Broken Heart Boosts Risk of Cardiac Attacks

Grief over the death of a loved one can cause a huge spike in a person's risk of heart attack, especially in the early days after the loss, said a US study on Monday.The research tracked nearly 2,000 adults who survived a heart attack and found that among those who had just lost a loved one, the risk of a heart attack soared 21 times higher than normal in the first day.

The risk rate remained six times higher than normal through the first week, and declined slowly over the course of the first month, said the findings in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.Intense grief can cause a host of symptoms that raise heart risks, including higher heart rate, blood pressure, stress hormone levels and blood clotting.Grieving people are also prone to lose sleep, miss medications and eat less, which can also boost cardiovascular risks.

"Friends and family of bereaved people should provide close support to help prevent such incidents, especially near the beginning of the grieving process," said Elizabeth Mostofsky, lead author of the research.

Previous studies have shown that grieving spouses have a higher risk of dying over the long term, with heart disease and strokes accounting for up to 53 percent of deaths.The latest study is believed to be the first to examine the short term risk of heart attack after a loved one's death.

Researchers at Harvard Medical School's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and School of Public Health's epidemiology department in Boston, Massachusetts arrived at the estimates by reviewing charts and patient interviews after a heart attack from 1989 to 1994.

Patients answered questions about their personal lives, whether they recently lost someone significant in the past year, when the death happened and the importance of their relationship.

Researchers came up with the relative risk of a heart attack by comparing the number of patients who had someone close to them die in the week before their heart attack to the number of deaths of significant people in their lives from one to six months before their heart attack.

we are what we eat

Nutrition is the science of food, the nutrient in them and how the body uses those nutrients.It includes the process of ingestion, digestion, absorption, metabolism, transport, storage and excretion of the same.

This was revealed during institutional weekly CPD held on July 10, 2012 and facilitated by Ms. Monicah Sitienei and Mr. Morris Korir, nutritionists in the Hospital’s Department of Nutrition.

They emphasized that healthy eating was the key to wellbeing asup to 100 trillion cells in our bodies, each one demanding a constant supply of daily nutrients in order to function optimally and be able to fight various ailments.

Food affects all these cells, and every aspect of our being: mood, energy levels, thinking capacity, self drive and general health.

The duo gave some tips like importance of eating balanced diet with more of whole grains, right size or portion, a diet low in fat, saturated fat and cholestrol. “It is paramount that you fill up on colourful fruits and vegetables to your meals”, they recommended .

The meeting was told to limit the use of sugar and salt.

scientists create cancer-killing cells

Scientists have created cells capable of killing cancer for the first time.The dramatic breakthrough was made by researchers in Japan who created cancer-specific killer T cells.They say the development paves the way for the cells being directly injected into cancer patients for therapy.The cells naturally occur in small numbers, but it is hoped injecting huge quantities back into a patient could turbo-charge the immune system.Researchers at the RIKEN Research Centre for Allergy and Immunology revealed they have succeeded for the first time in creating cancer-specific, immune system cells called killer T lymphocytes.To create these, the team first had to reprogramme T lymphocytes specialised in killing a certain type of cancer, into another type of cell called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells).These iPS cells then generated fully active, cancer-specific T lymphocytes.These lymphocytes regenerated from iPS cells could potentially serve as cancer therapy in the future.Previous research has shown that killer T lymphocytes produced in the lab using conventional methods are inefficient in killing cancer cells mainly because they have a very short life-span, which limits their use as treatment for cancer.To overcome the problems, the Japanese researchers, led by Hiroshi Kawamoto reprogrammed mature human killer T lymphocytes into iPS cells and investigated how these cells differentiate.The team induced killer T lymphocytes specific for a certain type of skin cancer to reprogramme into iPS cells by exposing the lymphocytes to the 'Yamanaka factors' - a group of compounds that induce cells to revert back to a non-specialised, stage.Japanese researchers who created cancer-specific killer T cells (pictured) say the development paves the way for the cells being directly injected into cancer patients for therapyThe iPS cells obtained were then grown in the lab and induced to differentiate into killer T lymphocytes again. This new batch of T lymphocytes was shown to be specific for the same type of skin cancer as the original lymphocytes.They maintained the genetic reorganisation, enabling them to express the cancer-specific receptor on their surface. The new T lymphocytes were also shown to be active and to produce an anti-tumour compound.Doctor Kawamoto said: 'We have succeeded in the expansion of antigen-specific T cells by making iPS cells and differentiating them back into functional T cells.'The next step will be to test whether these T cells can selectively kill tumour cells but not other cells in the body. If they do, these cells might be directly injected into patients for therapy. This could be realised in the not-so-distant future.'The findings were published in the journal Cell Stem Cell.Dr Dusko Ilic, Senior Lecturer in Stem Cell Science, King’s College London, said: 'The study tackled a novel, quite interesting approach to cell based therapy, something that we do not usually hear about.'Although this approach requires further verification and a lot of work needs to be done before we can think about clinical trials, the initial data are promising.'This pioneering work definitely provides a strong foundation to build and expand our knowledge about new opportunities in cell based therapy and personalised medicine.

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