A Heavy Heart: Depression and Cardiac Function

Two recently published studies have found that changes in heart function are seen during major depression [1] and also seen in some people who have recovered from depression [2]. This link between mental health and physical health emphasises how the body and mind are linked. Furthermore, it also suggests that some people with depression may be at increased risk of cardiac disease. The research also sheds further light on the biological pathways of depression.

Depressed woman

Gender, Age Influence Symptoms of Heart Attack

A heart attack, or myocardial infarction (MI), occurs when a portion of the heart muscle becomes oxygen-starved due to clogged blood vessels. This can damage or kill the affected portion of muscle. Depending upon the amount of muscle involved, heart attacks range from mild to life-threatening. The best predictor of whether a heart attack sufferer will survive an acute MI is their ability to identify that a heart attack is taking place and get medical help.

Woman with shoulder pain

Third Reported Recovery From Clinical Rabies in the U.S.

Rabies is a serious — almost always fatal — viral infection of the central nervous system. The virus is present in the saliva of infected mammals, and is most often spread via a bite wound. Raccoons, skunks, bats, foxes, and coyotes are the most common carriers of rabies in the United States, though any mammal, including domestic dogs and cats, can become infected and transmit the disease. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention keeps statistics on rabies incidence in the U.S., and notes that cases are quite rare. Only one or two individuals a year become infected with the rabies virus, and prophylaxis (vaccination post-exposure, but prior to the development of symptoms) is almost always effective.


NIHSeniorHealth.gov Adds Topic on Anxiety Disorders in Older Adults

Anxiety caused by stressful events like moving or losing a job is a normal part of life. Anxiety disorders, on the other hand, are characterized by persistent, excessive and disabling fear and worry and get progressively worse if left untreated. It is estimated that anxiety disorders affect between 3 and 14 percent of older adults in a given year. To provide an older audience with additional information, NIHSeniorHealth, the health and wellness website for older adults from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has added a topic about anxiety disorders.

NIH Senior Health - Anxiety Disorders

Visitors to the website can learn about the risk factors, symptoms and treatments for generalized anxiety disorder, social phobia, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and specific phobias such as fear of flying or fear of public speaking. Anxiety disorders can severely affect a person’s life, and they are often overlooked in older adults.

Health Highlights – March 11th, 2010

Health Highlights is a biweekly summary of particularly interesting articles from credible sources of health and medical information that we follow & read. For a complete list of recommeded sources, see our links page.

Health Highlights