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In the News 2012

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Survival Equal in 2 Types of Abdominal Aneursym Repair: Study
US News Health, December 21, 2012
Long-term survival rates are similar for patients who undergo less-invasive or open surgery to repair an abdominal aortic aneurysm, a new study finds.

How the Loss of a Loved One Can Put Your Own Life on the Line
Independent, November 26, 2012
They lived happily married for 55 years. The day after he died, she suffered a stroke, followed by a heart attack, and then she joined him. "She died of a broken heart" said their daughter, model Christie Brinkley, trying to explain how someone who had earned the nickname 'Miracle Marge' after surviving eight strokes, three heart attacks and two major brain surgeries, had lost her fight for life.

New Drugs for Lipids Set off Race
The New York Times, November 5, 2012
A new class of powerful cholesterol-reducing drugs is showing promising results, potentially offering a new option for people who do not respond to medication now on the market, according to studies presented at a conference of heart specialists here on Monday.

Losing Weight May Lower Cardiac Risks, November 5, 2012
Overweight or obese people who lose weight through a low-carb or low-fat diet can also significantly reduce inflammation throughout their body, which could help lower risks for heart disease, a new study says. "Our findings indicate that you can reduce systemic inflammation, and possibly lower your risk of heart disease, no matter which diet -- either low-carb or low-fat," Kerry Stewart, director of clinical and research exercise physiology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, said in a university news release. "The important factor is how much weight you lose -- especially belly fat."
Also covered by: NY Daily News, Today Health

Science Shows Even the Fit Can Be Scared to Death
The Wall Street Journal, October 22, 2012
Can people literally be scared to death? It sounds like the stuff of ghost stories and B movies, but physicians say the phenomenon is rare but real—and shows how fear from the brain can affect the heart, specifically with a rush of adrenaline..."You have people in acute, sudden heart failure who were perfectly healthy an hour earlier," says Ilan Wittstein, a cardiologist at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore who has studied the phenomenon, known as stress cardiomyopathy.
Also covered by: Fox News, ABC News

10 Common Cholesterol Mistakes
Maintaining a healthy diet, exercising, and sometimes taking statins to control cholesterol can all work at protecting heart health. And these cholesterol-lowering recommendations from your doctor are backed by scientific evidence...When people get a high-cholesterol diagnosis, they sometimes focus solely on limiting cholesterol and fat in the diet. But that means you may be overlooking sugars, which also contribute to high cholesterol, says cardiologist Erin D. Michos, MD, an assistant professor of medicine in the division of cardiology at the Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore.

St. Jude Riata Heart-Device Flaws Known for Years
The Wall Street Journal, October 10, 2012
In December 2010, St. Jude Medical Inc. STJ +1.60% issued a warning letter to doctors: Wires inside Riata defibrillator leads—cables that connect the heart to implantable defibrillators—were sometimes breaking through their insulation from the inside out...But before that 2010 warning, physicians including Alan Cheng, director of Johns Hopkins Medicine's arrhythmia service...say they had encountered this so-called "inside-out abrasion" in their own practices between 2006 and 2009. When these doctors brought the incidents to the attention of St. Jude they say they were told by company officials and field representatives that the incidents were isolated. The malfunctions described by the doctors didn't result in deaths.

"Broken Heart" Syndrome can be triggered by stress, grief
NBC News, September 24, 2012
Dr. Ilan Wittstein, a cardiologist at Johns Hopkins Medicine, is part of the team that first coined the term “broken heart” syndrome, also known as stress cardiomyopathy. According to Wittstein, the syndrome got its name because a lot of patients suffer from it after the death of a loved one. But it's not always triggered by grief.

