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Toward a faster, more accurate way to diagnose stroke

Toward a faster, more accurate way to diagnose stroke

When someone suffers from a stroke, a silent countdown begins. Continue reading

Overuse of blood transfusions increases infection risk

Overuse of blood transfusions increases infection risk

Blood transfusions are one of the most common procedures patients receive in the hospital but the more red blood cells they receive, the greater their risk of infection, says a new study led by the University of Michigan Heath System and VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System. Researchers analyzed 21 randomized controlled trials for the study that appears in today’s Journal of the American Medical Association ( JAMA ). Continue reading

Evolocumab safely drops LDL cholesterol well below statin-only baseline, study suggests

Evolocumab safely drops LDL cholesterol well below statin-only baseline, study suggests

The monoclonal antibody evolocumab produced highly significant reductions in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, the “bad cholesterol,” as an add-on to statins in all treatment groups, according to data from the LAPLACE-2 study presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 63rd Annual Scientific Session. LDL cholesterol is considered a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. “High-risk patients — such as those with clinical cardiovascular disease, high LDL cholesterol levels or diabetes — are ideally treated with high-intensity statins that lower LDL cholesterol by at least 50 percent, but that isn’t always possible,” said Jennifer G. Continue reading

New implant shows promise for painful osteoporotic spine fractures

New implant shows promise for painful osteoporotic spine fractures

Individuals suffering from spinal fractures — caused by osteoporosis or weakened bones — now have another option to reduce pain, restore function and improve quality of life, according to a study of 300 patients treated with a new type of vertebral augmentation. Results of a randomized, controlled multicenter trial on a new implant treatment for vertebral compression fractures are being reported for the first time at the Society of Interventional Radiology’s 39th Annual Scientific Meeting Continue reading

Gene implicated in progression, relapse of deadly breast cancer finding points to potential Achilles’ heel in triple negative breast cancer

Gene implicated in progression, relapse of deadly breast cancer finding points to potential Achilles’ heel in triple negative breast cancer

Scientists from Weill Cornell Medical College and Houston Methodist have found that a gene previously unassociated with breast cancer plays a pivotal role in the growth and progression of the triple negative form of the disease, a particularly deadly strain that often has few treatment options. Their research, published in this week’s Nature , suggests that targeting the gene may be a new approach to treating the disease Continue reading

Improved pavement markings can save lives

Improved pavement markings can save lives

As spring finally emerges after a ferocious winter, our battered roads will soon be re-exposed. While potholes and cracks might make news, a larger concern should be the deterioration to pavement markings, from yellow to white lines, which are a major factor in preventing traffic accidents. A study from Concordia University, funded by Infrastructure Canada and published in Structure and Infrastructure Engineering, found that snowplows are the biggest culprit in erasing roadway markings Continue reading

New lens design drastically improves kidney stone treatment

New lens design drastically improves kidney stone treatment

Duke engineers have devised a way to improve the efficiency of lithotripsy — the demolition of kidney stones using focused shock waves. After decades of research, all it took was cutting a groove near the perimeter of the shock wave-focusing lens and changing its curvature. “I’ve spent more than 20 years investigating the physics and engineering aspects of shock wave lithotripsy,” said Pei Zhong, the Anderson-Rupp Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Duke University Continue reading

Nearly half of pregnant low-income women do not want to be sent home from hospital after diagnosis of false or early labor

Nearly half of pregnant low-income women do not want to be sent home from hospital after diagnosis of false or early labor

More than 40 percent of pregnant low-income women discharged from the hospital after a diagnosis of false or early labor did not want to be sent home, with the most common reasons being that they were in too much pain or lived too far away, according to a study by Baylor University’s Louise Herrington School of Nursing (LHSON) and Parkland Health & Hospital System. Continue reading

Younger men receive faster care for heart attacks, angina compared with women of same age, study shows

Younger men receive faster care for heart attacks, angina compared with women of same age, study shows

A new study indicates that in younger adults experiencing heart attacks and angina, men are more likely to receive faster care compared with women. The study, published in CMAJ ( Canadian Medical Association Journal ) also found that gender-related factors affected access to care for both men and women. To understand why sex differences in mortality exist in younger men and women with acute coronary syndrome, researchers included 1123 patients aged 18 to 55 years recruited from 24 centres across Canada, 1 in the United States and 1 in Switzerland Continue reading

Novel marker, possible therapeutic target for cardiovascular calcification identified

Novel marker, possible therapeutic target for cardiovascular calcification identified

Cardiovascular calcification (deposits of minerals in heart valves and blood vessels) is a primary contributor to heart disease, the leading cause of death among both men and women in the United States according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “Unfortunately, there currently is no medical treatment for cardiovascular calcification, which can lead to acute cardiovascular events, such as myocardial infarction and stroke, as well as heart failure,” says Elena Aikawa, MD, PhD, Director of the Vascular Biology Program at the Center for Interdisciplinary Cardiovascular Sciences at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Continue reading