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Stroke NewsStroke Journal ReportJournal of the American Heart Association ReportAmerican Heart Association Meeting Report Presentation 240 and 241 – Session APS.03Hypertension Journal Report Journal of the American Heart Association Report Pioneering new ideas and delivering science-based quality and systems improvement, the new Marcus Stroke Network will help develop life-saving strategies in stroke care and serve as an advanced model for a region impacted by stroke at disproportionate rates.Stroke Journal Report Hypertension Journal Report Hypertension Journal ReportStroke Journal Report Circulation Journal ReportStroke Journal Report American Heart Association identified most impactful scientific discoveries Hypertension Journal Report By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWSFriday News Tip Presentation 183 – Session: A32Friday News Tip Presentation 161 – Session: A28Thursday News Tip Poster Presentation TMP69 – Session: MP16American Heart Association Meeting Report (Moderated Poster Presentation TMP75) - Session: MP17 American Heart Association Meeting Report Poster TMP76 - Session: MP17
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Men younger than 50: the more you smoke, the more you stroke

Thu, 04/19/2018 - 04:17
Study Highlights:

  • The more cigarettes men younger than 50 smoked, the more likely they were to have a stroke.
  • Researchers say, while smoking cessation is the goal, just reducing the number of cigarettes younger men smoke could help reduce their stroke risk.

Embargoed until 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Thursday, April 19, 2018

DALLAS, April 19, 2018 — Men under 50 who smoked were more likely to have a stroke, and their risk increased with the number of cigarettes they smoked, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke.

An increasing number of young adults are suffering ischemic stroke, which is the most common stroke type. Tobacco use is on the rise among young adults. It is already established that the more young women smoke the greater their stroke risk; however, little is known about young men’s stroke risk from smoking.

“The key takeaway from our study on men younger than 50 is ‘the more you smoke, the more you stroke,’” said lead study author Janina Markidan, B.A., a medical student at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.

Researchers studied 615 young men (age 15-49) who had a stroke in the prior three years. Researchers compared the men with stroke to 530 healthy men in the same age range. They also categorized participants as never smokers, former smokers and current smokers. Current smokers were divided into groups based on the number of cigarettes smoked daily, 1 to 10, 11 to 20, 21 to 39 or 40 or more.

Researchers found:

  • Men who smoked were 88 percent more likely to have a stroke than men who never smoked.
  • Among current smokers, men who smoked fewer than 11 cigarettes daily were 46 percent more likely to have a stroke than those who never smoked.
  • But the heavier smokers, smoking at least two packs a day, were nearly 5 times, more likely to have a stroke than those who never smoked. 

“The goal is to get these young men to stop smoking, however if they can smoke fewer cigarettes it could help reduce their stroke risk,” Markidan said.

Researchers did not record the concurrent use of other tobacco products which could have affected results. They also did not control for factors such as alcohol consumption, physical activity or recall bias. However, similar findings in a Swedish study, suggested that there was not a major effect from recall bias.

Co-authors are John W. Cole, M.D., M.S.; Carolyn A. Cronin, M.D., Ph.D.; Jose G. Merino, M.D., M. Phil.; Michael S. Phipps, M.D.; Marcella A. Wozniak, M.D., Ph.D.; and Steven J. Kittner, M.D., M.P.H. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

The Department of Veterans Affairs, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health funded the study.

Additional Resources:

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Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at heart.org/corporate funding.

About the American Stroke Association

The American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from stroke — the No. 2 cause of death in the world and a leading cause of serious disability. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat stroke. The Dallas-based association officially launched in 1998 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit StrokeAssociation.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: 214-706-1173

Karen Astle: 214-706-1392; karen.astle@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

]]>Stroke NewsThu, 19 Apr 2018 09:00:08 GMTStudy Highlights: The more cigarettes men younger than 50 smoked, the more likely they were to have a stroke. Researchers say, while smoking cessation is the goal, just reducing the number of cigarettes younger men smoke could help reduce their stroke risk. https://newsroom.heart.org/news/men-younger-than-50-the-more-you-smoke-the-more-you-strokeThu, 19 Apr 2018 09:00:00 GMT

Wildfire smoke associated with more ER visits for heart, stroke ailments among seniors

Wed, 04/11/2018 - 04:19
Study Highlight:

  • Exposure to smoke from wildfires was associated with increased rates of emergency room visits for heart- and stroke-related illness, especially among adults age 65 and older.

Embargoed until 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Wednesday, April 11, 2018

DALLAS, April 11, 2018 — Smoke from wildfires may send people – particularly seniors – to hospital emergency rooms (ERs) with heart, stroke-related complaints, according to new research in the Journal of the American Heart Association, the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

Previous studies have shown that wildfire smoke exacerbates respiratory conditions but yielded inconsistent results for effects on the heart, brain or blood vessels.

The study was the product of a collaboration between researchers at the University of California San Francisco, California Department of Public Health and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Researchers reviewed more than one million ER visits in northern and central California during intense wildfires in the summer of 2015. They examined the relative risk of daily heart-, brain- and blood vessel-related ER visits on light, medium and dense smoke days relative to days without wildfire smoke exposure.

They found that smoke exposure was associated with increased rates of ER visits, not just for breathing trouble, but also ischemic heart disease, irregular heart rhythm, heart failure, pulmonary embolism and stroke. The risk was greatest for adults age 65 and older.  

The greatest increased relative risk was noted within a day of dense wildfire smoke. During these times, researchers found rates of ER visits among adults 65 and older increased:

  • 42 percent for heart attack; and
  • 22 percent for ischemic heart disease.

Overall, ER visits for all cardiovascular and cerebrovascular causes were elevated across all smoke days, with the greatest increase on dense smoke days and among adults age 65 and older. Respiratory conditions also were increased, as anticipated.

“This is one of the most extensive studies of wildfire health impacts in California to date,” said Ana Rappold, Ph.D., study senior author and statistician with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Durham, North Carolina.

Wildfire smoke contains many pollutants including ozone, carbon monoxide and fine particulate matter – which is linked to cardiovascular risk. People with underlying cardiovascular disease risk factors may be at risk for an acute heart, brain or blood vessel event when exposed to wildfire smoke.

A 2010 AHA statement on air pollution noted that particulate matter has been associated with increased risks of heart attack, stroke, irregular heart rhythm and heart failure exacerbation within hours to days of exposure in susceptible individuals. In addition, long term exposure to particulate matter can reduce life expectancy by a few years.

“The findings have public health and clinical implications,” said Wayne E. Cascio, M.D., study author and acting director for the National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory in the EPA’s Research and Development Office. “I think it will have a significant impact on how clinicians and public health officials view future wildfire events and the smoke that's generated from them.”

Research has shown that wildfire season in North America is increasing in intensity and duration. As wildfires likely become a bigger problem, it is important to continue research for wider-ranging health impacts from smoke exposure and ways to help people prevent these health outcomes, said Zachary S. Wettstein, B.A., study first author and graduating medical student from the University of California San Francisco.

“We need to study effective interventions that might decrease exposure to smoke and the associated health impacts,” Wettstein said. “These findings urge us to study these impacts over longer periods of time and within susceptible populations.”

The study did not examine the effect of personal traits such as past medical history, race, socioeconomic status and other factors that might affect the association between smoke exposure and ER visits but did examine differences by sex and age.

Other co-authors are Sumi Hoshiko, M.P.H.; Jahan Fahimi, M.D., Ph.D.; and Robert Harrison, M.D., M.P.H. The authors reported no conflicts of interest.

The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health, funded the study.

Additional Resources:

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Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at heart.org/corporate funding.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: 214-706-1173

Bridgette McNeill: 214-706-1135; bridgette.mcneill@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsWed, 11 Apr 2018 09:00:07 GMTStudy Highlight: Exposure to smoke from wildfires was associated with increased rates of emergency room visits for heart- and stroke-related illness, especially among adults age 65 and older. https://newsroom.heart.org/news/wildfire-smoke-associated-with-more-er-visits-for-heart-stroke-ailments-among-seniorsWed, 11 Apr 2018 09:00:00 GMT

Depression negatively impacts heart and stroke patients

Sat, 04/07/2018 - 14:02
Study Highlights:

  • People with cardiovascular disease who haven’t been diagnosed with depression but are at high-risk for it are more likely to report worse healthcare experiences and use emergency room services more often than those diagnosed with depression.
  • Heart attack patients diagnosed with depression are more likely to be hospitalized, use emergency rooms and annually spend more on healthcare than heart attack patients without depression.
  • More aggressive screening for depression among people with cardiovascular disease could enhance patient experiences and increase healthcare efficiency and costs, researchers said.

Embargoed until 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Saturday, April 7, 2018

ARLINGTON, Virginia, April 7, 2018 — Depression, even when undiagnosed, can have many negative effects on cardiovascular patients, including poor healthcare experiences, more use of healthcare resources and higher health costs, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association’s Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions 2018, a premier global exchange of the latest advances in quality of care and outcomes research in cardiovascular disease and stroke for researchers, healthcare professionals and policymakers.

About one-fifth of cardiovascular disease patients suffer from depression.

“While we don’t know which comes first--depression or cardiovascular disease—the consensus is that depression is a risk marker for cardiovascular disease, meaning if you have cardiovascular disease, there is a higher likelihood that you could also have depression, when compared with the risk in the general population,” said Victor Okunrintemi, M.D., M.P.H., a research fellow at Baptist Health South Florida in Coral Gables, Florida, and lead author of a pair of studies that looked into different aspects of depression and cardiovascular disease.

In one study, Okunrintemi and colleagues evaluated patient experience, healthcare expenditure and resource use in a large population of adult cardiovascular disease patients, dividing them into two groups: those who had been diagnosed with depression and those who had not been diagnosed with depression. Based on responses from a health questionnaire, patients who had not been diagnosed with depression were divided into high- and low-risk groups for depression.

When researchers compared high- and low-risk groups of cardiovascular patients without depression, they found:

  • Those at high risk for depression spent more on overall and out-of-pocket healthcare expenditures yearly when compared with patients in the low-risk group.

  • High-risk patients for depression were more than two times more likely to be hospitalized and used the emergency room than those at low risk.

