Heart Attacks Occur More Than A Decade Earlier In Smokers

Two cigarettesResearch, published online last month in The American Journal of Cardiology, has found that heart attacks occur much earlier in smokers compared to non-smokers. The study also found that female smokers were at a greater risk of smoking related heart problems than men.

The study, which involved more than 3,500 men and women who had been hospitalized for a heart attack between 1999 and 2006, found that male smokers were 9 years younger at admission than male non-smokers while female smokers were 13 years younger than their non-smoking counterparts.


Study Finds High Vitamin B6 Levels Slash Odds Of Heart Attack By Up To 82%

In a previous post, we mentioned that B Vitamin deficiencies may increase the risk of heart disease by raising circulating levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that damages arterial walls. A 2009 study published in the journal Circulation has shown just how important one of these B vitamins can be in reducing heart attack risk.


High Cholesterol Levels Double Lifetime Heart Disease Risk

A study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2004 has found that high total cholesterol levels can double an individuals remaining lifetime risk of developing coronary heart disease.

The researchers used data from the Framingham Heart Study (FHS) to determine how total cholesterol levels influence overall heart disease risk. More than 7,000 men and women were studied of which 1,120 developed coronary heart disease during the 25 year study period.


Lack Of Sleep Increases Risk Of Coronary Heart Disease

Those who get less than 8 hours sleep a night are more likely to develop coronary heart disease in later life according to the results of a Canadian study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in January 2003.

The researchers looked at a group of almost 72,000 middle aged women from the United States who were initially free of heart disease.


Consumption Of Soy Protein May Reduce Risk Of Heart Disease

Soy beansDiets high in soy may reduce the incidence of heart disease according to recent studies. One such study, published in The Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2002, looked at 64,915 women from Shanghai, China, in order to determine the effects of soy food consumption on the risk of coronary heart disease.

Over an average follow up period of 2.5 years, 62 new cases of coronary heart disease were documented. The researchers found that women in the highest quartile for soy protein intake were 75% less likely to develop coronary heart disease over the study period compared to women in the highest quartile for soy protein intake.


High Glycemic Load Foods Increase Probabilty Of A Heart Attack

Diets with a high glycemic load increase the risk of a myocardial infarction (heart attack) by as much as 98% according to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in June 2000.

The study, conducted by researchers from the Department of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School in Boston, involved 75,521 women aged between 38 and 63 who were followed over a 10 year period. The researchers looked at the impact of glycemic load and carbohydrate intake on the risk of myocardial infarction.


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.


Underactive Thyroid Raises Heart Disease Risk In Women

Women with an under-active thyroid, a condition known as hypothyroidism, are at a greater risk of heart disease according to a recent study published in the April 28 issue of the journal Archives of Internal Medicine. The results of the study indicated that even women with low, but clinically normal thyroid function, are at an increased risk of heart disease.

The study, conducted by Norwegian researchers, involved the study of around 25,000 people from Norway who were initially free of heart disease, diabetes, and thyroid problems.


Walking As Good As Vigorous Exercise For Heart Health

Several studies indicate that brisk walking may be just as good for your heart as more vigorous exercise such as jogging, running, or swimming.

One of the largest studies on the effects of exercise on heart disease prevention was published in The New England Journal of Medicine in August of 1999. The study consisted of 72,488 females from the Nurses Health Study (NHS). The participants were 40 to 65 at the beginning of the study in 1986. The study continued for eight years during which 645 coronary deaths (475 deaths from heart attacks and 170 from other coronary heart disease) were observed.


Tall People Less Likely To Develop Coronary Heart Disease

Scientific studies suggest that taller people are at a lower risk of coronary heart disease, even after adjusting for other heart disease risk factors. Studies have found that on average a 1cm (0.4 inch) increase in height is associated with around a 2% decrease in the risk of coronary heart disease.

One of the largest studies on the relationship between heart disease and height was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology in 1995.


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.


Waist Size Predicts Heart Disease Risk Better Than BMI

A tape measureAccording to several recent studies, both waist size and the waist to hip ratio may be better indicators of heart disease risk than the traditional Body Mass Index (BMI).

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that people aim for a BMI of between 18.5 and 24.9 however most Americans have a BMI well above this range.


Elevated Blood Sugar Levels In Women May Lead To Heart Disease

Spoonful of sugarPeople with higher blood sugar levels , particularly women, run a greater risk of developing heart disease according to a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology this month.

The study, which included over 4,000 men and women from the Framingham Heart Study, found that women with high fasting glucose levels are much more likely to develop heart disease, even if they do not have diabetes. In contrast, fasting glucose levels did not influence heart disease risk in non-diabetic men.


Calcium Supplements Increase Risk Of Heart Problems In Older Women

Some blue pillsWomen who use calcium supplements may be at an increased risk of heart problems in later life according to a recent New Zealand study published in the British Medical Journal this month.

Researchers from the Department of Medicine at the University of Auckland followed 1471 healthy post-menopausal women, all over the age of 55, for a period of five years. Half the group took a calcium supplement which contained 1 gram of calcium while the other half received a placebo.