of nurses who perceived less job strain.

“Better pay is not actually the solution, if you asked any nurse right now they’d say they actually want more nurses in the workplace, paying me more to do really difficult work doesn’t make my work life any better,” said Smadu.

Smadu said most nurses are too stressed to handle full-time work.

….

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE AT CTV.ca NEWS

Early schizophrenia clue is found

August 22, 2006 by  
Filed under SCHIZOPHRENIA

Scientists have discovered a new method for the early diagnosis of the mental disorder schizophrenia.
The joint study involving Cambridge University found that patients with the condition have high levels of glucose in their brain and spinal fluid.

At present, the diagnosis of the mental disorder is based on interviews and observation and a patient must show symptoms for at least six months.

It is hoped the new method of diagnosis will lead to new and earlier treatment.

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MORE: BBC NEWS | England | Cambridgeshire | Early schizophrenia clue is found

Governor Kaine gives triple murderer six more months to live

June 8, 2006 by  
Filed under SCHIZOPHRENIA

Governor Tim Kaine has delayed the execution of a triple killer set to die tonight.

Kaine’s decision comes just over an hour before 27-year-old Percy Walton is scheduled to die by injection at the Greensville Correctional Center.

The governor delayed the execution for six months to allow for more mental evaluation to determine competence. Walton had originally requested that Kaine grant him clemency.

Walton was sentenced to death for the 1996 murders in Danville of Jessie and Elizabeth Kendrick, a couple in their 80s, and 33-year-old Archie Moore. His attorneys claim he is insane and mentally retarded.

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a request to stay the execution.

The Supreme Court has ruled it unconstitutional to execute the insane and mentally retarded, but left definitions up to the states.

Walton’s attorneys argue their client is suffering from schizophrenia and is incapable of understanding the concept of death. In a clemency petition to the governor, they also argue that Walton is mentally retarded.

Read Governor Tim Kaine’s full statement below:

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MORE: WSLS.com | Governor Kaine gives triple murderer six more months to live

Woodbridge mayor ill, will carry on

June 8, 2006 by  
Filed under CANCER

WOODBRIDGE — Mayor Frank G. Pelzman said yesterday that he has been diagnosed with cancer and will begin immediate treatment.

The 71-year-old mayor said the illness will not deter him from his daily duties.

“I feel fine, the same as I felt two months ago,” Pelzman said in a written statement. “The municipal business of Woodbridge Township will continue as before.”

Pelzman was admitted to the JFK Medical Center in Edison on Thursday after an assistant noticed that his lip appeared to be sagging, he said.

The hospital ran a series of tests and determined that Pelzman had Bell’s Palsy, a common neurological disorder that causes acute paralysis in the face. Later tests showed that he also had cancer, he said.

Pelzman declined to say which type of cancer he has or what treatment he will undergo.

….

Source: Woodbridge mayor ill, will carry on | Home News Tribune Online

Roger Ebert diagnosed with cancer again

June 1, 2006 by  
Filed under CANCER

Ebert revealed Thursday he will have an operation June 16 to remove a cancerous growth on his salivary gland.

“It is not life threatening, and I expect to make a full recovery,” Ebert told the Chicago Sun-Times, where he has been reviewing films since 1967. “I’ll continue to function as a film critic during this time.”

Source: Canada.com – Roger Ebert diagnosed with cancer again

Ex-Cyclone Love is battling cancer

May 24, 2006 by  
Filed under CANCER

Former Iowa State quarterback Cris Love is undergoing treatment in Houston after being diagnosed with cancer in the past month, university officials said.

Love, who played at Iowa State from 2001-04, was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma, Cyclone officials said. In 17 games, Love completed 50 of 104 pass attempts for 667 yards and five touchdowns, while throwing five interceptions.

Iowa State fans can send get-well cards to Love through the Iowa State football office: Cris Love, c/o Iowa State Football Office, Jacobson Athletic Building, 1800 S. Fourth St., Ames, IA 50011.

E-mail messages to Cris can be sent to football@iastate.edu

Source: DesMoinesRegister.com

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