November 13, 2015 |
More than 1,400 light-years away, in a constellation named for its likeness to a swan, lies a planet a lot like Earth. Called Kepler-452b, it orbits a star similar to our sun, at just the right distance so that its surface temperature would allow the presence of liquid water. We would have no idea it was out there, along with more than 1,000 other planets discovered in the last six years, but for the stubbornness of William J. Borucki. The NASA astronomer is one of eight new winners of the annual awards bestowed by the Franklin Institute being announced Thursday.
November 11, 2015 |
A large national study suggests that patients at risk of heart disease can reduce their chances of heart attack, stroke, and death by lowering their systolic blood pressure by even more than what is currently recommended. Authors of the widely anticipated research, published Monday in the New England Journal of Medicine, said the more aggressive approach makes sense despite an increased risk of fainting and kidney problems. Currently, patients at risk of heart disease are told to lower their systolic pressure - the higher of the two numbers from the measurement in the doctor's office - to 130. Study authors said patients who lowered that number to about 120 by taking additional drugs were better off than those who made it only to the low- to mid-130s.
July 20, 2015 |
When 49-year-old Paul Brasberger suddenly died in January of 2012, a Delaware County medical examiner told his family he had heart disease, which may have contributed to his death. But after meeting with Brasberger's relatives, medical examiner Fredric N. Hellman had second thoughts. In a report, he called the death suspicious, concluding it "may not have been a consequence of natural disease" but rather "from the effects of an undetectable-to-date lethal substance administered to him unawares.
June 14, 2015 |
If you have a chronic medical problem, you may be taking a prescription medication daily for the rest of your life. This can prove costly and often causes long-term adverse side effects. But did you know there are alternatives to medications? Though some people will need prescription drugs long-term, others may find that with their doctors' help they can reduce dosages or even get off one or more medications entirely by making simple lifestyle changes. Let's take a look at some of the most-prescribed medications, what they are designed to treat, and how to get started on a path for life with fewer or no medications.
May 10, 2015 |
If you asked 100 random people on the street whether they would like to be in good physical shape, most would answer with a resounding "yes. " Though many people want to exercise, too many of us reason our way off the treadmill and onto the couch. Spring is here and summer is approaching, so I have compiled a list of the top 10 excuses I have heard from patients, and how to overcome them. 1. I don't have time. Planning out time to exercise at the start of the week is crucial.
May 6, 2015 |
John C. McGraw, 66, of Springfield, Delaware County, a former metallurgist at the U.S. Mint, died of complications from heart disease Friday, May 1, at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center. Mr. McGraw began his career as an engineer at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard before joining the mint in 1974. He worked in engineering and management until 1983, when President Ronald Reagan appointed him chief assayer. As chief assayer, Mr. McGraw tested the metals used for making coins to ensure they met the federal government's standards.
March 1, 2015 |
A 57-year-old man came to see me complaining of increasingly severe shortness of breath over the last year and a half. It was worse with exertion and got better with rest, although it never went away completely. He did get a bit short of breath when he tried to lie flat in bed. He had never smoked, he wasn't coughing, he had never had symptoms of asthma before. He did have obstructive sleep apnea and was religiously using his CPAP - a machine that exerts slight airway pressure through a face mask to prevent throat obstructions that interrupt breathing at night.
February 16, 2015 |
Can a modified vegan diet - heavy on tofu, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, and low on saturated and trans fats - significantly help with heart disease? It's a question that Robert Fischer, head of the division of infectious diseases at Einstein Medical Center, considered last October, after his second coronary event in 61/2 years. On the surface, Fischer, 65, of Elkins Park, appears to be an unlikely candidate for heart disease. He exhibits none of the usual risk factors.
February 15, 2015 |
A survey of local cardiologists finds that they want patients to be more aware of the perils of an abnormal heart rhythm as well as the value of newer blood thinners and cholesterol-lowering statins. The survey of 475 heart specialists at dozens of hospitals and private practices was conducted this month by the Cardiovascular Institute of Philadelphia, an independent nonprofit dedicated to improving heart health in the Delaware Valley through educational programs. More than 70 physicians responded to the survey, which asked them to pick three important cardiology issues or developments that they felt patients should know more about.
January 22, 2015 |
THIS WEEK we celebrated Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. Given recent tragic events in Florida, Missouri, Staten Island and, well, all over America, it's obvious that racism and inequality remain a persistent American problem. It is also worth noting that this year is the 50th anniversary of both the Selma marches and the Voting Rights Act, yet we are still marching and asserting that "black lives matter. " Like all major urban cities, Philadelphia struggles daily with poverty, underperforming and underfunded schools, discrimination and huge disparities around health care, nutrition and fitness.