How to Avoid Your Risk of Heart Disease

Heart disease is not strange to us nowadays. Even when the standard of life is higher, the risk of heart attack is bigger. A long with the development of life, people live happier and more sufficient. They can go anywhere they want, eat whatever they like easily and that is the reason why the risk of heart attack is more and more increasingly. We know that major risk factors for cardiovascular disease include cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and/or triglycerides, diabetes mellitus, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, and poor nutrition. So to prevent the risk of heart disease, you need to notice some following things. 1. Quitting smoking and tobacco is really important: We know that cigarette smoking remains the leading preventable cause of cardiovascular disease in women, with more than 50 percent of heart attacks among middle-aged women attributable to tobacco. Risk of cardiovascular disease begins to decline within months of smoking cessation and reaches the level of persons who have never smoked within 3 to 5 years.

2. Lower your cholesterol by eating healthy, avoiding fatty foods, excess salt, and red meats: High blood cholesterol is the  main condition that greatly increases your chances of developing coronary heart disease. Extra cholesterol in the blood settles on the inner walls of the arteries, narrowing them and allowing less blood to pass through them to the heart..You should eat less saturated fat, more produce & more fiber. Diets low in saturated fat and high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fiber are associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease because in these kinds of food are rich of Vitamin C that have a protective effect against coronary heart disease.

3. Avoid alcohol, coffee as well try to drink water as much as possible. Alcohol in beer, wine is really not good for your heart, it will raise blood pressure and increase risk of breast cancer. You should drink water, fruit juice because they can help to excret the poison in your body, make the blood circulates in the body easily.

4. Try to maintain a healthy weight: We know that with the obesity, the

risk of  heart disease is really high. So the best way to keep from heart attack away is keep fit by eating regularly, eating much fruit, vegatable, as well health food.

5. Exercise regularly and d regular relaxation as well breath exercises is the nest step. According to some recent surveys even moderate-intensity activity, including brisk walking, is associated with substantial reduction of cardiovascular disease risk. Spending at least 30 minutes a day to do exercises. Regular exercise and maintenance of healthy weight should also help reduce insulin resistance and the risk of non–insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, which appears to be an even stronger risk factor for cardiovascular disease in women than in men. You can choose swimming, walking instead of going to the gym. Walking is most beneficial because it cost you no money. And you will can walk whenver you are free.

6. Avoid trans fats is really necessary and vital. You should not eat food that are salt or sweet, as well try to avoid fast food, sodas that are really fat and they are really friend of heart disease. You also should to use vitamin E and homocyteine-lowering agents such as folate and B6, have promising roles in prevention of cardiovascular disease

7. Choosing to live a healthy lifestyle. This is truly important. You should work hard but avoid stress and anxiety. Eating, drinking, doing exercises and sleeping regularly will help you to have a health body, a alert mind and a health heart. Always remember your slogan as well your purpose, then you will have a happy life.

Orthostatic hypotension may signal heart failure, study

Take a notice of what happens when you stand up from sitting or lying down, if it makes you feel some times dizzy or lightheaded, and maybe even faint lasting a few seconds to a few minutes, you may face risk of Orthostatic hypotension. The mild condition can quickly pass away, however, long-lasting orthostatic hypotension can be a sign of more-serious problems, possibly heart failure, said researchers.

When it comes to risk factors causing heart failure, including multi factors such as high blood pressure, coronary heart disease and diabetes. For people with orthostatic hypotension, study found that patients with symptoms of orthostatic hypotension were 54 percent more likely to develop heart failure than their counterparts who did not develop low blood pressure upon standing. This risk was reduced to 34 percent when the researchers teased out those who also had high blood pressure.

Exactly how orthostatic hypotension could lead to heart failure is not fully understood. “We speculate that orthostatic hypotension and high blood pressure may contribute to the risk of heart failure through a similar pathway, such as through high blood pressure that happens primarily when a person is laying down,” said study author Dr. Christine DeLong Jones, a preventive medicine resident at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Heart failure may be predicted after suffering from orthostatic hypotension when you start to feel some chest pain, fatigue and weakness, rapid or irregular heart beat, and so on. Later it’s time to go to see your doctor.

