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Cardiovascular Risk Reduction Blog

Parents' Genetic Similarities Could Affect Kids' Height, Intellect

Posted 2 days 9 hours ago by

WEDNESDAY, July 1, 2015 – The less alike two parents are genetically, the taller and mentally sharper their kids tend to be, according to a new study of populations around the world. Researchers said the findings, published in the journal Nature, suggest that humans evolved to favor height and quick thinking. That may not sound surprising, experts said. But the work is "fascinating" in that it culled genetic information on more than 350,000 people from across the globe – and found consistent patterns, said Dr. Martin Bialer, a medical geneticist who was not involved in the research. That is, parents' genetic diversity was reliably linked to four traits in their kids: height; cognitive skills (such as the ability to learn, remember and problem-solve); educational attainment, and lung function. In each case, the more diverse two parents were, the better. On the other hand, parents' ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Make CPR, Defibrillator Training Mandatory for High School Graduation: Experts

Posted 3 days ago by

TUESDAY, June 30, 2015 – Far too few Americans are surviving cardiac arrest, and a new report issued Tuesday by a federally appointed panel of experts sets out ways to boost survival rates. One recommendation: Make a working knowledge of CPR and the use of an automated electronic defibrillator (AED) a graduation requirement for all middle- and high-school students. One expert in emergency care applauded the proposal. "By teaching laypersons in public settings the proper use of such devices, we may be able to effectively increase survival rates from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest," said Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. According to the new Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, less than 6 percent of the 395,000 Americans who suffer cardiac arrest outside a hospital each year will survive. And even in a hospital setting, cardiac arrest ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Heart Attack, Myocardial Infarction, Heart Block, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis, Ischemic Heart Disease, Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders, Asystole

Health Tip: Exercising With Heart Problems

Posted 4 days ago by

-- Exercise often promotes better heart health, but it's still important to take precautions. The American Council on Exercise recommends: Getting permission from your doctor to start a regular exercise routine. Schedule 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise on all or most days of the week. Talk to your doctor if before, during or just after exercise you have symptoms of dizziness, chest pain, headache, breathlessness or racing heart rate. Begin each workout with five minutes of warm-up and five minutes of cool-down. During exercise, monitor your heart rate to make sure it stays within an acceptable range. Don't push yourself to extremes. If you want a more vigorous workout, clear it with your doctor first and have a stress test. Avoid vigorous exercise in very hot or cold temperatures. Be sure to exercise in a facility that's equipped to deal with a medical emergency. Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Ischemic Heart Disease, Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders

Statins Might Reduce Complications After Major Lung Surgery

Posted 7 days ago by

FRIDAY, June 26, 2015 – Widely used cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins might help reduce major complications after lung surgery, new research suggests. Statins have been linked to fewer complications after heart surgery, and researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City theorized they might also benefit patients undergoing major lung surgery. The researchers randomly assigned more than 160 study participants to receive the statin Lipitor (atorvastatin) or an inactive placebo before and after lung resection – removal of part of the lung. Complications – such as pneumonia, heart attack and acute respiratory failure – were reported in 22 percent of patients receiving placebo, compared with 12 percent taking statins. Statins were also linked to a nearly 50 percent reduction in post-surgery rates of atrial fibrillation (abnormal heart rhythm), the ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Atrial Fibrillation, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Atorvastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Red Yeast Rice, Livalo, Pravachol, Caduet, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Altoprev, Atorvastatin/Ezetimibe

Sleep Problems May Contribute to Health Disparities in America

Posted 8 days ago by

THURSDAY, June 25, 2015 – Undiagnosed sleep disorders, including sleep apnea, are common among older U.S. adults, especially among certain minority groups, a new study finds. The researchers – who looked at 2,230 men and women aged 54 to 93 – say troubled sleep may play a role in health disparities in America. Black, Chinese and Hispanic Americans were more likely than whites to have sleep problems, including nighttime breathing disruptions characteristic of sleep apnea, the study found. "As sleep apnea has been implicated as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes and mortality, our findings highlight the need to consider undiagnosed sleep apnea in middle-aged and older adults, with potential value in developing strategies to screen and improve recognition in groups such as in Chinese and Hispanic populations," the study's senior author, Dr. Susan Redline, said in ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Sleep Apnea, Obstructive Sleep Apnea/Hypopnea Syndrome, Shift Work Sleep Disorder, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Health Tip: Eat Veggies at Breakfast

Posted 8 days ago by

-- Make the first meal of the day healthier by adding veggies to your breakfast fare. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests: Bulk up scrambled eggs or an omelet with any veggie, including spinach, mushrooms or tomatoes. Making muffins or pancakes? Grate zucchini or carrots and include them in the mix. Take orange juice and carrots for a spin in the blender. Build a breakfast burrito to include bell peppers and other veggies. Read more

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

Could a Microbe in Your Gut Help You Lose Weight?