Common Painkillers May be Risky after Heart Attack
WebMD, September 10, 2012
Heart attack survivors who take commonly used pain relievers have a higher risk of dying or having another heart attack, new research shows...American Heart Association (AHA) immediate past president Gordon Tomaselli, MD, says the study is one of the first to suggest that NSAID use may be risky for many years after a first heart attack.
Also covered by: Fox News

Art Modell, Influential Owner of NFL Teams, Dies at 87
The Washington Post, September 6, 2012
Art Modell, a longtime professional football team owner who engineered many of the NFL’s lucrative television contracts, including “Monday Night Football,” and who angered one city and thrilled another in 1996, when he moved the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore, died Sept. 6 at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He was 87.
Also covered by: The New York TimesThe Virginian-Pilot, The Baltimore Sun

CT Good for Detecting Coronary Blockages
The Chart, August 30, 2012
Chest pain could mean you need a serious operation to get blood flowing back to your heart. But it’s hard to know who needs such an intervention, especially without evidence of a heart attack...Cardiac CT has become widespread over the past eight or nine years, said Richard George, assistant professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. A big advantage is that it can noninvasively look for blockages of the heart’s arteries. The drawback is that it can’t tell if the blood flow is impeded.

ESC: PRAGUE Keeps Afib in Check
MedpageToday, August 28, 2012
Adding left atrial cryo-ablation to scheduled valve or bypass surgery in patients with atrial fibrillation can restore sinus rhythm, but does not improve clinical outcomes, according to results of the randomized PRAGUE-12 trial.

Nerve-deadening Devices Impress Heart Doctors, August 27, 2012
Europeans suffering from stubbornly high blood pressure, despite swallowing multiple pills, now have a new treatment option in the form of devices that deaden nerves in the kidneys - and doctors are impressed..."It is potentially a revolution," said Dr Gordon Tomaselli, a cardiologist at Johns Hopkins and president of the American Heart Association.

100 Hospitals with Great Women's Health Programs
Becker's Hospital Review, August 27, 2012
Few women's health programs compare to Johns Hopkins Hospital and Johns Hopkins Medicine. Specific care centers for women's cardiovascular health, mood disorders, pelvic health and more set the hospital apart, and Johns Hopkins' department of gynecology and obstetrics offers world-renowned care for women seeking fertility, gynecological oncology and maternity services.

Cardiac Concerns: Saving Kids from Sudden Death
KVUE 11 News, August 22, 2012
Sudden cardiac arrest claims the lives of hundreds of children each year and yet standard sports physicals miss 96 percent of those at risk...Doctor Jane Crosson says there are, however, things to watch out for like family history. “So we always say any sudden death under 35, have the immediate relatives screened for these genetic conditions that can cause sudden death,” Dr. Crosson said.

Benefits Iffy for Drugs in Mild Hypertension, August 16, 2012
Using antihypertensive medications to treat adults with mild hypertension and no previous cardiovascular events does not appear to reduce mortality or subsequent events, at least through about 5 years, a meta-analysis showed.

Blood Type Tied to Heart Disease? Doctors Not Sure
ABC News, August 14, 2012
Does your blood type — A, B, AB or O — have implications for your health? A new study has raised the question of whether there is a link between blood type and heart disease.

New Drug Shows Promise for Long QT Syndrome
News Medical, July 31, 2012
Johns Hopkins researchers have discovered a new drug that may be useful in treating a heart rhythm condition called long QT syndrome. The study was published online on June 28 in the Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Johns Hopkins Holds Free Screening For Young Athletes
CBS Baltimore, July 28, 2012
Each year, hundreds of young athletes die suddenly from heart conditions and many don’t even know they’re at risk...Thousands of miles away from the London Olympics, the National Junior Olympic Track and Field championships are going on at Morgan State University. Though it’s fun and games outside, inside the student center, it’s serious business. Doctors are checking young athletes for heart conditions that can predispose them to sudden death.
Also covered by: WBAL TV

Why Some Olympic Athletes Need to Gorge
The New York Times, July 25, 2012
"Dietary fat provides nine calories per gram, whereas carbs provide about four per gram,” says Kerry Stewart, an exercise physiologist and a professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University, meaning that fat is “energy dense” and desirable for famished athletes — but less so if you want to shed pounds.

