Heart Attack Prevention for Women

December 13, 2011 by  
Filed under VIDEO

I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!

youtube.com/watch?v=owWCMpSFS4g%3Fversion%3D3%26f%3Dvideos%26app%3Dyoutube_gdata

Dr. Bob gives tips for women on the prevention of heart attacks. For more health tips and information visit www.DrBobShow.com.

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Heart Disease: Worse For Women Than Men?

December 10, 2011 by  
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I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!

youtube.com/watch?v=vCkDjDjbQxk%3Fversion%3D3%26f%3Dvideos%26app%3Dyoutube_gdata

Do men really have it easy? Can heart disease really be worse just because you’re a woman? Dr. Bob gives the answer. For more health tips and information visit www.DrBobShow.com.

Tell us what you think about this video in the comments below, or in the Battling For Health Community Forum!

Heart Disease: Worse For Women Than Men?

December 10, 2011 by  
Filed under VIDEO

I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!

youtube.com/watch?v=vCkDjDjbQxk%3Fversion%3D3%26f%3Dvideos%26app%3Dyoutube_gdata

Do men really have it easy? Can heart disease really be worse just because you’re a woman? Dr. Bob gives the answer. For more health tips and information visit www.DrBobShow.com.

Tell us what you think about this video in the comments below, or in the Battling For Health Community Forum!

Heart Disease: Worse For Women Than Men?

December 10, 2011 by  
Filed under VIDEO

I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!

youtube.com/watch?v=vCkDjDjbQxk%3Fversion%3D3%26f%3Dvideos%26app%3Dyoutube_gdata

Do men really have it easy? Can heart disease really be worse just because you’re a woman? Dr. Bob gives the answer. For more health tips and information visit www.DrBobShow.com.

Tell us what you think about this video in the comments below, or in the Battling For Health Community Forum!

Kegel Exercises Video for Women during Pregnancy: Stronger Vaginal Muscles for easier Childbirth

October 11, 2011 by  
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I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!

youtube.com/watch?v=GKtWfYUmp40%3Fversion%3D3%26f%3Dvideos%26app%3Dyoutube_gdata

excise for you and your family. To know more healthy tips and to buy best health products visit www.healthtipsforlife.com

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5 Tips to Improve Your Health & Help Your Doctor, Holistic Natural Medicine

July 20, 2011 by  
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I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!

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5 Tips to Improve Your Health & Help Your Doctor, Holistic Natural Medicine Desiree Scorcelletti, A holistic health educator discusses the importance of taking responsibility for our own health instead of relying completely on doctors and other medical professionals. The danger of blindly trusting your doctor to just fix you or expecting him to have a magic pill to solve every issue for every symptom. These 5 tips are a great start to taking control of and improving your health. Although it may seem intimidating, you can improve your condition and meet your doctor half-way so you can really improve your health. Find out how a holistic approach to health care and wellness might be beneficial. This self care technique is designed help reduce toxins and improve nutrition to aid in man’s and woman’s health. Reducing toxins from your diet and taking a holistic approach can reduce health risks and disease. Related Videos: Holistic Health Tips, Your Body As A Garden; Natural Medicine For Wellness www.youtube.com Is Your Doctor Duping You? Can You Trust Your Doctor? Holistic Natural Medicine www.youtube.com This video was produced by Psychetruth www.youtube.com www.twitter.com www.facebook.com www.myspace.com © Copyright 2011 Target Public Media LLC. All Rights Reserved. tips improve health help doctor holistic your body natural medicine wellness desiree scorcelletti happy more healthy nutrition fitness symptom pain ache self treatment diy woman’s man’s heart howto “how to” free

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Why Men Die First

June 13, 2011 by  
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I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!

youtube.com/watch?v=F_IkPxcSmZQ%3Ff%3Dvideos%26app%3Dyoutube_gdata

An expert in gender-specific health issues gives tips to help the men in our lives live longer, healthier lives.

