Category Archives: Healthcare News

Heart Health in the News: “Women with Diabetes Face Greater Heart Risks than Men”

It has been reported that Type 2 diabetes – the most common form of the disease – substantially increases one’s risk for heart disease. Interestingly, a recent wellness blog on The New York Times web site reported that a meta-analysis review of more than 64 published studies covering more than 850,000 patients, has found that this risk is much higher for women than men.

What is Type 2 diabetes?

According to the American Diabetes Association, with Type 2 diabetes, either the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin, which is necessary for the body to be able to use glucose for energy.

When glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into cells, it can cause two problems: (1) it may starve cells for energy and (2) over time can result in negative consequences for one’s eyes, kidneys, nerves or heart. Studies show that Type 2 diabetes is more common in African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders, as well as the aged population.

Why is there a greater risk for women than men?

The lead researcher on the review project, Sanne A. E. Peters, an epidemiologist at University Medical Center Utrecht, states that the reasons are largely unclear. However, Peters suggests that women may be taking worse care of themselves – i.e., gaining more weight and raising the risk of coronary disease – than men prior to the onset of diabetes.  The researcher mentions that while there is no proof of this, she suspects it may be true.

According to a Time.com blog on this study:

“Even after accounting for the fact that women tend to develop heart disease at different rates than men, the researchers report in Diabetologia that women with diabetes were 44% more likely to develop heart problems than men with the disease. Historically, women aren’t treated for heart risk factors as well as men, partly because their symptoms are different – many women don’t experience the chest pains and shortness of breath that are a hallmark of a heart attack among men, for example. So women may actually have more advanced, untreated heart disease when they are diagnosed with diabetes than men when they are diagnosed.”

At Vasomedical we believe in taking care of your heart in a variety of ways – from regular exercise to watching your diet and beyond. Diabetes is a serious issue with consequences that can impact your heart health. For more information about diabetes, visit: the American Diabetes Association’s website at: http://www.diabetes.org/.

Exercise and heart health– Can there be too much of a good thing?

We’ve all heard that exercising keeps the heart healthy – whether it’s a run, yoga class or cycling. But how much exercise is healthy and can too much be harmful?

According to a recent piece by MedPage Today, “too much of a good thing” can become a reality, and one must be tuned in to his or her limits.  It looks like moderate exercise may be the way to go, even for healthy patients.

The article states:

“Research involving stable chronic heart disease (CHD) patients found daily strenuous exercise to be associated with a more than twofold increased risk for cardiovascular mortality compared with moderate (two- to four-times a week) exercise (2.36, 95% CI 1.05-5.34).”

This is not an excuse to skip your exercise though! Researchers found that moderate, regular exercise is important for maintaining a healthy heart. Widely accepted guidelines recommend 30-60 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity five to seven days per week.

You can read the full piece here: http://www.medpagetoday.com/Cardiology/Prevention/45785

Tell us – how much exercise do you get each week? What’s your favorite form of cardio?  Email us with your heart-healthy exercises at vaso@kcsa.com.

Heart Health in the News – Nano Pacemaker Implanted Sans Surgery

There is some recent heart health news right in Vasomedical’s back yard on Long Island: this month, doctors implanted a nano pacemaker into a local patient’s heart, the device was so small (about the size of a quarter) that it did not require surgery.

According to the Newsday report, the nano is a miniature self-contained device that has no wires and it only requires a minimally invasive procedure to insert. The device is routed into the right ventricle, a chamber in the heart, using a catheter inserted in the femoral vein of the leg by a specialist in electrophysiology. Over time, scar tissue grows over the implant and secures it in place. The device is a product of St. Jude Medical, a Minnesota-based medical device maker, and it is called Nanostim. It is currently being tested for safety and efficacy in a national multicenter clinical trial.

One of the most impressive things about this procedure: the patient was in and out of the hospital in less than 24 hours.

According to the piece, “more than 4 million patients globally have pacemakers, and 700,000 new patients receive one annually.” If approved, this device could potentially revolutionize the current pacemaker insertion procedures that are used frequently to treat patients who suffer from arrhythmias, when the heart beats too fast, too slow, or with an irregular rhythm.

