home
RSS
Angioplasty unnecessary in some cases, study finds
July 5th, 2011
06:14 PM ET

Angioplasty unnecessary in some cases, study finds

Half of all procedures done to widen arteries in non-emergency situations may be unnecessary, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association on Tuesday.

A percutaneous coronary intervention, also called PCI or angioplasty, is a procedure to widen a blocked or partially blocked artery. It’s often performed on patients suffering a heart attack, or an acute attack of angina. It’s also done on some patients with non-acute heart disease – partial blockages of one or more coronary arteries.

Researchers from several major heart centers analyzed more than half a million PCIs performed in the years 2009 and 2010, at more than a thousand hospitals. Of those done in acute situations, nearly all – more than 98% – were deemed “appropriate,” according to the study.  However, many PCIs in non-emergency situations were not recommended under guidelines developed by a leading group of heart experts.  Among non-acute cases, 50% were deemed “appropriate,” 38% “uncertain” and 12% “inappropriate,” according to the study.  Most of the inappropriate procedures were done on patients with low-risk heart conditions.

FULL POST


Colon cancer screening saves lives, but more need to do it
July 5th, 2011
05:21 PM ET

Colon cancer screening saves lives, but more need to do it

Fewer people are being diagnosed with colorectal cancer according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  It shows that the number of cases slipped 3.4% from 2003 to 2007, an annual decrease of about 66,000.  The number of people dying from colorectal cancer also is declining - by 3% a year, the study finds.

CDC director Dr. Thomas Frieden calls this “significant progress."

“This is good news. We now understand that colon cancer screening can save your life, and more and more Americans are taking advantage of it.”

The report attributes half of the lives saved to an increase in screening (primarily by colonoscopy) and about one-third (35%) to people reducing their risk factors by losing weight and kicking the smoking habit, for instance.

FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: Cancer • CDC • Men's Health • Women's Health

Athletes, please, eat the pasta!
July 5th, 2011
02:46 PM ET

Athletes, please, eat the pasta!

Joe Bastianich is a restaurateur, winemaker, author and a judge on the  FOX series "MasterChef." An avid runner, Joe has competed in numerous marathons and triathlons and will be tackling his first full Ironman in Kona this October.  With that experience in these two worlds, he offers  our Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge community his thoughts on having satisfying meals while training.

Photo Credit: Greg Gayne

Whether you are already athletic and looking to up your game with a triathlon, or are just beginning your journey on the road to getting fit, what you put in your body plays a big role in the performance you’ll get out of it.

We’ve been taught to think of food – especially carbs – as our enemy, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. Food is what fuels our bodies, allowing us to physically push ourselves to reach our own potential for fitness and athleticism. But when we think about a diet to match a healthy active lifestyle, too often we mistakenly buy into the old adage that getting in shape means resigning to a bland and unsatisfying diet of meager proportions. For someone who’s spent their entire life in some of the best Italian restaurants in the country, bland, meager, and unsatisfying just isn’t going to cut it.

Food and wine became a passion of mine early on- a passion I was not eager to give up when I first took up running. What I quickly and thankfully learned is that I didn’t have to- and neither do you!

Eating healthy doesn’t mean giving up satisfying and savory meals.

FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: 2011 Triathlon Challenge • Nutrition

July 5th, 2011
01:10 PM ET

Study: Environment plays larger role in autism

Researchers in California suggest environmental factors may play a larger role in triggering autism than was previously thought.  Their study was published Monday in the journal Archives of General Psychiatry.

The study shows a "need to accept that we have to go down the route of environment and genetics " when it comes to studying the causes of autism, says lead author Dr. Joachim Hallmayer. "We have look at both sides of coin."

Scientists at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, using state records, identified 192 pairs of twins in which at least one of the two had some form of autism. Among these sets, there were 54 pairs of identical and 138 pairs of fraternal twins. The Stanford researchers then examined the children for autism themselves, using standard diagnosing tools.
FULL POST


Get Some Sleep: Why do we have REM?
July 5th, 2011
12:58 PM ET

Get Some Sleep: Why do we have REM?

Lisa Shives, M.D., is the founder of Northshore Sleep Medicine in Evanston, Illinois. She blogs on Tuesdays on The Chart. Read more from her at Dr. Lisa Shives’ Sleep Better Blog.

It seems that the public is just as fascinated with REM sleep. So are sleep physicians and researchers. But fascination often leads to confusion and controversy, and a lot of both surround the subject of REM sleep.

First, to give a brief history lesson, it is important to understand that REM, or rapid eye movement sleep, was discovered and described only in 1953, so it makes sense that there is still much to learn.

One key aspect of REM sleep is that all physical characteristics studied to date are different in REM when compared with non-REM. In fact, REM sleep more closely resembles the waking state. That is likely why people are more alert when they are awakened out of REM compared with other sleep stages.

FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: Sleep

July 5th, 2011
11:56 AM ET

Can physical injury cause depression?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Tuesdays, it's Dr. Charles Raison, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University, and an expert in the mind-body connection for health.

Question asked by John H., Georgia

I suffered a pretty serious compound fracture to my ankle last year, followed by an infection, five surgeries, three rounds of IV treatment with PICC lines, hyperbaric oxygen treatment, and now physical therapy and oral antibiotics.

I feel like I've let my family, my company and myself down. I find it hard to concentrate and my limited mobility makes everything worse. I am in constant pain (bone-on-bone in the ankle) and even though the infection is finally gone, I find that an alarming amount of my thoughts are related to doing away with myself. When I was really hurt, I had getting better to look forward to. Now that I am there (sort of) it isn't that much better. Right now my life seems pretty joyless.

Is this typical for a Type A after an injury? Should I be (even more) worried? FULL POST


Get moving: More health risks of sitting reported
July 5th, 2011
11:42 AM ET

Get moving: More health risks of sitting reported

Extensive sitting increases women’s risk of  pulmonary embolism, finds a new study  in the current issue of the British Medical Journal. Women who reported the most inactivity were about twice as likely to experience pulmonary embolism as women reporting the least amount of inactivity.

Extensive immobility, for example being confined to a hospital bed after surgery, has long been a known risk factor for blood clots and pulmonary embolism, or PE, but this study shows that a generally inactive lifestyle increases the risk of PE too.

A pulmonary embolism occurs when a substance, usually a blood clot, travels through the bloodstream and lodges in the main artery leading to the lungs. About one-third of those untreated for their pulmonary embolism die from the condition, according to the Mayo Clinic.

FULL POST


Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

Advertisement
Advertisement