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Top Health Tips for Women [FOXNews: 5-09-2011]

May 28, 2011 by  
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I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!

youtube.com/watch?v=UWCPPS2ZxlE%3Ff%3Dvideos%26app%3Dyoutube_gdata

Subscribe for more news. Like/Dislike, Comment, or Favorite this video. —————– en.wikipedia.org ^ b. English is the de facto language of American government and the sole language spoken at home by 80% of Americans age five and older. Spanish is the second most commonly spoken language. ^ c. Whether the United States or the People’s Republic of China is larger is disputed. The figure given is from the US Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook. Other sources give smaller figures. All authoritative calculations of the country’s size include only the 50 states and the District of Columbia, not the territories. The United States of America (also referred to as the United States, the US , the USA, or America) is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district. The country is situated mostly in central North America, where its forty-eight contiguous states and Washington, DC , the capital district, lie between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, bordered by Canada to the north and Mexico to the south. The state of Alaska is in the northwest of the continent, with Canada to the east and Russia to the west across the Bering Strait. The state of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific. The country also possesses several territories in the Caribbean and Pacific. At 3. 79 million square miles (9. 83 million km2) and with over 308 million people, the United States is the third or fourth largest country by total area, and the third

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FDA Women’s Health Video Blog: Women’s Heart Health

March 21, 2011 by  
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I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!

youtube.com/watch?v=KGIKjjDgn7s%3Ff%3Dvideos%26app%3Dyoutube_gdata

Did you know that heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States? Watch as FDA’s video blog hosts talk through the important signs of heart disease in women. For tips and additional information about heart health, healthy eating and more, please visit: www.fda.gov

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Hot Women Are Bad For Your Health (Study)

March 12, 2011 by  
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I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!

youtube.com/watch?v=6M7C56zrfkM%3Ff%3Dvideos%26app%3Dyoutube_gdata

New TYT Facebook Page(!): www.facebook.com Don’t forget to check out Ana’s blog at: www.examiner.com Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com TYT Network (new WTF?! channel): www.youtube.com Check Out TYT Interviews www.youtube.com Watch more at www.theyoungturks.com

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Prenatal Yoga Exercises and Kegel Exercises for Pregnant Women: Opening Hips & Easier Childbirth

February 11, 2011 by  
Filed under VIDEO

I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!

youtube.com/watch?v=wlVw-TTU7lQ%3Ff%3Dvideos%26app%3Dyoutube_gdata

excise for you and your family. To know more healthy tips and to buy best health products visit www.healthtipsforlife.com

Tell us what you think about this video in the comments below, or in the Battling For Health Community Forum!

The heart, the thyroid and medications

February 9, 2011 by  
Filed under HEART AND STROKE

When it feels like your heart is jumping erratically inside your chest, you ask yourself “What’s wrong with me?” If you are a health-conscious person like me, you will ask “Where did I do wrong?” Was it the coffee this morning? Was it the glass of wine I had last night? Was it the jogging run in the cold?

My palpitations started last weekend and worsened on Monday. Monday night was a sleepless night as I felt my heart regularly “missing a beat.” I was wreck on Tuesday, walking around like a bear with a sore head. So I sat down and went through my risk factors for heart problems.

  • Family history of heart disease – no
  • Weight/Body Mass Index – normal
  • Physical exercise – regular jogging runs and walks
  • Diet – not perfect but okay
  • Smoking – no
  • Alcohol – 1 glass a week
  • Coffee intake – 1 cup a day
  • Stress levels – manageable at the moment
  • Sleep – 6 to 7 hours a day is not bad
  • Postmenopausal – no yet
  • Blood pressure – always low
  • Lipids – never had any problems before

So my risk profile makes me a very unlikely candidate for a heart problem. So what is wrong with me? Do I need to see a doctor? Many people tend to put off seeing the doctor because of the feeling of being foolish when told “there’s absolutely nothing wrong with you.” Many times last Monday I started reaching for the phone and many times I changed my mind.

