Breakthrough in mitral valve treatment

When the structures surrounding the mitral valve deteriorate and loosen, the valve is no longer able to open and close properly. As a result, blood backs up in the heart and lungs, causing severe fatigue with minimal activity. New devices are enabling doctors to repair the mitral valve structures without the need for open- heart surgery. One of the many devices in development, MitraClip, is now being tested in clinical trials in the United States.   (Locked) More »

Stem cell therapy for heart disease

For more than a decade scientists have been looking for ways to repair damaged hearts with stem cells. These cells are unique in their ability to develop into many types of cell. Treating the heart with stem cells has proven remarkably safe. While this approach is being pursued on many fronts, its future likely lies in the prevention and treatment of heart failure. (Locked) More »

Treating resistant hypertension

When a diuretic plus two other anti-hypertensive medications fail to lower blood pressure to an acceptable level, additional medications should be added until blood pressure responds. Restricting salt and increasing exercise can often help conquer “resistant hypertension.”   (Locked) More »

Recovering from coronary bypass surgery

How quickly an individual recovers from bypass surgery depends on many factors. Five strategies can pave the way to a smooth recovery: staying as active as possible before surgery to limit deconditioning caused by inactivity, quitting smoking to lower the risk of lung complications, eating a healthy diet full of protein to accelerate healing, staying positive in order to get back on your feet fast, and taking your heart medications after surgery to reduce the heart’s workload. More »

Choosing options for life-sustaining care

If you have a serious, chronic disease like heart failure, making decisions in advance about important aspects of your treatment can help ensure your wishes are followed. This can include delineating preferences about life-sustaining measures on a form that becomes a doctor’s order, and naming a legal representative to make medical decisions on your behalf, if needed.   (Locked) More »

Green tea may lower heart disease risk

Green tea can significantly lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and this may explain why green tea drinkers have a lower risk of coronary artery disease and death from heart disease and stroke.   More »

Radial artery grafts prove durable

In coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), the internal mammary (or thoracic) artery is the graft of choice for bypassing blockages in the main coronary artery, because it tends to remain open and functioning well for many years. (Locked) More »

Potential cure for type 1 diabetes

A study conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital has confirmed that a vaccine designed to raise levels of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) temporarily restores insulin secretion in people with type 1 diabetes. (Locked) More »