Category Archives: heart problems

Exercise can reverse damage from heart aging – Study

Eat less; move more; live longer. Simple acts with profound effects. And, according to the latest study, don’t wait till you are old to start.

Exercise can reverse damage to sedentary, aging hearts and help prevent risk of future heart failure – if it’s enough exercise, and if it’s begun in time, according to a new study by cardiologists at UT Southwestern and Texas Health Resources.

Group of older mature people lifting weights in the gym

Group of older mature people lifting weights in the gym

To reap the most benefit, the exercise regimen should begin by late middle age (before age 65), when the heart apparently retains some plasticity and ability to remodel itself, according to the findings by researchers at the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine (IEEM), which is a collaboration between UT Southwestern Medical Center and Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas.

And the exercise needs to be performed four to five times a week. Two to three times a week was not enough, the researchers found in an earlier study. Continue reading

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under cardio exercise, exercise benefits, exercise duration, heart problems, how much exercise, successful aging

Good heart health in middle age improves/extends golden years – AHA

Eat less; move more; live longer remains the mantra of this blog. Now, according to the American Heart Association, the sooner you start, the better.

People with no major heart disease risk factors in middle age live longer and stay healthy far longer than others, according to a 40-year study reported in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation.

“Good cardiovascular health in middle age delays the onset of many types of disease so that people live longer and spend a much smaller proportion of their lives with chronic illness,” said Norrina Allen, Ph.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

xheart-health.jpg.pagespeed.ic.1pedeecgyj

In the first study to analyze the impact of cardiovascular health in middle age on the duration of illness later in life, researchers examined data from the Chicago Health Association study, which did initial health assessments in the late 1960s/early 1970s and has followed participants on an ongoing basis using Medicare health records. Researchers determined how many participants had favorable factors: non-smokers, free of diabetes and normal weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels; versus those with elevated risk factors or high risk factors. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under aging, American Heart Association, heart, heart problems, successful aging

Poor sleep may raise risk for irregular heart rhythms – AHA

Regular readers know that I feel strongly that sleep is one of the cornerstones of good health. You can check out my Page – How important is a good night’s sleep? for more details.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA):
• Poor sleep – even if you don’t have sleep apnea – may be linked to higher risks of developing an irregular heartbeat.
• In addition, getting less rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep may also be linked to higher atrial fibrillation risks.

8b273653382c52dac7a0219269c9a889

Disruptions in sleep may be raising your risks of an irregular heartbeat, known as atrial fibrillation (AF), according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2016. Continue reading

5 Comments

Filed under heart problems, high blood pressure, obesity, stroke

AHA warns on drugs possibly causing heart failure

Regular readers know that I am a senior citizen who exercises daily and eats intelligent amounts and kinds of food to remain healthy. I take only a single drug for my prostate. Most of the seniors I know take a number of drugs, prescription and over the counter, to keep them going.

•    For the first time, the American Heart Association has issued a statement cautioning that drugs used to treat a variety of conditions can cause or worsen heart failure.
    •    Patients should show each of their healthcare providers a complete list of their medications, including over-the-counter drugs and natural supplements.
    •    Patients with heart failure should consult with a health professional before starting or stopping any medication.

Commonly used medications and nutritional supplements may cause or worsen heart failure, according to the first scientific statement from the American Heart Association to provide guidance on avoiding drug-drug or drug-condition interactions for people with heart failure.

getty_rm_illustration_of_heart_attack.jpg

The statement provides comprehensive information about specific drugs and “natural” remedies that may have serious unintended consequences for heart failure patients.

Heart failure patients have, on average five or more separate medical conditions and take seven or more prescription medications daily, often prescribed by different healthcare providers.