Then I began to think back. Have I felt like this before? What has changed in the last few months? And it dawned on me…

…racing pulse, irregular heartbeat, sleeplessness, nervousness, mood swings

Gosh! It’s my thyroid hormones again! In 2001, I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and had my thyroids taken out. Since then, I had to have hormone replacement therapy and take levothyroxine in the form of tablets every day. It is a challenge to find the right dosage as it is dependent on age, body weight, and pre-existing medical conditions including pregnancy, menopausal stage, etc. I have had major problems a couple of years back when I moved to another country and had to change the brand of my medication – same dosage, same active ingredient, different brand name. It took us (me and my new doctor) almost a year of trial and error to figure out the right dose for me. Then silly of me – we changed to another brand late last year.

So now I believe I know what’s wrong with me. And in an hour, I have an appointment with my doctor.

I have learned a few lessons in this experience:

What happened before can happen again. Be careful when changing medication brands. The concept of “personalized medicine” is really important. In my case, the drugs in theory were the same – bioequivalent – but my body reacts differently to different brands.

No, I have to run to my doctor for a new prescription.

Your caffeine fix does not hurt your heart (at least for ladies)

August 30, 2010 by  
Filed under HEART AND STROKE

Over the years, we have attributed our successes and failures partly to caffeine. The energy, the adrenalin and the high that we need to do a great job, sail through that tough exam, or drive hundreds of kilometers non-stop, we owe to it caffeine. But we also blame caffeine for the sleeplessness, the nervousness and the tremors, and the heart palpitations.

Over the years, there have been lots and lots of research about the effect of caffeine on our health. Check out the post Coffee: a health drink or an addictive brew?

A recent study by Swiss researchers based a large group of women who were participants in the Women’s Health Study. The study followed-up more than 30,000 middle-aged women for about 14 years. These women were initially healthy and had no heart problems or any other serious health issues. The participants were monitored for a median of 14.4 years in terms of health as well as their daily caffeine consumption.

The results of the study indicate that caffeine is not to blame for atrial fibrillation, a heart problem due to disruption in the rhythm of the heart beat. According to lead author Dr David Conen of the University Hospital, Basel, Switzerland:

“Increased caffeine consumption is not associated with an increased risk of atrial fibrillation in our population, and this confirms one of the few prior prospective studies on this issue, a Danish study that showed very similar findings.”

The researchers also the report the following as the most common sources of caffeine:

  • 81% coffee
  • 10% tea
  • 7% cola

with the assumption that there are:

  • 137 mg caffeine in a cup of coffee
  • 47 mg caffeine in a cup of tea
  • 46 mg caffeine in a can or bottle of cola
  • 7 mg caffeine per serving of chocolate candy

There is no information about caffeinate energy drinks but this might be because these drinks are basically commonly consumed by a sector of the population younger than the study participants.

This has been the biggest study so far to look at the health effects of caffeine.

“We can now say that there is definitely no large study out there showing that average long-term consumption of caffeine is associated with atrial fibrillation. I think when you drink moderate amounts, or even high amounts, of caffeine on a regular, stable basis, you can be reassured knowing that there is not an association with the arrhythmia.”

This is indeed good news for coffee lovers who need their daily caffeine fix in order to stay awake during the day. As to the claims that caffeine has actually a protective effect, the authors state this needs to be confirmed by other studies. And what about “binge” caffeine drinking via energy drinks reported in young people to enhance performance? The study only considered the habitual caffeine consumption of people e.g. average daily consumption and did not cover consumption of unusually large amount of caffeine in a short period of time.

To screen or not to screen: ADHD drugs’ effect on the heart

June 24, 2010 by  
Filed under HEART AND STROKE

In recent years, the number of children diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or ADHD has increased. A recent report estimates ADHD prevalence among children and adolescence at 8%.

Pharmacological treatment is most commonly prescribed for ADHD, particularly stimulant medications such as methylphenidate (MPH) and mixed-amphetamine-salt (MAS) formulations. However, there have been concerns on the side effects of these drugs, particularly adverse effects on the heart. However, health experts could not agree about the cardiotoxicity risks involved. As early as 2008, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends screening pediatric patients for heart problems before starting ADHD treatments. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics was not convinced of the risks and rejected the AHA guidelines.

