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Data Science and Healthcare

Data science has always played a significant role in healthcare science. But the role has been going through the roof within the past several years due to availability and ease of capturing data and further improvements in artificial intelligence. Using machine learning huge data-sets if information can output astonishing results and show high correlation and causation between different factors and many health issues. Many data scientists are emerging with Big Data becoming a thing of today and it's interesting to find out what fruits this is going to give to modern medicine. Training and consulting companies and services are emerging in the market and even small data analysis using conventional office tools like Microsoft Excel are becoming more influential and training for such tools is becoming essential for many healthcare providers. Within 10 year period we are likely to see some interesting developments in this area. We can only hope that new innovations will be used for good causes.

00:21 Posted in Science | Permalink | Comments (0)


Low Fat Diet, Cholesterol & Triglycerides Outcomes

Generally the notion is that limiting the quantity of fats in the diet to 10% is the correct way to go for lowering cholesterol levels. This notion is being countered by many health care specialists, the reasoning being for it is that following this type of diet for a long time is practically impossible, and it is more so impossible because the majority of people suffering from high cholesterol have to pretty much stay on diet indefinitely. For this reason many recommend to limit fat intake to 30%, which is practically more doable and reasonable to achieve long-term sustainable results. The key is staying absolutely away from saturated fats as much as possible, and getting the fats elsewhere.

Another drawback for a very low fat intake, more particularly fat intake that is less than 25%, is that this type of diet can lower HDL cholesterol and increase triglycerides, both of which are undesirable effects for persons cardiovascular health. The situation can get even more tricky for people who already have low HDL cholesterol levels. HDL-cholesterol in essential for carrying bad cholesterol out of artery walls, and having high HDL cholesterol levels generally results in lower risk of heart attack and better cardiovascular health. LPL cholesterol on the other hand is the one that forms the plague in arteries, which can later rapture and become a cause for heart attack.

For the reason mentioned above good to have mono unsaturated & polyunsaturated fats in your diet if you are HDL-cholesterol is already low. These can be found in olives, corn, nuts, soybean oils, canola etc.

Triglycerides are basically most of the fat in our diet and most of the fat that circulates in our blood as well. Combined with cholesterol triglycerides help the formation of plague. High amount of sugar and alcohol in diet raises triglycerides levels significantly, this includes sugars from natural sources, like honey and fruit. To lower triglycerides levels candy, pastries, pasta, soft drinks, white bread, fruit juices, alcohol and products like need to be avoided. In addition smokers and those who are overweight need to seriously consider, big surprise, quitting smoking and losing weight. High amount of omega-3 can help as well, however, the amount necessary cannot usually be obtained from natural sources. Moderate exercise has shown to have a great effect on lowering triglycerides in many studies, however, the effects of exercise on cholesterol lowering and triglycerides has shown some questionable results in some studies. Generally it seems like exercise can be much more effective in lowering triglycerides than in fighting LDL cholesterol or improving HDL-cholesterol. One thing is for sure that for years exercise has shown to improve individual's cardiovascular health in many ways, and just because some studies test numbers show some results that scientists cannot exactly explain doesn't really mean anything. Exercise is a great treatment for cardiovascular health, period.

The optimal triglycerides levels are below 150 mg/dL, however for people with cardiovascular problems it's optimal to stay below 100.

08:05 Posted in Science | Permalink | Comments (0)


Tricuspid Regurgitation

 Tricuspid Regurgitation is a condition of the heart in which tricuspid valve does not shut correctly, which causes blood to leak into the atrium of the heart when the ventricle narrows. The right ventricle is estranged from right atrium via the tricuspid valve. Tricuspid regurgitation inflicts just 4 out of 100,000 people. It is generally seen in people with a kind of congenital heart disease referred to as Ebstein's anomaly.

The most common cause of tricuspid regurgitation is inflammation of the right ventricle. Enlargement may be related to any ailment that leads to failure of the right ventricle. Mitral regurgitation and mitral stenosis may also lead to or worsen the symptoms of tricuspid.

