CV risk factors in midlife linked to risk of premature death from heart disease

General Health, Heart Health
The Los Angeles Times "Booster Shots" blog reports, "They're called 'risk factors' for a reason – people with high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and/or a smoking habit are much more likely to have heart attacks, strokes and other manifestations of cardiovascular disease, including death," according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. (more…)
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For women who imbibe, red wine may be healthier option

Cancer, Heart Health, Nutritional Health, Woman's Health
When it comes to the consumption of alcohol, the message has been decidedly mixed. Some studies show that moderate consumption might offer some health benefits, especially for the heart; other studies show an increased risk for certain cancers, especially breast cancer, with even the consumption of a very small amount of alcohol. What's a woman to do? (more…)
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Obese children not necessarily doomed to diabetes, heart disease – if they lose weight!

Children's Health, Nutritional Health, Obesity, Parenting
The Los Angeles Times "Booster Shots" blog reports, "Fat kids often turn into fat adults with a host of related health problems: diabetes, high blood pressure, clogged arteries." However, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine "finds that if those heavy kids lose weight, they may be on a par with people who were never overweight." (more…)
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Can cocoa products reduce blood pressure or heart disease?

Alternative Medicine, Health Headlines, Nutritional Health
CocoaVia and Cirku are new supplements used for high blood pressure and cardiovascular health according to the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database (NMCD). These products are flavored powders that can be added to a beverage. Each packet contains a cocoa extract providing 350 mg of cocoa flavanols. Those selling the supplements say they may reduce heart disease, but do they? (more…)
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Healthy living really does postpone mortality

Cancer, General Health, Heart Health
A major study is reporting that people who practiced four low-risk behaviors are 63% less likely to die (during the stydy period) than those who kept none of those practices. The researchers found that ALL four of these low-risk behaviors were individually associated with a reduction in death and that the higher number of behaviors practiced, the lower the risk of death. So, what were they? (more…)
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Long work hours linked to increased heart risks

Heart Health, Marriage and Family Health, Mental Health
While writing this blog, I was listening to Simon and Garfunkel singing, "Slow down, you move too fast. You need to make the morning last." At the same time, I found a Bloomberg News report claiming that "working overtime may be a killer, according to research that finds long hours on the job is a heart risk along with smoking, bad cholesterol and high blood pressure." (more…)
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Diet soda consumption may be linked to increased heart attacks and strokes

Nutritional Health
I often have patients ask if I think diet sodas are a healthy substitute for regular soft drinks. I tell them, "NO!" The primary reason, that I've discussed with you in a past blog, is that diet soda consumption may weaken bones and lead to later osteopenia, osteoporosis, and/or bone fractures. Now, I have another reason to add: Research presented at the American Stroke Association International Stroke Conference earlier this year suggest that diet soda consumption may be linked to increased heart risks. (more…)
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More evidence that too much TV, computer time could harm your heart

Heart Health
Spending hours in front of a TV or computer monitor -- known as "screen time" -- has been linked to signs that the heart needs longer to recover from exercise, an indication of poor heart health. In fact, in recent blogs I've told you of other studies showing  that "Screen time (TV and computer) may be linked to increased heart risks," and "Taking small breaks from sitting may help heart and metabolic health." Now comes another study, this one published in the journal Heart Asia, which included more than 2,000 people – all in their 30s and from the United States – who didn't have heart disease. The participants performed eight-minute exercise treadmill tests, which allowed the researchers to determine how long it took for their heart rates to return to…
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Taking small breaks from sitting may help heart and metabolic health

Heart Health
Does lunch in front of a computer make us eat more? Two of my recent blogs warned of sitting too long in front of a computer at work: Does lunch in front of a computer make us eat more? Computer time may be linked to increased heart risks Now Bloomberg News reports that "taking small breaks from sitting down such as standing for phone calls or walking to see colleagues may trim office workers' waistlines and help their heart and metabolic health." (more…)
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The Formula for Good Health = 0, 5, 10, 30, 150

Cancer, Children's Health, General Health, Heart Health, Medical Economics, Men's Health, Nutritional Health, Woman's Health
An easy-to-remember formula for good health (0, 5, 10, 30, 150) is proposed in a wonderful editorial in American Family Physician titled “Preventive Health: Time for Change.” The author suggests this formula to physicians to “help patients achieve healthy lifestyle goals": 0 = no cigarettes or tobacco products 5 = five servings of fruits and vegetables per day 10 = ten minutes of silence, relaxation, prayer, or meditation per day 30 = keep your BMI (body mass index) below 30 150 = number of minutes of exercise per week (e.g., brisk walking or equivalent) The editorial is penned y Colin Kopes-Kerr, MD, from the Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency in Santa Rosa, California: It is time to make a decision. Which will be our health promotion strategy—primary prevention or secondary…
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Is Krill Oil Better Than Fish Oil?

General Health
Krill oil is now being promoted as a better alternative to fish oil supplements. Krill are tiny shrimp-like crustaceans. Promoters say that krill oil provides similar cardiac benefits as fish oil, but with fewer capsules and no fishy taste. However, krill oil supplements contain less of the omega-3s EPA and DHA than fish oil supplements. Nevertheless, manufacturers claim krill oil is better absorbed because the omega-3s are in a phospholipid form. According to the experts at the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, "Preliminary evidence shows that a specific krill oil product (Neptune Krill Oil NKO, Neptune Technologies & Bioresources, Inc) can lower cholesterol and triglycerides." "But," they add, "overall there's much better evidence that fish oil can lower triglycerides and cardiovascular risk." Furthermore, krill oil usually costs more than fish oil.…
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Hostile, Competitive Types May Be Harming Their Hearts

Heart Health, Mental Health
An Italian study finds that a hostile personality type is linked to a thickening of neck artery wall -- which may be associated with an increased risk of heart attack, heart disease, and stroke. Here are the details from a report in HealthDay News: Hostile people, especially those who are manipulative and aggressive, may be paying a price in terms of heart health, a new study finds. These types of people showed a thickening in the walls of their neck arteries tied to a 40 percent higher risk of having the artery narrow. And that could boost their risk for cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke, the researchers concluded. "The public is often worried about stress, but sometime it's how our personalities interact with stress that can have an effect on…
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