Posts Tagged ‘heart disease

Healthy habits good for heart: study

- September 22nd, 2011

File this under: “Well, d’uh!”

A new study confirms that a healthy lifestyle is … good for the ol’ ticker!

Really. You don’t say?!

Here’s the press release, which is rather redundant in my humble opinion but still worth posting — for a few guffaws at the very least:

heartHealthy Lifestyle Habits Lower Heart Failure Risk

Study Highlights:

• Adults who don’t smoke, maintain a healthy weight, get regular physical activity and eat vegetables lowered their heart failure risk.

• Each additional healthy behaviour helped to decrease heart failure risk.

• Healthcare workers should discuss and encourage healthy lifestyle habits with patients.

* * *

DALLAS (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — If you don’t smoke, aren’t
 overweight, get regular physical activity and eat vegetables, you can
 significantly reduce your risk for heart failure, according to research 
reported in Circulation: Heart Failure, an American Heart Association 
journal.

In a new study, people who had one healthy lifestyle behavior decreased 
their heart failure risk, and each additional healthy behavior further
 decreased their risk.

 Heart failure affects about 5.7 million Americans. At age 40, a
 person’s lifetime risk of developing heart failure is one in five.

“Any steps you take to stay healthy can reduce your risk of heart 
failure,” said Gang Hu, M.D., Ph.D., lead author of the study and 
director of the Chronic Disease Epidemiology Laboratory at the
 Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La.

“Hypothetically, about half of new heart failure cases occurring in
 this population could have been prevented if everyone engaged in at
 least three healthy lifestyle behaviors.”

Previous research has shown an association between healthy lifestyle
 behaviors and lower risk of heart failure in men. The new study is the 
first to find a similar connection in women.

Researchers followed 18,346 men and 19,729 women from Finland who were
 25 to 74 years old. During a median follow-up of 14.1 years, 638 men
 and 445 women developed heart failure. Participants were classified by
 BMI: normal weight (less than 25 kg/m2); overweight (25-29.9 kg/m2);
 and obese (greater than 30 kg/m2).

After adjusting for heart failure risk factors, such as high blood 
pressure, diabetes and a past heart attack, researchers found:

• Male smokers had an 86% higher risk for heart failure compared to never-smokers. Women smokers’ risk increased to 109%.

• Being overweight increased heart failure risk by 15% in men and
 21% in women compared to normal-weight people. The risk increased to 75% for obese men and 106% for obese women.

• Moderate physical activity reduced the risk of heart failure by 21% in men and 13% in women compared to a light physical activity level. High levels of physical activity lowered the risk even
 further: 33% in men and 36% in women.

• Eating vegetables three to six times per week decreased heart failure risk by 26% in men and 27% in women compared to those who ate vegetables less than once per week.

Furthermore, the more healthy lifestyle behaviors a person engaged in,
 the greater the decline in risk. Engaging in all four healthy lifestyle
 behaviors decreased the risk for heart failure by 70% in men and
 81% in women, compared to 32% in men and 47% in
 women who engaged in only one healthy behavior.

Many people remain unaware of the link between unhealthy lifestyle
 behaviors and heart failure risk, researchers said.

 Heart failure is a chronic, progressive condition in which the heart 
muscle is unable to pump enough blood through the heart to meet the
 body’s needs for blood and oxygen. Basically, the heart can’t keep up
 with its workload.

“Healthcare workers should discuss healthy lifestyle habits with their 
patients and stress that they can do more,” Hu said.

The Finnish Academy and Special Research Funds of the Social Welfare
and Health Board, City of Oulu funded the study. 

Co-authors are Yujie Wang, M.Sc.; Jaakko Tuomilehto, M.D., Ph.D.; Pekka
 Jousilahti, M.D., Ph.D.; Riitta Antikainen, M.D., Ph.D.; and Peter T. Katzmarzyk, Ph.D. Author
 disclosures are on the manuscript.

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart
 Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors 
and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position.
 The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their 
accuracy or reliability.

The association receives funding primarily 
from individuals; foundations and corporations (including
 pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make
 donations and fund specific association programs and events. The
 association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from
 influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and
 device corporations are available at
 www.americanheart.org/corporatefunding.

For more information, tools and resources for living healthy and
 reducing your risk for heart disease, including heart failure, visit
 www.MyHeartMyLife.org.

Brushing teeth good for heart

- June 1st, 2010

BrushingTeeth

Just in case you don’t already have enough reasons to practice good oral hygiene, here’s one more to sink your pearly whites into.

This nugget of news comes from yesterday’s edition of sister paper 24 Hours Toronto:

“People who don’t brush their teeth twice a day have an increased risk of heart disease, scientists said on Friday, adding scientific weight to 19th century theories about oral health and chronic disease.

“British researchers studied nearly 12,000 adults in Scotland and found those with poor oral hygiene had a 70% extra risk of heart disease compared with those who brushed twice a day and who were less likely to have unhealthy gums.”