Heart Attack Risk may rise if you continuously skip break fast

Skipping breakfast may increase chances of a heart attack. A study of older men found who continuously skipped breakfast had a 27 percent higher risk of a heart attack than those who have a morning meal. There’s no reason why the results wouldn’t apply to other people, too, the Harvard researchers said.

Other studies suggested a link between breakfast and obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and other health problems seen as symptoms to heart problems.

Why would skipping breakfast be a heart attack risk?

People who don’t take breakfast are hungrier later in the day and eat larger meals in the afternoon. This means the body gets a larger amount of calories in a shorter amount of time. By eating so the sugar levels in the blood will increase and perhaps clogged arteries.

But eating syrupy pancakes, eggs and bacon really better than eating nothing? “We don’t know whether it’s the timing or content of breakfast that’s important. It’s probably both,” said Andrew Odegaard, a University of Minnesota researcher who has studied a link between skipping breakfast and health problems like obesity and high blood pressure.

The new research was released Monday by the journal Circulation. It was an observational study, so it’s not designed to prove a cause and effect. But when done well, such studies can reveal important health risks.

The researchers surveyed nearly 27,000 men about their eating habits in 1992. About 13 percent of them said they regularly skipped breakfast. They all were educated health professionals — like dentists and veterinarians — and were at least 45.

Over the next 16 years, 1,527 suffered fatal or non-fatal heart attacks, including 171 who had said they regularly skipped breakfast.

In other words, over 7 percent of the men who skipped breakfast had heart attacks, compared to nearly 6 percent of those who ate breakfast.

The researchers calculated the increased risk at 27 percent, taking into account other factors like smoking, drinking, diet and health problems like high blood pressure and obesity.

18 percent of U.S. adults regularly skip breakfast, according to federal estimates. So the study could be important news for many, Rimm said.

“It’s a really simple message,” he said. “Breakfast is an important meal.”

Source: npr

Breastfeeding ‘cuts depression risk’, according to study

Breastfeeding can halve the risk of post-natal depression, according to a large study of 14,000 new mothers. However, there is a large increase in the risk of depression in women planning to breastfeed who are then unable to do so.

Breastfeeding can halve the risk of post-natal depression, according to a large study of 14,000 new mothers.

The study, published in the journal Maternal and Child Health, called for more support for women unable to breastfeed. A parenting charity said mental health was a “huge issue” for many mothers. The health benefits of breastfeeding to the baby are clear-cut and the World Health Organization recommends feeding a child nothing but breast milk for the first six months.

However, researchers at the University of Cambridge said the impact on the mother was not as clearly understood.

‘Highest risk’
One in 10 women will develop depression after the birth of their child. The researchers analysed data from 13,998 births in the south-west of England. It showed that, out of women who were planning to breastfeed, there was a 50% reduction in the risk of post-natal depression if they started breastfeeding.

But the risk of depression more than doubled among women who wanted to, but were not able to, breastfeed. Dr Maria Iacovou, one of the researchers, told the BBC: “Breastfeeding does appear to have a protective effect, but there’s the other side of the coin as well.

“Those who wanted to and didn’t end up breastfeeding had the highest risk of all the groups.” The benefit increased for each week of breastfeeding up to one month.

However, any longer term impact on post-natal depression could not be determined due to the small number of women in the study who were still breast feeding several months after the birth.

Action needed
Dr Iacovou said the health profession needed to pay attention. She added: “It is right to tell mothers it’s right to breastfeed, there’s so many benefits, but the thing we need to rethink is giving more support to those who did want to breastfeed and to recognise those who are unable to, are at substantially elevated risk and to make sure health visitors keep an eye on these women.”

Possible explanations for the beneficial effect include the release of feel-good hormones when milk is produced.Dr Iacovou added that social or psychological factors such as feelings of “failing as a mother” were also contributing.

She says the improving the health of the mother will also help the baby.

