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Most people with heart disease consume excessive amounts of sodium, study finds

Most people with heart disease consume excessive amounts of sodium, study finds

Many people, especially those who should limit their intake due to heart health concerns, consume more sodium than is advised daily. This is supported by a recent study that discovered individuals with cardiovascular disease (CVD) were ingesting more than twice as much sodium per day 1,500 mg—as is advised. The study participants consumed an average of 3,096 mg of sodium daily, with 89% consuming more than the recommended amount. The results will be presented from April 6–8 at the Annual Scientific Session of the American College of Cardiology. The findings are still pending publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

The American Heart Association (AHA) advises adults without a history of heart disease or those not suspected of being at risk to consume no more than 2,300 mg of sodium daily. This is roughly the same as one teaspoon of table salt. This study’s average heart disease patient was over 1,000 mg above that threshold. 3,170 participants in the NHANES study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control provided data for the study. Men and women with a diagnosis of cardiovascular disease who were older than 20 were included in this sample. White people 65 years of age or older with less education than a high school diploma made up the bulk of this group. With an average daily calorie intake of 1,862, males, who made up slightly more than half of the subjects (56.4%), were overweight. Although it’s commonly believed that having fewer food options leads to excessive sodium consumption, this study challenges that theory.

Those with a college degree or above and those at the higher end of the income spectrum consumed the most sodium. The unexpected findings may have been influenced by the fact that people with greater incomes and educational backgrounds may have been more accurate in disclosing their sodium consumption, according to the study’s authors. Sodium chloride is the chemical name for table salt. In trace amounts, sodium, a naturally occurring mineral, is essential to human health. According to cardiologist Jayne Morgan, MD, clinical director at Piedmont Healthcare Corporation in Atlanta, GA, sodium helps to balance the water in your body. It even helps to maintain the healthy operation of nerves and muscles.

Your body’s blood volume rises as a result of salt. High blood pressure is the result of this. Due to the increased cardiac workload caused by the elevated blood pressure, you may eventually develop heart disease. Atherosclerosis and the hardening and stiffening of the arteries have long been associated with excess sodium, according to Dr. Morgan. Numerous studies have examined the reasons behind the widespread desire for salt.

According to registered dietitian nutritionist Michelle Routhenstein, MNT, “the consistent overconsumption of sodium across the socioeconomic spectrum suggests that factors beyond just access to resources may influence sodium intake.”. Routhenstein did not work on the project. According to Routhenstein, this might imply the marketing and general availability of processed foods that are easily accessed and high in sodium, cultural eating habits that value salty foods, and a lack of knowledge or instruction regarding the health risks connected to consuming excessive amounts of sodium.

This is a powerful illustration of how common the Western diet is and how much people crave salt and “flavor.”. It also illustrates how simple and readily available sodium is in a lot of grocery items, even when purchasing ‘healthy’ alternatives. According to her, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could establish a uniform food rating system that would enable everyone to know where a given food choice falls on a health spectrum. At that point, the customer can make an informed choice. The first step in lowering sodium consumption is to monitor your salt intake, but it can be challenging to determine how much sodium you’re really taking in.

Sodium is used in many food products for purposes other than just adding flavor. It has multiple uses, including baking, thickening, curing meat, retaining moisture, and serving as a preservative. A lot of sodium-rich foods don’t even taste salty. According to Routhenstein, people may unintentionally consume excessive amounts of sodium if they don’t actively read food labels and pay attention to sodium levels. Before even thinking about using a salt shaker, people might not be aware of how much sodium is in their food, according to Routhenstein. For instance, the recommended sodium intake for people with heart disease can be exceeded by the 2,000 mg or more found in a typical restaurant meal.

Using fresh ingredients when cooking at home, selecting low-sodium options, incorporating herbs and spices for flavor, reading labels, and being aware of hidden sodium in processed foods are all good ways to reduce your intake of sodium through diet. While eating out, people can choose heart-healthier, lower-sodium options by asking for dressings and sauces to be served on the side, choosing grilled or steamed food over fried, and asking for meals to be prepared without added salt. While [you’re] still enjoying delicious meals, these small changes can make a big difference in your overall sodium intake reduction. Routhenstein offered a variety of flavor-retaining salt substitutes, such as a small amount of lemon or grapefruit juice added to recipes.

Citrus fruits’ tart flavor can fool the palate into thinking food has more salt than it actually does, keeping food tasty even when it contains less sodium. Furthermore, Routhenstein promoted spiciness; add hot sauce or chili peppers to your food based on your personal preferences. You could also use a shaker of your favorite powder, like oregano or garlic powder, in place of the tabletop salt shaker (not garlic salt, which contains sodium). Seasonings such as Dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, or dry mustard powder can give dressings, marinades, and sauces tang and depth. According to Routhenstein, adding mustard to rubs, sandwich spreads, and vinaigrettes provides a tasty variation without using a lot of sodium.


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Weight loss drug Wegovy gains FDA approval to reduce heart disease risk

Weight loss drug Wegovy gains FDA approval to reduce heart disease risk

The semaglutide drug Wegovy was approved by the FDA on March 8 to help lower the risk of heart attack, stroke, and cardiovascular death in adults with heart disease who are obese or overweight. According to the indication, semaglutide should be used in conjunction with a lower-calorie diet and more exercise. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first authorized semaglutide in 2017 for the treatment of type 2 diabetes in adults. The FDA approved Novo Nordisk’s semaglutide drug Wegovy in 2021 for the treatment of obesity and overweight adults who also have at least one weight-related condition.

Medication classified as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists includes semaglutide, which was first created to treat type 2 diabetes. Since then, the use of GLP-1 medications to treat weight loss has skyrocketed. Researchers have looked into the effects of semaglutide on cardiovascular health in recent years. For example, a 2021 study discovered a link between semaglutide and anti-atherosclerotic benefits. According to a 2023 study, semaglutide may help adults with obesity who do not have diabetes by improving cardiometabolic risk factors and lowering the usage of high blood pressure and high cholesterol medications.

