NEWS AND INFORMATION

‘Great to be alive,' Tom Ridge declares after heart attack

AUSTIN, Texas — Former U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge says “it's great to be alive” this Thanksgiving. Ridge issued a statement Wednesday from the hospital in A...

AUSTIN, Texas — Former U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge says “it's great to be alive” this Thanksgiving.

Ridge issued a statement Wednesday from the hospital in Austin, Texas, where he's recovering from a heart attack.

He says he's thankful for the “outpouring of love and concern” after his health emergency.

He says he's filled with gratitude, even though his doctors won't let him touch turkey and mashed potatoes.

He had been attending a Republican Governors Association conference last week when he called for medical help at his hotel.

The Republican served two terms as Pennsylvania governor from 1995 to 2001. He was the first homeland security secretary, serving under President George W. Bush until 2005.

A statement on Monday said Ridge was in intensive care. It wasn't clear if he remains there.

Nov 27, 2017

American Heart Association president has heart attack

American Heart Association President John Warner suffered a heart attack during the organization's annual conference in Southern California, where he spoke about his family's history w...

American Heart Association President John Warner suffered a heart attack during the organization's annual conference in Southern California, where he spoke about his family's history with heart disease.

Warner, vice president and chief executive of UT Southwestern University Hospitals in Dallas, was recovering after what the American Heart Association called a “minor” episode Monday morning at the organization's Scientific Sessions, a five-day conference on cardiovascular science in Anaheim. He was in stable condition after doctors inserted a stent to open an artery, the association said in a statement.

During his address Sunday, the 52-year-old cardiologist said there “were no old men on either side of my family — none — all the branches of our family tree cut short by cardiovascular disease.”

“I know this is also true in far too many other families, not just in the U.S. but around the world,” Warner added. “Together we can make sure old men and old women are regulars at family reunions, that people live long enough and healthy enough to enjoy walks and fishing trips with their grandchildren and maybe even their great-grandchildren. In other words, I look forward to a future where people have the exact opposite experience of my family, that children grow up surrounded by so many healthy, beloved, elderly relatives that they couldn't imagine life any other way.”

Nov 16, 2017

WHO personality Simon Conway hospitalized following heart attack

A familiar British accent has been missing from many Iowans' afternoon drives this week. Simon Conway, a conservative talk show host for WHO, has been off the air since Monday after suf...

A familiar British accent has been missing from many Iowans' afternoon drives this week.

Simon Conway, a conservative talk show host for WHO, has been off the air since Monday after suffering two heart attacks in the last six days. Conway confirmed the news himself from his own hospital bed in a Facebook Live video, which he posted Tuesday.

In the video, Conway said he is feeling "fine." He also reassured fans that someone has been taking care of his dog, Reagan. The British-born Conway, who frequently guest hosts the nationally syndicated America Now Radio Program, said he expects to be back on the air soon, no later than Monday of next week.

Joel McCrea, general manager at WHO radio, told the Des Moines Register that, based on his understanding, the heart attacks were mild. He said that Conway left the hospital Wednesday and is resting at home.

McCrea also confirmed that Conway plans to be back on the air on Monday.

Van Harden, WHO morning talk show host and former program manager for WHO Radio, has also been in touch with Conway. He told the Register that listeners can expect to hear about Conway's heart attacks on the air.

"He told me, 'I'm fine. It's providing me with lots of stories,'" Harden said. "That's just the way we radio people are. Everything that happens to us is material."

During Conway's absence, guest hosts have filled in during his usual 4-7 p.m. time slot, including Jeff Angelo (who usually hosts the 9-11 a.m. WHO Radio talk show) and Doug Wagner (who hosts the WHO morning show out of Cedar Rapids).

Several hundred fans wished Conway well in the comments section under his Facebook video.

Nov 02, 2017

Eric Denis dead: Wrestler dies after suffering heart attack in the ring

The 40-year-old father of six was taking part in a charity fight in Montreal, Canada when he suddenly collapsed Wrestler Eric Denis has died after suffering a suspected heart attack wh...

The 40-year-old father of six was taking part in a charity fight in Montreal, Canada when he suddenly collapsed

Wrestler Eric Denis has died after suffering a suspected heart attack while competing.

The 40-year-old father of six was taking part in a charity fight in Montreal, Canada when he collapsed.

First aiders reportedly attempted to resuscitate Denis, but he was pronounced dead upon his arrival at hospital.

