October 2019

Generic Drugs: Are You Sure the Ones You Take Are Safe and Effective?

In 1984, the U.S. enacted a law that allows generic companies to win FDA approval with limited tests proving their drugs are bioequivalent to the brand-name drug and perform similarly. It may not have exactly the same chemical composition, but it must act the same way in the body and produce the same results. It also must be made in the same format: pill, capsule or liquid. This is why, in theory, generics are considered equivalent to their brand-name counterparts.   More...

In The News; October 2019

Blood pressure (BP) is measured when the heart is contracting (systolic BP, the first number) and when the heart is resting (diastolic BP, the second number). Ever since the Framingham Heart Study identified that high systolic BP was a stronger predictor of cardiovascular outcomes than high diastolic BP, physicians have focused on lowering high systolic pressures. After the definition of hypertension was lowered from 140/90 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) to 130/80 mmHg in 2017-a controversial move-guidelines continued to emphasize treating the higher number. But a study involving more than 1.3 million outpatients published in the New England Journal of Medicine on July 18, 2019, may change this practice. In this study, researchers showed that having either high systolic or high diastolic high BP, or both, increased the risk of heart attack and stroke. Additionally, the negative influence of blood pressure on cardiovascular outcomes was seen at 130/80 mmHg, validating the lower threshold for hypertension.   More...

Eating to Prevent Diabetes

Subscribers Only — The good news is that diabetes is not inevitable. The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) found that making lifestyle changes can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. People who lost 7% to 10% of their body weight and exercised a minimum of 150 minutes per week decreased their risk of developing diabetes by 58% to 90%.   More...

Should You Undergo Preventive Ultrasound Screenings?

Subscribers Only — "It is important for anyone who receives this warning to go immediately to the emergency room for treatment to prevent a stroke from occurring," says M. Shazam Hussain, MD, Director of Cleveland Clinic's Cerebrovascular Center."The highest risk for stroke is within two days after the TIA, so no one should wait to get checked."   More...

Ask The Doctors: October 2019

Heart failure (HF) can be caused by a heart attack or similar event that impairs the heart's pumping function and reduces the amount of blood ejected with each beat (heart failure with reduced ejection fraction, or HFrEF). There is also a second form called heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). These patients typically suffer from heart failure symptoms, but their ejection fraction is normal. Morbidity and mortality are similar in both forms.   More...