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LOW ASPIRIN FOR HEART PATIENTS 

Major new research shows that people at high risk of heart attack or stroke should be given one or two baby aspirins a day, instead of the standard maximum strength adult aspirin. The study also concluded that the aspirin can help a wider range of people with potential heart trouble. Aspirin is the cornerstone of blood thinning treatment for people who have had a heart-attack or stroke, but is not normally used for those who have not had a heart attack or stroke but suffer from risky conditions like diabetes, chest pain, irregular heart beat and diseased leg arteries.

The research found that aspirin reduced the risk of heart attack or stroke, or death from those, by 25 per cent whether or not the patients had already had a heart attack or stroke previously.

The findings come from an analysis that combines the evidence accumulated over the years on the effectiveness of aspirin and its alternatives in staving off heart trouble.

Coordinated by scientists at Oxford University in England it encompassed 287 studies involving more than 2000000 people.

The most crucial advance offered by the study is in defining the appropriate dose of aspirin for long-term therapy, said Dr. Eric Topol, cardiology chief at the Cleveland Clinic who was not involved in the analysis.

Most doctors and heart specialists use a dose of 325 mg of aspirin per day when applying it as a blood thinner. That the dose in a maximum strength adult aspirin tablet. The latest analysis shows that between 75 mg and 150 mg works just as well, with less internal bleeding.

TEA GOODS FOR HEARTS

Heavy tea drinking could reduce the risk of dying after a heart attack, a study suggests.

The study of 1900 heart attack victims found that those patients who drank the most tea before their heart attacks about 19 cups a week were 44 per cent less likely than nondrinkers to die in the three to four years latter.

Moderate drinkers, or those who had fewer than 14 cups, had a 28 per cent lower death rate. The study looked at death from all causes, not just heart disease. The study was published in the American Heart Association Journal Circulation.

Researched involved in the latest study suspect the finding are linked to flavonoids, antioxidants found naturally in various foods derived from plants. Tea is a major source of flavonoids in our diets.

HOLE IN HEART A STROKE RISK

In as many as 10 per cent of people, a hole formed in foetal life to allow blood to bypass the lungs remains open, increasing the risk of strokes.

During foetal life, this small tunnel, the foramen ovale, allows blood to bypass the lungs, which are not yet functioning, and go to the placenta. But in newborns, the hole is supposed to close, routing the blood through the lungs.

An open foramen ovale can go unnoticed for decades, but evidence is mounting that the opening, often no wider than a pencil, can cause strokes and mini-strokes in younger people. Small clots entering the heart are normally routed to the lunge, where they are harmlessly eliminated. But if a clot slips through a foramen ovale, it will bypass the lungs and may end up in the brain.

But those who have the opening and experience strokes or mini-stroke also have sharply increased risks of other strokes, as high as 10 percent a year.

WHITE WINE FOR LUNGS

Red wine may be best for your heart, but researchers reported that white wine beat red at preserving aging lungs.

People who drank white wine had greater lung function than those who consumed red wine, but both groups of wine drinkers had greater lung function than non-wine drinkers, say Holger Schuemann of the State University of New York in Buffalo.

Both red and white wine have high concentrations of flavor compounds called polyphenols and flavonoids. Some experts believe that these antioxidants may protect lung tissue from minute atomic particles called free radicals that, over time, damage tissues.

The study, involving 1555 adults, is the latest of several studies showing that moderate drinking may be good for your health.

Red wine has been shown to guard against clogged arteries and to boost blood levels of HDL cholesterol, the good cholesterol that ushers fats out of the blood-stream. Another study showed that a few drinks a weeks a week whether wine, beer or liquor may help women avoid high blood pressure.

In the study, white-wine drinkers had 3 per cent better lung function and red-wine drinkers had 1.5 per cent better lung function than non-drinkers.

HEART CHECKS MUST START AT 20

Doctor should start screening patients for their risk of developing heart disease or strokes as early as age 20, says the American Heart Association.

That calculation is based on factors such as age, smoking status, gender, blood pressure and cholesterol.

Heart disease can be prevented, and we have to start at a young age to do it, says Sidney Smith, professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, who was member of the panel that framed the guidelines.

The panel recommended :

  • Weight loss for those with a body mass index over 25 or waist measurement over 40 inches for men and 35 inches for women.
  • Moderate physical exercise 30 minutes per day, preferably every day.
  • Low-dose aspirin for patients with a 10 per cent risk of developing heart disease within 10 years.
  • No exposure to tobacco smoke, including second-hand smoke.
  • Control of blood pressure and blood fats.
  • Regular pulse checks and treatment for irregular heartbeat associated with blood clot formation, which could lead to stroke.

COATED STENTS KEEP ARTERIES OPEN

A new approach to keeping heart arteries flowing smoothly after angioplasty shows astonishing success in early testing, apparently solving a major shortcoming of this common procedure.

Doctor released the new technique the drug-coated stent. In testing on 43 patients over two years, they found it to be 100 per cent effective, an accomplishment almost unheard of in medicine.

The new approach is likely to be used on most new operations if these promising early results hold up in further testing. They could be on the market very soon.

