December 2008 references and further reading

Calhoun DA, Jones D, Textor S, et al. Resistant hypertension: Diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment: A scientific statement from the American Heart Association Professional Education Committee of the Council for High Blood Pressure Research. Hypertension 2008; 51:1403-1419. Chase AJ, Fretz EB, Warburton WP, et al. Association of the arterial access site at angioplasty with transfusion and mortality: The M.O.R.T.A.L study (mortality benefit of reduced transfusion after percutaneous coronary intervention via the arm or leg). Heart 2008; 94:1019-25. Rao SV, Ou F-S, Wang TY, et al. Trends in the prevalence and outcomes of radial and femoral approaches to percutaneous coronary intervention: A report from the national cardiovascular data registry. Journal of the American College of Cardiology Interventions 2008; 1:379-386. (Locked) More »

Folic acid and folate in foods

Our bodies need a steady supply of what used to be known as vitamin B9. It comes in several forms. In food, it's called folate. A synthetic form, folic acid, is added to some foods and used as an ingredient in vitamin supplements. The body absorbs folic acid faster than it absorbs folate. But folic acid must then be converted into folate before it can get to work. When referring to the amounts of these in food, the USDA relies on what it calls dietary folate equivalents (DFE). The DFE of a food equals the amount contributed by folate naturally in the food plus 1.7 times the times the amount of added folic acid. In the USDA's list of folate in foods, it uses the DFE to rank foods, putting breakfast cereals and other fortified foods near the top. Here's a list of foods naturally rich in folate. Naturally occurring folate in food (Locked) More »

More reading on resistant hypertension

Resistant hypertension is the term for blood pressure that stays stubbornly above the target your doctor has set (see Blood pressure goals, below) in spite of lifestyle changes and medications. The American Heart Association has published a state-of-the-art paper that covers the diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of resistant hypertension. Blood pressure goals Under 120/80: the ideal (Locked) More »

Resistant hypertension needs special attention

Blood pressure that stays high even when three or more medications are taken is called resistant hypertension. In such cases lifestyle changes are especially important, and there may be underlying causes such as sleep apnea. (Locked) More »

Wrist artery a safe approach to the heart

Most angioplasty procedures are performed through the femoral artery in the groin, but the radial artery in the wrist is also a viable access point, and may be slightly safer for some patients. More »

Beats per minute a signal of heart health

A resting heart rate above 100 beats per minute may be an indicator of more serious conditions such as atherosclerosis. Making an effort to exercise and reduce stress can help slow the heart to a healthier rate. (Locked) More »

Folic acid: Too much of a good thing?

Because some foods are now fortified with folic acid, people who take multivitamins may be getting too much of it. This can block the body's ability to process folate, the natural form of folic acid, which in turn may be linked to heart disease. (Locked) More »

Pre-dental antibiotics for few, not many

In a reversal of its previous advice, the American College of Cardiology says that most people with heart disease do not need to take antibiotics before having dental work done, but people in certain categories still need the medication. (Locked) More »

Heart Beat: Green tea and statins

People who take a statin may want to watch their intake of green tea, as there is a possibility it may boost the blood concentration of the medication to pain-causing levels. (Locked) More »

In Brief

Brief updates on niacin's beneficial effect on HDL, exercise's aid in preventing atrial fibrillation, and an FDA web site with information about guidelines for drug ads. (Locked) More »