Archive for the ‘heart’ Category

Exercise—Any Physical Activity Saves Lives

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

Physical activity of any kind can raise the heart rate, prevent heart disease and death and help people meet the current guidelines of 30 minutes  a day or 150 minutes a week according to a new study published in the Lancet. The study involved more than 130,000 people in 17 countries. People from low and middle income countries who often do not participate in leisure time physical activities were included. Researchers said “By including low and middle income countries in this study, we were able to determine the benefits of activities such as active commuting,. having an active job, or even doing housework. ” He also said one in four people worldwide do not meet the current activity guidelines and that number is nearly three in four in Canada.

Using the new criteria of activity influenced the death rates of all diseases and and heart disease 28% and 20%. They also found that those who had brisk walking 750 minutes a week reduced their risk of death by 36%They also found that less than 3% of the people achieved that level with leisure activities but 38% did with activities such as commuting, being active at work, and doing housework. They concluded that if people could be active for at least 150 minutes a week, a total of 8% of deaths could be prevented..

Is Eating Chocolate Daily Good for your Heart Health?

Friday, June 19th, 2015


A new study published online in the journal Heart concluded that eating up to 100 gm of chocolate daily is associated with lower heart disease and risk of stroke. Specifically eating this amount of chocolate compared to those who ate no chocolate is associated with an 11% lower risk of cardiovascular disease and a 25% lower risk of associated death.  Thus, there does not seem to be evidence for cutting out chocolate to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.

These results were based on analysis of almost 21,000 adults who participated in the study that traced the impact of diet on long term health of 25,000 men and women in England using food frequency and lifestyle questionnaires. Researchers also reviewed published evidence of links between chocolate and cardiovascular disease that involved almost 158,000 people. In the study subjects were monitored almost 12 years on average, during which time 3013 (14%) experienced either an episode of fatal or non-fatal coronary heart disease or stroke. Among subjects about 1 in 5 said they did not eat any chocolate . but among the others daily consumption averaged 7 gm with some eating up to 100 gm. Eating more chocolate was also associated with higher energy intake and a diet containing more fat and carbohydrates and less protein and alcohol.

In addition, to results presented earlier, additional results showed a 9% lower risk of hospital admission or death as a result of coronary heart disease after taking into account dietary factors. Results also showed a 23% lower risk of stroke for those eating chocolate. Analysis of published studies showed similar results. Because this is an observational study, the researchers said no definitive conclusions about cause and effect can be made. However, they say “Cumulative evidence suggests that higher chocolate intake is associated with a lower risk of future cardiovascular events.” They add that since milk chocolate was more often used by the subjects, the health benefits may extend tyo this type of chocolate also.

Do Optimistic People Have Healthier Hearts and Other Health Indicators?

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

Logos 016

A new study published in Health Behavior and Policy Review concluded that the most optimistic people in a study of 5,000 subjects had twice the odds of being in ideal cardiovascular health than their pessimistic counterparts and was significant even after controlling for sociodemographic characteristics and poor mental health. Indicators used to assess cardiovascular health included blood pressure, body mass index, fasting plasma glucose and serum cholesterol levels, dietary intake, physical activity and tobacco use. These are the same indexes used by the American Heart Association to define heart health. . For each item a score of 0, 1 or 2 points was allocated with   each subject representing poor, intermediate and ideal scores. The scores for the seven indexes were totaled for a score of 0 to 14 where the highest total score indicated better health.

Subjects ranging from 45 to 84 years of age with a racial diversity of 38 percent white, 28 percent African-American,. 22 percent Hispanic/Latino, and 12 percent Chinese also completed surveys that assessed their mental health, level of optimism, and physical health based upon self report medical diagnoses of arthritis, liver and kidney disease. Subjects were followed for 11 years and data was collected every 18 months to 2 years.  Scores on optimism of individuals increase with their total health scores and those who were most optimistic were 50 to 76 percent more likely to have total health scores in the intermediate and ideal range respectively. In addition, when sociodemographi8c characteristics such as age, race, ethnicity, income, and education status were factored in the association between optimism and cardiovascular health were more pronounced, Those who were most optimistic were twice as likely to have ideal cardiovascular health, and 55 percent more likely to have a total health score in the intermediate range. In addition, those who were the most optimistic had better blood sugar and total cholesterol levels, were more physically active, had healthier body mass indexes, and were less likely to smoke.