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Even less physically fit people can help themselves to prevent risk of Heart related Diseases: Study

150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise is the easiest way to achieve normal physical fitness

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Representational image. Pixabay

Ottawa, October 23, 2016: Even if you are up to 20 per cent less fit than your population average, it is sufficient to prevent risk factors like diabetes, hypertension, obesity that affect people with heart disease, finds a study.

Physical inactivity along with risk factors like depression, diabetes, dyslipidemia, hypertension, obesity, excess weight, and smoking may lead to heart disease, which is one of the leading causes of death in the world, representing 31 per cent of global mortality, the study says.

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To measure the impact of physical fitness on heart disease risk factors, the researchers selected 205 men and 44 women with heart disease, including coronary artery disease, stroke, congestive heart failure, and heart valve disease, and had them undergo a cycle ergometer (stationary bike) stress test to determine their fitness level.

The results showed that normal physical fitness, even up to 20 per cent below the population average, is sufficient to have a preventive effect on five of the eight risk factors affecting people with cardiovascular disease–abdominal circumference, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and excess weight.

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“It is common to meet people entering a cardiac rehab centre who are totally out of shape and whose exercise is irregular or non-existent, which has a harmful effect on general and cardiovascular health,” said Daniel Curnier, a professor at the University of Montreal, Canada, said in a statement.

The easiest way to achieve normal physical fitness is to follow the recommendations of the World Health Organization — 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise, the study suggested.

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The results have also demonstrated the importance of a good fitness level, before and after a heart attack, to produce the preventive effect on depression.

The study sheds new light on the overall role of physical fitness in the development of cardiovascular risk factors in patients with cardiovascular disease. (IANS)

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Health Benefits of eating more Whole Grains

Having a whole grain diet helps lose weight, as compared to refined grains -- rich in starch, gluten and devoid of natural fiber.

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Whole grains
Whole grains.Pixabay
  • Regularly consuming whole grain foods such as barley, brown rice, millet, oatmeal and rye may help lose weight
  • It also decreases the risk of heart disease and diabetes, a study has claimed.

Why should you eat more whole grains? Here is all you need to know

The findings showed that study participants who ate whole grains had less inflammation, particularly in overweight people, which increases the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Further, participants were also found to eat less when whole grain products were on the menu because whole grain consumption causes satiety.

Importantly, having a whole grain diet helps lose weight, as compared to refined grains — rich in starch, gluten and devoid of natural fiber.

“Our analysis confirmed that there is a sound scientific basis for the dietary recommendation to eat whole grains. This may particularly apply to people who are at increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease or Type 2 diabetes,” said Tine Rask Licht, professor at the Technical University of Denmark.

Additionally, the researchers used DNA sequencing to analyze stool samples from the participants in order to examine whether the different diet types affected the participants’ gut bacteria composition.

Overall, the analysis did not show major effects of the dietary grain products on the composition of the lose weight.

“However, even though the analysis did not reveal significant changes in the average gut microbiota after whole grain consumption, it may well be that the individual components of our gut microbes has an impact on the individual reaction of our body to dietary whole grains,” Licht explained.

For the study, described in the journal Gut, the team included adults at risk of developing cardiovascular disease or Type 2 diabetes. The participants were divided randomly into two groups, with whole grain diet and refined varieties for eight weeks.(IANS)

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Indian-born scientist attempts treating hearts via urban forests (Science Feature)

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Heart

Indian-born scientist Aruni Bhatnagar is all set to install a $14.50 million “unique urban laboratory” in the US that will study the effect of green plantations on combating cardiovascular diseases. His research interests include cardiovascular effects of environmental pollutants, atherosclerosis, injury from loss of blood to the heart muscle, cardiovascular complications of diabetes and sepsis.

“We think trees might be more effective than statins in combating heart disease,” Bhatnagar told IANS on phone from Louisville, Kentucky.

Bhatnagar’s work has led to the creation of the new field of environmental cardiology.