Hopkins Part of New Study on Fat, Exercise & Type 2 Diabetes
CBS Baltimore, July 19, 2012
“You have a lot of ups and downs with diabetes, and you really have to try really hard,” O’Neill said. And a new study by doctors, including several from Johns Hopkins Hospital, show O’Neill is taking the right precautions. “Exercising is mobilizing fatty acid in the body, and the heart knows how to use them,” said Dr. Nazareno Paolocci, conducted study.

Heart Disease in Men Can be Fought Head-on
USAToday, July 9, 2012
Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of men (and women) in the USA, so it's no wonder that cardiologist Gordon Tomaselli dispenses direct, no-nonsense advice: "Get up and move more, don't smoke, make sure you control your blood pressure and cholesterol, and don't ignore symptoms of heart disease, particularly if you have a family history."

Father's Sudden Death May Save Daughters' Lives
ABC News, June 28, 2012
[Loeys-Dietz Syndrome] can have a variety of distinctive physical features, according to Dr. Harry Dietz, a professor of pediatric cardiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine for whom half the syndrome is named.

To Cut Blood Pressure, Nerves Get a Jolt
The New York Times, June 11, 2012
In recent decades, there have been few new treatments for people with stubbornly high blood pressure. Exercise and a low-sodium diet, along with such stalwart drugs as diuretics, ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers, have made up the standard regimens..."I think this has the potential to change the way hypertension is managed in this country and around the world," said Dr. Gordon Tomaselli, a cardiologist at Johns Hopkins and president of the American Heart Association, who is not involved in the trial.

Artificial Heart Sustains Reisterstown Man to Successful Heart Transplant
The Baltimore Sun, June 11, 2012
Just over 1,000 people have received artificial hearts made by SynCardia Systems Inc., the same as Feusner's, since the FDA approved the device in 2004. Such patients make up only a handful of those who receive heart transplants each year, said Dr. John V. Conte, a professor of surgery in the division of cardiac surgery at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions.

First international Cardiac Imaging Symposium at Clemenceau Medical Center reveals latest breakthroughs, June 5, 2012
A "Cardiac Imaging Symposium" was hosted by Beirut-based Clemenceau Medical Center (CMC), affiliated with Johns Hopkins Medicine International (JHI). The gathering of physicians and researchers provided insights and updates on the latest technologies related to the non-invasive assessment of cardiovascular diseases. More than 100 participants, including internationally-renowned experts and local cardiologists, radiologists and experts took part in this event.

Keeping Patient Interest at Heart
Trinidad Express Newspapers, May 22, 2012
IT is one of the problems plaguing our health sector for years - healthcare professionals leaving this country in search of better employment opportunities abroad. But how do you keep local doctors at home where they are needed? "Allow them to practise what they would like to practise and what they were highly trained to do and give them the resources and the equipment to enable them to do the job they want to do that patients also need," said Dr Gary Gerstenblith, MD, JD, Professor of Medicine in the Cardiology Division and Director of Clinical Trials for the Cardiology Division at US-based Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Doctors Need to Upgrade Skills Before Relicensing
Trinidad Express Newspapers, May 20, 2012
The days when physicians simply paid a yearly fee to renew their medical licenses will be coming to an end soon. In the near future doctors would be required to complete Continuing Medical Education (CME) courses in order to have their licenses renewed...Professor of Medicine in the Cardiology Division and Director of Clinical Trials for the Cardiology Division at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Dr Gary Gerstenblith, in an interview on his recent visit to Trinidad told the Express that continuing medical education is an important component of a physician's practice and as such it should be a requirement for relicensing.

On the Edge, May 13, 2012
Roger Blumenthal of Johns Hopkins agrees high cholesterol alone shouldn't determine statin use to manage risk of heart attacks, while the biggest risk of diabetes is for people whose blood sugar is "on the edge."

HRS to Present Record Number of Abstracts
MedPage Today, May 8, 2012
This year's meeting of the Heart Rhythm Society will be the biggest yet and will have something for everyone, according to the chair of the meeting's scientific sessions program committee. "The whole spectrum of electrophysiology is really encompassed in this meeting," according to Hugh Calkins, MD, of the Johns Hopkins Heart and Vascular Institute, who noted that the society received a record number of abstracts -- more than 3,000 -- of which 1,200 were selected for presentation.