  • High-risk patients were more than five times more likely to have a poor self-perceived health status, and almost four times more likely to be dissatisfied with their healthcare.

  • Patients at high risk for depression had notably worse healthcare-related quality of life.

“When we compared non-depressed patients to those who had been diagnosed with depression, we found those who were not depressed and yet had a higher risk for depression had worse healthcare experiences, increased use of the emergency room, poorer perception of their health status and a lower health-related quality of life than those who actually had depression,” Okunrintemi said. “That could be because people at high risk for depression simply haven’t been diagnosed and treated for depression yet.”

In a second study comparing health resource use and expenditures among heart attack patients with and without depression, Okunrintemi and colleagues found that heart attack patients diagnosed with depression were 54 percent more likely to be hospitalized and 43 percent more likely to have emergency room visits, compared to those not diagnosed with depression.

Furthermore, heart attack patients with depression spent an estimated $4,381 more, annually on healthcare expenses, compared with those without depression.

“Depression and heart attack often coexist, which has been associated with worse health experiences for these patients,” he said. “As a quality improvement measure to increase healthcare efficiency, we recommend more aggressive depression screening at follow-up visits for heart attack patients.”

In a separate study by a different group of researchers, stroke patients diagnosed with depression prior to having a stroke were more likely than those without depression to report functional declines and worse stroke impact on health and quality of life months after their stroke.

Researchers studied more than 1,600 stroke patients with similar stroke severity and functional status when discharged from the hospital. Three and six months after the strokes, they found those diagnosed with depression before having a stroke were 56 percent more likely than those without depression to report functional declines and a greater negative stroke-related impact on health and life.

The researchers call for strategies to more effectively manage existing depression among stroke patients to improve patients’ health and quality of life post stroke.

Dr. Okunrintemi’s co-authors are: Javier Valero-Elizondo, M.D., M.P.H.; Erin Michos, M.D., M.H.S.; Joseph Salami, M.D., M.P.H.; Oluseye Ogunmoroti, M.D., M.P.H.; Chukwuemeka Osondu, M.D., M.P.H.; Martin Tibuakuu, M.D., M.P.H.; Eve-Marie Benson, M.D., M.P.H.; Timothy Pawlik, M.D., M.P.H.; and Khurram Nasir, M.D., M.P.H.

Authors of the stroke study are: Shreyansh Shah; Haolin Xu; Ying Xian; Lesley Maisch; Deidre Hannah; Brianna Lindholm; Barbara L. Lytle; Michael J. Pencina; DaiWai M. Olson; Eric E. Smith; Gregg C. Fonarow; Lee H. Schwamm; Deepak L. Bhatt; Adrian F. Hernandez; and Emily C. O'Brien.

Author disclosures are on the abstracts.

Additional Resources:

###

Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA Spokesperson Perspective: 214-706-1173

AHA Staff Contact: Cathy Lewis; 214-706-1324; cathy.lewis@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

 

]]>Heart NewsScientific Conferences & MeetingsStroke NewsSat, 07 Apr 2018 18:00:09 GMTStudy Highlights: People with cardiovascular disease who haven’t been diagnosed with depression but are at high-risk for it are more likely to report worse healthcare experiences and use emergency room services more often than those diagnosed with...https://newsroom.heart.org/news/depression-negatively-impacts-heart-and-stroke-patientsSat, 07 Apr 2018 18:00:00 GMT

Higher blood pressure before pregnancy may increase miscarriage risk

Mon, 04/02/2018 - 05:08
Study Highlights:

  • Higher blood pressure prior to conception may increase the risk of miscarriage, even in women not diagnosed with hypertension.
  • The study involved women who had already experienced at least one pregnancy loss and were trying again.
  • If confirmed, the findings imply that lowering heart disease risk factors in young adulthood may also improve reproductive health.

Embargoed 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Monday, April 2, 2018

DALLAS, April 2, 2018 – Elevated blood pressure before becoming pregnant and early in pregnancy may increase the risk of pregnancy loss, even if the woman doesn’t have a hypertension diagnosis, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Hypertension.

“Elevated blood pressure among young adults is associated with a higher risk of heart disease later in life, and this study suggests it may also have an effect on reproductive health,” said Carrie J. Nobles, Ph.D., lead author of the study and a postdoctoral fellow in the Epidemiology Branch of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) in Bethesda, Maryland.

The study – which cannot reach a cause-and-effect conclusion – is the first to look at preconception blood pressure and reproductive outcomes in healthy women not diagnosed with high blood pressure or heart disease.

Researchers studied 1,228 women (average age 28.7 years, 95 percent white) who had already experienced 1-2 pregnancy losses and were currently trying to become pregnant. The women were part of a clinical trial to determine whether taking low-dose aspirin might reduce the risk of miscarriage.

During the study, women had their blood pressure measured when they were trying to become pregnant and again during early pregnancy. Average blood pressure prior to pregnancy was 111.6 mm Hg /72.5 mm Hg. Of the 797 women who conceived within six months, 24 percent suffered a pregnancy loss.

Researchers also found:

  • Every 10-point increase in diastolic blood pressure (lower number) was associated with an 18 percent increased risk of pregnancy loss.
  • Every 10-point increase in mean arterial pressure (an average of the lower and higher numbers) was associated with a 17 percent increased risk of pregnancy loss.
  • The findings were similar for preconception and early-pregnancy blood pressure.

“The impact of cardiovascular risk factors starts really early in life. Physicians treating women of reproductive age should pay attention to slightly elevated blood pressure because it may have other not-well-recognized effects, such as adverse pregnancy outcome,” said Enrique F. Schisterman, Ph.D., senior author of the study and Senior Investigator and Chief of the Epidemiology Branch of NICHD. “Preconception is a previously unrecognized critical window for intervention such as lifestyle changes that can help prevent later heart disease and may also improve reproductive health.”

Whether women had been randomly assigned to take low-dose aspirin as part of this clinical trial (Effects of Aspirin in Gestation and Reproduction) made no difference in the impact of blood pressure on pregnancy loss, the researchers found.

Because the study was conducted in women who already had experienced a miscarriage, it is unclear whether the results can be generalized to all young women. Additionally, the study was mostly composed of white participants, and further research is needed to ensure the results apply to women of different races.

Other co-authors are Pauline Mendola, Ph.D.; Sunni L. Mumford, Ph.D.; Ashley I. Naimi, Ph.D.; Edwina H. Yeung, Ph.D.; Keewan Kim, Ph.D.; Hyojun Park, Ph.D.; Brian Wilcox, M.D., Ph.D.; Robert M. Silver, M.D.; Neil J. Perkins, Ph.D.; and Lindsey Sjaarda, Ph.D. The authors reported no conflicts of interest.

The Intramural Research Program of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (National Institutes of Health) in Bethesda, Maryland funded the study.

Additional Resources:

###

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: 214-706-1173

Bridgette McNeill: 214-706-1135; bridgette.mcneill@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsMon, 02 Apr 2018 09:00:07 GMTStudy Highlights: Higher blood pressure prior to conception may increase the risk of miscarriage, even in women not diagnosed with hypertension. The study involved women who had already experienced at least one pregnancy loss and were trying again. If confirmed, the findings imply that lowering heart disease risk factors in young adulthood may also improve reproductive health. https://newsroom.heart.org/news/higher-blood-pressure-before-pregnancy-may-increase-miscarriage-riskMon, 02 Apr 2018 09:00:00 GMT

Heart disease, stroke less widespread among foreign-born vs. U.S.-born adults

Wed, 03/28/2018 - 04:17
Study Highlight:

  • Rates of heart disease and stroke are less widespread among U.S. adults who were born in another country.

Embargoed until 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Wednesday, March 28, 2018

DALLAS, March 28, 2018 — Foreign-born adults living in the United States had a lower prevalence of coronary heart disease and stroke than U.S.-born adults in nationally representative data spanning 2006-2014, according to new research in Journal of the American Heart Association, the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention compared the prevalence of coronary heart disease and stroke among U.S. adults by birthplace. The proportion of adults living in the United States who were born elsewhere has almost tripled from about 9.6 million in 1970 to 40 million in 2010.

After adjusting for age and select demographic and health characteristics, researchers found that overall:

  • The percentage of U.S. men who report having coronary heart disease was 8.2 percent among those born in the United State versus 5.5 percent for those born in another country.For women with coronary heart disease, the figures were 4.8 percent for those born in the United States and 4.1 percent for those born elsewhere.

  • The percentage of the population living with stroke was 2.7 percent for U.S.-born men and women compared to 2.1 percent for foreign-born men and 1.9 percent for foreign-born women.

  • The number of years people had been living in the United States was not related to risk of coronary heart disease or stroke after adjustment with demographic and health characteristics.

Comparing individual regions with those of U.S.-born, coronary heart disease prevalence was lower among people born in Asia, Mexico, Central America or the Caribbean. Stroke prevalence was lowest among men born in South America or Africa and women from Europe.

The reason foreign-born adults fare better could be explained by the “healthy immigrant effect”, where those who decide to immigrate to another country are usually healthier than others, due to either self-selection or physical/legal barriers.

Researchers said these findings may support efforts to target high-risk groups with public health interventions.

The study was led by Jing Fang, M.D., M.S., of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The author reported no conflicts of interest.

A commentary by Eduardo Sanchez, M.D., M.P.H., American Heart Association Chief Medical Officer for Prevention and Chief of the Centers for Health Metrics and Evaluation, will be available on this manuscript.

Additional Resources:

###

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: 214-706-1173

Bridgette McNeill: 214-706-1135; bridgette.mcneill@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsWed, 28 Mar 2018 09:00:07 GMTStudy Highlight: Rates of heart disease and stroke are less widespread among U.S. adults who were born in another country. https://newsroom.heart.org/news/heart-disease-stroke-less-widespread-among-foreign-born-vs-u-s-born-adultsWed, 28 Mar 2018 09:00:00 GMT

Marcus Foundation $15 million gift will create Marcus Stroke Network, an innovative partnership among leading health groups

Thu, 03/22/2018 - 09:18
ATLANTA,  March 22, 2018 — The Marcus Foundation has donated $15 million to establish the Marcus Stroke Network, a coordinated and collaborative effort among Grady Health System, Emory University School of Medicine, Boca Raton Regional Hospital and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association to help reduce stroke disability and death rates in the Southeastern United States.

