Heart Conditions Could Raise Risk of Torn Aorta During Pregnancy | Health News

By Robert Preidt, HealthDay Reporter


THURSDAY, Oct. 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Pregnancy can increase the risk of a rare, dangerous heart condition called aortic dissection, researchers report.

This is especially true for women with underlying heart conditions that can go undetected.

Aortic dissections — which affect 3 in 100,000 people per year — cause the layers of the aorta to tear, and blood to pool or leak instead of flow normally. Patients require lifesaving care.

Researchers analyzed data from 29 women who were unexpectedly hospitalized for aortic dissection while pregnant. Most already had a heart condition that hadn’t been diagnosed in many cases.

Aortic diseases and conditions such as Marfan syndrome or Loeys-Dietz syndrome are often found in women who have an aortic dissection while pregnant, the researchers said. But they added that high blood pressure, the most common risk factor in the general population, may also be a factor.

The researchers found that 19% of aortic dissections in women younger than 35 were associated with pregnancy. That means a woman already predisposed to have a dissection is more likely to have one during pregnancy, possibly due to hormones and changes to the body during pregnancy and postpartum.

Women in the study had aortic dissections in all three trimesters of pregnancy, as well as within three months after giving birth, but most cases occurred in the latter part of pregnancy and immediately after.

Pre-pregnancy care for a woman with known aortic disease would include evaluation of maternal and fetal risk, counseling and possible genetic testing, followed by ongoing monitoring and testing, study co-author Dr. Melinda Davis, a cardio-obstetrics expert at University of Michigan Medicine, said in a university news release.

Aortic dissection is most often seen in older men, but this study shows the importance of careful monitoring of heart conditions during pregnancy, according to Davis and her colleagues.

The study was published online Oct. 14 in the journal JAMA Cardiology.

Copyright © 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Want to protect people with preexisting conditions? You need the full ACA.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has been hammering home the points that the Trump administration backs that suit, that a Supreme Court with Amy Coney Barrett on it might be sympathetic to the challenge and that the ACA is what stands between voters and the old days when preexisting conditions could disqualify you from coverage.

President Trump, however, continues to insist that although the ACA is bad and should go, “we’re always protecting people with preexisting conditions.”

“I can’t say that more strongly,” he said during his town hall last week.

Republican Senators up for reelection have been making the same claim. “You know, preexisting conditions is something we all agree should be covered,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) said in a campaign ad this month.

There’s a danger that the two talking points will cancel each other out. (Both sides agree!) That’s why it’s important to understand the facts about why protections for preexisting conditions — the part of the ACA everyone seems to like — cannot be so easily saved if the rest of the law is overturned.

The ACA’s various taxes, subsidies and regulations make it possible for insurance companies to cover people with preexisting conditions (whose health care is generally more expensive). You can’t protect those people without the ACA or a substitute system — and the Republican opponents of the ACA have not offered a viable alternative.

Trump says that he has a competing plan, but what he’s done so far is the equivalent of waving a magic wand. Campaign-trail slogans aside, he issued an executive order saying it is the “policy of the United States” to “ensure that Americans with preexisting conditions can obtain the insurance of their choice at affordable rates.” But the president’s order carries no force of law.

Even if it did, you need a health insurance system, not a simple command from on high to achieve that goal. The details matter a lot here. First, truly protecting people with preexisting conditions requires a whole array of insurance regulations, not just one that generally prohibits discrimination against them. The ACA goes into significant detail to make sure there are no loopholes: It prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage, charging people higher premiums based on their health or gender, limiting benefits tied to preexisting conditions and capping insurance payouts for people who are very sick (either in one year or throughout their lifetimes).

Just as importantly, a plan to protect people with preexisting conditions has to contend with the economic forces that make doing so such a challenge. A key danger is what actuaries ominously call a “death spiral.”

If you guarantee comprehensive insurance to everyone, with no strings attached, people will tend to wait until they’re sick and need the insurance before buying it. With mostly sicker people in the insurance pool, premiums would go up, causing an even larger number of healthier people to drop their coverage. This process would continue and premiums would spiral out of control. The insurance market

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Residential area may impact risk of chronic conditions

Where you live may increase your risk for uncontrolled diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and depression, according to a study. Results indicate that local and regional factors significantly affect individuals with chronic health conditions.

The new study appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 60% of United States adults have a chronic disease, with 40% having two or more. Chronic conditions are the primary causes of death and disability in U.S. adults, contributing to the nation’s $3.5 trillion annual healthcare costs.

The incidence of risk factors for developing or dying from chronic conditions depends on where you live in the U.S. For example, the prevalence of high blood pressure in 2019 was almost 44% in West Virginia, but only 26% in Utah.

Even within a U.S. city, the incidence of a chronic condition can vary dramatically. Data from the 500 Cities Project reports that adult rates of high blood pressure range from 4.9–71.0% in different areas of Chicago.

It is unclear if these geographic variations in health disparities are due to differences in socioeconomic status, age, and gender between the two areas or caused directly by the place where someone lives.

Previous studies used Medicare claim data to evaluate how diagnosis rates and healthcare use change when individuals move to a location with a different health outcome level.

However, prior research failed to observe health outcomes over time. To address these shortcomings, Aaron Baum, Ph.D., and other Mount Sinai researchers conducted a new study. They evaluated the incidence and changes in health outcomes 3 years before and 3 years after study participants moved once.

They did so in a quarterly fashion, evaluating health outcomes four times each year.

This retrospective study of approximately 5 million adults, conducted at the Veterans Affairs New York Harbor Healthcare System from 2008–2018, examined the national claims data from the Veterans Health Administration’s integrated healthcare records. About 1 million of the trial participants moved once during the study.

