Researchers have identified another protein in the blood that may help doctors identify patients at risk of heart attack and stroke. The protein is called SAA and its level goes up when there's any inflammation in the body. Researchers say that like another protein, called C-reactive protein, elevated levels of SAA may help doctors predict who is headed for a heart attack in the future. The study of more than 700 women found those with high levels of SAA ended up with a heart attack within three years. The study is published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
SAA stands for Serum Amyloid Alpha. Researchers say both proteins are associated with risk factors for heart attack and stroke but that SAA may be a good predictor of heart events in the short term. Researchers call the findings a building block in the accumulation of scientific knowledge rather than conclusive findings that should change or guide physicians decision making. The research was conducted at the University of Pittsburgh and is published in the journal Circulation from the American Heart Association.
If you're still going strong with your exercise routine, you can boost it up if you let go of the handrails! Ohio State University researchers found that even lightly holding onto the handrail while on an exercise machine dropped the heart rate by about 5% and lowered oxygen uptake by 8%. On the other hand, or maybe without it, exercisers who treaded or stepped without using the handrail worked harder and burned more calories.
Clinical trials are investigating a way to "cook" and kill cancer cells in malignant breast tumors. Studies at UCLA and other sites in the U.S. are using Celsion corporation's microwave therapy. A small antenna is inserted into the breast to focus the microwave energy toward the tumor target and protect healthy tissue. Early study results show the heat energy successfully killed cancer cells in 24 out of 25 tumors, leaving the nearby tissue cancer-free. For more information ( click here).