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Irregular sleep habits may increase atherosclerosis risk.

Irregular sleep habits may increase atherosclerosis risk.

According to new research published today in the Journal of the American Heart Association, an open access, peer-reviewed journal of the American Heart Association, irregular sleep patterns, such as sleeping fewer or more hours each night and going to bed at various times, may put adults over 45 at an increased risk of developing atherosclerosis.

A recent study investigates the relationship between irregular sleeping patterns, atherosclerosis, and not keeping a regular bedtime.

The study discovered that older persons were much more likely to experience subclinical symptoms of atherosclerosis. Only if their sleep patterns altered by an average of two hours over the course of a single week and by an hour and a half.

What is Atherosclerosis?

When you have atherosclerosis, the interior of your arteries develop sticky plaques made of cholesterol, fatty deposits, and cell waste products from your blood. As a result, the plaques thicken and sometimes even harden the arterial walls. The illness restricts blood flow, making it difficult for your organs to receive enough oxygen.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) of the United States, the disease associated with atherosclerosis is the country’s top cause of mortality. Also, it affects 50% of Americans between the ages of 45 and 84.

Study on sleep and disease risks

MESA (Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis), a different community-based study, involved 2032 participants in the study. The goal of MESA was to examine the features and risk factors of subclinical atherosclerosis symptoms in a variety of senior citizens.

In light of this, slightly more than half of MESA participants were female. Participants self-identified as White in 38% of cases, Black or African American in 28%, Hispanic in 23%, and Chinese in 11% of cases. They came from a variety of geographical locations, including St. Paul, Minnesota; Baltimore City and Baltimore County. Also, Maryland; Chicago, Illinois; Forsyth County, North Carolina; Los Angeles County, California; Northern Manhattan; and the Bronx, New York.

The participants’ ages, which ranged from 45 to 84 with an average of 69, were all within the normal range for cardiovascular disease. During seven days, each participant wore a wristwatch that recorded when they were awake or slept. They also finished keeping sleep logs.

Last but not least, each person took part in a single night of in-home sleep monitoring that recorded their breathing, heart rate, sleep phases, and length.

In the current study, person with irregular sleep patterns were 1.33 times more likely to have high coronary artery calcium. This is compared to those with more regular sleep duration variations, which varied by an average of two hours per week. Moreover, they had a 1.75 times higher likelihood of having abnormal ankle brachial indices.

Researchers discovered a 1.39 times greater chance of calcified arterial plaques in patients whose bedtimes changed by an average of 90 minutes over the course of a week.

The connection between sleep and atherosclerosis

The circadian rhythm, a 24-hour internal clock in our bodies, controls a variety of physiological activities. This includes sleep-wake cycles. We can experience what is known as “social jet lag” when we frequently go to bed and wake up at different times. According to Dr. José M. Ordovás of Tufts University, who was not involved in the study. This can disturb our circadian rhythm.

Dr. Hoang Nguyen is an interventional cardiologist who was not engaged in the study. He told Medical News Today:

The scientists hypothesised that irregular sleep patterns encourage cardiovascular disease by interfering with the body’s normal circadian cycle. This in turn affects inflammation, glucose metabolism, and sympathetic neurohorma. Cardiovascular disease is known to be brought on by each of these variables.

According to Dr. Ordovás, “the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activity is normally lowered during sleep. This allows the body to relax and recuperate.” On the other hand, he continued, “Sleep problems, such as sleep apnea, can result in increased SNS activity, which can produce hypertension and other CVD risk factors.

According to the press release, the researchers were unable to determine “whether increased sleep irregularity increases the development of atherosclerosis” . However, sleep and atherosclerosis could not be evaluated concurrently.

Too little sleep, too much, and just right

Dr. Full added that no differences were found in the atherosclerosis indicators of the participants in their study, which followed individuals who frequently slept more or less than usual. Like all other people, older individuals should receive between seven and nine hours of sleep per night, according to the NIH.

Some studies have shown that too much sleep might be harmful. Both a short sleep duration of less than 7 hours per night and a lengthy sleep duration of more than 9 hours per night have been linked to an elevated risk of CVD, according to Dr. Ordovás.

The authors of this study “went beyond the quality of sleep, and evaluated the regularity of sleep,” which is interesting, according to Dr. Nguyen.



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Significance of high cholesterol level and its treatment.

Significance of high cholesterol level and its treatment.

Diet, smoking, and genetics are some of the root causes of elevated cholesterol. If you are at risk, it is crucial to have regular cholesterol examinations because high cholesterol rarely manifests as symptoms.

In the United States, high cholesterol is a rather prevalent problem. In fact, approximately 94 million American individuals age 20 and older have what can be referred to as borderline high cholesterol, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

You might not even be aware that you have this ailment until you see your doctor, though, as it frequently manifests without any obvious symptoms.