At Vasomedical, we look forward to seeing how other non-invasive procedures can transform heart heath treatments and we always like to be aware of the latest industry happenings.

Tell us, what do you think of this new pacemaker?

In the News: Unnecessary Deaths Attributed to Healthcare Disparities

A recent Los Angeles Times article examined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that healthcare disparities in the United States lead to hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths each year.

Researchers at the CDC found that roughly 20-40 percent of premature deaths from the five leading causes of death – heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease, stroke and accidents – could be avoided if Americans had equal access to the best preventive care available.

For us here at Vasomedical, one of the numbers that strikes closest to home is that out of the 895,000 patients under the age of 80 who died prematurely, 91,757 of these deaths were the result of heart disease.

Heart disease, as we all know, is rampant in the U.S. As such, preventative care is of the utmost importance and we have seen firsthand the positive impact EECP® Therapy has on patients’ lives.

Our team will continue to lead the fight to increase awareness and insurance coverage of EECP Therapy. We support patients and their physicians by providing them with the most up-to-date clinical information on EECP so that an informed decision can be made about their patients’ care.

Does your physician know about EECP Therapy? If not, let us know how we can help educate them by sending us an email at vaso@kcsa.com and we are happy to reach out on your behalf.

Heart Health in the News: The Link between Heart Health and Mental Function

It’s no surprise that having a healthy heart impacts one’s overall health. But a new study found that the health of our hearts impacts our minds much more than one would think, and the correlation starts early.

A recent piece by Reuters explores a study on how young adults with healthy blood pressure tend to have better thinking and memory skills in midlife than their peers with higher blood pressure. The key takeaway from this piece is that the relationship between heart health and mental function begins earlier than many may realize.

Early adulthood (ages 18-25) is a great time to form healthy habits that will not only protect your heart, but ultimately impact your cognitive functioning later in life.

We suggest that young adults:

  • Exercise. Make sure you’re moving! Exercise will keep the heart healthy, body weight in check and, as an added bonus, it releases endorphins that can combat stress.
  • Start forming healthy eating habits. Forming healthier eating habits when you’re younger is much easier than doing a full revamp once you have already experienced health issues and your bad habits are firmly engrained. Make sure to monitor your sugar intake and cholesterol, as they impact the functioning of your heart.
  • Find a hobby to combat stress. Whether it be yoga, running or unwinding with a good book, having a go-to stress buster is crucial, as stress can make one’s blood pressure spike. Find something that helps you unwind and hone that skill or activity.
  • Refrain from smoking and drink only in moderation. Make sure to keep your vices in check, this will be beneficial to your heart and body as a whole in the near and long term.

Tell us: what are your tips to keep your mind sharp and your heart healthy?

To read the full piece, click here: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/01/us-heart-adults-idUSBREA301KY20140401

Heart Health in the News: “The Path to a Stronger Heart”

In the “Personal Journal” section of today’s Wall Street Journal, Ron Winslow writes about the attention that cardiac rehabilitation programs designed for patients with heart failure have been receiving recently.

We at Vasomedical are pleased to see programs aside from invasive surgery gaining mainstream attention. This piece largely focuses on post-surgery rehab via exercise, which is critical.

The reporter writes:

“Patients and clinicians hope increased access to a structured exercise program will not only improve and prolong patients’ lives but reduce hospital admissions – and readmissions. An estimated 17% of the 42 million elderly beneficiaries of Medicare have a heart-failure diagnosis and account for about 800,000 hospital admissions a year.”

With the updates to the Affordable Care Act, hospitals will begin to receive hefty fines for high readmission rates. Exercise will certainly go a long way in keeping patients healthy and improving quality of life, but sometimes it takes an additional push to get to the active phase of one’s recovery.

This is where EECP® Therapy comes in: as a bridge between heart conditions and exercising. EECP Therapy helps generate more blood flow to the heart, eliminates or reduces the symptoms of ischemic heart disease and after a course of EECP Therapy, patients are finding it easier to be more active without pain or discomfort.

Tell us: what do you do to pave the way to a stronger heart? Are you a regular exerciser? Let us know, and make sure to read the full Wall Street Journal piece here:

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304157204579473541209255538?mg=reno64-wsj