According to Dr. Raul Silva the New York University Langone Medical Center:

“There has been a big brouhaha about the safety, particularly the cardiovascular safety, of stimulant medications for ADHD in kids, and at one point, the cardiac folks put a very big scare into people.”

This motivated him and his team of researchers to conduct a comprehensive review of data available from clinical trials conducted during the last 10 years on the safety of MPH and MAS.

Their results presented at the National Institute of Mental Health and American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology New Clinical Drug Evaluation Unit (NCDEU) 2010 Annual Meeting clarified some questions but also brought some reassurances. The findings basically show that ADHD medications, MPH as well as MAS, can increase heart rate, blood pressure, both systolic and diastolic and QT interval of children and adolescents. These increases however are mild to moderate and may not be clinically relevant to ADHD patients without initial cardiovascular problems. However, for those with underlying heart conditions that may not have diagnosed, these side effects can be dangerous. There were no deaths due to cardiovascular problems reported in the studies analyzed. The authors support the recommendations of the AHA to screen patients for heart abnormalities before starting them on these medications – but only if screening is possible. Withholding ADHD treatment from patients without access to an ECG is not warranted, according to the authors.

Dr. Silva believes in erring on the side of caution and performs cardiac screening for all his pediatric patients:

“The parents appreciate my doing this, and I have found some very interesting things, such as arrhythmias. When I go back to the pediatric cardiologist, they often tell me that it’s nothing to worry about. So the take-home message here is monitor when you can, ask baseline questions, but also be reassured, because the data really don’t show a heck of a lot of problems with cardiovascular side effects.”

Many drugs previously thought to be safe turned out to have adverse effects on heart health – rofecixib and rosiglitazone, to name a few. No wonder AHA is being cautious.

Heart(y) News, February 19

February 19, 2010 by  
Filed under HEART AND STROKE

Texas Children’s discharges history-making patient
Sixteen-year-old Francesco “Frank” De Santiago is finally going home from the hospital, thus making history. He was the first pediatric patient to be discharged last October after receiving an implanted mechanical heart pump, or ventricular assist device (VAD). The VAD is a bridging device implanted in patients waiting for a heart donor. Other pediatric patients with VAD have to stay at the hospital until a matching heart donor is found. Frank finally received a donor heart on January 29 after a 9-nine operation

According to Dr. David L.D. Morales, pediatric cardiovascular surgeon at Texas Children’s Heart Center who implanted Frank’s device last May and performed his recent heart transplant.
“Frank’s surgery went extremely well; he was a much better candidate for a heart transplant now than eight months ago when his heart was failing. The device improved his physical health and allowed him be discharged so he could enjoy some normal teen activity during the wait for a donor heart. Texas Children’s is leading the way in using five different types of VAD technology to help pediatric patients enhance their quality of life and outlook so they are better prepared for their transplant surgery.”

Statement of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on American Heart Month, February 2010
The American Heart Month is soon coming to an end but the we hope that the lessons learned have long-lasting effects. Here is part of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ statement:
American Heart Month is a time to spread awareness of the dangers of heart disease and stroke, and recommit to strengthening prevention, improving treatments, and helping all Americans live longer, healthier lives… This American Heart Month, talk with your doctor about your personal risk for heart disease and the steps to take to lower it.  By encouraging all Americans to adopt a healthy lifestyle, we can reduce the threat of heart disease and become a healthier country.”

NHLBI Funds Preclinical Tests on Devices for Infants and Children with Congenital Heart Defects
Each year, about 1,800 infants in the US die due to congenital heart defects. Many others suffer from heart diseases including heart failure. The US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) has recently awarded four contracts totaling $23.6 million for preclinical testing of devices to help children born with congenital heart defects The program is called Pumps for Kids, Infants, and Neonates (PumpKIN) and is planned for 4 years. The contractors are researchers in University of Pittsburgh, Ension, Inc., University of Maryland, and Jarvik Heart, Inc.

