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Cardiovascular Risk Reduction Blog

New Drug Class Slashes 'Bad' Cholesterol, Review Finds

Posted 18 hours ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 27, 2015 – A new class of cholesterol drug could sharply cut "bad" LDL cholesterol in people who don't fare well on commonly used cholesterol-lowering medications called statins, a new research review confirms. The drugs, known as PCSK9 inhibitors, are not on the market yet. But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to decide later this year on the first two medications in the class: evolocumab (Repatha) and alirocumab (Praluent). The review of 24 clinical trials found that PCSK9 inhibitors lowered people's LDL cholesterol by about 47 percent, on average. More important, the drugs seemed to cut the risk of heart attack or death from heart disease, according to the researchers. Experts did urge some caution, however: Trials so far have been short-term, and it's not clear whether the new cholesterol drugs really do extend people's lives, according to Dr. ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Niacin, Niaspan, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous, Slo-Niacin, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Niaspan ER, Vascepa, Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders, Nicotinic Acid, Choloxin, Lomitapide, Nicobid Tempules, Niacin SR, Mipomersen, Nicotinex, Niacor B3, B3-500-Gr

Study Challenges Salt Guidelines for Kids

Posted 1 day 1 hour ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 27, 2015 – U.S. health officials warned last year that nine out of 10 American kids eat more salt than they should, raising their lifelong risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. But a new study finds that consuming higher-than-recommended amounts of salt appears to have no ill effect on teenage girls' blood pressure. The study, which followed more than 2,000 girls from ages 9 and 10 into early adulthood, also indicates that potassium-rich diets help lower blood pressure. The study findings – considered potentially dangerous by at least one outside expert – contradict current salt guidelines, said study lead author Lynn Moore, an associate professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. "The current official Dietary Guidelines for Americans say that salt intake after the age of 2 years should be limited to no more than 2,300 milligrams per day," ... Read more

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

Health Tip: Smoking Affects Your Heart

Posted 1 day 1 hour ago by Drugs.com

-- Smoking can lead to cell and tissue damage throughout your body, and experts say your heart isn't spared. The U.S. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute says smoking can: Decrease the blood's ability to carry oxygen. Force the heart to work harder by raising blood pressure and heart rate. Raise triglycerides (fat) and bad cholesterol, while lowering good cholesterol. Affect the heart's normal rhythm. Narrow blood vessel walls. Increase inflammation, which can lead to increased plaque buildup in blood vessels. Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Daily Aspirin Taken by More Than Half of Older U.S. Adults

Posted 4 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, April 24, 2015 – Slightly more than half of middle-aged adults and seniors in the United States take aspirin daily to prevent heart attack, stroke or other serious illnesses, a new survey has found. Leading medical associations recommend use of low-dose aspirin mainly to prevent a second heart attack or stroke. But many others who haven't had a heart problem also take aspirin regularly, researchers found. A doctor who helped write the national guidelines for low-dose, or "baby," aspirin use said that the number of people found by the survey to be taking daily aspirin "seems about right to me." "If 100 percent were taking it, I'd be really concerned," said Dr. Robert Bonow, a professor of cardiology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. "Fifty percent in this age group seems appropriate to me, considering their risk factors," added Bonow, who helped ... Read more

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Health Tip: Get Active During Summer

Posted 4 days ago by Drugs.com

-- The often-pleasant, warmer weather of summer offers lots of chances to get outside and become active. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases suggests these healthy ways to embrace summer: Move your workout to the water and go for a swim. Or move your walk to the local zoo, aquarium or museum. Watch a workout DVD indoors when it's too hot to exercise outside. Shop the local farmer's market for fresh, local produce. Plant a garden in your backyard or nearby for healthier food, exercise and fun. Take the family for a weekend hike, trip to the park, softball game or evening walk. Eat lean, nutrient-rich foods, such as fish, nuts and seeds, beans, poultry, low-fat dairy and whole grains. Head outside for an early-morning walk before the weather heats up. Remember to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. Add weight-lifting, pull-ups, push-ups or other ... Read more