'Broken Heart' Sends Tulsa Wife to Hospital
News on 6, May 2, 2012
When a Tulsa man had a heart attack on the side of the road, a Good Samaritan pulled over to help. But the event was so stressful on the original man's wife; she had a heart attack too on the very same day. It's a story of heartbreak and heroism. In fact, doctors actually have a term for the dual heart attacks. They call it broken heart syndrome.

You May Be Fat and Not Even Know It
US News and World Report Health, April 30, 2012
There's more to fat than meets the eye. Literally. While most of the population obsesses over that which wiggles and jiggles, research suggests it's the fat we can't see that's of greater concern. And it's not just about how much fat you have, but where you tend to store it that worries most doctors.

Johns Hopkins Conference Details Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia
WBAL-TV, April 26, 2012
One in 5,000 people have a heart condition that's tricky to diagnose -- and can prove fatal. Two years ago, Robin Shah said she felt something strange started to happen when he was exercising. "I had started having these episodes where my heart would just start racing," he said. "It would happen when I was playing basketball." After several doctors and many tests, doctors diagnosed Shah with arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia/cardiomyopathy. He started seeing cardiologist Dr. Hugh Calkins at the Johns Hopkins Heart and Vascular Institute.

Prevention a Low Priority in Heart Docs' Training
Chicago Tribune, April 24, 2012
A new survey of training programs for future cardiologists suggests that only a fraction are getting the minimum level of education in heart disease prevention that professional guidelines recommend...Dr. Roger Blumenthal, a professor at Johns Hopkins University who chaired the task force that wrote the ACCF training guidelines, said it was "very disappointing" that only a quarter of the programs set aside time in their fellowships for a rotation in prevention. "What we would hope is that they're applying the basic preventive cardiology principles for the rest of their cardiology time," he told Reuters Health.

Heart Transplants for Older Patients
The New York Times, April 23, 2012
Is Dick Cheney just the first of a new wave of older patients who will be receiving heart transplants? In The Doctor's World column in Tuesday's Science Times, Lawrence K. Altman, M.D., chronicled the numerous medical advances that have helped the former vice president, now 71, survive serious heart disease for decades, culminating in perhaps the most miraculous treatment of all: a new heart. But in the near future, Mr. Cheney's case is likely to be the exception, not the rule. Transplant centers don't expect a flood of older patients anytime soon. Most 70-something adults with failing hearts aren't good candidates for these demanding surgeries, experts say, and in any event, organs are just too scarce.

Johns Hopkins Cardiologists Back Statins for Preventing Heart Disease, April 15, 2012
Cardiologists from Johns Hopkins University have written a new feature published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) stating that there is a case for using statins among people over 55 years who have a 10 percent risk of heart attack over the next decade. They were invited to debate a professor who argues against prescribing statins for "primary" prevention-for those who have not had a cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack-even though they may be considered at "intermediate" risk because of elevated cholesterol or other factors. Readers are then invited to vote on which viewpoint they endorse.
Also covered by:

Broken Heart Syndrome; Mimics Cardiac Attack, Affects Mainly Women; Recovery Likely Health, April 16, 2012
Ann Brunner was at home with her best friend when a sudden, wrenching pain took her breath away. Her chest felt like it was being crushed by a sumo wrestler, the squeeze migrating to her shoulders and back. She fell into a chair and her friend told her that her face was ashen. "I felt like the plug on my life had been pulled," Brunner recalls...Later, in the emergency room at Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia, an abnormal electrocardiogram and elevated blood enzymes confirmed what Brunner, a nurse for 34 years, already suspected. She was in the midst of a severe heart attack.

If Only Heart Attacks were Predictable
The Wall Street Journal, April 16, 2012
Just last month, researchers led by Armin Arbab-Zadeh of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore published a comprehensive review of the biology of heart attacks in the journal Circulation, which said that vulnerable plaques often rupture without causing a heart attack and that a "perfect storm" of other conditions is required before one occurs.

