Heart disease is the nation’s No. 1 cause of death, killing about 650,000 people every year. Life expectancy is cut short by the disease and the health problems that stem from it. But by how much – and what can people do to take those years back?
For heart attacks alone, more than 16 years of life are lost on average, according to American Heart Association statistics. Researchers estimate people with heart failure lose nearly 10 years of life compared to those without heart failure.
“In the past few years, there have been tremendous gains in reducing cardiovascular disease and increasing life expectancy, but we’ve hit a plateau,” said Paul Muntner, an epidemiologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Some people are at greater risk than others.
African Americans, for example, are more likely to have high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes, and they live 3.4 years less than their white counterparts. Among the six largest Asian American subgroups, research shows Asian Indian, Filipino and Vietnamese populations lose the most years of life to heart disease – up to 18 years for some – compared with white people.
The risk of early death also is high for people with a history of diabetes, stroke and heart attack. Reporting in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2015, researchers found people with all three conditions had their life expectancy cut by 15 years compared to those without any of the health problems. Even having just two of the conditions reduced life expectancy by 12 years.
But there is hope. Continue reading
I just ran across this and thought you might enjoy it as much as I did. Sometimes simple things can be very beneficial to our health.
I have written about central obesity – excess belly fat – previously. You can find further details on my Page – How dangerous is a big belly?
Nearly two-thirds of people at high risk of heart disease and stroke have excess belly fat, according to results of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) EUROASPIRE V survey presented today at the World Congress of Cardiology & Cardiovascular Health in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Excess fat around the middle of the body (central obesity) is a marker of abnormal fat distribution. This belly fat is bad for the heart, even in people who are not otherwise overweight or obese.
Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in Europe. Each year in Europe there are more than 11 million new cases of cardiovascular disease and 3.9 million deaths caused by cardiovascular disease. Elimination of risk behaviours would prevent at least 80% of cardiovascular diseases.
The study also found that less than half (47%) of those on antihypertensive medication reached the blood pressure target of less than 140/90 mmHg (less than 140/85 mmHg in patients with self-reported diabetes). Among those taking lipid-lowering drugs, only 43% attained the LDL cholesterol target of less than 2.5 mmol/L. In addition, many participants not taking any antihypertensive and/or lipid-lowering therapy had elevated blood pressure and elevated LDL cholesterol. Among patients being treated for type 2 diabetes, 65% achieved the blood sugar target of glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) less than <7.0%.
Professor Kornelia Kotseva, chair of the EUROASPIRE Steering Committee from Imperial College London, UK, said: “The survey shows that large proportions of individuals at high risk of cardiovascular disease have unhealthy lifestyle habits and uncontrolled blood pressure, lipids and diabetes.” Continue reading
REBLOGGING THIS IN CASE YOU MISSED IT.
One Regular Guy Writing about Food, Exercise and Living Past 100
I wanted to post this early to remind you about the nature of snow shoveling. The sight of snow can be a beautiful thing, but the nitty gritty of it is otherwise. Driving a car over snow is treacherous, ditto trying to navigate a bicycle. But the worst can be removing it. Shoveling snow is dangerous work.
While I strongly support calorie burning exercises to build up your cardiovascular system and other benefits, it is important to know your limits. If you are not currently working out or don’t consider yourself to be “in condition,” please think twice before you grab that snow shovel and race out to clear the walk.
Photo by Michiel Alleman on Pexels.com
The American Journal of Emergency Medicine reported that more than 195,000 people were treated in U.S. Emergency Rooms for snow-shovel-related incidents from 1990 to 2006. This is an average of 11,500 individuals per…
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Is Cooking Oil Safe?
There are lots of ideas circulating about cooking oils and fats. Here is Tufts University Health and Nutrition Update on the subject of cooking oils.
