Saturday September 21, 2019

Heart-health Behaviour Helps Reduce Risk of Diabetes

Community outreach is essential to educating people about prevention and helping them start healthy habits

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Diabetes
According to the researchers, these novel findings may provide the basis for new therapies for patients who have heart disease complicated by diabetes. Pixabay

If you are suffering from diabetes, then following some lifestyle and health factors may prove to be good for your heart and can help prevent disorders, says a new study.

The study showed that individuals who were in the recommended, ideal ranges for at least four of Life’s Simple seven health factors had a 70 per cent lower risk of developing diabetes over the next 10 years.

The Life’s Simple seven health factors include maintaining healthy blood pressure, glucose levels and cholesterol, eating a healthy diet, exercising at least 150 minutes per week, not smoking and maintaining a healthy weight, said the paper published in the journal Diabetologia.

“This research adds to our collective understanding about how physicians can help their patients prevent a number of serious diseases, including heart disease, cancer and now diabetes,” said K. Craig Kent, at The Ohio State University College in the US.

In addition, those in normal blood glucose levels who attained four or more guideline factors had an 80 per cent lower risk of developing diabetes, whereas those who were already diabetic or prediabetic and met four of the factors had no change in lowering their risk for diabetes, said Joshua J. Joseph, Assistant Professor at the varsity.

Diabetes
Representational image. Pixabay

For the study, the researchers included 7,758 participants and used the American Heart Association’s Life’s Simple seven as a guide for measuring heart health among the group.

“Healthy people need to work to stay healthy. Follow the guidelines. Don’t proceed to high blood sugar and then worry about stopping diabetes. By that point, people need high-intensity interventions that focus on physical activity and diet to promote weight loss and, possibly, medications to lower the risk of diabetes,” said Joseph.

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Community outreach is essential to educating people about prevention and helping them start healthy habits.

Furthermore, getting help to quit smoking or finding physical activities and healthy foods can be key to maintaining them long-term and preventing future health problems, the study noted. (IANS)

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Doctors Feel Blessed on New Heart Health Tools in Apple Watch in India

The medical fraternity on Friday welcomed the arrival of the ECG app and irregular rhythm notification feature on Apple Watch for users in India

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Apple, Apple Watch, Heart health, app, health app, doctors
"The results can be shared with the doctors so that any major complication can be averted." Pixabay

The medical fraternity on Friday welcomed the arrival of the ECG app and irregular rhythm notification feature on Apple Watch for users in India, stressing that it will make people more aware about their heart health.

Although the Apple Watch will not provide a final conclusion into whether a person is actually suffering from Atrial fibrillation (AFib) — irregular heartbeat that can lead to blood clot formation in the heart which then embolises to the brain causing stroke — the readings will make more Indians consult their physicians about their heart health, doctors feel.

Although accurate worldwide estimates are lacking, calculations suggest that over one per cent of the adult population is affected in the developed world, wrote Vijay Bohra, Gautam Sharma and Rajnish Juneja from Department of Cardiology at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in their research.

“In our country, there is virtually no data on AF (AFib), most of the data that has been derived is from international studies with an Indian cohort,” the trio wrote, adding that there is “indeed a dearth of data on epidemiologic outcomes in patients of rheumatic AF in the country leading to inconsistent practice patterns as regards medical therapy, especially oral anticoagulation”.

According to Mukesh Goel, Senior Consultant, Cardio Thoracic & Vascular Surgery, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, AFib is more prone in those patients who are predisposed to have AFib and stroke.

Apple, Apple Watch, Heart health, app, health app, doctors
Comparisons between irregular pulse-detection on Apple Watch and simultaneous electrocardiography patch recordings showed the pulse detection algorithm has 71 per cent positive predictive value. Pixabay

“Generally, we do holter monitoring (a small, wearable device that keeps track of your heart rhythm) or extended holter monitoring which is a 24-hour ECG monitoring system, to detect AFib in the patients. However, it is not always necessary that these 2-3 episodes of AFib will occur during the time of the holter monitoring,” Goel told IANS.

Hence, in such cases, Apple Watch will be playing a vital role in detecting AFib in time, he added.

“Having said this, a person must wear the Watch both during day and night so that the occurrence of AFib is detected well in time,” Goel suggested.

New electrodes built into the back crystal and Digital Crown on Apple Watch Series 4 or later, work together with the ECG app to enable customers to take an ECG similar to a single-lead reading.

To take an ECG recording at any time or following an irregular rhythm notification, hold their finger on the Digital Crown. As the user touches the Digital Crown, the circuit is completed and electrical signals across their heart are measured.

After 30 seconds, the heart rhythm is classified as either AFib, sinus rhythm or inconclusive.

Sanjiv Bhardwaj, Associate Director, Department of Interventional Cardiology at Jaypee Hospital Noida said that smartwatches and fitness bands are now playing a vital role in updating the users about their heart health and the possible risk factors related to cardiovascular diseases.

Apple, Apple Watch, Heart health, app, health app, doctors
Apple Watch will help identify AF and rhythm disorders and this will surely help in early identification of disease. Pixabay

“Advanced and modern features like an ECG app and irregular heart rhythm monitor will surely be a huge help to the users. They can easily get the notifications about their heart rhythm and its classification in less than a minute.

“The results can be shared with the doctors so that any major complication can be averted,” Bhardwaj told IANS.

With watchOS 6, the irregular rhythm notification feature on Apple Watch Series 4 and the upcoming Series 5 on September 27 will use the optical heart sensor to occasionally check the user’s heart rhythm in the background for signals of an irregular heart rhythm that appears to be AFib.

If irregular heart rhythm such as AFib is identified on five rhythm checks over a minimum of 65 minutes, a notification will be generated to alert the user.

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“Technology is moving at lightning speed and Apple is surely abreast with it. Rhythm identification via the phone is no longer a dream,” said Aparna Jaswal, Associate Director, Cardiology & Electrophysiology, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, New Delhi.

“Apple Watch will help identify AF and rhythm disorders and this will surely help in early identification of disease,” she said.

The irregular rhythm notification feature was recently studied in the Apple Heart Study. With over 400,000 participants, the Apple Heart Study was the largest screening study on atrial fibrillation ever conducted. (IANS)