• FDA approves new heart failure pill from Novartis

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Government regulators have approved a new pill from Novartis to treat heart failure, a deadly chronic disease that affects millions of U.S. patients. The Food and Drug Administration approved the combination drug, Entresto, based on studies showing it reduced rates of heart-related death and hospitalization compared with older drugs. More than 5 million Americans and more than 25 million people worldwide have heart failure, a disease that causes the heart to gradually lose its pumping power. It kills up to half of patients within five years, despite numerous generic pills and other treatments available. It costs the global economy an estimated $108 billion annually, so prevention is a key goal for he

  • Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation raises $600,000 with concert, golf event

    From Staff Reports | Published: Sun, Jul 5, 2015

    The Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation raised more than $600,000 at its “241” events — two events for one great cause: a wine festival and concert at OMRF June 28 followed by a golf tournament June 29 at the Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club.

  • Oklahoma ranks low in status of women

    By JACLYN COSGROVE Staff Writer jcosgrove@oklahoman.com | Updated: Fri, Jul 3, 2015

    Oklahoma was given a D+ by the Institute for Women's Policy Research in its "Status of Women in the States" report on health issues, including mental health

  • Subsidiary of Colorado Springs medical manufacturer wins $20 million court judgment

    Updated: Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    A subsidiary of Colorado Springs-based medical laser manufacturer Spectranetics Corp. has won a $20 million judgment against its co-founder - who developed a competing product while with the company, yet allegedly failed to make it available to the firm. In 2012, AngioScore Inc., acquired by Spectranetics last year, sued Eitan Konstantino, its former co-founder, officer and board member, and three other companies he founded. In its suit, AngioScore said Konstantino developed the "Chocolate" balloon angioplasty catheter while serving on the AngioScore board. On Thursday, Spectranetics announced that a California federal district court had found that Konstantino breached his fiduciary duty to AngioScore by failing to offer it t

  • Hospital opens new treatment facility

    Updated: Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center hosted a grand opening celebration for their new cardiac catheterization lab Wednesday evening, the first of its kind in Otero County. The lab is expected to take its first patients in about two weeks, the hospital's spokeswoman Lillie Lewis said. "We wanted to give the community an opportunity to see the lab before we close it down and sterilize everything and get it to where only staff is in there," said Lewis. Until now, patients from Otero County and surrounding communities have had to travel to Las Cruces to the nearest cath lab. A cath lab provides diagnostic tests for the heart, vascular tissue and arteries.

  • Court: No evidence heart attack caused by burglar

    Updated: Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Louisiana Supreme Court has ruled there's no evidence to support prosecutors' arguments that an 86-year-old Lafayette woman's heart attack was caused when she found a man in her home. The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/1CNqCp0 ) the Supreme Court upheld this week a lower court's decision to overturn the conviction of Willie James Robertson. The Supreme Court says prosecutors did not present medical or forensic testimony to explain how Willie James Robertson may have caused Irene Schoofs to suffer cardiac arrest and die. Prosecutors argued a burglar literally scared the elderly Lafayette woman to death in 1999 when she returned home and found him inside.

  • Santa Fe cardiologist pleads not guilty to fraud charges

    Updated: Wed, Jul 1, 2015

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A Santa Fe cardiologist accused of health care fraud and wire fraud has pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors say 51-year-old Roy G. Heilbron was arraigned in federal court in Albuquerque on a 24-count indictment Wednesday. He's been released on his own recognizance. The indictment alleges that Heilbron executed a scheme to defraud Medicare and other health care benefit programs by submitting false and fraudulent claims between January 2010 and May 2011. Heilbron allegedly inserted false symptoms, observations and diagnoses into patients' medical charts to provide written support for the tests he ordered or performed and submitted claims to health plans for procedures that were never performed

  • Aransas County inmate dies from apparent heart attack

    Updated: Mon, Jun 29, 2015

    ROCKPORT - A 24-year-old Aransas County inmate who died Monday suffered a heart attack while in solitary confinement, Aransas County Sheriff Bill Mills said. Officers at the county’s detention center heard moaning about 12:30 a.m. coming from a cell where the man was found sitting slumped over by the doorway, according a sheriff’s office news release. He was taken to Care Regional Medical Center and pronounced dead about 2:30 a.m., the release states. Mills said the man, who was arrested in March on suspicion of possession and distribution of a controlled substance, had no medical history indicating heart complications.