He had been involved in wrestling for more than 20 years.

The fight, organised by the ICW fighting federation was to raise money for sufferers of Crohn’s disease.

Danny Kidman, coordinator of the ICW wrestling, described his death as “terrible”, Canadian news outlet TVA Nouvelles reports.

Mr Kidman said Denis was “extremely talented” and a “super father”.

He added: “Despite the alarming and tragic situation, the whole situation was under control.

“We were extremely fortunate to have qualified staff for a situation like that.”

Wrestlers will lead tributes to Denis on Saturday night at another ICW fight gala.

Oct 11, 2017

Tom Petty seriously ill in hospital after suspected heart attack

US singer Tom Petty is seriously ill in hospital after a suspected heart attack, according to reports. The singer-songwriter was reportedly rushed to the UCLA Santa Monica hospital...

Tom Petty, performing in January 2016.

US singer Tom Petty is seriously ill in hospital after a suspected heart attack, according to reports.

The singer-songwriter was reportedly rushed to the UCLA Santa Monica hospital on Monday after being found unconscious in his Malibu home. 

The musician gained fame as part of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in the late 1970s, a band that was seen as integral to the heartland rock movement. Their biggest hits included I Won’t Back Down and American Girl.

Petty was originally part of country rock band Mudcrutch who gained regional popularity but didn’t attract a mainstream audience. They later reformed in 2007 but originally split after Petty and other members joined the Heartbreakers. In 1977 the band gained success with the song Breakdown but it was their second album You’re Gonna Get It! that became a top 40 hit.

Throughout the 80s, the band enjoyed major hits including You Got Lucky and Change of Heart and collaborated with Bob Dylan as well as Stevie Nicks. Petty continued to work with Dylan as part of the band Traveling Wilburys alongside Roy Orbison, George Harrison and Jeff Lynne.

“It’s shocking, crushing news,” Bob Dylan told Rolling Stone in an earlier statement. “I thought the world of Tom. He was great performer, full of the light, a friend, and I’ll never forget him.”

 

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in 2002.

 Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in 2002. 

Petty also enjoyed solo success but always returned back to the Heartbreakers, releasing their final album in 2014. “I don’t see that I have anything to offer as a solo artist that I couldn’t do within the group better,” he told the Sun. “We get along so well it’s embarrassing really. It’s a love fest!”

The band had been on a 40th anniversary tour since April that finished last week at the Hollywood Bowl. In an interview with Rolling Stone last December, he suggested it would probably be his last.

“We’re all on the backside of our 60s,” he said. “I have a granddaughter now I’d like to see as much as I can. I don’t want to spend my life on the road. This tour will take me away for four months. With a little kid, that’s a lot of time.”

Petty has also been outspoken in his protection of the rights of artists, taking issue with record companies on a number of occasions over what he believed to be unjust practices. Earlier this year he was named MusiCares person of the year for his “career-long interest in defending artists’ rights” as well as for his charitable work with the homeless population of Los Angeles.

 

Oct 03, 2017

Reducing inflammation without lowering cholesterol cuts risk of cardiovascular events

Inflammatory hypothesis confirmed: Landmark randomized clinical trial of high-risk patients finds that a drug targeting inflammation reduced risk of major adverse cardiovascular events. Investig...

Inflammatory hypothesis confirmed: Landmark randomized clinical trial of high-risk patients finds that a drug targeting inflammation reduced risk of major adverse cardiovascular events.

Investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital today announced results of a clinical trial culminating from 25 years of cardiovascular research work. At the European Society of Cardiology meeting and in a paper published simultaneously in the New England Journal of Medicine, Paul M. Ridker, MD, director of the Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention at BWH, and colleagues presented findings from CANTOS (Canakinumab Anti-inflammatory Thrombosis Outcomes Study), a trial designed to test whether reducing inflammation among people who have had a prior heart attack can reduce risk of another cardiovascular event in the future. The team reports a significant reduction in risk of recurrent heart attacks, strokes and cardiovascular death among participants who received a targeted anti-inflammatory drug that lowered inflammation but had no effects on cholesterol.

"These findings represent the end game of more than two decades of research, stemming from a critical observation: Half of heart attacks occur in people who do not have high cholesterol," said Ridker. "For the first time, we've been able to definitively show that lowering inflammation independent of cholesterol reduces cardiovascular risk. This has far-reaching implications. It tells us that by leveraging an entirely new way to treat patients -- targeting inflammation -- we may be able to significantly improve outcomes for certain very high-risk populations."

