Tag Archives: Journal of the American College of Cardiology

Bigger the Belly, the Bigger the Risk

Although obesity has long been known to be a risk factor for heart disease, several studies have found that a high body mass index is actually associated with a lower risk of dying from heart ailments. However, according to a new analysis, the apparent paradox may be explained by the simple fact that BMI is a very flawed measurement.
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The study revealed that waist size provides a far more accurate way to predict a heart patient’s chances of dying at an early age from a heart attack or other causes.

CNN reports:
“As in previous studies, a high BMI was associated with a lower risk of death. But researchers found that heart patients with a high ratio of waist-to-hip circumference or a large waist size — greater than 35 inches for women, or 40 inches for men — were 70 percent more likely to die during the study period than those with smaller waists. The combination of a large waist and a high BMI upped the risk of death even more.”

Resources:
*CNN May 2, 2011

*Wall Street Journal May 3 2011 *

*Journal of the American College of Cardiology May 10, 2011; 57(19):1877-86

Posted By Dr. Mercola | May 20 2011

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Mediterranean Diet Improves Heart Risk Factors

Eating a “Mediterranean diet” could prevent or even reverse metabolic syndrome, a cluster of risk factors for heart disease and diabetes. Scientists believe that a Mediterranean-style diet has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects on your body.

A review of 35 clinical trials found that faithfully eating a Mediterranean diet can improve traits such as belly fat, high blood pressure, low levels of “good” HDL cholesterol, elevated blood fat levels, and high blood sugar.

Reuters reports:
“For instance, those who stuck with the Mediterranean diet as compared to eating their regular foods or a low-fat diet trimmed their waistlines by about 0.43 cm (0.16 inches) on average.  They also showed slashed their blood pressure by 2.35 points on the top reading, and their fasting blood sugar by 3.89 milligrams per deciliter.”

Resources:
Reuters March 7, 2011
Journal of the American College of Cardiology March 15, 2011;57(11):1299-313

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Garlic ‘Remedy for Hypertension’

Garlic may be useful in addition to medication to treat high blood pressure, a study suggests.
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Australian doctors enrolled 50 patients in a trial to see if garlic supplements could help those whose blood pressure was high, despite medication.

Those given four capsules of garlic extract a day had lower blood pressure than those on placebo, they report in scientific journal Maturitas.

The British Heart Foundation said more research was needed.

Garlic has long been though to be good for the heart.

Garlic supplements have previously been shown to lower cholesterol and reduce high blood pressure in those with untreated hypertension.

In the latest study, researchers from the University of Adelaide, Australia, looked at the effects of four capsules a day of a supplement known as aged garlic for 12 weeks.

They found systolic blood pressure was around 10mmHg lower in the group given garlic compared with those given a placebo.

Researcher Karin Ried said: “Garlic supplements have been associated with a blood pressure lowering effect of clinical significance in patients with untreated hypertension.

“Our trial, however, is the first to assess the effect, tolerability and acceptability of aged garlic extract as an additional treatment to existing antihypertensive medication in patients with treated, but uncontrolled, hypertension.”

Experts say garlic supplements should only be used after seeking medical advice, as garlic can thin the blood or interact with some medicines.

Ellen Mason, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said using garlic for medicinal purposes dates back thousands of years, but it is essential that scientific research proves that garlic can help conditions such as raised blood pressure.

She said: “This study demonstrated a slight blood pressure reduction after using aged garlic supplements but it’s not significant enough or in a large enough group of people to currently recommend it instead of medication.

“It’s a concern that so many people in the UK have poorly controlled blood pressure, with an increased risk of stroke and heart disease as a consequence. So enjoy garlic as part of your diet but don’t stop taking your blood pressure medication.”

You may click to see :
Why garlic is good for the heart

Raw garlic tackles cancer


Source
: BBC News

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Anger Alert for Heart

Episodes of anger may lead to potentially lethal abnormal heart rhythms in patients with heart disease and those who are survivors of heart attacks, a medical study has suggested.

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The study by researchers at the Yale University School of Medicine in the US is the first to show how emotion triggers a distinct pattern of electrical activity that contributes to arrhythmias — abnormal heart rhythms.

The researchers who monitored a group of 62 patients found that those with high levels of anger-induced electrical cardiac activity called T-wave alternans were more likely to experience arrhythmias than patients with low levels of this electrical activity.

Anger appeared to increase the risk of arrythmias by up to 10 times. The findings will appear shortly in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

“Our study identified individuals vulnerable to increased electrical instability due to emotion,” said Rachel Lampert, associate professor of medicine at Yale who has been exploring how mental stress can disturb heart rhythms.

The researchers studied patients with heart problems who had implantable cardioverter-defibrillators — small, battery-powered devices in the chest from where they constantly monitor the heart rate and rhythm.

When the device detects abnormal heart rhythms, it delivers an electrical shock to the heart muscle to stop the arrhythmia and return the heart to its normal rhythm.

The study examined incidence of arrhythmias over three years and found that patients with arrhythmias had higher T-wave alternans induced by anger than patients who had not experienced arrhythmias.

Arrhythmias of concern are rare in healthy people. “The implications of our findings are for the increasing number of people who have survived a heart attack or are living with heart failure,” Lampert told The Telegraph.

Cardiologists believe it is important to identify patients who are at risk of developing life-threatening arrhythmias. The results suggest that therapy to help patients deal with anger and other negative emotions may reduce arrhythmias, said Lampert.