Posted 10 days ago by

TUESDAY, June 23, 2015 – It's possible that among the millions of bacteria living in your gut, at least one microbe might change how your body processes food and affect your weight, a small French study suggests. The microbe – Akkermansia muciniphila – makes up 3 percent to 5 percent of the gut bacteria. The strain is linked with a fiber-rich diet. It's also associated with lower levels of blood sugar, insulin and fats, which help ward off obesity, diabetes and heart disease. A. muciniphila also helps with a healthier distribution of body fat, the researchers said. "This bacteria is a potential target for new therapies in the field of metabolic disease," said lead researcher Dr. Karine Clement, director of the Institute of Cardiometabolism and Nutrition at Pitie-Salpetriere Hospital in Paris. "However, first the molecules produced by this bacteria have to be identified to explain ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Diabetes, Type 2, Weight Loss, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Even Slightly Elevated Blood Pressure May Pose Problems for Young Adults

Posted 11 days ago by

MONDAY, June 22, 2015 – Young adults with slightly elevated blood pressure may be at risk of heart problems later in life, according to a new study. Researchers cautioned that blood pressure on the high end of what's considered "normal" should be addressed early on to protect heart health for the future. "Our findings provide further support for the importance of good risk factor control early in life," said study lead author Dr. Joao Lima, from the cardiology division at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "Many participants were not hypertensive at the beginning of the study; however, chronic exposure to higher blood pressure, even within what is considered the normal range, is associated with cardiac dysfunction 25 years later," Lima said in a news release from the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, where the study was published June 22. Researchers followed ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Hypertensive Congestive Heart Failure, Hypertensive Heart Disease

Climate Change a 'Medical Emergency' Posing Major Risks: Experts

Posted 11 days ago by

MONDAY, June 22, 2015 – The health risks posed by climate change are potentially serious enough to undo 50 years of advancements in global health, according to the findings of a new commission. "Climate change has the potential to reverse the health gains from economic development that have been made in recent decades – not just through the direct effects on health from a changing and more unstable climate, but through indirect means such as increased migration and reduced social stability," said commission co-chair Dr. Anthony Costello, director of the University College London (UCL) Institute for Global Health in England. But the scientists advised that taking steps to minimize or adapt to climate change, such as reducing air pollution or eating a healthy diet, could have significant health benefits for people around the world. By making adjustments to climate change now, "we can ... Read more

Related support groups: Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Trans Fats From Foods May Worsen Memory, Study Finds

Posted 16 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, June 17, 2015 – Trans fats may play havoc with your memory along with your cholesterol levels, a new study suggests. Younger men who ate high levels of trans fats performed more poorly on a memory test involving word recall than those who ate lower levels, the researchers found. In the study, each gram of trans fats eaten per day was associated with 12 to 21 fewer words recalled, out of an average score of 86, said lead author Dr. Beatrice Golomb, a professor of family and preventive medicine at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. "It's a pretty sizeable relationship," Golomb said. "This adds to a body of evidence that trans fats are not something that people should be sticking in their mouth." But, it's important to note that the study wasn't designed to definitively prove a cause-and-effect relationship; it can only show an association between ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Weight Loss, Arginine, L-Arginine, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Potaba, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Fat Supplement, Medium Chain Triglycerides, Citicoline, Phytase/zinc Citrate, Potassium Aminobenzoate, Zytaze, Microlipid, Tyrosine, R-Gene 10, D-Xylitol, Xylarex, CerAxon

