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Recycling pacemakers may alleviate burden of heart disease across the globe

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Millions worldwide die each year because they can't afford a pacemaker. Meanwhile heart patients in the United States say they'd be willing to donate theirs after death to someone in need. In the current issue of Circula...

Gene therapy during angioplasty improves blood flow

In the first study of its kind, researchers show that gene therapy given during angioplasty is safe and improves blood flow to the heart muscle more than angioplasty alone, according to a report in a recent rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. The trial is the first to transfer copies of the gene for vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) into the arteries of heart patients during angioplasty. It's also the first human study that compared two different approaches to inserting the gene into heart cells.

Terrorist attacks increased dangerous irregular heartbeats

The rate of life-threatening heart rhythms more than doubled among New York heart patients the month after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, researchers have reported. The study evaluated patients with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD). An ICD is an electrical generator the size of a pocket watch that is inserted into the heart to monitor heart rhythm. It detects life-threatening abnormal rhythms, called arrhythmias, and delivers an electrical shock to restore normal rhythm.

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