“Since many of the drugs heart failure patients are taking are prescribed for conditions such as cancer, neurological conditions, or infections, it is crucial but difficult for healthcare providers to reconcile whether a medication is interacting with heart failure drugs or making heart failure worse,” said Robert L. Page II, Pharm.D., M.S.P.H., chair of the writing committee for the new scientific statement published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation. (my emphasis)
Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under drugs, heart problems

How At Risk Am I For Heart Disease? – Infographic

Cardiovascular disease is the leading global cause of death, accounting for 17.3 million deaths per year, a number that is expected to grow to more than 23.6 million by 2030, according to the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association.

ginormous

Once again we find that stopping smoking is one of the keys to a healthy heart. Check out my Page How Many Ways Does Smoking Harm You? for more details.

Tony

2 Comments

Filed under heart disease, heart problems

What Are My Risks for Getting Heart Disease? – Infographic

I must confess I was blown away by the information in this infographic from the American Heart Association.

The three parts are the whole story: What are my risks? What are the 7 Simple Keys to Prevention? Am I making progress or excuses? That says it all. Take your time on this, your heart health could depend on it.

ginormousTony

Leave a comment

Filed under American Heart Association, heart, heart problems

How Does Your Heart Feel About What You Eat? – Infographic

When it comes to controlling our weight, a lot of people talk a good game, but the fact remains that 60 percent of us are overweight, 30 percent outright obese and adult onset diabetes is hitting our kids in their teens. So, we don’t do a very good job on controlling what we put into our systems. I thought this was a super infographic because it gets the reader to focus on what the impact of that slice of pizza is on his system.

As I wrote on my Page How to Lose Weight – and Keep it Off – everything you eat and drink becomes a part of you.

how-does-your-heart-feel-about-your-diet_512f686083d35_w1500.png

Tony

6 Comments

Filed under aging, heart, heart problems, weight control, weight loss

Green Vegetables Could Improve Heart’s Efficiency

Commenting on the results, Dr Murray, who worked on all three studies, said: “There have been a great many findings demonstrating a role for nitrate in reducing blood pressure and regulating the body’s metabolism. These studies represent three further ways in which simple changes in the diet can modify people’s risk of type 2 diabetes and obesity as well as potentially alleviating symptoms of existing cardiovascular conditions to achieve an overall healthier life.”

Cooking with Kathy Man

Green veg contains nitrate could improve heart’s efficiency, blood supply to organs and reduce risk of diabetes and obesity

In three independent studies, scientists from the Universities of Southampton and Cambridge have identified how a simple chemical called nitrate, found in leafy green vegetables, can help thin blood ensuring oxygen can be delivered to all corners of the body efficiently. Reducing the thickness of blood may also decrease instances of dangerous clots forming and reduce the risk of stroke and heart attacks.

The same researchers, part-funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF), also found nitrate can help the diseased heart to function more efficiently, help produce more of a compound that widens and opens blood vessels and help change bad white fat cells into good brown, fat-burning cells, which could combat obesity and reduce risk of type 2 diabetes.

In the first (1) study published this week in the Journal…

View original post 937 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under heart, heart attack, heart disease, heart problems, vegetables

Nothing Fishy about Health Benefits of Plant-based Omega-3 Fatty Acid

“Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the country,” said Fleming. “Learning what you can do to prevent heart disease is important and relevant for everybody.”

Cooking with Kathy Man

Increasing the amount of omega-3s in your diet, whether from fish or flax, will likely decrease your risk of getting heart disease, according to Penn State nutritionists.

A substantial amount of evidence exists supporting the heart-health benefits of eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid (EPA and DHA), marine-derived omega-3 fatty acids. However, much less evidence exists to demonstrate the positive effects of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid.

“The benefits reported for EPA and DHA are stronger because supplements of EPA and DHA were tested, and EPA and DHA was the only difference between the treatment and control groups,” said Jennifer Fleming, instructor and clinical research coordinator in nutritional sciences. “In contrast, in the ALA studies, there were diet differences beyond ALA between the treatment and control groups.”

