December 2011 references and further reading

Deyell M, Buller C, Miller L, Wang T, Dai D, Lamas G, Srinivas V, Hochman J. Impact of National Clinical Guideline Recommendations for Revascularization of Persistently Occluded Infarct-Related Arteries on Clinical Practice in the United States. Archives of Internal Medicine 2011; 171: 1636-1643. Terkelsen C, Jensen L, Tilsted H, Trautner S, Johnsen S, Vach W, Bøtker H, Thuesen L, Lassen J. Health care system delay and heart failure in patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction treated with primary percutaneous coronary intervention: follow-up of population-based medical registry data. Annals of Internal Medicine 2011;155:361-7. Greenspon A, Patel J, Lau E, Ochoa J, Frisch D, Ho R, Pavri B, Kurtz S. 16-year trends in the infection burden for pacemakers and implantable cardioverter-defibrillators in the United States 1993 to 2008. Journal of the American College of Cardiology 2011; 58:1001-6. (Locked) More »

Angioplasty a day after a heart attack not worth it

In 2006, the Occluded Artery Trial (OAT) determined that performing angioplasty — an invasive and expensive procedure — delivered no tangible benefit to people who'd had a heart attack more than 24 hours earlier and who no longer had symptoms. In 2007, the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association endorsed the OAT findings and issued this guideline: angioplasty to unclog an artery implicated in a heart attack, when performed more than 24 hours after the event, is not appropriate as long as the person is stable. More »

Preventing pacemaker, ICD infections now a priority

An increase in the number of infections in people receiving implanted heart devices means caregivers need to make prevention of infection their priority. Here are several things you and your health care providers can do to boost your chances of an infection-free implantation: (Locked) More »

Putting heart attack, stroke triggers in perspective

Certain activities and situations can trigger heart attacks in those at risk, but researchers are showing how these risks need to be placed in the proper context. The impact of triggers depends largely on cardiovascular health. They are far more likely to cause a heart attack, stroke, or cardiac arrest in a person with heart disease than in someone with a healthy heart and arteries. Physical condition also matters. Exercise or physical exertion is much more likely to trigger a heart attack in someone who leads a sedentary life than in someone who exercises regularly. It's almost impossible to avoid cardiovascular triggers, but you can reduce or inactivate their effects. (Locked) More »

Beta blockers: Cardiac jacks of all trades

Beta blockers are useful in treating a variety of cardiovascular conditions including angina, heart failure, and high blood presure. This medication spotlight looks at how beta blockers work, who can benefit from them, and what to expect if you take one. (Locked) More »

Ask the doctor: How low should my LDL go?

I come from a long line of family members with heart disease. Right now, my HDL is 62 mg/dL [milligrams per deciliter], and my LDL is 115 mg/dL. My doctor isn't worried about my LDL, but shouldn't I shoot for an LDL level under 100 mg/dL? (Locked) More »