Be aware of the silent heart attack

Every year, approximately 785,000 Americans suffer a first heart attack. And 470,000 who’ve already had one or more heart attacks have another one. The scary thing is that 25 percent of ALL heart attacks happen “silently,” without clear or obvious symptoms.

Silent heart attack is described as the death of heart muscle due to complete blockage of blood supply to the heart muscle which does not produce any symptoms..

Since there is damage to the nerve supply to the coronary arteries which supplies blood to the heart the patient may not be get chest pain with even in severe heart attacks.

Around 15% percentage of patient having silent heart attack to the over all incidence.

In most of the situations the silent heart attack is diagnosed by EKG or ECG(Electrocardiogram) and heart stress test.

In this test, doctors are looking at how your heart rate and blood pressure increase during exercise, a good indicator of how your blood is flowing. You’ll also likely get a blood test for cardia­c enzymes. These are proteins that are released when the heart is damaged.

Aside from this preventive screening, your best course of action is to know the symptoms of a heart attack and pay attention if you experience any of them. Call paramedics immediately if you feel chest pain, have shortness of breath or are unusually fatigued and they’ll walk you through the proper course of action. Ignoring these signs because of embarrassment or shame can kill you.

The certain symptoms of heart attack are severe chest pain, shortness of breath, fainting and nausea. Anyone who believes that he or she is having a heart attack should seek emergency medical attention.

But in the case of silent heart attack, there are often no clear symptoms or pain, sometimes a it is not painful, or the person experiencing it does not recognize the symptoms as heart-related, so he or she does not go to a hospital for treatment. That may lead to deadly cases regretfully.

Rheumatic Fever: overview, symptoms and treatment

Rheumatic Fever is considered to be the diseases immune system or collagen system. So far, the disease is common worldwide the developing countries and is responsible for many cases of damaged heart valves in young people.

Rheumatic fever mainly affects children ages 6 -15, but many cases occur at the age of 20.

Rheumatic fever is responsible for many cases of damaged heart valves

Symptoms of Rheumatic fever

Rheumatic fever is an inflammatory disease that may develop after an infection with Streptococcus bacteria (such as strep throat or scarlet fever). The disease can affect the heart, joints, skin, and brain.

  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Heart (cardiac) problems, which may not have symptoms, or may result in shortness of breath and chest pain
  • Joint pain, arthritis (mainly in the knees, elbows, ankles, and wrists)
  • Joint swelling; redness or warmth
  • Nosebleeds (epistaxis)
  • Skin nodules
  • Skin rash (erythema marginatum)
    • Skin eruption on the trunk and upper part of the arms or legs
    • Eruptions that look ring-shaped or snake-like
  • Sydenham chorea (emotional instability, muscle weakness and quick, uncoordinated jerky movements that mainly affect the face, feet, and hands)

Rheumatic fever treatment

Penicillin is used to eradicate the bacteria which initially caused the immunologic response. Some patients who are penicillin-allergic, can have other options such as erythromycin (E-Mycin, Eryc, Ery-Tab, PCE, Pediazole, Ilosone) or azithromycin (Zithromax, Zmax)

The joint pains are treated with aspirin or aspirin-related medications. It may be necessary to use very high doses to decrease the symptoms.

To prevent recurrent rheumatic fever in persons who have already had one episode, monthly injections of a long-lasting preparation of penicillin can be effective.

Treating Sydenham chorea (SD): For people with the mildest form, bed rest during the period of active movements is sufficient.  When the severity of movements interferes with rest, sedative drugs, such as barbiturates or benzodiazepines, may be needed.  Antiepileptic medications, such as valproic acid, are often prescribed

How to prevent Rheumatic fever?

The only known way to prevent rheumatic fever is to treat strep throat infections or scarlet fever promptly with a full course of appropriate antibiotics.

For the children, parents should teach children good hygiene, keep them from get cold. Improving physical measures are also important in disease prevention. Once children have signs of upper respiratory tract infection, they should be treated radically as soon as possible. If there are signs of joint pain should immediately take the child to the medical doctor.