Rosemary Dodds, a senior policy adviser at parenting charity NCT, said: “Mothers often experience pressures after the birth such as pain, shortage of sleep and anxiety.

“Breastfeeding can help to relax mothers and reduce stress, so it might play a part in preventing mental health issues developing. “We welcome further research into this subject as perinatal mental health is a huge issue for many mothers. At least one in ten suffer with postnatal depression.”

Source: bbc news


‘Penicillin Girl’ Genean Hixon dies at 82

A woman whose breakthrough treatment with penicillin during World War II led to modern medical practices died March 1, two days before her 83rd birthday.

Genean Hixon, better known in the 1940s as the “Penicillin Girl,” was at the age of 12 one of the first American civilians to be treated with what The Denver Post called the “mysterious miracle drug” in a series of articles on her progress.

Hixon, born Genean Smith on March 3, 1931, was hospitalized on July 24, 1943, with severe osteomyelitis — a bone disease that at the time was seemingly incurable and potentially fatal.

Hixon’s daughter, Connie Hixon Davis, said her mother spent more than four years in hospital beds in her teens, but was saved early on by the penicillin treatment.

“Interestingly, she developed an allergy to penicillin and couldn’t take it in her later years,” Connie said.

Hixon was diagnosed with liver cancer in December, which led to her death. She is survived by a large family including her husband Donald, 87, a brother Gerald Smith, 79, four children, 11 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

Throughout her life, Genean remained as avid a reader and seamstress as when she was cooped up in Denver General hospital as a young woman.

She received fan mail and, once, a bouquet of roses from an unknown soldier during the penicillin treatment, which drew hopeful eyes from around the globe.

“It is the first time such a quantity of the new drug, produced under extreme difficulties as a form of mold, has been released for a case of this nature in this region,” The Denver Post wrote on Oct. 18, 1943. “Denver General hospital has thus become the center of a medical experiment of worldwide interest.”

Connie said her mother’s father, Claude Smith, managed with the help of a doctor interested in Genean’s case to persuade the National Research Council to share the precious, new drug with his ailing daughter. The U.S. reserved penicillin primarily for military use until after the war.

Bennie Lindeque, a professor of orthopedics at the University of Colorado Denver, said the approach used in Hixon’s treatment is standard practice for curing osteomyelitis today.

Source: Chicoer Breaking news

New robotic surgical institute opens in the Dominican Republic

This week the Metropolitan Hospital of Santiago (HOMS), in the Dominican Republic, opened the first robotic surgery institute in the Caribbean. Named for Dr. David Samadi, a pioneer in robotic prostate surgery and member of the Fox News Medical A-Team, it is sure to draw patients from the United States as well from the Caribbean and South America.

Nearly one million Americans seek health care outside the U.S. every year. Medical tourism is increasingly popular in the Caribbean both in terms of its high quality, cost savings of up to 75 percent, and of course, you can’t beat the beautiful surroundings. The Dominican Republic has long been a tourist destination known for its inexpensive plastic surgery and dental procedures.

Now you can add to that the state-of-the-art Davinci robot which is like at avatar where the surgeon uses precision robotic arms to perform delicate procedures. Recovery with this kind of surgery is remarkable – you can get in and out of the hospital in a day. At a time when America is debating its health care future, our latest and greatest technology is still being exported.

Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina is opening the new facility along with Dr. Raphael Sanchez Espanol, CEO of HOMS hospital and, himself, a renowned surgeon.

“You’re going to change the lives of many, many people out there, and to be part of the first robotic institute in the Caribbean, this is a huge blessing and for the humanitarian part… for us to be part of this we’re very proud,” said Dr. David Samadi, chairman of urology and chief of robotic surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

The institute will include treatment of prostate, kidney, gynecologic and surgical cases. Doctors operating in the Dominican Republic will now be able to use techniques developed by Samadi, who performed the country’s first procedure, to treat prostate cancer as well as other delicate surgeries in a safer, more effective manner with minimal blood loss.