Powered by two comprehensive stroke centers at Grady and Emory, both located in Atlanta, and guided by the American Stroke Association’s science-based quality and systems improvement expertise, the Marcus Stroke Network aims to:

  • Extend the world-renowned stroke expertise of the Marcus Stroke Network physician team by using innovative telemedicine technology to aggressively accelerate early and definitive stroke treatment.

  • Establish the region’s first Mobile Stroke Unit, a specialized ambulance equipped with a CT scanner that allows medical teams to initiate lifesaving treatment for stroke patients before they reach the hospital.

  • Implement a new paradigm of acute stroke care by initiating a direct “ambulance to angiography” approach.

  • Support paramedics providing pre-hospital care to help with the diagnosis and triage of stroke patients to the nearest appropriate hospital, thereby optimizing treatment and community resources more effectively.

  • Enhance the quality of care at participating Marcus Stroke Network hospitals and ensure long-term sustainability through a Regional Coordinated Stroke System of Care.

“This aggressive, action-focused program is a unique decision support system driven by technology, real-time outcomes, and scalable solutions,” says Marcus Stroke Network director Michael Frankel, MD, professor & director of vascular neurology, Emory University School of Medicine, chief of neurology and director of Grady’s Marcus Stroke and Neuroscience Center.

According to Frankel, vascular neurologists and other medical professionals at Emory and Grady will provide real-time stroke guidance to emergency medicine doctors at remote sites around the region, helping make diagnoses and treatment recommendations for patients who have had acute strokes.

“Using a sophisticated telemedicine platform, our goal is to extend the vast experience and proven expertise of our stroke specialists to participating network hospitals, giving each and every stroke patient in the areas serviced by our network partners the best chance of survival and living an independent quality of life.”

A major focus of the Marcus Stroke Network is providing timely, accurate, and evidence-based quality care to stroke patients. This approach will be guided by the science and expertise of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Assessing and treating stroke patients accurately and quickly is the goal of all entities involved in stroke care, and a result of the science and guidelines established by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

“One of our important quality measures for partners recruited to participate in the Marcus Stroke Network will be working to achieve the highest levels of patient care in our ‘Get With The Guidelines-Stroke’ program, ensuring consistent adherence to the latest scientific treatment guidelines,” said Dianne Foster, the American Heart Association’s Greater Southeast Affiliate vice president for quality and systems improvement.

“We are honored to collaborate with the Marcus Stroke Network on this outstanding initiative to improve health and wellness to individuals and communities.”

Frankel and his colleagues have been working for more than 25 years on testing innovative and new treatments to reduce the death and disability of this common disease. His team helped pioneer treatments in stroke including mechanical thrombectomy and intravenous tissue plasminogen activator, commonly called IV t-PA or alteplase.

Both are now a standard of care for patients with ischemic stroke who meet specific treatment criteria in the emergency setting. Ischemic stroke, caused by cerebral artery blockage, is the most common form of acute stroke.

According to Frankel, the use of alteplase has not been effectively implemented at hospitals with limited capabilities in stroke care. The Marcus Stroke Network brings the stroke expertise of Emory and Grady neurologists to the bedside using a telemedicine approach to more rapidly identify patients who will benefit from treatment. Earlier treatment increases the chances of survival with minimal or no disability. 

Stroke specialists working for the Network will be able to communicate with participating hospitals, using cutting edge real-time technology including digital video cameras, Internet telecommunications, tablets and other technology to rapidly assess and treat patients with acute stroke symptoms.

The system will also enable remote guidance of local follow-up care to optimize stroke prevention strategies. In addition, the Marcus Stroke Network’s mobile stroke ambulance will operate through Grady’s renowned EMS system, linking the Network doctors directly to patients in the field by utilizing an on-board CT scanner to facilitate the earliest treatment with alteplase possible for eligible patients. 

Building on the success of Grady’s Marcus Stroke & Neuroscience Center in developing and testing the most cutting-edge treatments in acute stroke (e.g. mechanical thrombectomy), the new Network is implementing innovative strategies to more rapidly identify patients with acute stroke in the field and directly transport them to the neuroangiography suite (aka “direct to angio”).

According to Raul Nogueira, MD, professor of neurology at Emory University and director of Grady’s neuroendovascular service, “This approach substantially reduces the time from major arterial occlusion in the brain to definitive therapy with mechanical thrombectomy.” Nogueira says such approaches help minimize brain damage and promote recovery.

“We know that every second counts after a stroke and the mantra ‘time is brain’ is critically accurate. This innovative and collaborative effort will help expedite treatment for the people of this region and ultimately lead to lives saved,” says John Haupert, president and CEO of Grady Health System.

“It builds on a strong track record of excellence in stroke care and therapeutic discovery provided by the American Stroke Association and physicians at both Emory and Grady, as well as the generosity of Bernie and Billi Marcus and their Foundation, which has helped saved thousands of lives in Georgia,” adds Haupert.

“This generous gift will allow us to combine strengths and capabilities with our esteemed partner organizations to improve access to high quality services and increase healthcare capability in communities across Georgia,” says Jonathan S. Lewin, MD, Emory’s executive vice president for health affairs and CEO of Emory Healthcare.

The Marcus Foundation, founded in 1989, has a long history of health-care philanthropy with a vision of improving stroke care through collaborative efforts.

The Marcus Stroke Network, endorsed by Georgia's Department of Public Health, will also provide a 24/7 call center serving as Georgia's first centralized resource for paramedics to assist with decisions about diagnosing stroke and indicating to the paramedic the location of the nearest appropriate hospital destination for treatment.

Boca Raton Regional Hospital’s Marcus Neuroscience Institute will also be a collaborating partner in the new network. “We are enthused to be part of this initial consortium with such outstanding and accomplished partners as Emory and Grady,” says Frank Vrionis, MD, MPH, PhD, Director of the Institute.

“Patients in our respective regions will certainly benefit from our collective expertise, and we look forward to this new collaborative as further evidence of our Institute’s robust and evolving capabilities in the neurosciences.” 

Stroke is a leading cause of death in the United States and the leading cause of long term adult disability. Georgia is part of the nation’s stroke belt, an 11-state region where scientific studies indicate the risk of stroke is 34 percent higher for the general population than it is in other areas of the country.

“Fortunately, living in the Stroke Belt doesn’t mean that people can’t take control of their health outcomes,” says Foster. “With today’s medicine and technology advancements in the stroke arena, there’s hope for improving people’s quality of life and chances of survival. The Marcus Stroke Network will play an important role in helping to reduce death rates and disability in this region.”

 # # #

American Heart Association and American Stroke Association

The American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association are devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. The American Stroke Association is a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Grady Health System

Grady Health System is one of the largest safety net health systems in the nation and includes the 953-bed Grady Memorial Hospital, five neighborhood health centers, and Crestview Health & Rehabilitation Center. With its nationally acclaimed emergency medical services, Grady has Atlanta’s premier Level I trauma center - Metro Atlanta’s only nationally verified Level 1 center - and serves as the 911 ambulance provider for the city of Atlanta. Grady’s American Burn Association/American College of Surgeons verified Burn Center is one of only two in the state. And the Marcus Stroke and Neuroscience Center is a Joint Commission designated Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center.

Emory University School of Medicine

Emory University School of Medicine has 2,757 full- and part-time faculty and 795 volunteer faculty. Because of Emory's extensive network of cross-disciplinary relationships, patients and physicians have direct access to leading research, and students and researchers observe real-world applications for their studies and discoveries. A national leader in advanced stroke care, Emory offers the greater Atlanta area top-rated Comprehensive and Primary Stroke Centers, certified by The Joint Commission for their state-of-the-art infrastructure, expert staff and skilled training to receive and treat patients with the most complex strokes.  

Boca Raton Regional Hospital, Marcus Neuroscience Institute

The Marcus Neuroscience Institute at Boca Raton Regional Hospital is an innovative nexus for neurologic and neurosurgical care. The 57,000-square-foot facility houses a 20-bed Neuro Intensive Care and Step-Down Unit, four dedicated operating rooms — including one equipped with intraoperative MRI and two with intraoperative CT capability — and a biplane angiography suite, a crucial component in the diagnosis and care of neurological conditions. The Institute has a staff of three neurosurgeons and eight neurologists who represent some of the most respected clinicians in their fields and is affiliated with Florida Atlantic University’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine.

Media Contacts:

Thomas Chakurda, Boca Raton Regional Hospital, TChakurda@brrh.com, 561-955-3586

Jennifer Johnson, Emory University jrjohn9@emory.edu, 404-727-5696    

Darrya Lipscomb, American Heart Association, darrya.lipscomb@heart.org, 678-224-2077

Denise Simpson, Grady Health System, dsimpson@gmh.edu, 404-616-6855

]]>Program NewsStroke NewsThu, 22 Mar 2018 14:00:06 GMTATLANTA,  March 22, 2018 — The Marcus Foundation has donated $15 million to establish the Marcus Stroke Network, a coordinated and collaborative effort among Grady Health System, Emory University School of Medicine, Boca Raton Regional Hospital and the...https://newsroom.heart.org/news/marcus-foundation-15-million-gift-will-create-marcus-stroke-network-an-innovative-partnership-among-leading-health-groupsThu, 22 Mar 2018 14:00:00 GMT

Hip hop music teaches children, parents to recognize stroke and act quickly

Thu, 03/22/2018 - 04:11
Study Highlight:

  • The “Hip Hop Stroke” initiative uses hip hop music lyrics to effectively educate economically-disadvantaged, minority children and parents about stroke.

Embargoed until 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Thursday, March 22, 2018

DALLAS, March 22, 2018 — An intervention that uses hip hop music with stroke education lyrics increased stroke awareness for economically-disadvantaged, minority children and their parents, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke.

“The lack of stroke recognition, especially among blacks, results in dangerous delays in treatment,” said Olajide Williams, M.D., M.S., study author and associate professor of neurology at Columbia University Medical Center, New York Presbyterian Hospital. “Because of those delays, only a quarter of all stroke patients arrive at the hospital within the ideal time for clot-busting treatment.”  