Related support groups: Weight Loss, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Moderate Drinking May Be Less Beneficial for Blacks

Posted 5 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 23, 2015 – Moderate drinking appears to offer greater health benefits to whites than to blacks, a new study suggests. Previous research found a link between moderate drinking and a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and premature death, but the participants in those studies were mostly white. "Current dietary guidelines recommend moderate consumption for adult Americans who consume alcoholic beverages. Our study suggests that additional refinements based on race/ethnicity may be necessary," study author Chandra Jackson, a research associate at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, said in a Harvard news release. In this new study, the researchers analyzed data from more than 25,800 black adults and more than 126,300 white adults who took part in the National Health Interview Survey from 1997 to 2002. Follow-up lasted through 2006. Thirteen percent of ... Read more

Related support groups: Alcohol Dependence, Alcoholism, Hangover, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Acute Alcohol Intoxication

Statins Carry Some Risk for Seniors, Study Suggests

Posted 6 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 22, 2015 – Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs can help prevent heart disease in seniors, but the medications also carry the risk of side effects, new research shows. Researchers used a computer simulation to assess whether statins should be routinely taken by adults aged 75 and older to prevent heart disease. There did appear to be "tremendous" potential benefits, such as a far lower risk of heart attack, the study authors said. The researchers estimated that 105,000 heart attacks and 68,000 deaths could be prevented if all U.S. adults aged 75 to 93 who did not have heart disease took statins over the next decade. However, the benefits of giving statins to this group of people would be offset by a 10 percent to 30 percent increase in the risk of side effects such as muscle pain and weakness, and slight declines in thinking and memory, according to the researchers. The ... Read more

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Remote Amazon Tribe Members Have Greater Germ Diversity in Their Bodies

Posted 11 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, April 17, 2015 – In a discovery that could eventually shed light on some diseases that plague modern society, a tribe in a remote part of the Amazon jungle in Venezuela appears to have the most diverse collection of bodily bacteria ever found. The study suggests that modern living has decreased the diversity of the typical Westerner's "microbiome" – the trillions of bacteria and other microbes that normally dwell in the body. And that could be having wide-ranging consequences for people's health, researchers say. In particular, there is growing evidence that a less-diverse microbiome may contribute to disorders related to the immune system and metabolism, said Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello, the senior researcher on the study and an associate professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center, in New York City. Those conditions include obesity, asthma, and autoimmune diseases ... Read more

Related support groups: Gastrointestinal Disorders, Autoimmune Disorders, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Genes May Leave Short People Prone to Heart Disease

Posted 19 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 8, 2015 – Short people may be more likely to have heart disease, and that increased risk could be linked to the genetics that also determine height, a British-led research team suggests. A person's risk of heart disease increases about 13.5 percent for every 2.5 inches of difference in height, the scientists said. That means a 5-foot-tall person has an average 32 percent higher risk of heart disease than a person who's 5-foot 6-inches tall, according to the researchers. An in-depth genetic analysis of more than 18,000 people revealed a number of genes linked to human growth and development that likely play a role in the increased risk for heart disease. "We found that people who carry those genetic variants that lower your height and make you shorter are more likely to develop coronary heart disease," said Dr. Nilesh Samani, a professor of cardiology and head of the ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Long-Distance Runners May Have More 'Desirable' Genes: Study

Posted 20 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 8, 2015 – Among humans' hunter-gatherer ancestors, males who were good distance runners may have been more desirable to females, a new study suggests. "The observation that endurance running ability is connected to reproductive potential in men suggests that women in our hunter-gatherer past were able to observe running as a signal for a good breeding partner," study lead author Dr. Danny Longman, from the University of Cambridge in England, said in a university news release. The researchers found that people who were exposed to higher levels of testosterone in the womb are better long-distance runners. This association was found in both genders, but was particularly strong in men, according to the study published online April 8 in the journal PLoS One. Previous research has shown that exposure to higher levels of testosterone in the womb provide men with other ... Read more

Related support groups: Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Exercise Beneficial Even in Polluted Air: Study

