All Entries For heart disease
What if I told you that heart disease kills more women than the next four causes of death, would that encourage you to change your lifestyle?
What if I told you heart disease takes the life of one woman every minute, would that encourage you to change your lifestyle?
What if I told you that 1 in 3 women die every year from heart disease compared to 1 in 30 who die from breast cancer, would that encourage you to change your lifestyle?
What If I told you 90 percent of us have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease, would that encourage you to change your lifestyle?
What if I told you 80% of cardiac events in women may be prevented, would that encourage you to change your lifestyle?
While these statistics provided by the American Heart Association are quite alarming, they are a reminder of the changes we can all make to reverse or at least slow down the progression of heart disease. Hope is not loss. And this is where the Go Red for Women campaign comes into play. The Go Red for Women campaign was designed to help educate women of the importance in making lifestyle changes now so that they may deter the staggering effects of heart disease later in life.
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February kicks off the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's American Heart Month along with the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women campaign which focuses on heart health awareness for women. Heart disease is still the leading cause of death in the United States so taking care of our hearts via aerobic and strength training activities is moving us in the direction to overcoming this disease.
Aerobic activity is crucial for keeping our cardiovascular system strong and healthy, but we should not forget the role strength training plays in keeping our hearts healthy, too. According to Dr. Kenneth Cooper, AKA the Father of Aerobics, the older we are the more important strength training needs to be a part of our workout routine. In his book Start Strong, Finish Strong by the time we reach the age of 60 we should be spending 55% of our workout time toward aerobic activity, which "provides the most health benefits" and 45% of our time to strength/resistance training.
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Iíve been CPR certified for a number of years. Thankfully Iíve never had to use the techniques Iíve learned, but it always makes me feel better knowing that I could attempt to save a life if it were needed. Iíll be honest; the thought of performing CPR on someone makes me very nervous. Would I remember the order of the steps? The right number of breaths to compressions? Could I stay calm enough to do what needed to be done? The American Heart Association is promoting new guidelines that will make it easier and safer for people to help during an emergency. Wouldnít you like to learn how to help save a life? Read More ›
There are no shortcuts to living a long and healthy life. By now, it's common knowledge that exercise, a healthy diet, and abstaining from tobacco are critical lifestyle choices that help people maintain a healthy weight and reduce their risk of countless diseases, including heart disease—the number one killer of men and women in the United States. Still, Americans are getting heavier—and unhealthier—despite a growing library of scientific evidence telling us what we should and shouldn't do in order to prevent these problems.
We know what to do. We know which foods are healthy and which ones aren't. We know that we should exercise more, combat stress, stop smoking and get more sleep (among other things). The problem lies in actually DOING it.
How do people change a lifetime of poor habits? How do you lose weight when a toxic food environment tempts you with unhealthy fare to eat at every turn? How do you stick with an exercise plan when it's uncomfortable—or just plain easier to relax on the couch after a stressful day at work? WHY aren't we doing what we know we should be doing?
To answer these questions, the American Heart Association (AHA) looked at 74 published studies on weight-loss, physical activity, and dietary interventions to find out which behavior-change strategies helped people reach their goals and stay heart-healthy. They weren't looking for what to eat or how to exercise; they searched for the specific habits, behaviors and strategies that helped people adopt these healthier habits and stick with them. Their findings, released online last week (view the statement in its entirety here), will also appear in the July 27 issue of Circulation.
They discovered that adopting a healthy lifestyle could boost Americans' average life expectancy by almost 7 years—and doing so is easier than you may think. Read More ›
Sugar provides such sweet memories for me. As a child growing up, my mother would often sing the Mary Poppins song A Spoonful of Sugar as she was encouraging us to do tasks and chores we did not want to do. When we had hiccups, she would offer a spoonful of the sweet white granules to suck on to help them go away.
As we seek to make healthier lifestyle choices, it is important to understand the role nutrients like sugar play in our life. Earlier this year I introduced readers to the Life's Simple 7 assessment tool by the American Heart Association designed to help people evaluate their cardiovascular health. Part of the goals of that assessment included maintaining a diet low in sugar.
A study released last week in The Journal of the American Medical Association validated the idea that high sugar consumption plays just as much of a role in heart disease risks as dietary fats. The study found a strong correlation between sugar consumption and lipid profiles. Study individuals with higher sugar consumption appeared to have lower HDL and higher triglyceride levels. These are opposite of what has been found to be protective against heart disease. Average added sugar consumption in the study was over 21 teaspoons per day, which provides over 320 additional calories to daily calorie intake. In comparison, The American Heart Association recommends women limit added sugars to less than six and a half teaspoons (25 grams) per day while men are advised to include less than nine teaspoons (37.5 grams) of added sugars. The World Health Organization suggests diets include no more than 10 percent of caloric intake from added sugars and sweeteners. If we are going to reduce our added sugar intake, perhaps we need to take a closer look to understand what they are and where they come from.