EPA and DHA can be found in seafood and fish oil, and are often consumed in the form of dietary supplements…

View original post 243 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under healthy eating, heart, heart disease, heart problems

An Hour of Moderate Exercise A Day May Decrease Heart Failure Risk

“You do not need to run a marathon to gain the benefits of physical activity — even quite low levels of activity can give you positive effects,” said Kasper Andersen, M.D., Ph.D., study co-author and researcher at the Uppsala University in Uppsala, Sweden. “Physical activity lowers many heart disease risk factors, which in turn lowers the risk of developing heart failure as well as other heart diseases.”

Cooking with Kathy Man

Exercising each day can help keep the doctor away.

In a new study reported in the American Heart Association journal Circulation: Heart Failure, researchers say more than an hour of moderate or half an hour of vigorous exercise per day may lower your risk of heart failure by 46 percent.

Heart failure is a common, disabling disease that accounts for about 2 percent of total healthcare costs in industrialized countries. Risk of death within five years of diagnosis is 30 percent to 50 percent, researchers said.

Swedish researchers studied 39,805 people 20-90 years old who didn’t have heart failure when the study began in 1997. Researchers assessed their total- and leisure time activity at the beginning of the study and followed them to see how this was related to their subsequent risk of developing heart failure. They found that the more active a person, the lower their risk for heart…

View original post 353 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under aerobics, Exercise, heart, heart problems

Almonds May Lower Heart Disease Risk

The quantity of almonds and muffins provided to each participant varied according to estimations to maintain his or her baseline weight. The muffins were formulated to provide the same number of calories and the same amount of saturated fat (SFA), polyunsaturated fat (PUFA), protein, and fiber as the almonds.

Cooking with Kathy Man

A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition shows that eating almonds daily may improve certain factors associated with heart disease risk.

The randomized, controlled clinical study, conducted by researchers at the University of Toronto, included 27 adult participants (mean age of 64 years) with elevated LDL cholesterol. Participants followed a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol that also included each of three dietary interventions for four weeks each in a crossover design. Each day for four weeks, researchers gave one group 50–100 g (2–4 oz) of almonds. A control group received 100–200 g of muffins and a third group received 25–50 g (1–2 oz) of almonds plus 50–100 g of muffins. Each participant completed all three dietary treatments, so the total length of the study was 12 weeks.

The quantity of almonds and muffins provided to each participant varied according to estimations to maintain his or her…

View original post 182 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under fat, heart disease, heart problems

Why You Need to Cut Back on Sugar Consumption

The average American consumes 15 percent of his daily calorie allowance in added sugars. This amounts to 22 teaspoons a day, or 88 grams of sugar, according to Frank Hu, Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. That doesn’t include the naturally occurring sugars in fruits and whole foods.

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

The World Health Organization has recommended since 2002 that sugars should make up less than 10 percent of total energy intake per day. The new draft guideline also proposes that sugars should be less than 10 percent of total energy intake per day. It further suggests that a reduction to below 5 percent of total energy intake per day would have additional benefits. Five per cent of total energy intake is equivalent to around 25 grams (around 6 teaspoons) of sugar per day for an adult of normal Body Mass Index (BMI).

Much of the sugars consumed today are “hidden” in processed foods that are not usually seen as sweets. For example, 1 tablespoon of ketchup contains around 4 grams (around 1 teaspoon) of sugars. A single can of sugar-sweetened soda contains up to 40 grams (around 10 teaspoons) of sugar.

“The calories that added sugars contribute to your diet can pack on pounds without your even realizing it, leading to overweight and obesity, which are risk factors for type 2 diabetes. In addition, excess sugar consumption has links to high triglycerides, which can put you in danger of developing heart disease. Given these health implications, the American Heart Association (AHA) has issued guidelines for added sugar consumption. The association suggests that women get no more than 100 calories a day from added sugar, or about 6 teaspoons. For men, the association recommends limiting consumption to 150 calories daily, or 9 teaspoons”, according to Paula Martinac writing in SFGate.

On a daily calorie budget of 2000 calories, the AHA recommendation amounts to 7.5 percent. The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers no separate recommendation for sugar.

Professor Hu said that if you consume 10 percent of your calories in added sugar, you have a 40 percent increased chance of dying from heart disease. A person who consumes 25 percent of his calories in sugar has a 2.5 fold increased chance of dying from heart disease.