Is green tea able to reduce cholesterol?

Green tea is a traditional beverage of Asian countries, and currently becomes interest drink of many other Western people. As the benefits of drinking green tea is undeniable. For example, stress relief, some constituents of green tea can prevent cancer, and it is top for heart health, etc.

Green is always the best choice for a healthy beverage
Green is always the best choice for a healthy beverage

A rising opinion recently is concerning whether green tea can reduce cholesterol or not? In fact, tea has many beneficial effects on health, but the matter of lowering cholesterol is still remaining controversial opinions.

There are many different viewpoints. Some that support for tea drinking benefits said it help to prevent cholesterol absorption in bladder by gathering more polyphones. In contrast, others argue that tea brings more side effects than benefits.

Many studies have been conducted and different conclusions were shown. According to one of the scientific post in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, after observing and studying for a few months, they discovered that, there was a decrease of LDL (harmful cholesterol) by 2,2mmg/dl (1/10 liters) to those drinking tea. At the same time, the action from tea on HDL (good cholesterol) is just zero.

Drinking tea can be reduce amount of cholesterol
Drinking tea can reduce amount of cholesterol

In conclusion, for those who have habit of drinking tea that is a healthy method to refresh your body. However, EGCG compound in tea could prevent the action of some medical such as anti-freeze, cancer treatment… Therefore, for those who are being treated with these diseases, the suggestion is restriction of tea drinking.

And the final words, green tea can help reducing amount of LDL, but with a very little. That is why not to overload your body with too much tea-made beverages.

Lean People May Have High Risk of Heart Diseases

Having a leaner body may not always mean you have a lower risk of heart disease.

Scientists have recently discovered that the gene IRS1, called lean gene is not only linked to the risk of diabetes type 2 but also that of heart disease.

This gene IRS1 does lower fat, but only subcutaneous fat – fat under the skin, and not visceral fat, the fat around organs such as in the liver and in muscle. Individuals with the IRS1 gene may store fat in parts of the body that interfere with normal organ function because they are less able to store subcutaneous fat. This was found to be especially the case among males. Men are more sensitive to changes in fat distributions than women. Thus, they store less fat. Fat stored internally is worse for you than fat stored under the skin.

People, particularly men, with a specific form of the gene are both more likely to have lower percent body fat, but also to develop heart disease and type 2 diabetes. The gene seems to be associated having higher blood glucose and cholesterollevels, both key factors in heart disease and diabetes type 2 risk.

Almost people thought that overweight individuals can be predisposed for these metabolic diseases and lean individuals shouldn’t make assumptions that they are healthy based on their appearance. But now the discovery about gene IRS1 will provide new insights into why not all lean people are healthy and, conversely, why not all overweight people are at risk of metabolic diseases.

However it does not mean that being overweight is bad for your heart health. We mustn’t ignore what we eat and how active we are, which  also plays a vital role in maintaining good health.

New Drug May Help Patients With Irregular Heartbeat Avoid Stroke

THURSDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) — A new anti-clotting drug works better than aspirin for stroke prevention in some patients with the common, sometimes lethal, heart rhythm problem known as atrial fibrillation, according to research presented Thursday.

Compared to daily aspirin, apixaban cut the odds by 55%, study finds.

The new drug, apixaban, is not yet approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. But study co-author Dr. Hans-Christoph Diener said the pill “reduced stroke risk [in patients with atrial fibrillation] by 55 percent, compared to aspirin.” He believes that “the results of this clinical trial will change clinical practice.”

Diener, of the department of neurology and the Stroke Center at University Hospital Essen in Germany, presented the findings at the annual meeting of the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference in Los Angeles. The findings are also published online Feb. 10 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

In atrial fibrillation, an irregular beating of the heart causes blood to pool in the heart’s chambers. The heart can then “throw” clots up into the arteries supplying blood to the brain, greatly raising the risks for stroke.

Patients with atrial fibrillation are typically prescribed anticoagulants such as warfarin, which is notoriously hard to manage, Diener said at a news conference announcing the study results.

