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One in Four have Precursor to Heart Failure

More than one-fourth of adults over age 45 have abnormalities in the way their heart fills with blood and are at significantly increased risk for premature death, according to results of a study of 2,042 randomly selected residents of Olmsted County, Minn. The study is published in the Jan. 8 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Medications underused in treating heart disease

Past studies have shown that various medications including beta blockers and aspirin can help manage heart disease. Yet a new study from Stanford University Medical Center indicates physicians continue to underprescribe these key treatments. The study appears in the Jan. 1 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. It focuses on the outpatient use of the drug warfarin for atrial fibrillation (or irregular heartbeat), beta blockers and aspirin for coronary artery disease, and ACE inhibitors for congestive heart failure - all medications that have been shown to benefit patients in past clinical trials and population studies.

New study ties moderate beer drinking to lower heart attack risk

A beer a day may help keep heart attacks away, according to a group of Israeli researchers. In preliminary clinical studies of a group of men with coronary artery disease, the researchers showed that drinking one beer (12 ounces) a day for a month produced changes in blood chemistry that are associated with a reduced risk of heart attack. Their study adds to growing evidence that moderate alcohol consumption may reduce the risk of heart disease, the number one killer in the United States.

Full-body CT Scans May Benefit Only Select Group

A full-body computed tomography (CT) scan may be beneficial to fewer people than previously thought, according to a study presented December 3, 2002 at the 88th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) in Chicago. The results of a second study pointed out the need to establish guidelines and standardized reporting systems for this hotly debated diagnostic procedure.

Little Yellow Molecule Comes Up Big

Bilirubin has been a mystery of a molecule, associated with better health if there's just a little more than normal, but best known for being at the root of the yellow color in jaundice and, at high levels, for causing brain damage in newborns. In the current online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a research team from Johns Hopkins reports that bilirubin and the enzyme that makes it appear to be the body's most potent protection against oxidative damage.

Scientists develop new blood test for heart disease

Scientists have developed a rapid new blood test which may help predict the likelihood of a heart attack. The research published in Nature Medicine shows how a new science called Metabonomics can be used to test for coronary artery disease, using minimally invasive procedures. The test, which only needs a few drops of blood, measures the magnetic properties of molecules in blood using high frequency radio waves, which are then analysed using an advanced computer programme capable of detecting abnormal patterns of signals associated with heart disease.

By Repairing Vessels, Marrow Cells Slow Atherosclerosis in Mice

Researchers have shown that an age-related loss of specific stem cells that continually repair damage to blood vessels is critical to determining the onset and progression of atherosclerosis. Stem cells are immature cells that have the potential to mature into a variety of different cells. This novel view of the disease, based on experiments in mice, constitutes a potential new avenue in the treatment of one of the leading causes of death and illness in the U.S., the researchers said.

Rigorous, short-term diet-exercise program lowers heart disease risk

Obese men can significantly reduce heart disease risk on a three-week low-fat, high-fiber diet and daily exercise ? even though they may lose only a few pounds, according to research announced today in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. Men who consumed a diet high in grains, vegetables and fruit and took brisk daily walks reduced their high blood pressure, a hallmark risk factor for congestive heart failure, kidney disease, coronary artery disease and stroke.

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