“Big decisions have transformed into small decisions,” said Dr. Espanol. “I like to say, with less trauma – the less trauma facilitates an amazing recovery of the sick.”

“This is a huge step in this country and it’s going to bring a lot of patients from the entire Caribbean to this hospital,” Samadi said.

And beyond the Caribbean, with more and more regulations and restrictions coming our way on American soil, many patients will look elsewhere for their surgeries. The new David Samadi Robotic Institute is one of the places they will be looking.

Source: Fox news

Father claims he delivered his own baby after staff left delivery room

One Florida dad is arguing he had to deliver his wife’s baby in a hospital – without a nurse or doctor present. But the hospital is disputing his claim.

According to a report, Zaheer Ali took his wife, Indira, to Bethesda Hospital East in Boynton Beach, Fla., late Saturday evening after she started experiencing contractions.  Once at the hospital, doctors felt that Indira’s labor was stalling, so they put her on a
Pitocin drip to help increase her contractions.

As Indira’s contractions began speeding up, another woman elsewhere in the hospital started having a complicated delivery and needed an emergency cesarean section. Indira’s obstetrician, Dr. Elana Deutsch, said she ordered the Pitocin drip stopped so she could leave Indira to quickly perform the C-section.

But Zaheer said the baby was coming – with or without the Pitocin drip. “My wife was screaming,” Zaheer Ali told . “The nurse says, ‘You have to wait.’ ”

The nurse left the room to retrieve Deutsch, but by the time they came back, the baby had already been delivered. Deutsch said it must have happened very quickly, since it only took her 30 minutes to perform the C-section.

“The patient was obviously very upset. I was very upset,” Deutsch said. “I think it was a new nurse, and I think she was nervous about being in the room alone.”

Both Indira and her new baby Aaliyah are both healthy and doing fine, but the now father of three is not happy.

“The hospital is saying, ‘Sorry,’ but I just feel it’s wrong,” Zaheer Ali said. “It’s a hospital. There are supposed to be nurses and midwives. A nurse should be there with you.”

However, Bethesda Hospital East conducted an investigation of the incident, and Lisa Kronhaus, a spokeswoman for the hospital, claims the family wasn’t alone after all. She said that hospital charts show that Aaliyah was indeed delivered by a nurse.

“There was a 1-to-1 ratio that night. The nurse did leave the room to tell the doctor she was ready to deliver. Mom made a noise. The nurse sitting outside of her room went in, checked her, and saw the baby started to crown, and nurse delivered the baby,” Kronhaus told. “It’s in the medical chart. It’s legally documented.”

Source: fox news

Student With Hole in Heart to Undergo N3.47 million for Surgery

An 11-year-old student of Federal Government College, Gusau has been diagnosed with a heart condition that will cost an estimated N3.47 million for corrective surgery in an Indian hospital.

Ifeoma Igbo was born with patent ductus arterosus (PDA) a congenital heart condition that’s left an open hole at the top of her heart.

She has been hospitalized with a “history of difficulty in breathing and lower respiratory tract infection during infancy and early childhood,” her medical report at Usman Danfodio University Teaching Hospital said.

Dr Usman Sani, consultant paediatric cardiologist at UDUTH, reported a heart murmur on examination but said Ifeoma had been only on “conservative management” and referred her to Madras Medical Mission in Chennai, India for surgery.

Ifeoma’s father, Donatus Igbo, a technician based in Zamfara, said the condition has hugely disrupted his daughter’s schooling.

PDA results when a major vessel at the top of heart crucial to breathing and feeding in foetuses fails to close after birth.

The condition puts a strain on the heart, causing shortness of breath and an increased risk of cardiac arrest.

Last year, a two-year-old girl with PDA successfully underwent corrective surgery at Garki Hospital in Abuja.

