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 Gene identified that may increase
risk of stroke, heart attack

Scientists “have identified a gene that may put people at greater risk of strokes and heart attacks.” The researchers “say the gene fault may encourage the formation of blood clots.” The research indicated that people “with PIA2 were more likely to have a stroke...than those without the gene.” The findings have been published in PLOS ONE.


Research finds no link between
testosterone therapy and MI risk

There are reports that while “recent research has linked testosterone therapy with a higher risk for heart attack and stroke,” an NIH-funded study published online in the Annals of Pharmacotherapy “involving more than 25,000 older men suggests otherwise.”
It is reported that the data indicated that “there was no increased risk of myocardial infarction (MI) with injections of the hormone, and it even appeared to be protective in patients at the greatest risk of cardiovascular events.”


Dark chocolate may benefit older
individuals with peripheral artery disease

Research published online in the Journal of the American Heart Association suggests that dark chocolate may be beneficial for older individuals with peripheral artery disease.
According to another report “The Salt” blog reports that investigators “gave half of the 20 participants 40 grams (about 1.5 ounces) of dark chocolate that had at least 85 percent cocoa.” The remaining participants “received 40 grams of milk chocolate that had less than 30 percent cocoa.” The researchers found that “dark chocolate consumers showed an 11% increase in maximal walking distance compared with no change in patients who ate...milk chocolate.”
Dr. Richard Chazal, vice president of the American College of Cardiology, is reported to have said that, “Our body secretes chemicals that naturally dilate blood vessels in response to certain stimuli, improving the blood flow to certain areas.” Chazal added, “Some of the chemicals inside dark chocolate could affect the way these enzymes are metabolized in the body.”


Chemotherapy before or after surgery
for high-risk bladder cancer improves survival

Contrary to treatment guidelines for high-risk bladder cancer, chemotherapy before or after surgery is not commonly used in routine clinical practice. The findings are published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.
Clinical trials have shown that survival is improved in patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer who are given chemotherapy before surgery. There is less evidence about whether chemotherapy after surgery also improves survival. To investigate the use of peri-operative chemotherapy in this disease, Christopher Booth, MD, FRCPC, of the Queen’s University Cancer Research Institute in Canada, examined records pertaining to all 2944 patients who had surgery for high-risk bladder cancer in Ontario between 1994 and 2008.
Use of chemotherapy before surgery remained stable (an average of 4 percent of patients) over the study period, which is surprising given the evidence that this is a standard of care that has been demonstrated to improve survival. The use of chemotherapy after surgery increased over time: 16 percent of patients in 1994 to 1998, 18 percent in 1999 to 2003, and 22 percent in 2004 to 2008. Study results showed that use of chemotherapy after surgery was associated with better survival. “Results from our study demonstrate that chemotherapy given after surgery improves patient survival—probably on the same order of magnitude as chemotherapy before surgery,” said Dr. Booth. “Patients having surgery for bladder cancer should have chemotherapy, either before or after surgery. Efforts are needed to improve uptake of this treatment, which appears to be vastly underutilized.”(PR)

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