img_CPR_heartsaverShould IV Drugs be Given During Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest?

For many years folks who study survival related to heart attacks experienced out of the hospital have lobbied for allowing emergency medical technicians (EMTs) to administer a range of drugs as well as other interventions. The clear goal is to improve a person's chances of making it to the hospital alive, where hopefully treatment will result in long term survival. Now a study done in Norway seems to conclude that use of the most common medication, epinephrine, does not result in any benefit to these folks and may actually result in harm. That's in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association: Intravenous Drug Administration During Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest.

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mammogram_womanReduced Need for Mammography

Unless you've been living under a slimy rock this week, you know that the US Preventive Services Task Force has changed the screening guidelines for breast cancer. Instead of annual mammograms for all women over the age of 40, the guidelines are now tailored to reflect when the risk for developing breast cancer increases, and that's largely after menopause. Incidentally, right when the risk for the real killer in the room, heart disease, also rises. Here's the link to the recommendations, published in Annals of Internal Medicine: Screening for Breast Cancer: US Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement.

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Gall_BladderWill Statins Soon be Added to Municipal Water Supplies?

Yet another benefit has been added to the list related to the use of statins - those medications intended primarily to reduce cholesterol in the blood. Why reduce cholesterol? Because high cholesterol is associated with a host of nasty consequences: narrowing or blockage of blood vessels and subsequent clot formation, heart attacks or strokes among them. Now what else is good about statin use? Turns out long term use of statins results in fewer folks forming gallstones and requiring surgical removal of their gall bladder. That's in the current issue of JAMA: Statin Use and Risk of Gallstone Disease Followed by Cholecystectomy.

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Humhrt2The Final Word on Bypass Surgery?
 
Coronary artery bypass surgery, abbreviated CABG and pronounced like the vegetable, is necessary when someone's coronary arteries, those that supply the heart muscle itself with blood, become so extensively blocked that they must be replaced. The traditional way to do this is to crack open the patient's chest, harvest blood vessels from elsewhere in the body (yet another controversy we'll leave alone for today) and stitch them into place on the heart, thereby bypassing the blocked vessels.

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image359Cardiorespiratory Fitness Declines With Age, No Matter What

Here's the bad news: no matter what you do, what exercise regimen you adopt, how carefully you eat, the capacity of your heart and lungs, so-called cardiorespiratory fitness, will decline as you age. And the point of no return, when the decline happens much more sharply, is 45 years of age. That's in this issue of Archives of Internal Medicine: Role of Lifestyle and Aging on the Longitudinal Change in Cardiorespiratory Fitness.

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ED Can be Managed in Primary Care

Men with erectile dysfunction, (ED), known also as impotence, don't need to undergo lots of evaluation or testing to identify a specific cause, they can simply be given a trial of a class of medications known as PDE5 inhibitors, the American College of Physicians has stated. That's according to a review of many studies published on the subject and analyzed by the college in this issue of Annals of Internal Medicine: Hormonal Testing and Pharmacologic Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction: A Clinical Practice Guideline From the American College of Physicians.

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Chronic Fatigue Patients Vindicated?

Imagine developing fatigue so profound you're almost unable to get out of bed, much less participate in activities requiring any physical effort. Now add to that muscle aches and pains and cognitive difficulties. To complete the picture, let's say these symptoms persist for months and are unrelieved by rest, no matter how much you get. The cause? Chronic fatigue syndrome or CFS, a much maligned syndrome even or especially largely disparaged by the medical establishment.

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lettuceHealthy Foods May Make You Sick

A watchdog organization called the Center for Science in the Public Interest has released a list of the top ten foods regulated by the FDA that cause food borne illness. Far and away, the winner is leafy green vegetables, causing more than 13,000 diagnosed cases of what is frequently called 'food poisoning' since 1990. And since most cases of food borne illness aren't ever diagnosed or reported, the actual number is likely much, much higher.

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fat_personMore Benefits Seen With Weight Loss

For folks carrying around a few too many extra pounds, the benefits of losing weight can hardly be overestimated from a medical standpoint, even for those who are only modestly overweight. Cardiovascular disease, diabetes and arthritis all improve when extra poundage is shed, and now sleep apnea-that condition where people stop breathing during sleep-has joined the list.

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amazing_zoomNo Help for Women with Congestive Heart Failure

Most studies of cardiovascular disease and its manifestations have been done in men. That's an undisputed truth. In view of this fact, much of the clinical management of heart disease in women is extrapolated from data gleaned studying men. Unfortunately, just like calculating medicine dosages for children based on studies in adults, it doesn't work. Children are not little adults, and women are not men with different anatomy.

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