This class of medications may help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, two risk factors for cardiovascular disease, by promoting weight loss and weight control. By addressing one component of the metabolic syndrome, you can also improve the other heart disease risk factors, which will ultimately lead to better cardiovascular outcomes. The short answer is that everything is interconnected, and managing weight and blood sugar levels is a major factor in many cases of heart disease. Based on the findings of the SELECT cardiovascular outcomes clinical trial, the FDA has granted a new approval. According to the study, adults with established cardiovascular disease who are overweight or obese and take Wegovy have a 20 percent lower risk of major adverse cardiovascular events, such as cardiovascular death, non-fatal heart attack, or non-fatal stroke. Furthermore, the trial discovered that, in comparison to individuals who took a placebo, semaglutide use decreased a person’s risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by 15% and death from all causes by 19%.

It is well known that obesity raises the risk of cardiovascular disease on its own. Additionally, patients can lower that risk by losing weight. This study was intriguing because it suggests that these weight-loss drugs have an impact beyond only assisting patients in losing weight. Regretfully, they were unable to address that in this study; however, further research in that field is required. Despite all of our efforts over the past few decades, cardiovascular disease continues to be the leading cause of death worldwide. As a result, we need to keep looking for new strategies to lower the morbidity and mortality rate from this illness. Heart failure and advanced vascular disease, for example, carry a higher death risk than many types of cancer. Cardiovascular disease is a public health emergency, especially when it is linked to obesity. As such, any safe treatment that lowers the risk of death or complications will be highly sought after. When it comes to treating these ailments, there is still a great deal we don’t know.

The way semaglutide medications function is by mimicking the body’s natural release of the GLP-1 hormone during meals by the gastrointestinal tract. This hormone lowers blood sugar levels by instructing the body to produce more insulin. Semaglutide is a prescription drug that is administered intravenously by the patient. It works by increasing the amount of insulin produced by the pancreas and lowering the amount of glucagon produced by the liver. These drugs directly lessen appetite and cravings by acting on the hypothalamus, a region of the brain.


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Women with depression face higher cardiovascular disease risk than men

Women with depression face higher cardiovascular disease risk than men

According to experts, inflammation and hormones in the body are two things that can lead to the development of cardiovascular disease. They claim that when it comes to screening for depression, medical professionals should do a better job of looking at both men and women. After receiving a diagnosis of depression, women are much more likely than men to develop cardiovascular disease.
Heart attacks, strokes, heart failures, and atrial fibrillation are all considered forms of cardiovascular disease, or CVD. Women in the United States are twice as likely as men to experience depression, and over 60 million women are thought to have heart disease. According to a recent study, cardiologists might want to devote more time to screening patients for depression. Improved comprehension will enable medical professionals to provide depression treatment that is optimal for men and women, improving the outcomes of CVD for these populations.

Between 2005 and 2022, the study monitored and examined medical claims, examining the rates of depression and eventual diagnosis of cardiovascular disease in over 4 million patients. Men made up slightly more of the study’s participants than women. The mean age was forty-four. Before being diagnosed with CVD, the participant had to receive a clinical diagnosis to be eligible for a depression status in the analysis. Body mass index, blood pressure, fasting cholesterol, and blood glucose levels were among the patient health data. Cardiovascular events included atrial fibrillation, heart failure, angina pectoris, and myocardial infarction, or heart attack. Multiple hazard ratios, which simply show a person’s risk of something occurring in men versus women, were calculated by researchers using data.

According to the data, the risk ratio for a diagnosis of depression to result in cardiovascular disease was 1 point 64 for women and 1 point 39 for men. Women were more likely than men to experience depression that directly resulted in heart attacks, chest pain, strokes, heart failure, and other incidents. Researchers acknowledged that there were several obvious limitations to the study. One of the challenges they faced was the inability to obtain precise information regarding the depression symptoms of the participants or the possible impact of COVID-19. Furthermore, because the study was observational in nature, it was unable to prove a link between depression and CVD.

Although heart attacks are more commonly associated with men than women in society and the media, both sexes are equally at risk. For women, however, the odds of surviving a heart attack and receiving treatment are not as good. While she wasn’t involved in the study, Dr. Evelina Grayver, a cardiologist and the director of Women’s Heart Health at Central Region Northwell Health, expressed her happiness that research is finally being done on the topic and pointed out several important points. According to Grayver, Medical News Today, the leading cause of death for women is cardiovascular disease. More women die from it than from lung, breast, and colon cancer combined.

However, because women do not usually exhibit the symptoms of a heart attack, a great deal of them choose to ignore their symptoms. According to Grayver, women are more likely to experience exhaustion, tightness in the chest, and discomfort in the abdomen rather than pain in the left arm or the feeling of an elephant resting on their chest. Women are 20 percent more likely than men to pass away during the first five years following a severe heart attack, according to previous research from the American Heart Association. It also mentions that women were less likely to have a cardiologist visit them in the hospital and to be prescribed drugs like beta blockers and cholesterol lowers.

Compared to men, women are diagnosed with depression twice as frequently. Why is the key question? According to the new study’s researchers, women might have more severe and enduring symptoms. This heightened intensity may have an additional impact on lifestyle choices that raise an individual’s risk of having a heart attack. Women also experience more particular health difficulties during menopause and pregnancy. Hormonal fluctuations have the potential to exacerbate mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, and overall stress. The metabolic syndrome, which includes traditional CVD risk factors like high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity, is also substantially more common in women.


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Early meal consumption can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Early meal consumption can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Eating the first and last meals of the day earlier can help prevent heart disease, according to research. According to them, consuming breakfast before 8 a.m. m. & the final one before 9 p.m. m. can reduce the chance of heart problems. They also say that women experience a greater reduction in risk than men do. A recent study that was published in the journal Nature Communications suggests that eating meals earlier can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Researchers examined data from 103,389 adults who took part in the NutriNet-Santé study, with a median age of 42. We obtained medical records through the UK Biobank database. Dietary records included details about the timing of meals and the total number of times an individual ate in a given day. The average follow-up period for the study was approximately 7 years.

