Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Technique Helps Heart Disease

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Technique Helps Heart Disease

Article excerpt

A NEW scanning technique could help provide better insights into treating people with life-threatening heart valve disease.

The positron emission tomography (PET) scans were developed by researchers at the University of Edinburgh to help predict which patients need open heart surgery to replace their heart valves, and improve treatments to prevent the disease.

PET scans give a much clearer insight into the process that causes aortic stenosis than ultrasound scans, which are currently used for diagnosis.

The scans use tracer chemicals, which highlight molecular changes within the body.

aThese scans will help us better understand what is happening to the heart valves, and hopefully help us to halt the processes causing the narrowing,a said Dr Marc Dweck, of the University of Edinburgh's Clinical Research Imaging Centre.

Asthma attack

ONE quarter of severe asthma attacks could be prevented if patients consistently took their medication as prescribed.

Researchers at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit found an asthma attack was only significantly reduced when patients used at least 75 per cent of their prescribed dose.

They studied 300 patients for two years, during which time they had 435 asthma attacks.

The patients were asked about how often they used their inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) asthma medication to control symptoms and prevent attacks.

aWe found that every 25% increase in ICS adherence was associated with an 115 decrease in asthma attacks,a the researchers said.

aBut most importantly, we found that causal use of these medications is not enough, especially among patients whose asthma is not controlled. Patients must use their asthma controller medication as prescribed if they want to have the best chance of preventing serious asthma attacks.a

Stillbirth Causes

US researchers have discovered that a significant number of stillbirths are caused by multiple complications during pregnancy.

A pair of studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association show that about half the time, one or more pregnancy complications appear to be the cause. …

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