Scientists Say GPS Car Tracking Devices Can Help Diagnose Clogged Arteries – Issue 46

Dear Health-Conscious Friend,

Whether or not you’re like me and like to keep up with news about the latest gadgets, it sure helps to keep abreast of new technologies that may impact your health.

Well, in today’s edition of Health News Weekly™, I’ll share what scientists have discovered about how car GPS technology can be used to protect you from a heart disaster!

You’ll also find out how air filters may play a role in boosting your heart health.

And please be sure to protect yourself from harm by reading about the Icy Hot Heat Patch product that has caused serious burns and is being recalled.

Let’s get started!

Got Clogged Arteries? Get a GPS System!

Layne Lowery

The same nifty technology that keeps you from getting lost while driving might also help doctors determine the severity of peripheral artery disease (sometimes called “PAD”) in patients!

According to a study published in the current issue of Circulation, French researchers used global positioning system (GPS) devices on 24 people with peripheral artery disease—which causes clogged leg arteries.

Dr. Pierre Abraham, senior study author and a physician at the vascular investigation laboratory at University Hospital in Angers, France, said the research team was interested in using GPS to analyze the maximum walking distance—or MWD—for each patient.

MWD is the farthest a peripheral artery disease patient can walk at a normal pace on a flat surface before leg pain forces them to stop. Doctors currently use treadmills to test MWD.

But treadmill assessments are time-consuming…must be done in vascular laboratories… and may not provide an accurate estimate of MWD or peripheral artery disease-related disability.

In a prepared statement, Dr. Abraham said GPS devices not only analyze the distance walked—but also the speed, duration of rest periods, and the number of walking bouts over a prolonged recording period.

But Abraham cautions that GPS can’t entirely replace treadmills for measuring MWD. This is because not all
patients can do an outdoor GPS test.

Also, treadmill tests are standardized and can record multiple measurements simultaneously—such as blood pressure,
heart rate and oxygen consumption.

Peripheral artery disease affects about 8 million Americans. People with this disease are four to five times more likely to die from cardiovascular disease.

The Surprising Connection Between Dirty Indoor Air and Heart Disease!

Tiffany Lowery

Blood vessel function improved by 8 percent in 21 older persons—just by breathing indoor air—filtered for 48 hours with high-efficiency particle air (HEPA) filters—Danish researchers reported.

Although all study participants were non-smokers, lead study author Dr. Steffen Loft of the Institute of Public Health in Copenhagen said the results were similar to improvements in heart health seen when a person quits smoking!

Research shows that breathing minute particles in the air—known as particulate matter—can worsen heart and lung
disease. It can even increase mortality rates.

The researchers used several tests to assess blood vessel function and inflammation in 21 apartment-dwelling couples, aged 60 to 75 years old. First they examined the patients after breathing non-filtered air—and once again after breathing filtered air for 48 hours.

Their goal was to determine how well smaller blood vessels linking the veins and arteries were able to open and
close in response to blood and oxygen demands, Loft explained.

Reduced function in these smaller blood vessels is a sign of coronary heart disease. This impairment can also promote hardening of the arteries.

The patients’ blood vessel function improved by an average of 8.1 percent after they spent two days breathing filtered air.

Loft said it is possible that longer interventions—of perhaps 6 months to 1 year—could produce further
improvement and reduce cardiovascular risk in this age group.

Indoor air pollution typically comes from heaters… candles… cooking… traffic… and even cigarette smoke from a neighboring apartment, Loft said. He also said the key study finding is that “the level of particles in a regular, normal home actually affects the vascular function in elderly people.”

Loft and his colleagues now plan to investigate how particles from wood stoves used to heat homes in Scandinavia and the United States can affect health.

The new study results are reported in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Fast Fact

Some nutritional doctors feel that Americans get too much phosphorous if we drink lots of milk and soft drinks.

The problem is that high phosphate foods inhibit calcium absorption, as does animal protein, sugar, caffeine and alcohol.

So try to limit high phosphate foods in your diet, and you probably don’t need to supplement with phosphorous.

Icy Hot Heat Pads Recalled After Causing
Serious Burns!

Rhonda Rasberry, Staff Writer

The manufacturer of Icy Heat Therapy Products, Chattem, Inc. announced they are recalling their Icy Hot Heat pads immediately. Consumers have reported first, second and third degree burns as well as skin irritation following use of the pads.

The following products are affected by the recall:

  • Icy Hot Heat Therapy Air Activated Heat – Back
  • Icy Hot Heat Therapy Air Activated Heat – Arm, Neck, and Leg

The recall also affects consumer samples of the Arm, Neck, and Leg patches. This product is clearly labeled as “Icy Hot Heat Therapy” and was provided with red-and-yellow boxes of 3 oz. Aspercreme.

If you have purchased or received any of these pads, discard them or return them to the manufacturer for a refund.

To return recalled pads and request a refund, contact Chattem’s Recall Hotline at (877) 742-6275, or visit their
web site at

Health E-Hints

Natural Solutions for Hot Flashes
and Night Sweats!

Hot flashes and night sweats are some common symptoms for women experiencing menopausal mayhem.

Many women try various supplements and medications—with varying levels of success. Here are some quick diet solutions to help you rise from “hormone hell.”

First of all, you’ll want to avoid foods and substances that can worsen your symptoms. This includes tea, coffee, alcohol, caffeinated soft drinks, spicy foods and smoking.

As for natural, healthy solutions to help regulate your body’s temperature gauge, you might try:

  • Black Cohosh—an herb used extensively in Europe for treating hot flashes. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists supports short-term use of black cohosh—up to six months—for treating symptoms of menopause.
  • Soy—contains an estrogen-like substance called phytoestrogen; the North American Menopause Society in 2000 recommended that 40 to 80mg of isoflavones—that is 1 to 2 servings of soy products daily—may help relieve menopausal symptoms.
  • Dong quai—used for centuries by Asian healers to balance female hormones and to prevent the troublesome symptoms of menopause and PMS.
  • Wild yam—has an active phytoestrogen called diosgenin, which is scientifically proven to
    balance women’s menstrual cycles and reproductive hormones.