The following results were noted by the researchers in relation to meal timings between 8 a.m. m. and nine p.m. Postponing breakfast was linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Cerebrovascular disease increased by 6% for every hour that a delay was allowed to persist. having dinner after nine o’clock in the evening. m. was linked to a 28% increased risk of cerebrovascular illness compared to individuals who ate before 8 p.m. m. There was no discernible extra risk connected to the frequency of eating. Eating an earlier evening meal instead of delaying breakfast was linked to a 7% lower risk of cerebrovascular disease for every hour that was spent fasting at night. The researchers also noted that women were more significantly affected than men by the variations in negative associations with the timing of the final meal of the day. According to research, your circadian rhythms play a crucial role in regulating your appetite and burning calories, as stated by Tatiana Ridley, a holistic nutritionist, yoga instructor, and health coach who was not involved in the study.

ccording to her explanation to Medical News Today, circadian rhythms are cyclic endogenous built-in biological patterns that follow a 24-hour cycle and control the timing of physiology, metabolism, and behavior. When your meal timings don’t correspond with your body’s clock, hormones that store fat may be elevated, leading to weight gain. A Circadian Rhythm Diet is based on when breakfast, lunch, and dinner should be eaten. Having said that, I believe that timing meals should be taken into account in relation to our general health. The findings, according to the researchers, are consistent with the theory that consuming one’s first and last meals earlier in the day and fasting for a longer duration at night may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. According to Virginia-based dietician and diabetes educator Caroline Thomason, RD, CDES, who was not involved in the study, fasting is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It is true, in my experience, that some people are not naturally hungry for breakfast. Fasting is a valid approach to eating times, she told Medical News Today, as long as there are no unfavorable effects, like overindulging at night because you skipped breakfast. According to Thomason, the most important advice he gives his patients is to recognize when they are forcing themselves to eat by the clock despite discomfort, extreme hunger, or low energy. For those who don’t naturally enjoy skipping breakfast, research even suggests that it can increase cortisol levels and stress levels.

You limit your eating to specific times of the day when you practice intermittent fasting. According to UC Davis Health, the theory behind this strategy is that by doing this, our bodies will be able to access our fat stores for energy more quickly and effectively. The most direct sources of energy are glucose and carbs; in the absence of glucose, we burn fat. The researchers advise having your first meal of the day by 8 a.m. and your last meal by 8 p.m. m. They did not mention intermittent fasting specifically, but one version of this strategy is skipping meals for a full 12-hour period. According to registered dietitian nutritionist Anne Danahy, who was not involved in the study, numerous studies conducted over the years have found that time-restricted eating, also known as intermittent fasting, has benefits for the metabolism, specifically for insulin, blood sugar, cholesterol, and weight improvements. The fact that this massive study’s results also point to a lower risk of stroke and heart disease is fantastic. According to Danahy, Medical News Today, “I frequently recommend fasting for at least 8 to 10 hours each day.”. It’s as easy as skipping dinner, and a lot of people are shocked at how much just that one small adjustment can improve their mood. A simple strategy to control the extra calories that accumulate from late-night snacking is to fast for eight to ten hours. It frequently results in slightly less weight loss and improved blood sugar regulation. Many people also discover that They sleep better at night when they avoid eating late (as it lessens acid reflux). Danahy also pointed out that a number of studies, including this one, have demonstrated greater advantages to eating dinner earlier and extending the fasting window later in the day and overnight. I concur, but a lot of people find it difficult to implement due to work and family obligations. Front-loading your diet—eating a hearty breakfast and lunch, finishing your dinner with something light (a smoothie, a small serving of protein with vegetables, or soup)—and making an effort to finish by 7 p.m. m. the latest. Naturally, the caliber of your diet also matters, she added. If you eat a lot of junk food while adhering to a rigorous fasting schedule, you won’t experience the benefits. A plant-forward or Mediterranean-style diet is ideal, and you should aim to allow your body to recuperate between dinner and breakfast the following day.


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How elevated blood pressure and cholesterol raise the risk of heart disease in younger adults.

How elevated blood pressure and cholesterol raise the risk of heart disease in younger adults.

According to a recent study, younger people may be more susceptible than previously thought to cardiovascular issues. They contend that early detection of cardiovascular risk factors, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol, is crucial for young adults. Early lifestyle changes, according to experts, can lower a person’s chance of developing heart issues later in life. Cardiovascular problems are not limited to the elderly. A recent study suggests that younger adults may be more susceptible to the effects of high blood pressure and cholesterol, two common modifiable cardiovascular risk factors, and may also be at a higher risk of developing artery-narrowing atherosclerosis. The research, conducted at the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares (CNIC) in Spain, comes to the conclusion that people should begin taking care of their cardiovascular health earlier in life. The findings emphasize that younger adults need to aggressively control cardiovascular risk factors, and they were published this week in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. According to researchers, “early cardiovascular risk factor control and surveillance of subclinical atherosclerosis” are essential components of primary preventive strategies.

Early detection of subclinical atherosclerosis and strict control of risk factors may lessen the worldwide burden of cardiovascular disease, according to a statement from Dr. Valentin Fuster, co-leader of the study, general director of CNIC, and chief physician at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. According to the research team, middle-aged people frequently experience the progression of subclinical atherosclerosis, particularly when their blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels are even slightly elevated. They added that aggressive management of risk factors starting at a young age can stop the progression of atherosclerosis, something that both the general public and medical professionals should be aware of. The results of this study demonstrate that, in younger individuals, mild elevations in blood pressure and cholesterol have a significantly greater influence on the advancement of atherosclerosis, according to a statement from Dr. Borja Ibáñez, scientific director of CNIC and cardiologist at Hospital Universitario Fundación Jiménez Díaz in Madrid. Few research, according to the team, have looked into how silent atherosclerosis develops over the course of a person’s life in those who are symptom-free, regardless of age or apparent health in middle age.

