New Study: 4 Best Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy

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Study shows clear benefits of a 1. healthy meals  2.  exercise  3.  maintaining normal weight,  and 4.  not smoking.  

In the study, 6200 men, age 44-88 were followed for almost 8 years.  Those 4 things reduced chance of death 80%. 

First time lifestyle is linked to preventing heart disease.

A large, multi-center study led by Johns Hopkins researchers has found a significant link between lifestyle factors and heart health, adding even more evidence in support of regular exercise, eating a Mediterranean-style meals, keeping a normal weight and, most importantly, not smoking.

The researchers found that adopting those four lifestyle behaviors protected against coronary heart disease as well as the early buildup of calcium deposits in heart arteries, and reduced the chance of death from all causes by 80 percent over an eight-year period. Results of the study, “Low-Risk Lifestyle, Coronary Calcium, Cardiovascular Events, and Mortality: Results from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis,” are described in an online article posted June 3, 2013 by the American Journal of Epidemiology.

“To our knowledge, this is the first study to find a protective association between low-risk lifestyle factors and early signs of vascular disease, coronary heart disease and death, in a single longitudinal evaluation,” says Haitham Ahmed, M.D., M.P.H., the lead author who is an internal medicine resident with the Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease at Johns Hopkins.

“We evaluated data on more than 6,200 men and women, age 44-84, from white, African-American, Hispanic and Chinese backgrounds. All were followed for an average of 7.6 years. Those who adopted all four healthy behaviors had an 80 percent lower death rate over that time period compared to participants with none of the healthy behaviors,” says Ahmed.

Study participants all took part in the ongoing Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA), a prospective examination of the risk factors, prevalence and prevention of cardiovascular disease. MESA participants were recruited from six academic medical centers and did not have a diagnosis of cardiovascular disease when they were enrolled.

All participants had coronary calcium screening using computed tomography (a CT scan) when they were first enrolled in the study to see if there were early signs of calcium deposits in their heart arteries that are known to contribute to heart attack risk. As the study progressed, the researchers also assessed whether the participants had a heart attack, sudden cardiac arrest, chest pain, angioplasty or died due to coronary heart disease or other causes.

The researchers developed a lifestyle score for each of the participants, ranging from 0 (least healthy) to 4 (healthiest), based on their diet, body mass index (BMI), amount of regular moderate-intensity physical activity and smoking status. Only 2 percent, or 129 participants, satisfied all four healthy lifestyle criteria.

“Of all the lifestyle factors, we found that smoking avoidance played the largest role in reducing the risk of coronary heart disease and mortality,” says Roger Blumenthal, M.D., a cardiologist and professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, director of the Ciccarone Center and senior author of the study.

“In fact, smokers who adopted two or more of the healthy behaviors still had lower survival rates after 7.6 years than did nonsmokers who were sedentary and obese.”

Blumenthal, who is also the president of the American Heart Association‘s Maryland affiliate, says the findings “bolster recent recommendations by the American Heart Association, which call for maintaining a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains and fish, keeping a BMI of less than 25, being physically active and not smoking.”

The researchers emphasize that their study shows the importance of healthy lifestyle habits not just for reducing the risk of heart disease, but also for preventing mortality from all causes.

“While there are risk factors that people can’t control, such as their family history and age,” says Ahmed, “these lifestyle measures are things that people can change and consequently make a big difference in their health. That’s why we think this is so important.”

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The study was supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health (grant R01-HL071739 and contracts N01-HC-95159 through N01- 485 HC-95165 and N01-HC-95169).

The other co-investigators were: Michael J. Blaha, Khurram Nasir, Steven R. Jones, Pamela Ouyang and Juan J. Rivera from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Arthur Agatston from South Beach Preventive Cardiology in Miami; Ron Blankstein from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston; Nathan D. Wong from the University of California-Irvine School of Medicine; Susan Lakoski from the University of Vermont College of Medicine in Burlington; Matthew J. Budoff from the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California-Los Angeles; Gregory L. Burke from the Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C.; and Christopher T. Sibley from the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.

For more information on the Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease: http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/heart_vascular_institute/clinical_services/centers_excellence/ciccarone_center.html

Media Contacts:
Ellen Beth Levitt, eblevitt@jhmi.edu, 410-955-5307
Helen Jones, hjones49@jhmi.edu, 410-502-9422

Click on any image to enlarge. 

