Why millennials need some heart education Lately, I’ve been hearing an awful lot about millennials, and how they’re the up-and-coming sector of our economy. So I did some research: I discovered that they’re nearly 80 million strong, and aged between 17 and 34 years. Far too young to be able to impact their heart health, right? New data from the NIH’s ongoing Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults ...

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Why does treating heart attacks cost so much money? An article from the JAMA has been gnawing at my consciousness for the last couple of weeks. Dr. Prashant Kaul and colleagues out of the University of North Carolina reviewed records from hospitals in the state of California from 2008 through 2011, looking for patients who had been hospitalized with heart attacks. Specifically, they were looking for patients with ST elevation ...

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Standing in front of my patient’s home, I reach out to ring the bell. On the other side of the door live a man and his wife, who have been waiting patiently for my arrival. I hesitate for a moment before pressing the button. As I wait uneasily for the door to open, I think to myself that this is the first time I make a house call on my patient ...

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Top stories in health and medicine, December 3, 2014From MedPage Today:

  1. SIPS: The New Kid on the Bariatric Block. Duodenal switch is an effective procedure for weight loss, but it currently accounts for less than 5% of all bariatric surgeries due to concerns about technical difficulty, nutritional deficiency, and frequent bowel movements.
  2. Mild Stenosis Linked to Death in Diabetes. Even ...

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It is well known that Medicare expenditures threaten the financial solvency of the U.S. government. And it is pretty well agreed upon that some of our Medicare spending goes towards wasteful medical care. But which medical care is wasteful and how much is such care costing us?  A study in JAMA Internal Medicine provides a sneak peek at answers to these important questions. The research, led by Aaron Schwartz, a graduate student ...

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The term "Golden Age" seemed to permeate multiple domains in the 1950s, almost to the point of triteness. The field of cardiac surgery, however, deservedly earned the term as pioneer after pioneer introduced innovation after innovation that advanced the specialty. Walter Lillehei in Minnesotta, Wilfred Gordon Bigelow in Toronto, William Chardack in Buffalo, and Ake Senning in Stockholm were just some of the trailblazers of that era. The four surgeons also shared ...

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Last year, Dean Dupuy, 46, an engineer at Apple, suddenly died of a heart attack while playing hockey. He experienced no warning symptoms and, with a healthy, active lifestyle, did not fit the profile of someone at risk. Too late to save him, Dupuy’s wife Victoria discovered that early coronary disease can be identified by simple CT scans. She recently launched a nonprofit organization, No More Broken Hearts, in San Jose ...

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Top stories in health and medicine, November 20, 2014From MedPage Today:

  1. No Benefit to CABG, Mitral Valve Repair Combo. A year after coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) and mitral valve repair, patients with moderate ischemic mitral regurgitation did not seem to benefit from having the two procedures versus having only CABG.
  2. Watchman Proves Long-Term Mettle in AFib. Left atrial ...

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I’m getting to the point where I think it might be time to stop or at least decelerate the pace of my writing on medicine. When I retired from medical practice almost a year ago there were a lot of pent up experiences that I felt a need write about. But now I have already written about almost everything that I wanted to and, as I am no longer a practicing physician, ...

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Top stories in health and medicine, November 19, 2014From MedPage Today:

  1. IMPROVE-IT Results Turn Up Volume on Guideline Debate. The long-awaited results of the IMPROVE-IT study comparing Vytorin (ezetimibe/simvastatin) to simvastatin in high-risk patients revealed a small but significant benefit, and a large -- and possibly equally significant -- rift regarding the cardiovascular prevention guidelines.
  2. State Exchange Situations Vary at ...

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