HEALTH

Research concludes that current guidelines for blood pressure, cholesterol should be changed

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN DIEGO Recent research published in the Journal of the “American College of Cardiology” suggests that current guidelines for such risk factors as blood pressure and LDL cholesterol might need to be tightened even further, according to published reports.

The least amount of arterial fat were seen in those men who had the lowest levels of LDL cholesterol, the research found, examining data from 3,437 men.

Specifically, the least growth was seen in men with blood cholesterol readings under 70 milligrams per deciliter and systolic blood pressure (the higher of the 120/80 reading) under 120.

Current guidelines for blood pressure suggests that men at risk can have systolic readings as high as 140; recommendations of LDL levels is 100 for men at high risk of heart disease, with “consideration” being given to lowering it to 70.

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New supplement designed for weight-loss surgery patients

BY Alaric DeArment

ST. LOUIS Undergoing weight-loss surgery means making sacrifices, particularly in the area of food, but this can sometimes place patients at risk for vitamin and mineral deficiencies. A company in St. Louis, however, has created a prescription nutritional supplement for patients who have undergone the surgery.

ProBarimin QT, made by Fleming Pharmaceuticals, is a fruit-flavored supplement that dissolves in the mouth.

“Although there are over-the-counter supplements for WLS patients, ProBarimin QT is specially formulated to meet the unique nutritional and intake requirements of WLS patients,” Fleming president Phill Dritsas said.

The supplement includes vitamins such as B12, C and D and minerals such as iron, selenium and zinc.

The patent for the supplement is pending.

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New lab test determines if aspirin is effective for heart attack, stroke prevention

BY Michael Johnsen

DENVER Corgenix Medical on Tuesday introduced a laboratory test in the Wichita, Kan., area that determines if the aspirin being taken to prevent a heart attack or stroke is effective.

The AspirinWorks Test is available to doctors across Kansas through AMS Laboratory. Edwin Harned, AMS Laboratory president and CEO, said he’s excited to field a test that gives physicians a tool to identify patients who are not benefiting from their aspirin therapy.

“Any time we have the chance to offer a test that gives the physician and patient good information about the validity of a drug that they are taking, we think it’s a great test,” Harned said.

The AspirinWorks Test determines the effect of aspirin on platelets by measuring the level of the biomarker called thromboxane B2. The higher the levels of thromboxane B2, the stickier the blood platelets, and the less impact the aspirin is having. This information allows physicians to individualize a patient’s therapy, which may be as simple as adjusting the dose.

“Not everyone responds the same to the same dose of aspirin,” noted Gordon Ens, clinical affairs director for Corgenix Medical. “So we came up with a simple, non-invasive test to measure aspirin effect in individuals taking aspirin to reduce the risk of a heart attack and stroke.”

AspirinWorks is the only FDA-cleared test that measures urinary thromboxane B2 to accurately determine aspirin effect in apparently healthy individuals. Unlike other platelet tests, which require freshly drawn blood that must be evaluated within four hours, the AspirinWorks Test only requires a urine sample that can be obtained at the doctor’s office or AMS Laboratory patient service centers.

The AspirinWorks Test is reimbursed by most insurance carriers, and covered under Medicare and Medicaid, the company stated.

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