According paediatrician Dr. Susan B. Shurin, NHLBI Acting Director

“This research seeks to develop technologies to expand life-saving options for infants and children born with congenital heart defects or those who develop heart failure. The NHLBI is committed to saving the lives of our youngest patients. Well-designed circulatory support devices are expected to substantially improve the outcomes of the infants and young children who need them as they seek to recover or wait to receive a heart transplant.”

CVD Newswatch, August 21

August 21, 2009 by  
Filed under HEART AND STROKE

worldnewsAfter a 3-week break, I am back to bring you the latest heart(y) news. I hope you are enjoying your summer. Happy reading!

CVD congress watch

European Society of Cardiology Congress 2009
Europe’s heart experts will be meeting next week for the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Barcelona, Spain on August 29 to September. I will be bringing you updates from the meeting. Stay tuned!

CVD medical device watch

Heidelberg cardiac surgeons implant world’s first new DeBakey Heart Assist Device
Michael DeBakey may have move on to a better place but his legacy lives on. In July, cardiac surgeons at the Heidelberg University Hospital implanted the HeartAssist 5 ventricular assist device (VAD) for the very time. The heart pump is the modern version of the DeBakey VAD, developed by the renowned surgeon who passed away last year at the age of 99. The recipient was a 50-year old female with heart failure, who, for medical reasons cannot have a heart transplant. The implant will assist her heart permanently. The patient will be able to live a normal life at home.
The device is very small – it weighs only 92 g, and can completely replace the function of the heart’s left ventricle. It can be used for both adults and children. The pump can be also be used as a  “bridge-to-transplant” device that keeps a patient’s heart working while waiting for a matching donor heart.

CVD drug approval watch

FDA Approves New Cholesterol-Lowering Drug
The US FDA approved earlier this month the 4 mg dose of the anti-cholesterol drug pitavastatin (Livalo). Pitavastatin is indicated for patients with elevated or abnormal blood cholesterol levels which exercise and diet control. In order to be approved, a drug has to be proven to be better and safer that nay that is currently available on the market. Livalo was compared to three currently marketed statins in 5 clinical trials.

CVD drug safety watch

More data linking thiazolidinediones to fractures
More bad news about rosiglitazone (Avandia). Avandia belongs to the class of drugs called thiazolidinediones (TZDs), drugs which are used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. A study suggests that the use TZDs increases the risk for bone fractures. The study looked at 2 TZDs, rosiglitazone and pioglitazone, and found that TZD use is associated with a 28% increase in the risk of having peripheral fractures. The association seems to be stronger among pioglitazone users. In fact, the US FDA requested two years ago that a warning on fracture risk be added to the labeling of pioglitazone (Actos by Takeda). The study concludes: “There is insufficient clinical-trial evidence to show that treatment with TZDs provides clinical benefits beyond glycemic control, and in the absence of mitigating clinical benefits, mounting evidence of harm should discourage physicians from prescribing those drugs.”

Photo credit: stock.xchng

Stayin’ Alive can really keep your alive

August 18, 2009 by  
Filed under HEART AND STROKE

Remember the post on 102 Great Running Songs For A Fun And Fast Paced Workout? That piece really was quite popular and got so many comments.


On a similar note, I would like to highlight this seemingly useful song, be it for working out on the dance floor or the gym, jogging, just plain walking, and – take note – cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)! Well, maybe not for very fast-paced work out but nevertheless effective and fun.

If you have been around during the 70s, you would be familiar with disco beats. Yes, that was before hip hop, techno and rap. Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” is supposedly the most played disco song. However, the BeeGees (Maurice, Robin and Barry Gibb) were clearly the disco kings, with their work on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack as among the best. And one of their songs stand out which has become a real favorite for disco lovers – “Stayin’ Alive.”

But take note that “Stayin’ Alive” seems to be more just than a disco classic – it is a health aid!

