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Related terms: Arteriosclerosis, Carotid Atherosclerosis, Hardening of the arteries, Plaque buildup, arteries

Smoking Raises Heart Attack Risk 8-Fold in People Under 50

Posted 6 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 29, 2016 – All smokers face a higher risk of heart attack, but the threat is particularly high among those under 50, a new study finds. Compared to former smokers and nonsmokers in their age group, heart attack risk was nearly 8.5 times higher for smokers younger than 50, British researchers found. One expert in smoking and health who reviewed the report said the findings underline the importance of keeping youth and cigarettes apart. "Through comprehensive tobacco-control programs that include environmental smoking bans, high taxes on cigarettes, and anti-tobacco media campaigns, we can decrease the rates of smoking/tobacco use, heart disease and many other health conditions," said Patricia Folan. She directs the Center for Tobacco Control at Northwell Health in Great Neck, N.Y. The study found that smokers at older ages faced higher heart risks, as well. Compared to ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Heart Attack, Smoking Cessation, Nicotine, Myocardial Infarction, Nicorette, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Nicoderm CQ, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Nicotrol Inhaler, Commit, Acute Coronary Syndrome, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Atherosclerosis, Habitrol, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis, Acute Coronary Syndrome - Prophylaxis, Post MI Syndrome, Nicotrol TD, Nicorelief

Statins Often Interact With Other Heart Drugs

Posted 17 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 17, 2016 – Cholesterol-lowering statins can interact with other drugs prescribed for heart disease. But there are ways to navigate the problem, according to new recommendations from the American Heart Association. Statins are among the mostly widely prescribed drugs in the United States. Roughly one-quarter of Americans age 40 and up are on a statin, according to a 2014 study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The drugs are prescribed to people who either have atherosclerosis (clogged arteries) or are at risk of it, which means many statin users also take other cardiovascular drugs, the heart association says. The benefits of those drug combinations will generally outweigh the risks, said Barbara Wiggins, a clinical pharmacy specialist in cardiology at the Medical University of South Carolina. But doctors and patients should be aware of how the drugs ... Read more

Related support groups: Warfarin, Coumadin, Amlodipine, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Diltiazem, Atorvastatin, Verapamil, Norvasc, Pravastatin, Amiodarone, Digoxin, Nifedipine, Cardizem, Zocor, Azor, Lovastatin, Exforge, Rosuvastatin

Harmful Artery-Stiffening Seen in Healthy 40-Year-Olds

Posted 5 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 5, 2016 – Even healthy, young adults may have hardening of the arteries that can harm their brain health, a new study suggests. Brain changes that can lead to mental decline and Alzheimer's disease later in life have been found in people in their 40s, the researchers reported. The new study shows "that increasing arterial stiffness is detrimental to the brain, and that increasing stiffness and brain injury begin in early middle life, before we commonly think of prevalent diseases such as atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease or stroke having an impact," said study author Pauline Maillard. She is a researcher in the department of neurology and Center for Neuroscience at the University of California, Davis. "These results may be a new avenue of treatment to sustain brain health," she added in a university news release. The study included about 1,900 participants in the ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Heart Disease, Heart Attack, Ischemic Stroke, Angina, Transient Ischemic Attack, Myocardial Infarction, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Acute Coronary Syndrome, Atherosclerosis, Ischemic Heart Disease, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis, Hypertensive Heart Disease

PTSD May Stiffen Veterans' Arteries, Boosting Heart Risks

Posted 24 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 23, 2016 – Veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may have blood vessels that don't expand normally, a new study suggests. If vessels don't widen as they should, the risk of heart attack and stroke goes up, the researchers noted. The researchers also found that risk factors usually associated with blood vessel problems – such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and smoking – didn't seem to account for why people with PTSD were more likely to have blood vessels that didn't dilate properly. The researchers suspect that stress may be to blame. "We believe that we should try to gain a better understanding of the relationship between mental illness and cardiovascular health," said lead researcher Dr. Marlene Grenon. She's an associate professor of surgery at the University of California, San Francisco, and the Veterans Affairs Medical ... Read more

Related support groups: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Heart Disease, Angina, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Acute Coronary Syndrome, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Atherosclerosis, Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders, Ischemic Heart Disease, Acute Coronary Syndrome - Prophylaxis, Coronary Arteriography