Stroke education is important even for children because simply calling 9-1-1 immediately when stroke symptoms start could increase the rate of optimal stroke treatment by 24 percent. Usually a witness makes the 9-1-1 call – something even a child can do.

Other campaigns to improve stroke awareness have been limited by the high costs of advertising, lack of cultural tailoring and low penetration into ethnic minority populations. Ultimately, the desired effect of calling 9-1-1 has dissipated once the media campaign ended.

Researchers studying more than 3,000 4th through 6th graders from 22 public schools in New York City and a group of 1,144 of their parents found “Hip Hop Stroke”, a three-hour multimedia stroke awareness intervention, increased optimal stroke knowledge from 2 percent of children before the intervention to 57 percent right after. Three months later, 24 percent of children retained that knowledge.

They also found:

While only 3 percent of parents could identify all stroke symptoms in the FAST acronym before the intervention, 20 percent could immediately after and 17 percent could three months later.

Four of the children put in practice what they learned in the intervention and called 911 for real-life stroke symptoms, including one who overruled a parent’s suggestion to wait and see.

The Hip Hop Stroke program, according to Williams, is available and free to U.S. communities.

“The program’s culturally-tailored multimedia presentation is particularly effective among minority youth or other groups among whom Hip Hop music is popular,” Williams said. “One unique aspect of the program is that the children who receive the program in school are used as ‘transmission vectors’ of stroke information to their parents and grandparents at home. Our trial showed that this is an effective strategy.”

Co-authors are Ellyn Leighton-Hermann Quinn, Ph.D.; Jeanne Teresi, Ed.D., Ph.D.; Joseph P. Eimicke, M.S.; Jian Kong, M.S.; Gbenga Ogedegbe, M.D., M.P.H.; and James Noble, M.D., M.S. Authors reported no conflicts of interest.

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke funded the study.

Additional Resources:

###

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

About the American Stroke Association

The American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from stroke — the No. 2 cause of death in the world and a leading cause of serious disability. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat stroke. The Dallas-based association officially launched in 1998 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit StrokeAssociation.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: 214-706-1173

Karen Astle: 214-706-1392; karen.astle@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

]]>Stroke NewsThu, 22 Mar 2018 09:00:07 GMTStudy Highlight: The “Hip Hop Stroke” initiative uses hip hop music lyrics to effectively educate economically-disadvantaged, minority children and parents about stroke. https://newsroom.heart.org/news/hip-hop-music-teaches-children-parents-to-recognize-stroke-and-act-quicklyThu, 22 Mar 2018 09:00:00 GMT

Severe war injuries and PTSD can impact hypertension risk

Mon, 03/19/2018 - 04:49
Study Highlights

  • U.S. service members severely injured in the Iraq or Afghanistan wars or diagnosed with PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) face a greater risk of high blood pressure.
  • Injury severity and PTSD were each independently associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure.

Embargoed 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Mon. March 19, 2018

DALLAS, March 19, 2018 – Severe combat wounds  and chronic PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) may put service men and women at risk of having high blood pressure later, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Hypertension.

PTSD, a mental health disorder that stems from a traumatic or life-threatening event, has been previously linked to risk of high blood pressure and other issues, including substance abuse, obesity, coronary artery disease, and suicide.

The new study reviewed records of 3,846 U.S. service members in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars who received intensive care for combat injuries sustained from February 2002 until February 2011. Their average age when they were wounded was 26. More than 14 percent of combatants developed high blood pressure at least 90 days after being wounded. How severe initial injuries were, and how frequently PTSD was noted in medical records after the wounding, separately affected later risk of hypertension, the study found.

“What we found surprised us. PTSD does appear to increase the risk of hypertension,” said Maj. Ian J. Stewart, M.D., the study’s senior author, who works from the David Grant U.S. Air Force Medical Center at Travis Air Force Base in California. “But we thought that hypertension risk from the injury would depend on the presence of PTSD. Instead, increased hypertension risk is additive to the injury itself,” said Stewart.

The study incorporated each service member’s Injury Severity Score, a scale ranging from 1 to 75 that gauges the total impact of multiple injuries, based on assessment of six body regions.

For instance, a third-degree burn covering 20 percent of the skin’s surface, plus a concussion and minor scalp cut, would yield a score of 11. A traumatic amputation at the hip would be scored at 16, and a 60 percent third-degree burn plus six rib fractures would be scored at 41.

The study found that for every five-point increase in Injury Severity Score, overall risk of high blood pressure rose 5 percent. Patients with an Injury Severity Score of 25 or lower and no recorded PTSD diagnosis had the lowest hypertension risk.

Compared with patients who had no record of a PTSD diagnosis, those with 1 to 15 PTSD notations in their files had an 85 percent higher risk of hypertension. Those who had PTSD noted more than 15 times—suggesting the condition was more chronic—had 114 percent increase in the risk of high blood pressure, the study found.

As in other studies, this research found that age, acute kidney injury and race were associated with risk of developing high blood pressure. Risk increased about 5 percent for every year older a veteran was, and was 69 percent higher for African-Americans, compared with whites. Suffering acute injury to the kidneys, which play a key role in regulating blood pressure, also was linked to a higher risk for hypertension.

It’s important for policy makers to better understand Iraq and Afghanistan veterans’ long-term potential health-related risks and costs, Stewart said. He cited a report from Harvard Kennedy School estimating those could total about $970 billion, including almost $288 billion in direct medical costs, over the next 40 years.

“Veterans suffer long after wars end and wounds heal,” he said. “Our society will be paying the price for years to come.”

The study included up to 10 years’ worth of records following each wounded service member, reflecting care in both Department of Defense health facilities and medical visits through the TRICARE program, a health care program of the U.S. Department of Defense Military Health System. 

Stewart and his colleagues suspect that development of high blood pressure and other chronic medical conditions after combat injury might generally be traced through three routes:

  • through PTSD or other mental health conditions that arise, such as depression or anxiety;
  • through physiological changes, including inflammatory or metabolic responses,
  • or due to lifestyle changes such as smoking or gaining weight. More research into these areas is needed, the authors note.

High blood pressure is defined as blood pressure readings 130/80 mm Hg and above. Untreated, it can lead to stroke, heart and kidney disease, vision loss and sexual dysfunction.

Strengths of the study include the high number of medical visits recorded for each patient, and the use of Department of Defense databases that allowed researchers to track patients over time rather than rely on individuals’ own accounts. However, the study did not follow patients in real time, and couldn’t control for differences in how blood pressure readings were taken. The study also lacked biological data such as measurements of inflammatory markers, and information about behaviors such as smoking that impact future health.

Co-authors are Jeffrey T. Howard, Ph.D.; Jonathan A. Sosnov, M.D.; Jud C. Janak, Ph.D.; Adi V. Gundlapalli, M.D., Ph.D.; Warren B. Pettey, M.P.H.; and Lauren E. Walker, M.S.W. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

The U.S. Air Force, Headquarters, Office of the Surgeon General funded the study.

Additional Resources:

###

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: 214-706-1173

Staff contact: Darcy Spitz 212-878-5940; darcy.spitz@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

 

]]>Stroke NewsHeart NewsMon, 19 Mar 2018 09:00:07 GMTStudy Highlights: U.S. service members severely injured in the Iraq or Afghanistan wars or diagnosed with PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) face a greater risk of high blood pressure. Injury severity and PTSD were each independently associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure. https://newsroom.heart.org/news/severe-war-injuries-and-ptsd-can-impact-hypertension-riskMon, 19 Mar 2018 09:00:00 GMT

Dietary sodium’s impact may not be offset by other aspects of a diet

Mon, 03/05/2018 - 04:23
Embargoed 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Monday, March 5, 2018

DALLAS, March 5, 2018 – An international study suggests other aspects of the diet may not offset the harmful effect of sodium on blood pressure. The study, published in the American Heart Association’s journal Hypertension, also reaffirms the need for widespread sodium reduction in the food supply.

Researchers reviewed data on sodium intake and intake of 80 nutrients, such as proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals and amino acids, that may relate to blood pressure in 4,680 women and men (ages 40-59) in Japan, People’s Republic of China, the United Kingdom and the United States participating in the INTERMAP study. The data included sodium and potassium excretion levels in urine collections. Researchers concluded that other dietary nutrients may not reduce the detrimental effects of sodium.

“Regularly consuming excessive amounts of sodium, derived mainly from commercially processed food products, is an important factor in the development of the elevated blood pressure patterns,” wrote co-lead author Jeremiah Stamler, M.D. “To prevent and control the ongoing epidemic of prehypertension and hypertension, the salt content in the food supply must be reduced significantly.”

About 3/4 of the sodium Americans eat comes from processed, prepackaged and restaurant foods – not from the salt shaker when cooking or at the table. The American Heart Association recommends adults consume no more than one teaspoon of salt (2,300 mg sodium) total per day through all the foods they eat.

“We’re learning more about the role other nutrients play in influencing the blood pressure-raising effects of sodium, and that the focus on sodium remains important,” said Cheryl Anderson, Ph.D., vice-chair of the American Heart Association’s Nutrition Committee. “Restaurant and prepackaged food companies must be part of the solution because Americans desire the ability to choose foods that allow them to meet their sodium reduction goals.”

The American Heart Association convenes food industry leaders and influencers to identify ways to improve the food supply and has developed a sodium reduction campaign to help.

The study was led by Jeremiah Stamler, M.D. of Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine and Queenie Chan, Ph.D. of the Imperial College London. Author disclosures and study funding are noted in the manuscript. 

Additional Resources:

###

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. 

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: 214-706-1173

Bridgette McNeill: 214-706-1135; bridgette.mcneill@heart.org 

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org 

 

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsMon, 05 Mar 2018 10:00:05 GMTAn international study suggests other aspects of the diet may not offset the harmful effect of sodium on blood pressure. The study, published in the American Heart Association’s journal Hypertension, also reaffirms the need for widespread sodium reduction in the food supply.https://newsroom.heart.org/news/dietary-sodiums-impact-may-not-be-offset-by-other-aspects-of-a-dietMon, 05 Mar 2018 10:00:00 GMT

Short kids may have higher future stroke risk

Thu, 02/15/2018 - 04:19
Embargoed until 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018

DALLAS, Feb. 15, 2018 –  Being a short kid is associated with increased risk of having a stroke in adulthood, according to Danish research published in Stroke, an American Heart Association journal.

