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Cardiovascular Risk Reduction Blog

Following Blood Pressure Guidelines Saves Lives, Dollars: Study

Posted 12 hours ago 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 11 days ago 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

How Intense Efforts Boosted Heart Health for One Maine Community

Posted 17 days ago by

TUESDAY, Jan. 13, 2015 – With heart health, sometimes it takes a village. That may be the take-home message from a new study. It found that one Maine community's long-term focus on screening for heart risk factors, as well as helping people quit smoking, saved both money and lives. Over four decades (1970 to 2010), a community-wide program in rural Franklin County dramatically cut hospitalizations and deaths from heart disease and stroke, researchers report Jan. 13 in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Between 1970 and 1989 the death rate in the county was 60.4 per 100,000 people – already the lowest in Maine. But between 1990 and 2010, that rate dropped even lower, to 41.6 per 100,000 people. According to the research team, the health benefits were largely due to getting citizens to control their blood pressure, lower their cholesterol and quit smoking. "Improving ... Read more

Related support groups: Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

An Optimistic Outlook May Be Good for Your Heart

Posted 17 days ago by

TUESDAY, Jan. 13, 2015 – Accenting the positive may be good for your heart, with a large study suggesting that optimistic people seem to have a significant leg up when it comes to cardiovascular health. "Research has already shown a link between psychological pathology and poor physical health," said study lead author Rosalba Hernandez, an assistant professor in the school of social work at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "So we decided to look at whether there's also a link between psychological well-being and good physical health. "And by looking at optimism as a measure of psychological well-being, we found that after adjusting all sorts of socio-economic factors – like education, income and even mental health – people who are the most optimistic do have higher odds of being in ideal cardiovascular health, compared with the least optimistic," she added. Hernandez ... Read more

Related support groups: Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Happy Childhood May Be Good for Your Heart

Posted 18 days ago by

MONDAY, Jan. 12, 2015 – Adults who had a stable and healthy childhood are more likely to have better heart health, new research suggests. The study included nearly 1,100 adults, aged 30 to 45, in Finland who were followed from the time they were between the ages of 3 and 18. The researchers looked at whether the participants had "psychosocial advantages" during childhood, such as being in a family that had good health habits, was financially secure and taught children social skills such as how to control aggressiveness and impulsiveness. Adults with the most psychosocial advantages in childhood were 14 percent more likely to have a normal weight, 12 percent more likely to be a nonsmoker and 11 percent more likely to have healthy blood sugar levels, all of which are associated with better heart health, according to the report. The study was published Jan. 12 in the journal Circulation. ... Read more

Related support groups: Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

More Evidence That Healthy Living Works Wonders for Women's Hearts

Posted 5 Jan 2015 by

MONDAY, Jan. 5, 2015 – Women can dramatically lower their likelihood of heart disease prior to old age by following healthy living guidelines, according to a large, long-term study. The study found that women who followed six healthy living recommendations – such as eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise – dropped their odds of heart disease about 90 percent over 20 years, compared to women living the unhealthiest lifestyles. The researchers also estimated that unhealthy lifestyles were responsible for almost 75 percent of heart disease cases in younger and middle-aged women. "Adopting or maintaining a healthy lifestyle can substantially reduce the incidence of diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol, as well as reduce the incidence of coronary artery disease in young women," said the study's lead author, Andrea Chomistek, an assistant professor of epidemiology and ... Read more

Related support groups: Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Number of Americans Taking Statins Keeps Rising: CDC

Posted 23 Dec 2014 by

TUESDAY, Dec. 23, 2014 – More Americans than ever are taking cholesterol-lowering medications, federal health officials reported Tuesday. The percentage of adults aged 40 and older taking drugs that combat high cholesterol rose from 20 percent to 28 percent between 2003 and 2012, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Moreover, the use of statins increased from 18 percent to 26 percent, making them most commonly used cholesterol-lowering drugs. By 2011-12, 93 percent of adults using a cholesterol-lowering medication used a statin. The CDC researchers said they couldn't speculate on the reasons for the increase. But one cardiologist pointed out that statins have been shown to lower the risk of heart attack, stroke and premature death in men and women at risk for heart disease and stroke. And "heart disease and stroke remain the leading cause of illness and ... Read more

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

Being Fit Keeps Blood Pressure in Check

Posted 19 Dec 2014 by

THURSDAY, Dec. 18, 2014 – Being in good shape seems to reduce your risk of high blood pressure, researchers report. They looked at data from more than 57,000 Americans, including more than 35,000 with high blood pressure, who underwent treadmill tests between 1991 and 2009. Those in the poorest shape had a more than 70 percent chance of having high blood pressure at the start of the study, compared to a 50 percent chance for those with high levels of fitness. Of the more than 8,000 people diagnosed with high blood pressure during the study, 49 percent had lower fitness levels and 21 percent had higher fitness levels. People with the highest fitness levels were 20 percent less likely to develop high blood pressure than those with the lowest fitness levels. The link between fitness and high blood pressure was seen regardless of age, gender, race, obesity, resting blood pressure or ... Read more

Related support groups: Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Global Life Expectancy Continues to Climb

Posted 18 Dec 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 17, 2014 – People around the world are living much longer than they did a few decades ago, a new study indicates. Worldwide life expectancy rose from 65.3 years in 1990 to 71.5 years in 2013, but women had slightly greater gains than men. During that time, life expectancy at birth increased 6.6 years for females and 5.8 years for males. If current trends continue, life expectancy in 2030 will be 85.3 years for females and 78.1 years for males, said researchers led by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. "People today are less likely than their parents to die from certain conditions, but there are more people of older ages throughout the world," said Dr. Christopher Murray, institute director. "This is an encouraging trend as people are living longer. We just need to make sure we are making the right health policy decisions ... Read more