What is cholesterol?

Lipids include cholesterol. Your liver makes this waxy, fat-like substance on its own. It is essential for the production of some hormones, vitamin D, and cell membranes. Since cholesterol does not dissolve in water, it cannot independently move through your blood. Your liver generates lipoproteins to aid in the transportation of cholesterol.

Particles called lipoproteins are comprised of protein and fat. They transport triglycerides, a different kind of lipid, and cholesterol through your bloodstream. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) are the two main types of lipoprotein.

Any cholesterol transported by low-density lipoproteins is referred to as LDL cholesterol. You might be given a high cholesterol diagnosis if your blood has an excessive amount of LDL cholesterol. High cholesterol can cause a number of health problems, such as heart attacks and strokes, if left untreated.

Cause of High cholesterol

Consuming an excessive amount of meals high in cholesterol, saturated fats, and trans fats may make you more likely to acquire high cholesterol. Additionally, your risk can go up if you are obese. Inactivity and smoking are two more lifestyle choices that might raise cholesterol.

Your likelihood of getting high cholesterol may also be influenced by your heredity. Parents pass on their genes to their offspring. Your body receives guidance from specific genes on how to digest lipids and cholesterol. You may be more likely to develop high cholesterol if your parents do.

Familial hypercholesterolemia is a rare cause of elevated cholesterol. Your body is unable to eliminate LDL due to this hereditary condition. The majority of persons with this illness have total cholesterol levels above 300 milligrammes per deciliter and LDL levels above 200 milligrammes per deciliter, according to the National Human Genome Research Institute.

Your chance of acquiring high cholesterol and associated consequences may also be increased by other medical diseases like diabetes and hypothyroidism.

How does high cholesterol affect my body?

High cholesterol causes plaque to accumulate inside of your blood vessels over time. Atherosclerosis is the medical term for this plaque development. Atherosclerosis increases the likelihood of developing a wide range of illnesses. This is due to the crucial role that your blood vessels perform throughout your entire body. There are therefore consequences when there is an issue with one of your blood vessels.

Your body’s blood arteries are like a sophisticated system of pipes that keep blood flowing through it. Plaque is similar to the crud that clogs your home’s plumbing and causes your shower drain to run slowly. Your blood vessels’ inner walls become adhered with plaque, which reduces the amount of blood that can pass through.

Plaque begins to build inside your blood vessels when your cholesterol level is high. The plaque enlarges the longer you continue without treatment. Your blood arteries narrow or obstruct as the plaque grows larger. Your blood arteries could continue to function for a very long period even if they are partially obstructed. However, they won’t function as effectively as they ought to.

Depending on which blood vessels are blocked, high cholesterol increases your risk of developing various medical disorders.

Risk factors for high cholesterol

You can be more vulnerable to getting high cholesterol if you:

  • are affected by obesity
  • eat a lot of trans and saturated fats, such as those found in fast food
  • have a minimal level of exercise
  • tobacco products are smoked
  • have a history of elevated cholesterol in your family
  • have kidney problems, diabetes, or hypothyroidism

High cholesterol can affect people of various ages, genders, and ethnicities.

Complications of high cholesterol

Without therapy, elevated cholesterol can lead to artery plaque buildup. This plaque might constrict your arteries over time. Atherosclerosis is the name given to this condition.

A dangerous condition is atherosclerosis. It may restrict how much blood can flow through your arteries. Additionally, it increases your risk of getting harmful blood clots.

Many potentially fatal consequences from atherosclerosis include:

  • stroke
  • chest pain
  • Chest pain, or angina
  • blood pressure is high.
  • disease of the peripheral vessels
  • long-term kidney disease

A biliary imbalance brought on by high cholesterol increases your risk of gallstones. See how your body may be affected by high cholesterol in various ways.

How to lower cholesterol?

Your doctor could suggest lifestyle modifications if you have high cholesterol to help lower it. For instance, they can advise making adjustments to your daily schedule, exercise routines, or food. If you smoke, they’ll probably tell you to stop.

To assist lower your cholesterol levels, your doctor may also recommend drugs or other treatments. They might suggest you get extra care from a specialist in specific circumstances.

Dietary cholesterol reduction

Your doctor could suggest dietary adjustments to help you reach and maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

For instance, they might suggest that you:

  • Limit the amount of cholesterol-, saturated-, and trans-fat-containing foods you eat.
  • Pick lean protein sources including chicken, fish, and lentils.
  • eat a variety of high-fiber foods, including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • choose fried cuisine over baked, broiled, steaming, grilled, and roasted options.
  • When possible, stay away from fast meals and sugary, pre-packaged foods.

