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CMHC PULSE

Cardio Metabolic Health Congress – Official Blog

Heart Health on Valentine’s Day

February is not only famous for Valentine’s Day, but it also celebrates American Heart Month: an optimal time to teach ourselves about heart health. With this month, we hope that many people not only make a commitment to their loved ones, but also teach themselves how to maintain a healthy heart.

This month, remind people to raise awareness about heart disease among their family, friends, and communities:

  • Heart / cardiovascular disease (CVD) affects nearly half of American adults, accounting for 840,678 deaths in the U.S. in 2016: approximately 1 of every 3.
  • CVD claims more lives each year than all forms of cancer and chronic respiratory disease combined.
  • CVD is the leading global cause of death, accounting for more than 17.6 million deaths per year in 2016: a number expected to grow to more than 23.6 million by 2030, according to a 2014 study.

Because of this, it is critical to remain aware of all the facts and symptoms that can contribute to heart disease. Moreover, knowledge surrounding prevention measures is equally important: as it is key in maintaining a high-quality life throughout the aging process.

Facts About Heart Diseases:

Coronary Heart Disease

  • In 2016, coronary heart disease (CHD) was the leading cause (43.2%) of death attributable to cardiovascular disease. CHD occurs when the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart is blocked, putting excess strain on the muscle. If left unattended, CHD can lead to angina, heart attack, and heart failure.

Stroke:

  • Someone in the U.S. has a stroke every 40 seconds on average.
  • In 2016, strokes accounted for approximately 1 of every 19 deaths in the U.S.
  • In 2016, on average, someone died of a stroke every 3 minutes and 42 seconds.
  • When considered separately from other cardiovascular diseases, stroke ranks #5 among all causes of death in the U.SS, killing approximately 142,000 people a year.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest

  • In 2016, any-mention sudden cardiac arrest mortality in the U.S. was 366,494.
  • According to data access in 2017, most of the Out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA) occur at a home or residence (69.5 %). Public settings (18.8%) and nursing homes (11.7 %) were the second and third most common locations of OHCA.

Symptoms of a Heart Attack:

  • Breathlessness
  • Fainting
  • Chest pain; pain in one or both arms
  • Sweating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Unusual fatigue
  • Heartburn

Prevention Measures:

  • Quit smoking
  • Stay physically active
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Take care of body weight
  • Control your cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar
  • Manage stress

We hope that everyone takes care of their heart health. We wish you all a happy and healthy Valentine’s Day!

Frequent Visits to ED Associated with Diabetes

According to recently published findings in the journal Annals of Emergency Medicine, which sought to evaluate patient patterns & characteristics of emergency department (ED) use among the geriatric population, diabetes is the most common disease classification for patients 65 years and older—who are frequently admitted to hospital EDs. While health care spending in the United States continues to increase, with the study citing a 5.3% increase to $3.0 trillion from 2013 to 2014, so too does the number of seniors seeking out annual ED visits: with an increase of 24.5% between 2001 and 2009.

Edward M. Castillo, PhD, MPH, an associate adjunct professor in the department of emergency medicine at the University of California, San Diego, wrote with his colleagues: “The ED’s role in delivering care for a large proportion of the population is expanding, especially for older and sicker patients…In comparison to other age groups, older adults use the ED at a higher rate, have longer stays in the ED, and require more resources and medical interventions during their visit.”

In conducting a multicenter retrospective cohort study with data from 326 licensed, general acute care hospitals in California, Castillo and his colleagues used patients aged at least 65 years: all of whom had at least one visit to the ED in 2014. Researchers additionally identified visits in the previous year, and patients were considered ‘frequent users’ if they visited the ED at least six times in a one-year period.

In the 1,259,809 patients surveyed, 5.6% were officially classified as frequent users: comprising of 19.9% of all ED visits throughout the study period. Beyond the frequency of the visits, the researchers noted that diabetes was the most common disease classification for an ED visit (followed by chronic pulmonary disease, renal disease, congestive heart failure, and peripheral vascular disease).

The discussion portion of the report noted that given the increased focus on health care in the aging population, leading to focused interventions to improve and enhance health care delivery mechanisms and decrease the frequency of health care usage, the findings provide “an opportunity to help improve the care of geriatric patients who frequently use acute care services by highlighting specific needs of this population.” It is likely that programs specifically designed to meet the unique needs of these patients may be helpful. The findings additionally confirm the staggering costs of diabetes, and further reinforce the growing epidemic. With the total cost of diabetes and prediabetes in the United States currently at $322 billion, identifying needs and targeted interventions ‘across the care continuum, within the ED, and beyond’ are areas that must be further investigated and explored.