Bypass best for people with diabetes

People with diabetes often need a procedure to improve blood flow and avoid a heart attack. Those who undergo bypass surgery tend to live longer and are less likely to have a heart attack than those who undergo angioplasty. A noninvasive test such as CT can be used to determine whether someone with diabetes is at increased risk for heart attack. More »

Building a better stent

Researchers are trying new ways to prevent stents from clogging with cells or attracting blood clots. Their goal is to develop a stent that can be used in any person to prevent a heart attack. Some new designs include stents coated with innovative drugs or two drugs, stents that expand to fit tightly against the artery wall, stents covered with mesh, and stents that dissolve after their coating is used up. (Locked) More »

Advice on using painkillers safely

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), commonly taken to relieve muscle aches and pains, raise the risk of heart attack by raising blood pressure, interfering with blood pressure-lowering medications, and increasing blood clot formation. Harvard doctors advise people with heart disease who need painkillers to start with the lowest dose of the least risky NSAID (naproxen) for the shortest period of time needed to obtain relief. (Locked) More »

How thyroid hormone affects the heart

The thyroid gland secretes hormones that regulate metabolism and energy levels. When it produces too little thyroid hormone, the heart can lose pumping strength, and cholesterol and blood pressure rise. Too much thyroid hormone can cause the heart to race and raises the risk of developing heart failure. Anyone with heart disease who has the symptoms of thyroid trouble should see their cardiologist or primary care doctor for simple blood test. (Locked) More »

Digoxin useful … with restrictions

Although digoxin is commonly used in atrial fibrillation, it can increase the risk of death and should be used only in very low doses and as a second rate-control drug when a safer drug is not adequate. (Locked) More »

Promising news about heart failure

Serelaxin, a new drug derived from the hormone relaxin, appears to reduce the symptoms of heart failure, organ damage from poor blood flow, and heart failure deaths. In men, relaxin appears to help sperm swim more easily. In women, relaxin loosens tissues in the female reproductive organs and pelvic ligaments to help prepare for childbirth. It also relaxes blood vessels, allowing them to expand. This allows more blood to reach the placenta and kidneys without raising blood pressure. In people with heart failure, the new drug made from relaxin increases blood flow throughout the body. This helps a poorly functioning heart to be more effective. Because relaxin is also an anti-inflammatory, it helps prevent inflammation associated with heart failure from causing damage to the kidneys, liver, and heart. (Locked) More »

Tests to evaluate risk of heart attack

Diabetes increases the risk of developing heart disease. Among people with diabetes, a variety of imaging tests can be used to estimate the risk of having a heart attack or stroke. (Locked) More »

An egg a day may be A-okay

In people without diabetes, an egg a day does not increase the risk of heart attack or stroke. In all people, eating eggs lowers the risk of hemorrhagic stroke. (Locked) More »

Overeating? Blame fructose

Fructose may not signal the brain to stop eating when the stomach is full, which could make it easier to overeat. Since sugar is half fructose, this offers another reason to cut back consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and other sugary foods. (Locked) More »