A prospective study examined data on more than 300,000 Danish schoolchildren – born between 1930-1989 who were examined at ages 7, 10 and 13. Researchers noted that boys and girls who were 2 to 3 inches shorter than average for their age were at increased risk of clot-related (ischemic) stroke in adult men and women and of bleeding stroke in men.

While adult height is genetically determined, it is also influenced by factors such as maternal diet during pregnancy, childhood diet, infection and psychological stress. Several of these factors are modifiable and all are thought to affect the risk of stroke.

Researchers noted that a decline in stroke incidence and mortality rates in most high-income countries, primarily in women, occurred simultaneously with a general increase in attained adult height. Taken together, this suggests the involvement of shared underlying mechanisms for height and stroke development.

Researchers say these results have implications for understanding disease origin rather than for clinical risk prediction and future studies should focus on the mechanisms underlying the relationship between childhood height and later stroke.

“Our study suggests that short height in children is a possible marker of stroke risk and suggests these children should pay extra attention to changing or treating modifiable risk factors for stroke throughout life to reduce the chances of having this disease,” said senior study author Jennifer L. Baker, Ph.D., associate professor in the Center for Clinical Research and Prevention at Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg Hospital and Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, at the University of Copenhagen, in Denmark.

Funding sources and author disclosures are detailed in the manuscript.

Additional Resources:

###

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: 214.706.1173

Bridgette McNeill: 214.706.1135; bridgette.mcneill@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsThu, 15 Feb 2018 10:00:05 GMTBeing a short kid is associated with increased risk of having a stroke in adulthood, according to Danish research published in Stroke, an American Heart Association journal.https://newsroom.heart.org/news/short-kids-may-have-higher-future-stroke-riskThu, 15 Feb 2018 10:00:00 GMT

Survivors of childhood heart defects may have higher risk of premature dementia

Mon, 02/12/2018 - 04:44
Study Highlight:

  • Children born with heart defects are more likely to survive into old age because of improved early treatments, but they may be more likely to develop early-onset dementia than people born without heart defects.

Embargoed until 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Monday, February 12, 2018

DALLAS, February 12, 2018 — People born with heart defects who survive into adulthood may be at higher risk of developing dementia, particularly dementia that starts before 65 years of age, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation.

With improved newborn and childhood treatments, more people born with heart defects survive into adulthood. A 2016 study published in Circulation estimated that approximately 1.4 million adults are living with congenital heart defects in the United States.

“Previous studies showed that people born with heart defects have a higher risk of neurodevelopmental problems in childhood, such as epilepsy and autism, but this is, to our knowledge, the first study to examine the potential for dementia later in adult life,” said Carina N. Bagge, B.Sc., lead author of the study and a medical student in the Department of Clinical Epidemiology at Aarhus University Hospital in Aarhus, Denmark.

Using national medical databases and records covering all Danish hospitals, the researchers examined the occurrence of dementia in 10,632 mostly Caucasian adults (46 percent male) born with heart defects between 1890 and 1982 (most between 1960 and 1982), matching each with 10 members of the general population of the same gender born the same year.

Researchers found the risk of dementia from any cause, including vascular dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and others, in people born with heart defects in Denmark was:

  • 60 percent higher overall than the general population;
  • 160 percent (2.6 times) higher for early-onset dementia (diagnosed before age 65);
  • 30 percent higher for dementia diagnosed after age 65.

The study was observational, which means that the researchers were examining individuals with heart defects over time to see if there was an association between being born with a heart defect and developing dementia later in life. While they did find an association, the study does not mean that every person who was born with a heart defect will develop dementia. The study observed a higher risk, but did not prove cause and effect.

Heart defects are the most common group of birth defects, occurring in 4 to 10 of every 1,000 live births in the United States and 8 to 10 out of every 1,000 live births in Denmark’.

“Our study involved an older population born when treatments for heart defects were more limited. Modern treatment has improved greatly, and as a result we can’t directly generalize these results to children born today. We need further work to understand the risks in the modern era,” Bagge said.

Dementia or cognitive impairment is often progressive, and can be caused by many factors, including reduced blood flow to the brain, strokes and Alzheimer’s disease. People with dementia may have problems with memory, reasoning, behavior and other mental functions.

In this study, the risk of dementia was higher in people born with heart defects who developed other heart disease risk factors later in life, such as atrial fibrillation, heart failure, and diabetes. These risk factors are more common in people born with heart defects than in the general population, and they have also been shown to independently raise the risk of dementia.

“While we must be careful to appreciate these findings within the limitations of the study design, continued study of this association may yield important clinical screening and medical management strategies in the future, and there may even be opportunities discovered to aid in the prevention of dementia in this population,” said Nicolas L. Madsen, M.D., M.P.H., senior author of the study and assistant professor of pediatrics at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Co-authors are Victor W. Henderson, M.D., M.S.; Henning B. Laursen, M.D., D.M.Sc.; Kasper Adelborg, M.D., Ph.D.; and Morten Olsen, M.D., Ph.D. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

The study was funded by the Department of Clinical Epidemiology at Aarhus University Hospital, the Heart Institute at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, the National Institute on Aging, the Foundation of the Family Kjaersgaard Sunds, the Foundation of 1870, the Foundation of Raimond and Dagmar Ringgaard-Bohn, the Foundation of Torben and Alice Frimodt, the Foundation of the Family Hede-Nielsen, and the Oticon Foundation.

Additional Resources:

###

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: 214-706-1173

Staff Contact: Darcy Spitz: 212-878-5940; darcy.spitz@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsMon, 12 Feb 2018 10:00:06 GMTStudy Highlight: Children born with heart defects are more likely to survive into old age because of improved early treatments, but they may be more likely to develop early-onset dementia than people born without heart defects. https://newsroom.heart.org/news/survivors-of-childhood-heart-defects-may-have-higher-risk-of-premature-dementiaMon, 12 Feb 2018 10:00:00 GMT

Stroke journal features women’s studies on how gender influences stroke risk, treatment and outcomes

Thu, 02/08/2018 - 04:31
Embargoed until 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Thurs., Feb. 8, 2018

DALLAS, Feb. 8, 2018 — Many aspects of strokes affect women and men differently, and four articles in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke highlight recent research and identify future research needs.

“Gender influences all aspects of stroke, from risk factors, treatments and outcomes,” said Marc Fisher, M.D editor in chief of the Stroke journal and professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. “Highlighting these studies, all led by female researchers, in February, a month when the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association focuses on women’s health with Go Red For Women, is important. For too long, gender influences were not adequately studied.”

The studies include:

Stroke risk factors unique to women

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in women in the United States and is a leading cause of disability. Each year 55,000 more women than men have a stroke, a discrepancy largely driven by longer life expectancy in women.

This review highlights stroke risk factors specific to women, including fluctuations in naturally occurring hormone levels over women’s lives; adverse effects of supplemental hormones used as contraception or to treat menopausal symptoms; and pregnancy and pregnancy-related complications. The authors suggest that future research is needed to determine whether stroke risk prediction models should include risk factors specific to women such as supplemental hormones and pregnancy.

Preeclampsia: Association with posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome and stroke

Preeclampsia is a complication of pregnancy characterized by high blood pressure which can cause damage to the brain, kidneys and liver. Preeclampsia can advance to eclampsia, which is characterized by seizures. Both of these conditions are associated with an increased risk of maternal death, ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke. Preeclampsia is a treatable and possibly preventable condition which complicates up to 5 percent of pregnancies. The treatment for preeclampsia/eclampsia includes anti-hypertensives and magnesium.

According to this review, the risk of future ischemic stroke is approximately 80 percent greater in women with a history of preeclampsia than in those without the condition. Women whose pregnancy is complicated by preeclampsia or eclampsia should be counseled on the signs and symptoms of stroke and monitored closely in the postpartum period. 

A focused update of sex differences in patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) after stroke

This study is an updated review of sex differences in patient reported outcome measures less than 12 months after stroke, using data from studies published since 2007.

The review confirms that after stroke women suffer more activity limitations, worse health related quality of life and more post stroke depression than men, but do not have worse cognitive impairment or challenges in dealing with everyday life compared to men. The authors note that there is a pressing need for high-quality population-based studies of sex differences in patient reported outcome measures after stroke. Studies exploring potential modifiable contributors to these differences are needed so effective interventions to reduce sex disparities in outcomes can be designed.

Impact of Conventional Stroke Risk Factors on Stroke in Women: An Update

Due to increasing stroke risk with age and a longer life expectancy, women experience more strokes and more death from stroke over their lifetime and have worse functional outcomes following stroke. This study reviews current literature (2013 to present) on ischemic strokes, the most common type of stroke caused by narrowing or blockages in the arteries leading to the brain, and the degree to which conventional risk factors affect men and women differently. 

It concludes that risk factors -- including diabetes, metabolic syndrome, atrial fibrillation and migraine -- carry greater ischemic stroke risk for women compared with men. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of risk factors that significantly raises the risk of heart disease and stroke; atrial fibrillation is a heart rhythm disorder. The association between elevated cholesterol and stroke may be slightly higher among men, and the role of high blood pressure is complicated, with varying effects based on age/race/ethnicity and gender.

The authors also note that treatment disparities between men and women leading to suboptimal stroke prevention in women need to be addressed.

Editorial: Stroke in Women

In this edition of Stroke, the papers by McDermott, Demel, Madsen, Gall/Lisabeth and colleagues argue for further recognition of the factors causing stroke in women as well as for systematic intensification of treatments. Sex differences in stroke burden are most influenced by differences in cardiovascular risk factor burden; thus, the greatest gains in stroke prevention will come from increased screening and treatment of these primary risk factors in women early in life, especially in the obese, women in pregnancy, and those from high-risk ethnoracial groups.

Co-authors, funding sources and author disclosures are on the manuscripts.

