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Cardiovascular Risk Reduction Blog

Hope to Live to 100? Check Your Genes

Posted 1 day 19 hours ago 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 3 days ago 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 5 days ago 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

Health Tip: Pick Up a Jump Rope For Fitness

Posted 10 days ago by Drugs.com

-- Jumping rope is a great form of cardiovascular exercise, and it can be a lot of fun to pick one up and blow off steam. The American Council on Exercise offers these guidelines: Hold the handles nearest the end of the rope with a light grip. Tuck elbows close to your body and keep your shoulders relaxed. Slightly bend your knees and keep your head up with your back straight. Use your wrist to turn the rope and make sure it forms a smooth arc over your head. Minimize impact on your knees and ankles by jumping slowly. Read more

Related support groups: Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

New Guidelines Call for No Heart Tests for Low-Risk Patients

Posted 11 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 17, 2015 – Many patients who are at low risk for heart problems don't need to have screening tests such as EKGs and stress tests, a national association of primary care physicians recommends. The new guideline jibes with research that has suggested the tests are overused in patients who don't need them. "These tests are very unlikely to be helpful in low-risk patients. They are unlikely to give findings that will change patient management or improve patient outcomes," said Dr. Roger Chou, director of the Pacific Northwest Evidence-based Practice Center at Oregon Health & Science University. He is the lead author of the guidelines that were released Monday by the American College of Physicians. At issue are electrocardiography (EKG or ECG), echocardiography (echo) and myocardial perfusion imaging (nuclear) tests. All of these can be used in "stress tests" that require ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Diagnosis and Investigation, Abnormal Electrocardiogram

Experimental Drug Shows Promise in Lowering Cholesterol, Heart Attack Risk

Posted 13 days ago by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, March 15, 2015 – Adding an experimental new biologic drug to conventional cholesterol-lowering drugs may result in better cholesterol control and reduced risks of heart attack and stroke, according to a new study. Compared to patients on conventional therapy alone, those who also got the experimental drug evolocumab were half as likely to die, suffer a heart attack or a stroke or be in the hospital to have a procedure to open blocked arteries during the one-year follow-up, said lead researcher Dr. Marc Sabatine. The combined therapy ''basically halves the rate of cardiovascular events," said Sabatine, a senior physician in cardiovascular medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. "It's a very impressive risk reduction," added Sabatine, who's due to present the study findings Sunday at the American College of Cardiology annual meeting in San Diego. The findings were ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Salt May Be Bad for More Than Your Blood Pressure

Posted 15 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, March 13, 2015 – Even if you don't develop high blood pressure from eating too much salt, you may still be damaging your blood vessels, heart, kidneys and brain, a new study warns. Researchers reviewed available evidence and found that high levels of salt consumption have harmful effects on a number of organs and tissues, even in people who are "salt-resistant," which means their salt intake does not affect their blood pressure. High salt consumption levels can lead to reduced function of the endothelium, which is the inner lining of blood vessels. Endothelial cells are involved in a number of processes, including blood clotting and immune function. High salt levels can also increase artery stiffness, the researchers said. "High dietary sodium can also lead to left ventricular hypertrophy, or enlargement of the muscle tissue that makes up the wall of the heart's main pumping ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Sodium Chloride, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, HalfLytely and Bisacodyl, Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders, Hyper-Sal, Rhinaris, Potassium Chloride/Sodium Chloride, Ayr Saline Nasal, Saline Nasal Mist, NasoGel, ENTsol, Bisacodyl/Polyethylene Glycol 3350/Potassium Chloride/Sodium Bicarbonate/Sodium Chloride, Rhino-Mist, Ocean, Thermoject, Pediamist, Dextrose/Sodium Chloride, Normal Saline Flush, Nasal Saline

More Evidence That Hormone Therapy Might Not Help Women's Hearts

Posted 18 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 10, 2015 – There's yet another study looking at the potential dangers of hormone replacement therapy for menopausal symptoms, and this one supports the notion that the treatment may not help women's hearts. The research, a review of collected data on the issue, found that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) does not protect most postmenopausal women against heart disease and may even increase their risk of stroke. Also, the findings suggest that the harms and benefits of hormone therapy may vary depending on woman's age when she started the therapy, explained study lead author Dr. Henry Boardman, of the cardiovascular medicine department at the University of Oxford in England. "This 'Timing Hypothesis' may be the critical key to the use of HRT," agreed one expert, Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, director of women and heart disease at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "For ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Hot Flashes, Microgestin Fe 1/20, Loestrin 24 Fe, Menopausal Disorders, Estradiol, Premarin, Estrace, Ethinyl Estradiol, Lo Loestrin Fe, Postmenopausal Symptoms, Prempro, Vivelle, Junel Fe 1/20, Vagifem, Climara, Estrace Vaginal Cream, Necon 1/35, Microgestin 1/20, Estratest

Nuts Linked to Better Heart Health for Teens

Posted 20 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, March 6, 2015 – Eating a modest amount of nuts appears to lower the risk for teens of developing conditions that raise the chances of heart disease later in life, new research suggests. By "modest," investigators mean eating at least three small handfuls of nuts a week. In the study, nut-eating teens had less than half the risk for developing metabolic syndrome as those who did not eat nuts. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of symptoms that heighten the risk of early heart disease and type 2 diabetes. The bad news is that roughly 75 percent of U.S. teens eat no nuts, the study authors said. "The surprising finding is that, in spite of what we know about their health benefits, the majority of teens eat no nuts at all on a typical day," said lead investigator Dr. Roy Kim, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Children's ... Read more