CANTOS, designed by Ridker and his colleagues, is sponsored by Novartis Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of the drug canakinumab, which targets inflammation. The research team enrolled more than 10,000 patients who previously had a heart attack and had persistent, elevated levels of high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), a marker of inflammation. All patients in the trial received aggressive standard care, which included high doses of cholesterol-lowering statins. In addition, participants were randomized to receive 50, 150 or 300 mg of canakinumab (or a placebo for the control group), administered subcutaneously once every three months. Patients were followed for up to four years.

The team reports a 15 percent reduction in risk of a cardiovascular event -- including fatal or non-fatal heart attacks and strokes -- for patients who received either the 150- or 300-mg dose of canakinumab. They also saw a 17 percent reduction in a composite endpoint that further included hospitalization for unstable angina requiring urgent cardiovascular procedures. The need for expensive interventional procedures, such as bypass surgery and angioplasty, was cut by more than 30 percent in the trial. Importantly, these reductions are above and beyond the reduction in risk seen after taking statins alone. No effect was observed for the lower 50-mg dose.

In the general population, about 25 percent of heart attack survivors will have another cardiovascular event within five years, despite taking statins or other medications.

The drug used in this study -- canakinumab -- is a human monoclonal antibody that neutralizes interleukin-1?. Interleukin-1 is a pro-inflammatory cytokine that, if overexpressed, results in increased inflammation throughout the body as well as increased levels of hsCRP. Overall, the drug was found to be safe in the CANTOS population, but the researchers did note an increase in fatal infection among approximately one in every 1,000 patients treated. On the other hand, cancer deaths were cut in half by canakinumab such that there was a non-significant reduction in death from any cause.

As Ridker will present in his address to the ESC, CANTOS participants who achieved greater-than-average reductions in hsCRP with canakinumab experienced the largest clinical benefit, a nearly 30 percent reduction in the risk of a recurrent heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular death. These data suggest that it will be possible to target canakinumab to those in greatest need and, simultaneously, reduce toxicity for others.

"CANTOS represents a milestone in a long journey implicating interleukin-1 in cardiovascular disease," said Peter Libby, MD, also of Brigham and Women's Hospital. "The results not only establish the role of innate immunity in human atherosclerosis and make actionable decades of research, but they also usher in a new era of therapeutics."

Ridker is also serving as a principal investigator for CIRT (Cardiovascular Inflammation Reduction Trial, sponsored by the NHLBI), an ongoing clinical trial testing the effectiveness of low-dose methotrexate in cardiovascular disease. In contrast to canakinumab, low-dose methotrexate is a generic, inexpensive drug commonly used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Results of CIRT are expected in two to three years.

"These clinical trial results build upon decades of basic and translational science that has provided mechanistic insights into the key role that inflammation plays in clinical events such as heart attacks and strokes," said Gary H. Gibbons, MD, director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). "Although this trial provides compelling evidence that targeting inflammation has efficacy in preventing recurrent cardiovascular events, we look forward to findings from additional trials, such as the NHLBI-funded Cardiovascular Inflammation Reduction Trial, to further refine the best therapeutic strategies for preventing cardiovascular disease."

In the future, the research team hopes to study patients with sudden plaque ruptures and to look at additional biological agents that take aim at inflammatory pathways. "Cardiologists will need to learn about inflammation today, the same way we learned about cholesterol 30 years ago," said Ridker. "CANTOS is a demonstration of how personalized medicine will occur in the future, as we now need to distinguish those heart disease patients who have 'residual cholesterol risk' from those who have 'residual inflammatory risk.' These two groups will require different interventions."

Previous studies by Ridker and colleagues helped build the case that hsCRP is both a marker of inflammation and a predictor of heart attack risk. After making initial observations in the Brigham-led Physicians Health Study and Women's Health Study, Ridker and colleagues continued to unearth evidence of a connection between higher hsCRP levels and greater risk of atherothrombosis through a series of additional Brigham-led clinical trials, including Cholesterol and Recurrent Events (CARE), PRINCE, LANCET, PROVE IT -- TIMI 22 and JUPITER. The compelling evidence from these previous trials led to the development of the Reynolds Risk Score, which, in addition to the traditional risk factors of age, gender, cholesterol, blood pressure and smoking, also includes hsCRP levels. Elective hsCRP testing is currently part of most international prevention guidelines for cardiovascular risk detection in primary prevention. The current data may extend this concept to patients who have had a heart attack or stroke in the past.

