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.
June 29, 2014 |
Marc Winans had a right to feel uneasy. His maternal grandfather died of a heart attack at 55. His mother's brother made it to 57 before meeting the same fate. Several cousins on his mother's side also had heart disease - including a second cousin who died at 40. Yet Winans did not have especially high cholesterol levels, and at 38, the Jeffersonville resident was a nonsmoker and in good physical shape. Should he take statins as a precaution? The answer, he hoped, lay in a big white doughnut at Temple University Hospital.
May 25, 2014 |
Two federally funded clinical studies have dashed hopes that cholesterol-fighting statin drugs could relieve severe or life-threatening breathing problems. Past studies suggested patients with lung damage who were taking statins had better outcomes than patients who were not, presumably because statins can reduce inflammation and block cholesterol production. But one of the trials, designed and led by Temple University researcher Gerard J. Criner, found that simvastatin (brand name Zocor)
February 2, 2014 |
Since the 1960s, the number of people dying from heart disease has fallen steadily in the United States. But heart disease is still responsible for a quarter of all deaths, and remains the leading cause of mortality for both men and women. Innovations in care and more insight into risk factors has helped lessen its damaging impact. One insight is that many people can control their risk. Most heart disease is preventable, but "we don't pay attention to that disease process" until it's too advanced, said Daniel Edmundowicz, medical director of the Temple Heart and Vascular Institute in North Philadelphia.
November 18, 2013
28th no-show Although commentator Salena Zito laments that President Obama will not be in Gettysburg on Tuesday for the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's address, no president has ever attended the annual ceremony marking the speech ("Obama snubs Gettysburg," Nov. 15). President John F. Kennedy was invited for the 100th anniversary, but the offer was declined, supposedly because of conflicting plans for a trip to Texas. Should the president change his mind and decide to speak, it would be appropriate of him to take the place of U.S. Sen. Edward Everett of Massachusetts, who preceded Lincoln and spoke for more than two, unremarkable hours.
November 17, 2013 |
Medical guidelines are meant to unify doctors and standardize care for patients around treatments supported by the best available science. But the latest guidelines on the use of statins, a class of drugs used to reduce cholesterol, are already generating significant pushback from doctors. The controversy is likely to confuse patients. The new rules released this week by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology would expand the number of people getting statins to prevent heart disease, heart attacks, or stroke while eliminating specific numeric goals for LDL, or bad cholesterol.
October 23, 2012 |
Peter Hopkins, the music director at St. Peter's Church, is an erudite, energetic man who plays the piano and organ, sings with a fine tenor voice, and can blend the disparate voices in the choir so that hymns fill the historic Episcopal church in Society Hill with a sound that's upliftingly supernal. Physically, he looks lean and fit, carrying 180 pounds on a 5-foot-11 frame. If you met him today, you'd never believe that he once weighed 300 pounds. But such were the wages of sin in his youth.
February 29, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Federal health officials are adding new safety warnings about risks of memory loss and elevated blood sugar to statins, the most widely prescribed group of cholesterol-lowering medications. The Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday that it was making labeling changes to medicines such as Pfizer Inc.'s Lipitor, AstraZeneca's Crestor, and Merck & Co. Inc.'s Zocor. The drugs are used by tens of millions of U.S. patients to help prevent heart-related problems associated with cholesterol.
November 15, 2011 |
ORLANDO, Fla. - Give people free prescription drugs and many of them still won't bother to take their medicine. Doctors were stunned to see that happen in a major study involving heart attack survivors. The patients were offered well-known drugs to prevent a recurrence of heart trouble, including cholesterol-lowering statins and drugs that slow the heart and help it pump more effectively. "My God, we gave these people the medicines for free and only half took it," said one of the study's authors, Elliott Antman of Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.
November 4, 2011 |
Exercising daily and skipping french fries probably would do more to improve the health of human hearts, but that medical discussion took a new turn Tuesday when the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer said in the strongest terms yet that it would try to create an over-the-counter version of its best-selling cholesterol drug, Lipitor. In the 19 years since Lipitor was approved, more than 17 million Americans have gotten a prescription for it. But this is about more than medicine.