Entries in HealthDay (4)


Getting Fit in Middle Age Helps Lower Risk of Heart Failure

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Contrary to popular belief, middle age is not too late to start getting fit, says new medical research.

According to HealthDay News, the research not only shows that fitness is an important factor in terms of limiting risk of heart failure, but also that people who improve their fitness -- even in middle age -- diminish their risk of heart failure in the future.

The results of the study were presented on Wednesday at a meeting of the American Heart Association in Baltimore.

Heart failure is the most common reason that older adults are hospitalized, according to the American Heart Association, and as many as five million Americans currently have heart disease. Dr. Gregg Fonarow, director of the Cardiomyopathy Center at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, told HealthDay News that nearly 20 percent of American adults will develop heart failure in their lifetime.

Fonarow did say, however, that "heart failure is preventable by maintaining cardiovascular health and control of heart failure risk factors."

The study analyzed the fitness levels of over 9,000 middle-aged adults, who were tested twice each -- 8 years apart. According to HealthDay News, those people who were not physically fit at the beginning of the study had a higher risk of heart failure later in life. However, those who improved their fitness level had a lower risk of heart failure than those whose fitness remained poor.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Heart Abnormality May Be More Dangerous than Previously Thought

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- An electrical heart abnormality may be more dangerous that doctors previously believed.

According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, a cardiac condition known as left anterior fascicular block may be a sign that a patient is at risk of developing severe heart problems.

In the study, 39 individuals with LAFB were compared to over 1,600 healthy individuals to determine the health impacts of the condition.

The study concluded that those with LAFB were at increased risk of other heart rhythm problems, heart failure and death.

The study only looked at patients over the age of 65, using a simple electrocardiogram.

According to HealthDay News, there is no treatment for LAFB.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Study: Immune Therapy Promising in Treatment of Advanced Leukemia Images(NEW YORK) -- An experimental form of immune therapy may hold the key to successful treatment of a deadly form of adult leukemia, a preliminary study suggests.

According to HealthDay News, the study, which included just five adults with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), showed promise as treatment for the disease.

ALL progresses quickly and often kills patients within weeks if left untreated. According to HealthDay, the first treatment usually involves three separate treatments of chemotherapy drugs. While that treatment often helps patients experience a remission, the cancer often returns.

Dr. Renier Brentjens, an oncologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and his team decided to test a different course of action.

The five patients in the study received infusions of their own immune system's T-cells, but the T-cells were genetically engineered with chimeric antigen receptors to help them recognize and destroy the leukemia cells.

All give patients experienced remission, with one patient reaching remission within eight days, according to HealthDay News.

Four of the patients proceeded to have a bone marrow transplant to aid in their recovery. The fifth was deemed ineligible due to heart disease and other health conditions.

The treatment studied by Dr. Brentjens, known as adoptive T-cell therapy, is not available outside of the research setting, but does amaze researchers in its potential. Much research must still be done before the treatment would be considered for non-research use.

Nearly 6,100 people are diagnosed with ALL each year, and more than 1,400 of those will die, according to statistics from the National Cancer Institute.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Research Finds Humor Therapy Effective with Alzheimer's Patients

HANS-ULRICH OSTERWALDER/Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- New Australian research found that "humor therapy" was just as effective in calming Alzheimer's patients as psychiatric drugs, according to HealthDay.

The study looked at nursing home residents subjected to humor sessions that involved music and pantomime. Laughter was found to prevent aggressive behavior in the patients.

The scientists reported a 20 percent drop in agitation.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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