heart disease

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A Houston hospital has suspended all medical procedures in its renowned heart transplant program following the deaths this year of at least three patients and the departure of several senior physicians.

"Yo-yo dieting" — where people lose weight and gain it back again — doubles the risk of a heart attack, stroke or death in people who already have significant heart disease.

That's the conclusion of an international study published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Tracy Solomon Clark is outgoing and energetic — a former fundraiser for big companies and big causes. As she charged through her 40s she had "no clue," she says, that there might be a problem with her heart.

It was about six years ago — when she was 44 — that she first suffered severe shortness of breath, along with dizziness. She figured she was overweight and overworked, but never considered heart disease.

"That was the furthest thing from my mind," Solomon Clark says. "I was young!"

While death rates from heart disease declined in Florida during the last five years, Volusia County saw a 9 percent increase in deaths.

Are you not getting enough sleep, or are you getting too much? If your answer to either of these questions is "yes," you may be at risk of heart disease.

The Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved a first-of-a-kind drug that lowers artery-clogging cholesterol more than older drugs that have been prescribed for decades.

The drug from Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. offers an important new option for millions of patients at high risk of heart disease. But the drug’s sky-high price tag – $14,600 per year – is certain to escalate debate about the cost of breakthrough drugs and who should take them.

WMFE

The Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute has announced a new collaboration with Asia’s largest drug maker. Takeda Pharmaceutical Company will fund research at Sanford-Burnham in Lake Nona for the next two years.

Sanford-Burnham will look for new compounds that could become drugs to treat heart disease and heart failure. Dr. Rick Vega says this is the third partnership with Takeda in the last five years.

“Their supporting our research provides direct funding and support for the research and jobs at the Sanford-Burnham here in Orlando,” Vega said.

Court Upholds $5M Award To Sick Smoker

May 7, 2015

A South Florida appeals court Wednesday upheld a verdict that calls for Philip Morris USA to pay $5 million to a man who suffers heart disease caused by smoking --- but it shielded the cigarette maker from potentially paying punitive damages.

The 3rd District Court of Appeal rejected arguments that the tobacco company should receive a new trial because an attorney for Antonio Cuculino made improper arguments in circuit court.

It’s a good-news day for researchers in Florida, with reports on stem cell treatments for heart damage and preclinical trials on an HIV vaccine, both from University of Miami. And for a feel-good story, there’s a TV report on a child raising more than half a million dollars for liver-disease research at University of Florida that might benefit his friend.

Here are some details:

Here's a provocative question: Was former President George W. Bush, who underwent a coronary stent last week, an example of over-treatment that followed over-testing?

Bush, 67, exercises a lot and had no symptoms of heart disease when he went for his annual physical. A stress test led to a diagnosis of clogged coronary artery and intervention, not to mention prolonged anticoagulant therapy for a long time afterward.

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It turns out heading to the gym daily doesn’t give you a free pass to sit down the rest of the day, the New Scientist reports. According to the Mayo Clinic, there is a significant link between sitting down and premature death, even if you exercise regularly. Researchers don’t recommend giving up on exercise though. While a workout cannot undo hours of sitting, "active couch potatoes" fare better than people who sit a lot and do not go to the gym.  

Americans are repeatedly told to cut back on salt to reduce the risk of heart disease. But there are new questions being raised about the possible risks of reducing sodium too much.

So, how low should we go? Currently, the government recommends that Americans should aim for 2,300 milligrams per day. And people older than 50, as well as those with high blood pressure, diabetes or kidney disease are advised to reduce sodium even further, down to 1,500 mg per day.

Scientists have discovered what may be an important new risk factor for heart disease. And here's the surprising twist: The troublesome substance seems to be a waste product left behind by bacteria in our guts as they help us digest lecithin — a substance plentiful in red meat, eggs, liver and certain other foods.

Doctors say the research further illustrates the complicated relationship we have with the microbes living inside us, and could lead to new ways to prevent heart attacks and strokes.

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Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic say the real problem isn’t the fat and cholesterol, but a little-known chemical called TMAO that shows up in the blood after someone eats red meat, the New York Times reports. It seems to be created by bacteria that live in our gut.

Bacon and bologna are hardly health food. But a huge new study offers the strongest evidence yet that eating processed meat boosts the risk of the two big killers, cancer and heart disease.

A multinational group of scientists tracked the health and eating habits of bacon-loving Brits, wurst-munching Germans, jamon aficionados in Spain, as well as residents of seven other European countries — almost a half-million people in all.