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Matti Narkia

Well - A Call for Caution in the Rush to Statins - NYTimes.com - 0 views

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    Judging by recent headlines, you might think so. Last week heart researchers reported that millions of healthy people could benefit from taking statins even if they don't have high cholesterol.\n\nAlthough many doctors hailed the study as a major breakthrough, a closer look at the research suggests that statins (like Crestor, from AstraZeneca, and Lipitor, from Pfizer) are far from magic pills. While they clearly save lives in people with a previous heart attack or other serious heart problems, for an otherwise healthy person the potential benefit remains small.
Matti Narkia

Cholesterol-Fighting Drugs Show Wider Benefit - New York Times - 0 views

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    CHART: Statins Reduce Risks: A study of 18,000 people with high levels of C-reactive protein, or CRP, found that the risk of a heart attack or stroke was cut in half among those who took a statin. The study was stopped after two years, but some participants were tracked for up to five years. (Sources: Dr. Paul M. Ridker; New England Journal of Medicine) (pg.A21)
    A large new study suggests that millions more people could benefit from taking the cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins, even if they have low cholesterol, because the drugs can significantly lower their risk of heart attacks, strokes and death.

    The study, involving nearly 18,000 people worldwide, tested statin treatment in men 50 and older and in women 60 and older who did not have high cholesterol or histories of heart disease. What they did have was high levels of a protein called high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, or CRP, which indicates inflammation in the body.
Matti Narkia

Patients With High CRP And Normal LDL Have Long-Term Risk For Heart Disease, Stroke And... - 0 views

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    "New research shows a long-term benefit in screening people for CRP, a marker for inflammation, even if they have normal levels of bad cholesterol, because of increased long-term risk for heart attack, stroke and death.

    These findings, which will be published online today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC), demonstrate that a very simple screening, age plus CRP, can identify individuals who may benefit from statin therapy.

    "This study builds on results from the landmark JUPITER trial, which showed that statins can prevent heart disease in people with normal LDL-c, or bad cholesterol, and an increased level of CRP," said Dr. Christie Ballantyne, director of the Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center and last author on the study. "We have demonstrated that the cardiovascular disease event rates persist over time, validating that the risks identified in the JUPITER trial persist for nearly seven year"
Matti Narkia

How this horrible weather could give you heart disease | Mail Online - 1 views

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    "We are fond of grumbling about Britain's grey skies, but there may be a good medical reason for doing so. It seems the dreary weather is bad for our hearts - worse, even, than raised cholesterol and an unhealthy diet.

    That's the controversial claim being made by Dr David Grimes, a gastroenterologist from Blackburn. He's been gazing at the sky for 20 years for clues about why his patients get more sick than those in the south of the country.

    And what he's found turns key assumptions about heart disease on their head. 'It's not diet or cholesterol levels that raise your risk of heart disease,' he claims. 'It's where you live. People in the north are more likely to be ill because they get less sunshine

    Basically they are suffering from 'latitude' sickness. The link is vitamin D. While we get some from our diet, the main source is the sun - sunlight converts a compound in the skin into vitamin D, so the amount you make is directly related to the amount of sunshine you get.

    In a new book Dr Grimes argues the higher the level of vitamin D in your blood, the lower your risk of heart disease and a range of other illnesses.

    If he's right, what we need is not diet and lifestyle advice, but food fortified with vitamin D. For years the vitamin was thought to be useful only for preventing rickets.

    So how does he treat them? 'You can do it with diet,' he says 'One Bangladeshi woman eats oily fish every day and now has a vitamin D blood level of 40. 'We give supplements of 1,000 international units (IU) a day or we can give an injection of 300,000 IU that lasts for a year.

    'The patients respond well,' says Grimes 'but what's needed is a proper controlled, long-term trial and who is going to fund that? Not a drug company.'"
Matti Narkia

Vegetables, Nuts And Mediterranean Diet Better For Heart, Research Review - 0 views

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    Scientists in Canada reviewing the research so far on links between different diets and heart disease found strong evidence that diets high in vegetables and nuts, and those that follow a Mediterranean pattern rich in fruit, vegetables and fish were strongly associated with lower heart disease risk than those that rely on food with a high glycemic index or high in trans-fatty acids. High glycemic index food includes rice, pasta and refined carbohydrates like white bread, and foods high in trans-fatty acids include fried foods, baked goods and snacks.
Matti Narkia

Body mass and waist size can predict heart disease | Reuters - 0 views

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    "A large 10-year study found that half of all fatal heart disease cases and a quarter of all non-fatal cases are linked to being overweight and having a high body mass index (BMI) or large waist.

