Aerosol generated from vaping devices likely impairs blood vessels’ ability to function comparable to traditional cigarette smoke, according to preliminary research in rats presented at the American Heart Association’s Basic Cardiovascular Sciences Scientific Sessions 2021. The virtual meeting, Aug. 23-25, offers the latest research on basic and translational cardiovascular science.
Vaping, or the use of e-cigarettes, is often promoted as a less harmful alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes. E-cigarettes contain a cartridge with a liquid containing nicotine that generates an aerosol that is inhaled, like smoking a cigarette. Despite the popularity of these devices, knowledge is still limited about the impact of the aerosols from e-cigarettes, heated tobacco products and newer, coil-less, ultrasonic vaping devices on cardiovascular function.
“When you inhale a suspension of particles or a mist, whether it is from tobacco or marijuana, whether it’s smoke or aerosol, it all has the same effect,” said Matthew L. Springer, Ph.D., senior author of the study and a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine. “Our research reinforces the previous findings that vaping is not without harm, and it underscores the importance of counseling patients about the risks of vaping because it does affect cardiovascular function.”
As a lifetime music lover, I was pleased to read this item on it value in the Harvard Health Blog by Julie Corliss, Executive Editor, Harvard Health Letter. One of my happiest discoveries in the past few years was a blue tooth speaker on a water bottle. I have my choice of over 1000 tunes on my iPhone to accompany me on the bike. Riding to music beats my previous soundless rides.
What’s your “cheer up” song? That question popped up on a recent text thread among a few of my longtime friends. It spurred a list of songs from the ‘70s and ‘80s, back when we were in high school and college. But did you know that music may actually help boost your health as well as your mood?
Music engages not only your auditory system but many other parts of your brain as well, including areas responsible for movement, language, attention, memory, and emotion. “There is no other stimulus on earth that simultaneously engages our brains as widely as music does,” says Brian Harris, certified neurologic music therapist at Harvard-affiliated Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. This global activation happens whether you listen to music, play an instrument, or sing — even informally in the car or the shower, he says. Continue reading →
Not long ago I posted some logistical suggestions from Harvard on aging. Now comes the Mayo Clinic with some excellent internal insights.
“As you age, your heart rate becomes slightly slower and your heart might become bigger. Your blood vessels and your arteries also become stiffer, causing your heart to work harder to pump blood through them. This can lead to high blood pressure (hypertension) and other cardiovascular problems.
“What you can do to promote heart health:
• Include physical activity in your daily routine. Try walking, swimming or other activities you enjoy. Regular moderate physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight, lower blood pressure and lessen the extent of arterial stiffening.
• Eat a healthy diet. Choose vegetables, fruits, whole grains, high-fiber foods and lean sources of protein, such as fish. Limit foods high in saturated fat and sodium. A healthy diet can help you keep your heart and arteries healthy.
• Don’t smoke. Smoking contributes to the hardening of your arteries and increases your blood pressure and heart rate. If you smoke or use other tobacco products, ask your doctor to help you quit.
• Manage stress. Stress can take a toll on your heart. Take steps to reduce stress — or learn to deal with stress in healthy ways.”
It’s true that everyone already knows all of these but I think it is good to have them repeated by a reputable source to get us going in the right direction.