Menthol Smokers Have More Strokes, Study Finds, April 12, 2012
New research suggests that among smokers, those who prefer mentholated cigarettes tend to have more strokes than non-menthol smokers. That seems to be particularly true for women and non-African Americans. The study's author said that although no cigarettes are good for you, the new findings suggest people should especially move away from mentholated types.

See Video: Hopkins Dedicates $1B Hospital Building, April 11, 2012
Officials from around Maryland and the Mayor of New York City will be on hand Thursday afternoon as Johns Hopkins Hospital dedicates its new building. The new $1 billion building along Orleans Street will feature more than 500 private rooms, dozens of operating rooms, 28 elevators and new emergency rooms for children and adults.
Watch Dr. Edward Kasper give a tour of a new patient room.

1% of Newborns Diagnosed with Heart Disease, April 11, 2012
One per cent of tested newborns were diagnosed with congenital heart disease (CHD) while 0.3-0.5 per cent of newborns were diagnosed with critical congenital heart disease (CCHD) in a UAE study conducted by Tawam Hospital. Tawam Hospital, in affiliation with Johns Hopkins Medicine, today (April 11) revealed data from its one-year Newborn Screening for Critical Congenital Heart Diseases program.

EKG Helps Find Heart-Attack Risk in Seniors
The Wall Street Journal, April 10, 2012
A widely used test to measure electrical activity in the heart may help identify elderly people at risk of a heart attack, said a study released Tuesday, rekindling a debate over the value of such tests in people without chest pain or other symptoms. In a study involving 2,192 patients 70 to 79 years old without established heart disease, researchers found that abnormalities in an electrocardiogram, or EKG, were associated with a higher risk of heart attacks and other serious heart events over the following eight years.
Also covered by Fox News

Omega-3 Supplements No Help Against Repeat Heart Trouble: Review
Yahoo! News, April 9, 2012
Taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements won't protect against repeat heart attacks, strokes or other cardiovascular problems, a new analysis indicates...Dr. Gordon Tomaselli, president of the American Heart Association, said he, too, is not surprised by the findings. "The bottom line is for the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease it looks like we can say having oily fish two or three times a week is good but replacing that fish with supplements doesn't replace the beneficial effects," said Tomaselli, director of cardiology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.

Women in Healthcare: Julie Freischlag
Healthcare Finance News, April 6, 2012
In honor of last month's Women's History Month, Healthcare Finance News asked some of the women leaders in the nation's healthcare industry to talk about the role of women in healthcare. Those conversations take us into April. Today, we hear from Julie Freischlag, MD.  In a medical specialty traditionally dominated by men, Freischlag has bucked the trend. She is the surgeon-in-chief of Johns Hopkins Hospital and chair of the hospital's department of surgery. Freischlag is also known around the country as a respected instructor and researcher. She is the editor of the Archives of Surgery and co-chair of the annual International Women in Surgery Career Symposium.

Stop That Medical Test! Doctors Say
Bangor Daily News Health, April 4, 2012
Citing unnecessary medical tests and procedures as a major driver of soaring health-care costs, a coalition of doctors groups and consumer groups plans to unveil a campaign Wednesday to push doctors and patients away from 45 tests or procedures that are overused and often unnecessary. Sponsored by the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation, the "Choosing Wisely" campaign aims to get doctors and patients talking about these procedures to achieve "better decision-making," said Christine K. Cassel, chief executive of the ABIM.

Researcher Who Identified Genetic Cause and Possible Treatment for Marfan Syndrome Honored, March 29, 2012
A pediatrician, geneticist and long-time Marfan syndrome researcher who helped identify the disorder's genetic cause, as well as a potential treatment for affected children and adults, is being honored by the March of Dimes. Harry (Hal) Dietz, MD, the Victor A. McKusick Professor of Genetics and Medicine at the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine, director of the Smilow Center for Marfan Syndrome Research, professor of Pediatrics, Medicine and Molecular Biology & Genetics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, will receive the 2012 March of Dimes/Colonel Harland Sanders Award for Lifetime Achievement in the field of genetic sciences.