"In my lifetime, I've gotten to see three broad eras of preventative cardiology. In the first, we recognized the importance of diet, exercise and smoking cessation. In the second, we saw the tremendous value of lipid-lowering drugs such as statins. Now, we're cracking the door open on the third era," said Ridker. "This is very exciting."

CANTOS was proposed and designed by investigators in the Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention at BWH, in collaboration with Novartis. In addition to Drs. Ridker and Libby, other Brigham and Women's Hospital researchers who contributed critically to this work include Jean MacFadyen, BA; Brendan M. Everett, MD; and Robert J. Glynn, ScD. Ridker and Glynn received financial support for clinical research from Novartis to conduct the CANTOS. Ridker has served as a consultant to Novartis and is listed as a co-inventor on patents held by BWH that relate to the use of inflammatory biomarkers in cardiovascular disease and diabetes that have been licensed to AstraZeneca and Siemens.

Sep 25, 2017

Former Lima News editor, publisher Tom Mullen died Saturday of a heart attack

LIMA — Thomas Joseph Mullen started working at The Lima News when typewriters, box cameras and Linotype machines brought the news to tens of thousands of people in the region. He retired 4...

LIMA — Thomas Joseph Mullen started working at The Lima News when typewriters, box cameras and Linotype machines brought the news to tens of thousands of people in the region.

He retired 46 years later in 2004 when the Internet made delivery of a hometown newspaper possible to almost anyone, anywhere in the world.

In between, Mullen fell in love and married a copy girl, became an editor and later a publisher — and was always a fierce advocate of freedom of the press and transparency in government.

Mullen died Saturday of a heart attack at his home in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He was 77.

“He loved the newspaper business … probably worked too much, but isn’t that true of all newspaper people,” said his wife of 55 years, Margaret Vicky Vastano Mullen, who, like her husband, was a Lima native.

Mullen got an itch for the newspaper business as a paper boy for The Lima News. He once joked with reporters that being a carrier was the most important job he held.

“You can write a Pulitzer, but if it ends up in a mud puddle or behind a bush, it really doesn’t matter,” he told them.

Mullen spent his career working for Freedom Communications and was the victor of two newspaper wars.

He became a reporter at The Lima News at age 19. Five years later, in 1964, he was named editor, or as people said at the time, “the boy editor.” With Mullen guiding the newsroom, The Lima News defeated two daily competitors and emerged as the area’s only daily newspaper.

Mullen left Lima in 1981 to become editor of the Gazette Telegraph in Colorado Springs. Under his leadership, The Gazette built a reputation for extraordinary journalism, including earning a Pulitzer Prize for feature writing in 1990, and ended a 39-year fight with its competitor.

In 1991, Mullen returned to Lima as its publisher.

“When he came back, I think those were the best years The Lima News had,” said Mike Lackey, a retired longtime columnists who spent 36 years with the newspaper. “Tom made some tough decisions, tough changes at the paper. He expected a lot from you, but I enjoyed working for him. He brought such great enthusiasm to the paper.”

Freedom Communications also noticed that, and in 2000, honored Mullen with the R.C. Hoiles award — named after the founder of the company — and returned him to Colorado Springs as its publisher.

It was a tremendous journey for a man who’s only degree came as a 1957 graduate of Lima Senior High School.

“Tom learned the business by wearing out a lot of shoe leather. He didn’t have a college degree, but he had a tremendous drive,” Lackey said.

In October 2004, at age 65, Mullen retired, but never lost his love for reading newspapers. At one time he had four newspapers delivered to his home, said Vicky Mullen. He read others on his computer.

In both Lima and Colorado Springs, Mullen held community leadership positions. In Lima, he helped with formation of the Allen Economic Development Group, served on the board of Huntington National Bank, and worked with Allen-Lima Leadership, Lima Rotary Club and St. Charles Parish. He also was a key organizer of the city’s free Star Spangled Spectacular, the Fourth of July fête started in 1992 in Faurot Park. He was instrumental in formation of The Visionaries, a public-private development group; and the annual Empty Stocking Fund, which has now raised more than $700,000 to help needy families each Christmas season.

Lackey recalled Mullen’s efforts, along with those of Editor Ray Sullivan, in working with Lima Mayor David Berger to keep the Lima Refinery from closing in 1998.