Progression of Early Subclinical Atherosclerosis (PESA-CNIC-Santander study) was initiated in 2009 with close collaboration between CNIC and Santander Bank. Over 4,000 bank employees in Madrid, aged 20 to 39, who appeared healthy, volunteered for a comprehensive, noninvasive examination of their femoral, coronary, and carotid arteries as well as their aorta. Additionally, blood samples were given by the participants for sophisticated proteomic, metabolomic, and genomic analyses. The results of the study, according to the researchers, have significant ramifications for personalized medicine and cardiovascular prevention. It demonstrates the need to start managing risk factors early in life, when arteries are more susceptible to their effects (primarily elevated cholesterol and hypertension). The other major finding of the study, according to cardiologist and study first author Dr. Guiomar Mendieta, was that atherosclerosis, which was previously thought to be irreversible, can be reversed if risk factors are managed early on. Dr. The “incredibly thorough study sends an important message,” according to Samantha Lee, a director of cardiac telemetry at Northwell Health in New York who was not involved in the research, as stated to Medical News Today. She stated that atherosclerosis, which she referred to as “a fancy term for plaque build-up in the arteries,” is more common in people who have high blood pressure and cholesterol for an extended period of time.

According to Lee, this is not a novel idea. What makes this study unique, though, is that by managing your blood pressure and cholesterol at an early age, you can actually eliminate the amount of plaque in your arteries—as observed in 8% of participants. If you put off treating these risk factors, you may lose the chance for your atherosclerosis to get better. Medical News Today was informed by Dr. Rigved Tadwalkar, a cardiologist at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in California who was not involved in the study, that the study indicates early screening for subclinical atherosclerosis may be crucial in identifying individuals who are at risk. Tadwalkar stated, “In light of these results, it would be beneficial for medical professionals to begin evaluating cardiovascular risk earlier on, including during check-ups in early adulthood.”. “This strategy aligns with the notion that the burden of cardiovascular disease can be decreased by aggressively controlling cardiovascular risk factors and implementing early intervention. According to Tadwalkar, the majority of those at higher risk are still older, but the study makes clear that younger people can also develop cardiovascular disease. “Even in young adults who appear to be in good health, proactive strategies are important,” Tadwalkar stated. We are aware that people who have a family history of cardiovascular disease may be at a higher risk, which makes early detection and close observation even more important, especially in light of the development of atherosclerosis.

Dr. Nieca Goldberg is a clinical associate professor of medicine at NYU Grossman School of Medicine and the medical director of Atria New York City. Young people are susceptible to atherosclerosis, according to Goldberg, who was not involved in the study but told Medical News Today that “autopsy studies in young people who have died in car accidents have shown atherosclerosis.”. According to Goldberg, the study’s advocacy for early risk factor intervention is what makes it novel. Genetics indicates that you are predisposed, and leading an unhealthy lifestyle quickens the process. Everyone should strive to reduce their cardiovascular risk factors, and the earlier the better, according to Goldberg. She stated that it is important to promote healthy lifestyles and walk the walk. “It’s critical to address this among schoolchildren by implementing healthy lunch programs and youth smoking cessation initiatives. We must improve the way we communicate with people of all ages. One strategy is to persuade them to see a primary care physician, who can order laboratory tests for glucose and cholesterol as well as assess risk factors like blood pressure and weight, according to Goldberg.

Doctor J. “Generally speaking, CAD (coronary artery disease) risk factors are remarkably modifiable by sustained lifestyle improvements across a vast genetic spectrum,” said Wes Ulm, a bioinformatic scientific resource analyst and biomedical data specialist at the National Institutes of Health who was not involved in the study, to Medical News Today. According to Ulm, “better stress management, meditation, quitting smoking, minimizing alcohol intake, increasing various forms of exercise, moderation of refined sugar and saturated fat intake (and replacing saturated and trans fats with unsaturated fats), healthy weight maintenance, and smoking cessation are all quite effective in nudging the above CAD risk factors in a healthier direction, including in younger people.”. Ulm went on to say that the study might be significant for society as a whole. The significantly lower life expectancy of Americans compared to those in other developed nations, even after accounting for common factors such as genetics, is one of the most important public health mysteries of our time, according to Ulm.

According to him, this is where the mentioned research may have some of its most intriguing and unexpected ramifications because it serves to highlight the significant and frequently underestimated significance of particular structural, geographic, and cultural elements that support particular lifestyle choices. Tadwalkar went on to say that poor sleep quality and sleep apnea are becoming known risk factors for cardiovascular disease. According to him, changing one’s lifestyle to a heart-healthy diet low in cholesterol and saturated fats, getting regular exercise, and giving up tobacco use are all crucial. According to Tadwalkar, “These lifestyle modifications can greatly aid in controlling contributing risk factors like high blood pressure and cholesterol.”. Regular screenings and check-ups are essential for identifying risk factors early on. Additionally, this can assist in identifying those who require pharmacological interventions, such as antihypertensive or cholesterol-lowering medications, in addition to lifestyle modifications.


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Plant-based diets can reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease in place of meat.

Plant-based diets can reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease in place of meat.

German researchers discovered that replacing meat with plant-based alternatives may significantly lower the risks of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and all-cause mortality after analyzing more than 30 studies. Research indicates that substituting 50 grams (1.88 ounces) of processed meat with plant-based foods on a daily basis reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease by 25%. Processed meat substitution was linked to a 21% decreased risk of death from all causes. Red and processed meats, as well as other animal products, are staples of the Western diet. Scientists are concerned that this eating pattern depletes natural resources, causes adverse climate change, and fuels a host of noncommunicable illnesses. The argument for promoting plant-based dietary alternatives is becoming stronger in light of the negative effects the Western diet has on the environment and human health. Plant-based diets may help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and overall mortality, according to some studies. However, a systematic review and meta-analysis of the full cardiometabolic implications of replacing meat with plants have not yet been examined in research. Researchers from German institutions worked together to address this shortfall in a paper that examined the subject. The article containing their meta-analysis and systematic review was released in BMC Medicine.