Q. I heard that the heat from cooking makes oil dangerous. Is oil safe to cook with?
A. “Oil is safe to cook with under usual conditions,” says Alice H. Lichtenstein, DSc, senior scientist at Tufts’ HNRCA and executive editor of Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter. “The primary concern I suspect your source was referring to is oxidation, a natural process that occurs when one molecule gives up an electron to another as part of a chemical reaction. The process creates free radicals, which can cause damage that could increase risk for problems such as heart attack, stroke, and cancer. Oils and oily foods (like nuts and whole grains) can oxidize over time, even without cooking. Exposure to light, heat, and air speed up this process. Keep oils in a cool, dark place, and store nuts, whole-grain flours, and fish-, nut-, and seed oils in the refrigerator to keep them fresh longer. Repeatedly-heated cooking oil has been found to have more signs of oxidation, so it’s best not to reuse cooking oil.”
“To counteract free radicals, whether they are formed by normal metabolism in the body or in oils, eat plenty of plant foods. Fruits, vegetables, and other plants have antioxidants that can counteract free radicals in the body.”
As regular readers know I pretty much ride my bike every day here in Chicago. I say ‘pretty much’ because several years ago, my doctor told me that I shouldn’t be doing my big rides in high temperatures. I said that I felt I was in great shape and my body could handle it. She answered that she said the same thing to her 40-year-old patients. Extreme heat puts the body under special stress and it is not wise to actively exercise in those conditions.
Here I am riding with my dog in the annual Bike the Drive ride in Chicago down Lake Shore Drive. As a Memorial Day ride, the temps rarely hit high extremes.
Now, it seems that now only high temp extremes, but also large intra-day changes can be damaging, according to a study being presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 67th Annual Scientific Session. It states that large day-to-day swings in temperature were associated with significantly more heart attacks in a study being presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 67th Annual Scientific Session.
Regarding extreme weather events, Hedvig Andersson, MD, a cardiology researcher at the University of Michigan and the study’s lead author, said, “Our study suggests that such fluctuations in outdoor temperature could potentially lead to an increased number of heart attacks and affect global cardiac health in the future.”
There is a large body of evidence showing that outdoor temperature affects the rate of heart attacks, with cold weather bringing the highest risk, but most previous studies have focused on overall daily temperatures. This new study is among the first to examine associations with sudden temperature changes. Continue reading
Filed under cold weather exercising, Exercise, heart, heart attack, high blood pressure, outdoor exercise, Risky exercise, smoking, Smoking dangers, summer exercise, temperature changes
As regular readers know, I feel strongly that smoking is an unmitigated blight on our lives. We lose over 170,000 people to it every year – just in lung cancer alone – totally preventable. To be honest, I am surprised that anyone who can read would choose to be a smoker. Nonetheless, it is so. I have a Page on it – How many ways does smoking harm you? which I recommend you check out after reading this.
I am reproducing what follows from Medical News Today because I like the way they spell out positive aspects of ceasing smoking. Jenna Fletcher wrote it.
Cigarette smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death in the United States. Despite this, some smokers find quitting daunting. They think it will take a very long time before seeing improvements in their health and well-being.
However, the timeline for seeing real benefits to quitting smoking is much faster than most people realize. Health benefits begin in as little as an hour after the last cigarette and continue to improve. Continue reading
Lifestyle patterns, including regular exercise and staying slim, are associated with a risk of overall heart failure but are more strongly associated with the heart failure subtype HFpEF, according to a study published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Before getting into the study, I want to reiterate the mantra of this blog: eat less; move more; live longer. Certainly words to live by.
Heart failure is a medical condition defined by the inability of the heart to meet the demands of the body, particularly during exertion. Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) is a subtype of heart failure that involves the heart and other organs and is characterized a stiff heart muscle that is unable to fill adequately with blood, resulting in fluid backing up into the lungs and body.
Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction accounts for up to 50 percent of heart failure cases and is associated with poor outcomes. It has also proven to be resistant to available therapies, leading to prevention being a critical part of controlling the growing burden of this disease.