Stayin’ Alive on your pedometer

Take for example the research of Simon Marshall of San Diego State University. He found that 100 steps a minute is the best rate on a treadmill, based on heart rate and oxygen consumption.

Marshall’s study data

“…support a general recommendation of walking at more than 100 steps per minute on level terrain to meet the minimum of the moderate-intensity guideline. Because health benefits can be achieved with bouts of exercise lasting at least 10 minutes, a useful starting point is to try and accumulate 1000 steps in 10 minutes, before building up to 3000 steps in 30 minutes. Individuals can monitor their progress using a simple pedometer and a wristwatch. The use of a single and simple pedometer-based guideline that is easy both to remember and measure may be more effective in a health communication strategy than the promotion of multiple guidelines and, therefore, messages.”

What if you don’t have a pedometer or treadmill? Well, “Stayin’ Alive” has just the right intensity with its disco tempo of 103 beats a minute. According to the researcher (who admits to be a disco fan)

“The tempo of it such that – as most disco music from the ’70s – the beat is fairly consistent throughout the whole song, and most people find it hard to sit still to.”

Therefore, “Stayin’ Alive” is an ideal addition to your work out music collection.

Stayin’ Alive with CPR

But wait. That’s not all there is to this disco beat. Because of the intensity and regularity of its tempo, “Stayin’ Alive” is also the ideal beat to time CPR moves. According to WebMD, “Stayin Alive” has a beat that’s in sync with the recommended pace for chest compressions given during CPR.” Even the American Heart Association recommends it for its Hands-Only CPR campaign. And well, let’s face it, it’s a tune that stays on your head and can therefore remember it in cases of emergency. And the title is simply fitting be it for exercise or CPR, don’t you think?

“…Somebody help me … Stayin’ Alive…”

www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCAjmuA1HDk

When relationships go bad, women’s heart suffer most

March 11, 2009 by  
Filed under HEART AND STROKE

gender_symbolsTension. Stress. Anger. Anxiety. These are what you get in a relationship gone bad. Unfortunately, the emotional distress that comes with a strained relationship can translate into physiological problems that in turn lead to conditions like high blood pressure, heart problems, and obesity.

These health problems have been reported for both men and women although the latter seems to be more susceptible to health issues caused by bad relationships, according to a study by researchers at the University of Utah.

For the study, [the researchers] recruited 276 couples married an average of two decades, in which men and women were between 40 and 70 years old. Participants filled out questionnaires that covered positives, such as emotional warmth and mutual support; and areas of tension, such as frequency of arguments and extent of disagreements over issues like sex, kids, and money. (Source: WebMD).

The participants were also monitored for blood chemistry, blood pressure and waist circumference.

The study showed that the health effects of a discordant relationship on women’s health include:

  • Depressive symptoms, more likely to be reported by women.
  • Metabolic syndrome symptoms (which would include increased blood sugar levels, increased levels of bad cholesterol and triglycerides) more likely to be reported by women.
  • Weight gain and increased waist circumference, also more likely to be reported by women.
  • Depressive symptoms reported by men not related to metabolic syndrome.

This is not the first study to explore the effect of relationships on health outcomes.

A large body of research shows that divorce is associated with coronary calcification in both men and women. However, the current study clearly indicates that the relationship between emotional distress caused by a bad relationship and cardiovascular health is stronger in men than women.

In another study, researchers found out that the quality of a marriage relationship can have an influence on recovery rates of women with breast cancer.

Corollary to this, another study on stroke victims and their spouses showed that, depending on coping skills, caregiving can cause depression and put a strain on relationships.

But why are women more susceptible? According to the researchers:

Women seem to be more relationship oriented. We know by research that women tend to base their self-concept on relationships, how they are doing, how things are going for them. And we think that’s the reason we’ve shown that negative relationship issues seem to take a greater toll on women emotionally and physically.”

CVD News Watch December 26

December 26, 2008 by  
Filed under HEART AND STROKE

Happy Boxing Day.

Plus some heart news for you this weekend.

