Tuesday News Tips - November 6, 2012
Abstracts 17624, 16810, 10003, 9518 - Embargoed until 3 p.m. PT / 6 p.m. ET
- Latinos meet some but not all ideal heart-healthy goals
- There’s an app for that: Diagnosing atrial fibrillation
- Leg blood clots common among Japanese disaster evacuees; incidence linked to shelter quality
- Miscarriage associated with increased atherosclerosis risk
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EMBARGO: 10 a.m. PT/ 1 p.m. ET
Abstract 17624 (Room 502a)
Latinos meet some but not all ideal heart-healthy goals
Of the American Heart Association's Life's Simple 7 cardiovascular health goals for 2020, Latinos had higher ideal rates of blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels, physical activity and non-smoking status than has been reported for other Americans. However, like most Americans, the biggest challenges facing Latinos are maintaining a heart-healthy diet and weight, according to new results from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2012.
Researchers examined information from nearly 16,000 adults of Cuban, Dominican, Puerto Rican, Mexican, Central and South American ethnicity to study ideal cardiovascular health. They found:
- 5 percent met six of the seven goals, which is higher than the national average of 3.8 percent.
- 76.6 percent never smoked or quit; nonsmoking was the most commonly achieved goal.
- 53.4 percent had ideal blood pressure, which is 21.9 percent higher than the national rate.
- Only 2 percent ate an ideal heart-healthy diet, which was the least achieved goal.
- More than half (51.2 percent) had ideal levels of moderate to vigorous physical activity, which is 23 percent higher than the national rate (39.5 percent). Still, less than one-fourth had an ideal body mass index compared to the national rate of 32 percent.
“We found remarkable variability in Life's Simple 7 rates among Latino ethnicities that underscores the importance of understanding the unique cardiovascular health characteristics of this culturally diverse and increasingly important population in the United States,” said Hector M. González, Ph.D., HCHS/SOL study investigator and lead author, Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan.
The National, Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, funded the study.
EMBARGO: 10:45 a.m. PT/ 1:45 p.m. ET
Abstract 16810 (Room 505)
There’s an app for that: Diagnosing atrial fibrillation
An iPhone application that records a high quality tracing of the electrical activity of the heart could allow doctors to quickly and accurately diagnose atrial fibrillation, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2012.
Researchers performed traditional electrocardiograms (ECGs) and tested the iPhone-based ECG application, AliveCor, on 109 patients. Two cardiologists interpreted the uploaded iPhone ECGs. The iPhone ECG was also processed on the server to provide an automated diagnosis.
The iPhone application’s diagnostic accuracy was compared to traditional interpretation by a cardiologist with a 12-lead ECG. Based on iPhone ECGs, the cardiologists and automated algorithms correctly diagnosed atrial fibrillation (a quivering or irregular heartbeat) 95 percent of the time, researchers said. iPhone ECG interpretation was able to correctly differentiate atrial fibrillation from normal rhythm in greater than 94 percent of cases.
About 1.4 percent of apparently healthy people over age 65 have undiagnosed atrial fibrillation, and most have no symptoms, yet have a high risk of stroke which is preventable. The device could accurately screen for undiagnosed atrial fibrillation — potentially reducing the burden of atrial fibrillation-related complications, especially stroke, researchers said.
EMBARGO: 11:15 a.m. PT/ 2:15 p.m. ET
Abstract 10003 (Hall A-7)
Leg blood clots common among Japanese disaster evacuees; incidence linked to shelter quality
The incidence of leg blood clots (deep vein thrombosis) was high among citizens evacuated to shelters after the March 11, 2011 mega-earthquake, tsunami and nuclear power plant accident in Fukushima, Japan, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2012.
After examining 2,238 evacuees in the weeks and months after the disaster, researchers found the incidence of deep vein thrombosis in shelters near the tsunami was 35 percent compared to 9.8 percent overall.
Researchers also found a link between shelter quality and the incidence of deep vein thrombosis.
Utilities, such as water and electricity, were lacking; food was inadequate and latrines were outside in the cold. Most evacuees slept on floor mattresses.
EMBARGO: 2 p.m. PT/ 5 p.m. ET
Abstract 9518 (Room 502b)
Miscarriage associated with increased atherosclerosis risk
Having a history of miscarriages puts women at a higher risk for atherosclerotic disease (hardening of blood-supplying arteries), according to a study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2012.
Researchers reviewed follow-up health information on more than 1 million Danish women to study a potential association between miscarriage and heart attack, stroke or renovascular hypertension.
Compared to women who had no miscarriages:
- Women who had one were at 11 percent greater risk for heart attack. If they had four or more miscarriages, their risk more than doubled.
- Women with one miscarriage were 13 percent more likely to have a stroke, with an 89 percent increase in risk after four or more miscarriages.
- The risk of renovascular hypertension rose 15 percent in women who had a history of one miscarriage and almost 4-fold if they had four or more miscarriages.
- Each additional miscarriage a woman had translated to a 9 percent increased risk of heart attack, a 13 percent increase in stroke risk and a 19 percent increase in risk of renovascular hypertension.
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.
Follow news from the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2012 via Twitter: @HeartNews.
All downloadable video/audio interviews, B-roll, animation and images related to this news release are on the right column of the release link at http://newsroom.heart.org/pr/aha/_prv-tuesday-news-tips-november-6-2012-239570.aspx. Video clips with researchers/authors of studies will be added to the release links after embargo.