Spending lots of free time glued to the TV or computer screen can hurt your heart and shorten your life, no matter how much exercise you get when you're not riding the couch, a new study suggests.
People who spent at least four hours per day watching TV, playing video games, or using a computer for fun were more than twice as likely as those who kept their recreational "screen time" under two hours to experience a heart attack, stroke, or other serious cardiovascular problem, the study found. Couch potatoes were also about 50 percent more likely to die of any cause during the four-year study.
Are you concerned about losing your access to cardiovascular care because of dramatic cuts in Medicare reimbursement for cardiologists?
Each year, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) provides reimbursement figures for all medical specialties. For 2011, dramatic cuts in payment for cardiovascular services are being imposed. For some services, including nuclear medicine and echocardiography, the payment your private practice cardiologist would receive for performing your study would be cut by 40% or more over the next four years.
A recent survey conducted by the American College of Cardiology about the impact of these cuts on our members indicated that many in private practice would face staff layoffs, delays in their ability to purchase and maintain state-of-the-art equipment, and in some cases, an inability to keep their doors open. This would mean that patients whom their physicians believe would benefit from safe, relatively inexpensive, non-invasive diagnostic testing, would have to travel to a hospital and face higher co-payments to have their tests performed.
You can help protect private practice cardiology by writing to your legislators and encouraging them to convince CMS to stop the proposed Medicare cuts to cardiology. A sample letter can be downloaded here. You can find your legislators’ names and contact information with a simple search on www.Senate.gov or www.Congress.gov.
Please take a moment to let your representatives know that easy access to these lifesaving services is important to you and your family.
There's a part of your heart called the "left anterior descending artery". When there's blockage there, people in the medical field call it the "widow maker" - because you're almost always going to die. Luckily, in this situation, our Dr. Paul Tucker once again was on the scene to help.
Our very own Dr. Tucker talks about a specific heart attack patient, and how the 'Door to Balloon Time' can make a life or death difference.
(Health.com) More doctors are testing and treating CRP, particularly since the Food and Drug Administration gave the green light in February to use one statin, Crestor, to treat patients with normal cholesterol but elevated CRP.
Dianne has always worried about her heart health -- both her parents died of heart attacks -- yet her cholesterol has never been off the charts. All the same, the 59-year-old schoolteacher (who asked that her last name not be used) has been taking a cholesterol-lowering statin for more than two years.
Why? In 2007, Dianne's cardiologist discovered that her blood contained abnormally high levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation. Dr. Yazid Fadl, a cardiologist at Clarian Cardiovascular, in Indianapolis, considered Dianne's high CRP reason enough to prescribe a statin. "If her CRP were low, I would have advocated weight loss and exercise," he says.
Dianne may soon have lots of company. More doctors are testing and treating CRP, particularly since the Food and Drug Administration gave the green light in February to use one statin, Crestor, to treat patients with normal cholesterol but elevated CRP.
The move now makes 6.5 million more people eligible for cholesterol-lowering statins, which are already blockbusters. Crestor reaped $4.5 billion in sales in 2009.
A 5 yr, 1200+ patient study was conducted around the UK that found endovascular repair of abdominal aortic aneurysm was associated with a significantly lower operative mortality than open surgical repair.