How reducing sodium intake can help heart failure patients

Low-salt diet doesn’t prevent death or hospital visits but does improve symptoms and quality of life

How reducing sodium intake can help heart failure patientsFor the past century, people with weak hearts have been told to lower their salt intake, but, until now, there has been little scientific evidence behind the recommendation. The largest randomized clinical trial to look at sodium reduction and heart failure reported results simultaneously in The Lancet and at the recent American College of Cardiology’s 71st annual…

New treatment could benefit patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Treatment acts like a Band-Aid for mutations, allowing the body to rebuild muscle tissue

New treatment could benefit patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophyUp to 45 per cent of patients with the most common inherited neuromuscular disease could benefit from a new “cocktail” drug being developed at the University of Alberta, according to research published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The drug could provide an effective and economical treatment to lessen symptoms for the six of…

Five ways women can champion their own health

International Women’s Day encourages everyone to ‘Break the Bias’ in health care and research

Five ways women can champion their own healthIf you are a woman – or love one – here are some facts that may surprise you: Almost three-quarters of the 750,000 Canadians who have Alzheimer’s are women. Women are 20 per cent more likely than men to develop lung cancer if they smoke the same number of cigarettes. Heart attacks are not recognized…

Learning sessions help teen heart patients prepare for the adult world

One-on-one sessions give teens knowledge and skills to make a successful transition out of pediatric care

Learning sessions help teen heart patients prepare for the adult worldAn 18th birthday means grown-up privileges and adult opportunities. For teens with congenital heart disease, it also brings an abrupt end to their time in the pediatric medical system and the uncomfortable new reality of taking responsibility for their health. But doctors and researchers at the University of Alberta and Stollery Children’s Hospital aim to…

Five things all women should know about their hearts

Women face risks and causes of heart disease that men don’t

Five things all women should know about their heartsFive times more women die from heart disease than from breast cancer. Yet many women don’t realize that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of premature death for women in Canada. Although treatments and outcomes of cardiovascular diseases are known to be different between men and women, women continue to be underdiagnosed, undertreated, undersupported and…

Better lifestyle choices will help repair our health-care system

Throwing more money into the existing system won't work

Better lifestyle choices will help repair our health-care systemCanada’s medical system is one of the defining benefits of living in this country, but we have learned from the pandemic that our medicare is nowhere near as strong and resilient as we might wish. Waiting lists have long been an indicator that the capacity of our clinics and hospitals was insufficient to meet our…

Manufacturing human organs … with farm animals

Every year, 200 to 250 Canadians die while waiting for an organ transplant

Manufacturing human organs … with farm animalsIn an unprecedented surgery, a 57-year-old American with serious heart disease had a heart transplant with a genetically-modified pig’s heart on Jan. 7. Almost two weeks later, the patient is reportedly still doing well. This surgery was a first, performed by a team from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. It’s among the first…

Robotics, AI key to faster cardiac ultrasound system under development

U of A cardiologist teams up with computer scientists, engineers to create 3-D heart imaging device

Robotics, AI key to faster cardiac ultrasound system under developmentA University of Alberta-based team is developing a system to improve the way heart conditions are diagnosed by blending robotics and artificial intelligence with existing cardiac ultrasound technology. “Current echocardiography (heart ultrasound) is used for virtually all patients with cardiac symptoms, but it has limitations. For example, it doesn’t typically capture the entire heart in…

New devices could prevent a significant number of disabling strokes

Results from clinical trial expected to significantly change how clinicians monitor for atrial fibrillation in stroke patients

New devices could prevent a significant number of disabling strokesA clinical trial examining the efficacy of two devices to monitor and detect atrial fibrillation (AF), or an irregular heartbeat, in ischemic stroke patients – one an implantable device that monitors over 12 months, the other an external device that monitors over 30 days – found the implantable device is more than three times more…

Unique cardiac rehabilitation program gives cancer patients hope

Helps cancer patients who also face heart damage due to their treatment

Unique cardiac rehabilitation program gives cancer patients hopeAsk Paul Guenard how he’s doing, and he’ll tell you, “Not bad for a guy who’s supposed to be dead!” While he laughs as he says it, Guenard did indeed face death six years ago when he underwent a stem cell transplant to treat mantle cell lymphoma. Afterwards, he said, he felt so weak he…
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