High cholesterol can be detrimental to the heart and lead to stroke over time

Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India, Medicine Comments Off

People with a family history or heart disease must take precautions early

New Delhi, 25 April 2019: Researchers have unveiled how bad cholesterol enters the artery which leads to narrowing of the blood formation due to the formation of plaque. The narrow blood vessels cause heart attack and strokes, according to a study. In the early stages of atherosclerosis, LDL that has entered the artery wall attracts and is engulfed by important immune system cells called macrophages. LDL-laden macrophages become foam cells promoting inflammation and leading to formation of atherosclerotic plaques.

The plaques narrow the artery and can become unstable. Plaques that rupture can activate blood clotting and block blood flow to the brain or heart, resulting in a stroke or heart attack.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “After a certain point, to much cholesterol starts to build up in the arteries causing them to harden – a condition known as atherosclerosis. This is also the starting point for some heart and blood flow problems. Such a buildup can narrow the arteries and make it harder for blood to flow through them. Further, it can also lead to dangerous blood clots and inflammation causing heart attacks and strokes. Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) is a genetic disorder, characterized by high cholesterol, specifically very high LDL ‘bad cholesterol’ levels, and premature heart disease. Patients may develop premature cardiovascular disease at the age of 30 to 40.”

Cholesterol levels in the body are be measured by blood testing. In addition to cholesterol and its different types, triglyceride levels can also be included in a lipid (fat) profile.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “The total cholesterol can vary by 4% to 11% within an individual due to multiple factors including stress, minor illness and posture. Values may also vary between different laboratories, with data suggesting that a single measurement of serum cholesterol can vary as much as 14 percent. Therefore, in an individual with “true” serum cholesterol concentration of 200 mg/dL the range of expected values is 172 to 228 mg/dL.”

Some tips from HCFI

  • It is important to eat a heart-healthy and cholesterol-lowering diet.
  • Exercising for about 30 minutes a day can raise HDL levels (the good cholesterol). Those with any other underlying medical conditions should check with their health-care providers about what kind of exercise they should undertake.
  • Aerobic exercise can help in improving insulin sensitivity, HDL, and triglyceride levels and may thus reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Smoking increases HDL levels and therefore, you should quit immediately.
  • Losing even a little bit of weight can help in managing cholesterol levels.

Antibiotics are prescribed more often during teleconsultations

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NIH: In direct-to-consumer telemedicine visits people use their personal devices to connect with doctors. Using telemedicine for children, particularly for acute problems like respiratory tract infections, can be harmful.

The situations include colds, sore throats, and ear infections. Kids may not be able to describe their symptoms. Specific physical exams or tests might also be needed that aren’t possible during telemedicine visits. For example, diagnosing an ear infection requires the doctor to look inside the ear canal. Diagnosing strep throat requires a strep test.

A team led by Dr. Kristin Ray at the University of Pittsburgh compared the quality of care delivered to children via telemedicine with that at urgent care facilities and during primary care visits. The team used 2015–2016 claims data from a large national health plan to assess how frequently doctors prescribed antibiotics to children for respiratory infections.

More than 5,000 children with respiratory infections received care via telemedicine, about 88,000 at urgent care, and more than 1 million by primary care doctors.

The team tallied the antibiotics dispensed within 2 days for each type of visit. The research was supported by NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). Results appeared online on April 8, 2019, in Pediatrics.

Among visits matched by patient and visit characteristics, the team found that doctors prescribed antibiotics for respiratory infections at 52% of telemedicine visits, 42% of urgent care visits, and 31% of primary care visits.

Next, the team analyzed whether antibiotics were prescribed according to clinical guidelines for the diagnoses received. Only 59% of telemedicine visits met the guidelines, compared with 67% of urgent care visits and 78% of primary care visits.

Primary care and urgent care settings provide higher quality care for respiratory infections than direct-to-consumer telemedicine.

Not seeing a patient physically can be an important cause of AMR.

Dr KK Aggarwal

Padma Shri Awardee

President Elect Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania (CMAAO)

Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications

President Heart Care Foundation of India

Past National President IMA