News / Health

New Device, New Studies Hold Out Hope for Heart Patients

The device is a tiny sensor, implanted through a catheter in the heart's pulmonary artery. The procedure takes just seven minutes. The patient passes a wand over his chest, collecting data on heart pressure. That data is sent electronically to the doctor'
The device is a tiny sensor, implanted through a catheter in the heart's pulmonary artery. The procedure takes just seven minutes. The patient passes a wand over his chest, collecting data on heart pressure. That data is sent electronically to the doctor'

Multimedia

Heart disease and stroke together are the world's greatest killer.  The World Health Organization shows that cardiovascular disease alone claims more than 17 million lives a year.

In the U.S., the survival rate is one in 10 for victims of heart attacks outside a hospital....a statistic that has not changed in 30 years. But new research indicates there is room for improvement.

Researchers at the University of Michigan found that if people living in poor neighborhoods received CPR instruction, heart attack victims there would have a better chance of survival.

The study found people in poor neighborhoods are two to three times more likely to have a heart attack than those living in a wealthier part of town.

Lifestyle changes, new medications and treatments can also help keep heart disease at bay.

"Over the last decade we have continued to see improvements in cardiovascular mortality," says Cardiologist Harindra Wijeysundera. He says he found deaths from heart disease dropped by as much as 35 percent for people living in Ontario, Canada between 1994 and 2005. Dr. Wijeysundera says changes in lifestyle and behavior had a lot to do with it.

"About 48 percent of this reduction was associated with improvements in risk factors, so for instance there was a reduction in blood pressure and total cholesterol, (and) in smoking," he stated.

During the study, the number of Canadians who smoked decreased substantially.  Smoking is a major contributor to heart disease.  Also during that time, doctors increased prescriptions for medications to control blood pressure... resulting in another major reduction in cardiovascular deaths.  The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

And finally, new medical devices play a role in heart health. A new device, no bigger than a paper clip, could revolutionize the way heart failure is managed.

Heart failure is caused by high blood pressure or coronary artery disease, a narrowing of the arteries in the heart. The device has performed well in clinical trials.

"It has been a decade since we have seen a trial this positive," Dr. William Abraham of Ohio State University said.

The device is a tiny sensor, implanted through a catheter in the heart's pulmonary artery. The procedure takes just seven minutes. The patient passes a wand over his chest, collecting data on heart pressure. That data is sent electronically to the doctor's computer.

The doctor can then modify medications quickly, if needed. With the sensor, patients have a 30 percent chance of avoiding hospitalization.

Right now, a scale is one of the only ways to monitor patients. People with heart failure tend to gain weight because fluids build up when the heart can't pump enough blood. But monitoring weight is not the ideal way to monitor the heart.

"Daily weight change is insensitive at predicting episodes of worsening heart failure," Dr. Abraham said.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not yet approved the device to be used for heart failure patients. The device might also reduce stress because patients will know if their fluids are at the right levels.

You May Like

HRW: Egypt's Trial of Morsi ‘Badly Flawed’

Human Rights Watch says former Egypt leader's detention without charge for more than three weeks after his removal from office violated Egyptian law; government rejects criticism More

Photogallery Lancet Report Calls for Major Investment in Surgery

In its report published by The Lancet, panel of experts says people are dying from conditions easily treated in the operating room such as hernia, appendicitis, obstructed labor, and serious fractures More

Music Industry Under Sway of Digital Revolution

Millions of people in every corner of the Earth now can enjoy a vast variety and quantity of music in a way that has never before been possible More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs