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Cardiovascular Risk Reduction Blog

Health Tip: Confused About Healthy Eating?

Posted 12 days ago by Drugs.com

-- With so many diets and eating plans to choose from, deciding which plan is best for you can be challenging. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics offers these suggestions: Follow a diet that's rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and also incorporates low-fat dairy and lean meats, fish, poultry, nuts, beans and eggs. Limit saturated fats, salt, trans fats, cholesterol and added sugars. Look for nutrient-rich foods. Choose a variety of healthy foods for better nutrition and to prevent dietary boredom. Read more

Related support groups: Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Fruits and Veggies May Reduce Death Risk, Study Suggests

Posted 18 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 1, 2014 – A diet filled with fresh produce is good for your health, and now a large study suggests that eating plenty of fruits and vegetables may substantially cut your risk of death. Researchers analyzed the eating habits of more than 65,000 people in England between 2001 and 2013. They found that those who ate seven or more portions of fresh fruits and vegetables a day had a 42 percent lower risk of death at any age than those who ate less than one portion a day. The risk of death was reduced by 36 percent with five to seven portions, 29 percent with three to five portions, and 14 percent with one to three portions, according to the findings in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. But the study didn't prove that eating lots of fruits and vegetables can cut your risk of death. It only found an association between fresh produce consumption and lower death ... Read more

Related support groups: Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Marriage Does Help the Heart, Study Finds

Posted 28 Mar 2014 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, March 28, 2014 – Marriage is good for the heart, yet another study has found. Married partners don't just have a lower risk of heart problems, the researchers said. They also have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease affecting the legs, neck or abdominal areas. "We found that being married was associated with lower risks of cardiovascular disease in general," said study researcher Dr. Carlos Alviar, a cardiology fellow at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. Alviar is scheduled to present the findings Saturday at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology, in Washington, D.C. Although several other studies have found that marriage helps the heart and overall health, this newest one is believed to be the largest, Alviar said. And although some other studies have found the benefit greater for married men than for married women, this study did not find ... Read more

Related support groups: Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Exercise Affects Men's, Women's Hearts Differently: Study

Posted 27 Mar 2014 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 27, 2014 – The formula doctors use to evaluate treadmill stress tests, and thereby assess heart health, doesn't account for important differences between men and women, a new study contends. A revised formula would better determine peak exercise rate, or the maximum number of heart beats per minute, for each sex, the researchers said. "Exercise physiology has been known to differ for men and women of different ages," said Dr. Gregg Fonarow, associate chief of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and spokesman for the American Heart Association. The proposal for a sex-specific maximal heart rate warrants further research, he said. "This may represent a valuable improvement for guiding exercise stress testing," added Fonarow, who was not involved in the study. Doctors now use the formula "220 minus age" to determine how hard patients should work out ... Read more

Related support groups: Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Marathon Training Might Boost Heart Health

Posted 27 Mar 2014 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 27, 2014 – Marathon training may be a good way for middle-aged men to reduce their risk of heart problems, a new study suggests. Researchers found that preparing for a marathon – a 26.2-mile run – reduced heart disease risk factors among 45 men, aged 35 to 65, who were recreational runners planning to run the 2013 Boston Marathon. Just over half the men had at least one heart risk factor such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure or a family history of the disease. They were evaluated before and after their 18-week training program, which included group runs, endurance training, exercise tips and regular coaching. Overall, the men ran 12 to 36 miles each week, depending on the stage of training. After completing training, the men had a 5 percent drop in bad cholesterol, a 4 percent decrease in total cholesterol, a 15 percent decline in triglycerides and a 1 percent ... Read more