CVD drug watch

FDA warns consumers about tainted weight loss pills
More than two dozen different products for weight loss have been flagged by the US FDA for consumer warning. These products are said to have undeclared yet active ingredients which may cause health problems. The ingredients which are of health risks include:

A previous report has estimated that we spend billions of dollar each year on weight loss products which tunr out to quack or even dangerous.

CVD health supplements watch

Evidence for protective effect of fish oil not conclusive
Fish oil, which contains a lot of omega-3 fats, has always been thought to be beneficial to health, especially on cardiovascular health. That is why fish oil supplements are routinely recommended for heart patients. This recent meta-analysis study indicates that fish oil is not necessarily effective against all heart problems. “Fish oil was found to be effective at reducing deaths from heart problems, but showed no strong evidence of a beneficial effect on arrhythmias or deaths from all causes.”

CVD fat watch

L.A. liposuction doc investigated for alleged use of patients’ fat to fuel SUV

What a way to recycle. It may be innovative and environmentally friendly but it is nevertheless against the law. Beverly Hills liposuction specialist Dr. Alan Bittner has been accused of using fat waste from liposuction procedures to produce biodiesel that could then make his SUV run. He is currently facing charges since it is also illegal in the state of California “to use human medical waste to power vehicles.”

CVD health drink watch

FDA says diet coke plus claims violate regulations

Problems with the Diet Coke Plus, Coca-Cola Co’s attempt to turn soda into a health drink. The US FDA declared that the drink’s claims about vitamins and minerals content violate federal regulations, as reported by Bloomberg. According to FDA letter dated December 10, 2008 to the company, the regulatory body objects to the use of the word “Plus” in the product’s name and the term “Diet Coke with Vitamins & Minerals” on its label. In addition, “FDA does not consider it appropriate to fortify snack foods such as carbonated beverages.” The company is ordered to correct the violations within 15 days of receipt of the letter.

 Photo credit: stock.xchng

Music for your heart and health

December 1, 2008 by  
Filed under HEART AND STROKE

 

The brain plays a very important role in cardiovascular health. And whatever soothes the brain is good for the heart. Like music.

Music has been shown to have a therapeutic effect on people, from fussy babies to stressed professionals. But how does it really work?

Researchers from the University of Maryland in Baltimore demonstrated for the first time the positive effects of the positive emotions triggered by music on endothelial function.

“We believe that the brain plays a pivotal role in vascular health. High cholesterol and high blood pressure are very important, but some individuals lacking these risk factors develop significant heart disease, and that may be partly related to their response to stress… If music can evoke positive emotions to counteract negative stresses of everyday life, it could have a very important influence on vascular health. It should be incorporated into a healthy lifestyle, just as we might incorporate other healthy habits,”

according to lead researcher and author Dr Michael Miller.

The study involved 10 healthy, non-smoking adults (7 men, 3 women) with the average age of 36 years. Endothelial function was measured as “brachial-artery-flow-mediated dilation” – indicated by measurements of blood flow in the upper arm. The assessments were done while the study participants were exposed to following stimuli:

  • Music that triggered positive emotions
  • Music that triggered anxiety
  • A funny video clip
  • A relaxation tape

The results are as follows:

The authors think that compounds called endorphins may play a role in this “mind-heart” connection. When released from the brain, endorphin-like compounds have a direct effect on the vascular system.

In a previous study by researchers fromOhio State University, classical music was observed to be beneficial for cardiac rehabilitation.

Listening to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons while on the treadmill, patients had a significant 3% higher scores on postexercise verbal fluency. Howevever, the music has no effect on depression, anxiety, or hemodynamic parameters.

Mental and emotional stress in out everyday life leads to vasoconstriction. These studies show that music cna actually counteract this. Although the effect of music on people is thought to be short-lived – about 30 minutes, it is though that when used on a regularly basis, it can have some cumulative benefit that may prove to be a strong preventive measure against cardiovascular disease.

So what more can we ask? As a preventive therapy, music is cheap, makes us happy, and comes with no side effects!

Photo credit: stock.xchng

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.