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“Aspirin can help prevent heart attacks in patients with coronary artery disease and in healthy men over 50 years of age. Only low doses, between 81 and 325 mg a day, are needed. But people who think they may be having an attack need an extra 325 mg of aspirin, and they need it as quickly as possible. For the best results, chew a single full-sized 325-mg tablet, but don’t use an enteric-coated tablet, which will act slowly even if chewed. And don’t forget to call 911, then your doctor. It’s a contemporary update on the old reminder to take two aspirin and call in the morning — and it’s good advice to chew over.” -Harvard Family Health

http://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/updates/update0505a.shtml

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MUST READ!  – DR. OZ  on WHAT YOU SHOULD HAVE IN YOUR BATHROOM TO STOP A HEART ATTACK 

http://blog.doctoroz.com/dr-oz-blog/what-should-you-have-in-the-bathroom-to-stop-a-heart-attack

IF YOU NEED HELP WITH ANY OF THE 4 LIFESTYLE CHANGES, CONTACT US.  REMEMBER:

1.  Eat nutritious meals (veggies, fruits, nuts, fish)

2.  Maintain a healthy normal weight for your height

3.  Exercise daily

4.  Do not smoke or get help quitting

33 Days Remain to Help Hot New App for Diabetes on MEDSTARTR

33 Days left to help Jennifer assist diabetic patients with her new App.

Donate on MedStartr:  http://beta.medstartr.com/projects/19-endogoddess-diabetes-app-clinical-trial-fundraiser

 MEDSTARTR is the new crowdfunding source for hot Health products. YOU get to donate to the best ones.
    

The EndoGoddess App is terrific for diabetics. It’s created by someone who knows what her patients need.

Today, I’m talking to Jennifer Shine Dyer,MD, MPH, a stylish pediatric endocrinologist and tech entrepreneur with Duet Health Eproximiti.  This former Texan now living in Ohio, loves NYC, fashion, politics, and food is also the founder of EndoGoddess, LLC.

Jennifer is a dynamo who created an App called, The EndoGoddess App to help diabetes patients track their glucoselevels. No more self-entry journaling.  Patients use the App upon checking of glucoses with each meal and bedtime or just once daily to enter all of the glucoses for the day. But she makes it fun. It’s a 21st Century Glucose Journal that rewards you with  free iTunes and a whole lot more.

The EndoGoddess App utilizes a unique social business model for iTunes downloads. The revenue for the iTunes downloads comes from the user’s family and friends who sponsor the user which is a social business model unique to the EndoGoddess App.  That’s right.  Your friends and family reward you when you follow doctor’s orders.

Here’s how it works:  The user enters the sponsor’s email address, and a link to the user’s iTunes account is sent to the sponsor who then submits their desired payment into the user’s account. The feature will be live in coming months.

The main behavior focus of the EndoGoddess App: self-entry glucose. But it also has unique personal, social media, and patient community features. Within the app, users can submit daily diabetes-specific motivational quotes which are screened by Jennifer and then featured on the home page of the app.

The EndoGoddess App also allows the user to customize glucose-check reminder alarms so that adherence triggers are personalized, an additional unique feature. Finally, the EndoGoddess App makes sharing glucose results with doctors and family easy by just touching the share button.

Another cool feature is that information about how to get involved in the diabetes online community (moderated twitter chats, blogs, diabetes camp links, charity links) is provided in addition to original multimedia basic diabetes education content.

Anyone with diabetes who is instructed by their doctor to check their blood sugars 4 times per day can use the EndoGoddess App. It’s also for patients who are checking their blood sugars 4 times per day; typically anyone with insulin-dependent type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Moms who are pregnant, checking their blood sugars frequently due to gestational diabetes can also use the EndoGoddess App.

It provides a more modern form of journal for your glucoses than an old-fashioned paper journal, which also has corresponding carb intake and insulin dosing. The journal has a rewards and points feature.

No more paper journals that look like the one pictured here.

In the next month or so, you will be able to download an iTunes song weekly if your points are high enough. You can keep track of your points on the home page currently upon entering glucoses into the app.

The EndoGoddess App got it’s name from a nickname a patient gave her. ‘Endo’ because she’s an endocrinologist and ‘goddess’ because she likes to wear a little bling everyday.

She was inspired to create the App when she started texting teen patients. She then created a texting app, studied the results in a small pilot study (http://mobihealthnews.com/8599/texting-imrpoves-type-1-diabetes-adherence/) amongst her teen patients which proved that mobile phones make life with diabetes healthier.