Additional Resources:

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Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke –  the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About the American Stroke Association

The American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from stroke — the No. 2 cause of death in the world and a leading cause of serious disability. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat stroke. The Dallas-based association officially launched in 1998 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit StrokeAssociation.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: 214-706-1173

Darcy Spitz: 212-878-5940; darcy.spitz@heart.org.

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

 

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsThu, 08 Feb 2018 10:00:04 GMTMany aspects of strokes affect women and men differently, and four articles in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke highlight recent research and identify future research needs.https://newsroom.heart.org/news/stroke-journal-features-womens-studies-on-how-gender-influences-stroke-risk-treatment-and-outcomesThu, 08 Feb 2018 10:00:00 GMT

Top heart disease and stroke research advances of 2017

Wed, 02/07/2018 - 15:11
DALLAS, Feb. 7, 2018 — New medicines to fight heart disease, updated guidelines for strokes and high blood pressure, and research into genome editing are among the top heart disease and stroke advances in 2017, according to the American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary health organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular disease and stroke.

The Association, one of the top funders of heart- and stroke-related research worldwide, has been compiling an annual top 10 list of major advances in heart disease and stroke science since 1996. Here, in no particular order, are the organization’s picks for leading research accomplishments published in 2017.

Advancing the treatment of strokes

Following publication in 2017 of the DAWN study in The New England Journal of Medicine showing benefits of mechanical clot removal for longer periods after a stroke starts, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association released new guidelines for treating acute ischemic stroke. The guidelines were released at the International Stroke Conference in January 2018 and included additional data from DEFUSE 3, also presented at the meeting.

The new guidelines, published in the journal Stroke, say the clot-removal treatment window may be increased from six hours to up to 24 hours for specific patients who have clots in large vessels in the brain. The guidelines also increase the number of patients who will have access to a clot-dissolving drug proven to lower the chances for disability. The guidelines reiterated the need for fast action when a person shows the symptoms of a stroke, the second-leading cause of death in the world and a leading cause of disability.

Fixing a gene mutation in human embryos

A study in Nature suggests genome editing could be used to correct disease-causing mutations in the heart muscle of human embryos. Researchers focused on the MYBPC3 gene – which provides instructions for making a protein found in heart muscle cells and causes a form of inherited hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – and used new approaches to allow safe and accurate correction of the abnormal gene.

While early, this research furthers the potential for genome editing to correct mutations that pass from parent to child.

New high blood pressure guidelines for teens and children

For children, “normal” blood pressure varies based on gender, age and height. So for years, doctors had to refer to sets of charts to calculate whether a child’s blood pressure was normal or high.

Last August, the American Academy of Pediatrics simplified the process by issuing updated guidelines for diagnosing, evaluating and treating children and adolescents with high blood pressure. The guidelines, published in Pediatrics, provide a short, easy-to-understand table that uses a child’s age and gender to determine whether blood pressure is elevated or not.

The AHA and American College of Cardiology released new guidelines for adults last November at the Association’s annual Scientific Sessions. The guidance, published in the American Heart Association’s journal, Hypertension, redefined what should be classified as high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. Experts looking at the newest data defined hypertension as a reading of 130 (for the top, or systolic, number) or 80 (for the bottom, or diastolic, number). In the past, hypertension was defined as 140/90.

The change means 46 percent of U.S. adults are identified as having high blood pressure, compared with 32 percent under the previous definition. Lifestyle changes alone, without the need for medication, are recommended for the majority of Americans with newly diagnosed high blood pressure, according to the guidelines.

Economic recession affects the cardiovascular health of African-American teens

Previous research has shown that low household income can adversely affect patients’ health, but a new study found the health of some African-American teenagers was particularly impacted five years following the Great Recession that lasted from 2007-2009.

The study, in the Journal of the American Heart Association, found that 16- and 17-year-olds in the rural U.S. Southeast whose families suffered a financial downturn after the recession showed higher rates of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of disorders that may include abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar and high cholesterol. The results suggest the need for secondary prevention efforts for teens, including lifestyle modification, during and after a large-scale economic decline.

A deeper understanding of heart health for those living in food deserts

Health researchers have focused a lot in recent years on so-called food deserts: low-income neighborhoods with low access to healthy food. But a new study found that it’s not so much the “desert” itself as it is low income in general that is linked to poor heart health.

The study, in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, studied food deserts in metro Atlanta and found people who live there have higher rates of cardiovascular risk factors such as oxidative stress, inflammation and arterial stiffness. However, researchers concluded these associations are mostly due to low income of the area and its residents rather than proximity to a grocery store – a finding which could impact the future use of public health resources in poor neighborhoods.

Cholesterol-lowering drug cuts risk of heart attacks and strokes

A study in The New England Journal of Medicine found that the new injectable cholesterol-lowering drug evolocumab can reduce heart attacks and strokes among high-risk patients. The FOURIER study – paid for by Amgen, which makes and sells the PCSK9 inhibitor evolocumab under the brand name Repatha – showed that the drug cut the risk of having a heart attack, stroke or dying from a cardiovascular cause by 20 percent when added to intensive statin therapy.

The study reported that Repatha lowered “bad” LDL cholesterol by about 60 percent, to a median of 30.

SGLT2 inhibitors may lower rates of death and heart failure for people with diabetes

A large international study in Circulation showed lower rates of death and heart failure for diabetes patients treated with the SGLT2 inhibitors canagliflozin, dapagliflozin or empagliflozin, compared with other glucose-lowering drugs. The CVD-REAL study – paid for by AstraZeneca, which markets dapagliflozin under the brand name Farxiga – looked at more than 300,000 patients with Type 2 diabetes in the U.S., the U.K., Denmark, Norway and Sweden. The results suggest SGLT2 inhibitors may benefit a broad population of patients with Type 2 diabetes.

Improved therapy for treating patients with peripheral artery disease

According to a study in The Lancet, combining low doses of the blood thinner rivaroxaban and aspirin is more effective than aspirin alone in preventing cardiovascular deaths, heart attacks, strokes and major amputations for people with peripheral artery disease, or PAD.

The 33-country COMPASS study looked at 7,470 patients with PAD, a narrowing of the peripheral arteries to the legs, arms, stomach and head. Although major bleeding increased with the combination therapy, fatal or critical organ bleeding did not. Researchers said the new approach is a major advance in treating patients with peripheral artery disease.

A new treatment for fighting inflammation and reducing cardiovascular events

Scientists have long believed that reducing inflammation may reduce the risk of heart disease. The CANTOS study published in The New England Journal of Medicine looked at more than 10,000 high-risk patients who previously had heart attacks and found that canakinumab, a monoclonal antibody that targets interleukin-1 beta and blocks inflammation, significantly lowered their rate of having or dying from a heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular cause. Although the drug did not reduce overall deaths from any cause and was associated with significant side effects, the principle underlying the use of a specific anti-inflammatory antibody is important.

Catheter-based procedure extended for more patients with aortic stenosis

Aortic stenosis – a narrowing of the aortic valve opening – is a common and serious valve disease problem. For patients with severe aortic stenosis at high risk for surgical complications, a procedure called transcatheter aortic-valve replacement, or TAVR, that can be done through a catheter rather than with open-heart surgery, is already an accepted alternative.

The SURTAVI study in The New England Journal of Medicine looked at severe aortic stenosis patients at intermediate risk for complications from surgery and found TAVR to be a viable alternative for them as well.

Additional Resources:

  • Follow AHA/ASA news on Twitter @HeartNews
  • For updates and new science from the Circulation journal follow @CircAHA

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The information is available via an American Heart Association News story. Media may leverage this content for linking, quoting and excerpting. Copyright is owned or held by American Heart Association and all rights are reserved, but permission is granted, at no cost and without need for further request, to link to, quote or excerpt from these stories in any medium anywhere as long as the text is not altered and proper attribution is made to American Heart Association News. Full terms of use and attribution language can be found here.

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: 214-706-1173

Carrie Thacker: 214-706-1665; carrie.thacker@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsWed, 07 Feb 2018 21:07:31 GMTNew medicines to fight heart disease, updated guidelines for strokes and high blood pressure, and research into genome editing are among the top heart disease and stroke advances in 2017, according to the American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary health organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular disease and stroke.https://newsroom.heart.org/news/top-heart-disease-and-stroke-research-advances-of-2017Wed, 07 Feb 2018 20:51:00 GMT

Severe pre-eclampsia often leads to undetected high blood pressure after pregnancy

Mon, 02/05/2018 - 04:59
Study Highlights:

  • Hypertension commonly occurs in the year following pregnancy among women who had severe pre-eclampsia during pregnancy.
  • The lingering hypertension may go unnoticed because it often doesn’t present as classic high readings in the doctor’s office.
  • Offering post-pregnancy ambulatory blood pressure monitoring to all women who have severe pre-eclampsia may help detect those whose blood pressures might be high despite normal readings in doctors’ offices.

Embargoed 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Monday, February 5, 2018

DALLAS, Feb. 5, 2018 – Lingering hypertension is common and may go unnoticed among women who have severe pre-eclampsia during pregnancy, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Hypertension.

Pre-eclampsia, which is when a woman develops hypertension and elevated protein in the urine during pregnancy, occurs in three to five percent of pregnancies in the developed world. Recent studies have shown that women with pre-eclampsia are more likely than women with normal blood pressure during pregnancy to have high blood pressure post-pregnancy.

Women with severe pre-eclampsia can be seven times more susceptible to develop future cardiovascular disease compared to women with a normal blood pressure during pregnancy, according to study author Laura Benschop, M.D., a researcher in obstetrics and gynecology at Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

“The problem is high blood pressure after pregnancy often goes unnoticed because many of these women have normal blood pressure readings in the doctor’s office,” Benschop said. “We aimed to determine how common it is for women who have pre-eclampsia to have high blood pressure in the year after pregnancy, by looking at more than just their blood pressure readings in the doctor’s office.”

Benschop and colleagues studied 200 women who during their pregnancies were diagnosed with severe pre-eclampsia, defined by such criteria as a systolic blood pressure of 160 mmHg or higher and/or diastolic blood pressure of 110 mmHg or higher. They followed the women for one year after their pregnancies, monitoring blood pressure during the day and night and taking blood pressure readings in the clinic.

