Cardiovascular Disease is Not All in the Genes

A study in the U.K. followed almost 500,000 adults for an average of 6 years. At baseline participant's physical fitness was determined by a variety of tests. Researchers found patients with high cardiovascular fitness had a 49% lower risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) when compared with those who had low fitness--even when they carried a high genetic risk…

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Life’s Simple 7

The American Heart Association's My Life Check(r) is built around 7 simple health habits: blood pressure, body-mass index, smoking, diet, cholesterol, blood sugar and exercise. A study of over 6000 adults found those with the best scores were 41% less likely than those with the lowest scores to develop atrial fibrillation. PositiveTip: What is your score? Find out by…

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More Support for Eating Tree Nuts

In a meta-analysis of 61 intervention studies looking at the effects of a variety of tree nuts on heart health, researchers found significant improvements in the lipoproteins which increase the risk of atherosclerosis with just one serving each day. While this study focused on almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews and pistachios; peanuts, which are technically legumes may have…

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Not So Fast with the Alcohol

Earlier research appeared to show that moderate drinkers lived longer than non-drinkers and heavy drinkers. However, many of those studies included former heavy drinkers who had poorer health than never drinkers. Research from the U.K. which removed the former drinkers from comparison groups did not find the same benefits. The authors note they are skeptical…

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Whole Grains: Good for the Heart

A meta-analysis involving almost 500,000 people found those who consumed the highest amounts of whole-grain experienced over 20% less coronary heart disease (CHD) when compared to those who consumed the lowest amount of whole-grain intake.  PositiveTip: Choose your grains wisely as they do have a significant benefit on your heart health.

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Moderate Exercise Yields Big Time Benefits

Healthy, low-risk people derive tremendous benefits from moderate physical activity. A study of 13,000 runners found those in the lowest quintile (fewer than 6 miles or less than 52 minutes per week) experienced the greatest reductions in total mortality (30% less) and cardiovascular mortality (45% less). It did not have to be fast: a few miles at…

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Benefits of Five Daily Servings of Fruits and Vegetables

Researchers examined data from 16 prospective studies and found the more fruits and vegetables people ate each day, the lower their risk for all-cause mortality. Each serving was 2.8 ounces (80 grams) of fruit or vegetable. It appeared that 5 servings per day optimized the benefits. Each fruit or vegetable serving lowered the risk of…

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Inactivity Tops Women’s Cardiovascular Risk

A study of 32,154 women found physical inactivity had the greatest impact on lifetime risk of heart disease after age 30 when compared to excess weight, high blood pressure, and smoking. For those under the age of 30, smoking was the biggest contributor to heart disease. The authors estimated 2000 lives could be saved every year…

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Maternal CVD Mortality and Breast Feeding

Researchers analyzed the results of almost 22,000 Norwegian women who were younger than 65 years old at enrollment and had given birth to at least one child. Those who had never nursed were two times as likely to die from cardiovascular disease (CVD) when compared to those who had ever breast-fed. This finding held true when adjusting for…

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Dietary Fiber Still Beneficial

A meta-analysis of 22 cohort studies mostly in Westernized countries reaffirmed dietary fiber's role in preventing cardiovascular disease. For each 7 grams a day of fiber (read food labels), the risk ratio dropped 0.9 points. Only insoluble fibers fibers contributed to this benefit. PositiveTip: Consume wheat bran, brown rice, and other whole grains to lower…

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