The Link Between Stress & Strokes

LINK BETWEEN STRESS & STROKES-02A new study utilizing brain scans demonstrates the link between stress and heart attacks or strokes, confirming that people who have increased activity in their amygdala—often termed the ‘fear center’ of the brain—are at higher risks for cardiovascular disease. While stress can activate the amygdala, leading to extra immune cell production by the bone marrow, the arteries may become inflamed, leading to cardiovascular disease.

The study tracked the health of 293 adults for two to five years, during which 22 patients experienced a cardiovascular disease event, such as a stroke, heart attack, or coronary heart failure. Researchers found that those people with more active amygdalas were more likely to have a critically serious heart event over the next few years; additionally, they had more inflammation in their arteries, which ultimately leads to heart disease, and bone marrow activity that may be linked with blood clots. Continue reading The Link Between Stress & Strokes

Obesity & Developmental Delays

OBESITY & DEVELOPMENTAL DELAYS-02A study conducted by researchers at the National Institutes of Health has found that children of obese parents are at higher risk for developmental delays, including less advanced motor skills and lower overall measures of social competence. The research, published in the journal Pediatrics, cited evidence that indicates approximately 1 in every 5 pregnant women in the United States qualifies as overweight or obese.

The investigators specifically found that children of obese mothers were more likely to fail tests of fine motor skills: the ability to control movement of small muscles, such as those in the fingers and hands. Children of obese fathers were more likely to fail measures of social competence, and those born to extremely obese couples also were more likely to fail tests of problem solving ability.

“The previous U.S. studies in this area have focused on the mothers’ pre- and post-pregnancy weight,” said the study’s primary author, Edwina Yeung, Ph.D., an investigator in NICHD’s Division of Intramural Population Health Research. “Our study is one of the few that also includes information about fathers, and our results suggest that dad’s weight also has significant influence on child development.” Continue reading Obesity & Developmental Delays

January’s Cardio Crisis

Recent research has concluded that cardiovascular deaths, specifically heart attacks and strokes, are statistically more common in January.

CARDIO CRISIS IN JANUARY-02New evidence has led scientists to believe that a number of factors have collectively caused this phenomenon, through the analysis of millions of death certificates. Similar patterns of cardiac mortality in the winter months, specifically January, have occurred throughout various global geographic locations: not solely relegated to the United States.

Air pollution, which has a seasonal rhythm due to the nitrogen dioxide levels—a primary pollutant in causing premature deaths—are at their highest levels in January, particularly in large urban cities. Short-term exposure to pollutants like petrol fumes and diesel is also associated with increased mortality rates of heart attacks and strokes; when pollutants enter the bloodstream via the lungs, they can ultimately lead to artery blood clots: a primary risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Continue reading January’s Cardio Crisis

Dangerous Correlations: Cardio Disease & Depression/Anxiety

Psychiatric disorders and symptoms like depression and anxiety are not only pervasive and persistent, but they also have gravely negative impacts on functioning, quality of life, and the cardiovascular health—the latter of which has recently been studied, including the physiologic and health behavior mechanisms that mediate the relationship.

Studies indicate that patients with heart disease show very high rates of depressive and anxiety disorders: the prevalence rates are significantly higher than those in the general population. Research further demonstrates that depression and anxiety are not merely rapid or transient responses to severe cardiac symptoms or events, but rather continuous and consistent. For most cardiac patients, anxiety remains a common problem. Continue reading Dangerous Correlations: Cardio Disease & Depression/Anxiety

Heart Health: Staggering Statistics Urge Prevention

Heart HealthAs the number of Americans with heart disease increases, medical and health experts have been forced to come to terms with the enormous and far-reaching impacts of cardiovascular disease: the primary killer in the U.S., responsible for approximately 1 in every 4 deaths. Data recently released by the National Health Center for Health Statistics indicates that heart disease took over 633,000 lives in the past year—a 0.9 percent increase from the previous year, and the first upward spike since 1999.

A sustained rising trend has prompted scientists to evaluate and assess the methods and protocols that have traditionally been used to treat heart disease; Dr. Steven Houser, president of the American Heart Association, has articulated the need for more progress—with a targeted focus on prevention. Continue reading Heart Health: Staggering Statistics Urge Prevention

Linking Sleep Disturbance & Obesity

linking sleep Recent research corroborates theories regarding the link between sleep disturbance and a range of conditions, including obesity. In the journal Nature Genetics, a group of scientists recently published evidence from a study that assessed lifestyle and environmental factors, in addition to inherited traits that affect sleep disturbance and duration—ultimately concluding that areas of the genome are linked to sleep disturbance. The team also discovered genetic links between higher levels of excessive sleepiness during the daytime, and increased measures of obesity: including body mass index and waist circumference.

While there have been previously observed connections between sleep disorders and conditions in epidemiological studies, these biological links have never before been identified at a molecular level. Dr. Martin K. Rutherr, clinical senior lecturer in cardiometabolic medicine at University of Manchester and one of the senior authors of the paper, discussed the ways in which this clinical science can help take ‘an important step forward.’ Continue reading Linking Sleep Disturbance & Obesity

Heart Disease & Pregnancy: Careful Considerations

heart disease and pregnancyA recent report published through a study at Oxford University reveals a number of cases involving pregnant women and heart disease, during which physicians have failed to intervene and treat the cardiovascular condition.

Because pregnancy and childbirth often exert extra strain on the heart, which is exacerbated by pre-existing and underlying conditions, several deaths of fatal heart attacks have occurred without warning. Pregnancy itself stresses the heart and circulatory system, as blood volume increases by up to 50%, in order to nourish the growing baby. Moreover, the amount of blood pumped by the heart also increases by up to 50%. Continue reading Heart Disease & Pregnancy: Careful Considerations

Simple & Preventive Changes to Combat Heart Disease

Cardiovascular disease has the highest mortality rate in the United States, and billions of dollars are given to pharmaceutical industries each year in order to combat and reduce risks.

Yet recent research on cardiovascular risk factors offers renewed hope and optimism regarding heart disease, demonstrating a number of simple life changes to implement in order to prevent the onset of cardiovascular disease. Changing behavior can significantly lower risks, even for those genetically predisposed to heart disease—though it has long been thought that these factors were outside one’s control. Continue reading Simple & Preventive Changes to Combat Heart Disease

Misperceptions About Obesity Persist

misconceptions about obesityAccording to a recent survey of 1509 Americans conducted by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and NORC at the University of Chicago, 81% cited obesity (along with cancer) as the most serious health threat in our country. Diabetes (72%), heart disease (72%), mental illness (65%), and HIV/AIDS (46%) followed on the list.

The majority (94%) agreed that obesity increased the risk for early death, even without other health issues. Most also believed diet and exercise alone were the most effective methods for long-term weight loss, with 60% indicating they were more effective than bariatric surgery. One-third of those surveyed who were obese reported having never spoken to a physician about their weight, and only 12% of those for whom bariatric surgery may be an option said their physician made the suggestion. Continue reading Misperceptions About Obesity Persist

Eugene Braunwald, MD joins roster of expert faculty for the 12th Annual CMHC

Just Announced –

Eugene Braunwald, MD joins roster of expert faculty for the 12th Annual CMHC – October 4-7, 2017, Boston, MA

Dr. Braunwald, Professor at Harvard Medical School, is a world-renowned expert in the field of cardiovascular medicine and is believed to be the most frequently cited author in the field of cardiology, with more than 1000 publications in peer-reviewed journals. His landmark research includes the identification of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy as a clinical entity. As Founder and Chairman of the TIMI Study Group, one of their many achievements was the PROVE-IT TIMI 22 Trial, which demonstrated the benefit of intensive reduction of LDL cholesterol by statin therapy. Dr. Braunwald will be joining a panel at the 12th Annual CMHC that includes Drs. Christie Ballantyne, Paul Ridker, and Marc Sabatine to discuss the clinical trials FOURIER, REVEAL, and CANTOS.