Sunday March 24, 2019

High thyroid hormone levels may up heart disease in elderly

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Thyroid
Spicy food may help you curb unhealthy craving for salt(wikipedia)

November1’2017:  Older adults with higher levels of a thyroid hormone may be at an increased risk of artery disease and consequent death, according to new research.

Free thyroxine (known as FT4) is a hormone produced by the thyroid gland that helps control the rate at which the body uses energy.

The findings showed that elderly with high levels of FT4 hormone may be at twice the risk of having high levels of coronary artery calcification scores, which may be an indicator of atherosclerosis — the process of progressive thickening and hardening of the walls of arteries from fat deposits on their inner lining.

“We expected that thyroid function would influence the risk of developing atherosclerosis by affecting cardiovascular risk factors such as blood pressure.

“However, our results remained very similar after accounting for several cardiovascular risk factors,” said lead author Arjola Bano, from Erasmus University in the Netherlands.

“This suggests that mechanisms other than traditional cardiovascular risk factors may play a role,” Bano added.

Further, increasing FT4 levels were associated with 87 per cent greater risk of suffering an atherosclerosis-related cardiovascular event as well as double the risk of atherosclerosis-related cardiovascular death.

“Our findings suggest that thyroid hormone FT4 measurement can help identify individuals at increased risk of atherosclerosis,” Bano said.

For the study, detailed in the journal Circulation Research, the team analysed data from 9,420 participants with an average age 65.

They looked at data on two types of hormones: thyroid-stimulating hormone and free thyroxine (known as FT4) and their link to atherosclerosis and death due to coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease or other artery-related illness.(IANS)

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Doctor Says, Smiling Can Improve Heart Health and Well-Being

Exercise and diet are keys to a healthier life, as many studies show, but here's something that may surprise you: A heart specialist also recommends smiling to improve your health.

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Smile
Nurses practice smiling with chopsticks in their mouths at a hospital in Handan, Hebei province, China, May 8, 2017. VOA

Exercise and diet are keys to a healthier life, as many studies show, but a heart specialist also recommends something more.

“One, two, three — twirl.”

Kendra Martin is taking photographs of three little girls in chiffon dresses. As they twirl, Martin tells them to smile.

“All right, big smiles!”

“I tell people to fake laugh, and they feel stupid doing it, but the result is theyʼre laughing, and it turns into a genuine smile,” Martin said.

And, in this case a giggle.

Big grins and giggles pay off on camera. The girls may be too young to have heart problems, but the smiles can promote heart health.

Brain rewiring

Dr. Anand Chockalingam is a heart specialist at the University of Missouri Health Care who tells his patients to smile.

“When we smile, the brain wiring gets altered. The chemicals that are released are more positive,” he said.

Chockalingam’s advice is supported by a number of studies. He says smiling is a first step in fighting stress and its ill health effects.

When you feel stressed, your body releases a surge of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol.

Adrenaline increases your heart rate and blood pressure. Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, increases sugars in the bloodstream. If you are truly in danger, these hormones can help, but too much of these stress hormones too frequently can lead to heart disease and stroke.

FILE - People gather at a smoking area in Tokyo, April 7, 2017.
People gather at a smoking area in Tokyo, April 7, 2017. VOA
 

Bad habits arise

People who are stressed look for ways to cope. The American Heart Association says smoking, overeating or drinking alcohol as a way to reduce the stress can harm your heart and other organs.

“Once people smile, they are relaxing,” Chockalingam said. “This relaxation directly lowers blood pressure, improves sugar levels in the blood.”

Chockalingam tells his patients to smile 20 times an hour. It might seem like a lot, but it doesn’t involve drugs or have any negative side effects.

“If we are smiling, we are breaking that link between stress and health,” he said.

Also Read:Attention! Signs You Should Not Ignore While Travelling Linked To CVD

Smiling is something Martin does to improve her photography.

“Waking up in the morning with a smile on my face, you know, itʼs gonna put everybody in a better mood,” she said.

And it provides a little boost to everyone’s heart health. (VOA)