Anticoagulants taken orally can decrease stroke risk by up to 70 percent, according to Diener, but many patients don’t comply with the regimen. “About half of all patients refuse to take [warfarin],” he noted, because its use is accompanied by dietary restrictions and the need for frequent blood tests to check blood levels of the drug. Some patients also fear the possibility of a known hazard of warfarin, an excess risk for bleeding.

Many patients who can’t or won’t take warfarin do take daily aspirin, which cuts the odds of stroke in atrial fibrillation by about 20 percent, according to background information in the study.

In the new study of apixaban, researchers assigned almost 5,600 patients with atrial fibrillation and an increased risk of stroke (due to age or prior stroke, for instance) to one of two groups: apixaban, at 5 milligrams taken twice daily; or aspirin, with doses ranging from 81 to 324 milligrams per day.

The study was done at 522 centers in 36 countries from late 2007 to late 2009. The researchers wanted to compare which drug was better at preventing stroke or blockages due to blood clots elsewhere in the body, called systemic embolism.

Among patients on apixaban, there were 51 strokes or embolisms, or 1.6 percent per year, compared to 113 such events, or 3.7 percent, among those on aspirin.

While apixaban patients experienced 44 major bleeding events, aspirin takers had 39, but the difference was not great enough to be significant from a statistical point of view, Diener said.

The study was funded by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer, who are working jointly to develop apixaban.

The drug has been shown in previous research to be better at preventing dangerous leg blood clots and lung clots after hip replacement surgery than an older drug, enoxaparin.

Apixaban works by blocking a crucial step in the formation of blood clots. The study of the drug’s effects on stroke prevention was actually halted early after one year, Diener said, because of the huge difference found between the two drugs and the superiority of apixaban.

The new drug isn’t yet approved by the FDA and Diener couldn’t predict when that might happen. Results of another study, a head-to-head comparison of apixaban against warfarin, is due out in August, he said.

A 55 percent reduction in stroke risk compared to aspirin is impressive, said Dr. Larry Chinitz, professor of medicine at the New York University School of Medicine and director of the Heart Rhythm Center at NYU Langone Medical Center. He reviewed the study findings but was not involved in the research.

“I think it’s a game-changer” for higher risk patients with atrial fibrillation, he said, such as those over age 70.

The new drug, if approved, ”will certainly improve the lifestyle of patients,” Chinitz said, as it won’t require, as warfarin does, frequent blood tests or dietary restriction.

Another new anti-clotting drug, Pradaxa (dabigatran), was approved by the FDA in October 2010 for stroke prevention in those with atrial fibrillation. It inhibits an enzyme involved in blood clotting.

By Kathleen Doheny
HealthDay Reporter

More information

To learn stroke’s warning signs, head to the American Stroke Association.

SOURCES: Hans-Christoph Diener, M.D., professor and chairman, department of neurology and Stroke Center, University Hospital Essen, Essen, Germany; Larry Chinitz, M.D., director, Heart Rhythm Center, NYU Langone Medical Center, and professor, medicine, NYU School of Medicine, New York City; Feb. 10, 2011, New England Journal of Medicine, online

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Stars Strut on the Runway for Women’s Heart Health

THURSDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) — Actress Denise Richards wowed the crowd in scarlet, while Today show host Ann Curry hit the catwalk in fire-engine red. Oprah Winfrey’s best-friend-forever, talk show host Gayle King, sashayed in a cherry Donna Karan number, while hip-hop star Eve rocked out in crimson.

Red Dress show in New York City raises awareness of #1 killer of American women.

Taking part Wednesday night in the annual Red Dress Collection fashion show in New York City, each of these stars (and more) were on a mission: To get the word out that heart disease is the leading killer of women, and that it can be prevented.

“It’s so important to bring awareness to whoever we can on this,” said soul legend Patti LaBelle, 66, who dazzled in a flowing Zang Toi gown. The music diva has had a long and public struggle with diabetes, and acknowledged that she has a heart murmur that causes her some worry. “I think sometimes that I’m exhausted from my shows, but it could be from not knowing what’s up with my ticker,” she said. Her message to other women: “Make sure you take care of yourself and get checkups.”

