One in three American adults has hypertension (high blood pressure). And, because hypertension causes few obvious symptoms, many people with high blood pressure dont even know it.
The New England Journal of Medicine recently published a study that found high-dose vitamin D supplementation provided no protective benefit with regard to risk of developing either cancer or cardiovascular disease.
Black men and women had one and a half to two times higher risk for hypertension (high blood pressure) compared to white men and women, according to the CARDIA (Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults) study recently published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
If the results of a new Swedish study are borne out, blood thinners may be added to the arsenal of heart attack prevention measures. The study, published recently in the Annals of Internal Medicine, tested the blood of 805 individuals under age 75 years admitted to Swedish hospitals for a first heart attack (and an equal number of healthy controls) looking for antibodies related to blood clotting.
Excess body weight increases risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD), as well as type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, and many other illnesses. However, not everyone who is overweight or obese develops these illnesses; and simply having a normal body weight or body mass index (BMI)-a measure of body weight relative to height-is no guarantee of low risk. The relationship between BMI and risk for CVD and death is complex, says Edward Saltzman, MD, academic dean for education at Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. Elevated BMI does increase CVD risk, but risk is also impacted by things like body-fat percentage, waist circumference, age, duration of obesity, race, ethnicity, gender, and other genetic factors, as well as lifestyle elements such as smoking and level of physical activity.
According to the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), 20 percent of all cancers diagnosed in the U.S. are related to poor dietary choices and lack of exercise. So what should we eat, and what should we avoid? News outlets and the internet are full of (sometimes conflicting) reports claiming links between specific foods or nutrients and cancer. Many of these claims are based on a limited number of studies. But when researchers analyze all of the research on cancer and nutrition together, it becomes clear that increasing intake of individual foods or popping dietary supplements doesnt work. Overall dietary pattern, however, can make an important and significant difference.
A review and analysis published recently in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggested that eating walnuts could improve blood lipid levels (cholesterol and triglycerides) without causing weight gain or increasing blood pressure.
A recent systematic review and meta-analysis published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes concluded that multivitamin/mineral (MVM) supplementation does not protect against cardiovascular disease.
Q. I take fish oil for heart health, but some of what I read in the health press says fish oil doesnt do much. Should I stop taking it?
Q. I often read that to help reduce risk of heart disease, I should limit processed meats. Are low-sodium deli sliced turkey breast and uncured turkey pastrami better choices?