“Tom did so much behind the scenes,” Lackey said. “You don’t see too many people in this business spending as many years in their hometown as Tom did. He truly loved this community.”

Besides Vicky, Mullen is survived by two daughters, Molly (Michael) McKanna, of Denver, and Shelly (Scott) Chamberlain, of Austin, Texas; a brother, Jack (Jerri) Mullen, of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; and five grandchildren.

 

Sep 13, 2017

Former ironman champion Dean Mercer dies of heart attack on Gold Coast

The 47-year-old father-of-four’s car came off the road and into a fence at Mermaid Waters early on Monday morning   Monday 28 August 2017  Ironman champion Dean Merce...

The 47-year-old father-of-four’s car came off the road and into a fence at Mermaid Waters early on Monday morning

 

Former ironman champion Dean Mercer has died after suffering a suspected heart attack.


Monday 28 August 2017 

Ironman champion Dean Mercer has been remembered as an “amazing husband and loving father” after his death from a heart attack on the Gold Coast.

Mercer, 47, died after suffering a heart attack while driving his car in Mermaid Waters around 7am on Monday.

He crashed into a fence on Markeri Street and received treatment from paramedics, but was declared dead hours later at Gold Coast University hospital.

The two-time Australian Ironman champion, who had a 40-year career in surf lifesaving, is survived by wife Reen, a former champion ironwoman, and their four sons: Brayden,13, Rory,11, Lachlan, 9, and Joshua, 6.

In a statement, the Mercer family said: “Dean had been returning home from his regular earlier morning training session with a masters group at Kurrawa surf club – where he is the director of surf sports.

“He was to call in and buy groceries for the family when he suffered a cardiac arrest at the wheel of his car and crashed into a fence on Markeri Street, Mermaid Waters ... Reen, surrounded by close friends has had to tell her boys of the shocking news. You can only imagine the grief surrounding the Mercer family at this time ...

“Dean was an amazing husband and loving father who loved nothing more than sharing his and Reen’s love of life and love of the surf,” the statement reads.

“No surf was too big and no opponent too tall as he tackled the biggest and best in the business from his early days in Austinmer and Thirroul before making his move to Maroochydore and Mooloolaba and then to Northcliffe and finally to Kurrawa.

“He will go down in history as one of Australia’s greatest ironmen who represented both NSW and Queensland and wore the green and gold of Australia.”

Dean and older brother Darren were elite surf lifesaving competitors from the 1980s through to the 2000s.

Mercer’s niece Jordan is the current national ironwoman surf series champion.

Mercer also finished second once and third twice in the Coolangatta Gold, a race he tried to win in his 40s.

Olympian and former ironman Ky Hurst led the tributes to his competitor from the surf lifesaving community.

“Heavy heart today losing one of the greatest athletes of all time,” Hurst posted on Instagram.

“Dean was someone I raced most of my career. I looked up to him as an athlete and as a friend.

“He was the perfect role model in every way. My love goes out to the Mercer family.”

Mercer, originally from Thirroul on the NSW south coast was awarded an OAM for services to life saving as well as being inducted into the Sport NSW Hall of Fame.

He won his first Australian Ironman title in 1989, adding a second in 1995.

 

Sep 07, 2017

A New Drug Lowers Risk of Heart Attack and Cancer

It turns out that cholesterol isn’t the only thing you have to worry about to keep your heart healthy. In recent years, doctors have started to focus on inflammation — the sam...

It turns out that cholesterol isn’t the only thing you have to worry about to keep your heart healthy. In recent years, doctors have started to focus on inflammation — the same process that makes cuts red and painful — as an important contributor to a heart attack. It’s the reason doctors recommend low-dose aspirin to prevent recurrent heart attacks in people who have already had them, why they also prescribe statins, which lower both cholesterol and inflammation, and why they have started to measure inflammation levels in the blood.

But it’s never been clear exactly how much inflammation adds to heart disease risk. Since statins lower both, it’s hard to tell whether inflammation or cholesterol has the bigger impact on heart problems.

But in a new paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine and presented at the European Society of Cardiology meeting, scientists say they now have proof that lowering inflammation alone, without affecting cholesterol, also reduces the risk of a heart attack.

