Know Your ‘Heart Age’ to Avert Attack

Patients who were told their Heart Age were far more likely to take action to live healthier lifestyles, such as quitting smoking

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Heart Disease
Even low exposure to arsenic, lead may up heart disease risk. Pixabay

You are more likely to adopt healthy lifestyle if you know your ‘Heart Age’ rather than just knowing the “chances” of your developing a cardiovascular disease, claims a study.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the world’s biggest killer, but doctors have long struggled to explain risk factors to patients in a way that encourages them to change their behaviour — thus reducing risk.

Risk scores for diseases such as CVD are usually presented as a “percent chance” of contracting the disease within the next 10 years.

Researchers at the University of the Balearic Islands, Spain, carried out the study amongst 3,153 patients, who were randomly assigned to one of three groups before completing an annual health assessment.

One group was then presented with their chances of contracting CVD expressed as a “percentage risk”, while another received the same information expressed as their estimated “Heart Age”.

electrocardiogram
Representational image. Pixabay

A third control group only received general guidance on healthy living. Follow-up measurements were recorded a year later during the subsequent annual health assessment.

Patients who were told their Heart Age were far more likely to take action to live healthier lifestyles, such as quitting smoking.

“We know that traditional risks scores can be confusing. We wanted to test whether using the Heart Age Calculator to talk to patients about their CVD risk would have an effect on motivating them to adopt healthier lifestyles and, in turn, reduce their risk of developing CVD,” said Pedro Tauler, the lead author of the study.

Also Read: Smokers Lack Motivation, Get Tired Easily

The results showed that patients who had been told their CVD risk (both as a percentage or Heart Age) demonstrated significant decreases in their risk scores compared to the control group, with improvements being greatest in the Heart Age group.

Quitting rate for smokers was four times greater in the Heart Age group compared to those who received the traditional percentage risk scores.

“This would suggest that the mere fact of presenting the patients with information that is easy to understand has a positive effect in engaging them to take preventive action,” said Tauler. (IANS)

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This Healthy Diet Can Help Reduce Blood Pressure

High blood pressure means the heart has to put in more effort to pump blood save yourself from it with these simple tips from an expert

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Bloodpressure
Bloodpressure is a slow killer and can be kept in control with some simple steps. Pixabay

High blood pressure means the heart has to put in more effort to pump blood. This force can cause damage to blood vessels which can lead to heart attack, brain stroke, kidney damage or nerve damage.

Daljit Kaur, Chief Clinical Nutritionist, Fortis Escorts, Okhla Road, Delhi, suggests a healthy diet to reduce the blood pressure:

Maintain ideal body weight, avoid too much sugary foods

Exercise 30 minutes brisk walking every day is recommended to reduce the blood pressure

Reduce sodium chloride intake up to 2 to 5 grams per day.

Read the food labels. Salt preserved foods like meat, ham, sausages, and smoked fish should be avoided.

Food containing more salt like chips, papadh, salted nuts, and saltedpopcorns should be avoided.

Food preserved with sodium like ketchup, sauce, pickle, chutney, processed food like cheese and salted butter food enhancers MSG should not be included in the diet.

Blood-Pressure
High BP can cause damage to blood vessels which can lead to heart attack, brain stroke, kidney damage, or nerve damage. Pixabay

To make the food more palatable a variety of condiments herbs and spices, lemon, vinegar, tamarind, onion, garlic, ginger can be used.

Choose whole grains, whole pulses and lean proteins such a fish and poultry.

Cooking method should be baking, broiling, roasting, steaming to avoid frying.

Avoid saturated fats, Trans fats, and cholesterol rich foods. Include omega 3 fatty acids like walnut, flax seeds.

Use skimmed milk and products.

Take plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Also Read: A Blend of Spices May Help in Lowering Inflammation in the Body: Researchers

Limit alcohol intake. (IANS)

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New Computer Model Can Screen Effects of Drugs on Cardiac Rhythm

Computer model predicts how drugs affect heart rhythm

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cardiac drugs
Heart arrhythmia, also known as irregular heartbeat or cardiac dysrhythmia, is a group of conditions where the heartbeat is irregular, too slow, or too fast. Pixabay

Researchers have developed a computer model to screen drugs for unintended cardiac side effects, especially arrhythmia risk. This is a health news.