Cheney Too Old for a New Heart? Not So, Say Docs
International Business Times, March 28, 2012
Dick Cheney, at 71, was at the older end of heart transplant recipients and sparked a debate as to whether the former U.S. Vice President was too old for the procedure. But when it comes to transplants, age isn't necessarily a discriminating factor, experts say...In a 2008 study, older heart transplant patients had higher rates of infection but lower rates of rejection compared to younger patients. Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine cardiologists examined data on 14,401 heart transplant patients in the database of the United Network for Organ Sharing, a non-profit that manages the US national transplant waiting list.

Community Hospitals Safe for Angioplasty: Study
US News & World Report, March 27, 2012
Angioplasty -- a procedure to open blocked arteries -- can be performed safely and effectively at community hospitals that don't have on-site cardiac surgery units, according to a new study. The study included nearly 19,000 patients who had elective angioplasty either at a facility with a cardiac surgery unit or at one of 60 community hospitals that didn't have on-site cardiac surgery but met certain requirements.

Husband and Wife Die 16 Hours Apart, After 76 Years Together. That's True Love
Yahoo! March 26, 2012
Seventy-six years ago, Cleda and Rosemond "Frell" Blair vowed never to part. They kept their word, even in death. Just sixteen hours after Cleda, 95, passed away last Wednesday in an Idaho retirement home, Rosemond, 94, died as well.

Nonprimary PCI OK at Centers without Surgical Safety Net
Medpage Today, March 25, 2012
In lower-risk patients and at experienced centers, nonprimary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) can be performed safely with or without onsite cardiac surgical backup, final results of the CPORT-E trial affirmed. At nine months, the rate of major adverse cardiac events -- a composite of death, Q-wave MI, or target vessel revascularization -- was 12.1% in patients treated at centers without surgical backup and 11.2% in those treated at centers with backup (P=0.05 for noninferiority), according to Thomas Aversano, MD, of Johns Hopkins University, and colleagues.
Also covered by:, Cardiovascular Business, Media Health Leaders

Afib, Stroke, and the New Anticoagulants, a Roundtable
MedPage Today, March 22, 2012
The arrival of dabigatran and rivaroxaban on the U.S. market, as well as the impending FDA approval of apixaban, changes the landscape of stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation. For now, there may be some growing pains as cardiologists and electrophysiologists sort through the data trying to match the new drugs to particular patients, especially since there are no head-to-head comparisons of these new agents, commented Gordon Tomaselli, MD, president of the American Heart Association and chief of cardiology at Johns Hopkins.

Screening for Heart Defects Saves Lives
NBC4 Washington, March 20, 2012
Doctors say not enough physicians are checking pregnant mothers and newborns for congenital heart disease, which can be deadly if untreated.
Also covered by: NBC 33

Decision Expected Next Month on Crestwood Medical Center Angioplasty Program, March 20, 2012
Crestwood Medical Center will have to wait until next month to learn the fate of its cardiac angioplasty program. An Alabama Certificate of Need Review Board hearing on the matter originally scheduled for Wednesday has been postponed until April 18. Crestwood doctors have safely performed about 700 nonemergency angioplasty procedures since 2003 as part of a Johns Hopkins University research trial, but the hospital needs the state's blessing to continue the program once the study ends

Lose Belly Fat for Better Blood Circulation
The Times of India, March 14, 2012
Shedding pounds, especially belly fat, can help overweight people improve the function of their blood vessels no matter whether they are on a low-carb or a low-fat diet, according to a new study. In the six-month weight-loss study, Johns Hopkins researchers found that the more belly fat the participants lost, the better their arteries were able to expand when needed, allowing more blood to flow more freely.
Also covered by: KYTX, Science Daily, UPI

Better Heart Care at EWMSC
Guardian Media, March 11, 2012
Patients can expect improved delivery of cardiovascular (heart/blood vessel) healthcare services at Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex (EWMSC), Mt Hope, from 16 technologists. They honed their skills via a Cardiac Catherisation and Electrophysiology (electrical impulses) skills training programme. It was a collaborative effort among John Hopkins' cardiology faculty, cardiology consultants at the EWMSC, and the Trinidad and Tobago Health Sciences.

