Many widely used medications may cause or exacerbate a variety of arrhythmias. Numerous antiarrhythmic agents, antimicrobial drugs, psychotropic medications, and methadone, as well as a growing list of drugs from other therapeutic classes (neurological drugs, anticancer agents, and many others), can prolong the QT interval and provoke torsades de pointes. Perhaps less familiar to clinicians is the fact that drugs can also trigger other arrhythmias, including bradyarrhythmias, atrial fibrillation/atrial flutter, atrial tachycardia, atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia, monomorphic ventricular tachycardia, and Brugada syndrome. Some drug-induced arrhythmias (bradyarrhythmias, atrial tachycardia, atrioventricular node reentrant tachycardia) are significant predominantly because of their symptoms; others (monomorphic ventricular tachycardia, Brugada syndrome, torsades de pointes) may result in serious consequences, including sudden cardiac death. Mechanisms of arrhythmias are well known for some medications but, in other instances, remain poorly understood. For some drug-induced arrhythmias, particularly torsades de pointes, risk factors are well defined. Modification of risk factors, when possible, is important for prevention and risk reduction. In patients with nonmodifiable risk factors who require a potentially arrhythmia-inducing drug, enhanced electrocardiographic and other monitoring strategies may be beneficial for early detection and treatment. Management of drug-induced arrhythmias includes discontinuation of the offending medication and following treatment guidelines for the specific arrhythmia. In overdose situations, targeted detoxification strategies may be needed. Awareness of drugs that may cause arrhythmias and knowledge of distinct arrhythmias that may be drug-induced are essential for clinicians. Consideration of the possibility that a patient’s arrythmia could be drug-induced is important.Drug-Induced Arrhythmias: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association — https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/CIR.0000000000000905
If you go to the original article page you’ll find a link to the full statement in PDF format that includes several lists of the medications that can either cause or exacerbate arrhythmias.
To evaluate the association between ischemic stroke and metabolic syndrome, DeBoer and Gurka reviewed more than 13,000 participants in prior studies and their stroke outcomes. Among that group, there were 709 ischemic strokes over a mean period of 18.6 years assessed in the studies. (Ischemic strokes are caused when blood flow to the brain is obstructed by blood clots or clogged arteries. Hemorrhagic strokes, on the other hand, are caused when blood vessels rupture.)
DeBoer developed the scoring tool, an online calculator to assess the severity of metabolic syndrome, with Matthew J. Gurka, PhD, of the Department of Health Outcomes and Biomedical Informatics at the University of Florida, Gainesville. The tool is available for free at https://metscalc.org/.
Journal Reference: Mark D. DeBoer, Stephanie L. Filipp, Mario Sims, Solomon K. Musani, Matthew J. Gurka. Risk of Ischemic Stroke Increases Over the Spectrum of Metabolic Syndrome Severity. Stroke, 2020; 51 (8): 2548 DOI: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.120.028944
This online calculator can predict your stroke risk
Presented with the following caveat:
I tried the calculator but I’m not quite sure how useful it will be in clinical settings. As far as insurance underwriting is concerned I probably won’t use it.
Nielsen reports alcohol sales in stores were up 54% in late March compared to that time last year, while online sales were up nearly 500% in late April. According to a Morning Consult poll of 2,200 U.S. adults conducted in early April, 16% of all adults said they were drinking more during the pandemic, with higher rates among younger adults: One in 4 Millennials and nearly 1 in 5 Gen Xers said they had upped their alcohol intake.
COVID-19 pandemic brings new concerns about excessive drinking
I stumbled upon the same AHA news article in several other websites. The entire article was reprinted in its entirety and just one website provided attribution to the source. The copyright notice and proper attribution is included above.
I live with “the world’s most dangerous” eating disorder
I have been struggling with diabulimia on and off since my diagnosis of type 1 diabetes in 2011, at age 30. I had just started a PhD and spent the first semester walking around campus with all the classic symptoms of type 1 diabetes: famished, dehydrated, constantly needing to urinate, and experiencing rapid weight loss. After my diabetes diagnosis, when I started injecting insulin, I gained the weight back—and then some. It didn’t take long to figure out that omitting insulin was not only an effective weight loss tool, compared with vomiting, it was a much less violent way to purge. Having a history of bulimia nervosa, I thought I had found the holy grail. I could eat what I wanted, not use insulin, and not gain weight.
And I thought Orthorexia Nervosa was bad.
Vulvar Melanoma Is Increasing in Older Women
The national incidence of vulvar melanoma is on the rise in women aged over 60 years, climbing by an average of 2.2% per year during 2000–2016, Maia K. Erickson reported in a poster at the virtual annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology.
These are often aggressive malignancies. The 5-year survival following diagnosis of vulvar melanoma in women aged 60 years or older was 39.7%, compared with 61.9% in younger women, according to Ms. Erickson, a visiting research fellow in the department of dermatology at Northwestern University, Chicago.
Prevalence of asymptomatic disease: An estimated 40–45% of people who test positive for SARS-CoV-2 do not have symptoms at the time of testing, according to a narrative review of 16 cohorts in the Annals of Internal Medicine. In four cohorts with longitudinal data, few of the asymptomatic patients (0–10%) went on to develop symptoms. But in one skilled nursing facility, 89% of initially asymptomatic patients became sick. The researchers say, “It is imperative that testing programs include those without symptoms.” They add, “The early data that we have assembled on the prevalence of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection suggest that this is a significant factor in the rapid progression of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
COVID-19: Asymptomatic Disease Prevalence / N95 Mask Reuse / Oxygen Management Strategies / Anti-Racism Demonstrations / Studies Retracted
Smoking cigarettes — even one or less per day — is associated with increased mortality risk, a JAMA Network Open study shows. Researchers combined data from several federal smoking surveys performed between 1992 and 2011. In those surveys, some 500,000 adults reported their smoking histories. National mortality data showed that, compared with never-smokers, daily smokers (averaging 600 cigarettes per month) bore a 2.3-fold higher all-cause mortality risk, with non-daily smokers (averaging 40 per month) sustaining a 1.8-fold higher risk. Heightened mortality risks became apparent even at levels of 6 to 10 cigarettes per month. The researchers conclude: “Thus, all smokers should quit, regardless of how infrequently they smoke.”
Infrequent Smoking Carries Heightened Mortality Risk
This article is written by an Emergency Medicine doctor for other Emergency Medicine doctors as a quick primer on recognizing and diagnosing anorexia. While those of us in the life insurance business are not diagnosticians you will definitely benefit from this short ten minute article on the next case you encounter where Momma Bear is applying for $2,000,000 on her skinny 15 year old daughter who can’t seem to gain weight no matter how much the kid eats.
AN is a common, severe psychiatric illness. It is often present with co-morbid psychiatric illnesses. There is a high mortality rate, 5.6% per decade. It is notoriously difficult to treat with psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy.
Anorexia Nervosa – More Dangerous Than You Think