During angioplasty, doctors fish tiny balloons through clogged heart arteries, then inflate them briefly to open up blood flow. Frequently, though, the arteries squeeze shut again. In recent years, doctors have often left behind tiny wire coils, called stents, to prop the arteries open.

However, about one-quarter of the time, reopened artery closes off, a condition called restenosis. It usually occurs when fast-growth scar-like tissue fills the artery, and must be fixed with a repeat angioplasty or coronary bypass.

The solution to this dilemma appears to be a new kind of stent coated with medicines that gradually ooze into the artery. The drugs keep cells from growing.

Dr. J. Eduardo Sousa of the Dante Pazzanese Institute of Cardiology in Sao Paulo presented two year of follow-up with 43 patients. While three of them needed heart procedures for worsening disease in other parts of their hearts, all areas treated with the cordis stents are flowing freely.

LOWER CHOLESTEROL, THE GRAZING WAY

The first large study into the benefits of snacking found that people who spread their food across many meals had lower cholesterol levels people who ate one or two big meals a day.

The study, published in The British Medical Journal, compared the results of a survey of eating habits of 14666 residents of Norfolk, England, ages 45 to 75. The study also looked at their cholesterol levels, which had been recorded as part of a large study on cancer risks.

The researchers, from the Institute of Public Health at the University of Cambridge, found that the more often people ate, the lower their total cholesterol levels tended to be, particularly their levels of the harmful LDL  cholesterol.

People who ate six meals a day had an average cholesterol level 5 per cent lower than people who ate one or two meals a day, the article said.

People who snacked more consumed more calories and exercised more, but the difference in cholesterol levels remained even when those differences were accounted for, said one of the researchers, Dr. Kay-Tee Khaw.

The authors said the link had turned up in animal studies and smaller human studies. Researchers have speculated that some mechanism lets animals store more of the fat they eat when they gorge than when they nibble more regularly.

Dr. Khaw said the standard recommendations for healthy hearts exercise, eating fruits and vegetables, quitting smoking were still the most important steps.

ORIGIN OF HEART DISEASE QUESTION 

Worse than cholesterol ? Hard to believe, perhaps, but the top heath concern of millions of Americans is about to be trumped by what doctor say is an even bigger trigger of heart attacks.

The condition is low-grade inflammation, Which may originate in a variety of unlikely places throughout the body, including even excess fat. New federal recommendations are being written that will urge doctors to test millions of middleaged Americans for it.

The discovery of its surprising ill effects is causing a top to bottom rethinking of the origins and prevention of heart trouble. Doctors call it a revolutionary departure from viewing the world top killer as largely a plumbing problem blamed on cholesterol clogged arteries, the standard theory through the modern era of cardiology.

In the past year or two, experts say, the evidence has become overwhelming that inflammation hidden deep in the body is a common trigger of heart attacks, even when clogging in the arteries is minimal. Now the main question is : How aggressively should otherwise healthy people be tested to find and treat it ? The new recommendations are still being drawn up and the first formal answer will be available, probably some time later. Inflammation can be measured with a generic $10 test that looks for high levels of a chemical called C-reactive protein. Experts expect it to quickly become a standard part of physical exams. As a result, many people ordinarily considered at low risk will probably be put on stain drugs, which lower inflammation as well as cholesterol.

ASPIRIN AND THE HEART 

A new study suggest that some people who take aspirin to ward off heart attack may not be getting all the benefits they through they were. The study published in the journal Circulation found that a many as 75 per cent of patients showed some resistance to the blood-thinning effects  of aspirin.

Aspirin works by blocking the formation of thromboxane A2,  a chemical in the body that makes platelets sticky and promotes blood clotting. Heart attack are caused by clots. The study found that taking aspirin did not adequately block thromboxane in some people, making them 3.5 time more likely to die of a heart attack than those in whom aspirin works.

WHY INDIANS SUFFER MORE HEART ATTACKS

More and more Indians are getting heart attack and succumbing to them because they do not live with nature, eat bad food and eat at the wrong hour.

It is no wonder, then, that Indians start getting heart disease 10 years before Americans, although the latter are known to take more junk food. Then there are Indian who pass off good food to their servants thinking it cheap food but end up dining at expensive restaurants whose fare is not good for healthy hearts. That is one of the major reasons why so many people die of heart attacks in India, said cardiologist K.K Agarwal of Mool Chand Hospital. Of the 30 million heart patients in India, 250,000 die of heart attacks every year and 180,000 die before reaching the hospital, which means within an hour of the attack, Agarwal said.

We in India give our servants cheap vegetables and we eat expensive vegetables ourselves. We give the servant ration rice and er eat polished rice. We give the servant lemon water and we drink Coke and Pepsi. What we do not realise is that the cheap food we are giving to be servant is natural food and what we eat is unnatural. This is what increase the risk factors. The food we eat is absolutely unnatural and most of it is eaten at night. In the U.S. people eat dinner by 7 p.m. and that is the best time to eat. Eating unnatural food, which we do, after 7 p.m. is most harmful.

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