Doctor Housecalls Blog

Healthcare related news and updates



A study published in the British Medical Journal found that consuming too much vegetable oil may increase the risk of heart disease rather than decrease it. The research re-evaluated experiments conducted between 1968 and 1973 that suggested that vegetable oil helped to protect the heart from the damage that animal fats were thought to do. It was discovered that only part of the trial’s results were published, particularly contrary data that suggested that vegetable fats did not protect the heart when they replaced animal fats.

http://www.bmj.com/content/353/bmj.i1246



A recent article in Medscape reports that although “not all resuscitation strategies after a patient has an in-hospital cardiac arrest are equally beneficial when it comes to survival rates,” three practices have proven more effective than others. They are “watching closely for chest-compression interruptions,” providing adequate resuscitation training to staff and frequent reviews of previous cardiac arrest cases. These findings were discovered in a study of 131 acute-care hospitals in the United States. The study was published online in JAMA Cardiology.



The FDA has released a statement saying that they will allow food companies three years to phase out artificial trans fat from their products.  In a statement released on Tuesday, they say that partially hydrogenated oils are not “generally recognized as safe.”  Partially hydrogenated oils, or PHOs, are the main source of trans fats found in foods.

According to a June 18 article in Time magazine by Alexandra Sifferlin, trans fats can be found in almost 40% of everyday foods found in grocery stores.  This includes frozen pizzas and microwave popcorn.

“The FDA’s action on this major source of artificial trans fat demonstrates the agency’s commitment to the heart health of all Americans,” Dr. Stephen Ostroff, acting commissioner of the FDA, said in a statement.

According to an article in US News, trans fats have been found to be related to heart disease, and cause 50,000 fatal heart attacks each year, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Consumption of trans fats, which are used by food manufacturers to improve texture and increase the shelf life of some foods, have also been found to raise cholesterol that lead to clogged arteries.

According to a June 16 article on NRN.com, trans fats can also lower levels of so-called “good cholesterol,” and has been found to increase risk of heart disease and strokes.

[author] [author_image timthumb=’off’]http://www.drhousecallsofpv.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/sjlphoto1sm.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]
Steven J. Lipsky MD, FACEP has been a Board Certified Emergency Physician in Arizona for the last 37 years, and a resident of the Town of Paradise Valley for the last 37 years. Steve Lipsky on Google Plus[/author_info] [/author]



According to a June 10 article in the New York Times by Nicholas Bakalar, new findings have shown that a commonly used drug to treat heartburn may cause an increased chance of heart attacks.  In an analysis of data from almost 3 million people, PPIs, or proton pump inhibitors such as Prilosec and Prevacid, were found to be linked to an increase in heart attacks.

While previous studies have shown poor results for people with heart disease, this new analysis was done on otherwise healthy individuals.  For those with heart disease, the link likely comes due to an interaction with drugs commonly used to treat heart disease.

To determine these findings, researchers used data mining, to analyze large amounts of data over time – in this case, dating back to 2000.

“This is the kind of analysis now possible because electronic medical records are widely available,” said the lead author, Nigam H. Shah, an assistant professor of medicine at Stanford. “It’s a benefit of the electronic records system that people are always talking about.”

Disclaimer: DO NOT STOP TAKING YOUR PPIs BECAUSE OF THIS UNTIL YOU DISCUSS WITH YOUR DOCTOR”. We need to do a prospective study of this “association” (not “cause and effect”), and this study did NOT take into account whether the people who had the heart attacks were obese, alcoholics, had Diabetes/Hypertension, etc. ,and the increased risk was only 16%-20%.

[author] [author_image timthumb=’off’]http://www.drhousecallsofpv.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/sjlphoto1sm.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]
Steven J. Lipsky MD, FACEP has been a Board Certified Emergency Physician in Arizona for the last 37 years, and a resident of the Town of Paradise Valley for the last 36 years. Steve Lipsky on Google Plus[/author_info] [/author]


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