Short-bouts of intense physical activity and high emotions may be deadly.
A study of over 12,000 individuals who had experienced their first myocardial infarction (MI) found being emotionally upset and engaging in intense physical activity may trigger an MI. This case-crossover study demonstrated that compared to the control period, the risk increased 2.31 times for extreme physical exertion, 2.44 times for anger and emotional upset, and 3.05 times when both were present. This evidence corroborates the Biblical story of Nabal, his anger, and subsequent death (I Samuel 25).
PositiveTip: Avoid intense emotional upset and/or short bouts of extreme physical activity.
Healthier lifestyles can lower the risk of myocardial infarction.
Swedish investigators following 20,000 healthy men for 11 years found that each "low risk" lifestyle factor (healthy diet, no smoking, physically active, not overweight, and moderate alcohol use) was independently associated with a lower risk for myocardial infarction (MI). Those with all five healthier lifestyle factors experienced an 86% lower risk. Sadly, less than 1% of the study group followed all five of these. (NOTE: PositiveChoices.com does not believe any amount of alcohol is a part of a healthy lifestyle.)
Large, randomized study fails to show benefits of omega-3 fatty acid supplements.
Consuming n-3 fatty acids daily did not reduce cardiovascular morbidity or mortality in an Italian study of over 12,000 patients with risk factors but no history of a heart attack. Half were randomly assigned to 1 gram of n-3 fatty acid supplements, the other a half received a placebo of olive oil. While this study did not account for dietary variability from person to person, it does underscore that providing a supplement without a known dietary need may not be beneficial.
PositiveTip: Choose to consume a diet that provides sufficient n-3 fatty acids from natural sources.
It might not just be a "little heart attack" if you are a woman.
Analyzing more than one million patients admitted to U.S. hospitals with confirmed myocardial infactions between 1994 and 2006, researchers found that almost 40% more women had not experienced chest pain at diagnosis, and they had a 42% higher chance of dying in the hospital. It was the youngest women patients who were most likely to have no chest pain and the highest mortality.
PositiveTip: Encourage all women to understand the signs and symptoms of heart attack. Ask each to watch the short Go Red for Women video, too!