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Cardiovascular Risk Reduction Blog

Global Blood Pressure Program Could Save Millions of Lives, Experts Say

Posted 23 hours ago by

FRIDAY, Feb. 27, 2015 – Treating half of people with uncontrolled high blood pressure could prevent 10 million heart attacks and strokes worldwide over 10 years, according to experts. Most people with uncontrolled high blood pressure (or "hypertension") are in low- and middle-income countries and have poor access to diagnosis, care and treatment, said the authors of a commentary published Feb. 26 in The Lancet. In an effort to get those people into treatment and reduce their risk of premature death, a new program called the Global Standardized Hypertension Treatment Project has been launched by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). "Heart disease and stroke are silent killers – on a mass scale. Cardiovascular disease kills more people around the world than all infectious diseases combined," CDC director and commentary ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Poor Response to Statins May Mean Clogged Arteries

Posted 1 day 20 hours ago by

THURSDAY, Feb. 26, 2015 – Twenty percent of people with heart disease don't respond to cholesterol-lowering statins and may have dangerously clogged arteries, researchers have found. A new study found these people experienced little or no reduction in the "bad" cholesterol that contributes to artery-blocking plaque, making heart attack or stroke more likely. The finding has important implications for statin guidelines, said lead researcher Dr. Stephen Nicholls, deputy director of the South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute in Adelaide. "Cholesterol levels should continue to be monitored to ensure we are moving in the right direction," said Nicholls. "It is simply not good enough to prescribe [a statin] and move on." The analysis also underscores the need for new medications to target plaque buildup in statin nonresponders, the study said. Nicholls said many patients – ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Atorvastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Pravachol, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Baycol, Pitavastatin, Altoprev

Health Tip: How Smoking Affects Your Heart

Posted 3 days ago by

-- Most people realize that smoking causes cancer, but it can also wreak havoc on your heart, experts say. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute says smoking: Damages blood cells, heart function and blood vessels Increases the risk of hardening of the arteries, which restricts blood flow. Increases the risks of heart disease, which occurs when plaque builds up in the arteries. Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Younger Women Often Ignore Signs of Heart Attack

Posted 4 days ago by

TUESDAY, Feb. 24, 2015 – Younger women may ignore early warning signs of a heart attack, a new study reveals. The finding could help explain why younger women have higher rates of death from heart attack than men in their age group. "Young women with multiple risk factors and a strong family history of cardiac disease should not assume they are too young to have a heart attack," said lead researcher Judith Lichtman, chair of the department of chronic disease epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health in New Haven, Conn. "Participants in our study said they were concerned about initiating a false alarm in case their symptoms were due to something other than a heart attack," Lichtman said in a university news release. Yale researchers interviewed women aged 30 to 55 who survived a heart attack. The study authors found that many of the women didn't pay attention to early warning ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Attack, Myocardial Infarction, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis

After Blowing Their Stack, a Heart Attack

Posted 4 days ago by

TUESDAY, Feb. 24, 2015 – Intense anger or anxiety greatly increases the risk of heart attack, a new study warns. "While the absolute risk of any one anger episode triggering a heart attack is low, our data demonstrates that the danger is real and still there," said Dr. Thomas Buckley, a senior lecturer and researcher from the University of Sydney and Royal North Shore Hospital in Australia. The increased risk of heart attack after intense anger or anxiety is "most likely the result of increased heart rate and blood pressure, tightening of blood vessels and increased clotting, all associated with triggering of heart attacks," Buckley said. In the study, Buckley's team assessed more than 300 heart attack patients and asked them to use a 7-point scale to rate their levels of anger over the previous 48 hours. On the scale, 1 was calm, 5 was intense anger, and 7 was enraged/out of control. ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress, Heart Attack, Myocardial Infarction, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis

Study Ties Saunas to Lower Risk of Death From Heart Disease

Posted 5 days ago by

MONDAY, Feb. 23, 2015 – Sweating it out in a hot sauna may be relaxing, and new research suggests it may also be good for your heart health. A study from Finland found that men who use saunas frequently are less likely to die from heart disease. Men's risk was even lower when they visited saunas more often in a week, and when they spent longer periods of time in a sauna each session, the researchers reported. The findings could cause cardiologists to reconsider commonly held concerns about exposing heart patients to the heat present in a sauna, said Dr. Paul Thompson, medical director of cardiology at Hartford Hospital in Hartford, Conn., and a member of the American College of Cardiology Sports and Exercise Cardiology Council. "As a cardiologist, I have discouraged patients from using a sauna, from concerns over heat putting demands on a person's cardiovascular system," Thompson said. ... Read more

Related support groups: Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Health Tip: Take Seven Steps for Heart-Healthy Kids

Posted 5 days ago by

-- Heart-healthy habits should start in childhood to promote a lifetime of good health and a strong heart. The American Heart Association recommends these seven simple steps for kids: Don't use tobacco products. Get exercise each day. Follow a heart-healthy diet. Maintain a healthy body weight. Maintain healthy blood pressure. Maintain healthy cholesterol. Maintain healthy blood sugar. Read more

Related support groups: Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

U.S. Dietary Guidelines Take Aim at Sugar

Posted 8 days ago by

FRIDAY, Feb. 20, 2015 – Stop chugging sugary soda and munching sweet treats. Cut back on red meats, butter and other sources of saturated fat. Lay off the salt shaker. Eat plenty of fruits and veggies. And don't worry about having an egg and an extra cup of coffee with your breakfast. These are the conclusions of the advisory panel that helps shape America's official dietary guidelines, and they appear to be about the same as they were back in 2010, the last time the guidelines were updated, dietitians say. "What's good about the report is that much of it is reinforcing what we saw in 2010," said Connie Diekman, director of university nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis. The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee's report this year concludes that Americans are still eating far too much sugar, salt and saturated fat, increasing their risk of chronic and deadly illnesses. ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Weight Loss, Dietary Supplementation, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Light Activity a Boost to Seniors' Hearts

