June 9, 2016 |
When I was a bride, I had a wedding "trousseau," a kind of bridal bonanza of stuff: pots and pans and linens and luggage. But it also included what I considered the best part: lingerie - nightgowns made of filmy, floaty fabrics in lush colors like baby blue and peach, and even one clingy black one. For a brief blink of time, I felt like a Hollywood starlet. Then along came real life: mortgages, taxes, head colds, compromise, trips to the hardware store for ant traps - and kids.
May 5, 2016 |
Long after undergoing bypass surgery, a substantial number of patients fail to take a daily aspirin or statins, raising the risk of dangerous blood clots and heart attacks, a new study finds. In a group of 381 patients who came in for a diagnostic catheterization at least three years after a bypass procedure, barely half were taking both statins and aspirin, according to the research, led by Thomas Jefferson University. The rest - 48 percent of the group - had active prescriptions for just one of the two medicines, or neither.
April 4, 2016 |
A new international study suggests that the cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins may be warranted not only for people at high risk of heart disease, but also for those at intermediate risk. Yet whether doctors will recommend the daily pills for these millions of additional patients remains to be seen. The drugs appeared to reduce the number of cardiovascular "events" - a composite measure of heart attack, strokes, and deaths - but the researchers had to follow an awful lot of people to see the reduction, they reported Saturday in the New England Journal of Medicine.
December 28, 2015
David Becker is a board-certified cardiologist with Chestnut Hill Temple Cardiology. He wrote this for the "Check Up" blog, www.philly.com/checkup . A new use of an old test may help you decide whether you really need cholesterol-lowering medication. If you are one of the 45 million Americans whose cholesterol levels make them potential candidates for statin therapy (medications like Crestor and Lipitor) - but you don't have heart disease - there may be other options. A new study looking at calcium-scoring CT scans concluded that special kind of X-ray can reclassify half of these 45 million people as being so low risk they can avoid potentially unnecessary treatment with statins.
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.