Authorities note increase in heart attacks since Katrina

Stress following hurricane Katrina may still be causing heart attacks years after the storm slammed Louisiana, according to a new study.

NEW ORLEANS — Stress following hurricane Katrina may still be causing heart attacks years after the storm slammed Louisiana, according to a new study.

Doctors at Tulane University Hospital and Clinic found there was a threefold increase in the rate of heart attacks treated at the hospital since the August 2005 storm. Dr. Anand Irimpen, the study’s senior author, said the study is too small to prove the storm is behind the increase. Even so, most cardiologists in the area believe there has been such an effect, said Dr. Carl (Chip) Lavie, medical director for cardiac rehabilitation and prevention at Ochsner Health System in suburban New Orleans.

“Everyone feels they’ve lived this,” he said.

Many studies have documented increases in heart attacks after a major catastrophe. But this may be the first time anyone has found such an increase more than two years later, Lavie said.

The report was presented Sunday at the American College of Cardiology meeting in Orlando, Fla.

In the two years before Katrina, the researchers found heart attacks accounted for 150 of the 21,229 patients admitted to the downtown hospital. In the two years since the hospital reopened in early 2006, there were 246 heart attacks out of 11,282 patients — a change from about 0.7 per cent of admissions to nearly 2.2 per cent.

Post-Katrina heart attack patients also were more likely to need surgery or artery-opening procedures and less likely to have jobs or medical insurance than their pre-storm counterparts. They were more likely to smoke or to abuse drugs or alcohol, and less likely to be taking medicine prescribed to ward off strokes or heart attacks.

Because the study looked at a small number of patients at a single hospital, many questions remain open.

“Is Tulane seeing more heart attacks now because of Katrina, or are the heart attacks coming to Tulane that would have gone someplace else before the storm?” asked Lavie.

Just Posted

Central Alberta born jaguar dies

Mia was the first jaguar in the world to receive stem cell treatment

Two men facing kidnapping charges in connection with abduction

48-year-old woman was allegedly abducted in Red Deer on Oct. 17

Prosecutor illness delays dangerous driving trial

Red Deer man facing dangerous driving charges in connection with 2016 d0uble-fatal collision

More say in Catholic education proposed

Voting for both public and Catholic trustees

WATCH: Make-A-Wish grants Star Wars loving teen’s wish

The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted Anakin Suerink’s wish in Red Deer Saturday afternoon

Local Sports: Rudy Soffo valuable to Kings on the court

When Rudy Soffo first saw the RDC basketball Kings roster he was… Continue reading

Except for 1 kick, Saints, Ravens are evenly matched

BALTIMORE — In a matchup between the league’s highest-scoring offence and top-ranked… Continue reading

Julia Louis-Dreyfus gets a top award for comedy

WASHINGTON — After a 35-year acting career and with two iconic television… Continue reading

Ricky Skaggs, Dottie West enter Country Music Hall of Fame

NASHVILLE — Bluegrass and country star Ricky Skaggs, singer Dottie West and… Continue reading

AP Exclusive: Stephen Hawking’s wheelchair, thesis for sale

LONDON — Stephen Hawking was a cosmic visionary, a figure of inspiration… Continue reading

Canada deemed U.S. a safe country for asylum seekers after internal review

OTTAWA — Canadian immigration officials have determined that the United States remains… Continue reading

Bombardier sues Mitsubishi over alleged theft of aircraft trade secrets

MONTREAL — Bombardier is suing Mitsubishi Aircraft in the United States over… Continue reading

Three strong earthquakes reported in Pacific Ocean off Vancouver Island

Three relatively strong earthquakes were recorded Sunday night in the Pacific Ocean… Continue reading

Most Read