Long Island Heart Associates » Cardiovascular Research http://www.liheart.org Long Island Heart Associates Wed, 09 Dec 2015 17:34:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.16 Preventing Sudden Cardiac Arrest in Children http://www.liheart.org/sudden-cardiac-arrest-children/ http://www.liheart.org/sudden-cardiac-arrest-children/#comments Fri, 18 Mar 2011 21:55:04 +0000 http://www.liheart.org/?p=1003 A new study released by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is suggesting that a simple and inexpensive screening can potentially identify children who are at risk for serious heart issues. While relatively uncommon, sudden cardiac arrest is attributed to anywhere from 100 to 1,000 or more childhood deaths each year. This condition is caused by structural or electrical abnormalities, which often show no symptoms and are rarely diagnosed.

However, scientists now say that a 10-minute electrocardiogram (EKG) screening can detect these otherwise silent killers. Currently, guidelines from the American Heart Association recommend the screening only for competitive athletes, not the general public. In other countries like Italy and Japan, health screenings are mandatory for all athletes and schoolchildren. Researchers there found that adding an EKG to their exam process increased the likelihood of discovering children at risk for sudden cardiac arrest.

In the study, researchers screened 400 healthy subjects aged 5-19 using a medical history questionnaire, a physical examination and an EKG. During the screening, researchers found 23 subjects with undiagnosed cardiac abnormalities, ten of which were considered potentially serious. Another 20 subjects showed signs of hypertension. None of the people diagnosed with cardiac issues had a family history of sudden cardiac arrest, and almost none of them had exhibited symptoms.

While scientists aren’t quite ready to recommend that every child in the country go out and get screened, they are looking to find ways to implement this potentially life-saving test on a broader scale. Even though sudden cardiac arrest cannot always be detected or diagnosed, there are some simple steps parents can take to ensure their child is safe at home and school:

  • Make sure your child’s doctor is fully aware of any family history of heart conditions. Having a complete family history is often the first line of defense doctors use to predict underlying conditions.
  • Carefully monitor any and all symptoms. Often times, symptoms of sudden cardiac arrest seem harmless and can be dismissed by doctors or attributed to lesser conditions. If your child exhibits fatigue, chest pain, heart palpitations, fainting or shortness of breath, contact a doctor immediately.
  • Contact your child’s school or care facility and make sure that they have an automatic external defibrillator (AED) on the premises. When a child goes into sudden cardiac arrest, the first few minutes are vital, and medical responders often don’t arrive in time.  While a few states are now requiring schools to have an AED, it is more often left up to the school system to decide whether or not they have one available.

If you have a family history of severe heart conditions, or want to learn more about how to detect and prevent sudden cardiac arrest, contact a cardiologist.

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Cardiovascular Disease Correlates with Memory Loss http://www.liheart.org/cardiovascular-disease-correlates-with-memory-loss/ http://www.liheart.org/cardiovascular-disease-correlates-with-memory-loss/#comments Thu, 24 Feb 2011 20:30:32 +0000 http://www.liheart.org/?p=662 Contemporary research has shown that there is an increasing correlation between cardiovascular risk factors and brain functionality. In a study conducted in France over a ten-year period, patients were tested on brain function including memory, reasoning, vocabulary and fluency.

Participants in the study were assessed and given a Framingham risk score, which predicts one’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease in the future. This score takes into account a variety of factors, including cholesterol level, age, blood pressure, smoking habits, and history of diabetes. They were then given memory tests, which they took 3 times during the 10-year study.

Over the course of ten years, patients with higher cardiovascular risk experienced a decrease in their level of brain function. A 10% increase in cardiovascular risk, as measured by the Framingham risk score, was associated with lower scores on the memory test—2.8% lower for men and 7.1% lower for women. Those with high cardiovascular risk also experienced, on average, a more rapid decline in cognitive function.

The results of this study come as no surprise to most health professionals. Many heart doctors have noted that cognitive decline and heart disease share many of the same risk factors, including smoking, hypertension and high cholesterol.