Source: All Africa


An adult in the pediatric ward: What the littlest Cancer Avengers taught me


Three years ago, I was diagnosed with a rare pediatric bone cancer called osteosarcoma. In my case, it was super-rare, because I was 43.

I went to see Dr. Paul Meyers at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, six hours away from our home in upstate New York. At the hospital, my husband and I followed instructions to the B elevators and got off on the eighth floor.

The doors opened to a brightly colored playroom, funky lounge chairs and really big fish tanks.

Meyers is a pediatric oncologist, and because I had a pediatric cancer (age not withstanding), I would be treated where he worked: in the pediatric cancer center.

Meyers explained, sans sugar-coating, that my cancer was particularly aggressive, and so the treatment would be, too. I explained that I loved my job and my life, and am one tough chick, so I planned on working through it all.

Meyers pressed on. I would endure nine rounds of three types of chemotherapy in a not-so-delicious-chemo cocktail. After three rounds, there would be limb-salvage surgery where they remove my cancerous bones and replace them with titanium. Or amputate.

I should expect to be fully debilitated by this treatment, Meyers said — to be in a wheelchair for more than a year, to stop working at my job that I loved, and to close my company that I had worked hard to build. Long-term damage to my hearing, heart, bladder and extremities because of high doses of chemo were to be expected.

At the time, I was unsure of almost everything, including how I felt about being in the Pediatric Day Hospital as a patient.

We learned the hospital would be my home away from home during my nearly yearlong treatment. I spent at least one week of every month with the sickest people you can imagine. Little people with no hair, missing limbs and treacherous looking scars; it was harrowing at first.

Then I became one of them: No hair. Giant, treacherous scar. Wheelchair. Ever-present IV pole, and dusty-rose colored kidney-shaped bowl to throw up in. These were all outward signs of a fraternity of warriors that no one wants to belong to. They all were enduring the same grueling treatment I was — only they were, on average, 10 years old.

This fraternity of Cancer Avengers was wise in ways beyond their years. When faced with the courage and bravery of these little superheroes, I had to give myself the “Put your big girl pants on” speech more than once.

On my first day of treatment, while I was scrolling through my Facebook feed by the fish tank, two boys next to me started discussing their Make-A-Wish requests. Adam, about 12 years old, had just returned from a rainforest trip and asked what Sam’s wish was going to be. Sam said they couldn’t give him what he wished for. Adam disagreed, enthusiastically conveying that any wish could be granted. Sam stood firm: It was not possible.

Well, what is it that you want anyway? Adam wanted to know. By now, I also wanted to know.

“I want normal,” was Sam’s answer. “I want to go to school and basketball practice, complain about my parents and homework and turn 12.”

Silence from Adam. Silence all around. Even a superhero knows when he is defeated.
I looked down at my phone, trying to distract myself and read through my tears. A Facebook friend was complaining about turning 44. In the moment, it was like complaining about being too rich or having too much food to eat. My friend had been granted 32 more years than this kid dared dream of living. So had I.

Source: BBC

Surgeons reconstruct baby’s skull with 3D printing technology

When baby Gabriel was born in August, his dad, Manuel Dela Cruz, said everything initially seemed fine with his new son. It wasn’t until a week after his birth that Gabriel’s parents thought their son’s forehead looked abnormal.

“We noticed something was wrong with him,” Dela Cruz, of East Quogue, N.Y., told . “His eye wasn’t the same, and his right forehead was more protruded than the other one.”

Worried for their son’s health, the new parents took Gabriel to a pediatrician, who diagnosed the newborn with unilateral coronal synostosis – also known as anterior plagiocephaly. For babies with this condition, a growth plate fuses prematurely on one
side of the skull, causing the forehead to become more and more distorted and form asymmetrically.

Although the side effects of plagiocephaly are mostly cosmetic, the deformity can grow significantly worse if left untreated – leading many parents to opt for reconstructive surgery. Knowing what needed to be done, Dela Cruz said it was frightening to have
their son undergo an operation at such a young age.

