Category Archives: peripheral artery disease

Heavy drinking may lead to stroke, peripheral artery disease

One of the most amazing statistics I have heard as a result of the coronavirus pandemic is that sales of high end liquors are up 500% in the past three months. Folks, please! Use a little self awareness.

Drinking high amounts of alcohol may be linked to increased risk of stroke or peripheral artery disease – the narrowing of arteries in the legs, according to new genetic research.

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The study, published Tuesday in Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine, used a technique called Mendelian randomization that identifies genetic variants. While observational studies have shown similar results, this new work provides insights through a different lens.

“Since genetic variants are determined at conception and cannot be affected by subsequent environmental factors, this technique allows us to better determine whether a risk factor – in this case, heavy alcohol consumption – is the cause of a disease, or if it is simply associated,” the study’s lead author, Susanna Larsson, said in a news release. Larsson is senior researcher and associate professor of cardiovascular and nutritional epidemiology at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. “To our knowledge, this is the first study of its kind on alcohol consumption and several cardiovascular diseases.”

Genetic data from more than 500,000 United Kingdom residents showed higher alcohol intake contributed to a threefold increase of peripheral artery disease, a 27% increase in stroke risk, and a potential link to coronary artery disease, atrial fibrillation and aortic aneurysm.

“Higher alcohol consumption is a known cause of death and disability, yet it was previously unclear if alcohol consumption is also a cause of cardiovascular disease,” Larsson said. “Considering that many people consume alcohol regularly, it is important to disentangle any risks or benefits.”

Researchers suggest the heightened risk of stroke and PAD could be caused by higher blood pressure.

The American Heart Association’s statement on dietary health suggests alcohol intake can be part of a healthy diet if consumed in moderation – that is, no more than one drink a day for non-pregnant women and two drinks a day for men. The statement notes potential risks of alcohol on existing health conditions, medication-alcohol interaction or personal safety and work situations.

The prevalence of heavy drinking among participants was low, which researchers say is a limitation of the study.

Tony

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Filed under alcohol, binge drinking, drinking alcohol, peripheral artery disease, stroke

Hot Cocoa Aids Walking in Peripheral Artery Disease – Study

First of all, what is peripheral artery disease (PAD). I have heard about it, but don’t have any first hand knowledge of it.

PAD affects about 8.5 million people in the U.S.; people with PAD have blockages in their arteries that slow or stop the blood flood flow to their legs. As a result, they have pain and difficulty walking even short distances.

close up photography of cocoa powder

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Drinking flavanol-rich cocoa three times a day improved walking distance in individuals with peripheral artery disease (PAD), reports a new Northwestern Medicine pilot study.

“The degree of improvement from chocolate was significant and meaningful,” said lead author Mary McDermott, MD, the Jeremiah Stamler Professor of Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics and a Northwestern Medicine physician. “Exercise currently is the most effective medical therapy for PAD.  In this study, the benefits from chocolate were comparable to the benefits of exercise.”

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Filed under Exercise, exercise benefits, Northwestern Medicine, PAD, peripheral artery disease

Fruits and veggies may lower risk of blockages in leg arteries – AHA

Exercise is excellent for keeping the body healthy, but what you put into that body is also critical. I saw a poster that said, ‘You can’t outrun your fork.’

Eating three or more servings of fruit and vegetables per day may lower your risk of developing peripheral artery disease (PAD), according to new research in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, an American Heart Association journal.

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PAD narrows the arteries of the legs, limiting blood flow to the muscles and making it difficult or painful to walk or stand.

Previous studies linked lower consumption of fruits and vegetables with the increased occurrence of coronary heart disease and stroke. However, there has been little research into the association of eating fruits and vegetables and PAD. Continue reading

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Filed under fruits, healthy fruits, peripheral artery disease