The celebrity-studded show — the kickoff to this month’s New York Fashion Week — is the annual centerpiece of The Heart Truth campaign, an effort to spread awareness of heart disease among women, sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Over the past few years, the Red Dress symbol has become to heart disease what the pink ribbon is to breast cancer awareness, one expert said.

“It’s a powerful symbol — every time you see someone wearing a red dress it reminds everyone that they should take a check of their heart. The dress inspires movement, it empowers women to take charge of their heart health,” said Dr. Jennifer H. Mieres, a spokeswoman for the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women campaign, which, like The Heart Truth campaign, works to raise awareness of women’s cardiovascular health.

For decades, Mieres said, too many American women considered cardiovascular disease a “man’s illness.” But that’s far from the truth.

“Heart disease claims the life of one in three American women, and it’s ahead of any of the other causes of death, including breast cancer and all cancers combined,” said Mieres, a cardiologist at North Shore-LIJ Health System in Manhasset, N.Y. Since 1984, more women have died each year from heart disease than men, she said, and with rising obesity rates heart trouble is now hitting women at a younger age than ever before.

“As the waistlines of women in the United States have increased, heart disease, instead of occurring in the menopause years, has been pushed back and we’re now seeing it in women in their 30s and 40s,” Mieres said. “And unfortunately in that age group the first sign of heart disease can be sudden death.”

Those are sobering facts until you realize that “80 percent of heart disease can be prevented,” she said. And prevention needn’t be difficult: 10 to 30 minutes of exercise a day, avoiding smoking, eating healthy (more fruits and vegetables, less fat), getting regular checkups to know your cholesterol and blood pressure numbers, and informing your doctor of any family history is all it takes, Mieres said.

Family history was a key motivator for another star gracing the catwalk on Wednesday night.

“For me [heart health] is huge — my father died of a heart attack and my mom had a stroke, and I feel that it’s so important,” said Dallas star Linda Gray, 70, wearing a Pamella Roland gown. “Tonight, it’s all about education — let’s find out how we can take care of that beautiful heart that we all have. An event like this really makes people pay attention.”

Still, more work needs to be done. According to The Heart Truth campaign, nearly half of women still don’t know that heart disease is their number one killer, and only 16 percent describe heart disease as “their greatest health threat.”

Awareness can quickly lead to action, however. According to the campaign, as women begin to realize the true danger posed to them by heart disease, their rates of both physical activity and weight loss tend to rise.

“For years, I think women thought that breast cancer was the number one disease,” said Gray, “but it’s shocking to find out that heart disease is so huge.” The time has come, she said, for women “to pay attention” to the heart truth.

By E.J. Mundell
HealthDay Reporter

More information

Find out more at The Heart Truth.

SOURCES: Patti LaBelle, singer; Linda Gray, actress; Jennifer H. Mieres, M.D., cardiologist, North Shore-LIJ Health System, Manhasset, N.Y., and spokeswoman, Go Red For Women campaign

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Heart Enzymes May Predict Outcome After Bypass Surgery

TUESDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) — High levels of certain blood enzymes following coronary-artery bypass surgery can signal an increased risk of death, a new study suggests.

Elevated levels linked to increased risk of death, researchers say.

For those with the highest enzyme levels, the risk of dying within 30 days was double that of those with the lowest levels.

Elevated levels of creatine kinase or troponin are common after bypass surgery, and small increases were not considered significant until now, the researchers noted.

“When people have a bypass operation done sometimes there is some damage to the heart muscle, and chemicals are released that mark that,” said study author Dr. Michael J. Domanski, from the Mount Sinai Cardiovascular Institute in New York City.

“What our study shows is that there is a strong graded association of enzyme elevation with mortality,” he said. “More is worse, but even small amounts have an impact on mortality.”

Domanski doesn’t think that measuring these enzymes after surgery would have any impact on treatment. However, he said that since most of the heart damage occurs during surgery, these enzymes could be measures of the quality of heart operations in different hospitals.

