By Patsy Hamilton
Much of the latest published research reports on coronary heart disease focus on treatment and the use of statin drugs to lower LDL cholesterol levels. The coronary heart disease research studies mentioned here focus primarily on causes and the need for prevention education, rather than treatment.
A number of scientific studies have focused on the relationship between heart disease and type-2 diabetes mellitus, sometimes referred to as adult onset diabetes. Uncontrolled diabetes is a risk factor for developing heart disease. One recent study focused on the survival rate of patients with diabetes mellitus, who had already suffered one heart attack.
Of the 69 patients studied, 49% had shown symptoms of coronary heart disease before their first heart attack. 67% had high blood pressure. 38% were obese. 26% were overweight. 32% were smokers. 28% had abnormal cholesterol levels. 30.4% of the patients were unaware that their blood sugar levels were unhealthy, until they were hospitalized for their heart attacks, thus they were not being treated for diabetes previously.
Within two years, 34.6% of the patients had died. 72.2% of the deaths were attributed to â€œcardiovascular syndromesâ€; myocardial infarction (heart attack), heart failure, stroke or generalized atherosclerosis (a condition in which fatty substances in the blood build up on the inner lining of the arterial walls, forming a hard plaque that can eventually block the flow of blood). These results are sad for numerous reasons. Many of these people could have lived longer healthier lives, if they had received the right information and taken action to protect their hearts.
Persons with multiple risk factors, such as obesity, high blood pressure, and unhealthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels are often said to be suffering from â€œmetabolic syndromeâ€. The exact definition of metabolic syndrome varies among health organizations. Some groups use waist circumference as a defining factor, while others use body-mass index.
Recent coronary heart disease research studies conducted in China showed an â€œalarmingly highâ€ rate of metabolic syndrome in the older Chinese population. Researchers at the School of Public Health in Hong Kong called for an increased need for prevention education and treatment strategies to reduce the â€œsocietal burdenâ€. Similar studies in North America and Europe have identified similar problems.
It is clear that one of the best ways to reduce the risk of heart disease is to maintain a healthy weight. Research reports on coronary heart disease have shown again and again that good nutrition is equally important. Fasting and fad diets that cause quick weight loss, followed by rapid weight gain negatively affect metabolism and may lead to unhealthy blood sugar levels or â€œinsulin resistanceâ€, which is often followed by diabetes mellitus.
You are never too young or too old to focus on your overall health. It may take time to give up the old habits, but it is well worth the effort. For example, smoking causes the blood vessels and arteries to function abnormally. L-arginine, vitamin C and other anti-oxidants have been used to restore proper function, but until recently, it was unclear if quitting smoking alone would correct the dysfunction, and if so, how quickly.
In 2006, researchers at Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan saw improvement in coronary function in individuals who had not smoked for as little as one month. For many years the American Lung Association has told us that â€œquitting smoking now greatly reduces your risk of developing lung cancer and heart diseaseâ€. Smoking also leads to high blood pressure, another risk factor of coronary heart disease. Research studies confirming this fact are too numerous to mention.
Type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, heart disease and obesity are all related to uhealthy diets. Research reports on coronary heart disease have concluded that changes in diet and many dietary supplements may protect the heart. To learn more, visit Heart Health Diet Tips, a new website that focuses on natural prevention of heart disease.
Patsy Hamilton was a healthcare professional for over twenty years before becoming a freelance writer. Currently she is writing a series of articles about natural ways to prevent heart disease, high blood pressure and unhealthy cholesterol levels. Read more at heart-health-diet-tips.com
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