Posted 1 Apr 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 1, 2015 – The health benefits of exercise appear to outweigh the potential harm of air pollution, according to a new study from Denmark. The findings show that air pollution should not prevent people who live in cities from going outdoors to exercise, said the researchers at the University of Copenhagen. "Even for those living in the most polluted areas of Copenhagen, it is healthier to go for a run, a walk or to cycle to work than it is to stay inactive," Zorana Jovanovic Andersen, an associate professor at the university's Center for Epidemiology and Screening, said in a university news release. "However, we would still advise people to exercise and cycle in green areas, parks, woods, with low air pollution and away from busy roads, when possible," she added. It's important to note that the study's findings pertain to Denmark and other areas with similar air ... Read more

Related support groups: Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Heart Groups Issue Updated Blood Pressure Guidelines

Posted 31 Mar 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 31, 2015 – Three leading groups of heart experts have issued updated guidelines that set blood pressure goals for people with heart disease. Specifically, the guidelines reinforce a target blood pressure of less than 140/90 mm Hg for those at risk for heart attack and stroke. The guidelines also set a goal of 130/80 mm Hg for those with heart disease who have already had a heart attack, stroke or a ministroke, or who have had a narrowing of their leg arteries or an abdominal aortic aneurysm. However, the new guidelines are intended to be more flexible than ones crafted in 2007, said Dr. Clive Rosendorff, chairman of the committee that wrote the updated guidelines. Ultimately, the blood pressure goal any individual patient tries to achieve should be left to the discretion of the doctor and the patient. For example, the lower goal may not be appropriate for older, frail ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Heart Disease, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis, Ischemic Heart Disease, Hypertensive Heart Disease

Hope to Live to 100? Check Your Genes

Posted 26 Mar 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 26, 2015 – Healthy eating and exercise might help most people live to a respectable old age, but making it to 95 or 100 might require help from your DNA, a new study finds. "Genetic makeup explains an increasingly greater portion of the variation in how old people live to be," especially for people approaching or exceeding the one-century mark, study co-author Dr. Thomas Perls, of Boston University, said in a university news release. In the study, a team led by professor of biostatistics Paola Sebastiani looked at thousands of sibling groups in New England in which at least one person reached age 90. For people who lived to age 90, the chances that their siblings also reached 90 was only about 70 percent higher than for the average person born around the same time, the study found. But genetics began to play a bigger role as the number of birthdays came and went. For ... Read more

Related support groups: Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Could Smoggy Air Raise Your Anxiety Level?

Posted 25 Mar 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 25, 2015 – Air pollution may take a toll not only on physical health, but mental well-being as well, two new studies suggest. In one, researchers confirmed a long-studied connection between air pollution and cardiovascular health – finding evidence that dirty air may help trigger strokes in vulnerable people. The other study looked at a newer question: Could air pollution also affect mental health? The answer, it found, is "possibly." Among over 70,000 U.S. women in the study, those who lived in relatively polluted areas were more likely to report multiple anxiety symptoms. The studies, published online March 24 in the BMJ, only link these factors; they do not prove that air pollution is the direct cause of either strokes or anxiety. There could be other explanations, said Melinda Power, a researcher at Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore, who led the anxiety ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Anxiety and Stress, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Secondhand Smoke May Put Kids at Risk for Heart Disease as Adults

Posted 23 Mar 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 23, 2015 – Children whose parents smoke may be at greater risk of developing heart disease when they're adults than children of nonsmoking parents, a new study says. The study included people in Finland whose exposure as children to parents' smoke was measured in 1980 and 1983. In 2001 and 2007, the participants were checked for plaque accumulation in their neck (carotid) arteries, a sign of heart disease. Overall, adults who were exposed to smoking from one or two parents during childhood were 1.7 times more likely to have carotid plaque buildup than those whose parents did not smoke, according to the study in the March 23 online issue of the journal Circulation. The increased risk of plaque buildup varied depending on whether parents tried to limit their children's exposure to secondhand smoke. The risk was 1.6 times higher for those whose parents smoked but tried to ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

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