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Editorial articles

January 2003 Br J Cardiol 2003;10:11-13

The expert patient: good thinking or a cross

Jane Flint

Abstract

The concept of chronic disease self-management programmes together with the emerging expert patient has not been widely studied in the context of heart disease. But many of our patients with chronic heart disease are already experts. The knowledge and experience held by the patient has been untapped as a healthcare resource. Research from Stanford1 has shown that lay people with chronic conditions – when given a detailed leader’s manual – can be as effective as professionals in managing their disease and its impact on their daily life. It has also been acknowledged in the report ‘The expert patient: a new approach to chronic disease management for the 21st Century’,2 which recommends action over a six-year period to introduce lay led self-management training programmes for patients with chronic diseases within the NHS in England. A pilot phase between 2001 and 2004 will evaluate local programmes; between 2004 and 2007, programmes will be mainstreamed within all NHS areas.

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January 2003 Br J Cardiol 2003;10:7-10

Cardiac rehabilitation taking a centre stage in British cardiology

Lip-Bun Tan, J Malcolm Walker

Abstract

A commentary on the sign guideline on cardiac rehabilitation, and links between the
British Association for Cardiac Rehabilitation and the British Journal of Cardiology

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November 2002 Br J Cardiol 2002;9:617-23

German bears, Greek philosophers and Mediterranean diets – this year’s PCCS Annual Scientific Meeting goes European

Ola Soyinka

Abstract

German bears, Greek philosophers and Mediterranean diets – this year’s PCCS Annual Scientific Meeting goes European PCCS This year’s Primary Care Cardiovascular Society annual meeting was the occasion for a number of firsts. Not only was it the first Annual Scientific Meeting to be held outside England, it was also the first time members had the opportunity to take part in a Socratic Dialogue. The Greek philosopher’s technique did stimulate lively interaction and subsequent proceedings proved to be highly participative. With the highest attendance so far recorded, Chairman, Professor Richard Hobbs, felt that the 2002 meeting easily qualified as the best to date. Ola Soyinka reports from Cardiff.

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November 2002 Br J Cardiol 2002;9:572-5

The genetics of cardiovascular disorders

John Payne, Hugh Montgomery

Abstract

So the Human Genome Project is complete. To some, perhaps the most extraordinary finding is that of just how few genes each of us possesses – no more, it seems, than 35–40,000. Of course, every single one of us has the same basic set of genes: it is this common genetic inheritance that makes us human rather than any other species. And yet, apart from our shared human characteristics, we are all remarkably different. Why is this?

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November 2002 Br J Cardiol 2002;9:570-1

HEART UK – a new charity to help tackle blood fats and vascular disease

John Reckless

Abstract

Heart attack and stroke are major causes of mortality and morbidity in developed countries but in the last two decades lifestyle, clinical and pharmaceutical endeavour have reduced age-adjusted cardiovascular disease rates. As longevity increases, however, macrovascular disease risk also increases. Unfortunately, two lifestyle changes – lack of exercise and increasing obesity – are in the wrong direction, aggravating hyperlipidaemia, hypertension, diabetes mellitus and insulin resistance. Thus, major challenges are still present, highlighted in the National Service Frameworks (NSFs) for coronary heart disease and diabetes. To maximise their contributions to these problems, the British Hyperlipidaemia Association (BHA) and Family Heart Association (FHA) have merged to form the Hyperlipidaemia Education And Research Trust – HEART UK. Both associations have been concerned with scientific, medical and social issues of cholesterol and lipids in the UK. HEART UK marks a substantial move forward for scientific lipid study, for recognition of the high-risk individual, and for patient treatment.

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October 2002 Br J Cardiol 2002;9:501-3

Combined heart and kidney transplantation

Peter Andrews

Abstract

The first reported combined heart and kidney transplant occurred in 1978.1 The patient died of gram negative sepsis 15 days after transplantation. It was not until 1986 that a case was reported with long-term (> 18-month) survival.2 Since that time, there have been more than 40 publications examining the pros and cons of simultaneous heart and kidney transplantation. Initial reports consisted mainly of small case series demonstrating proof of concept and adequate 1–3 year survival, mostly in line with that of heart transplantation alone.3-5 Later it was noted that simultaneous transplantation seemed to protect against rejection of the heart transplant (although different immunosuppressive protocols were frequently employed) and that rejection of one organ often occurred independently of immunological damage to the other.

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September 2002 Br J Cardiol 2002;9:431-3

Biotechnology and cardiovascular medicine – a hazy past and bright future?

Melinda Swann, Adam Raman, Michael Kirchengast

Abstract

Biotechnology and cardiovascular medicine – a hazy past and bright future? Melinda Swann, Adam Raman, Michael KirchengastFrom such successful beginnings, the biotechnology sector has since gone on to have a rather hazy past, for which there are many plausible explanations. In March 2000, the sector was grossly overvalued and, since then, investors’ aversion to the area has flourished due to the perceived risk they felt they were taking. This has led to the growth of many biotechnology companies being stunted since access to capital has become more difficult – studies, especially long-term survival trials in cardiovascular medicine.

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September 2002 Br J Cardiol (Acute Interv Cardiol) 2002;9(1):AIC 11

Will league tables have an adverse effect on the practice of coronary revascularisation in the UK?

Nick Curzen

Abstract

Within the last year we have witnessed the advent of public scrutiny of the results of surgical coronary revascularisation. The methodology em-ployed in order to achieve this scrutiny was flawed, as was the way the inadequate and incomplete results were presented to the general public. Data were presented without careful critical appraisal of what the figures actually meant. Little or no account was taken of context, risk assessment or case mix. This was either because of ignorance upon the part of those involved in publication or because of an inadequate level of concern for accuracy. In either case it was irresponsible. Inevitably, to make matters worse, any attempt to explain the fallibility of the presented figures and the flaws in their interpretation has lead to the charge of having something to hide.

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September 2002 Br J Cardiol (Acute Interv Cardiol) 2002;9(1):AIC 19

Are waiting times for coronary artery bypass graft surgery longer than they should be? Implications of the NICE guidelines for coronary artery stents

Stephen Large

Abstract

Tryfonidis, Prendergast and Curzen present their findings of work designed to answer the very pertinent question “Are waiting times for coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) longer than they should be?”. This question requires some reflection before we review the authors’ work and comments.

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September 2002 Br J Cardiol (Acute Interv Cardiol) 2002;9(1):AIC 32

Pergolide and coronary artery dissection

Annalise Geldenhuys, Tony Mourant, Trevor Johnston, John Glynn

Abstract

This report describes a 48-year-old woman with Parkinson”s disease who developed coronary artery dissection. We believe that dissection in this patient was probably caused by treatment with the anti-Parkinsonian drug pergolide.

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