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Are e-cigarette flavorings toxic to the heart?-Stephanie Moustafa

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Despite their popularity, little is known about the health impacts of electronic cigarettes. New research investigates the chemicals used to flavor these products and their effects on cardiovascular health.

A new study investigates e-cigarettes' impact on the heart. New research, published in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, concludes that the chemicals used to create these flavors could be damaging blood vessels and the cells that line the inside of the heart. Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) were first introduced to the United States in 2006 and were marketed as a safer alternative to cigarettes. These battery-powered devices heat a liquid solution that is then inhaled by the user. However, e-cigarettes can still contain nicotine and some of the chemicals used in regular cigarettes. Since their introduction, they have gained popularity and are widely used as an alternative to smoking traditional tobacco products. They are often used to help people quit smok…

A-fib surgery: Types, risks, and what to expect-Lana Barhum

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Atrial fibrillation is a serious medical condition characteristic of an abnormal heartbeat. The irregular response is due to erratic electrical impulses in the heart's upper chambers.Atrial fibrillation (A-fib) is an irregularity that can result in symptoms, such as heart palpitations, chest pain, and dizziness. However, some people may not experience any symptoms at all. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that up to 6.1 million people in the United States may have A-fib. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are around 33.5 million people living with A-fib worldwide. There are different treatment options for managing A-fib, including lifestyle changes, medications, and other nonsurgical options. While these treatments may help some people, they may not work for everybody and are not a cure. Doctors may consider surgery if a patient's medications aren't working and when nothing else has helped. How is A-fib treated? Treating A-f…

The effect of EECP on functional exercise capacity and symptom burden in refractory angina-British Journal of Cardiology

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Authors: Noman Ali, Haqeel A Jamil, Mohammad Waleed, Osama Raheem, Peysh Patel, Paul Sainsbury, Christopher Morley

Refractory angina (RA) is characterized by persistent anginal symptoms despite optimal medical therapy and revascularization. Enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP) is a technique that has shown promise in the treatment of this condition but is poorly utilized in the UK. The aim of this study is to assess the effect of EECP on anginal symptoms in patients with RA from a UK center. This retrospective study assessed the effectiveness of EECP at improving exercise capacity, anginal symptom burden and anginal episode frequency using pre- and post-treatment six-minute walk test (6MWT) results, Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS) scores, and symptom questionnaires, respectively. Fifty patients with a median age of 67 years (interquartile range [IQR] 14) underwent EECP between 2004 and 2015. The majority had undergone prior revascularization (84%; 42/50) via percutaneous coron…

Heart health: Supplements don't work, with one exception- Ana Sandoiu

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A new review finds that the most widely used supplements do not protect the heart against cardiovascular disease. However, folic acid may prevent stroke.
Most supplements do not keep your heart healthy, suggests a new review. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimate that one-third of the entire population of the United States are taking some form of supplement Supplements are meant to raise our nutritional intake when food alone is not enough to provide the daily recommended dose. However, some claim that supplements may prevent chronic diseases such as cancer or cardiovascular disease. Vitamins A, E, and C, for example, have been suggested to keep cancer at bay, while some studies have proposed that folic acid, vitamin E, and vitamin D might be helpful for preventing cardiovascular disease. However, the scientific evidence available is conflicting. The official message that government authorities and nonprofit organizations have been putting forth to the public is that, even t…

Radiation-Induced CAD: Incidence, Diagnosis, and Management Outcomes- Nyal Borges; Samir R. Kapadia

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Mediastinal radiation therapy is a commonly used treatment modality for malignancies involving the thorax. First described in the mid-1960s, radiation-induced heart disease is an under-recognized phenomenon associated with considerable morbidity and mortality. Radiation-induced heart disease can manifest as the pathology of the epicardial and endocardial coronary vessels resulting in coronary obstruction, semilunar and atrioventricular valves resulting in stenosis or regurgitation due to valvular fibrosis, myocardium with resultant cardiomyopathy, and conduction system and pericardium with pericardial constriction and inflammation. In this review, we will discuss radiation-induced coronary artery disease (CAD), focusing primarily on incidence, diagnosis, and management.
Historically, Hodgkin's lymphoma and breast cancer treatments have included thoracic radiation therapy, resulting in exposure of cardiac tissues to radiation. Most of our understanding of radiation effects on card…