  • Inmate dies of heart attack in Anderson County jail

    Updated: Sat, Jun 27, 2015

    ANDERSON, S.C. (AP) — Officials in Anderson County say an inmate has died of a heart attack. The Independent Mail of Anderson reports (http://bit.ly/1fL3ClN) Deputy Coroner Don McCown said 56-year-old Bobby Ray Blanding of Belton ate breakfast Friday and was headed outside for a work detail at the Anderson County Detention Center when he collapsed. McCown said corrections officers and jail medical staff performed first aid without success. He said Blanding was taken to the hospital, where he was declared dead. According to McCown, Blanding wasn't on any medication at the jail and his drug screen came back clear. He says it appears Blanding had heart disease and probably never told anyone about it.

  • VA heart program to close — again

    By JACLYN COSGROVE Staff Writer jcosgrove@oklahoman.com | Published: Thu, Jun 25, 2015

    Oklahoma City VA hospital to temporarily close heart surgery program summary: The VA hospital in Oklahoma City will stop heart procedures and surgeries starting July 1.

  • Kicking the trans fat habit

    Updated: Tue, Jun 23, 2015

    The following editorial appeared in The Baltimore Sun on Monday, June 22: ——— In a long-awaited step, the Food and Drug Administration last week set a 2018 deadline for the food industry to stop using the artery-clogging trans fats that are the nation’s leading cause of heart disease. The FDA has known for years that trans fats lead to higher risk of heart attack and death and that they have no heath benefits. The real question is why it’s taken the government so long to act. By finally banning these harmful substances, the agency has put the nation on track to save thousands of lives a year as well as an estimated $140 billion in health care costs over the next two decades.

  • Shared history binds Oklahoma surgeons to patient

    Updated: Sat, Jun 20, 2015

    Most family connections are forged over holiday dinner tables, but two Oklahoma City families have forged a connection with an operating table. William Alexander, 50, underwent a kidney and heart transplant at the Nazih Zuhdi Transplant Institute on April 15. It was the first time a combined heart and kidney transplant had been done in Oklahoma. Alexander had a lifetime of heart trouble and later developed diabetes. The bottom fell out in January when he began to prepare for the prospect that he might not live to see spring. 'I can't help you' “I had a heart doctor for 13 years, and the last time I saw her she looked me straight in the eye and said, 'I can’t help you,'” Alexander said. “I started preparing

  • Cheyenne helps save child's life

    Updated: Fri, Jun 19, 2015

    CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — All it takes to fix a small heart is for a lot of other people to have big ones. At least that has been the experience for 7-month-old Selavel Brown, who was previously featured in the April 16 edition of the Wyoming Tribune Eagle. Selavel was born with a rare congenital heart defect that would have killed him if left untreated. Specifically, the bottom half of his heart formed backward, and the wall that separates oxygen-rich blood from oxygen-poor blood never fully developed. Selavel's parents, James Brown and Cherry Burrous, knew they had to get him to a specialist in California if they wanted their son to have any chance at surviving beyond a year.

