Atrial Fibrillation Research Study Seeks Afib Patients near San Francisco, Cincinnati, and New Jersey

06/29/2009

 An afib research study is looking for volunteers that meet the following criteria: Between 21 and 65 years of age Have taken one of the following medications: Flecainide Rythmol (IR or SR) Propafenone Moricizine Encainide Lorcainide Live in or near: Edison, NJ — includes central/northern New Jersey and New York Cincinnati, OH and surrounding areas San Francisco, CA and the Bay area.

If you’re qualified and participate in a one-on-one interview or a small focus group with other afib patients, you will receive $100 to $125 for your time. You will be asked a few additional questions to ensure you meet the study criteria. If you meet the criteria above and would like to apply, please contact us using this Contact Form (http://stopafib.org/contact.cfm) so we can connect you with the study organizers. Please include your contact info (phone, e-mail, and mailing address). Thanks for your help.

By participating, you will help future afibbers.

(Posted on website stopafib.org)


New vitamin D and fish oil study: how you can participate

06/28/2009

The National Institutes of Health is funding a study of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids to determine whether taking these supplements can reduce the risk of developing cancer, heart disease, and stroke in people who have no history of any of these conditions.

The study, called VITAL (VITamin D and OmegA-3 triaL) will include 20,000 men and women. Recruitment for the trial will begin in January 2010.

Would you like to participate? Even though the study is being run by Harvard Medical School and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, people from anywhere across the United States can be a part of the study. Here’s what you need to know.

Who is eligible for VITAL?
Any woman aged 65 or older or man aged 60 or older who has not previously experienced a heart attack, stroke, or cancer (you can enroll if you have had skin cancer) may be eligible to participate in the study. Potential participants must fill out a questionnaire, and those chosen for the study will be contacted by the study team.

How VITAL works
The study is designed for participants to take about 2000 IU vitamin D and/or about 1 gram of fish oil (omega-3 fatty acids), or placebo, daily. The chosen participants will receive their necessary supplements and instructions via mail. Eligible individuals will be randomly assigned to one of four treatment groups: (1) take both vitamin D and fish oil; (2) take vitamin D and placebo fish oil; (3) take placebo vitamin D and fish oil; or (4) take placebo vitamin D and placebo fish oil.

For each year individuals participate in the study, they will need to complete a questionnaire, which can be completed in about 15 to 20 minutes. The questions are about habits such as exercise, diet, smoking, use of medications, family history of illness, and use of dietary supplements. Participants will occasionally be contacted by telephone to verify or collect information.

Participants must agree to limit their intake of vitamin D (besides the supplements provided by the study) to no more than 800 IU daily and to limit calcium supplement intake to 1200 me or less daily.

How to enroll in the study

You can visit the study website (http://www.vitalstudy.org/) after Labor Day, and instructions on how to receive a questionnaire and introductory materials will be posted.


Can the “Tomato Pill” Prevent Heart Disease?

06/27/2009

tomato

So have you heard the recent hype about the new “tomato pill”?

 The “tomato pill” contains lycopene which is one of the main ingredients of the Mediterranean diet, which is a well know diet proven to prevent heart disease.  Lycopene is an antioxidant found in tomato skin, but in its natural form it is poorly absorbed.  Ateronon is the name of the new dietary tomato supplement.  Preliminary results (only 150 people studied) suggest that ateronon may help reduce harmful fats in the blood and prevent the build-up of plaque in the blood vessels.

 Further studies are needed in order to prove the heart healthy benefits and assess for any adverse reactions.  The initial study was promising so we will have to wait and see what the future holds for the “tomato pill”.

 At this time though, the recommendation is to consume a diet high in fruits and vegetables (including red fruits and vegetables that contain lycopene) to prevent heart disease.  Cooked tomato products (tomato sauce, tomato paste) provide better absorption than raw tomatoes.  Also the redder the fruit or vegetable the better – higher lycopene levels are found in redder foods.


Night Owls at Higher Risk for Heart Disease

06/25/2009

midnight oil

Chronic sleep loss has been previously linked to diabetes and obesity.

 This current study presented at the American College of Cardiology’s annual meeting (March 2009) studied 251 men less than 60 years of age.  A sleep survey was completed along with weight, cholesterol levels and blood pressure readings.  

 The fewer hours a man slept each night the greater his blood pressure, triglyceride level (type of fat in blood) and the greater his weight.  Men who reported going to bed after midnight were more likely to have arterial stiffening (hardening of the blood vessels) which is an early stage of heart disease.  The reason for this finding is unknown but may be related to an activation of the sympathetic nervous system which controls the body’s response to stress.  It is not known if similar effects would be observed in women since only men were included in this study.

 But you may want to reconsider burning the midnight oil in order to prevent future heart problems.

For more heart healthy info visit www.heart-strong.com


Michelle Obama Sends Health Care E-Mail to Democratic Donors

06/24/2009

First lady Michelle Obama entered the health care fray Tuesday, signing an e-mail sent to millions of Democratic donors and activists that asks support for her husband’s plan to overhaul the nation’s health care system.