Jennifer says, “I then developed The EndoGoddess App to improve upon the initial texting app that I first studied. My patients were the ones that really inspired me to take the plunge into medical technology entrepreneurship full-time so as to get the product in their hands faster.”

Diabetes is hard, and often, patients lose motivation to keep up with it. Diabetes is a unique chronic disease in which the decisions most affecting the health and well-being of patients are made by the patients themselves.

This is the critical reason that the EndoGoddess App targets patient/consumer empowerment primarily rather than just the physician’s efforts to make the largest impact on diabetes-related health outcomes, quality, and costs. In other words, making diabetes easier is a big deal and is the primary focus of the EndoGoddess App.

I asked Jennifer how she thought the EndoGoddess App would change healthcare for the better. She said that in order for doctors to prescribe the EndoGoddess App and for health insurance companies to perhaps even pay people with diabetes to use the app, a clinical trial must prove that apps make people with diabetes healthier.

So Jennifer is pursuing funding in a creative way using new healthcare crowdfunding site, MedStartr. Traditional funding for clinical trials typically comes from federal sources such as NIH which requires that researchers be either part of a university or a non-profit organization. Most funding mechanisms exclude small businesses like startups.

Medstartr allows the public to be involved in funding projects that they think are important and in new technology that they would like to see in healthcare. I think that this mechanism for funding will confirm to investors that the EndoGoddess App is a product that patients want and will hopefully result in new ventures to allow further growth and development of new products.

As the future, Jennifer is super excited to announce that work on the EndoGoddess Kids App started on June 25th through the 10x accelator program, a mentorship-driven investment program designed for energetic and game-changing entrepreneurs. 10x has partnered with Ohio’s New Entrepreneurs (ONE) Fund, an innovative business accelerator designed to attract and retain the best and brightest talent in Ohio.

Teams such as the EndoGoddess Team are awarded $20,000 to bring a project to life over a 10-week period culminating in a pitch day presentation to interested investors within the community.

The EndoGoddess Team will be creating the new EndoGoddess Kids App built for young children with type 1 diabetes and their families. The app will include a new rewards and gaming feature similar in concept to the classic Tamagotchi virtual pet (pictured attached above). The virtual pet, which will need to be ‘fed’ by recording glucoses within the app, is expected to encourage engagement in daily diabetes glucose checking by the child based on appointment dynamic game mechanics theory. It should be available for download at the end of September or early October 2012.


The EndoGoddess Kids App virtual pet will include a reincarnation of her sweet golden retriever, Cooper Dyer, who passed away last year due to cancer (picture with me and Cooper dressed up in our Golden Globes watching attire is attached). So, needless to say, the EndoGoddess Kids App is a labor of love for me.

You’re going to be seeing or hearing about a lot of new Apps in Health, but the problem is the best ones are not necessarily the ones getting funded.

Some get promoted by people who have a vested interest in it or they have a personal relationship with the person, so a lot of crap gets a green light. The person who ends up suffering is the health consumer.  I love products that are actually developed by people who are passionate about helping people and have found a need through their own work and personal experience.  I like to feature people and products or services that end up helping you and deserve funding.  Fortunately, there is now a crowdfunding source for health.  Medstartr.  It allows the community to pick the Best in Class helping it come to market. EndoGodess App is on it. 

So, let’s  help Jennifer Shine Dyer SHINE: People can now donate to the EndoGoddess App here:  http://beta.medstartr.com/projects/19-endogoddess-diabetes-app-clinical-trial-fundraiser

 
 

You can follow Jennifer on the following:

Jennifer’s Blog/website: http://endogoddess.blogspot.com/

Jennifer’s Website: http://www.duethealth.com/

Jennifer on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jennifershinedyer drjenshinedyer@gmail.com

Jennifer on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/EndoGoddess

Here is a video of Jennifer explaining the name of EndoGoddess at an international conference in Paris last month:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4GMjwIZPEg

 

 

Diabetes facts

The prevalence of diabetes has reached epidemic proportions

WHO predicts that developing countries will bear the brunt of this epidemic in the 21st century. Currently, more than 70% of people with diabetes live in low- and middle income countries.