  • Quinn on Nutrition: No one best diet for diabetes patients, just ‘patterns’ of healthy eating

    Updated: Fri, Jun 19, 2015

    What’s the best diet for people with diabetes? It’s not an easy one-size-fits all, we were told at the scientific sessions of the American Diabetes Association in Boston recently. In fact, many of the experts at this meeting said the answer may not be in one specific diet. Instead they point us to well-studied “patterns” of eating. Evidence is strong, for example, that people with diabetes who follow an eating style based on the Mediterranean and the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) dietary patterns can benefit health wise. But wait. Aren’t these ways of eating designed to prevent heart disease and stroke? Yes, they are, said Lawrence Appel, MD, of Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. But diabetes is closely

  • 5 ways to fight inflammation: Cancer, heart disease, diabetes — they’ve all been linked to this hidden problem

    Updated: Wed, Jun 17, 2015

    If inflammation ranks low on your list of health concerns, it may be time to bump it up. The reason: Inflammation, or your body’s response to injury or infection, has been associated with arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. So what can you do to fight it? Exercise, finds a new study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science In Sports. Nearly 5,000 men and women took a physical exam that measured their levels of the inflammation marker C-reactive protein (CRP), which is a recognized marker for cardiovascular disease. The subjects then wore an activity-tracking accelerometer for seven days. The findings: Adults who were physically active had 33 percent lower CRP levels than inactive adults.

  • Disparities in healthcare for men

    Updated: Wed, Jun 17, 2015

    In the United States today, the health status of men continues to be substantially worse than for women. Why? One reason is there are still more men employed in higher risk occupations like mining and construction. However, factors that may be the most threatening to men’s longevity are lack of awareness and follow-up when it comes to preventive health care. In a survey by the American Academy of Family Physicians, 36% of men reported they only see a doctor when they feel sick, or have a medical emergency. According to the Center for Disease Control, men make half as many physician visits for health prevention, than women.

  • Common kidney tests found useful in predicting future heart disease

    Updated: Wed, Jun 17, 2015

    BALTIMORE — Simple tests used regularly to assess kidney function and damage also could help doctors predict who will suffer heart disease, the nation’s leading cause of death, researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have found. The tests are just as good, if not better, than standard cholesterol and blood pressure tests, potentially giving doctors a better idea of which patients to more closely watch or treat, said Dr. Kunihiro Matsushita, an assistant scientist in the school’s department of epidemiology who led the research. “Cholesterol levels and blood pressure tests are good indicators of cardiovascular risk, but they are not perfect,” he said.

  • Q&A: What are trans fats and why are they unhealthy?

    Updated: Wed, Jun 17, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — You may not even know you are eating them, but trans fats will soon be mostly gone from your food. The Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday it will require food companies to phase them out over the next three years because the agency says they are a threat to public health. Among the foods that commonly contain trans fats: frostings, pie crusts, biscuits, microwave popcorn, coffee creamers, frozen pizza, refrigerated dough, vegetable shortenings and stick margarines. The fats help give a more solid texture and richness to certain foods, like baked goods and ready-to-eat frostings.

  • FDA tells food industry to phase out artificial trans fats

    Updated: Tue, Jun 16, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Popular foods like pie crusts, frostings and microwave popcorn will be largely rid of artery-clogging trans fats after a decision by the Obama administration to phase them out over the next three years. The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday ordered food companies to phase out artificial trans fats, calling them a threat to public health. Consumers aren't likely to notice much of a difference in their favorite foods, but the administration says the move will reduce coronary heart disease and prevent thousands of fatal heart attacks every year. Scientists say there are no health benefits to the fats, which are used in processing food and in restaurants, usually to improve texture, shelf life or flavor.

  • FDA steps up its drive to rid US diet of trans fats

    Updated: Tue, Jun 16, 2015

    In its continuing bid to drive trans fats from U.S. diets, the Food and Drug Administration said it is striking partially hydrogenated oils from the list of food additives it considers so safe that manufacturers may use them without special clearance. The FDA’s announcement Tuesday sets a three-year countdown for food makers to reformulate their products without hydrogenated oils unless they have gained the agency’s specific approval to continue their use. That leaves open the possibility that the oils — the primary source of added trans fats in U.S. diets — may remain in limited use. The modified oils have been used since the 1950s to make processed foods more shelf-stable.