Our results suggest that a move away from animal-based eg dairy, eggs, butter, poultry, and red and processed meat) to plant-based eg foods high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and olive oil) are positively correlated with both all-cause mortality and cardiometabolic health, according to the authors. The research team used Web of Science, Embase, and MEDLINE to conduct a thorough literature search. Studies that employed substitution analyses to replace animal-based food with plant-based food were among them. Health outcomes like cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and all-cause mortality were also covered in the studies that were consulted. Additionally, the studies were prospective observational studies carried out among a general population of healthy individuals. Using the Risk of Bias in Non-Randomized Studies of Interventions tool, each study was subjected to an evaluation of potential bias. With the use of the Grading of Recommendation, Assessment, Development, and Evaluations protocol, the team assessed the degree of evidence for each association. For the purpose of their final analyses, the research team reduced the number of studies they found from 1,216 to 32. A manual search produced five more studies, bringing the total number of meta-analyses to 37.

“It is the first systematic review and meta-analysis that summarized the associations between the substitution of plant-based foods with animal-based foods with a wide range of cardiometabolic outcomes, such as mortality from cardiovascular disease; incidence of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, and type 2 diabetes; mortality from diabetes; and mortality from all causes,” state the authors of this work. The researchers found a “moderate certainty of evidence” linking a daily replacement of one egg with nuts to a decreased mortality rate from cardiovascular disease. Similar outcomes were obtained when olive oil was substituted for butter. Every day, replacing 50 grams (g) of processed meat with 28 grams of nuts was linked to a decreased incidence of coronary heart disease. Nuts or legumes were not a suitable substitute for chicken or seafood. The evidence supporting the hypothesis that substituting nuts or legumes for red meat lowers the risk of coronary heart disease was only weakly conclusive. The researchers also discovered an inverse relationship between the frequency of type 2 diabetes and replacing butter with olive oil, red meat with nuts, or one egg a day with nuts. Lastly, the researchers observed a moderate certainty of evidence for a decreased risk of death from all causes when substituting whole grains or nuts for red meat. This risk was also decreased by substituting nuts or legumes for processed meat or nuts for unprocessed red meat.

Each day, replacing dairy or one egg with nuts, legumes, butter, or olive oil was linked to a decreased risk of death from all causes. These results are consistent with a previous review that found consuming more plant-based foods instead of red meat reduced the risk of coronary heart disease and all-cause mortality. This study backs up other research linking increased meat intake to all-cause mortality, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, and stroke. This study represents the first of its kind meta-analysis. To gather dietary data, validated food frequency questionnaires were employed. Among the cohorts, the average follow-up period was 19 years. With a few exceptions based on gender, both males and females were included in the majority of the studies. Registered dietitian and nutritionist Eva De Angelis spoke with Medical News Today about this study. She did not participate in the study. “Quite a fascinating systematic review that further highlights the vital role that plant foods can have on our overall health, and how too many animal foods can have the opposite effect,” was how De Angelis described the investigation. The study’s use of numerous, varied prospective studies, which “provide a higher quality of evidence,” impressed her. The research team did, however, note a number of limitations with their investigation and emphasized that their “findings should be interpreted with caution.”.

Several of the examined studies made use of hypothetical food substitutions. Additionally, studies’ portion sizes varied, leading to unfair comparisons of dietary alternatives. Relative confounding and measurement errors were possible when using only prospective observational studies. Furthermore, subgroup analyses were not possible due to the small number of studies included in the final analysis. Dairy products, for example, were evaluated as a single group. The writers pointed out that a vast variety of distinct products (e.g. g. cheese, yogurt, and milk) that have varying correlations with cardiometabolic outcomes. De Angelis remarked, “Among the weaknesses, I would mention that many of the analyzed studies were observational, so the information only allows us to make associations, not causality. This implies that we cannot be certain what other factors may have contributed to the results. The review’s authors believed that additional studies were necessary to bolster the available data. They expressed hope that future research would highlight plant-based alternatives to meat and dairy while also examining new connections. Sara Chatfield, a registered dietitian and nutritionist, and  also spoke about this study. She did not participate in the study. Chatfield noted that because animal production uses so many resources and occupies so much land, switching to a more plant-based diet can have a positive impact on the environment.

Actually, the two nutritionists that spoke with concurred that increasing the amount of whole plant foods consumed can only benefit the planet and all of its inhabitants. According to studies cited by Chatfield, adopting a plant-based diet could cut land use related to diet by 76% and greenhouse gas emissions by 49%. The nutritionists issued a warning, though, saying that depending on a person’s health, preferences, and food accessibility, a completely plant-based diet might not be the best choice for them. However, De Angelis stressed that trying to increase the amount of plant-based foods in your diet can be a quick and easy step toward better health.


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Can heart attacks and strokes be prevented with semaglutide injections such as Ozempic

Can heart attacks and strokes be prevented with semaglutide injections such as Ozempic

In a large new randomized controlled trial, semaglutide—the active ingredient in weight-loss medications Ozempic and Wegovy—significantly decreased the number of cardiac events in individuals without diabetes. Every study participant had pre-existing cardiovascular disease, defined as a BMI over 27 and a history of a heart attack, stroke, or symptomatic peripheral arterial disease. Even though semaglutide-associated weight loss is probably a contributing factor to the decrease in cardiac events, the study’s authors observed a decrease in events even prior to reaching maximum weight loss. The chemical name for the blood-sugar-controlling medications Rybelsus, Wegovy, and Ozempic—which were created for diabetics—is semaglutide. Additionally approved as weight-loss drugs in the U.S. are Ozempic and Wegovy. S. According to earlier studies, semaglutide lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease in diabetics. According to a recent large-scale international trial, semaglutide may have positive cardiovascular effects even in those without diabetes. The new study found that taking semaglutide for three years reduced heart attacks, strokes, and deaths by 20% for individuals with pre-existing cardiovascular disease (CVD) who were overweight or obese and took a placebo.

