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Heart disease patients are wise to avoid being outside during rush hour traffic. In a 2014 study, Professor Robert F. Storey states, "More than 3 million deaths worldwide are caused by air pollution each year. Air pollution ranks ninth among the modifiable disease risk factors, ahead of low physical activity, high sodium diet, high cholesterol, and drug use."

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He adds, "There is ample evidence that air pollution is associated with cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. It not only makes existing heart conditions worse but also contributes to development of the disease."


Reduce exposure to air pollution by avoiding walking and cycling in streets with high traffic intensity, particularly during rush-hour traffic, and exercising in parks and gardens; avoid driving on major traffic roads when possible; limit time outdoors during highly-polluted periods, especially infants, elderly, and those with cardiopulmonary disorders.-European Society of Cardiology Press Release, 12/8/2014



Failure to accept illness is associated with poorer quality of life in patients with chronic heart failure. Monika Obieglo, lead author of the research article, "The effect of acceptance of illness on the quality of life in patients with chronic heart failure" (European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing doi: 10.1177/14745151145649292014) states, "Patients with chronic heart failure often feel powerless and hopeless, which interferes with effective treatment and self-care. Patients with lower illness acceptance more often had lower energy levels, more severe pain, negative emotional reactions, sleep disorders, limited mobility, and were socially isolated." Illness acceptance refers to the ability of patients to adapt to life with a disease. Acceptance of illness generally results in greater compliance with treatment and therefore, higher quality of life.-European Society of Cardiology Press Release, 1/8/2015



Some patients are overly stressed about surgery and their risk of dying from the procedure. This can result in unnecessary anxiety and delaying procedures. Better education, including use of a risk calculator, could reduce some of these fears. "Developing anxiety is very common for patients before surgery, and it can lead to poor outcomes after surgery such as severe pain and heart attack," said Gildasio De Oliveira, Jr.


Oliveira and her colleagues studied 138 patients about to undergo surgery with very low risk of mortality. Nearly one-third of patients overestimated their risk by at least 5%, and 50% of patients who overestimated risk had preoperative anxiety, compared with 13% of patients who did not overestimate risk.


Oliveira reported, "We had patients saying they had a 20 to 30% chance of dying for surgeries that have no greater than a 1% chance. In addition to developing anxiety, patients who overestimated surgical risk voluntarily delayed elective procedures, which can result in the need for emergent surgery with greater risks." Better education regarding risks could decrease anxiety.- Accessed 1/14/2015



Taking a temperature on a little one is no fun for caregiver or child. This could soon change. Pacifi is a child's pacifier with a thermometer built into its silicon teat and a Bluetooth chip that sends temperature readings to a paired smartphone. From within the Pacifi app for Android and iOS, one can view a live reading and see previous readings in a timeline graph, thus tracking improvement or decline. Data can be shared with healthcare providers, and treatment doses, when applicable, can easily be adapted using reminders from within the app.- Accessed 1/8/2015



"God is not real to most of us because of the condition of our consciousness. He is closer to our minds every moment than our own thoughts. He is nearer to our hearts than our own feelings. He is more intimate with our wills than our most vigorous decisions. If we are not aware of him, it is not because he is not with us. It is, in part, because our consciousness is so under the sway of the other interests that it cannot turn to him with the loving attentions which might soon discern him."-From Discipline and Discovery by Albert Edward Day, as cited in A Guide to Prayer, Rueben P. Job and Norman Shawchuck, 1983, The Upper Room, Nashville, TN


-PulseBeats compiled by Cathy Walker, JCN Associate Editor