They found:

  • More than 41 percent of the women in the study had high blood pressure in the year after pregnancy.
  • The most common type of hypertension detected (17.5 percent) was masked hypertension, which is normal blood pressure in the doctor’s office, but high readings outside of the office; followed by sustained hypertension (14.5 percent); then, white coat hypertension (9.5 percent), which occurs when people have higher blood pressure readings at the doctor’s office than outside the clinic setting.
  • If the ambulatory readings hadn’t been taken and only in-clinic readings were used, doctors would have missed 56 percent of the women with high blood pressure.
  • Forty-six percent of the women studied had an insufficient decrease in blood pressure from daytime to nighttime, which is unhealthy.
  • Night-time hypertension, which increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and death, affected 42.5 percent of women in the study.

“Our findings suggest women who have high blood pressure during pregnancy should continue to monitor their blood pressure long after they’ve delivered their babies. It’s not only important to monitor blood pressure in the doctor’s office, but also at different times of the day and night, at home,” Benschop said. “We’ve shown here that high blood pressure comes in many forms after pregnancy. Women who know their numbers can take the proper steps to lower their blood pressure and avoid the health consequences of high blood pressure later in life.”

This study has limitations, including that the findings might not be applicable across races and income levels. The women in this study were predominately highly educated and Caucasian.

According to new hypertension treatment guidelines recently released by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Clinical Practice Guidelines, high blood pressure is now defined as readings of 130 mm Hg and higher for the systolic blood pressure measurement, or readings of 80 and higher for the diastolic measurement. That is a change from the old definition of 140/90 and higher, reflecting complications that can occur at those lower numbers.

Co-authors are Johannes J Duvekot, M.D., Ph.D.; Jorie Versmissen, M.D., Ph.D.; Valeska van Broekhoven, M.D.; Eric AP Steegers, M.D., Ph.D.; and Jeanine E Roeters van Lennep, M.D., Ph.D. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

This study did not receive outside funding.

Additional Resources:

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Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: 214-706-1173

Carrie Thacker: 214-706-1665; carrie.thacker@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

 

 

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsMon, 05 Feb 2018 10:00:04 GMTStudy Highlights: Hypertension commonly occurs in the year following pregnancy among women who had severe pre-eclampsia during pregnancy. The lingering hypertension may go unnoticed because it often doesn’t present as classic high readings in the doctor’s office. Offering post-pregnancy ambulatory blood pressure monitoring to all women who have severe pre-eclampsia may help detect those whose blood pressures might be high despite normal readings in doctors’ offices. https://newsroom.heart.org/news/severe-pre-eclampsia-often-leads-to-undetected-high-blood-pressure-after-pregnancyMon, 05 Feb 2018 10:00:00 GMT

More than 100 million Americans have high blood pressure, AHA says

Wed, 01/31/2018 - 13:01
DALLAS, Jan. 31, 2018 — The number of Americans at risk for heart attacks and strokes just got a lot higher. An estimated 103 million U.S. adults have high blood pressure, according to new statistics from the American Heart Association. That’s nearly half of all adults in the United States.

“With the aging of the population and increased life expectancy, the prevalence of high blood pressure is expected to continue to increase,” said epidemiologist Dr. Paul Muntner, co-chair of the group that wrote the AHA’s Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2018 Update, published Wednesday in Circulation. Read more from AHA News

 American Heart Association News covers heart disease, stroke and related health issues. Not all views expressed in American Heart Association News stories reflect the official position of the American Heart Association.  Copyright is owned or held by the American Heart Association, Inc., and all rights are reserved. Permission is granted, at no cost and without need for further request, to link to, quote, excerpt or reprint from these stories in any medium as long as no text is altered and proper attribution is made to the American Heart Association News. See full terms of use.  

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The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association receives funding mostly from individuals. Foundations and corporations donate as well, and fund specific programs and events. Strict policies are enforced to prevent these relationships from influencing the Association's science content. Financial information for the American Heart Association, including a list of contributions from pharmaceutical companies and device manufacturers, is available at http://www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Media Inquiries:  For American Heart Association News stories on Heart.org, please contact editor@heart.org.

For other media inquiries: please call 214-706-1173

Public Inquiries: (800)-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

Life is why we fund scientific breakthroughs that save and improve lives.

]]>Media AlertsHeart NewsStroke NewsWed, 31 Jan 2018 18:01:18 GMTDALLAS, Jan. 31, 2018 — The number of Americans at risk for heart attacks and strokes just got a lot higher. An estimated 103 million U.S. adults have high blood pressure, according to new statistics from the American Heart Association. That’s nearly...https://newsroom.heart.org/news/more-than-100-million-americans-have-high-blood-pressure-aha-saysWed, 31 Jan 2018 18:00:00 GMT

Stress and diet associated with brain bleeds in sub-Saharan Africa

Fri, 01/26/2018 - 11:18
Embargoed until 8:45 a.m. Pacific Time 11:45 a.m. Eastern Time, Friday, Jan. 26, 2018

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 26, 2018 — Stress may double the risk of brain bleeds related to high blood pressure, while consuming green leafy vegetables is strongly protective, according to the largest study of stroke in sub-Saharan Africa, presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2018, a world premier meeting dedicated to the science and treatment of cerebrovascular disease for researchers and clinicians.

Intracerebral hemorrhage – bleeding within the brain – takes a high toll on working-age people in Nigeria and Ghana, with high blood pressure accounting for more than 90 percent of this often-lethal type of stroke.

In a new report from the Stroke Investigative Research and Educational Network, researchers studied 682 patients (average age 53.7 years) at 15 sites in Nigeria and Ghana who experienced brain bleeds. Bleeding strokes accounted for 32.2 percent of all strokes in the study (a much higher percentage than in the United States). Of the bleeding strokes, 93.9 percent were determined to be related to high blood pressure, 7.2 percent to structural abnormalities such as a bulging weak area of a blood vessel, and much smaller percentages to other medical conditions or medication use.

Comparing patients with high blood pressure-related brain bleeds to similar people in the same communities without stroke, the researchers found that the risks were:

  • 2.33 times as high in people with diabetes;
  • 2.22 times as high in people who reported more stress at home and work;
  • 1.69 times as high in people with abnormal cholesterol levels;
  • 10.01 times as high in tobacco smokers; and
  • 64 percent lower in people who reported eating more green, leafy vegetables.

Researchers say reducing stress and increasing green leafy vegetable consumption may be a novel way to reduce the rates of brain bleeds.

National Institutes of Health (NINDS, NHGRI and NIH Common fund) funded the study under the H3Africa initiative.

Mayowa Owolabi, Sc.M, Dr.M, FAAN, Center for Genomic and Precision Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

Presentation location: Room 502B

Additional Resources:

Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

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About the American Stroke Association

The American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from stroke — the No. 2 cause of death in the world and a leading cause of serious disability. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat stroke. The Dallas-based association officially launched in 1998 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit StrokeAssociation.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA Spokesperson Perspective:

AHA News Media in Dallas: 214-706-1173

AHA News Media Office, Jan. 24-26, 2018 at the Los Angeles Convention Center: 213-743-6262

For Public Inquiries: 800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

 

]]>Scientific Conferences & MeetingsStroke NewsFri, 26 Jan 2018 16:46:04 GMTLOS ANGELES, Jan. 26, 2018 — Stress may double the risk of brain bleeds related to high blood pressure, while consuming green leafy vegetables is strongly...https://newsroom.heart.org/news/stress-and-diet-associated-with-brain-bleeds-in-sub-saharan-africaFri, 26 Jan 2018 16:45:00 GMT

Cancer patients less likely to receive clot-busting drugs after stroke

Fri, 01/26/2018 - 10:14
Embargoed until 8:12 a.m. Pacific Time 11:12 a.m. Eastern Time, Friday, Jan. 26, 2018

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 26, 2018 — When a stroke occurs in patients with cancer, they are one-third less likely to receive standard clot-busting medication as patients without a malignancy, according to preliminary research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2018, a world premier meeting dedicated to the science and treatment of cerebrovascular disease for researchers and clinicians.

Cancer patients frequently have strokes, which can occur due to traditional risk factors or from risks associated with cancer (such as blood that clots more easily) or its treatment. Over time, the use of both clot-dissolving drugs and procedures that mechanically remove clots following stroke have increased. The current study sought to determine whether these approaches increased as much in stroke patients with cancer (excluding those with brain cancer).

In a national sample, the researchers found:

  • The use of clot-busting medication rose from 0.01 percent in 1998 to 4.23 percent in 2013 in cancer patients with stroke, but its use remains about one-third lower than in patients without cancer.
  • The use of newer procedures to mechanically remove clots rose from 0.05 percent in 2006 to 1.07 percent in 2013 in cancer patients with stroke, and is similar to its use in patients without cancer.

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke funded the study.

Babak B. Navi, M.D., Weill Cornell Medicine, New York City.

Presentation location: Room 515A

Additional Resources:

Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

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About the American Stroke Association

The American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from stroke — the No. 2 cause of death in the world and a leading cause of serious disability. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat stroke. The Dallas-based association officially launched in 1998 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit StrokeAssociation.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA Spokesperson Perspective:

AHA News Media in Dallas: 214-706-1173

AHA News Media Office, Jan. 24-26, 2018 at the Los Angeles Convention Center: 213-743-6262

For Public Inquiries: 800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

 

]]>Scientific Conferences & MeetingsStroke NewsFri, 26 Jan 2018 16:12:03 GMTLOS ANGELES, Jan. 26, 2018 — When a stroke occurs in patients with cancer, they are one-third less likely to receive standard clot-busting medication as patients...https://newsroom.heart.org/news/cancer-patients-less-likely-to-receive-clot-busting-drugs-after-strokeFri, 26 Jan 2018 16:12:00 GMT

Simple test speeds recognition of posterior stroke

Thu, 01/25/2018 - 17:32
Embargoed until 3 p.m. Pacific Time 6 p.m. Eastern Time, Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 25, 2018 — A simple finger-to-nose test by medical professionals almost doubled the recognition of possible stroke involving the circulation at the back of the brain, according to preliminary research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2018, a world premier meeting dedicated to the science and treatment of cerebrovascular disease for researchers and clinicians.