  • An estimated 285 million people, corresponding to 6.4% of the world’s adult population, will live with diabetes in 2010. The number is expected to grow to 438 million by 2030, corresponding to 7.8% of the adult population.
  • While the global prevalence of diabetes is 6.4%, the prevalence varies from 10.2% in the Western Pacific to 3.8% in the African region. However, the African region is expected to experience the highest increase.
  • 70% of the current cases of diabetes occur in low- and middle income countries. With an estimated 50.8 million people living with diabetes, India has the world’s largest diabetes population, followed by China with 43.2 million.
  • The largest age group currently affected by diabetes is between 40-59 years. By 2030 this “record” is expected to move to the 60-79 age group with some 196 million cases.
  • Diabetes is one of the major causes of premature illness and death worldwide. Non-communicable diseases including diabetes account for 60% of all deaths worldwide.

Lack of sufficient diagnosis and treatment

  • In developing countries, less than half of people with diabetes are diagnosed. Without timely diagnoses and adequate treatment, complications and morbidity from diabetes rise exponentially.
  • Type 2 diabetes can remain undetected for many years and the diagnosis is often made from associated complications or incidentally through an abnormal blood or urine glucose test.
  • Undiagnosed diabetes accounted for 85% of those with diabetes in studies from South Africa, 80% in Cameroon, 70% in Ghana and over 80% in Tanzania.
  • The number of deaths attributable to diabetes in 2010 shows a 5.5% increase over the estimates for the year 2007. This increase is largely due to a 29% increase in the number of deaths due to diabetes in the North America & Caribbean Region, a 12% increase in the South East Asia Region and an 11% increase in the Western Pacific Region.
  • Type 2 diabetes is responsible for 85-95% of all diabetes in high-income countries and may account for an even higher percentage in low- and middle-income countries.
  • 80% of type 2 diabetes is preventable by changing diet, increasing physical activity and improving the living environment. Yet, without effective prevention and control programmes, the incidence of diabetes is likely to continue rising globally.
  • Insulin is vital for the survival of people with type 1 diabetes and often ultimately required by people with type 2 diabetes. Even though insulin’s indispensible nature is recognised by its inclusion in the WHO’s Essential Medicines List, insulin is still not available on an uninterrupted basis in many parts of the developing world.

Diabetes costs – a burden for families and society

  • The financial burden borne by people with diabetes and their families as a result of their disease depends on their economic status and the social insurance policies of their countries. In the poorest countries, people with diabetes and their families bear almost the whole cost of the medical care they can afford.
  • In Latin America, families pay 40-60% of medical care expenditures from their own pockets. In Mozambique, diabetes care for one person requires 75% of the per capita income; in Mali it amounts to 61%; Vietnam is 51% and Zambia 21%.
  • Expressed in International Dollars (ID), which correct for differences in purchasing power, estimated global expenditures on diabetes will be at least ID 418 billion in 2010, and at least ID 561 billion in 2030. An estimated average of ID 878 per person will be spent on diabetes in 2010 globally.
  • Besides excess healthcare expenditure, diabetes also imposes large economic burdens in the form of lost productivity and foregone economic growth. The largest economic burden is the monetary value associated with disability and loss of life as a result of the disease itself and its related complications.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) predicted net losses in national income from diabetes and cardiovascular disease of ID 557.7 billion in China, ID 303.2 billion in the Russian Federation, ID 336.6 billion in India, ID 49.2 billion in Brazil and ID 2.5 billion in Tanzania (2005 ID), between 2005 and 2015.
  • Unless addressed, the mortality and disease burden from diabetes and other NCDs will continue to increase. WHO projects that globally, deaths caused by these health problems will increase by 17% over the next decade, with the greatest increase in low- and middle-income countries, mainly in the African (27%) and Eastern Mediterranean (25%) regions.

Source: IDF, Diabetes Atlas, 4th edition

 

In 2009, Manny Hernadez published a two-part series on HealthCentral.com reviewed all services that offer online blood glucose tracking tools that he was aware of. He reviewed 7 options. They’re worth a look to see how Glucose Tracking has progressed.
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Again, let’s help Jennifer Shine Dyer SHINE & help diabetic patients by donating to the EndoGoddess App here: http://beta.medstartr.com/projects/19-endogoddess-diabetes-app-clinical-trial-fundraiser 
 
 

French Weight Loss Drug Caused 1,300 Deaths

Can the Mediator Scandal lead to Justice for D...

According to AFP, Mediator, a drug licensed for use by diabetics that became widely prescribed in France as a slimming aid, “probably” caused at least 1,300 deaths before it was withdrawn, a study published on Thursday said.

Mahmoud Zureik of the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm), who co-led the probe, told AFP that around 3,100 people had required hospitalisation during the 33 years during which the drug was sold.

