Monday July 23, 2018

Heart patients who walk faster hospitalised less

Each 1 km/hour increase in walking speed resulted in a 19 per cent reduction in the likelihood of being hospitalised

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Cyanotic heart disease. Wikimedia
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Increasing the pace of walking may bring some added benefits as researchers have found that faster-walking patients with heart disease are hospitalised less.

“The faster the walking speed, the lower the risk of hospitalisation and the shorter the length of hospital stay,” said study author Carlotta Merlo, a researcher at the University of Ferrara in Italy.

Also Read: Obesity Linked To Heart Rhythm Disorder

“Since reduced walking speed is a marker of limited mobility, which has been linked to decreased physical activity, we assume that fast walkers in the study are also fast walkers in real life,” she added.

The study was conducted in 1,078 hypertensive patients, of whom 85 per cent also had coronary heart disease and 15 per cent also had valve disease.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease is simply known as heartburn. Wikimedia Commons
Walking fast can reduce heart damage. Wikimedia Commons

A total of 359 patients were identified as slow walkers, 362 intermediate and 357 fast walkers. The researchers recorded the number of all-cause hospitalisations and length of stay of the participants over the next three years.

During the three year period, 182 of the slow walkers (51 per cent) had at least one hospitalisation, compared to 160 (44 per cent) of the intermediate walkers, and 110 (31 per cent) of the fast walkers, according to the study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

The slow, intermediate and fast walking groups spent a total of 4,186, 2,240, and 990 days in hospital over the three years, respectively. The average length of hospital stay for each patient was 23, 14, and 9 days for the slow, intermediate and fast walkers, respectively.

Each 1 km/hour increase in walking speed resulted in a 19 per cent reduction in the likelihood of being hospitalised during the three-year period. Compared to the slow walkers, fast walkers had a 37 per cent lower likelihood of hospitalisation in three years, the findings showed.

“Walking is the most popular type of exercise in adults. It is free, does not require special training, and can be done almost anywhere. Even short, but regular, walks have substantial health benefits. Our study shows that the benefits are even greater when the pace of walking is increased,” Merlo said. IANS

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Omega-3 Supplements do not Protect Against Heart Disease: Study

Intake of omega 3 fats (including EPA and DHA), primarily through supplements, probably makes little or no difference to risk of cardiovascular events, coronary heart deaths, coronary heart disease events, stroke or heart irregularities

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Eating more ALA -- an essential fatty acid and important part of a balanced diet -- through food or supplements probably decreases the risk of heart irregularities from 3.3 to 2.6 per cent.
Eating more ALA -- an essential fatty acid and important part of a balanced diet -- through food or supplements probably decreases the risk of heart irregularities from 3.3 to 2.6 per cent. (IANS)

Taking omega 3 through food or supplements is likely to have little or no effect on our risk of experiencing heart diseases, stroke or death, a new study challenging previously held theories says.

Increased consumption of omega 3 — a type of fat normally found in plant foods like walnuts, rapeseed as well as in fatty fish such as salmon and cod liver oil — has been widely promoted because of a common belief that it will protect against heart diseases.

However, the findings, published in the Cochrane Library, showed that the risk of death from any cause was 8.8 per cent in people who had increased their intake of omega 3 fats, compared with 9 per cent in people who did not.

Intake of omega 3 fats (including EPA and DHA), primarily through supplements, probably makes little or no difference to risk of cardiovascular events, coronary heart deaths, coronary heart disease events, stroke or heart irregularities.

“We can be confident in the findings of this review which go against the popular belief that long-chain omega 3 supplements protect the heart… we don’t see protective effects,” said lead author Lee Hooper from the University of East Anglia, UK.

Medicinal drugs rich of omega 3
Medicinal drugs rich of omega 3. Pixabay

“The review provides good evidence that taking long-chain omega 3 (fish oil, EPA or DHA) supplements does not benefit heart health or reduce our risk of stroke or death from any cause.

“On the other hand, while oily fish is a healthy food, it is unclear from the small number of trials whether eating more oily fish is protective of our hearts,” Hooper said.

Eating more ALA — an essential fatty acid and important part of a balanced diet — through food or supplements probably decreases the risk of heart irregularities from 3.3 to 2.6 per cent.

Also Read: Omega-3 Fatty acids in Diet can Prevent Cancer From Spreading

However, the reductions are very small — 143 people would need to increase their ALA intake to prevent one person developing arrhythmia and 1,000 people to prevent one person dying of coronary heart disease or experiencing a cardiovascular event, Hooper said.

The study combines the results of seventy-nine randomized trials involving 1,12,059 people from North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. (IANS)