“We consistently found an association between physical activity, BMI and overall heart failure risk,” said Jarett D. Berry, MD, associate professor in the department of internal medicine and clinical sciences and director of cardiac rehabilitation at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, and the study’s senior author. “This was not unexpected, however the impact of these lifestyle factors on heart failure subtypes was quite different.”(my emphasis)
Ignorance about blood pressure is widespread.
Harvard Medical School reports “Blood pressure has long been one of the best markers of your health. It is a number you can remember and monitor. High blood pressure (hypertension) is linked to a greater risk of heart attacks and strokes.
“About one out of three adults has high blood pressure, which is usually defined as a reading of 140/90 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or higher.”
You can have high blood pressure, or hypertension, and still feel just fine, according to the National Institute on Aging (NIA). That’s because high blood pressure often does not cause signs of illness that you can see or feel. But, high blood pressure, sometimes called “the silent killer,” is very common in older people and a major health problem.
• 24-hour ambulatory, or around-the-clock monitoring, during daily activities revealed undetected high blood pressure among otherwise healthy adults who had normal readings in the clinic.
• Healthcare providers should be aware that normal blood-pressure tests in the clinic may not rule out high blood pressure among otherwise healthy patients. Continue reading
I am now in my seventh year of writing this blog on Food, Exercise and Living Longer. Nearly a million people have read posts in that period and the readership grows on a daily basis. So I was very surprised to learn that with all the increased sensitivity to nutrition, yoga, cross fit, exercise of every stripe, it seems, heart attack patients are getting younger and more obese.
Despite increased understanding of heart disease risk factors and the need for preventive lifestyle changes, patients suffering the most severe type of heart attack have become younger, more obese and more likely to have preventable risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, according to a study scheduled for presentation at the American College of Cardiology’s 65th Annual Scientific Session.
The new study analyzed heart disease risk factors among more than 3,900 patients who were treated for ST-elevation myocardial infarction, or STEMI–the most severe and deadly type of heart attack–at Cleveland Clinic between 1995 and 2014.
“On the whole, the medical community has done an outstanding job of improving treatments for heart disease, but this study shows that we have to do better on the prevention side,” said Samir Kapadia, M.D., professor of medicine and section head for interventional cardiology at Cleveland Clinic and the study’s primary investigator. “When people come for routine checkups, it is critical to stress the importance of reducing risk factors through weight reduction, eating a healthy diet and being physically active.”(My emphasis) Continue reading
Simple and effective. This is a short post, but worth a look.
Eat less; move more.
To read further on heart health, check out my Page – How to Lose Weight and Keep it Off.
Our Better Health
Are you concerned about your heart health?
Here are some tips to help you look after your heart.
- Quit smoking now. Twelve months after quitting, your increased risk of dying from heart disease will be half that of a continuing smoker.
- Improve your diet. Include wholegrain cereals, legumes, fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts in your diet and lower your risk of heart disease.
- Exercise regularly. Walk briskly for 30 minutes a day and reduce your risk of heart attack by one third.
- Maintain your friendships. People with supportive friendship networks are at less risk of heart disease.
- Eat more fish. Oily fish like tuna, sardines or salmon are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and will boost your good cholesterol.
- Switch your chocolate choice. Switch from milk chocolate to dark chocolate. When eaten in moderation, dark chocolate is good for your heart.
- Limit your alcohol. It is recommended you limit yourself…
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It makes sense for people at high risk of heart problems to take aspirin, he concluded.
“For all those people, they should take aspirin for the long haul, because the benefits outweigh the risk,” Gaziano said. “But if you’re very low risk, the benefits of aspirin likely don’t outweigh the risk” of increased bleeding.
Cooking with Kathy Man
Daily low-dose aspirin therapy may not have significant heart-health benefits for older people, new research suggests.