High-cholesterol, saturated-fat, or trans-fat foods include:

  • Red meat, organ meats, egg yolks, and dairy items with a high fat content
  • prepared foods made with palm oil or cocoa butter
  • meals that are deep-fried, including fried chicken, onion rings, and potato chips
  • a few baked products, such a few cookies and muffins

Consuming fish and other meals high in omega-3 fatty acids may also assist in reducing your LDL cholesterol levels. For instance, omega-3s are abundant in fish like salmon, mackerel, and herring. Omega-3s can also be found in walnuts, almonds, ground flaxseeds, and avocados.

cholesterol-lowering drugs

Your doctor may occasionally recommend drugs to assist lower your cholesterol levels. The most frequently given drugs for elevated cholesterol are statins. They prevent your liver from making additional cholesterol.

Statin examples include:

  • atorvastatin (Lipitor)
  • fluvastatin (Lescol)
  • rosuvastatin (Crestor)
  • simvastatin (Zocor)

Other drugs for high cholesterol that your doctor might recommend include:

  • niacin
  • Bile acid resins or sequestrants such cholestyramine(Prevalite), colestipol, or colesevalam (Welchol)
  • Inhibitors of cholesterol absorption, such as ezetimibe (Zetia)
  • PCSK9 inhibitors like evolocumab (Repatha) and alirocumab (Praluent) 

Some products comprise a mix of medications that work to lessen the amount of cholesterol your body absorbs from meals and the amount of cholesterol your liver produces. A combination of ezetimibe and simvastatin is one instance (Vytorin). Find out more about the prescription medications for high cholesterol.


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Helpful things you must know about Coronary Artery Disease.

Helpful things you must know about Coronary Artery Disease.

When the coronary arteries grow too thin or cholesterol blockages form in the walls), also known as coronary heart disease(CAD). The blood channels that carry blood and oxygen to the heart are known as the coronary arteries.

When cholesterol deposits on the arterial walls form plaques, CAD frequently results. These plaques can either produce inflammation and hardening of the blood vessel walls, which reduces blood flow to the heart and causes the arteries to constrict. Sometimes clots can impede blood flow, leading to major medical issues.

The network of blood vessels that supplies the surface of the heart with oxygen is made up of coronary arteries. The heart may not get enough oxygen-rich blood if these arteries are small, especially during exercising.

Forms of coronary artery disease

A heart attack can sometimes result from CAD. It is the most prevalent kind of heart disease in the United States, where it causes more than 655,000 fatalities annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Coronary artery disease primarily comes in two different forms:

Stable Ischemic heart disease

The chronic form is this. Your coronary arteries gradually tighten over a long period of time. Your heart receives less blood that is rich in oxygen with time. Even if you may experience certain symptoms, you can manage the illness on a daily basis.

Acute coronary syndrome

This is a medical emergency in its abrupt form. A blood clot is created when the plaque in your coronary artery abruptly bursts, obstructing blood flow to your heart. A heart attack is caused by this sudden obstruction.

How common is coronary artery disease?

Coronary artery disease affects a lot of people. In the US, there are about 18 million persons who have coronary artery disease. That almost equals the population of Houston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City all together.

In the United States, coronary artery disease claimed 360,900 lives in 2019. That number of individuals could more than seven times fill Yankee Stadium.

What Causes CAD?

Plaque, which is made up of cholesterol, fat, and other chemicals, can begin to form on the blood vessel walls as early as childhood. It accumulates over time. This results in “atherosclerosis,” which doctors refer to as the hardening and narrowing of arteries.

Plaque may rupture or shatter in some circumstances. As a result, platelets, which are blood cells, will attempt to close the artery and create a blood clot.

This accumulation hinders the free passage of blood through the arteries, much like muck in a clogged drainpipe. The heart receives nourishment and oxygen through the blood. It might cause chest pain and shortness of breath if you don’t get enough (Angina).

The heart can weaken if it doesn’t get enough oxygen. An erratic heartbeat may result from this (arrhythmia). It may also result in heart failure, which is the inability of the heart to adequately pump blood throughout the body to satisfy needs.

You may experience a heart attack if a plaque enlarges to the point where it obstructs blood flow to the heart muscle. However, the smaller plaques that rupture are typically the cause of heart attacks.

Coronary artery disease symptoms

Early on, you might not exhibit any signs. However, when the plaque keeps accumulating and restricts blood flow to the heart muscle, you could start to feel out of breath or exhausted, especially when you exercise.

Chest pain, often known as angina, is the most typical sign of CAD. Some individuals mistake it for indigestion or heartburn. Your chest may feel uncomfortable if you have angina. The feeling could also be felt in your back, shoulders, arms, or jaw.

You could feel:

  • Tightness
  • Discomfort
  • Pressure
  • Heaviness
  • Squeezing
  • Burning
  • Aching
  • Numbness
  • Fullness

Call for emergency medical help if you experience any of the symptoms listed below.