Vitamin D and Heart Disease
Compass Cayman, March 8, 2012
A growing number of studies point to vitamin D deficiency as a risk factor for heart attacks, congestive heart failure, peripheral arterial disease, strokes, and the conditions associated with cardiovascular disease, such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

Jacobs: With AEDs, We Can Save Lives
Havre de Grace Patch, March 2, 2012
In the first critical moments of cardiac arrest, an automatic external defibrillator (AED) can restart someone's heart before emergency responders arrive. For every minute before being shocked by a defibrillator, a person's chance of surviving decreases by 10 percent. The great thing about AEDs is that they are easy for everyone to use. Studies have proven that even children can use them to save a life

Doctors Tell Patients to Weigh Heart-Attack Risk in Considering Statins
The Wall Street Journal, February 29, 2012
The FDA advisory on cholesterol-lowering statins was mild as far as regulatory actions go. Still, when a drug taken by millions of patients - ncluding one in four Americans who are 45 and older - is linked to a risk of Type 2 diabetes and mental impairment, people pay attention. If you are taking a statin, such as Crestor, Lipitor (atorvastatin in its generic version) or Zocor (simvastatin), what should you do? The vast majority of patients - especially those who are clearly at high risk of a heart attack - should keep taking the medicines, according to several cardiologists.
Also covered by:

Younger Heart Transplant Patients Live Longer
MedIndia, February 28, 2012
A recent study has pointed out that heart transplant patients who receive new organs before the age of 55 live much longer than older patients receiving transplants. Examining data from the more than 22,000 American adults who got new hearts between 1987 and 1999, researchers found that roughly half were still alive a decade after being transplanted and further analysis identified factors that appear to predict at least 10 years of life after the operations.
Also covered by: Medical News Today

For Coronary Artery Disease, Meds as Effective as Stents
ABC News, February 28, 2012
Inserting stents to open a blocked artery is a common way to treat coronary artery disease. But increasing evidence suggests the procedure is not as beneficial as patients and some doctors might believe. An analysis published Monday in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that using stents to repair arteries narrowed by plaque was no better than using standard medications to treat patients with stable coronary artery disease.

You Could Die of a Broken Heart, Doctors Say
Hartford Courant, February 22, 2012
For centuries, there have been songs, writings and proclamations about losing love, with many often using the term "a broken heart" to describe the pain. But it appears there is medical truth to the notion that a traumatic emotional experience can lead to a severe cardiac condition, which can initially display all of the signs associated with those seen in a heart attack.

Hopkins Medical Students Learn to Use Their Stethoscopes
The Baltimore Sun, February 19, 2012
The stethoscope may be an icon of the medical profession to most patients. But it's more of a relic to many doctors. The device used to listen to the heart, lungs and other body parts - invented nearly 200 years ago - has been overtaken by newer, more sophisticated imaging equipment and other changes in healthcare. And some adherents to the old ways say a significant number of physicians who wear a stethoscope around their necks no longer know how to use it properly.

Broken Heart Syndrome: Yes, It's Real
PBS, February 14, 2012
Sherry Hollingsworth nearly collapsed at her aunt's funeral. The death itself had rattled her, but not nearly as much as the chest pressure that struck that day and the diagnosis that eventually followed: Hollingsworth had a broken heart. Forget the clich's. This isn't the story of a woman metaphorically dying inside. Half of Hollingsworth's heart literally stopped pumping blood, and an otherwise healthy 50-year-old woman was soon diagnosed with the very real -- and increasingly diagnosed -- condition known as Broken Heart Syndrome.

