At the American College of Cardiology Scientific Session in March of 2012, information was presented from the University of Michigan Systems showing that children understand the effect of healthy behaviors on overall health.
Project Health Schools, which is a community-University of Michigan System project, measured risk factors for heart disease in middle school children. Measured risk factors included lipid profiles and physical activity before and after receiving education on healthy behaviors. They found that after receiving education the middle school students showed positive behaviors towards improving lipid profiles, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. This indicates middle school children are not too young to understand the impact of healthy behaviors and they have the ability to implement changes.
This implementation of healthy behaviors at an early age is critical to lifelong health and reduced risk for heart disease, heart attacks and strokes. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 17% of children and teens are overweight or obese. This is triple the rate one generation ago and puts children at increased risk for health complications just as excess weight impacts adults.
Continue reading ‘Educate Children on Healthy Behaviors to Reduce Heart Disease Risk’ »
Annually, the American Heart Association (AHA), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and National Institutes of Health (NIH) publish the latest statistics for heart disease and stroke. The most recent updates found deaths due to cardiovascular disease actually decreased by 33% over the past 10 years and deaths due to stroke were reduced 37%.
This goes to show that a significant amount of progress has been made to improve outcomes for those who suffer heart attacks and strokes. Great news!
What’s not so good news are the increasing risk factors of US adults making them more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke. Did you know 68% of US adults are overweight or obese? Did you know 32% of children are overweight and 17% of children obese? And according to the AHA, CDC, and NIH, 33% of US adults do no engage in any aerobic leisure time physical activity. If you look around, it’s not so hard to believe that a majority of US adults are overweight and sedentary. Where do you fall?
Continue reading ‘What Bad Habits Are Increasing Your Heart Disease Risk?’ »
Milk is good for the bones – right? Because milk is a good source of calcium and calcium promotes bone strength. Which means you may think a calcium supplement is an even better way to protect your bones – right?
A new report in the journal Heart, has determined calcium supplements are putting people at greater risk for heart attacks.
Researchers followed 23,980 individuals ranging in age from 35 to 64 years-old over an 11 year period. They saw an 86% increased risk of heart attack for those regularly supplementing calcium. Participants supplementing calcium only were twice as likely to have a heart attack compared to those not taking any vitamin supplements.
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Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where there are abnormal stops (interruptions) in breathing or abnormally low breathing during sleep. Each stop (or pause) in breathing is called an apnea. This apnea can last anywhere from a few seconds to minutes and can occur repeatedly throughout the night.
Sleep apnea results in excessive daytime tiredness, impaired alertness, slower reaction time, vision problems, and behavioral effects (i.e. moodiness, belligerence, decreased attentiveness).
Increased Risk for Sleep Apnea
Here are a few characteristics that put you at increased risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea:
Excess weight – Excess fat deposits around the upper airway can obstruct breathing.
Large neck circumference – A neck circumference above 17 inches is linked to increased risk because the thicker neck may narrow the airway.
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Heart disease is a lifestyle disease. Your diet and lifestyle choices are a major factor in determining your likelihood of developing heart disease.
Heart disease develops as a result of inflammation and oxidative damage. So, let’s cover steps you can take to decrease inflammation and oxidative damage to reduce your risk of developing heart disease.
1. Decrease your sugar intake.
When I say sugar, I’m also referring to simple carbohydrates. When you consume carbohydrates the body breaks them down into sugar molecules. Converting simple carbs (i.e. refined carbohydrates) into sugar is a fairly quick process for the body. Simple carbohydrates include potatoes, pasta, bread, and rice, along with your sugar sweetened beverages, candy, and sweets. As these foods are broken down, sugar enters the blood steam and can result in blood sugar spikes. These spikes contribute to oxidative damage and inflammation.
Continue reading ‘5 Steps to Prevent Heart Disease’ »
A recent study found a link between high cholesterol levels and increased kidney treatment problems. To better understand the impact of cholesterol levels on the treatment of kidney disease, physicians need to take into account malnutrition and inflammation status of chronic kidney disease patients.
Individuals living with chronic kidney disease often develop heart disease and die from heart complications. In the general population its well know high cholesterol levels put you at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, the relationship between kidney disease and cholesterol levels is not as clear. Research has actually shown individuals with high cholesterol and receiving dialysis diet at lower rates than those with lower cholesterol levels. This isn’t to say high cholesterol is desirable, but it may indicate a reduced degree of malnutrition and inflammation. Malnutrition and inflammation are two serious complications of kidney disease.
Continue reading ‘High cholesterol, Chronic Kidney Disease – Good combo?’ »
You probably think heart disease is only a problem for “older” individuals. Unfortunately rates of children being diagnosed with high blood pressure and high cholesterol are on the rise. This is largely linked to rising rates of childhood obesity.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity has more than tripled since 1980. Obesity in children between the ages of 6 to 11 years has increased from 6.5% to 19.6% and for adolescents between 12 to 19 years the rate has increased from 5.0% to 18.1%.
Also, 70% of obese youth had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease in a sample population of 5 to 17 year-olds.
Here are two steps you can take today:
Continue reading ‘Heart Healthy Family – Are you raising a heart healthy family?’ »