Posted 10 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 18, 2015 – Light physical activity may benefit older adults' hearts – even if they have mobility issues, a new study suggests. It's well known that regular exercise can do a heart good, at any age. But there's little evidence on whether light activity can benefit older adults with physical impairments – such as knee arthritis – that limit their ability to exercise. "We hear the advice to get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day, but that can be quite challenging for seniors with limited mobility," said Thomas Buford, the senior researcher on the study, and director of the Health Promotion Center of the University of Florida Institute on Aging, in Gainesville. Buford's team found some encouraging results: Among almost 1,200 elderly adults with limited mobility, those who fit some movement into their days – such as light housework or slow walking – had a ... Read more

Related support groups: Osteoarthritis, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Study Questions Benefits of Treadmill Desks

Posted 10 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 18, 2015 – With increasing evidence that sitting for long periods isn't good for your waistline or your health in general, efforts have begun to focus on ways to shake up the traditional American workplace. One such innovation that's been touted as a possible solution is the treadmill desk. But a new study may dampen some of the enthusiasm about these devices. Researchers found that the desks are expensive, challenging to incorporate into an office setting, and may do little to boost meaningful activity levels. "This is still a very green area of research and exploration in terms of identifying what works and how best to implement changes," said study lead author John Schuna Jr. He is an assistant professor in the exercise and sport science program at Oregon State University (OSU) School of Biological and Population Health Sciences in Corvallis. "These treadmills do get ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Health Tip: Exercising as a Senior

Posted 10 days ago by

-- If you're a senior who is considering starting an exercise routine, you may have a number of questions. The American Council on Exercise offers these answers to common questions: If you're wondering if it's too late for you to start exercising, it's not. You'll enjoy more health benefits if you're active. If you have any medical conditions, talk to your doctor about exercises that are safe for you. If you're looking for joint-friendly exercises, consider swimming or water aerobics, biking, elliptical machines or rowing. Talk to your doctor about walking and jogging for healthier bones. Start out slowly, for just five minutes a day. Gradually, work up to 30 minutes per day on most days of the week. Even if you're at a healthy body weight, you do need to exercise. If you're concerned about money, just start walking – it's free and great for your health. Read more

Related support groups: Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Proposed Dietary Guidelines Not a Green Light to Eat What You Want

Posted 16 days ago by

THURSDAY, Feb. 12, 2015 – People who follow a heart-healthy diet won't see much change in their eating habits if, as reported, this year's U.S. Dietary Guidelines report rescinds previous warnings against eating certain cholesterol-rich foods, dietitians say. That's because people still need to limit their consumption of saturated fats and trans fats, which are the two leading dietary contributors to high blood cholesterol. The proposed change in the guidelines "doesn't give you free license to eat as much high-cholesterol food as you want, because those foods most often are high in saturated fat as well," said Connie Diekman, a registered dietitian and director of university nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis. Only a handful of common foods are high in cholesterol but low in saturated fat – eggs, shellfish and liver, mainly, Diekman said. People looking to eat a ... Read more

Related support groups: Dietary Supplementation, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

U.S. Advisers Rethink Cholesterol Risk From Foods: Report

Posted 17 days ago by

TUESDAY, Feb. 10, 2015 – Decades-old advice to Americans against eating foods high in cholesterol likely will not appear in the next update of the nation's Dietary Guidelines, according to published reports. The U.S. Department of Agriculture panel assigned the task of revamping the guidelines every five years has indicated that it will bow to new research that has undermined the role that dietary cholesterol plays in a person's heart health, the Washington Post reported Tuesday. The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee plans to no longer warn people to avoid eggs, shellfish and other cholesterol-laden foods, the newspaper reported. One of America's top cardiologists endorsed the move. "It's the right decision," Dr. Steven Nissen, chairman of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, told USA Today. For years, "we got the dietary guidelines wrong. They've been wrong for ... Read more

Related support groups: Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Following Blood Pressure Guidelines Saves Lives, Dollars: Study

Posted 29 Jan 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 28, 2015 – If all Americans had their high blood pressure controlled, 56,000 fewer heart attacks and strokes would occur each year. And 13,000 fewer people would die – without increasing health costs, a new study claims. However, 44 percent of U.S. adults with elevated blood pressure do not have it regulated, according to background information in the study. "If we would get blood pressure under control, we would not only improve health, but we would also save money," said researcher Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine. "An investment in strategies to lower blood pressure will yield large health benefits as well as economic benefits," she said. Such measures could include more medical appointments for people with elevated blood pressure, home blood pressure monitoring and measures to ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Too Much Sitting Can Be Deadly -- Even if You Exercise, Review Finds

Posted 19 Jan 2015 by

MONDAY, Jan. 19, 2015 – Regular exercise doesn't erase the higher risk of serious illness or premature death that comes from sitting too much each day, a new review reveals. Combing through 47 prior studies, Canadian researchers found that prolonged daily sitting was linked to significantly higher odds of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and dying. And even if study participants exercised regularly, the accumulated evidence still showed worse health outcomes for those who sat for long periods, the researchers said. However, those who did little or no exercise faced even higher health risks. "We found the association relatively consistent across all diseases. A pretty strong case can be made that sedentary behavior and sitting is probably linked with these diseases," said study author Aviroop Biswas, a Ph.D. candidate at Toronto Rehabilitation Institute-University Health Network. "When ... Read more

Related support groups: Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

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