Category Archives: cardiovascular risk

Why you should avoid marathon running …

I have stated previously in these pages that I while I respect and admire the exercise of running, I have even considered taking it up to get more weight-bearing exercise, I think that on-balance marathons damage the body and should be avoided. Since October is the beginning of marathon season, I wanted to put this out.

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Dr. Mercola
says, “Several recent studies have indicated that conventional cardio, especially endurance exercises such as marathon running can pose significant risks to your heart. It can result in acute volume overload, inflammation, thickening and stiffening of the heart muscle and arteries, arterial calcification, arrhythmias, and potentially sudden cardiac arrest and stroke—the very things you’re trying to avoid by exercising. 
”

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Filed under cardio exercise, cardiovascular risk, marathon, marathon running, Uncategorized

Lower IQ and Poorer Cardiovascular Fitness in Teen Years Hikes Risk of Early-onset Dementia

Men who at the age of 18 years have poorer cardiovascular fitness and/or a lower IQ more often suffer from dementia before the age of 60. This is shown in a recent study encompassing more than one million Swedish men.

In several extensive studies, researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy,  University of Gothenburg, have previously analyzed Swedish men’s conscription results and were able to show a correlation between cardiovascular fitness as a teenager and health problems in later life.

puzzle brain

Increased risk for early-onset dementia
In their latest study , based on data from 1.1 million young Swedish men, the Gothenburg researcher team shows that those with poorer cardiovascular fitness and/or lower IQ in their teenage years more often suffer from early-onset dementia.

“Previous studies have shown the correlation between cardiovascular fitness and the risk of dementia in old age. Now, for the first time, we can show that the increased risk also applies to early-onset dementia and its precursors,” says Sahlgrenska Academy researcher Jenny Nyberg, who headed the study.

Controlled for other risk factors
Expressed in figures, the study shows that men who when conscripted had poorer cardiovascular fitness were 2.5 times more likely to develop early-onset dementia later in life. A lower IQ entailed a 4 times greater risk, and a combination of both poor cardiovascular fitness and low IQ entailed a 7 times greater risk of early-onset dementia.
The increased risk remained even when controlled for other risk factors, such as heredity, medical history, and social-economic circumstances.

Fitness strengthens the brain
“We already knew that physical and cognitive exercise reduces the risk of neurological disease. Physical exercise increases nerve cell complexity and function and even generation of new nerve cells in the adult brain, which strengthens our mental and physiological functions. In other words, good cardiovascular fitness makes the brain more resistant to damage and disease,” says Prof. Georg Kuhn, senior author of the study. (My emphasis)

Please check out my Page Important Facts about your brain and exercise for more information on the nature and benefits of exercise on the brain.

FACTS ABOUT DEMENTIA AND THE QUOTED STUDY
Dementia is not a disease but a group of different diseases characterized by the gradual worsening of cognitive abilities. Dementia is seen across all ethnic groups and increasingly so with advancing age. Among 65–69-year-olds, about 2 percent are afflicted, with this figure doubling for every five years of age.

The quoted study encompassed all Swedish men conscripted for mandatory military service between the years 1968 and 2005, a total of 1.1 million individuals. In the study, the researchers have compared the results from the conscripts’ cardiovascular fitness and IQ tests with information from national disease registries. During the study period, a total of 660 men were diagnosed with early-onset dementia.

Tony

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Filed under aging, Alzheimer's, cardio exercise, cardiovascular risk, dementia, Exercise

Researchers Pinpoint Upper Safe Limit of Vitamin D Blood Levels

Good info on the rockstar of vitamins …

Cooking with Kathy Man

Researchers claim to have calculated for the first time, the upper safe limit of vitamin D levels, above which the associated risk for cardiovascular events or death raises significantly, according to a recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).

There is increasing evidence that vitamin D plays a pivotal role in human physiology. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to cardiovascular events and mortality, but previous studies have found supplementation fails to decrease mortality or cardiovascular events, while other studies found only minor positive effects.

