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Good News in Nation’s Cardiovascular Health

Hospitalizations and deaths from cardiac or stroke events are down significantly.

Yale researchers mining Medicare data discovered encouraging national trends in cardiovascular disease.  After examining records of 34 million Americans, 65 or older, from 1999-2011, they found reductions in hospitalizations for heart attack (38%), heart failure (30.5%) and ischemic stroke (33.6%). Risk of death one year after hospitalization dropped 23% for heart attack and 13% for heart failure and stroke. Many factors are involved in these improvements.

PositiveTip:  Control the factors you can such as avoid smoking, eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly.

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Sodium and Your Arteries

Less salt may keep your arteries more flexible

Arteries tend to stiffen after age 30 and can increase risk of heart attack, stroke and memory loss because they can’t dilate (widen) when increased blood volume is necessary. Australian researchers studied 25 overweight or obese subjects with normal blood pressure and found those on a diet with lower sodium levels (2600 mg/day) had arteries that could dilate more than those on a diet with normal sodium levels (3600 mg/day).

PositiveTip: Choose to pass over the salt at mealtime and select low-sodium foods.

Sugar Lowers Good Cholesterol Levels

A diet high in fats, particularly saturated fat, raises cholesterol levels and increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. In addition, a recent nationwide survey of 6000 adults, who were not diabetic, found that eating more foods sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup or table sugar causes negative effects on lipids in ways not clearly understood before.Sugar Intake and Low HDL-C.