ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Safe Toys for Dogs
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Many Americans Fall Short on Their Vitamin D
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
CANCER
Yoga May Bring Calm to Breast Cancer Treatment
Herb May Counter Liver Damage From Chemo
Seaweed May Help Treat Lymphoma
CAREGIVING
Diabetes Epidemic Now Poses Challenges for Nursing Homes
Falls Are Top Cause of Injury, Death Among Elderly
Exercise During Pregnancy May Help Baby
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Obesity Linked to Heart Failure Risk
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
COSMETIC
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Care Helps Control Type 2 Diabetes and Its Complications
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
Scientists Find Gene for Tooth Enamel
DIABETES
Coffee, Tea Might Stave Off Diabetes
Americans Consuming More Sugary Beverages
Study Shows Turmeric May Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Mediterranean Diet Helps Protect Aging Brain
10 Beginner Tips for Fast Weight Loss, the Low-Carb Way!
Fasting on Alternate Days May Make Dieting Easier
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Short-Term Air Pollution Exposure May Damage DNA
Artificial Light Linked to Prostate Cancer Risk
Pesticides on Produce Tied to ADHD in Children
EYE CARE, VISION
Sports Eye Injuries Leading Cause of Blindness in Youths
Kids Think Glasses Make Others Look Smart, Honest
Autistic Children Make Limited Eye Contact
FITNESS
Marathoners Go the Distance on Heart Health
Vigorous Exercise Can Cut Breast Cancer Risk
Weak Muscles May Cause 'Runner's Knee'
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
GENERAL HEALTH
Have Fun This Summer, But DO Be Careful
Most Women Struggle With Rising Health Care Costs
'Organic' May Not Mean Healthier
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Fatty Fish May Cut Heart Failure Risk in Men
Walk Long, Slow and Often to Help the Heart
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
School Meals Need to Get Healthier
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
MEN'S HEALTH
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
MENTAL HEALTH
Heal Your Life® Tips for Living Well
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
Have a Goal in Life? You Might Live Longer
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart
SENIORS
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Friends, Not Grandkids, Key to Happy Retirement
For Older Walkers, Faster Is Better
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Simple Carbs Pose Heart Risk for Women
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
Most Women With Osteoporosis Unaware of Raised Fracture Risk
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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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