More than 17,000 persons with preexisting cardiovascular disease who were overweight or obese were enrolled in the randomized, controlled study. Neither type 1 nor type 2 diabetes was present. 15,425 participants ultimately finished the trial. On semaglutide, study participants lost an average of 9.4% of their body weight. Semaglutide causes weight loss that lasts as long as the patient takes the drug. It is usually taken for the rest of one’s life. Even though a significant weight loss may lower cardiovascular disease risk factors, the trial indicates that more is happening. Dr. 1. Semaglutide is a GLP-1 agonist; according to Michael Lincoff, it’s a hormone that’s derived from the gut. GLP-1 agonists are released into the gastrointestinal tract and work by going to the brain’s hunger centers to suppress appetite and cravings, according to Dr. Jayne Morgan, a cardiologist and clinical director of the Piedmont Healthcare Corporation’s Covid Task Force in Atlanta, Georgia, who was not involved in the study.

Semaglutide can inhibit glucagon, enhance the production of insulin, and slow stomach emptying by activating receptors in the pancreas. The result of all these activities is a decrease in food intake and appetite. The study’s authors speculate that participants’ heart health was enhanced by more than just losing weight. Dr. Lincoff stated, We saw differences in the [number of cardiovascular] event rates very early on, within a few months of starting the drug, but the maximum weight loss didn’t occur until 65 weeks after starting the drug. Dr. GLP-1 agonists stimulate the same receptors which are present in a lot of different parts of the body, according to Lincoff. These can be found in the pancreas, heart, blood vessels, brain, gut, and other organs. Dr. Nicole Weinberg, a cardiologist who was not involved in the study, hypothesized that semaglutide’s benefits for CVD patients might be related to a decrease in blood sugar levels that cause inflammation all over the body. Dr. Weinberg stated, The more chronic inflammation you have in your body, the more at risk you are for a variety of different conditions.

In cardiology, inflammation or the depositing or plaquing of cholesterol within the body are two of our main concerns. And a lot of that can be caused by the inflammation that high blood sugar causes, Dr. Weinberg went on. Furthermore, blood sugar spikes might not only affect those who have diabetes. Dr. Dot Weinberg continued, We’re beginning to understand that people have blood sugar spikes, and even just spikes in blood sugar are dangerous to people’s cardiovascular health.. Dr. Perhaps their blood pressure and cholesterol are well-managed, but we’re still seeing that there are continued levels of atherosclerosis that are depositing despite what one would consider to be traditional medical therapy, stated Weinberg, indicating that she will support semaglutide for specific patients. High blood pressure, diabetes, and other factors are frequently linked to obesity’s negative health effects. Semaglutide is the first medication that can directly lower the risk of obesity, according to Dr. Lincoff, who also stated that obesity carries an excess risk of heart disease, and that risk is not completely explained by or controlled by risks associated with high body weight.. As modifiable risk factors, high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, and cholesterol put us in the same place. Beside those, obesity is another modifiable risk factor that can be controlled in order to prevent heart disease.

The price and accessibility of semaglutide are two practical problems. Dr. The drug costs $1,300 a month, according to Morgan, which is problematic if the medication is meant to be a lifetime maintenance treatment for heart disease, diabetes, and obesity prevention and mitigation. The annual cost of this medication alone is close to $16,000. Weinberg brought up U’s limited character. S. coverage for semaglutide insurance. It remains inaccessible to certain individuals. I believe that as research and data increase, obtaining this medication will get easier and easier for people, the speaker stated. Dr. Morgan would have preferred that the trials included a more representative sample of participants. Despite making up more than 51% of the global population, women made up only 28% of trial participants. Moreover, this trial did not even identify menopausal women, who have the highest risk of heart disease, she said. According to her, Black [people] fared even worse, comprising just under 4 percent of trial participants, despite making up nearly 18 percent of the world’s population. 9 percent of the world’s population is white, yet 85 percent of the study participants were white. Dr. Morgan stated that the medication may be a potential game-changer for diabetes management, obesity management, and cardiovascular health, especially as we age, even though more research is needed and accessibility concerns need to be resolved. The leading cause of death in the United States is heart disease. S. Heart disease was not overthrown, she noted, even during the height of the COVID pandemic. She stated, The cardiac endpoints are crucial pieces of information that continue to boost these compounds into prime time and beyond, with our growing obesity and diabetes epidemics in younger and younger demographics.


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Using cannabis may increase your chance of having a heart attack, according to studies.

Using cannabis may increase your chance of having a heart attack, according to studies.

Two different research looked at the potential effects of long-term cannabis usage on the heart. According to the first study, there is a 34% increased risk of heart failure with daily cannabis usage. According to the second study, hospital stays involving cannabis use are associated with an increased risk of heart attacks or other cardiac events among older users. Although the results are strong, they are constrained by the fact that the studies did not look at whether participants took edibles or breathed cannabis. The goal of this research, according to the scientists, is to improve the knowledge of cannabis consumers and healthcare professionals so they may better advise their patients.  

According to data from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), cannabis consumption has grown by about 50% in the last ten years. In a study done in 2022, 44% of respondents said they had used cannabis in the year before, up from 28% in 2012. The fact that cannabis is now legal in some states for both medical and recreational purposes contributes to this. Numerous studies have demonstrated the potential benefits of cannabis use in easing anxiety symptoms, lowering pain thresholds, and treating gastrointestinal ailments. However, some scientists are concerned about the potential negative effects of chronic cannabis use on health.

Researchers closely examined the long-term effects of cannabis use on the heart in two trials. In one study, participants’ cannabis usage is tracked for four years, while data from the 2019 National Inpatient Sample was analyzed in the other study. One of the cannabis studies was directed by Dr. Yakubu Bene-Alhasan, a physician at MedStar Health in Baltimore, and it concentrated on the relationship between cannabis usage and heart failure. In the research abstract, Dr. Bene-Alhasan stated, “With the increasing state-level legalization of marijuana throughout the United States, its use has increased exponentially, especially among the youth.” “However, there are still many unanswered questions about its implications for cardiovascular health.” Data from around 157,000 participants in the All of Us Research Program were used in this study.