“The unpredictable results from previous studies may be due to the misconception that ‘the higher the better,’” said Yosef Dror, PhD, of Hebrew University in Rehovot, Israel, and lead author of the study. “Although our study did not directly test the impact of vitamin D supplementation, we believe our results suggest it may be possible that…

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Filed under cardiovascular diseases, cardiovascular health, cardiovascular risk, Vitamin D

What Is the Co$t of Obe$ity?

I have talked about overweight and obesity statistics here repeatedly. By now, is there anyone who doesn’t know that 60 percent of us at overweight and 30 percent of us outright obese.

You can read chapter and verse on How Does Obesity Affect You? personally.

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We have let ourselves go to the point that employers are now paying for it.

The Saturday edition of the Wall Street Journal talks about the costs in detail. “A 2011 Gallup survey estimated obese or overweight full-time U.S. workers miss an additional 450 million days of work each year, compared with healthy workers, resulting in more than $153 billion in lost productivity.”

Typically 20 percent of a company’s employees drive 80 percent of the health-care costs. and about 70 percent of the costs are related to chronic conditions resulting from lifestyle choices like overeating or sedentary behavior.

Companies, trying to get control of their rocketing healthcare costs, are fighting back. Last month CVS shocked some employees by asking for personal health metrics, like body fat, blood sugar, etc. or pay a $600 penalty. Michelin is adding as much as $1000 to health care costs of employees with high blood pressure or large waistlines.

After talking and writing about this for over three years, I wonder what it will take to get folks to do something about their personal health.

If you are reading this blog, perhaps that can be a first step. Check out How to Lose Weight – And Keep it Off.

Tony

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Filed under arteries, blood pressure, cardiovascular risk, fat, health care costs, healthy eating, healthy living, heart, heart disease, heart problems, living longer, Weight

Baby Boomers Aging Badly

I always thought that boomers were busy running triathlons and skiing down the slopes these days. They are reported to have the longest life expectancy of any previous generation and exploit the latest medical technology, so why wouldn’t they be? I am talking about that 78 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964.

JAMA researchers found otherwise.

Alice Park writing in Time.com reports that boomers have “higher rates of hypertension, diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol than members of the previous generation.

Junk foods like these are part of the reason boomers are failing the most important test of all.

Junk foods like these are part of the reason boomers are failing the most important test of all.

“The revelation comes from data in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a national snapshot of health measures and behaviors conducted by the U.S. government. Dr. Dana King, a professor in family medicine at West Virginia University School of Medicine and his colleagues compared baby boomers aged 46 years to 64 years between 2007 and 2010 to similar aged Americans in 1988 to 1994. Overall, only 13% of baby boomers rated their health as ‘excellent’ while nearly three times as many, 32%, of those in the previous generation considered themselves in excellent health.” Continue reading

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Filed under aging, arterial plaque, arteries, baby boomers, blood pressure, body fat, calories, cancer, cardiovascular risk, childhood obesity, diabetes, Exercise, fast food, health, healthy eating, healthy living, heart, heart disease, heart problems, junk food, life challenges, living longer, Weight

Simulated Mars Mission Reveals Body’s Sodium Rhythms

“The findings, which demonstrate that sodium is stored in the body, have implications for blood pressure control, hypertension and salt-associated cardiovascular risk.”

Cooking with Kathy Man

Clinical pharmacologist Jens Titze, M.D., knew he had a one-of-a-kind scientific opportunity: the Russians were going to simulate a flight to Mars, and he was invited to study the participating cosmonauts.

Titze, now an associate professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt University, wanted to explore long-term sodium balance in humans. He didn’t believe the textbook view – that the salt we eat is rapidly excreted in urine to maintain relatively constant body sodium levels. The “Mars500” simulation gave him the chance to keep salt intake constant and monitor urine sodium levels in humans over a long period of time.

Now, in the journal Cell Metabolism, Titze and his colleagues report that – in contrast to the prevailing dogma – sodium levels fluctuate rhythmically with 7-day and monthly cycles. The findings, which demonstrate that sodium is stored in the body, have implications for blood pressure control, hypertension and salt-associated cardiovascular risk.

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Filed under blood pressure, cardiovascular risk, hypertension, salt, sodium