All Posts tagged cardiovascular disease

Fitness Beats Weight Loss For Healthy Aging

  • From: Epidemiology and Prevention.
  • Title: Long-Term Effects of Changes on Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Body Mass Index on All-Cause and Cardiovascular Disease Mortality in Men
  • Author: Duck-chul Lee
  • The Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study
  1. Abstract

Background—The combined associations of changes in cardiorespiratory fitness and body mass index (BMI) with mortality remain controversial  and uncertain.

Methods and Results—We examined the independent and combined associations of changes in fitness and BMI with all-cause and cardiovascular disease  (CVD) mortality in 14 345 men (mean age 44 years) with at least 2 medical examinations. Fitness, in metabolic equivalents  (METs), was estimated from a maximal treadmill test. BMI was calculated using measured weight and height. Changes in fitness  and BMI between the baseline and last examinations over 6.3 years were classified into loss, stable, or gain groups. During  11.4 years of follow-up after the last examination, 914 all-cause and 300 CVD deaths occurred. The hazard ratios (95% confidence  intervals) of all-cause and CVD mortality were 0.70 (0.59–0.83) and 0.73 (0.54–0.98) for stable fitness, and 0.61 (0.51–0.73)  and 0.58 (0.42–0.80) for fitness gain, respectively, compared with fitness loss in multivariable analyses including BMI change.  Every 1-MET improvement was associated with 15% and 19% lower risk of all-cause and CVD mortality, respectively. BMI change  was not associated with all-cause or CVD mortality after adjusting for possible confounders and fitness change. In the combined  analyses, men who lost fitness had higher all-cause and CVD mortality risks regardless of BMI change.

Conclusions—Maintaining or improving fitness is associated with a lower risk of all-cause and CVD mortality in men. Preventing age-associated fitness loss is important for longevity regardless of BMI change.

dr. Tucker’s thoughts:  I think it is important to keep your weight at a healthy level, this study found that weight loss (defined as lowering a person’s body-mass index) was not associated with a reduction in the risk of all-cause mortality (dying from anything) or cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality.

What the researchers did find is that those men who keep their fitness level stable significantly reduced their risk of all-cause and CVD death. Men who were able to increase their fitness level as they got older saw even greater reductions in their risk of death.

I say stay physically fit doing regular exercise, including cardio, flexibility, balance and resistance training. Eat well and stay within a healthy body composition range and you will have even more benefits.

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Antioxidants May Reduce the Risk of Stroke in Women

Increasing the intake of antioxidants in the diet is associated with a reduced risk of stroke in women, according to a study, published in the journal Stroke. Antioxidants from fruits, vegetables and whole grains may lower the total risk of stroke among women with no history of cardiovascular disease (CVD), and hemorrhagic stroke in women with a history of heart problems.

Researchers from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden said “Eating antioxidant-rich foods may reduce your risk of stroke by inhibiting oxidative stress and inflammation,” said Susanne Rautiainen, who led the study. “This means people should eat more foods such as fruits and vegetables that contribute to total antioxidant capacity.”

They found that women in the highest group of dietary antioxidant intake, and with no CVD, had a 17% lower risk of total stroke compared to those in the lowest group. Further, they reported that women with history of CVD in the highest three-quarters of antioxidant intake had up to a 57% lower risk of hemorrhagic stroke.

Fruits and vegetables contributed about 50% of antioxidant capacity in women with no history of heart disease who had the highest total antioxidant count. Other contributors included whole grains (18%), tea (16%) and chocolate (5%).

Reference: Stroke; Published online ahead of print.

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Paleo Diet

The Paleo diet doesn’t restrict carbohydrates, it promotes unlimited veggies and fruits. For some patients I do restrict the number of fruits. I recommend eggs, poultry, and meats. I allow sweet potato and yams. The monounsaturated fats are avocado, hazelnuts/fliberts, macadamia nuts, and olives. These are all great choices. A lot of my patients are switching to coconut oil/butter/flakes and milk for cooking and snacks. 

Research concludes that low carbohydrate diets in which fruits and vegetables are not restricted – like the Paleo Diet – result in lower all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality rates. I’m after making a difference in cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and other chronic illnesses which typically afflict my patient population.

Stick with a diet based upon seasonal unlimited veggies, lean meats and seafood.


References

  1. Fung TT, van Dam RM, Hankinson SE, Stampfer M, Willett WC, Hu FB. Low-carbohydrate diets and all-cause and cause-specific mortality: two cohort studies.Ann Intern Med. 2010 Sep 7;153(5):289-98.
  2. Jönsson T, Granfeldt Y, Ahrén B, Branell UC, Pålsson G, Hansson A, Söderström M, Lindeberg S. Beneficial effects of a Paleolithic diet on cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetes: a randomized cross-over pilot study. Cardiovasc Diabetol. 2009 Jul 16;8:35.
  3. Frassetto LA, Schloetter M, Mietus-Synder M, Morris RC Jr, Sebastian A. Metabolic and physiologic improvements from consuming a paleolithic, hunter-gatherer type diet. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2009 Aug;63(8):947-55.
  4. Osterdahl M, Kocturk T, Koochek A, Wändell PE. Effects of a short-term intervention with a paleolithic diet in healthy volunteers. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2008 May;62(5):682-5.
  5. Jönsson T, Ahrén B, Pacini G, Sundler F, Wierup N, Steen S, Sjöberg T, Ugander M, Frostegård J, Göransson L, Lindeberg S. A Paleolithic diet confers higher insulin sensitivity, lower C-reactive protein and lower blood pressure than a cereal-based diet in domestic pigs. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2006 Nov 2;3:39.
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I want all my patients to have a hs-CRP blood test

Elevations in CRP suggest increased risk of cardio-vascular disease. 

 

If it is elevated, I would recommend Omega-3 fatty acid (fish oil). his is a natural intervention for the treatment and prevention of coronary artery disease (CAD). Certain omega-3 fatty acids have biochemical properties that promote atherosclerotic plaque stability and thereby decrease the incidence of cardiac ischemia and  ischemic cardiac arrhythmias. An ever-increasing body of evidence supports the role for omega-3 fatty acids, i.e. fish oil, in  through a role as anti-arrhythmic agents, through anti-thrombotic effect, and through atherosclerotic plaque stabilization, probably as a result of topical anti-inflammatory action.

 

 

Dosage requirement is between 2 and 3 grams per day, in divided doses.  Generally, the preferred cardiac ratio of 3:2 EPA/DHA, but in inflammatory conditions the EPA/DHA ratio does a bit better at 6:1.

 

I recommend either EPA-DHA 720 or EPA-DHA 6:1 enteric coated. These can be purchased on the Metagenics link.

 

 

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Coffee news!

This study out of the University of Athens (Greece),  analyzed hypertension (high blood pressure) and coffee consumption. Hypertension makes blood vessels less responsive to signals to expand and is a significant predictor of cardiovascular events. They studies the coffee consumption patterns among 435 hypertensive individuals, ages 65 to 100 years, enrolled in a larger study involving the permanent inhabitants of Ikaria Island, where many residents reach 90 years and older.  As compared to those who rarely drank coffee, moderate consumption of one or two cups a day associated with a lower prevalence of diabetes, lower prevalence of high cholesterol, lower body mass index, lower prevalence of cardiovascular disease, and higher values of aortic distensibility.  Proposing that the presence of phenol compounds in coffee may be responsible for these effects, the researchers conclude that: “Moderate coffee consumption has beneficial effects on the aortic distensibility in hypertensive elderly individuals.”

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