“As a cardiologist, it is my job to educate my patients on the risks of cardiovascular disease and the benefits to living a healthy lifestyle,” stated Dr. Steven Shayani, director of Long Island Heart Associates. “The increases in cardiac risk can decrease the blood flow to the brain and affect cognitive and overall mental capabilities.”

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Binge Drinking Doubles Risk of Heart Disease http://www.liheart.org/binge-drinking-heart-disease/ http://www.liheart.org/binge-drinking-heart-disease/#comments Wed, 24 Nov 2010 23:25:19 +0000 http://www.liheart.org/?p=453 Numerous studies have shown that a moderate amount of alcohol consumption can be beneficial to heart health. But how much is too much? A study published in the British Medical Journal earlier this week suggests that frequent binge drinking can nearly double the risk of heart attack or dying from heart disease.

The study compared the drinking patterns of healthy, middle-aged men in Belfast, Northern Ireland with those in various regions throughout France. While the two groups were found to drink roughly the same volume of alcohol per week, the researchers observed that the men in Belfast tended to do the majority of their drinking on the weekend, whereas the French spread their alcohol consumption more evenly throughout the week.

Led by Dr. Jean-Bernard Ruidavets from Toulouse University, the researchers followed a little under 10,000 men between the ages of 50 and 59 for a total of ten years. What they found was that the men who binge drink frequently (meaning roughly 4-5 drinks in one day, with one drink being equal to about half a pint of beer) had almost twice the risk of heart attack and death by heart disease compared to the men who drank a moderate amount of alcohol on a regular basis. The researchers believe this may explain why heart disease is so much more prevalent in Belfast than in France, despite similar overall alcohol consumption levels.

So, how is it that a little bit of alcohol can be beneficial, but a lot can be deadly? It is believed that moderate alcohol consumption can protect against heart disease by reducing plaque in the arteries, raising good cholesterol and reducing the risk of blood clots. All of these can reduce the risk of heart attack and heart disease. However, alcohol is still a toxic substance, and drinking too much alcohol in one day can be harmful. Doing so consistently over long periods of time can lead to high blood pressure, stroke, congestive heart failure and high triglyceride levels—all of which actually increase the risk of heart attack!

How much is “too much” can vary from person to person, depending on gender, size, age and other factors. The best way to avoid the negative consequences of alcohol is to avoid it altogether! Any heart doctor will tell you that, while alcohol consumption is fine in moderation and may even reduce the risk of heart disease, it is still far safer and more effective to simply eat right and get regular exercise!

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The New York Heart Research Foundation is Selected to be a Class Focus at Hofstra University http://www.liheart.org/ny-heart-research-foundation-selected-as-focus/ http://www.liheart.org/ny-heart-research-foundation-selected-as-focus/#comments Mon, 28 Jun 2010 14:55:34 +0000 http://liheart.org/main_site/?p=15 Read More >>]]> The New York Heart Research Foundation (NYHRF) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the development of diagnostic and treatment options for cardiovascular disease. The NYHRF is determined to achieve the following goals:

  1. To expand the sphere of broad base knowledge regarding the latest diagnostic and treatment options available for cardiovascular disease. NYHRF aims to include those areas of the population that would not normally have access to such options.
  2. To assure that physicians who have a major interest in research regarding the treatment of cardiovascular disease have available funding to assure their contribution to the cause stated above.
  3. To engage in clinical trials with new drug treatment options to assure quality of life for those individuals who have clinical signs of cardiovascular disease.
  4. To work closely with pharmaceutical manufacturers to develop new treatment options and to educate the general population to their benefits and availability.
  5. To share knowledge and publish findings of clinical studies with physicians and researchers throughout the United States and abroad.
  6. To make training research available to physicians in underdeveloped countries and to follow their progress in treating patients in their homelands.
  7. To provide lifestyle education at the earliest level possible to insure cardiovascular health.
  8. To support community service programs that will provide diagnostic testing and counseling.

Each spring semester at Hofstra University, the public relations seniors’ class selects a nonprofit organization as their key project. THis semester, the New York Heart Research Foundation has been chosen and recognized as a leading nonprofit organization.

To learn more about the New York Heart Research Foundation and its clinical trials, please call: (516) 739-4982 or visit www.NYHRF.com.

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