HealthWise at 5 From 2.13 - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/13/02

HealthWise at 5 From 2.13

  • Better Sooner than Later Joint Surgery Patients

Many patients put off having joint replacement surgery until their joints give out or they can't take the pain. New research suggests when it comes to replacing joints, sooner may be better. Researchers in Miami followed nearly 400 knee and hip replacement patients. Each patient was evaluated for pain and joint function before and after surgery. The study found higher surgery success rates among the patients who had the best mobility and function before surgery. They also reported less pain and better quality of life in the year after surgery. Those who waited until their joints restricted motion had lower success rates. Many patients put off having joint replacement surgery until their joints give out or they can't take the pain. Researchers say their study suggests patients who took a more aggressive approach had better outcomes.

  • Blood Pressure Medicine Makes a Difference

Do you know someone who talks about taking blood pressure medicine. Here's another reason to follow your doctors orders. A study of more than 700 patients found those who took blood pressure medicine for at least a year had improved heart function, indicating blood pressure medicine may help improve the heart's ability to pump blood and reduce the risk of congestive heart failure. Since the drugs also help relax the heart, they improve blood flow. The study tested the drugs Losartan and Atenolol. Since the study is ongoing, researchers say they can't predict yet if one is more effective than the other.

The American Heart Association estimates that 4.8 million Americans have congestive heart failure, while as many as 50 million Americans have high blood pressure. The study is published in the journal Circulation.

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