Posterior strokes represent up to a quarter of all stroke admissions to the hospital, but there are often delays in diagnosis because the patients may not have the typical stroke signs included in screening tools used by emergency medical technicians (EMTs).

In a new study, researchers compared the recognition of posterior strokes between EMTs who received standard training in stroke screening with EMTs who received standard training plus in-person training in the “finger-to-nose test.” In this simple coordination test the patient alternates touching their own nose and the examiner’s finger. Performance can be impaired in posterior stroke.

The researchers found:

  • After training including the finger-to-nose test, EMTs recognized 12 of 16 (75 percent) posterior strokes, compared with 9 of 26 (38 percent) in the 12 months prior to training.

  • After routine training (not including the finger-to-nose test), EMTs recognized 13 of 28 (46 percent) posterior strokes, compared with 10 of 36 (28 percent) in the 12 months prior to training, an improvement that was not statistically significant.

The Midwest Affiliate of the American Heart Association (American Heart Association Mentored Clinical & Population Research Award) funded the study.

John A. Oostema, M.D., Michigan State University, College of Human Medicine, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Note: Scientific presentation is 5:15 p.m. PT, Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018.

Presentation location: Hall H

Additional Resources:

Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

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About the American Stroke Association

The American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from stroke — the No. 2 cause of death in the world and a leading cause of serious disability. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat stroke. The Dallas-based association officially launched in 1998 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit StrokeAssociation.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA Spokesperson Perspective:

AHA News Media in Dallas: 214-706-1173

AHA News Media Office, Jan. 24-26, 2018 at the Los Angeles Convention Center: 213-743-6262

For Public Inquiries: 800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

 

]]>Scientific Conferences & MeetingsStroke NewsThu, 25 Jan 2018 23:00:06 GMTLOS ANGELES, Jan. 25, 2018 — A simple finger-to-nose test by medical professionals almost doubled the recognition of possible stroke involving the circulation at the back...https://newsroom.heart.org/news/simple-test-speeds-recognition-of-posterior-strokeThu, 25 Jan 2018 23:00:00 GMT

Asian-American ethnicity associated with severe stroke, worse outcomes

Thu, 01/25/2018 - 17:32
Study Highlights:

  • Asian-American race was more associated with severe ischemic strokes and worse outcomes than being whites.
  • Asian-Americans tend to receive clot busting stroke treatment less frequently than whites.   

Embargoed until 3 p.m. Pacific Time / 6 p.m. Eastern Time Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 25, 2018 — Asian Americans were more likely to experience a severe ischemic stroke and have worse outcomes than whites, according to preliminary research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2018, a world premier meeting dedicated to the science and treatment of cerebrovascular disease for researchers and clinicians.

Little is known about stroke care and trends over time in Asian Americans. This study is the largest analysis of clinical and functional outcomes for Asian-American acute ischemic stroke patients. Researchers reviewed the clinical and functional outcomes of more than 1.77 million ischemic stroke patients (3.6 percent Asian American and 96.4 percent white).

“Asian Americans may have a distinctive pathophysiologic profile of ischemic stroke than whites,” said Sarah Song, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., study author and assistant professor of cerebrovascular disease in the Department of Neurology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois. “Regardless, this study highlights the need for more focused research, improved stroke prevention and possibly different treatment strategies for Asian Americans.”

In the large analysis, researchers also found that compared to whites, being Asian-American was associated with:

  • poorer functional recovery;
  • receiving the clot-busting drug tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) less frequently, which can improve the chances of recovering from a stroke; and
  • more serious and bleeding complications with tPA, despite receiving it quickly.

One good point the findings revealed, she said, is that stroke care for both Asian Americans and whites seems to have improved over time. “Looking from 2004 to 2016, our study shows that overall, patients with acute ischemic stroke are recovering more, and they are receiving more IV tPA, with less complications and better post-stroke care. This likely has to do with an overall improvement in stroke quality and highly effective stroke systems of care. However, Asian Americans and whites had nuanced differences over time; for example, only whites had a decrease in trend in stroke severity, while Asian Americans had a greater increase in timely IV tPA administration.”

Researchers used clinical characteristics, treatment patterns and outcomes from acute ischemic stroke admissions for Asian-American and white patients from 2004 through 2016 from 2,171 hospitals participating in Get With The Guidelines-Stroke – the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association in-hospital program that focuses on improving stroke care by promoting consistent adherence to the latest scientific treatment guidelines.

Limited attention has been given to stroke and stroke care in Asian-American minorities, due to barriers in care, education and research. In addition, Song said, “Even among Asian Americans, the various minority populations differ in so many ways. Vietnamese people are not the same as Korean, who are not the same as Japanese or South Asian groups. Aside from differences in language, differences in stroke risk factors, diet and lifestyle, and other cultural factors, make compiling all Asian-American groups into one single group problematic.”

Putting all the groups together makes it difficult to pull out meaning for each group, which she considers a limitation of this study. “But I do think this is a very good first step,” Song said. “This information gives us the urgency and the credibility to do more research in Asian Americans, who have historically been understudied in the stroke and cardiovascular literature.”

Co-authors are Li Liang, Ph.D.; Gregg Fonarow, M.D.; Eric E. Smith, M.D., MPH; Deepak Bhatt, M.D., MPH; Roland Matsouaka, Ph,D.; Ying Xian, M.D., Ph.D.; Lee Schwamm, M.D. and Jeffrey Saver, M.D.  Author disclosures are on the abstract.

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get with the Guidelines-Stroke database provided the data for the study.

Note: Scientific presentation is 5:15 p.m. PT, Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018.

Presentation location: Hall H

Additional Resources:

Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

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About the American Stroke Association

The American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from stroke — the No. 2 cause of death in the world and a leading cause of serious disability. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat stroke. The Dallas-based association officially launched in 1998 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit StrokeAssociation.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA Spokesperson Perspective:

AHA News Media in Dallas: 214-706-1173

AHA News Media Office, Jan. 24-26, 2018 at the Los Angeles Convention Center: 213-743-6262

For Public Inquiries: 800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

]]>Scientific Conferences & MeetingsStroke NewsThu, 25 Jan 2018 23:00:06 GMTStudy Highlights: Asian-American race was more associated with severe ischemic strokes and worse outcomes than being whites. Asian-Americans tend to receive clot busting stroke treatment less frequently than whites.   Embargoed until 3...https://newsroom.heart.org/news/asian-american-ethnicity-associated-with-severe-stroke-worse-outcomesThu, 25 Jan 2018 23:00:00 GMT

Too few with stroke of the eye are treated to reduce future stroke

Thu, 01/25/2018 - 17:32
Study Highlights:

  • Only one-third of 5,600 patients with retinal infarction, or stroke in the eye, underwent basic stroke work-up, and fewer than one in 10 were seen by a neurologist.
  • One in 100 of the retinal infarction patients studied experienced another stroke within 90 days of their retinal infarction.

Embargoed until 3 p.m. Pacific Time/6 p.m. Eastern Time, Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018

This news release is featured in an embargoed media briefing at 3 p.m. PT Wed., Jan. 24, 2018

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 25, 2018 — Too few patients with retinal infarction, or loss of blood flow in the eye, are evaluated for stroke risk or seen by a neurologist, putting them at increased risk for another stroke, according to preliminary research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2018, a world premier meeting dedicated to the science and treatment of cerebrovascular disease for researchers and clinicians.

The study showed that 1 in 100 patients in the study experienced an ischemic stroke within 90 days of a retinal infarction. In addition, among 5,688 individuals with retinal infarction, only one-third underwent basic testing, and fewer than one in 10 were seen by a neurologist. Within 90 days of symptoms, only 34 percent received cervical carotid imaging tests; 28.6 percent received heart-rhythm testing; 23.3 percent received echocardiography; and 8.4 percent were evaluated by a neurologist.

The findings illustrate the importance of expediting stroke evaluation testing for those who have experienced a retinal infarction, and for increased awareness and understanding about retinal infarctions and how they may signal future strokes. Retinal infarction may provide an opportunity in preventing stroke, explained lead study author Alexander Merkler, M.D., a neurologist at Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York.

“Our research tells us that we need to do a better job at evaluating patients with retinal infarction and making sure they receive the same standard of care tests that someone with a stroke in the brain would have,” said Merkler. “We need to work more closely with ophthalmologists to ensure patients with stroke of the eye get the appropriate tests and treatments in a timely manner.”

The findings are based on Medicare ophthalmology claims from between 2009 and 2015. Retinal infarction is a form of ischemic stroke in the eye. Symptoms can include blurred vision or vision loss, and tissue damage to the eye itself. Risk factors associated with stroke in the brain, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and atrial fibrillation, are also associated with retinal infarction.

Stroke is the fifth-leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for one in every 20 deaths, but less is known about retinal infarction, which may go undetected and under-treated. Merkler plans to study the connections between retinal infarction and stroke using brain magnetic resonance imaging tests to see what’s happening.

Co-authors are Gina Gialdini, M.D.; Ajay Gupta, M.D.; and Hooman Kamel, M.D. Author disclosures are on the abstract.

Note: Scientific presentation is 5:30 p.m. Pacific Time, Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018.

Presentation location: Hall H

Additional Resources:

Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

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About the American Stroke Association

The American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from stroke — the No. 2 cause of death in the world and a leading cause of serious disability. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat stroke. The Dallas-based association officially launched in 1998 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit StrokeAssociation.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA Spokesperson Perspective:

AHA News Media in Dallas: 214-706-1173

AHA News Media Office, Jan. 23-26, 2018 at the Los Angeles Convention Center: 213-743-6262

For Public Inquiries: 800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

]]>Scientific Conferences & MeetingsStroke NewsThu, 25 Jan 2018 23:00:06 GMTStudy Highlights: Only one-third of 5,600 patients with retinal infarction, or stroke in the eye, underwent basic stroke work-up, and fewer than one in 10 were seen by a neurologist. One in 100 of the retinal infarction patients studied experienced...https://newsroom.heart.org/news/too-few-with-stroke-of-the-eye-are-treated-to-reduce-future-strokeThu, 25 Jan 2018 23:00:00 GMT

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