FDA Tells Food Industry to Stop Using Artificial Trans Fats

Posted 17 days ago by

TUESDAY, June 16, 2015 – In a move that it says is designed to protect the heart health of Americans, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday that food manufacturers have three years to remove artificial trans fats from the nation's food supply. The FDA ruled that partially hydrogenated oils – the major source of trans fats in the American diet – are no longer "generally recognized as safe," the designation that for decades has allowed companies to use the oils in a wide variety of food products. Consuming trans fats simultaneously increases "bad" LDL cholesterol and drives down "good" HDL cholesterol in a person's bloodstream. The FDA has estimated that removing partially hydrogenated oils from food could prevent as many as 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths from heart disease every year. Partially hydrogenated oils are created by pumping hydrogen into vegetable oil to ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Weight Loss, High Cholesterol, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Many Americans Ill-Informed About Heart Failure: Survey

Posted 17 days ago by

TUESDAY, June 16, 2015 – Large gaps exist in Americans' knowledge about heart failure, even though nearly 6 million people nationwide have it, a new survey finds. Nearly half of the more than 1,600 survey participants did not know basic facts about heart failure. And two-thirds confused signs of heart failure with signs of heart attack, according to the American Heart Association survey. Respondents included the general public, heart-failure patients and caregivers of people with heart failure. Fifty-eight percent of the participants mistakenly thought heart failure was a natural cause of death that occurs when the heart stops beating. Forty-six percent incorrectly said heart failure is a silent killer with no symptoms. In fact, heart failure occurs when the heart can't pump enough blood to meet the body's needs. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, fatigue, weight gain of 3 or more ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

More Research Hints at Chocolate's Heart Benefits

Posted 18 days ago by

MONDAY, June 15, 2015 – Eating milk chocolate or dark chocolate regularly may lower your risk of heart disease and stroke, a new study suggests. Middle-aged or older folks who ate as much as 3.5 ounces of chocolate a day seemed to receive heart health benefits, British researchers report in the June 16 issue of the journal Heart. And most people in the study ate milk chocolate, generally considered less healthy than dark chocolate because it contains more sugar and fat, the researchers noted. "People who want to eat chocolate should not be worried too much about their cardiovascular health," said study co-author Dr. Phyo Myint, chair of medicine of old age at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. "We did not find any harmful effects of chocolate, if they want to enjoy chocolate now and again. The key is moderation." While the study uncovered a link between chocolate and heart health, ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Angina, Transient Ischemic Attack, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Intracranial Hemorrhage, Ischemic Heart Disease

Seeing Their Clogged Arteries Can Spur Healthy Changes in Patients

Posted 18 days ago by

MONDAY, June 15, 2015 – Seeing images of their narrowed heart arteries may convince some heart disease patients to adopt a healthier lifestyle and take prescribed medications, a new study suggests. "Seeing their calcified coronary arteries on the CT image was clearly an eye-opener for patients. We received comments such as, 'It is my coronary artery and my coronary artery calcification and I am facing a real risk and challenge,' " said study author Rikke Elmose Mols, a nurse and Ph.D. student at Aarhus University Hospital-Skejby in Denmark. "This may be the wake-up call patients need to take their medication and modify their behaviors to reduce their risk of having a coronary artery event," Mols said in a European Society of Cardiology news release. The research included 189 people recently diagnosed with early stage heart disease. Half were shown a CT image of calcium buildup on the ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Heart Attack, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Atorvastatin, Angina, Zocor, Lovastatin, Myocardial Infarction, Rosuvastatin, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Red Yeast Rice, Livalo, Pravachol, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis, Lescol, Ischemic Heart Disease

FDA Ban on Harmful Trans Fats Expected Soon

Posted 18 days ago by

SUNDAY, June 14, 2015 – Harmful trans fats may soon be banished from America's food supply, following a U.S. Food and Drug Administration announcement expected any day now. The move could prevent as many as 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths from heart disease a year, the FDA says. Most trans fats in food come from partially hydrogenated oils. Up to now, the FDA has designated these oils with "generally recognized as safe" status. That allows manufacturers to use the oils in food without prior FDA approval. But under the proposed rule on the verge of finalization, the FDA would reclassify partially hydrogenated oils as food additives. This means companies would need federal approval before including them in food products. "This is going to be a huge public health victory," said Jim O'Hara, director of health promotion for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, which ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, High Cholesterol, Heart Attack, Angina, Myocardial Infarction, Hypertriglyceridemia, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis, Ischemic Heart Disease

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