Here is a You Tube video of a sugar discussion moderated at Harvard.

No one questions whether sugar contributes to obesity. Check out How Does Obesity Affect You.

Tony

Leave a comment

Filed under healthy eating, heart problems, sugar, weight control

U.K. Salt Reduction Drives Down Stroke and Heart Disease Deaths

The British government has successfully educated individuals about reducing their sodium consumption and has aggressively encouraged companies to market less-salty foods, the Center for Science in the Public Interest reported.

And according to the findings published in BMJ Open, those efforts are likely partly responsible for plummeting rates of heart attack and stroke deaths in the United Kingdom.

Salt-

It’s a shame that while the British government has actively prompted progress on the part of industry and consumers, our Food and Drug Administration dithers, waiting in vain for more than 40 years for companies to voluntarily cut salt.  It’s a strategy that has plainly failed, as Americans are still getting more than twice as much sodium as they should, mostly from processed and restaurant foods.

Almost four years ago the Institute of Medicine called on the FDA to set mandatory limits on the levels of sodium allowed in various categories of food.  Doing that would have been the single most effective (and inexpensive) thing the FDA could have done to save hundreds of thousands of lives and billions of health care dollars.  Halving Americans’ sodium intake could save 100,000 lives annually.  Because the Obama Administration hasn’t done anything, America is unnecessarily digging about 100,000 early graves every year, each to be filled with a heart attack or stroke victim.

I want to clarify that I am against government telling us we can’t have diet sodas over 16 ounces like in New York, but it seems the government can make some rules on healthy amounts of certain ingredients like salt and sugar which have proven harmful to us humans. As the CSPI release said, we are digging 100,000 early graves a year. Talk about Nero fiddling while Rome burns. We have the FDA fiddling while citizens who don’t pay attention to their health are dying at a terrible rate.

Salt consumption has been a subject of numerous posts in this blog. Here are a few:

How Much is Too Much Salt?

Some Sneaky Salt Statistics

Why is Walmart Cutting Sugar, Fat and Salt in its Foods?

Where Does All the Salt in our Diets Come From?

Tony

Leave a comment

Filed under aging, Center for Science in the Public Interest, heart, heart disease, heart problems, salt, sodium, stroke, Weight, weight control, weight loss

Should you take your own blood pressure at home?

I had never really considered this question before, but after listening to Dr. Mark Huffman of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine speak to the Northwestern Memorial Healthy Transitions Program®, I am going to do it.

I wrote up high blood pressure, or hypertension, for the blog two years ago.

96534-blood pressure

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) say, “High blood pressure is sometimes called the “silent killer” because it usually has no warning signs or symptoms. Many people do not know that they have high blood pressure. That’s why it’s important to get your blood pressure checked regularly.”

Just to give you some ballpark figures, Normal blood pressure (BP) is 120/80, systolic/diastolic. Prehypertensive is 120-139 over 80-89. Stage one hypertension is 140-159 over 90 – 99. Stage two hypertension reads 160 -179 over 100 – 109.

Modifiable causes of high BP or hypertension include smoking, obesity, lack of physical activity, dietary salt, alcohol consumption and stress.

Causes of high BP over which we have no control include older age, genetics, family history of high BP, chronic kidney disease and adrenal and thyroid disorders.

The CDC recommends, “There are several things that you can do to keep your blood pressure in a healthy range—
• Get your blood pressure checked regularly.
• Eat a healthy diet.
• Maintain a healthy weight.
• Be physically active.
• Limit alcohol use.
• Don’t smoke.
• Prevent or treat diabetes

Some 67 million American adults (31%) have high blood pressure—that’s 1 in every 3 American adults.  Anyone, including children, can develop high blood pressure. It greatly increases the risk for heart disease and stroke, the first and third leading causes of death in the United States.” Emphasis mine.

Dr. Huffman said that home blood pressure measurements are increasingly preferred as adjuncts to those taken in the doctor’s office.