A Daily Cup of Tea May Soothe Your Heart

Posted 2 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 1, 2016 – Drinking as little as a cup of tea daily may be good for your heart health, new research suggests. The study found that people who drank a cup of tea each day were 35 percent less likely to have a heart attack or other major cardiovascular event, compared to nondrinkers. The study also found that tea drinkers were less likely to have calcium buildup in the heart's coronary arteries. Calcium deposits have been linked to serious conditions, such as heart disease and stroke, the researchers said. "We found that moderate tea drinkers had a decreased progression of coronary artery calcium and a decreased incidence of cardiovascular events," said Dr. Elliott Miller. He's an internal medicine physician and instructor of medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. But Miller noted that the researchers couldn't prove a cause-and-effect relationship between tea ... Read more

Related support groups: Green Tea, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Atherosclerosis, Prevention of Atherothrombotic Events

Healthier Arteries May Lower Dementia Risk in Old Age

Posted 1 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 1, 2016 – Elderly Americans whose arteries are clear of calcium buildup appear less likely than others to suffer from heart disease or dementia, according to new research. University of Pittsburgh researchers found that among people in their 80s and 90s, those without calcium buildup in their arteries developed dementia later than those with high levels of calcium. Calcium-clogged arteries – also called atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries – are linked to increased risk for heart disease, heart attack, stroke and, apparently, dementia as well. These results suggest that aggressive prevention of elevated heart risk factors that lead to calcium buildup "could result not only in increased longevity and decreased heart attacks, but also substantial reduction of incidences of dementia, especially among older women," said Dr. Lewis Kuller, an emeritus professor of ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Smoking, High Cholesterol, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Mild Cognitive Impairment, Arteriosclerotic Dementia, Atherosclerosis, Hypertensive Heart Disease

VA Hospital Care Improving, Study Suggests

Posted 9 Feb 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 9, 2016 – Veterans Affairs hospitals seem to do just as well as other U.S. hospitals when it comes to treating older men with heart disease or pneumonia, a new study suggests. The findings, published online Feb. 9 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, were called "reassuring" in light of recent negative news about the nation's VA health care system. Researchers found that between 2010 and 2013, men treated for a heart attack, heart failure or pneumonia at a VA hospital were slightly less likely to die in the next month, compared to similar men treated at a non-VA center. They were, on the other hand, somewhat more likely to be readmitted to the hospital in that same time frame. Still, the differences between the VA and non-VA groups were so small – usually less than 1 percentage point – that the outcomes really are comparable, said senior researcher Dr. ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Pneumonia, Atherosclerosis, Ischemic Heart Disease, Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders

Tiny Brain Lesions Linked to Raised Risk of Stroke Death

Posted 7 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 7, 2015 – Tiny damaged areas in the brain may signal an increased risk of stroke or stroke-related death in people with no history of a prior brain attack, a new study indicates. "These findings suggest that even very small lesions on brain imaging – even without symptoms – may represent early pathology and could identify persons at increased risk of stroke," said lead researcher Dr. Gwen Windham, an associate professor of geriatrics at the University of Mississippi in Jackson. People who had both small lesions and larger lesions had an even greater increased risk of stroke and stroke-related death, she added. "The findings should be replicated in other populations, but suggest that these very small lesions are clinically relevant and more research is needed to help us understand what is causing them and how we can prevent them," Windham said. The report was published ... Read more

Related support groups: Ischemic Stroke, Transient Ischemic Attack, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Atherosclerosis, Diagnosis and Investigation, Body Imaging, Head Imaging

Low Vitamin D Levels in Childhood May Raise Heart Risks: Study

Posted 10 Feb 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 10, 2015 – Adults who had low vitamin D levels as children and teens may be more likely to have hardening of the arteries, a new study suggests. Artery hardening is associated with heart disease. The study included more than 2,100 people in Finland. Their vitamin D levels were measured at ages 3 to 18, and they were checked for artery hardening at ages 30 to 45. Those with the lowest vitamin D levels when they were youngsters had a much higher risk for artery hardening as adults, according to the study published online Feb. 10 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. This link was independent of other heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure, smoking, poor eating, lack of exercise and obesity. Only an association was seen between childhood vitamin D levels and later heart health. The study did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship. Further ... Read more

Related support groups: Vitamin D Deficiency, Atherosclerosis, Vitamin D Insufficiency

