April 11, 2007

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc, Resource Coordinator

1. MEDIA (Some interesting ideas and initiatives)

Drugs & exercise over angioplasty to prevent heart attacks
The Globe and Mail (Tue 27 Mar 2007 Byline: Unnati Gandhi) writes that a new study has found that opening up blocked arteries using angioplasty is no more effective at preventing heart attacks than treatment combining heart drugs, a balanced diet and regular exercise.

The results support a standard of practice many Canadian cardiologists have been observing in recent years, in which angioplasties are only recommended if drug therapy and lifestyle changes aren't working, says a co-author of the study. For the study, about 2,300 patients with stable but significant heart disease were randomly assigned to one of two treatment regimens at 50 U.S. and Canadian treatment centres.

The first group received drug therapy alone (cholesterol-lowering drugs, blood-pressure medication and aspirin), while the second group received the same drug therapy plus angioplasty — a medical procedure that uses a balloon to open narrowed or clogged blood vessels of the heart. The drugs that are taken after an angioplasty were considered to be part of the procedure.
After five years, the researchers found there was no reduced risk of heart attack or death in the group that had an angioplasty on top of the drug therapy. In that group, 211 patients suffered major cardiac events (including heart attacks and strokes), compared with 202 in the drug group. However, those who underwent an angioplasty did show a reduced prevalence of angina.

Group says it will spend $500 million to fight childhood obesity
The Robert Wood Johnson foundation plans to sponsor programs in USA that emphasize familiar themes like the "walking school bus,' where parents could herd students house-to-house and walk them to school.


Reviews of health promotion and education online
This electronic trilingual journal is freely accessible to anybody, thanks to the IUHPE, to the Public Health Agency of Canada.


Embracing cultural diversity in health care: Developing cultural competence
This guideline by the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario provides an overview of the most compelling evidence that leaders at every level can use to embed workplaces with a culture that moves all team members past knowing about diversity to understanding it, accepting the differences it brings to work settings, & finally to seeking and embracing it. (While this resource is geared to nurses the information [especially the checklist tables on pp. 30, 36 & 47] can be applied to other groups. At the bottom of the web page you have the option to download the entire document and the summary).

Factors affecting the communication and understanding of known and potential/theoretical risks to health in northern Aboriginal communities Information/implications that can be extrapolated to determine how to frame health messaging around physical activity ...

Failing fitness: Physical activity and physical education in schools

Fitness barriers: Overcoming common problems
Sticking to a regular exercise schedule isn't easy. After all, there are plenty of potential hindrances — time, boredom, injuries, self-confidence. But these issues don't need to stand in your way. This article offers practical strategies for overcoming common barriers to fitness.

Fitness on a budget: Low-cost ideas for shaping up
If the only thing keeping you from starting a fitness program is the cost of a gym membership, here's good news. You don't need to join a gym to take exercise seriously. This article outlines plenty of low-cost alternatives that can help you get fit without breaking your budget.

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