Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Statins and polyunsaturated fatty acids for treatment of atrial fibrillation stroke

Atrial fibrillation (AF) affects 1.5–2.0% of the population in the developed world. Projected data from population-based studies in the US indicate that the number of adults with AF will swell by 2.5–3.0-fold by 2050. Despite advances in pharmacological and nonpharmacological therapies for rhythm or rate control in patients with AF, primary prevention with 'upstream' therapy and risk factor modification is likely to produce a far greater effect in the general population than specific interventions. Rapidly developing experimental work has provided new insights into AF pathophysiology that will lead to new mechanism-based therapies. Agents targeting inflammation, oxidative injury, atrial myocyte metabolism, extracellular matrix remodeling, and fibrosis, have theoretical advantages as novel therapeutic strategies. Angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin-receptor blockers, beta-blockers, statins, and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids have shown antiarrhythmic potential, over and above any effect related to the treatment of underlying heart disease. These agents could be exploited to prevent or delay atrial remodeling in patients with AF, even in the absence of routine indications for such therapy. This Review provides a contemporary evidence-based insight into the possible preventive and reverse remodeling roles of statins and polyunsaturated fatty acids in AF.


Saturday, December 22, 2007

New Hypertension Drug - Bystolic

A new beta blocker called Bystolic (nebivolol) has been approved for treatment of high blood pressure (hypertension), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Monday.
The approval was based on findings from four studies in which more than 2,000 people received Bystolic. The drug's efficacy was similar to that of other FDA-approved beta blockers. Common side effects experienced by people taking Bystolic included headache, fatigue, dizziness and diarrhea.
Beta blockers are a well-established class of medications that lower blood pressure by reducing the force with which the heart pumps blood. Nearly one in three American adults has high blood pressure, which increases the risk of stroke, heart failure, heart attack, kidney failure and death.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Fruits and vegetables reduce the risk of certain cancers

Fruits and vegetables have long been known to help reduce the risk of certain cancers. Based on prior research, the American Cancer Society recommends eating five servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
In the first study, Ohio State University researchers found black raspberries may protect against esophageal cancer by reducing the oxidative stress that results from Barrett's esophagus, a precancerous condition usually caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease. The esophagus is a long tube that connects the throat to the stomach. Reflux disease causes stomach acid to continually splash back up into the esophagus.
People with Barrett's esophagus typically are 30 to 40 times more likely to develop esophageal cancer, which has a poor five-year survival rate of 15 percent.
Black raspberries previously have been shown to reduce the risk of oral, esophageal and colon cancer in animal models, according to the researchers, who called for further study in humans.

In other research presented at the meeting, broccoli sprouts and cruciferous vegetables both showed promise in the fight against bladder cancer.

A second team at the institute found that people who ate three or more servings of raw, cruciferous vegetables per month reduced their risk of bladder cancer by 40 percent. Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower.

The team analyzed the dietary habits of 275 people with early bladder cancer and 825 people who were cancer-free. The researchers specifically asked how many servings of raw or cooked cruciferous vegetables they ate before their diagnosis and whether they smoked.

Analysis of the data showed that the more raw, cruciferous vegetables people ate, the lower their risk of bladder cancer. In comparison to people who smoked and ate fewer than three servings of raw vegetables a day, nonsmokers eating at least three servings of cruciferous vegetables daily were 73 percent less likely to develop bladder cancer.