February 20, 2014
New tool identifies high-risk lung patients: Ottawa COPD Risk Scale
Less than thirty days after their release from the hospital, one third of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) find themselves in the emergency department. This disease, usually caused by smoking, is especially prevalent in seniors. Emergency physicians have difficulty deciding which patients with COPD are severe enough to be admitted and which ones are safe to be sent home.
A new Ottawa COPD Risk Scale tool has been created by Dr. Ian Stiell and colleagues that will give emergency physicians an easier and standardized way to identify high-risk lung patients that should be or remain hospitalized. This 10 point scale will help both patients and health care systems.
January 23, 2014
Researchers discover how heart arrhythmia occurs
Researchers at the University of Calgary and Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta have discovered the fundamental biology of calcium waves in relation to heart arrhythmias.
Heart arrhythmias cause the heart to beat irregularly, resulting in symptoms such as dizziness and fainting, or in severe cases, sudden arrhythmic death. While many factors contribute to the development of arrhythmias, including genetics, scientists know that a common mechanism of cardiac arrhythmias is calcium overload in the heart. The underlying mechanism of these calcium-triggered arrhythmias has remained a mystery for decades.
The findings published this month in Nature Medicine outline the discovery of this fundamental physiological process that researchers hope will one day help design molecularly tailored medications that correct the pathophysiology. The research was supported in part by CIHR.
January 16, 2014
Special supplement: The Health of Official Language Minority Populations
In Canada, official language communities living in minority situation represent approximately two million citizens who are scattered over the entire country. In spite of the equal constitutional status of both official languages in Canada, Francophones living in Anglophone provinces and Anglophones living in Quebec are confronted with systemic barriers preventing them from accessing resources and services in their preferred official language. Supported by an Interdisciplinary Capacity Enhancement (ICE) grant from CIHR, researchers explored the environmental, cultural and structural factors that influence health disparities among Francophone minorities. They published their results as a special supplement in the Canadian Journal of Public Health: “The Health of Official Language Minority Populations”.