In the study, 10,000 people who have already had a heart attack were randomly assigned to get injected with a placebo or different doses of a drug called canakinumab. Canakinumab, made by Novartis, is currently approved to treat rare immune-related conditions and works to reduce inflammation but does not affect cholesterol levels. After four years, the people who received the drug had a 15% lower chance of having a heart attack or stroke compared to people who didn’t get the drug. The medication also reduced the need for angioplasty or bypass surgery by 30%.

“Even I am pinching myself,” says Dr. Paul Ridker, who led the study and is director of the center for cardiovascular disease prevention at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and is a pioneer in exposing the role inflammation plays in heart disease. “This outcome is more than we hoped for. The bottom line is we now have clear evidence that lowering inflammation through this pathway lowers rates of heart attack and stroke with no change at all in cholesterol.”

About a quarter of people who have heart attacks will have another heart event even if they keep their cholesterol at recommended levels. For them, it may not be cholesterol so much as inflammation that is driving their heart disease. So the study further solidifies the fact that heart doctors should be measure inflammation as well as cholesterol in their heart patients. An inexpensive blood test that looks for a protein that rises in the blood with inflammation, called C-reactive protein (CRP), can tell doctors how much inflammation their patients have. Beginning in 2003, the American Heart Association started to provide guidelines on how doctors should use CRP testing; for patients like those in the current trial, the group did not see any additional benefit to CRP testing since those patients should already be treated with statins, which can lower both cholesterol and inflammation.

But with the new results, those guidelines may change. Ridker says the findings should clarify how doctors can optimize the way they treat their heart patients — about half of people who have had a heart attack tend to have high levels of inflammatory factors, while half have high cholesterol levels. The inexpensive CRP test could identify those with higher inflammation, who might be candidates for taking a drug like canakinumab.

The drug is not currently approved for any heart conditions, but Novartis will likely look at doing more studies to confirm its effectiveness in treating heart disease.

Perhaps more intriguing are additional results that Ridker reported, related to cancer. In a separate study published in the Lancet using data from the same study, he found that people taking canakinumab lowered their risk of dying from any cancer over four years by 50%, and their risk of fatal lung cancer by 75%.

While the connection between heart disease and cancer may not seem obvious, Ridker says that many people who have had heart problems, like those in the study, are former or current smokers, since smoking is a risk factor for heart attacks. And smoking increases inflammation. “People who smoke a pack of cigarettes a day are chronically inflaming their lungs,” he says. That’s why he decided to look at cancer deaths as well as heart events in his study population.

The cancer data is still preliminary, and needs to be confirmed with additional studies, but it’s encouraging, says Dr. Otis Bradley, chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society, who was not involved in the study. “We know that free oxygen radicals and inflammation can damage DNA and can cause cancer,” he says. “This all makes sense to me.” Studies have already shown, for example, that inflammation may be a factor in prostate cancer and colon cancer.

But whether anti-inflammatory agents, like canakinumab, or even over-the-counter drugs like aspirin, should be part of standard cancer treatment isn't clear yet. There are a number of different inflammatory pathways, and canakinumab targets just one. Other pathways, along with new anti-inflammatory drugs, may emerge with more research.

When it comes to heart disease, however, it’s clear that inflammation-fighting medications like canakinumb may represent the next generation of treatment. “Ten years from now we will be doing more personalized medicine,” says Ridker. “Some people will get more cholesterol lowering. Some will get more inflammation-lowering drugs. Some will get other agents that we haven’t considered yet. It’s a wonderful new era in heart disease treatment."

Aug 28, 2017

Smoker at 17, cancer patient at 24

  KUALA LUMPUR - Muhammad Faid started smoking at age 17 and smoked five sticks a day with his friends. He is now 24 and is one of the youngest patients to have been diagnosed with ora...
 

KUALA LUMPUR - Muhammad Faid started smoking at age 17 and smoked five sticks a day with his friends. He is now 24 and is one of the youngest patients to have been diagnosed with oral cancer.

He is now undergoing chemotherapy at Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL). Although the cause of the cancer was not known, doctors say most oral cavity cancer (or oral cancer) patients they see are smokers.

 

Muhammad Faid, a third-year university student in education, said he first had an ulcer on the left side of his tongue but did not pay attention to it as it was painless.

His mother, who only wanted to be known as Anita, 52, said the wound which appeared early last year did not go away. In November, a biopsy found it to be cancerous.

Between November and May, he suffered bleeding four times and there was a cavity in the tongue, she said.

The cancer was in Stage I and II in February but by May, it was Stage III and doctors had to remove three-quarters of his tongue on May 17, she said.

