Play

Anchor lead: What factors do people think of when rating their own health? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Would you rate your own health as excellent? People who do so most likely think of things like their exercise and dietary habits, how often they get sick, and other factors, but an alarming 10% of them had severe blockages in their heart’s arteries when a coronary calcium scan was done. That’s according to a new study by Olusola Orimoloye, a cardiologist and post-doctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins.

Orimoloye: Across categories people who report excellent health, were more likely to exercise, were more likely to have healthy diet, less likely to have hypertension, less like to have diabetes, less likely to be obese, but still, you still find that in that population you still see that at least 10% of people might be at increased cardiovascular risk based on their calcium score.  :24

Orimoloye notes that coronary calcium scans are very quick and painless, and may help identify people who thought they weren’t at increased risk for cardiovascular disease but who may be. He says that such objective tests along with self-reported factors help create a composite picture of risk. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
Play

Anchor lead: How accurate is how you assess your own health? Elizabeth Tracey reports

People who rate their own health as excellent may still be at significant risk for cardiovascular events, including heart attack and stroke, a new study by Olusola Orimoloye, a cardiologist and postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins, and colleagues has shown.

Orimoloye: Even if you perceive yourself to be in excellent health we found that at least 10% of people who self-reported excellent health in the MESA study had extreme, severe calcification in their coronary arteries, and that’s tightly linked to cardiovascular disease outcomes like heart disease and stroke, so we feel like it sends an important public health message that even if you feel that you’re healthy you should still go ahead and get definitive cardiovascular disease assessment. :30

Orimoloye notes that many risk calculators exist to predict one’s likelihood of having a cardiovascular event in the next ten years, but in order to make any assessment even healthy people need to see their doctor regularly, especially those with risk factors or a family history. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
Play

Anchor lead: Can the presence or absence of a certain protein improve kidney transplants? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Kidney transplant success could be improved by testing both donor and recipient for the presence of a certain protein that genes determine whether it is made or not. When there isn’t a match rejection is much more likely, a recent study found. Chirag Parikh, a kidney expert at Johns Hopkins, says such studies continue to improve the success of kidney transplants.

Parikh: We can take a kidney and give it to a loved one or somebody on the waiting list and the outcome of the kidney is dependent on several factors. A small fraction is dependent upon the genetic constitution, and we could find that some genes work well with each other, some genes react in a way that the lifespan could be shortened. If we could interrogate and then keep it in a database and do a perfect match we can optimize the kidney function of a transplanted kidney.  :30

Parikh notes that such an approach might also be practical in all solid organ transplants. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
Play

Anchor lead: Could you be having an allergic reaction in your kidneys? Elizabeth Tracey reports

If you’re taking common antacid medications or pain relieving drugs, you could be putting yourself at risk to develop acute interstitial nephritis, or what amounts to an allergic reaction in your kidneys. Chirag Parikh, a kidney expert at Johns Hopkins and one developer of a new blood test to diagnose the condition, says many people don’t even know there’s a problem.

Parikh: A typical way a patient would present is they got their routine blood tests, and serum creatinine, which is a marker of kidney function, is increased. The doctor would go back to the drawing board and say well what happened? We suspect that one of the drugs is causing it.  :15

Parikh hopes the new test may help monitor those who take common medications routinely to spot kidney problems early.

Parikh: You are on a drug that is likely to cause this reaction. Maybe get these proteins checked intermittently to show that your kidneys are safe while you are on this therapy. :10

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
Play

Anchor lead: A common cause of acute kidney injury is common drugs, Elizabeth Tracey reports

A type of allergic reaction in the kidneys known as acute interstitial nephritis may be the cause of up to one in five hospitalizations for kidney problems, and now a new blood test developed by Chirag Parikh and colleagues at Johns Hopkins may help make the diagnosis much easier. Parikh says the condition can be caused by common medications.

Parikh: There are over 100 drugs that have been linked to allergic reactions in the kidney. The common ones are antibiotics, the most common one in the population may be antacids. Like Prevacid and omeprazole where the kidneys are getting harmed because of these allergic reactions. The NSAIDS, the painkillers, can also cause these reactions in certain people and these are available over the counter. :26

Parikh says the good news is that the kidney will usually rebound once the drug is stopped, but says such reactions can occur even if someone has taken these drugs for years. He notes that increasing age and the presence of other health conditions are also factors. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)
Play

Anchor lead: A common kidney disorder may soon be diagnosed with a blood test, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Acute interstitial nephritis is the medical term for what amounts to an allergic reaction in the kidneys, and it accounts for up to one in five hospitalizations for acute kidney injury. Now a new blood test developed by Chirag Parikh, a kidney expert at Johns Hopkins, and colleagues, may make diagnosis easier.

Parikh: (chirag): We were focused on finding easier and simpler and noninvasive ways of making this diagnosis. We found two proteins in the urine that convey that there is some allergic reaction going on in the kidney, which then help the clinicians and the patient to guide them into the next step. Currently there is no simple way to pick up this disease, because one has to do a kidney biopsy to confirm the presence of this disorder.  :29

Parikh notes that biopsies can have their own complications and may take time to perform. He hopes that once validated, the new test can simplify the process of diagnosis. At Johns Hopkin, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
Play

Anchor lead: What is behind high rates of suicide among nurses? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Suicide among health care workers is known to happen more often than in the general population, with nurses 4 times more likely to commit suicide than those outside medicine. Patricia Davidson, dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, says recognition of the problem is just the beginning.

Davidson: We have to build resilience. Resilience is a big deal because healthcare is tough. And it always has been tough. It does not mean you have to be tough, but you have to be able to ride that wave, and not get pulled under the undertows, which are there. So its seeking supportive and enabling environments, making sure you have colleagues around you that will enable you, and also making sure that when you go home after work, that you have something that fulfills your soul. :31

Davidson urges all health care professionals to seek help if they’re feeling hopeless and notes that systems approaches to sustain them are in the works. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)