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News briefs from Heart Rhythm 2006

Cocaine Decreases Risk For Arrhythmias Caused by Tasers
Cocaine intoxication serves as a protective agent against life-threatening arrhythmias that may result from electrical stun guns. The drug was found to reduce a healthy heart's vulnerability of developing ventricular fibrillation by 1.5 to two times above the study's baseline safety margin. Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic used a custom-built device to deliver a neuromuscular-incapacitating discharge in research animals that matched the waveform of commercially-available stun guns (TASER X-26). Dhanunjaya Lakireddy, lead author and fellow of electrophysiology at the Cleveland Clinic, concluded "There have been many news reports that tasers can increase the incidence of heart attacks in people on cocaine, but our findings show that these claims are unfounded and not based on science." Dr. Lakireddy said more research is needed to determine the relationship between cocaine and tasers on people with underlying heart conditions.

Abstract 3909: Cardiac Vulnerability to Ventricular Fibrillation During Electrical Stun Gun Application: Effect of Cocaine Intoxication
Saturday, May 20, 9:00-12:00 noon, Exhibit Hall (Poster Session 6)

Exercise Helps Control Heartbeat in Patients With Permanent Atrial Fibrillation
Regular exercise helps patients with permanent atrial fibrillation (AF) maintain a regular, controlled heartbeat. Moderate physical activity decreased the patients' ventricular rate by 12 percent in patients with chronic AF, the most common type of heart rhythm abnormality. The study involved 10 patients with permanent AF who did moderate exercise such as 60 minutes of walking or jogging twice a week for four months. Regular physical activity also increased the patients' capacity to exercise while helping control their heartbeat during exertion. Jurgita Plisiene, MD, cardiologist and former fellow at the Technical University in Aachen, Germany, concluded "P
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Contact: Rachael Lille Moore
rmoore@HRSonline.org
202-464-3476
GYMR
18-May-2006


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