Sources:
The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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Snoring

Snoring is a noise produced when an individual breathes (usually produced when breathing in) during sleep which in turn causes vibration of the soft palate and uvula (that thing that hangs down in the back of the throat). The word “apnea” means the abscence of breathing.
All snorers have incomplete obstruction ( a block) of the upper airway. Many habitual snorers have complete episodes of upper airway obstruction where the airway is completly blocked for a period of time, usually 10 seconds or longer. This silence is usually followed by snorts and gasps as the individual fights to take a breath. When an individual snores so loudly that it disturbs others, obstructive sleep apnea is almost certain to be present.

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There is snoring that is an indicator of obstructive sleep apnea and there is also primary snoring.

Primary Snoring, also known as simple snoring, snoring without sleep apnea, noisy breathing during sleep, benign snoring, rhythmical snoring and continous snoring is characterized by loud upper airway breathing sounds in sleep without episodes of apnea (cessation of breath).

How Does Primary Snoring Differ from Snoring that Indicates Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
A complaint of snoring by an observer
No evidence of insomnia or excessive sleepiness due to the snoring
Dryness of the mouth upon awakening
A polysomnogram (sleep study) that shows:
Snoring and other sounds often occurring for long episodes during the sleep period
No associated abrupt arousals, arterial oxygen desaturation (lowered amount of oxygen in the blood) or cardiac disturbances
Normal sleep patterns
Normal respiratory patterns during sleep
No signs of other sleep disorders
What can be done about primary snoring?
First of all, it is absolutely necessary to rule out obstructive sleep apnea or other sleep disorders. Be wary of any doctor who says it is not necessary. Behavioral and lifestyle changes may be suggested. Losing weight, sleeping on your side, refraining from alcohol and sedatives are often recommended.

The Causes Of Snoring:
Modern research reveals snoring to often have more than one cause. These include the many factors that lead to nasal blockage such as nasal allergy or deformities of the nasal septum (the cartilage partition between the two sides of the nose) and other internal nasal structures. This nasal blockage can contribute to poor nasal airflow into the lungs and can in turn set the soft tissues of the palate (roof of the mouth) and throat vibrating. These vibrations cause the loud fluttering noise of snoring.

Other factors which can influence the snoring condition are obesity; lack of fitness or aging and associated loss of general muscle tone, congestion of the throat due to the reflux of stomach acid (heartburn); and the effects of alcohol or smoking.

Congestion of the throat tissues leads to swelling of fluids within the tissues. This causes loss of muscle tone and generally makes the lining tissues of the airways flop. Where nasal congestion causes faulty or turbulent airflow through the airway, then the resonance of these floppy tissues contributes to the noise known as snoring.

Correction of snoring may not only require surgical intervention, but will probably also need cessation of smoking, minimised alcohol consumption, control of gastric acid reflux where neccessary and weight control
.

The Anatomy of the Upper Airway Passages.

CURE & TREATMENT:
Pillar Procedure
The Pillar Procedure is a new snoring treatment.
It is an operation carried out under local anaesthetic in most cases. Three tiny implants, made from woven polyester, are injected into the tissues of the soft palate. Floppiness of the soft palate, that part of the roof of the mouth which extends from the bony hard palate to the uvula (or central, dangling portion of the soft palate), is a frequent contributor to snoring. Stiffening the soft palate has been well known to quieten snoring in selected cases. However, palatal stiffening is suitable for patients who have been carefully evaluated by an ear, nose and throat surgeon with an interest in snoring problems. It does not assist every patient. Other factors may be contributing to snoring in these patients.

Now, what are Pillar implants?
The Pillar implants, made from polyester material, were developed in Europe and now have FDA US Government authority approval for surgical use. This material has been frequently used in medical products and can be safely inserted within the body. The implant creates a fibrous capsule around the implant which is the mechanism of the stiffening.

How do they work?
During the Pillar Procedure, three tiny woven inserts are placed in the soft palate to help reduce both the vibration that causes snoring and the ability of the soft palate to obstruct the airway. The Pillar inserts add structural support to the soft palate over time and prevents palatal fluttering (snoring).

The complex anatomical structure of the upper airway passages is due to the close association of the air, food and fluid passages. We not only breathe through our mouth and nose, but we also eat and drink through our mouth. The food passages of the mouth, throat and oesophagus leading to the stomach are separated from the airway by the soft palate and epiglottis and associated structures of the larynx or voicebox. This normally prevents food or fluid passing into the air passages and lungs. Occasional strong coughing fits are reminders that this is not always the case!

The nasal air passages serve to moisten the air intake and also provide the olfactory, or smell sense. Alternating congestion of the nasal passages helps channel the air intake between the two lungs.

ORAL/DENTAL DEVICES
There are mouth/oral devices (that help keep the airway open) on the market that may help to reduce snoring in three different ways.

Some devices:
bring the jaw forward or
elevate the soft palate or
retain the tongue (from falling back in the airway and thus decreasing snoring).

SURGERY
There is also surgery. Snoring is Not Funny, Not Hopeless. There is uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) or Laser-Assisted Uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP), that involves removing excess tissue from the throat.

The newest surgery, approved by the FDA in July 1997 for treating snoring is called somnoplasty and uses radio frequency waves to remove excess tissue.

Injection Snoreplasty and Non-Surgical Snoring Cures are some other options.

10 Natural Tip for a Silent Night

Home Remedy of Snoring…….(1)

Home Remedy …………...(2 )

Regular Yoga Exercises like Meditation, Breathing Exercise etc. are also a permanent cure for snoring and sleep apnea.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.

Source: www.snoring.com.au

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