“Automatic sphygmomanometers work well. Omron, upper arm cuffs are preferred and are often covered by insurance. ” He recommended checking out Amazon where they are available for $45 to $65.

I liked very much that the CDC recommendations were all lifestyle ones and did not include any taking of drugs. Obviously, this assumes that our blood pressure is in the normal range. Perhaps if we get our lifestyle in synch with these recommendations, our blood pressure won’t go up and we won’t need to go the drug route – ever.

I am arranging to get a blood pressure monitor and plan to take mine regularly at home and furnish my doctor with the numbers the next time I see her.

What do you think?

Tony

2 Comments

Filed under aging, blood pressure, heart, heart disease, heart problems, stroke

Do I Have to go on Statin Drugs for the Rest of my Life to Fight High Cholesterol?

“Millions more Americans could end up taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs under new recommendations released Tuesday that advocate a dramatic shift in the way doctors assess and treat cardiovascular risk,” according to the Washington Post.

“Roughly a quarter of Americans age 45 and older already take statins, which include familiar brands such as Lipitor and Zocor, to treat high cholesterol. But that number could grow sharply under far-reaching guidelines detailed by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology.”

640_vid_072408_pill_bottles

The leading cause of death for Americans is heart disease. About one in every four deaths in the United States, or about 600,000 annually, are attributed to heart disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Cholesterol helps your body build new cells, insulate nerves, and produce hormones. Normally, the liver makes all the cholesterol the body needs. But cholesterol also enters your body from food. Too much cholesterol in your body increases your risk of getting heart disease.

The Mayo Clinic says, “Statins work by slowing your body’s production of cholesterol. Your body produces all the cholesterol it needs by digesting food and producing new cells on its own. When this natural production is slowed, your body begins to draw the cholesterol it needs from the food you eat, lowering your total cholesterol.

“Statins may affect not only your liver’s production of cholesterol but also several enzymes in muscle cells that are responsible for muscle growth. The effects of statins on these cells may be the cause of muscle aches.”

While much media attention has been paid to the doctors’ recommendations that more Americans need to take statin drugs, not much has been written about lifestyle changes like simply improving our diet and personal health in the first place so we don’t need the drugs to save us from our reckless habits.

Some good clear-headed recommendations did come from the press conference, however. “Our recommendation is that doctors prescribe a diet to achieve reduced caloric intake as part of a comprehensive lifestyle intervention,” guideline co-author Dr. Donna Ryan, a professor emeritus at Louisiana State University’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, said during the press conference. The diet should be tailored to patient preferences and any drugs they take, she said. Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under cholesterol, Exercise, heart disease, heart problems, statin drugs, Weight

Study: Low Fiber Intake Links to Higher Heart Risk

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) — an independent nonprofit organization that advises the U.S. government on health issues — recommends 38 grams of fiber a day for men aged 19 to 50 and 30 grams a day for men over 50. The IOM recommends 25 grams a day for women aged 19 to 50 and 21 grams a day for women over 50.

But the average dietary fiber intake among the study participants was only about 16 grams per day, according to the study, which was published in the December issue of the American Journal of Medicine.

Cooking with Kathy Man

Research looked at a decade of data from thousands of U.S. adults.

People who don’t eat enough fiber seem at increased risk for heart problems, and too few Americans are consuming enough fiber, a new study says.

Researchers analyzed data collected from more than 23,000 U.S. adults between 1999 and 2010 and found that low fiber intake was strongly associated with heart disease risk factors such as obesity, inflammation and metabolic syndrome. The syndrome is a group of symptoms that puts people at increased risk for diabetes and heart disease.

Previous studies have found that dietary fiber may help lower blood pressure, cholesterol levels and inflammation. Despite those findings, this new study found that Americans don’t have enough fiber in their diets.

Fiber-rich foods include fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains.

The Institute of Medicine — an independent nonprofit organization that advises the U.S. government on health issues — recommends 38…

View original post 151 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Fiber, healthy eating, healthy living, heart, heart disease, heart problems, Uncategorized