Related support groups: Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

When Moms Get Active, Kids Follow

Posted 24 Mar 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 24, 2014 – Want to keep your little kids active? A new study suggests that mothers may be the key: Preschool children with more active moms appear more likely to be active themselves. The research doesn't confirm that physical activity in mothers directly affects how much their kids walk or run around. And the findings don't say anything about the role of fathers. Still, the study provides evidence that mothers should be encouraged to move around, said lead author Esther van Sluijs, group leader with the MRC Epidemiology Unit and the Center for Diet and Activity Research, at the University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine, in England. "If activity in mothers and children can be encouraged or incorporated into daily activities so that more time is spent moving, activity levels are likely to increase in both," she said. "In return, this is likely to have long-term ... Read more

Related support groups: Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Almost 13 Million More Americans Could Take Statins Under New Guidelines

Posted 19 Mar 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 19, 2014 – Nearly 13 million more Americans will be eligible to take cholesterol-lowering statin drugs under new guidelines, and most of those additional users will be older than 60, researchers say. The American Heart Association guidelines were released last November and expanded the criteria for statin use to include people with an increased risk of developing heart disease over a 10-year period. Statin drugs include atorvastatin (sold under the brand name Lipitor), simvastatin (Zocor), lovastatin (Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol) and rosuvastatin (Crestor). In this study, researchers used data from more than 3,700 Americans, aged 40 to 75, to determine how the new guidelines would affect the number of people who use statins. "By our estimate, there might be an uptick in usage as a result of the guidelines, from 43.2 million people to 56 million, which is nearly ... Read more

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

Scientists Probe Dark Chocolate's Health Secrets

Posted 18 Mar 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 18, 2014 – It's said that dark chocolate can be good for your heart, and new research may have uncovered why. Louisiana State University researchers tested cocoa powders in a model of the digestive tract and found that certain bacteria in the stomach eat dark chocolate, ferment it and then release anti-inflammatory compounds that benefit the heart. The study was scheduled for presentation Tuesday at a meeting of the American Chemical Society in Dallas. "We found that there are two kinds of microbes in the gut: the good ones and the bad ones," Maria Moore, an undergraduate student and one of the study authors, said in a society news release. "The good microbes, such as Bifidobacterium and lactic acid bacteria, feast on chocolate," Moore said in the news release. "When you eat dark chocolate, they grow and ferment it, producing compounds that are anti-inflammatory." Study ... Read more

Related support groups: Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Scientists Probe Dark Chocolate's Health Secrets

Posted 18 Mar 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 18, 2014 – It's said that dark chocolate can be good for your heart, and new research may have uncovered why. Louisiana State University researchers tested cocoa powders in a model of the digestive tract and found that certain bacteria in the stomach eat dark chocolate, ferment it and then release anti-inflammatory compounds that benefit the heart. The study was scheduled for presentation Tuesday at a meeting of the American Chemical Society in Dallas. "We found that there are two kinds of microbes in the gut: the good ones and the bad ones," Maria Moore, an undergraduate student and one of the study authors, said in a society news release. "The good microbes, such as Bifidobacterium and lactic acid bacteria, feast on chocolate," Moore said in the news release. "When you eat dark chocolate, they grow and ferment it, producing compounds that are anti-inflammatory." Study ... Read more

Related support groups: Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Vegetarian Diet May Help Lower Blood Pressure, Research Suggests

Posted 24 Feb 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 24, 2014 – Adopting a vegetarian diet may help people shave points off their blood pressure, a large study from Japan suggests. The research, a review of 39 studies that included almost 22,000 people, found vegetarians had blood pressure that was significantly lower than those who ate meat. On average, reductions seen across the studies were 5 to 7 millimeters of mercury (mm/Hg) for systolic blood pressure (the top number) and 2 to 5 mm/Hg for diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number). While those results are modest, clinical guidelines suggest they could reduce a person's risk of heart attack by 9 percent and the risk stroke by 14 percent if sustained over time, the study authors said. But at least one cardiologist said the study findings are preliminary and he's not ready to tell his patients to abandon meat. The study authors said it didn't seem to matter what kind ... Read more

Related support groups: Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Another Win for the Mediterranean-Style Diet