Statins May Help Kids With Genetic Cholesterol Disorder

Posted 9 Sep 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 9, 2014 – Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs seem to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in children who have a genetic cholesterol disorder, according to a long-term European study. Researchers looked at 194 children and teens in the Netherlands with familial hypercholesterolemia, which puts people at risk for premature hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis). The inherited disorder affects about one in 500 people. The youngsters were prescribed the statin drug pravastatin and followed for 10 years. The results showed that taking the drug prevented premature atherosclerosis, according to the research, which was done by Dr. D. Meeike Kusters, of the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam, and colleagues. The younger the age of those who start taking the drug, the better, noted the study, published in the Sept. 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical ... Read more

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

Secondhand Smoke in Childhood Thickens Arteries

Posted 5 Mar 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 5, 2014 – Secondhand smoke causes irreversible damage to children's arteries and puts them at increased risk for heart attack and stroke later in life, a new study says. Researchers looked at more than 3,700 adults in Australia and Finland, and found that those exposed to secondhand smoke when they were children had thicker artery walls. The walls of the neck arteries in those who grew up in homes where both parents smoked were an average of 0.015 millimeters thicker than in those whose parents did not smoke. That means that exposure to secondhand smoke in childhood adds an extra 3.3 years to the age of an adult's blood vessels, according to the authors of the study published online March 5 in the European Heart Journal. They said their findings provide further evidence to support measures to protect children from secondhand smoke. "Our study shows that exposure to ... Read more

Related support groups: Atherosclerosis

Link Seen Between Hardening of Arteries, Alzheimer's Plaques

Posted 16 Oct 2013 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 16 – Elderly people with hardening of the arteries are more likely to have brain plaques associated with Alzheimer's disease, a new study says. The study included 91 people, average age 87, who did not have dementia and underwent scans to assess any beta-amyloid plaques in their brains. The degree of stiffness of their arteries was checked about two years later. Half of the participants had brain plaques and these people were more likely to have high systolic blood pressure (the top number that shows the amount of pressure on blood vessels when the heart beats), higher average blood pressure and greater arterial stiffness. For every unit increase in arterial stiffness, people were twice as likely to have beta-amyloid plaques in the brain. Arterial stiffness was highest in people who had both amyloid plaques and lesions in their brain's white matter, according to the ... Read more

Related support groups: Alzheimer's Disease, Atherosclerosis

Air Pollution May Speed Hardening of Arteries

Posted 23 Apr 2013 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 23 – Long-term exposure to air pollution may speed up the process of atherosclerosis, also known as hardening of the arteries, a new study suggests. Although this exposure to higher concentrations of air pollution could increase people's risk for heart attacks and stroke, the researchers noted that reductions in air pollution could have the opposite effect. The study involved nearly 5,400 people between the ages of 45 and 84 in six different U.S. cities who did not have heart disease. The researchers examined the air pollution levels at each of their homes, and then compared the levels to ultrasound measurements of their blood vessels taken at least three years apart. After taking other risk factors, such as smoking, into account, the researchers found that, on average, the thickness of the carotid artery increased by 0.014 millimeters each year. Thickening of the inner ... Read more

Related support groups: Atherosclerosis

Compound in Red Meat, Energy Drinks May Have Heart Disease Link

Posted 8 Apr 2013 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, April 7 – A compound found in red meat and added as a supplement to popular energy drinks promotes hardening and clogging of the arteries, otherwise known as atherosclerosis, a new study suggests. Researchers say that bacteria in the digestive tract convert the compound, called carnitine, into trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO). Previous research by the same team of Cleveland Clinic investigators found that TMAO promotes atherosclerosis in people. And there was an another twist: The study also found that a diet high in carnitine encourages the growth of the bacteria that metabolize the compound, leading to even higher TMAO production. "The [type of] bacteria living in our digestive tracts are dictated by our long-term dietary patterns. A diet high in carnitine actually shifts our gut microbe composition to those that like carnitine, making meat eaters even more susceptible to ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Atherosclerosis

Heart-Healthy Habits in Childhood May Prevent Future Disease

Posted 4 Mar 2013 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 4 – Teaching children heart-healthy habits now can help protect them from heart disease when they're adults, an expert says. "The process of atherosclerosis, which is the hardening of the arteries and is known to cause heart attacks, strokes and sudden death, has been shown to begin in early childhood," Dr. Zachary Stone, a primary-care doctor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said in a university news release. "It's important to concentrate on healthy lifestyles in children to prevent adult cardiovascular disease." The three heart-health areas to watch in children are diet, physical-activity levels and exposure to secondhand smoke. "Good nutrition can help to decrease cardiovascular disease," Stone said. "It can help prevent obesity, [high blood pressure] and high cholesterol, which are all known cardiovascular risk factors." A child's diet should be low in ... Read more

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

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