“You obviously fear the worse, especially because it was in the head,” Dela Cruz said. “Knowing he was going to be opened up…it was very scary on the part of the parent.”

In order to treat Gabriel, physicians at Stony Brook University decided to try a completely new kind of operation – one that would cut down on the time the infant spent in the operating room.

Through a collaboration with Medical Modeling Inc. in Golden, Colo., Dr. Michael Egnor and Dr. Elliot Duboys were able to virtually plan the entire surgery beforehand.  Additionally, the company created 3D printed before-and-after models of Gabriel’s skull for the surgeons, so they could accurately predict how the operation’s results would look.

“The first thing we do, after we make a diagnosis, is a CT scan of the baby’s head… and we sent the CT image to [Medical Modeling],” Egnor, director of pediatric neurosurgery at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital, told FoxNews.com. “Using a computer program, they simulated the baby’s skull with the symmetry and dimensions it should have. Then the
company manufactured these templates and sent them to us, so we had the exact measurements.”

Knowing exactly how the skull should look after the procedure, 6-month-old Gabriel was brought in for surgery and placed him under anesthesia. In order to get to the deformed bone, the surgeons made an incision across the top of Gabriel’s forehead,
exposing the entire front of the skull and eye sockets. Through the use of a special saw, the surgeons removed four pieces of deformed bone and made special cuts in the skull to help reshape and restructure the baby’s head. In an

attempt to make the remodeling more precise, Egnor and Duboys utilized the 3D printed templates provided by Medical Modeling, which helped to highlight where the surgeons needed to make their incisions.

“They sent us cutting templates, which were pieces of 3D modeling that we were able to place on the child’s skull during surgery,” Duboys, associate professor of surgery at Stony Brook Medicine, told. “And then we just traced where the cuts should be on the
skull, almost like a stencil… And then we know where to cut.”

Both Egnor and Duboys said the 3D modeling technology helped to cut down on the length of the procedure, which meant Gabriel spent far less time under anesthesia than during traditional surgery. They hope more surgeons will utilize this 3D imaging and modeling to perform reconstructive surgeries in the future.

“I think it’s going to become, over time, acknowledged as the best way to do procedures of this nature,” Egnor said. “I was hopeful that this would work nicely, and it made a believer out of me.”

As for Gabriel, Dela Cruz said his son will still need to wear a helmet to reshape his forehead. But overall, he responded extremely well to the surgery and his forehead is not as protruded as it once was.

“There are no side effects, and he’s a normal baby,” Dela Cruz said. “…Gabriel responded very good to the procedure, and three or four days after, he was joking and playing. It was great seeing him that way.”

Source: Fox news

Family Fights to Block Deportation of Comatose Exchange Student

A Pakistani exchange student, in a coma since a November car accident, faces possible deportation next week as his visa expires and the Minnesota hospital caring for him seeks to send him home amid mounting, unpaid medical bills, claims the man’s family.

The immigration status of Shahzaib Bajwa, 20, has gained the U.S. State Department’s attention, while near his bed at Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth, his family wages a strained battle with the hospital to keep Bajwa at that facility, off an airplane, and in the United States. He was in a one-semester program at the University of Wisconsin-Superior before a car in which he was a passenger struck a deer.

“They asked us to sign a consent form to take him back to Pakistan in this condition. We just want what’s best for my brother, to stay here, to be treated in the United States,” said the student’s brother, Shahraiz Bajwa.

“There is one doctor at this hospital who has put a lot of effort in sending my brother back, and he must be very heartbroken that we are still here. He is doing it because my brother is costing them money,” Bajwa said. “In his condition, it would be a big risk. It would be 24 hours to get there. And they do not have the same medicines in Pakistan.”

The young man’s family is in the U.S. on visitors’ visas. His travel insurance plan was capped at $100,000 for emergency medical care.

Hospital spokeswoman Maureen Talarico said patient-privacy laws prevent her from addressing the family’s claims and allow her to report only that Shahzaib Bajwa is in fair condition.