Posted 4 Feb 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 4, 2014 – Yet another study finds that eating a Mediterranean-style diet rich in fish, nuts, vegetables and fruits is good for your heart, your weight and your overall health. Researchers followed nearly 800 U.S. firefighters, asking how closely they followed a Mediterranean-style diet. They gathered information about weight changes over the previous five years, and collected data on cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels. They compared the firefighters who followed a Mediterranean-style diet the closest with those who followed it the least closely, separating the men into four groups. The more closely the men stuck to the diet, the lower their risk of developing some key markers for potential heart trouble, said Dr. Stefanos Kales, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health. Those who adhered most strongly ... Read more

Related support groups: Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Fitness in Teen Years May Guard Against Heart Trouble Later

Posted 8 Jan 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 8, 2014 – People who are aerobically fit as teenagers are less likely to have a heart attack in middle age, a study of nearly 750,000 Swedish men suggests. Every 15 percent increase in aerobic fitness in your teen years is associated with an 18 percent reduced risk of heart attack three decades later, researchers report in the Jan. 8 online edition of the European Heart Journal. The results also suggest that teens and young adults who undergo regular cardiovascular training have a 35 percent reduced risk of heart attack later in life. Aerobic fitness as a teen even appears to help people who become obese later in life, said research leader Peter Nordstrom, of Umea University in Sweden. "It should be noted that aerobic fitness decreased the risk of heart attack significantly within also overweight and obese men," Nordstrom said. Obese men who had the highest aerobic ... Read more

Related support groups: Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Workplace Wellness Programs Work

Posted 6 Jan 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Jan. 6, 2014 – Wellness programs in the workplace help cut health care costs and reduce hospital admissions for employees with chronic illnesses, a new study suggests. The researchers said, however, that workplace wellness programs that focused mostly on adopting a healthier lifestyle have less dramatic results. "While workplace wellness programs have the potential to reduce health risks and cut health care spending, employers and policymakers should not take for granted that the lifestyle management components of the programs can reduce costs or lead to savings overall," study senior author Dr. Soeren Mattke, a senior natural scientist at RAND Corp., a nonprofit research organization, said in a news release. The study examined PepsiCo's Healthy Living wellness program over the course of seven years. Among the program components are health risk assessments and on-site wellness ... Read more

Related support groups: Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Many Hispanic Women Unaware of Heart Disease Risk Factors

Posted 6 Jan 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Jan. 6, 2014 – Hispanic women tend to be less informed than white women about the link between being obese or overweight and increased risk for heart disease, a new study finds. For the study, published recently in the Journal of Women's Health, the researchers reviewed answers provided by almost 400 Hispanic women and more than 300 white women about heart disease and body perception. Although public awareness of heart disease has increased, the researchers found minority women still do not know as much as others about the risk factors for this significant health problem. This discrepancy makes efforts to prevent heart disease more challenging, said the research team from Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. "Based on these findings, prevention strategies need to target [cardiovascular disease] knowledge and awareness among overweight and obese Hispanic women," ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Diabetes, Type 2, Heart Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Americans Still Eat Too Much Salt: CDC

Posted 19 Dec 2013 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 19 – Americans' love of salt has continued unabated in the 21st century, putting people at risk for high blood pressure, the leading cause of heart attack and stroke, U.S. health officials said Thursday. In 2010, more than 90 percent of U.S. teenagers and adults consumed more than the recommended levels of salt – about the same number as in 2003, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. "Salt intake in the U.S. has changed very little in the last decade," said CDC medical officer and report co-author Dr. Niu Tian. And despite a slight drop in salt consumption among kids younger than 13, the researchers found 80 percent to 90 percent of kids still consume more than the amount recommended by the Institute of Medicine. "There are many organizations that are focused on reducing dietary salt intake," said Dr. Gregg Fonarow, a spokesman for the American ... Read more

Related support groups: Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

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