Menthol Cigarettes Associated With Higher Stroke Risk

Smokers of menthol cigarettes are more than twice as likely to suffer a stroke than regular cigarette users according to the results of a study published this month in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

The research, conducted by Dr Nicholas Vozoris of the Department of Medicine, St Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, involved the study of more than 5,000 smokers from the 2001-2008 NHANES study. Around a quarter of study participants normally smoked mentholated cigarettes.


Red Meat Raises Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease Risks

A hunk of steakThose who consume large amounts of red and processed meats are at greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease and cancer according to the results of a new study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine earlier this month. The researchers calculated that almost 10% of total deaths could be prevented if individuals reduce their red meat consumption to less than half a serving, or 42 grams, a day.


Black Tea Cuts Blood Pressure, May Lower Heart Disease Risk By Up To 10%

A cup of black teaA small Australian study, published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine last month, has found that three cups of black tea a day may significantly lower blood pressure, reducing heart disease risk by as much as 10%.

The research, led by Dr. Jonathan Hodgson of the School of Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Western Australia, involved 95 men and women who were randomized to receive either three cups of black tea a day or a placebo that matched the tea in flavour and caffeine content.


Weight Loss Surgery Slashes Risk Of Coronary Heart Disease By 40%

Researchers from the Cleveland Clinic have found that weight loss surgery in obese individuals dramatically improves several cardiovascular risk factors, reducing the 10-year risk of coronary heart disease by an estimated 40%.

The study, which was published online last month in the American Journal of Cardiology, involved the analysis of 52 studies comprising more than 16,000 patients who had undergone bariatric surgery between 1950 and 2010.


Lower Blood Pressure Not Always Better For Preventing Cardiovascular Disease

A blood pressure monitorWhile it is well known that high blood pressure increases the risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and strokes, scientific evidence also suggests that excessively low blood pressure can be almost as harmful as high blood pressure.

A new study, presented at the American Society of Hypertension meeting in San Francisco this month, looked at how the risk of suffering a stroke or heart attack varied with blood pressure in a group of 10,001 coronary heart disease patients.


Chocolate Lowers Blood Pressure, Improves Cardiovascular Health

Pieces of chocolateFoods rich in cocoa, such as chocolate, may lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of coronary heart disease according to a study published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine in 2006.

The study, conducted by Dutch researchers, used data from the Zutphen study to assess whether cocoa could reduce blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health. In total, 470 elderly men aged between 65 and 84 were used in the 15 year study which began in 1985.


Coronary Heart Disease May Up Dementia Risk In Later Life

Middle aged people who have a history of coronary heart disease perform worse on cognitive tests than healthy individuals according to a new study published on July 22 in the European Heart Journal (EHJ). The research backs up a number of recent studies that have suggests a link between dementia and cardiovascular disease.

The study, conducted by researchers from the Paul Brousse hospital in France and the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health in London, focused on 10,308 middle-aged participants from the Whitehall II study.


Eight Simple Ways To Lower Your Blood Pressure

A blood pressure monitorHypertension is one of the most significant risk factors for cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease and stroke. It is estimated that a blood pressure greater than 140/90 mmHg doubles an individuals risk of heart disease at a given age compared to a person with a normal blood pressure (115/75 mmHg).

More than 35% of adult Americans are known to suffer from hypertension and this figure rises to more than 60% in people older than 55.


Diets High In Fiber Lower Heart Disease Risk

Cereal mixtureIndividuals who consume high fiber diets are as much as 30% less likely to develop heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases such as strokes according to recent evidence.

One study, published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine in February 2004, looked at data from 10 previous studies in order to determine the effects of dietary fiber intake on the risk of heart disease.


Large Waist Size Increases Cardiovascular Disease In Women

Women with a normal body mass index (BMI) but a waist size greater than 88 cm (35 inches) have three times the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease than women with a waist size less than 88 cm according to a recent study published online in the journal Circulation in March of this year.

Researchers at the National Institutes of Health and Harvard Medical School in Boston analyzed 44,636 women who were part of of the Nurses Health Study.


Vitamin D Deficiency Linked To Increased Cardiovascular Disease

Vitamin pillsVitamin D deficiency may be associated with more than a two-fold increase in coronary heart disease risk according to a recent study funded by the American Heart Association.

The researchers looked at data from 1,739 offspring of the Framingham Heart Study with an average age of 59 years. The participants had their blood levels of Vitamin D recorded in 1996, as well as their blood pressures, current smoking habits, diabetes status, cholesterol levels, and physical activity levels.


Smoking Dramatically Increases The Risk Of Heart Problems

A number of cigarettesWhile most people know that cigarette smoking is the primary cause of lung cancer cancer, what many people don’t know is that most premature deaths due to smoking are actually due to coronary heart disease rather than lung cancer. It is estimated that 20% of all deaths from heart disease are attributable to cigarette smoking.

Smoking has many effects on the body that lead to increased coronary heart disease risk. First, toxic substances in cigarettes such as carbon-monoxide, nicotine, and aromatic hydrocarbons lead to inflammation of the arteries and blood vessels in the body.