Related support groups: Dietary Supplementation, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

A Sense of Purpose May Help Your Heart

Posted 6 Mar 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, March 6, 2015 – Living your life with a strong sense of purpose may lower your risk for early death, heart attack or stroke, new research suggests. The finding is based on a broad review of past research involving more than 137,000 people in all. "Psychosocial conditions such as depression, anxiety, chronic stress and social isolation have strong associations with heart disease and mortality," said study lead author Dr. Randy Cohen, a cardiologist at Mount Sinai St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospitals in New York City. Recently, however, attention has focused on the impact that positive emotions have on overall health and well-being, he said. "Purpose in life is considered a basic psychological need, and has been defined as a sense of meaning and direction in one's life, which gives the feeling that life is worth living," he explained. The research team reviewed 10 published studies. ... Read more

Related support groups: Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Air Pollution Linked to Increased Stroke Risk, Study Says

Posted 6 Mar 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, March 6, 2015 – High levels of small-particle air pollution can increase your risk for narrowing of the neck (carotid) arteries, which may raise your risk for stroke, a new study says. Researchers analyzed the results of cardiovascular screening tests from more than 300,000 people in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Those who lived in areas with the highest levels of air pollution were 24 percent more likely to have narrowing of the carotid arteries than those in areas with the lowest levels of air pollution. The carotid arteries deliver blood to the brain. The investigators focused on a type of air pollution called fine particulate matter – particles of pollution smaller than 2.5 micrometers in diameter. Fine particulate matter is the most common type of air pollution and comes from sources such as car exhaust and the burning of wood or coal. The study is scheduled for ... Read more

Related support groups: Ischemic Stroke, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Intracranial Hemorrhage

Healthy Living in Middle Age Keeps Heart Failure at Bay Decades Later

Posted 5 Mar 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 5, 2015 – Are you in your mid-40s and slim, without high blood pressure or diabetes? If so, you may already be winning the war against heart failure in your senior years, new research suggests. The study, led by cardiologist Dr. Faraz Ahmad of Northwestern University in Chicago, found that being free of those heart disease risk factors in middle age greatly extended the number of years a person lived without heart failure. His team looked at data on more than 18,000 people tracked over 40 years. The researchers found that people who were obese and had high blood pressure and diabetes by age 45 were diagnosed with heart failure an average of 11 to 13 years sooner than those who had none of the three risk factors. The average age of heart failure diagnosis was 80 for men and 82 for women who had none of the risk factors at age 45, compared with the late 60s and early 70s ... Read more

Related support groups: Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Veggie-Rich Diets May Mean Lower Heart Risks

Posted 5 Mar 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 5, 2015 – People who eat more plant foods than animal products may lower their risk of dying from heart disease or a stroke, a new large study suggests. Researchers found that among more than 450,000 European adults, those whose diets were about 70 percent plant-based – meaning whole grains, beans, vegetables, fruit and nuts – had a relatively lower risk of dying from heart disease. Their odds were 20 percent lower, compared with people whose diets were over 50 percent meat, dairy, eggs and fish. The findings do not prove that plant foods deserve the credit, said lead researcher Camille Lassale, an epidemiologist at Imperial College London, in England. She said her team accounted for some other potential explanations, such as people's weight, exercise habits and education levels. But it's still difficult to pinpoint these "semi-vegetarian" diets as the reason for the ... Read more

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

Stress May Undermine Heart Benefits of Exercise

Posted 5 Mar 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 4, 2015 – Teens who have trouble coping with stress may face an increased risk for future heart trouble that even exercise can't erase, a new study suggests. "It looks like the inability to cope well with stress contributes to the risk of heart disease," said lead researcher Scott Montgomery, a professor of epidemiology at Orebro University in Sweden. Montgomery said what he found "striking" was that physical fitness did not protect teens with poor stress-coping skills from developing heart disease later in life. "Exercise is important," Montgomery said. "But maybe we have to think about exercise and physical fitness in the context of coping with stress, particularly with people who have had a heart attack." For these people, both exercise and developing strategies to reduce stress might be needed to prevent more heart problems, Montgomery said. But one expert noted ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Early Studies See No Heart Risk From Testosterone Therapy

Posted 4 Mar 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 4, 2015 – Testosterone therapy doesn't seem to increase a man's risk of heart attack or stroke, a pair of new studies suggests. "Testosterone therapy in any form – gel, pills or injections – does not appear to cause adverse cardiovascular effects," said Dr. Pawan Patel, lead author of one of the studies and an academic physician at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, Minn. The studies are to be presented next week at the American College of Cardiology (ACC) annual meeting, in San Diego. Research presented at medical meetings is typically viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal. The two studies were released a day after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning about the overuse of testosterone-boosting drugs by aging baby boomers trying to use hormone therapy to turn back the clock. The FDA will require all prescription testosterone ... Read more

Related support groups: Ischemic Stroke, Testosterone, Heart Attack, AndroGel, Testim, Axiron, Myocardial Infarction, Androderm, Fortesta, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Depo-Testosterone, Testopel, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Delatestryl, Testopel Pellets, Testim 5 g/packet, Striant, AndroGel 1.25 g/actuation, Everone, Testro

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