For four years, the subjects were monitored by the researchers. None of the subjects had heart failure at the start of the study, and they disclosed how frequently they used cannabis (the researchers didn’t inquire as to whether the subjects inhaled or ingested the drug). While some participants reported taking cannabis for recreational purposes, others were prescribed it. The researchers were curious about the latter group’s cannabis consumption beyond what their doctors had prescribed. About 2% of the patients in the trial went on to suffer heart failure by the end, and daily cannabis users had a 34% increased chance of doing so. “More research on marijuana use is needed to fully understand its health implications, particularly with regard to cardiovascular risk,” the researchers stated in a statement.

Dr. Bene-Alhasan told Medical News Today that while regular cannabis usage had an influence on heart failure, infrequent use did not. Dr. Bene-Alhasan stated, “Daily use was associated with an increased risk of heart failure.” “It was not found that less frequent use was protective or linked to an increased risk of heart failure.” Adults over 65 who use cannabis were the subject of the second investigation. This study was directed by Dr. Avilash Mondal, a physician at Philadelphia’s Nazareth Hospital. According to Dr. Mondal, the use of cannabis has risen in older adults in recent years. Given this, it is imperative to assess the potential effects of cannabis on cardiac disease in this age group.

Dr. Mondal conducted a study to find out if cannabis use affects hospital stays in patients who have a higher risk of cardiac problems. The researchers compared data from cannabis users and non-users after removing tobacco users. Using data from 28,535 cannabis users, the scientists investigated if cannabis users had a higher rate of cardiovascular events during hospital admissions than non-users. The findings were startling: patients who used cannabis had a 20% higher risk of having a heart attack or stroke while they were in the hospital.

Nearly 14% of those who reported using cannabis experienced significant adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events while they were in the hospital, according to the study abstract. Acute myocardial infarctions, arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy, and strokes were also more common in cannabis users. The study’s findings, according to Dr. Mondal, highlight the significance of healthcare professionals following up with patients on cannabis use. Major heart and stroke incidents in older persons with cannabis use disorders are something we need to be aware of. To understand the long-term repercussions of cannabis use, further research is now required, according to Dr. Mondal. In addition, Dr. Richard Wright, a board-certified cardiologist at Santa Monica, California’s Providence Saint John’s Health Center, discussed the study with MNT.

Dr. Wright stated, “These provocative findings could be significant in light of the perhaps naïve belief that the drug is safe and the increasing use of cannabis.” One shortcoming of the research, as noted by Dr. Wright, was that it did not assess whether subjects swallowed or breathed cannabis. According to Dr. Wright, “this is a critical issue because any inhaled combustible material contains noxious substances that are known to have potential adverse effects on the heart, lungs, and systemic health.” Additionally, according to Dr. Wright, everyday cannabis users may be doing so to treat chronic pain issues, which increases their risk of heart failure.

The report was also reviewed by Dr. Cheng-Han Chen, medical director of the Structural Heart Program at MemorialCare Saddleback Medical Center in Laguna Hills, California, and board certified interventional cardiologist. According to Dr. Chen, the study supports a growing body of evidence that cannabis use may have detrimental effects on the heart. According to Dr. Chen, “researchers have only recently gathered data associating cannabis use to worsened clinical cardiovascular outcomes.” Three out of ten cannabis users suffer from cannabis use disorder (CUD), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

“They are unable to stop using marijuana even though it’s causing health and social problems in their lives,” according to the CDC. Regular cannabis cravings, increasing cannabis consumption to get high, suffering withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit using cannabis, and enduring social problems as a result of cannabis use are some indications of cannabis use disorder.


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Climbing over 50 steps of stairs a day may help reduce heart disease risk

Climbing over 50 steps of stairs a day may help reduce heart disease risk

A recent study suggests that climbing 50 stairs each day can cut the risk of cardiovascular conditions like stroke, blood clots, and heart attacks by as much as 20%.The study compared participants who climbed five flights of stairs each day to those who did not to see these advantages. Walking up steps can be a more challenging form of aerobic exercise since it requires more muscular use and energy expenditure as the body fights against gravity to move upward.

According to a recent study, routinely climbing stairs may dramatically lower your risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in general. According to the study, persons who climbed 50 stairs during the day had a 20% lower risk of cardiovascular disease than those who did not climb any stairs at all. Although the study’s main focus was atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), which also encompasses stroke, heart attacks, and blood clots, its corresponding author claims that the study’s findings are applicable to CVD in general.

The results are presented in the publication Atherosclerosis.

Climbing stairs helps keep your heart healthy.

The authors of the study examined information from 458,860 adult UKBiobank members. They first gathered baseline data on the subjects’ stair climbing, lifestyle, and sociodemographic characteristics, and then they did it again five years later. They kept track of the subjects for 12.5 years. Then, using coronary artery disease, ischemic stroke, or acute complications as markers of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease for this study, they compared the participant’s stair climbing behaviors with these conditions. The researchers assumed that a typical staircase would have ten steps. The incidence of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease was monitored for those who climbed their stairs between one and five, six and ten, eleven and fifteen, sixteen and twenty, and at least 21 times per day.

Although the largest protective impact of stair climbing was related with individuals not thought to be at special CVD risk due to genetics, stair climbing also reduced the CVD risk of other participants.

How stair climbing is good for your heart

Dr. Cheng-Han Chen, the medical director of the Structural Heart Program at Saddleback Medical Center in Laguna Hills, California, who was not involved in the study, said: “It’s basically [a]n enhanced form of aerobic exercise because not only do you get the motion the movement that you get from the walk  you actually engage other muscle groups.” Walking up stairs is more difficult than walking on flat ground, as you might assume. That’s because you’re pushing yourself up and out, which is equivalent to pushing against gravity, in addition to moving your body. You are truly developing the muscles in your lower body, but you are also developing the muscles in your lower back and core, according to Dr. Chen.

