ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Maggots as Good as Gel in Leg Ulcer Treatments
Acupuncture May Not Help Hot Flashes
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Health Tip: Back Pain in Children
Drinking Cuts Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk
CANCER
Minorities Distrust Medical System More
Hypnosis Cuts Hot Flashes for Breast Cancer Survivors
Immune Therapy May Aid Kids With Neuroblastoma
CAREGIVING
3 Steps Might Help Stop MRSA's Spread
Child's Food Allergies Take Toll on Family Plans
Critically Ill Patients Lack Vitamin D
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Anemia Rates Down for U.S. Women and Children
Salt Boosts Blood Pressure in High-Risk Patients
Grapefruit-Heavy Diet Helped Spur Dangerous Clot
COSMETIC
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
DENTAL, ORAL
Holistic Dentistry-My View
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
Good Oral Hygiene May Protect Against Heart Infections
DIABETES
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention
Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea
DIET, NUTRITION
Caffeine May Offer Some Skin Cancer Protection
Eating More Soy May Be Good For Your Lung Function
Proven Strategies for Avoiding Colds and the Flu
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Home Renovations by Affluent Families Can Unleash Lead Threat
Genetics, Environment Shape Sexual Behavior
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
EYE CARE, VISION
Green Tea May Ward Off Eye Disease
Glaucoma Treatment Can Prevent Blindness
Decorative Halloween Eye Lenses May Pose Serious Risks
FITNESS
As Temperature Plummets, It's Still Safe to Exercise
Resistance Training Boosts Mobility in Knee Arthritis Patients
When It Comes to Lifting, the Pros Have Your Back
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
GENERAL HEALTH
Household Insecticides May Be Linked to Autoimmune Diseases
Fructose Boosts Blood Pressure, Studies Find
Hidden Salt in Diet Haunts Many With Heart Failure
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Relaxation Tapes or Mozart Lower Blood Pressure
Ingredient in Dark Chocolate Could Guard Against Stroke
Heart Disease May Be Prevented By Taking Fish Oils, Study Shows
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Coconut Oil May Help Fight Childhood Pneumonia
Time to Remind Teens About Sun Protection
St. John's Wort Doesn't Work for ADHD
MEN'S HEALTH
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
MENTAL HEALTH
Bullying Seems to Affect Kids Years Later
Positive Brain Changes Seen After Body-Mind Meditation
Psychotherapy Can Boost Happiness More Than Money
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
SENIORS
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Fitness Fades Fast After 45
Exercise Benefits Even the Oldest Old
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Exercise During Pregnancy Keeps Newborn Size Normal
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Risk Factor for Stroke More Common Among Whites

WEDNESDAY, May 13 (HealthDay News) -- Whites are more likely than blacks to experience atrial fibrillation, a cause of stroke, even though blacks have a higher prevalence of risk factors such as high blood pressure, new research shows.

About 2.2 million Americans have atrial fibrillation, a heart arrhythmia in which the two upper chambers, or atria, quiver chaotically instead of beating in a normal rhythmic pattern, according to the Heart Rhythm Society.

The less effective pumping action can cause blood to pool and clot in the atria, raising the risk of stroke.

The study proves that race has a direct impact on the incidence of atrial fibrillation, the researchers said. They planned to present their findings Wednesday at the Heart Rhythm Society's annual meeting, in Boston.

Researchers examined data on nearly 200,000 patients who had at least two clinical visits to the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit during 2007. The study included 110,333 whites, 65,657 blacks and 20,114 patients whose race was undefined.

About 42 percent of blacks had hypertension, commonly called high blood pressure, compared to 29 percent of whites. Seventeen percent of blacks were diabetic, compared to 12 percent of whites.

Hypertension and diabetes are risk factors for atrial fibrillation, yet blacks had a 50 percent lower prevalence of atrial fibrillation. About 1.2 percent of blacks had atrial fibrillation, compared to 2.5 percent of whites.

"Our results confirm what previous, smaller studies have suggested about African Americans and a lower prevalence of AF [atrial fibrillation]," said study author Dr. Kan Fang. "What is truly fascinating about our findings is that African Americans can have significant risk factors for AF, even higher than those of Caucasian patients, yet have a lower occurrence."

Atrial fibrillation is one of the most common cardiac arrhythmias in the country. Risk factors include being male and/or older, hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

More information

The Heart Rhythm Society has more on atrial fibrillation.



-- Jennifer Thomas



SOURCE: Heart Rhythm Society, news release, May 13, 2009

Last Updated: May 14, 2009

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