“We are working collaboratively with Mr. Bajwa’s family and caregivers along with the U.S. and Pakistani governments to reach the best possible outcome for the patient and for his family,” Talarico said.

His family is watching both the calendar and the clock.


Bajwa has slowly regained the ability to open his eyes, wiggle his toes, and squeeze his mother’s hand – although inconsistently, and he remains unable to speak, his brother said, adding: “We don’t know what’s going on in his mind.” Based on a common neurological scale, Bajwa may be emerging from his coma.

While the ensuing months of bedside vigil may be many, the family sees the hours dwindling before his student visa expires Feb. 28.

“When we asked the hospital to convert his student visa into a medical visa, first they said they would help us. Then they took that offer from the table,” Shahraiz Bajwa said. His brother’s medical expenses, he confirmed, exceed $350,000, adding the family – visiting from Pakistan – does not have the money or medical insurance to cover to those bills.

Now, federal agencies are examining the issue.

During a Feb. 13 briefing, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf was asked if the agency had decided not to extend Bajwa’s student visa while he remains in a coma.

“No, that’s not true,” Harf said. “… The State Department is continuing to work with the hospital, with the student program sponsors. He is in the United States on a State Department-sponsored J-1 (student) exchange program …

“… It’s not accurate to say that the State Department isn’t extending the visa. That’s just not how the process works, right? So we’re working with his family as they decide on treatment options and we’ll help them maintain flexibility in terms of his status,” Harf said.

Minneapolis-based immigration attorney Saiko McIvor, working on behalf of the Bajwa family, said the State Department seems not to favor extending Bajwa’s student visa. She’s in talks with the local branch of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services – part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

“We are working to get things resolved so that he would stay in legal status in the United States beyond Feb. 28. But trying to get a J-1 extended may be very difficult because that would require U.S. State Department’s cooperation and I don’t think they might be willing to do that,” McIvor said.

Source: NBC news


Heart surgeons in Toronto perform bypass on Twitter

Twitter followers saw photos, learned about bypasses in real time, but ethical questions remain

Surgeons at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre brought Twitter followers into their operating room today while performing a coronary artery bypass graft on a 57-year-old man to raise awareness about heart issues.

The hospital’s social media team tweeted facts, photos and videos of the coronary artery bypass graft, also known as CABG, on Thursday. They are also provided information about preventing heart disease by quitting smoking, exercising and eating better.

Bypass surgery is done to improve blood flow to the heart, typically after arteries have become blocked with plaque due to coronary artery disease. Surgeons remove a healthy blood vessel — often from the leg —and attach it to the blocked artery.

Sunnybrook likened it to a “road detour” around blocked arteries, with the aim of increasing blood flow to the heart.

The hospital has said the patient has given permission and referred to him by his first name, Lou.

At noon, the hospital said the grafts were complete, the heart had resumed beating successfully and Lou was off bypass. A video showed surgeons placing chest tubes to prevent blood from putting pressure on the heart during recovery. At 1 p.m., they closed his chest to complete the surgery successfully — a birthday gift for him.

Earlier, Lou was connected to a bypass, or “heart-lung,” machine to keep oxygenated blood pumping through his body during the procedure, hospital tweets said.

A surgical photo showed a radial artery harvested from his left arm, one of the patient’s two bypass grafts.

“Obviously we can’t bring the public into the operating room, so it’s nice to be able to broadcast what we do,” Dr. Gideon Cohen, Sunnybrook’s chief of cardiac surgery, said in a post-surgery interview with CBC News. “This is an engaging way of keeping the public informed.”

On Twitter, the surgical team was asked about what they feel like during the four hours at the operating table, where they listened to music on a radio.

“You don’t notice it at the time of the operation, but when you get home you feel pretty wiped,” Cohen said. “So it’s probably that kind of subconscious stress that gets to you at the end of the day.”

Source: cbc