There are a few diseases that may have direct effect on the tricuspid valve. Rheumatic fever is one of them, which takes place when proper attention is not paid to strep throat infections. Other not so common causes for tricuspid regurgitation are radiation therapy, and Marfan syndrome.

Tricuspid regurgitation can also be caused by a diet medication named Fen-Phen. If a person goes for any kind of dental treatment,bacterium that can enter the blood stream and cause tricuspid regurgitation. The bacteria can pass a disease to a spoilt mitral valve, and this can lead to endocarditis.

Symptoms of Tricuspid regurgitation

There will not be any grave symptoms in the case of tricuspid regurgitation if the patient does not have pulmonary hypertension. If pulmonary hypertension and moderate tricuspid regurgitation are present at the same time, the following symptoms may be present in the patient:

  • Continuous pulsing sensation in the neck veins
  • Puffiness of the ankles and feet
  • Reduced need to urinate
  • Extreme tiredness, exhaustion
  • Overall swelling in the body
  • Distension in the abdomen
  • Feebleness

Exams and Tests

Doctors can easily discover an idiosyncrasy when they palpate the chest or feel the pulse over the liver. Improper or irregular sounds can be heard upon a stethoscope examination. Collection of any pleural fluid in the abdomen can also attribute to tricuspid regurgitation.

An ECG report can help determine if there is swelling in the right ventricle. Doppler echocardiography can be of help in extreme cases to confirm the blood pressure level inside the lungs and heart.

Treatment of Tricuspid regurgitation

It is not required to go for any kind of treatment for tricuspid regurgitation if there are little to no symptoms. Fluids accumulated in the abdomen can be taken care of with medication. An analysis of the symptoms can best carried out at a hospital. There, the core symptoms should be recognized and provided with adequate treatment. Some people need to go though surgery to mend or replace the tricuspid valve. The procedure is slightly different than that of mitral valve repair for mitral regurgitation.


Outlook (Prognosis)

Symptoms of tricuspid regurgitation such as inflammation in the right ventricle and high blood pressure in the lungs may be treated properly to get rid of the disorder. Surgical valve repair by and large offers a cure. Nevertheless, people who cannot be treated for tricuspid regurgitation may have a bad prognosis.

Possible Complications such as a heart attack, endocarditis, and cirrhosis of liver may happen in rare cases. Rapid weight loss and loss of appetite can occur.


When to See a Doctor

Medical attention should be sought out if conditions worsen. Immediate treatment of the condition minimizes risk of tricuspid regurgitation. Strep infections should be treated to prevent rheumatic fever.

It is advisable to tell your doctor if you have any history of heart valve disease or any history of heart problems before getting dental treatment. However, antibiotics will lower the risk of conceiving endocarditis.

A Color Doppler Echocardiogram will show activity that resembles that of tricuspid regurgitation. This is known as physiologic regurgitation. Specialists do not feel the necessity to point out it to the patient, as they will be worried about a usual and not very serious echocardiogram.

To conclude pathologic tricuspid regurgitation, poor compression caused from this condition forces blood backwards across the tricuspid valve from the ventricle on the right quarter, which is the lower portion of the heart that goes to the right atrium which is the upper chamber. Leakage happens for every heart contraction including the right ventricle and could be owing to injury or deformity of the tricuspid valve .The tricuspid valve may also be affected by infection.

Other potential causes of significant tricuspid regurgitation include restrictive cardiomyopathy and constrictive pericarditis. Patients with mild to moderate tricuspid regurgitation lead a normal life and have no restrictions. Most of the restrictions to sports are associated with an underlying associated heart defect or underlying condition such as pulmonary hypertension. Therefore, prognosis in general may depend on the underlying condition and potential risk factors. Long-term complications may include heart failure, endocarditis, weight loss, and liver damage (cirrhosis).

08:27 Posted in Science | Permalink