    Body mass index and waist circumference are well known risk factors for cardiovascular diseases but the Dutch researchers said their work showed BMI and waist size could actually help predict the risk of dying from or developing heart disease."
Matti Narkia

Zinc supplements linked to HDL cholesterol decreases - 0 views

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    "MedWire News: Zinc supplements could increase the risk for coronary heart disease (CHD) in healthy people by decreasing high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels, researchers claim.

    Initial findings from a meta-analysis in 14,238 participants from 20 trials suggested no impact of zinc supplements on plasma lipoprotein levels. But a secondary analysis in healthy individuals showed that zinc was associated with a significant decrease in plasma HDL concentrations.

    Furthermore, zinc was linked with a significant decrease in HDL cholesterol levels among participants with Type 2 diabetes or those undergoing hemodialysis.

    The researchers suggest the result in patients with diabetes may relate to the action of zinc in determining insulin levels.

    The meta-analysis included 33 interventions investigating the impact of zinc on lipid levels. The mean dose of elemental zinc used was 58 mg per day, which the researchers note is beyond the recommended upper level of intake of 40 mg."
Matti Narkia

Effects Of Vitamin D Deficiency Amplified By Shortage Of Estrogen - 0 views

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    "Researchers at Johns Hopkins are reporting what is believed to be the first conclusive evidence in men that the long-term ill effects of vitamin D deficiency are amplified by lower levels of the key sex hormone estrogen, but not testosterone.

    In a national study in 1010 men, to be presented Nov. 15 at the American Heart Association's (AHA) annual Scientific Sessions in Orlando, researchers say the new findings build on previous studies showing that deficiencies in vitamin D and low levels of estrogen, found naturally in differing amounts in men and women, were independent risk factors for hardened and narrowed arteries and weakened bones. Vitamin D is an essential part to keeping the body healthy, and can be obtained from fortified foods, such as milk and cereals, and by exposure to sunlight.
Matti Narkia

Alpha-linolenic acid reduces risk of nonfatal MI - theheart.org - 0 views

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    "July 9, 2008 | Michael O'Riordan
    Boston, MA - The consumption of a diet containing vegetable oils rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is associated with significant reductions in the risk of nonfatal MI, a new study has shown [1]. Investigators say the protective effect of ALA is evident among individuals with low intakes, suggesting the greatest benefit might be in developing countries, where fatty-acid consumption is limited.

    "The potential for benefit is great when the baseline intake is low," said lead investigator Dr Hannia Campos (Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA). "In countries where people eat very little fish-and some of these countries have almost no sources of omega-3 fatty acids because they cook with corn or sunflower oils-the consumption of vegetable oils with ALA could have a major impact on heart disease."

    In an editorial accompanying the published study [2], Dr William Harris (University of South Dakota, Sioux Falls) said that the data are suggestive and would be good news for individuals who will not or cannot eat fish, but more studies are still needed. "If ALA were able to do the same 'heavy lifting' that [eicosapentaenoic acid] EPA and [docosahexaenoic acid] DHA do, this would be welcomed news, because the capacity to produce ALA is essentially limitless, whereas there are only so many fish in the sea," he writes. "
Matti Narkia

New study links vitamin D deficiency to cardiovascular disease and death - 0 views

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    "Study finds inadequate levels of Vitamin D may significantly increase risk of stroke, heart disease and death

    MURRAY, UT - While mothers have known that feeding their kids milk builds strong bones, a new study by researchers at the Heart Institute at Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake City suggests that Vitamin D contributes to a strong and healthy heart as well - and that inadequate levels of the vitamin may significantly increase a person's risk of stroke, heart disease, and death, even among people who've never had heart disease.

    For more than a year, the Intermountain Medical Center research team followed 27,686 patients who were 50 years of age or older with no prior history of cardiovascular disease. The participants had their blood Vitamin D levels tested during routine clinical care. The patients were divided into three groups based on their Vitamin D levels - normal (over 30 nanograms per milliliter), low (15-30 ng/ml), or very low (less than 15 ng/ml). The patients were then followed to see if they developed some form of heart disease."
Matti Narkia

Low vitamin D tied to heart, stroke deaths: MedlinePlus - 0 views

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    "NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Low vitamin D levels in the body may be deadly, according to a new study hinting that adults with lower, versus higher, blood levels of vitamin D may be more likely to die from heart disease or stroke.

    Vitamin D is an essential vitamin mostly obtained from direct sunlight exposure, but also found in foods and multivitamins.

