The online home for the primary care professionals managing patients with cardiovascular disease, diabetes and related diseases.

Editorial

Thursday, 27 January 2011
Echocardiography (ECHO) is the "gold standard" test in the diagnosis of heart failure. Brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) can be helpful to rule outpatients who do not require ECHO. This study used an elevated level of Nterminal prohormone BNP (NT-proBNP) as a criterion for referral to a new community heart failure clinic. Results showed that NT-proBNP could be a useful test in the management of heart failure. The researchers propose to institute age- and sex-related cut-offs to refine its place in the patient care pathway.
Category: Editorial
Thursday, 27 January 2011
Torsades de pointes (TdP) is a life-threatening ventricular arrhythmia associated with prolongation of the QT interval. This case report describes one possible cause of acquired prolongation of the QT interval, and discusses more broadly the topic of antiarrhythmic drug side-effects and interactions.
Category: Editorial
Thursday, 27 January 2011
Key issues in the management of older patients with diabetes involve both clinical skills and apatient-oriented approach. Ageing and co-morbidity may make management challenging, andclinicians need to be alert to factors such as impaired cognitive function, depression andincreased susceptibility to hypoglycaemia.
Category: Editorial
Thursday, 27 January 2011
Although many members of the medical profession might agree that theirchosen discipline often leads to periods of weariness, frustration or anxiety, thegreat majority of individuals in active practice would find it difficult to single outa dull day in their way of life." (David Seegal, Yale Scientific Magazine 1962;36:31)
Category: Editorial
Thursday, 27 January 2011
A report from a multidisciplinary alliance has made a compelling case for a coordinated planin Europe to reduce the health, social and economic burdens of stroke related to atrialfibrillation (AF). The group comprises eminent cardiologists, neurologists, a healtheconomists, hospital pharmacists, a haematologist and representatives from patientorganisations.How Can We Avoid a Stroke Crisis? has been endorsed by 17 medical and patientorganisations, including the European Primary Care Cardiovascular Society. Its aim is tohighlight to European policy makers the need to achieve earlier diagnosis and bettermanagement of AF across Europe, with the ultimate goal of reducing the risk of stroke inpatients with AF. The key points summarised in the report are shown in table 1.
Category: Editorial
Thursday, 27 January 2011
Retinal artery occlusion (RAO) is a frequent cause of sudden, painless, monocular visual loss.Many patients with symptomatic RAO also have systemic vascular diseases that may increasethe risk of future ipsilateral hemispheric cerebral vascular events. For healthcare professionalswho assess patients with RAO, knowledge of the possible ocular and systemic causes may notonly improve the patient's visual prognosis, but may also reduce its associated mortality andmorbidity by encouraging prompt and appropriate referrals.
Category: Editorial
Thursday, 27 January 2011
Worsening dyspnoea is a very common presenting complaint in the community; the causes varyhugely. We present a case of a patient with worsening dyspnoea and a positional change in hissymptoms who was found to have a left atrial myxoma.
Category: Editorial
Thursday, 27 January 2011
Men and women with cardiovascular disease are currently treated with multiple medicationsto reduce their cardiovascular risk. Although the links between erectile dysfunction (ED) andcoronary heart disease (CHD) are well established and ED often precedes the onset of CHD by3-5 years, few men in UK general practice are asked about their erections prior tocommencement of therapy for cardiovascular disease. The presumption is often that if thepatient has a sexual problem, then he will mention it and at that point the therapy can bechanged. There are two drawbacks with this approach: first, men do not readily volunteersexual problems, and second, unless the therapy change is made quickly, the problem isunlikely to resolve.5 Physicians must be aware that in many cases, such as the use of betablockersafter acute myocardial infarction, the appropriate management of the cardiaccondition is the major priority.
Category: Editorial

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