Patient's Own Stem Cells Help Heal Heart
CNN Health, February 14, 2012
A patient's own heart cells can be used to regrow new heart tissue and help undo damage caused by a heart attack, according to early research published on Monday. Scientists at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore were able to treat 17 heart attack patients with cells grown from their own heart tissue. Not only did this show that the procedure was safe, it also showed that the cells can help reduce scarring and even cause new heart muscle to grow.
Also featured in: ABC NewsScience Daily,

Watch Out for Heart Trouble When You Shovel
The Washington Post, February 13, 2012
About 7 percent of patients treated at hospital emergency rooms for shoveling-related incidents had cardiac problems, according to a 2011 study. Some of these were deadly. "While the overwhelming majority of people do not have heart problems while shoveling, for the few who do get into difficulties, there is a confluence of things happening," said Gordon Tomaselli, president of the American Heart Association and director of the Division of Cardiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Stroke: The Other Cardiovascular Disease
WTOP, February 10, 2012
This story features Suburban Hospital, a Johns Hopkins Community Hospital. There is a wonder drug for stroke, and few people know about it. For those lucky enough to make it to the hospital in time, this medication can reverse or prevent damage from a stroke while its happening. The problem is that many people wait too long to call 911.

A Gentler Jolt to the Heart

Inside Science, February 10, 2012 Cardiologists and electrophysiologists are studying electrical methods to reduce the pain associated with cardiac defibrillator shocks-making the jolts less jarring but maintaining their life-saving effects.

Value vs. Volume?
HealthImaging, February 9, 2012
Volume can mean many things: a large quantity, the capacity of a specified container or the amplitude of sound. But what does volume mean for the healthcare industry? Depending on whom you ask, the answer may be everything.

Sex and Science
WBFF-BAL, February 7, 2012
Researchers at Johns Hopkins are taking part in a major study of heart disease - who it affects and how it develops. Read more about the study.

Pasadena Boy Beats the Odds
Maryland Gazette, February 2, 2012
Mike and Kim Coburn never thought they'd see the day when their son Michael would be running up and down a basketball court, playing guard for the Pasadena Buccaneers Athletic Club. But these days, the 9-year-old Pasadena boy is doing just that. His team is undefeated. What makes Michael's accomplishment remarkable is that he was born with a rare heart condition and, at one point, was given a 50 percent chance of survival. To compound his problems, he later was diagnosed with leukemia, a blow that left his family reeling.

The Nitty-Gritty on Air Pollution
Reader's Digest Canada, January 25, 2012
The Heart and Stroke Foundation has stated that smog can be as detrimental to your arteries as cigarette smoke. Experts believe variations in levels of urban air pollution affect mortality rates. Certain pollutants are thought to have an inflammatory effect on the inner lining of arteries, which can trigger atherosclerosis. They may also cause inflammation of the lungs, which could aggravate lung problems.

Defusing the Mental and Emotional Pressures That Take a Toll on Cardiac Health
Chicago Tribune, January 25, 2012
Your weight is in check, you exercise three times a week and heart disease doesn't run in your family. So that means you're not going to have any heart disease, right? Not so fast. Mental and emotional stress can take nearly as much of a toll on your heart as overloading on red meat seven nights a week.

Should Healthy People Take Cholesterol Drugs to Prevent Heart Disease?
The Wall Street Journal, January 23, 2012
Heart disease is the biggest killer in the country. But an argument is raging about a popular way of preventing it. Most of the medical community thinks that a good approach is to prescribe cholesterol-lowering drugs, or statins, to patients who have high levels of so-called bad cholesterol as well as other risk factors - but who are otherwise healthy.

R.J. Cooper to Go Under the Knife Tomorrow
The Washington Post, January 10, 2012
Early Wednesday morning, R.J. Cooper will be experiencing something of a role reversal. The James Beard Award-winning chef at Rogue 24 will face the working end of a knife when he undergoes open-heart surgery at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore.
Follow up article: R.J. Cooper Schedule to Leave Hopsital Tomorrow

Starting Early for Heart Health: Controlling Blood Pressure Over Time Beats Playing Catch-Up Later
The Wall Street Journal, January 10, 2012
Many people typically get serious about heart health in their mid-50s. But a growing body of research shows that starting years earlier is the most effective way to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.