    Dr. Annamari Kilkkinen, at the National Institute for Health and Welfare in Helsinki, Finland, and colleagues compared blood levels of vitamin D and deaths from heart disease or stroke over time in 2,817 men and 3,402 women in Finland."
Matti Narkia

Why Low Vitamin D Raises Heart Disease Risks In Diabetics - 0 views

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    ScienceDaily (Aug. 25, 2009) - Low levels of vitamin D are known to nearly double the risk of cardiovascular disease in patients with diabetes, and researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis now think they know why.

    They have found that diabetics deficient in vitamin D can't process cholesterol normally, so it builds up in their blood vessels, increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke. The new research has identified a mechanism linking low vitamin D levels to heart disease risk and may lead to ways to fix the problem, simply by increasing levels of vitamin D.
Matti Narkia

Seniors With Insufficient Levels Of Vitamin D At Increased Risk Of Dying From Heart Dis... - 0 views

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    A new study by researchers at the University of Colorado Denver and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) shows vitamin D plays a vital role in reducing the risk of death associated with older age. The research, just published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, evaluated the association between vitamin D levels in the blood and the death rates of those 65 and older. The study found that older adults with insufficient levels of vitamin D die from heart disease at greater rates that those with adequate levels of the vitamin.
Matti Narkia

20-year Study Finds No Association Between Low-carb Diets And Risk Of Coronary Heart Di... - 0 views

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    In the first study to look at the long-term effects of low-carbohydrate diets, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) found no evidence of an association between low-carb diets and an increased risk of CHD in women. Their findings did suggest, however, an association between low-carb diets high in vegetable sources of fat and protein and a low risk of CHD.

    "This study suggests that neither a low-fat dietary pattern nor a typical low-carbohydrate dietary pattern is ideal with regards to risk of CHD; both have similar risks. However, if a diet moderately lower in carbohydrates is followed, with a focus on vegetable sources of fat and protein, there may be a benefit for heart disease," said Tom Halton, a former doctoral student in the Department of Nutrition at HSPH.
Matti Narkia

How High Carbohydrate Foods Can Raise Risk For Heart Problems - 0 views

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    ScienceDaily (June 27, 2009) - Doctors have known for decades that too much carbohydrate-laden foods like white bread and corn flakes can be detrimental to cardiac health. In a landmark study, new research from Tel Aviv University now shows exactly how these high carb foods increase the risk for heart problems.
Matti Narkia

Medical News: AHA: Trans Fats Raise Cholesterol Regardless of Source - in Meeting Cover... - 1 views

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    NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 10 -- Gram for gram, trans fatty acid from milk and meat may be as bad for the heart as it is from processed foods, Dutch researchers found.

    In a randomized trial, a diet containing a high quantity of trans fats significantly increased cholesterol levels across the board whether from natural or "industrial" sources (P=0.014 to P<0.001), Ingeborg A. Brouwer, Ph.D., of VU University Amsterdam, and colleagues reported here at the American Heart Association meeting.
roger smith

Study suggests protein intake linked to heart attack and stroke in normal people. - 0 views

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    Increased protein intake linked to heart attack and stroke in normal people
Matti Narkia

Two eggs a day 'does not increase cholesterol levels' - MedWire News - Consumer Health - 0 views

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    MedWire News: Eating two eggs a day, as part of an energy-restricted weight-loss diet, does not increase levels of 'bad' or total cholesterol, results of a UK study show.
Matti Narkia

Eating Red Meat May Boost Death Risk - WebMD - 0 views

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    March 23, 2009 -- Men and women who eat higher amounts of red meat and processed meat have a higher risk of dying from cancer, heart disease, and other causes compared to those who eat less, according to a new study.

    Those in the study who ate the most red meat took in about 4.5 ounces a day -- the equivalent of a small steak.
Matti Narkia

Some Diets May Be Better Than Others For Keeping Weight Off And Staying Healthy, Study ... - 0 views

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    ScienceDaily (Mar. 4, 2009) - Any diet will do? Not if you want to lose fat instead of muscle. Not if you want to lower your triglyceride levels so you'll be less likely to develop diabetes and heart disease. Not if you want to avoid cravings that tempt you to cheat on your diet. And not if you want to keep the weight off long-term.

    "Our latest study shows you have a better chance of achieving all these goals if you follow a diet that is moderately high in protein," said Donald Layman, a University of Illinois professor emeritus of nutrition. The research was published in the March Journal of Nutrition.
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