Researchers identified individuals who moved based on zip code and tracked primary health outcomes, including uncontrolled diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and depressive symptoms.

The trial used statistical methods to adjust for the participant’s characteristics, the period since they moved, and national trends that could interfere with the results’ accuracy.

The results demonstrate a 27.5% change in the incidence of uncontrolled blood pressure and a 15.2% change in depressive symptoms of the between-area difference after moving.

The incidence of uncontrolled diabetes and obesity changed to a lesser extent in movers: 5.0% and 3.1%, respectively.

The trial also shows an increased risk of an uncontrolled chronic condition after moving to a place where the uncontrolled disease is more prevalent.

Movers had a 7% increase in uncontrolled blood pressure, a 2% increase in obesity, a 1% increase in uncontrolled diabetes, and a 3% increase in depressive symptoms when moving from a 10th to a 90th percentile prevalence zip code for a health outcome.


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Obesity And Overweight: Five Diseases And Health Conditions

A health care professional can readily tell if you are obese, overweight, or healthy by simply measuring your Body Mass Index, or BMI, in short. It effectively determines your weight in proportion to your height and the further it goes outside the scope of the standard range, the greater your odds are of developing a host of critical health issues from obesity and overweight.

Accomplishing and sustaining a healthy weight is something that cannot be achieved overnight and might turn out to be a challenging task for obese and overweight individuals in the long-term. Ensuring a healthy weight through appropriate means or at least preventing yourself from gaining more weight can help overweight people reduce the likelihood of developing specific medical conditions.

Obesity is on the verge of becoming a national epidemic in the USA and is associated with several chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, hyperlipidemia, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. The grave medical condition is responsible for an astounding 18% mortality rate in the age group of 40 to 85 among American population, as observed by a health research study carried out in 2013, questioning the deeply-rooted, prevailing notion of the medical and scientific community that a mere 5 in every 100 deaths in the country are related to obesity. The new finding essentially suggests that it is as fatal as cigarette smoking, when it comes to the discussion of public health hazards, as the particular way of nicotine consumption can be linked to 20 in every 100 deaths in the USA and is acknowledged as the major preventable cause of mortality in the country.

Almost 2 in every 5 American adults were diagnosed with obesity in 2015-16, which is a significant increase from 34% in 2007-08, and its impact became more profound with a steep increase from 5.7% to 7.7% during that time. While not a single state reported an obesity rate of over 15% in 1985, as many as 5 of them registered rates higher than 35% for the year 2016.

Obesity and overweight are often associated with emotional health issues like depression. People who are either obese or overweight may also experience weight bias as well as face the stigma of the medical care services providers and others, which, in turn, can result in guilt, feeling of rejection, or shame, further worsening the prevailing problems concerning one’s mental well-being.

The major diseases and health complications caused by obesity and overweight are illustrated below in brief.


When the blood glucose concentration becomes abnormally high on a permanent basis, the particular medical condition is termed as type 2 diabetes. About 4 in every 5 individuals with the said form of diabetes are known to be either obese or overweight. High blood sugar levels can manifest a large number of medical conditions, such as stroke, heart conditions, eye issues, neuropathic damage, eye problems, and other health issues.

Allowing yourself to engage in periodic physical activities and reducing 5% to 7% of your …

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50 Percent US Kids With Mental Health Conditions Remain Untreated, Claims Study

Half of the children in the United States suffering from any kind of mental disorder remain untreated, revealed a recently published study. The researchers analyzed data gathered from the 2016 National Survey of Children's Health, a nationwide survey administered to the parents of young adolescents.

The findings revealed that out of the 46.6 million youngsters in the age group of 6 to 18 years, whose parents filled the survey, around 7.7 million teens were suffering from at least one type of mental health issue like anxiety, depression, or attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Also, a year before this survey was conducted, only half of these children received counseling or any kind of treatment offered by a mental health provider.

The survey further showed that the percentage of young teens diagnosed with a mental health disorder and not receiving any treatment from a provider fluctuated extensively between 72.2 percent in North Carolina and 29.5 percent in the District of Columbia. The findings featured in the journal JAMA Pediatrics in February 2019.

What do child and adolescent psychiatrists have to say?

Co-author Mark Peterson, an associate professor at the Michigan University (Medicine) said that he pondered upon the conditions affecting children at a young age in a comprehensive manner. But he was shocked to see such a high percentage of young teens not receiving mental health treatment in the US

However, child psychiatrists did not seem too surprised with the results. Dr. Barbara Robles-Ramamurthy, an adolescent and child psychiatrist at the Long School of Medicine at the University of Texas (UT) Health Science Center, San Antonio, said that unfortunately, this was not news to her. In fact, she was well-versed with the fact that the percentage of young teens with mental illness who remained untreated in the US was quite high.

Explaining further, Dr. Jennifer Mautone, a consulting psychiatrist at the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, said that the families and the children with mental illness face a number of challenges when it came to accessing mental health treatment services, thus pursuing to the high rates of not receiving treatment.

Extreme Dearest of Mental Health Providers

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) revealed that the United States was facing an extreme dearth of practicing child and adolescent psychiatrists. According to the available data, there were fewer than 17 health care providers per 100,000 teenagers.

This indicates that a lot of families needed to wait long to receive treatment, which deteriorated the primary mental health condition of the affected child. Also the qualified providers available faced significant challenges while interacting with other existing systems responsible for the care of these children. Some of these systems included the health care, education, child care, and the adolescent judicial system. All these systems were supposed to take care of the child, but none of them interacted with each other, resulting in half-hearted care.

A ray of hope

A lot of pediatric health systems have started …

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