A Lucknow University graduate with a bio-chemistry doctorate from the Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI), also in Lucknow, he is a professor and university scholar with Louisville’s Institute of Molecular Cardiology. He is also a fellow with the American Heart Association.

The Green Heart project involves the University of Louisville, the Nature Conservancy, the Institute for Healthy Air, Land and Soil and other partners that will transform four South Louisville neighbourhoods, home to about 22,000 residents, with 8,000 trees and other plantings.

Bhatnagar said the trees will not be samplings but mature foliage which will make a difference right away. Trees, shrubs and other plants will be placed where they can best soak up lung-damaging air pollution within the study area.

Researchers will track the health of about 700 residents to ascertain cardiovascular response to the plantation.

He said green spaces breathe in their own way, taking up the heat-trapping gas carbon dioxide while creating life-sustaining oxygen.

While trees produce volatile organic compounds — a source of ozone pollution — they also absorb ozone and other pollutants and trap especially dangerous tiny particles.

But “nobody has evaluated the specific health effects of planting green spaces”.

He said the effect of plantation on human health where people’s health is monitored before, during and after a major tree plantation drive has not been studied so far.

The health of people who live near the newly planted greenery will be compared to those who live elsewhere in the study area.

“We are hopeful to see changes in a few years,” he said. “It’s like a drug trial, with nature as the drug.”

Bhatnagar said he and his team wanted to test whether giving someone a statin for cardiovascular management is better or worse than giving one green surroundings.

In addition to studying cardiovascular health, researchers also plan to see if there are any changes in crime rates, stress, economics and other social-psycho outcomes.

Some studies suggest trees can help in those areas, too.

He said the Louisville research can be a potential game-changer in fighting heart disease.

“Though heart disease rates have been coming down, the rate has slowed and flattened out in the recent past. That’s why we thought we need to try something different,” he explained.

So far research has identified poor diet and lack of exercise with heart risk. We haven’t studied the impact of the environment in preventing or managing the cardiovascular situation in the urban population. About 70 percent of heart disease is preventable but it still accounts for the largest cause of deaths, Bhatnagar added.(IANS)

(Vishal Gulati can be contacted at vishal.g@ians.in)

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Experts Say Measles Victims Dropped Below 100,000 in 2016

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Measles Victims Dropped
Foriza Begum, background, a newly arrived Rohingya Muslim from Myanmar, reacts to her daughter Nosmin Fatima's scream as she receives a vaccination to prevent measles and rubella at a makeshift medical center in Teknaf, Bangladesh. VOA
  • Latest reports of WHO, UNICEF, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the rate of deaths from measles has dropped.
  • As per experts, a number of people who died from measles in 2016 were about 90,000, compared to 550,000 in 2000.

The World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the rate of deaths from measles has dropped 84 percent since the beginning of a global vaccination campaign in 2000.

Experts say the number of people who died from the disease in 2016 was about 90,000, compared to more than 550,000 deaths in 2000. This marks the first time that worldwide measles deaths have fallen to less than 100,000 per year.

Robert Linkins, of the Measles and Rubella Initiative at the CDC, said in a statement that “saving an average of 1.3 million lives per year through vaccine is an incredible achievement and makes a world free of measles seem possible, even probable, in our lifetime.”

Since 2000, some 5.5 billion doses of measles vaccine have been administered to children through routine immunization services and mass vaccination campaigns. The disease is contagious through air particles and can spread quickly. The disease kills more people every year than any other vaccine-preventable disease.

But the WHO says the world is still far from reaching regional measles elimination goals. Since 2009, officials have managed to deliver a first dose of the vaccine to 85 percent of the babies who need it, but there has been no improvement in that rate in eight years. And only 64 percent of the affected population has gotten the second dose, which comes when a child is four or five years old.

The WHO says “far too many children” — about 20.8 million — have not had their first vaccine dose. Most of those children live in Nigeria, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The disease puts children at risk of developing complications such as pneumonia, diarrhea, encephalitis, and blindness.(VOA)