Sunday, August 30, 2009

Interesting research on Atrial Fibrillation......

As it relates to exercise.......

Jogging increases risk of atrial fibrillation

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS. Although there isample evidence that habitual exercise is healthy
and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease,hypertension and diabetes, and can help normalize
lipid (cholesterol) levels, there is growing evidencethat too vigorous exercise performed for extended periods of time can increase the risk of developing atrial fibrillation (AF), especially lone AF.

Researchers at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital now report that regular jogging may be particularly detrimental afs ar as the development of AF is concerned.Their study included 16,921 male physicians who were enrolled in the Physicians’ Health Study in1982 when they were between the ages of 40 and 84 years. Three and nine years after enrollment, the participants were asked if they regularly engaged in an exercise program vigorous enough to work up a sweat. The majority (62.6%) answered yes and 12.6% reported that they engaged in vigorous exercise 5-7 days a week. The frequency of vigorous exercise was directly associated with alcohol intake, fish consumption, and the use of multivitamin, vitamin C and vitamin E supplements.

It is interesting that more than 90% of exercisers reported consuming fish at least once a week, 35% regularly took multivitamins, and 25% supplemented with vitamin C. Non-exercisers, on the other hand, tended to be older, overweight, and smokers. They also had a significantly higher prevalence of diabetes and hypertension.

The physicians participating in the study were asked at 15, 17, 18 and 19 years after enrollment if they had ever been diagnosed with AF – about 10% answered yes. Based on the exercise data
obtained 3 years following enrollment, the researchers concluded that men under the age of 50 years who exercised vigorously 5-7 days a week had a substantially higher risk than non-exercisers of developing AF when corrected for all confounding variables. Further analysis of the data showed that regular jogging was associated with a 53% increased risk of AF in all age groups with those jogging in excess of 4 miles a day having the greater risk. No overall association was found between regular cycling, swimming or racket sports and the development of AF.

The researchers speculate that frequent, vigorous exercise may cause AF through several possible mechanisms including enlargement of the left atrium, development of left ventricular hypertrophy, left ventricular dilation, and an increase in parasympathetic (vagal) tone. They point out that jogging results in greater enhancement of the parasympathetic nervous system than does other types of exercise. They also suggest that the fact that aging tends to decrease parasympathetic activity may account for the finding that older men are less likely to develop AF as a result of vigorous exercise. They conclude that frequent, vigorous exercise is associated with an increased risk of developing AF in young men (under the age of 50 years) and joggers.

Aizer, A, et al. Relation of vigorous exercise to risk of atrial fibrillation. American Journal of Cardiology, Vol. 103, 2009, pp. 1572-77

Editor’s comment: This report adds to an already impressive body of literature concluding that, while regular, moderate exercise is healthy and materially helps in preventing many serious disease conditions, overdoing the exercise, especially by engaging in frequent, long-distance jogging sessions significantly increases the risk of developing afib, particularly in men below the age of 50 years.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Cash For Clunkers.......

So I took a bite from the apple. I tried to resist but could not pass up getting $4500.00 for my rust bucket of a truck to get my wife a new car. As to be expected though, the car buying experience was far less than stellar. Never have I dealt with an industry that is so obviously hurting, and so unwilling to give an inch. Not a single one was willing to budge on the sticker on their vehicle and I had pretty much decided to forgo the purchase and wait it out. I had settled on a car and had a salesperson that treated me pretty good but i seriously could not get her to budge even $400.00 on the price. Finally I called a local dealership, and much to my surprise they were willing to deal a little so that's what I did.

I hope its at least another 10 years before I have to go through that again.... Although I will be purchasing another truck in a month or to but I will just pay cash for that an deal with an individual.

While We Are On The Subject.........

As we were talking at the dealership I brought up the CFC and my real feelings on the situation. Of course my wife, who is smart as a whip has little knowledge of politics and the real cost of programs such as this and who will actually be paying for it. So to drive the point home I looked at my 6 year old son, who was very excited about his new chariot and I said, " Thanks for the $4500.00 loan son", which brought some uncomfortable laughter form the group staff standing around.

I'm So Tired...........

Of this health Care issue. How can anybody think that the Government, with its track record of overspending and miss-management of everything they do can possibly run health care. I actually started reading the bill the other day, which is pretty much impossible to understand with all the double speak and references to this part and that part. It did not talk long to see that this is more a bout job creation of Washington insiders and their political friends than health insurance. All decisions on changes to the program fall on the shoulders of one person who will be advised by a panel, all of which will be appointed witch means little more than my way or the highway. The other real problem I see with it is that the plan can be totally be revamped within a year, so even if they were to pass something that we as a country can swallow they can turn around and completely change what we all agreed on to whatever they want. within one year, by people that are appointed to their positions (like minded thinking instead of diversity).

Lets be honest here folks...the real problem with health care costs is the skyrocketing costs of "MALPRACTICE INSURANCE". I have several friends that are both doctors and surgeons and they pay between $300,000.00 and $600,000 dollars a year before they can even practice. No payment plan folks that is a lump sum payment and that was a few years ago an I am sure that those prices have not gone up. The other 2 leading causes of expensive health care are illegals and those on government health plans that run to the emergency room for every sniffle they get. This is not a biased opinion this is a fact that I have personally seen first hand.

And as far as those without health care not getting help I would refute that as well. As of right now my wife has no insurance...but has never been turned down for care and has also been given assistance with her obligations. Our local Hospital actually has a plan to help those without health insurance as does her regular doctor. These plans have covered a major portion of her costs, which to this point has been far less $$ than we would have paid for her to have coverage. They are also income based plans so they are more than fair on what your part to pay will be as well as having gracious payment plans.

"Doctors are a lot of times forced to make decisions based on demand fee schedules"..........

I will let this statement speak for itself. I also wont mention whose mouth this was uttered from except to say that "They Acted Stupidly".

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Two Weeks To The Day........

After my Ablation. Everything is going great so far except that I am about to go crazy with the fact that I cant do the things I really enjoy right now. Its just temporary I know but it still stinks. I have started walking to work every day (3 miles) and will start running in about 2 weeks then back to spinning 2 weeks after that.

The Procedure....
Ended up taking about 10 hours since they did both Atrial Fibrillation and Atrial Flutter Ablations but that is fine with me. I had actually been in Atrial Flutter for about 7 days leading up the the Ablation with a heart rate of between 160 and 170. It was like I had drank 100 espressos or something like that. I only slept a couple of hours a night and was totally amped up. They quickly took care of that when I got to the hospital with some drugs but I never converted back to NSR until they zapped me. Thank god I was out of it when they did that. I almost forgot I had one of these done as well. Ended up staying a week in the Hospital

I was wondering what that big horseshoe shaped, wired patch they placed on my sternum and the big one on my back was for.