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When I received my CPR recertification last June my instructor recounted an incident she had heard about from a former student regarding the reality of those who may be too frightened to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (AKA CPR). We may know what to do, but what happens when it is time to implement the measures should someone collapse in our presence. The story has a tragic ending, however, it is a lesson we all can learn from.
A few years ago a gentleman at a local road race collapsed and suffered a heart attack while on the course and even though people stopped to help, no one administered CPR. The bystanders called 911 and made sure the man was comfortable, but sadly that was as far as the help went. By the time the first responders arrived at the scene the gentleman was deceased.
Unfortunately this isn't an isolated story. People are often too fearful of implementing a technique they only practiced on mannequins. And when it comes time to put this to the test, fear of doing further harm can stand in the way of helping another human being.
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How many of you have watched a movie or TV show where one of the characters, who has experienced a stressful situation in her life, suffers from what appears to be a classic heart attack but isn't? While this may sound a little farfetched, doctors are beginning to recognize a condition that mimics a heart attack, but after further testing there is little or no sign of cardiovascular disease. Doctors refer to this condition as stress cardiomyopathy, also known as broken heart syndrome. In all my years in nursing and reading up on health matters I have never heard of this syndrome before, until I came across an article in the Spring 2010 issue of Better Homes and Gardens Heart-Healthy Living Magazine.
After doing my own research, I discovered that broken heart syndrome can mimic a true heart attack but does not cause death or irreversible damage to the heart like a classic heart attack can. However, the two conditions can be difficult to differentiate when a patient presents to the emergency room with chest pains, shortness of breath, nausea and in some cases even heart stoppage.
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In 2008, over-the-counter fish oil supplement sales in the United States nearly topped $740 million. Add to that the additional $1.8 billion spent on other omega-3 fortified foods like margarine and peanut butter and you can see that omega-3 is big business. Is this money well spent or nothing more than an oil spill.
The many omega-3 benefits such as reducing the risk of heart disease, improving cholesterol profiles by decreasing triglycerides and increasing protective HDL's or supporting mental health are all wonderful reasons to include omega-3 rich foods in our diet. Since these essential fatty acids are not made by the body and have been found to be so beneficial, they have become a new supplement marketing focus. According to a recent Forbes article, they are not always the best use of our money.
Here are some important things to keep in mind as you select at the supermarket or supplement aisle to be sure you are making nutrient and money wise omega-3 choices.
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Each time I review a new restaurant for our ongoing Food on the Run or Diet Friendly Dining series, there are always comments wondering why there is so much sodium in restaurant food.
A new Annals of Internal Medicine article looking at information from a cost-effectiveness analysis of sodium reduction strategies suggests that change may be right around the corner.
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I've never really thought of myself as having heart disease until early last year when I wrote a blog about the Go Red for Women campaign. A few months earlier my doctor mentioned how proud she was of me that I had been able to keep my heart disease in check. What--me, Nancy Howard have heart disease even with all the changes I have made?
Wait a minute, in the course of 5 years I have dropped 80 pounds and kept it off. My diet is the healthiest it's ever been in my entire life. I am a faithful runner/gym goer pounding the pavement at least 5 days every week and I still fall in the heart disease category?
I should not be too surprised as there is a strong family history on both my maternal and paternal side, but the stigma remains with me. I know my health is what it is, but it still makes me wonder if I will ever be able to accept this fate.
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A recent report highlighted what we nutrition minded people have known for a while, which is nuts provide good nutrition in a tasty package. Tree nuts in particular provide heart healthy benefits due to their healthy fat source and also provide a good quality protein from a non-animal source. Many times walnuts and almonds are talked about the most. Recently, more and more commercials have popped up in my region of the country for a small tasty alternative tree nut that may be even more healthy.
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The VITamin D and OmegA-3 TriaL (VITAL) research study will officially begin recruitment for participants in January 2010. The purpose of the study is to evaluate whether taking omega 3 fatty acids from fish oil or vitamin D supplements helps reduce the development of cancer, heart disease and stoke in healthy people.
Think you might be interested in participating?
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Numerous studies have suggested that alcohol can be part of a healthy diet. In fact, many suggest that moderate amounts of alcohol can reduce your risk for heart disease and even diabetes. But not all researchers are convinced that alcohol- even in moderation- is good for you.
Critics say that no study has ever proved a causal relationship between moderate drinking and lower disease rates- only that the two tend to go together. Does moderate drinking make you healthier, or is it just that healthy people tend to drink moderately? If you're a moderate drinker, it's assumed that you probably take care of yourself (eating healthy, exercising regularly). So are those the lifestyle habits that most significantly contribute to good health, instead of how much you drink? Read More ›
Since the 1940's a relationship between certain metabolic disorders and cardiovascular disease has been recognized. In the 1980's this association began being known as syndrome X or metabolic syndrome.
Last week, a new study revealed that "women who breastfeed may be less likely to develop metabolic syndrome."
What is metabolic syndrome and how do you know if you might have it?
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We all know that water is good for you. It can help you feel fuller, it's a good replacement for sugary drinks like soda or juice, improves the look of your skin- the list is long. But did you know that drinking water might also help reduce your risk of a heart attack? Read More ›