“I’ve just launched United We Serve, a national initiative to tackle our toughest problems by working hand-in-hand in communities across the country,” the popular first lady wrote. “We aim to make a real difference right now and bring more and more Americans into a tradition of life-long service to make an even greater difference down the road.”

“I’d like to invite you to be a part of it by joining Organizing for America’s National Health Care Day of Service this weekend,” she continued. “You can join up with other local OFA supporters to help improve health care services in your community and make a difference as we work to reform America’s health care system.”

Michelle Obama’s Email is below:

National and community service has been a cornerstone of my life, as I know it has been for many Americans. And with the daily struggles now confronting so many families, it’s especially important for us to reach out to one another and offer a helping hand.

I’ve just launched United We Serve, a national initiative to tackle our toughest problems by working hand-in-hand in communities across the country. We aim to make a real difference right now and bring more and more Americans into a tradition of life-long service to make an even greater difference down the road.

I’d like to invite you to be a part of it by joining Organizing for America ‘s National Health Care Day of Service this weekend. You can join up with other local OFA supporters to help improve health care services in your community and make a difference as we work to reform America ‘s health care system.

Sign up now to participate in a National Health Care Day of Service event this Saturday, June 27th. (http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/hcserviceattend/)

There’s an old Thomas Edison quote I’ve always liked: “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” It’s no secret that our country faces some enormous challenges right now, and meeting them will take a lot of hard work. But in that work lies an equally great opportunity — a chance to serve. And I do believe the chance to serve is a precious gift indeed.

Service has played a transformative role in my life — bringing me tremendous joy and helping me find the path that led to where I am today. As a parent, I believe service is a great way to demonstrate values and to teach our children firsthand what it means to commit to a purpose beyond ourselves.

It should be a part of everyone’s life. From the moment someone can walk to the day they leave this planet, service should be a part of how we give back, how we say thank you, how we express our gratitude for the lives that we’ve been given.

So I’m deeply honored for this chance to support our United We Serve initiative and Organizing for America, and I hope you’ll be able to participate this weekend. Please sign up now to volunteer at a local event:

http://my.barackobama.com/hcserviceattend

 Thank you,

First Lady Michelle Obama


Three Pool Exercises That Won’t Embarrass You

06/23/2009

Three Pool Exercises That Won’t Embarrass You
from the National Women’s Health Resource Center’s e-newsletter, HealthyWomen Take 10

water aerobics

You’ve heard it time and again: water exercise is a great way to build fitness, flexibility and strength without straining your joints. But, let’s face it, some of us feel a little self-conscious about working out in a pool.

Kay Smiley, aquatics specialist for YMCA of the USA, suggests these easy pool exercises to burn calories, improve balance and tone your body without drawing a lot of attention to yourself:

Exercise 1: Pool Walk

  • Walk heel-to-toe across the pool, swinging opposite arm and leg (as you swing your right arm forward, step forward on your left leg).
  • When you reach the opposite side, walk backward, using toe-to-heel steps. (Or just walk the return lap facing forward.)
  • Option: March across the pool, lifting your knees with each step.

Exercise 2: Scissor Arms

  • Cross your arms in front of your body at hip level.
  • Move each arm behind your back, one at a time, and recross them.
  • Return arms to front, one at a time, and recross.
  • Repeat, alternating left arm over right, then right arm over left.
  • Option: Wear webbed gloves, designed to add resistance and help with balance.

Exercise 3: Side Stretches

  • Hands on hips, bend slowly to one side.
  • Return slowly to standing position.
  • Repeat on opposite side.
  • Option: Stretch arms out to your sides before bending.

Remember to exercise in shallow water if you’re not a swimmer. Always swim when a lifeguard is present.

© 2009 National Women’s Health Resource Center, Inc. (NWHRC) All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission from the NWHRC. 1-877-986-9472 (tollfree). On the Web at: www.healthywomen.org.


Heart Healthy Father’s Day Tips

06/21/2009

1. EAT A DIET LOW IN FAT AND HIGH IN FRUITS AND VEGETABLES.  (Men should aim for 7 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day)

2. GET 30 MINUTES OF MODERATE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY MOST DAYS OF THE WEEK.

3. DON’T ABUSE ALCOHOL. (Enjoy yourself but limit alcoholic beverages to no more than 2 per day)

4. DO NOT USE TOBACCO.  (Stay away from the cigarettes and cigars, avoid second hand smoke)

5. GET REGULAR PHYSICAL EXAMS. (Know your numbers – blood pressure, cholesterol, weight, waist circumference)

            Goal blood pressure is less than 120/80

            Goal waist circumference less than 40 inches

6. SPEND QUALITY TIME WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS.  (Recreational time is important for your health and to decrease your stress level)

ENJOY YOUR FATHER’S DAY !!

FOR MORE HEART HEALTHY INFORMATION VISIT WWW.HEART-STRONG.COM