“I’d rather have my bypass operation with somebody who has less enzyme elevation,” he said. “The larger their enzyme elevations, the less I’d like to go to them.”

The report is published in the Feb. 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Domanski and his colleagues set out to study the effect of elevated enzymes on short- and long-term patient outcome after coronary-artery bypass surgery to replace blocked heart arteries. To do this, they conducted a meta-analysis, which consists of reviewing published studies to look for patterns.

They identified seven studies that included 18,908 patients who underwent CABG and were followed for three months to five years.

Patients with even moderately increased levels of creatine kinase or troponin after surgery were at greater risk of dying both one month and five years after surgery, the researchers found.

While age, history of kidney disease and an earlier heart attack were also associated with the risk of death, enzyme levels were still the strongest predictor.

According to the authors, the findings need confirmation in large clinical trials, but levels of these enzymes might one day be used as markers for bypass surgery outcomes. Doctors often test for elevated creatine kinase or troponin levels to confirm a heart attack, but testing is not routinely done after bypass since these patients usually get aggressive treatment with statins and other medications.

Dr. Gregg Fonarow, a professor of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, said the findings could influence patient treatment.

“It is well-established that large increases in cardiac enzymes are associated with higher risk of subsequent mortality,” Fonarow said. “However, the data as to whether smaller increases in cardiac enzymes are associated with increased risk have been mixed.”

This new analysis suggests that elevations of these enzymes in the first 24 hours after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery were associated with increased 30-day and one-year mortality even in patients with modest elevations, compared with patients who had no increase in enzyme levels, he said.

“Patients undergoing CABG who are found to have early elevations in cardiac enzymes should be recognized as being at higher risk for mortality and potentially treated more aggressively with cardiovascular protective medications,” Fonarow said.

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

More information

For more information on coronary artery bypass surgery, visit the American Heart Association.

SOURCES: Michael J. Domanski, M.D., Mount Sinai Cardiovascular Institute, New York City; Gregg Fonarow, M.D., American Heart Association spokesman, and professor, cardiology, University of California, Los Angeles; Feb. 9, 2011, Journal of the American Medical Association

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New Heart Failure Therapy Proves Most Effective in Women

MONDAY, Feb. 7 (HealthDay News) — A therapy to prevent heart failure is twice as effective in women as in men, a new study finds.

CRT-D device led to 72% reduction in death among female patients, study found.

It’s the first time that a heart treatment has been shown to offer greater benefit to women, the researchers added.

The finding was “unexpected, but extremely important,” study author Dr. Arthur J. Moss, a professor of medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center, said in a news release.

He and his colleagues looked at the effectiveness of cardiac resynchronization therapy with defibrillator (CRT-D) in 1,820 patients in Canada, Europe and the United States. CRT-D combines the benefits of both an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) and cardiac resynchronization therapy. ICDs prevent sudden, irregular rhythm-related cardiac death, and resynchronization therapy boosts heart function and reduces the risk of heart failure and related symptoms.

CRT-D is approved in the United States to treat patients with severe heart failure and those with mild heart failure to prevent them from progressing to advanced heart failure. The CRT-D device was developed by Boston Scientific, which was a partner in this study.

Among women, CRT-D led to a 70 percent reduction in heart failure and a 72 percent reduction in death. Among men, the treatment led to a 35 percent reduction in heart failure, according to the report published in the Feb. 7 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

“It’s not that men did poorly in the trial, but rather, women had really fantastic results, likely due to the type of heart disease we see more commonly in women,” Moss said in the journal news release.

The women in the study were more likely to have non-ischemic heart disease, which is usually characterized by inflammatory scarring of the heart muscle. Men were more likely to have ischemic heart disease, which occurs when narrowed arteries restrict the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart.

In addition, more women had left bundle branch block, a condition that causes disorganized electrical activity throughout the heart.

The two types of heart disease that were more common among women are more likely to respond to CRT-D, the study authors explained.

More information has more about heart disease.

SOURCE: Journal of the American College of Cardiology, news release, Feb. 7, 2011

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