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.

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Nine Preventable Risk Factors Are Responsible For 90% Of Heart Attacks

There are numerous lifestyle, dietary, and genetic factors believed to play a part in heart disease and it can be difficult to determine which of these factors are the most important ones. According to a report published in the journal Lancet in 2004, there are just nine risk factors that account for the overwhelming majority of heart attacks. The good news is that each of the risk factors identified is preventable.

The study, conducted by Canadian scientists, involved analyzing 262 previous studies on heart disease involving a combined 29,000 individuals from 52 countries. The researchers attempted to isolate the risk factors thought to have the greatest impact on an individuals probability of suffering a heart attack.

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Which Types Of Fat Are Bad For The Heart?

Many people believe that diets high in fat will lead to a greater risk of heart disease in later life however this is not necessarily the case. Countries such as Spain, Greece, Italy, and France all have remarkably low rates of heart disease while consume a Mediterranean style diet that is relatively high in fat.

Recent scientific studies point instead to two specific types of fat, trans fats and saturated fats, which are thought to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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500mg Of Vitamin C A Day Reduces LDL Cholesterol Levels

An orangeA study published this month in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine has found that high doses of vitamin C can reduce an individuals LDL cholesterol levels and subsequently lower their risk of heart disease.

The research, conducted by Marc McRae of the National University of Health Sciences in Illinois, involved the analysis of results from 13 previous trials on the effect of vitamin C on cholesterol levels. The minimum dosage of vitamin C taken across the studies was 500mg/day for a period of between 3 and 24 weeks.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The Relationship Between Nitric Oxide, Arginine, And The Heart

Nitric oxide (NO) plays an important role in cardiovascular health. The chemical is produced in the inner lining of the blood vessels (the endothelium). Numerous enzymes in the endothelium play a role in converting the amino acid arginine and oxygen into nitric oxide through a series of intermediate steps.

Nitric oxide signals the smooth muscle in the blood vessels to relax which improves blood flow Nitric oxide has beneficial effects on many heart disease risk factors. Several studies have demonstrated a link between hypertension and low levels of nitric oxide in the blood.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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