Related support groups: Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Timing of First Period Tied to Women's Later Heart Risk: Study

Posted 15 Dec 2014 by

MONDAY, Dec. 15, 2014 – The timing of a woman's first period may be linked to her later risk of heart disease, British researchers report. In a study of more than 1 million women, those who had their first period at age 10 or younger, or at age 17 or older, appeared to have a higher risk of heart disease, stroke and complications from high blood pressure. Women who had their first periods at age 10 or earlier were 27 percent more likely to be hospitalized or die from heart disease, the researchers found. Those who had their first menstrual cycle at or after age 17 were 23 percent more likely to be hospitalized or die from heart disease. The researchers found similar – though slightly weaker – associations for the risk of stroke and high blood pressure complications and early or late periods. "We now understand that the timing of the first menstrual cycle could have a long-term ... Read more

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

Feel Younger Than Your Age? It May Help You Live Longer

Posted 15 Dec 2014 by

MONDAY, Dec. 15, 2014 – Folks who feel "young at heart" may be more likely to live to a ripe old age, a new British study suggests. Seniors who said they felt three or more years younger than their actual age experienced a lower death rate over the course of eight years than people who either felt their full age or a little older, researchers report online Dec. 15 in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. About 25 percent of people who felt older than their actual age died, compared with about 14 percent of people who felt younger than their true age and almost 19 percent who felt their age. The effect held even after researchers accounted for things that might make a person feel older than they are, such as chronic health problems, difficulty with mobility or mental health issues like depression, said senior study author Andrew Steptoe, director of the Institute of Epidemiology and ... Read more

Related support groups: Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Study Casts Doubt on Low-Dose Aspirin for Women Under 65

Posted 5 Dec 2014 by

THURSDAY, Dec. 4, 2014 – Although low-dose aspirin may curb the risks of heart disease and colon cancer, the downsides appear to outweigh the benefits for many women, a new large study suggests. For women younger than 65, researchers found taking low-dose aspirin for years lowered the risks of heart attack, stroke and colon cancer by a small amount. But they also found that the benefit was countered by an increase in the risk of major gastrointestinal bleeding – serious enough to land a woman in the hospital. The picture looked better for women age 65 and up. Aspirin boosted their risk of bleeding, too – but the benefits against heart disease and colon cancer were bigger, researchers reported. The study appeared online on Dec. 4 in the journal Heart. Many people have heard that low-dose aspirin is good for the heart, and may feel like it's a good idea to take some every day. But the ... Read more

Related support groups: Aspirin, Ecotrin, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Bayer Aspirin, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Bufferin, Low Dose ASA, Ascriptin, Aspergum, Buffered Aspirin, Aspir-Low, St Joseph Aspirin, ZORprin, Ascriptin Enteric, Easprin, Ecotrin Maximum Strength, Buffasal, Halfprin, Aspirin Low Strength, Entaprin

Could a 'Mediterranean' Diet Extend Your Life?

Posted 3 Dec 2014 by

TUESDAY, Dec. 2, 2014 – There are hints in a new study that eating the much-lauded Mediterranean diet may help boost longevity. Researchers found that the regimen – rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, fish and olive oil – appears to be associated with longer telomere length, which are indicators of slower aging. Telomeres are located on the ends of chromosomes – much like the plastic tips on the end of shoelaces. According to geneticists, telomeres prevent chromosomes from fraying and scrambling the genetic codes they contain. These bits of genetic material naturally shorten with age, but they tend to shorten more slowly in healthy people. Shorter telomeres have long been associated with a greater risk of age-related diseases and a shorter life span, experts say. The new study was led by Immaculata De Vivo, an associate professor at Brigham and Women's Hospital ... Read more

Related support groups: Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Most Seniors Could Use Statins Under New Guidelines

Posted 24 Nov 2014 by

MONDAY, Nov. 24, 2014 – Most older Americans qualify for treatment with cholesterol-lowering statins under new guidelines intended to reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke, a new study shows. Guidelines for the treatment of blood cholesterol released late last year by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association target people most likely to benefit from taking statins such as Zocor (simvastatin) and Crestor (rosuvastatin). The new study of more than 6,000 black and white Americans aged 66 to 90 found that 70 percent were eligible for statin therapy, including 97 percent of those aged 66 to 75 and all of the men. The findings appear in a research letter published Nov. 24 in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. "The guidelines are a significant change from prior guidelines that relied heavily on levels of bad cholesterol to determine who to treat," letter ... Read more

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

Kids Born to Overweight Moms May Face Higher Heart Risks as Adults

Posted 20 Nov 2014 by

THURSDAY, Nov. 20, 2014 – Overweight or obese women who get pregnant are much more likely to have a child who suffers from heart disease as an adult, new research suggests. But it looks like environment may play a greater role than genetics in that trend, the researchers added. "Mothers who are overweight teach behaviors, and those behaviors are passed on," said study author Dr. Michael Mendelson. He is a research fellow at the Framingham Heart Study, Boston University and the Boston Children's Hospital. "There's been mounting evidence that maternal health before going into pregnancy has implications for her offspring," Mendelson added. "This shows there are a lot of good reasons to focus on the health and weight of young people before they go on to have children." Researchers analyzed data on 879 participants in the Framingham Heart Study, the classic long-term, ongoing study of the ... Read more

Related support groups: Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

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