The study, which involved more than 14,000 Japanese people aged 60 to 85, found no major difference in heart-related deaths or non-fatal heart attacks and strokes between people who took aspirin and those who didn’t.
“It indicates that primary prevention with daily low-dose aspirin does not reduce the combined risk in this population,” said study co-author Dr. Kazuyuki Shimada, of the University of Shin-Oyama City Hospital in Tochigi, Japan.
Despite this study’s findings, people should talk with their doctor before they stop taking aspirin to prevent heart attacks and strokes, said Dr. Michael Gaziano, chief of the division of aging at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and a professor at Harvard Medical School.
“Patients need to discuss this with their doctor, because I think it’s difficult to do that calculation of benefit and…
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“We estimate that individuals with significant plaque buildup in the arteries of the heart are much more likely to prevent a heart attack with aspirin use than to suffer a significant bleed” explains Miedema. “On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you don’t have any calcified plaque, our estimations indicate that use of aspirin would result in more harm than good, even if you have risk factors for heart disease such as high cholesterol or a family history of the disease.”
Cooking with Kathy Man
Cardiac Screening Test May Help Determine Who Should Take Aspirin to Prevent Heart Attack
A study involving the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation shows that a simple test to measure plaque in the arteries of the heart may help doctors better determine who will and will not benefit from use of aspirin therapy to prevent heart disease.
For over 30 years, aspirin has been known to prevent heart attacks and strokes, but who exactly should take a daily aspirin remains unclear. New research published today in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes shows that your coronary artery calcium (CAC) score, a measurement of plaque in the arteries that feed the heart, may help determine whether or not you are a good candidate for aspirin.
“Many heart attacks and strokes occur in individuals who do not appear to be at high risk,” states lead author, Michael D Miedema, MD, MPH. “Individuals with known…
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How much fibre people ate before they had a heart attack did not affect how long they lived after a heart attack. But people who increased the amount of fibre they ate after a heart attack were less likely to die during the study than people who didn’t increase how much fibre they ate.
Cooking with Kathy Man
After having a heart attack, people who eat foods containing fibre, in particular cereal fibre, may live for longer than people who eat less fibre.
What do we know already?
A heart attack happens when the heart doesn’t get enough oxygen and part of it dies. This usually happens when one of the vessels that take blood and oxygen to the heart is suddenly blocked.
Heart attacks are medical emergencies, which need to be treated in hospital straight away. After a heart attack, making lifestyle changes can help some people to recover and live for longer.
A previous study of people who’d had a heart attack looked at whether those who ate more foods with a lot of fibre (such as beans and lentils, wholegrain cereals, oats, fruits and vegetables) lived for longer than people who ate less fibre. It suggested fibre wasn’t linked to how long people lived after…
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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.
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?
Filed under aging, Center for Science in the Public Interest, heart, heart disease, heart problems, salt, sodium, stroke, Weight, weight control, weight loss
Heart Age, a free Web-based tool owned by consumer-goods maker Unilever, ULVR.LN -0.97% combines various risk factors, such as body weight, cholesterol and smoking habits, to estimate a biological age for the heart. The result is framed relative to a person’s chronological age. The researchers on the Spanish study, published in the February issue of the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, aren’t affiliated with Unilever.
Cooking with Kathy Man
We all know we should eat healthier, exercise more and sometimes take medicines to stave off heart disease. Some researchers think putting an age on our hearts will do a better job of motivating us to do all that.
In a recent study involving 3,000 patients, researchers in Spain compared a relatively new tool to measure heart-disease risk, called Heart Age, against a commonly used risk-assessment tool. Participants who were told their heart age was greater than their chronological age showed bigger health improvements a year later than those in the comparison group. Both groups were healthier after a year than a control group that received conventional advice about nutrition and exercise.
A checkup at the doctor, of course, may alert patients when blood pressure and cholesterol levels, among other risk factors, are too high. And a number of statistical tools let patients know when they are at moderate-to-high risk…
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