Dr. Chen hypothesized that ascending the stairs quickly would be important because doing so results in a greater workout.

when climbing stairs is challenging

The only activity one can do to enhance and preserve their health is stair climbing, though. Dr. Chen expressed worry over not deterring people from making the best possible efforts. He emphasized that having joint issues can make it difficult to climb even a few stairs, let alone 50. “Even walking on flat ground is wonderful, so I don’t want to discourage people from doing it. Any exercise is preferable to none, he told MNT.

‘Oh, boy, you know, they want us to run up the stairs, and I’m 75 years old, and my joints hurt,’ a reader could think when they read an article. Simply said, I won’t do it. No exercise is possible for me. Walking is undoubtedly preferable to sitting on the couch, but going upstairs is certainly preferable to doing so, said Dr. Chen.

The dangers of cardiovascular illness

According to a 2022 study, 24.0 million Americans, or around 10% of the population over the age of 21, had ASCVD overall in 2019. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 695,000 of the 1.4 million deaths that occurred in the United States in 2021 were attributable to CVD. Annually, 605,000 Americans have their first heart attack; the remaining 805,000 Americans experience repeat attacks. In the West, coronary heart disease which encompasses angina, myocardial infarction, and coronary artery stenosis is the primary factor in 370,000 fatalities each year.

In the United States, approximately 795,000 people have a stroke annually, which results in 137,000 fatalities. Strokes are the top cause of major long-term disability in America and the sixth largest cause of death. Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease is the cause of ischemic strokes, the most prevalent type of stroke. Men experience atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease more frequently than women do in their youth, but this disparity disappears after menopause, possibly as a result of the aging-related loss of women’s protective sex hormones.


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Obstructive sleep apnea & cardiovascular disease links.

Obstructive sleep apnea & cardiovascular disease links.

According to a recent study, a major contributing component in the association between obstructive sleep apnea and elevated cardiovascular risk may be decreased blood oxygen levels.

More than 4,500 middle-aged and elderly persons conducted medical check-ins and sleep tests, and the researchers analyzed the data from these participants.

According to their theories, the source of this connection may be a significant drop in blood oxygen levels during sleep. This results in severe airway blockage.

When the upper airway becomes clogged while you’re sleeping, you develop obstructive sleep apnea. The airflow of the person is reduced or stopped as a result.

One’s likelihood of getting obstructive sleep apnea is affected by a number of things, such as:

  • obesity
  • extensive tonsils
  • undergoing alterations in hormone levels.

The most prevalent form of sleep-disordered breathing is obstructive sleep apnea. According to a study from 2020, one-seventh of adults worldwide are expected to develop sleep apnea.

Previous studies have shown that obstructive sleep apnea is linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Sleep problems, including sleep apnea, significantly contribute to cardiovascular morbidity, as well as all-cause mortality,” Dr. Marishka Brown, head of the National Centre on Sleep Disorder Research (NCSDR), told specialists.

The relationship between obstructive sleep apnea and elevated cardiovascular risk is now the focus of a new investigation. It implies that low blood oxygen levels may be the reason of the connection.

Additional to the standard sleep apnea measurements

The Apnea Hypopnea Index (AHI) measures how many apneas or hypopneas a person has per hour of sleep. Apneas occur when breathing ceases or is diminished. The degree of obstructive sleep apnea can be determined using this traditional method.

According to Dr. Brown, “They use that for pretty much everything as far as this disorder, but what the research has been finding and really what this paper as well as strongly supporting is that there are other measures besides the use of the AHI as the primary diagnostic or prognostic for people with apnea.”

In the investigation, Dr. Brown was not involved. However, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which provided partial funding for this study, is home to the NCSDR.

In their publication describing the findings, researchers emphasize that the AHI does not offer data on the severity and duration of “ventilatory deficit, oxygen desaturation, and arousals.”

Different obstructive sleep apnea symptoms

To explain why certain persons with the disorder are more prone than others to develop cardiovascular disease or pass away, the researchers in this study detailed various physiological aspects of obstructive sleep apnea.

As Dr. Brown noted, “Recent research, especially over the past few years, has shown that patients with obstructive sleep apnea are quite heterogeneous, meaning that not all people who experience sleep apnea have the disorder for the same reason.”

To support personalized therapy, she said, “Trying to identify the mechanisms underlying obstructive sleep apnea for an individual is quite an imperative.”

The study looked at several physiological aspects of obstructive sleep apnea, including:

  • Hypoxic burden: During sleep, there is a decrease in blood oxygen levels, or hypoxic load.
  • Ventilatory burden: Breathing pauses brought on by airway blockage
  • Nighttime arousals: Arousals during the night, which occur when someone is startled awake by disrupted breathing.

I think what they’re getting at here with these three different types of burdens from a conceptual standpoint, I can see how disruptions to sleep and in these forms might have different effects on your cardiovascular health,” said Dr. Yu-Ming Ni, a cardiologist, and lipidologist at the MemorialCare Heart and Vascular Institute at Orange Coast Medical Centre in Fountain Valley, California. He wasn’t a part of the investigation.

Effects on elderly and middle-aged people

More than 4,500 middle-aged and older adults who took part in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) and the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study (MrOS) provided data that the researchers analysed.

The NHLBI funded the MESA, which was created to research the features of preclinical cardiovascular disease. Researchers collected information from 1,973 men and women who took part in MESA for their investigation of the relationship between obstructive sleep apnea and cardiovascular risk. The individuals were followed for approximately 7 years, and the average participant age was 67.

2,627 men’s records from the MrOS study were used by the researchers. The subjects were followed for roughly 9 to 12 years, with an average age of 76. The MrOS project, which was supported by the NIH, sought to determine the risk factors for osteoporosis and bone fracture in older men.

Both research required participants to submit medical check-ups and thorough sleep evaluations. Participants were observed by researchers through 2018. A primary cardiovascular incident was experienced by about 110 MESA individuals and 382 MrOS participants, respectively.


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