However, these figures could well be an “underestimate,” he said.

The study, appearing in the specialised journalPharmacoepidemiology & Drug Safety, finetunes an estimate by Zureik in 2010 that the death toll from the scandal was between 1,000 and 2,000.

Mediator, known by its lab name as benfluorex, was initially licensed to reduce levels of fatty proteins called lipids, with the claim that it helped diabetics control their level of blood sugar.

But it also suppressed appetite, which meant it gained a secondary official use to help obese diabeticslose weight.

In fact, it was widely sold on prescription for non-diabetics wanting to slim.

In 2009, Mediator was pulled from the European market amid evidence that it damaged heart valves and caused pulmonary hypertension.

Its French manufacturer, Servier, is being probed on suspicion of dishonest practices and deception.

The new study is an extrapolation based on figures for deaths from faulty heart valves, although not from hypertension, among major users of the drug.

The main data comes from France’s national health insurance system, which said that 303,000 patients used Mediator in 2006.

According to Mediator, 145 million packets of Mediator were sold on the French market before the drug was pulled.

The Mediator case came to light after a scandal involving a similar type of anti-obesity drug, fenfluramine, in the late 1990s.

MORE WEIGHT-LOSS MEDICAL NEWS:

FDA warns against quick weight-loss programs using hormone

SARATOGA, Calif. —

Proponents of a hormone-based diet claim you can lose 10 pounds in three weeks with no exercise, but this unusual weight-loss program some swear by comes with serious government warnings.

For Sanjay Mohindra, tennis comes easy. But losing weight doesn’t.  With his 20-year high school reunion looming last summer, the then 230-pound Mohindra found a diet that finally worked for him.

“I was able to lose twenty-five pounds in three weeks and get under two hundred pounds. It got to a point where I didn’t even know what I was going to wear because I couldn’t fit into my suits,” said Mohindra.  He went on to lose an additional 15 pounds.  His parents were so impressed with his weight loss, they also signed up for the controversial plan.

“I started at 124 pounds. I’m at 109 pounds. Now, I don’t think I could have done this any other way,” said Nina Mohindra, Sanjay’s mother.

The way the family did it was the HCG or Human Chorionic Gonadotropin diet.  HGC is a hormone produced by pregnant women. Under a doctor’s care, the diet required them to inject themselves daily with the hormone and follow a very strict diet of only 500 calories a day and not exercise.

“Not only did I not feel dizzy or weak, this is the best I have felt in my life,” said Raj Mohindra, Sanjay’s father.  He still checks his blood pressure, but is off his medication after losing 24 pounds.

The HCG diet is not new. It first surfaced in the 1950s. Today, it’s FDA approved for fertility treatments, not weight loss.  But the Mohindras’ doctor at a Saratoga anti-aging clinic is able to prescribe HCG as an off-label use. He has done so for roughly 500 patients.  He calls it a short-term jumpstart rather than a long-term solution.

“For the patients who follow our program correctly, 90-to-95 percent lose our target weight, which for women is 20 pounds in 6 weeks.  For men, it’s 25 pounds in 6 weeks,” said Dr. John Tang.

With a cost around $900, it can be successful for those willing to follow the detailed diet of only 500 calories a day. To give you an idea of what 500 calories is, that’s about a turkey sandwich with mayo and cheese. But on this diet, you can only eat from a strict list of proteins, fruits and veggies for two meals a day.

“I would say the mind is a very powerful thing. And I would say there’s a big placebo effect occuring here,” cautions Dr. John Morton of Stanford Hospital‘s Bariatric Surgery Department.  He stresses the impact and any long-term effects of HCG as a weight loss program have not been studied and says some of his clients have tried and failed.

“Lemon, cayenne, pepper, and maple syrup diets all the way to HCG.  I do think this appears to be a gimmick,” said Dr. Morton.

The FDA stresses there are no FDA-approved HCG products for weight loss.  In December, they started cracking down on companies illegally selling them over the counter. The FDA calls the low-calorie diet reckless and says eating so little is likely behind the weight loss.  Nutritionists warn it’s not a long-term solution.

“The minute you lose it and stop eating that way, you gain it back. In 99.99% of the cases, the individuals gained back even more weight than they lost,” said dietician Lillian Castillo.

But the Mohindra family says they have not gained the weight back thanks to the one thing all sides agree on: healthier eating.

To read more about the Federal Drug Administration warnings regarding HGC diets, you can go to the FDA web page on the subject.

FDA (trade union)
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