  • chest pain, especially in the centre or left side, that lasts for a short while or that disappears then reappears. It may feel like discomfort, squeezing, pressure, or fullness. Some individuals mistake it for heartburn or indigestion.
  • Any discomfort in your upper torso. One or both arms, the shoulders, the neck, the jaw, or the upper section of the stomach could be affected.
  • breathlessness with or without discomfort in the chest
  • nausea or vomiting coupled with feeling faint, woozy, or cold

What puts you at Risk?

As you age or if it runs in your family, you are more prone to develop coronary artery disease (CAD). However, you may control a variety of additional risk factors, such as:

  • High triglyceride and cholesterol levels
  • elevated blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes syndrome
  • Overweight and obesity
  • inadequate exercise
  • Anger, sadness, and stress
  • unsound diet
  • excess booze
  • Slumber apnea


Keeping blood cholesterol levels under control can lower a person’s risk of developing CAD. Think about the following to improve blood cholesterol levels:

  • being more active physically
  • reducing alcohol consumption
  • eschewing tobacco
  • consuming a diet lower in salt, sugar, and saturated fats

Those who already have CAD should make careful to keep these factors under control by according to their doctor’s advice.


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Atherosclerosis and Erectile Dysfunction: A Vulnerable Rush

Atherosclerosis and Erectile Dysfunction: A Vulnerable Rush

An increasing number of men suffer from erectile dysfunction. Two-thirds of men over 70 have significant symptoms of erectile dysfunction, and up to 39% of men under 40 report some degree of erectile dysfunction.

There is no immediate threat to life from erectile dysfunction, but that does not mean it is not serious. The rate of depression and decreased enjoyment in life is higher among men with erectile dysfunction (ED).

There might be a misconception that ED (erectile dysfunction) has nothing to do with your heart. ED, however, could be an indication that your arteries are clogged.

There’s nothing more important than blood flow. It is essential that blood has no trouble getting to your penis for you to obtain and maintain an erection. In people with ED, it is possible that one or more of their blood vessels have narrowed or been blocked.

Your arteries can become clogged with plaque if they are not clean. The disease is known as atherosclerosis, which is characterized by hardening of the arteries due to plaque buildup.

Erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction is basically a disorder found in men which could be a sign of physical or psychological condition. The symptoms associated with this disorder is found in men’s reproductive organ i.e. inability to keep an erection firmer and longer enough during a sexual activity.

There are many men who experience erectile dysfunction occasionally because of stress, fatigue, alcohol, or emotional issues, but 25% of men have recurring episodes of the disorder. People dealing with erectile dysfunction will be:

  • Unable to achieve erection at anytime needed.
  • might achieve erection sometime but not when needed like during sexual activity.
  • might able to achieve erection when needed but not long enough


Whenever plaque builds up on the interior walls of your arteries, the condition is known as atherosclerosis. Blood and oxygen are transported from the heart to the rest of the body through the arteries.

There are several substances that make up plaque, including fat, cholesterol, calcium, and others. Plaque builds up in your arteries, causing them to narrow and harden.

During heartbeats, blood flows through the arteries to reach different parts of the body. In order for blood to reach the penis, it passes through the belly arteries and then branches off. As a result of an erection, these arteries widen, or dilate to cause an erection. This makes the penis swell due to more blood flow.

Atherosclerosis and ED

Having erectile dysfunction can indicate that some of the blood vessels lining that path aren’t in good condition. Despite not having a blocked artery, you might have an issue with the lining of your blood vessels. Erectile dysfunction can occur for a variety of reasons, not just atherosclerosis. If you have this problem, you should see a doctor to figure out what’s causing it.

Blood supply blockage

It is necessary for the blood vessels in the penis to be robust, in order for blood flow to increase rapidly during an erection. There is usually a problem with blood vessels everywhere when someone suffers from erectile dysfunction. In the early stages of atherosclerosis, this can signal increased risk.

When sexually arousing, blood flow needs to be opened wide in the penis. When you exercise, your heart’s arteries need to be wide open so that blood can flow freely. For this purpose, the inside lining of blood vessels (endothelium) releases chemicals on demand.

It is possible for high blood pressure, diabetes, or smoking to damage the endothelium. In addition, they contribute to the development of atherosclerosis.

As soon as the endothelium is damaged, the arteries cannot expand as well, so blood flow is reduced. Erections are less firm when there is less blood flow into the penis

The Early Warning Sign

Additionally, the endothelium functions as a maintenance crew to stop the formation of atherosclerotic plaques. Before atherosclerotic blockages are visible, the endothelium is damaged.

Erectile dysfunction has long been acknowledged by medical professionals as a “early warning symptom” of atherosclerosis. Erection problems are typically a sign that atherosclerosis is developing. In the arteries of the heart or brain, atherosclerosis may already be present if there is erectile dysfunction.


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