Doctors had to reconstruct his tongue with a skin graft from his thigh and Muhammad Faid can now speak a little. He cannot eat yet and feeding is done through a tube while a hole has been made in his trachea (windpipe) for him to breathe.

Another patient, who declined to be named, said she first discovered a tiny lump inside her cheek in March.

"It was like a small pimple but by May it grew big and went through the skin of my right cheek. It grew very fast," said the 60-year-old housewife from Johor who was diagnosed with Stage IV oral cancer.

She said she was not aware that chewing betel nut increased cancer risk.

"I have been chewing betel nut every day since I was 13. My mother, who is 83 years old, chewed betel nut all her life but she was fine.

"I have advised my mother and older sisters to stop chewing betel nut. No one should get this kind of sickness," said the woman, who has a raw wound the size of a small doughnut on her cheek.

Aug 21, 2017

Driver dies after suffering a heart attack on Pune-Mumbai expressway

A 45-year-old man suffered a heart attack and died on the Pune-Mumbai expressway on Saturday afternoon. Tanaji Khade was driving his employer from Mumbai towards Pune on Saturday morning when the i...

A 45-year-old man suffered a heart attack and died on the Pune-Mumbai expressway on Saturday afternoon. Tanaji Khade was driving his employer from Mumbai towards Pune on Saturday morning when the incident happened, according to the police. Khade was a resident of Mumbai, the police said.

The man had pulled over on the ascend and pulled the hand break for good measure, the police said. This act saved a number of possible accidents that could have occurred had Khade either stopped in the middle of the road or lost control of his vehicle. 

Khade was found by the police patrol, who called the control room and asked for an ambulance. The paramedics checked his condition to learn that he had suffered a heart attack. He was rushed to a general hospital in Khopoli, according to the police. However, he could not be saved as he was declared dead on arrival.

A driver by profession, he was driving his employer, who was the owner of the car, towards Goa through Pune, said the police. The Khopoli police, however, refused to share further information about the incident.

Aug 14, 2017

Heart Disease kills one person in China every 10 seconds

The leading cause of death in the United States, cardiovascular disease is also the No. 1 cause of death in China, where it kills 3 million people every year — one death every 10 seconds. ...

The leading cause of death in the United States, cardiovascular disease is also the No. 1 cause of death in China, where it kills 3 million people every year — one death every 10 seconds.

By comparison, the United States averages one death from cardiovascular disease every 39 seconds — a statistic based on CDC data from 2007.
Dayi Hu, MD, president of the Chinese Society of Cardiology (CSC), spoke about China’s cardiovascular problem.

Cardiovascular disease, also called heart disease, covers all heart and blood vessel diseases — including heart attack and stroke (often caused by atherosclerosis), heart failure, arrhythmias, and heart valve problems.

While preventing heart disease is a major goal in the United States, that’s not the case in China. “Prevention has not been a priority in China because for the last 20 to 30 years, the medical system has been mainly treating the late stages of heart disease,” Dr. Hu said in an ESC release. “The number of patients treated with stents has increased dramatically.” Heart stent surgery is performed on patients whose arteries are already blocked and clogged with plaque. A stent is designed to prop up the artery, allowing blood to flow through more freely.

Reversing Unhealthy Lifestyles

In addition to lack of a prevention and education about heart disease, lifestyle changes brought on by more than three decades of increasing industrialization have put the Chinese population at high risk for heart problems. They include high rates of smoking, high sodium intake, and high blood pressure.

A February 2012 Gallup poll found that roughly 320 million Chinese adults smoke , including more than half of Chinese men. Doctors too, Hu says. “Half of male physicians are smokers and one-third of Chinese male cardiologists are smokers, so it’s a real problem,” he said in the ESC release.

Hu also argues the country needs better nutrition guidelines and education to encourage people to eat less salt, and watch their blood pressure and their weight. The change, he believes, must start with doctors.

“I think a healthy China has to be started from the healthy physician,” he said. “Physicians and cardiologists need to quit smoking, eat healthily, exercise and control their body weight so that they can be a good example for patients and the public. … I believe that if there is no healthy physician there will be no healthy China.”

Chinese physicians might want to take a hint from doctors in the United States. A Gallup poll released last week found U.S. physicians are in better health than other members of the work force — including nurses. Far fewer U.S. doctors light up, for example. Less than 5 percent of the physicians in the Gallup poll reported being smokers.

Jun 22, 2016