Heart arrhythmia, also known as irregular heartbeat or cardiac dysrhythmia, is a group of conditions where the heartbeat is irregular, too slow, or too fast.

“One main reason for a drug being removed from the market is potentially life-threatening arrhythmias. Even drugs developed to treat arrhythmia have ended up actually causing them,” said study researcher Colleen E Clancy, Professor at the University of California-Davis in the US.

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The problem, according to Clancy, is that there is no easy way to preview how a drug interacts with hERG-encoded potassium channels essential to normal heart rhythm.

“So far there has been no surefire way to determine which drugs will be therapeutic and which will harmful,” Clancy said.

“What we have shown is that we can now make this determination starting from the chemical structure of a drug and then predicting its impact on the heart rhythm,” Clancy added.

cardiac drugs
Researchers have developed a computer model to screen drugs for unintended cardiac side effects, especially arrhythmia risk. (Representational Image). Pixabay

Using a drug’s chemical formula, the computer model reveals how that drug specifically interacts with hERG channels as well as cardiac cells and tissue.

The outcomes can then be validated with comparisons to clinical data from electrocardiogram (ECG) results of patients.

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For the study, published in the journal Circulation Research, the researchers validated the model with ECGs of patients taking two drugs known to interact with hERG channels — one with a strong safety profile and another known to increase arrhythmias.

The results proved the accuracy of the model.

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Clancy envisions the model will offer an essential pre-market test of cardiac drug safety. That test could ultimately be used for other organ systems such as the liver and brain.

“Every new drug needs to go through a screening for cardiac toxicity, and this could be an important first step to suggesting harm or safety before moving on to more expensive and extensive testing,” Clancy said. (IANS)

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Know About the Health Benefits of Being a Vegan

5 health benefits of going vegan

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vegan
Going vegan can have various physical and mental health benefits. Pixabay

Vegans follow a plant-based diet and do not eat animal products including dairy, meat, eggs, honey, and gelatin. But, veganism goes beyond the diet.

Veganism is a lifestyle that tries to bar, as far as possible and practicable, all kinds of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, or any other purpose.

Nutritionist and founder of Diet Podium, Shikha Mahajan, shares these five benefits going vegan has on your health.

Reduced risk of cancer

In 2015, the Worle Health Organisation named red meat a Group 2 Carcinogen, which means it probably causes cancer in humans. WHO placed processed meat in the Group 1 category, which means it is carcinogenic to humans.

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Even small amounts of meat can increase the risk of cancer. A study from Oxford University study also found that eating just 3 rashers of bacon a day can increase cancer risk by 20 percent.

vegan
Going vegan reduces risk of diabetes and cancer. Pixabay

Reduced risk Of diabetes

More and more research is concluding that a plant-based diet can reduce the risk of developing diabetes or even reverse the disease completely.

A study, that included more than 2,000 adults, found those people who increased the number of fruit, vegetables, and nuts in their diet over the duration of 20 years reduced their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 60 percent more than those who did not.

Enhanced mood

A study done by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) shows a study on its website that looks at the eating patterns and moods of 3,486 people over a five-year period. The study showed that participants who consumed whole, plant foods reported fewer signs of depression.

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A different study showed that vegetarians usually experience more positive moods than meat-eaters.

vegan
Being a vegan can be beneficial as it uplifts your mood. Pixabay

Healthy skin

A plant-based diet might boost your beauty regime by assisting your skin in staying healthy. An increasing number of studies are associating dairy to skin problems such as acne. Dairy products have growth hormones and are also sometimes infused with artificial hormones, which can disrupt the human body’s hormone system.

Also Read- Find Out How AI-Based ‘Smart’ Systems Help in Communication Amid Pandemic

Fewer cardiovascular diseases

Meat generally contains a high quantity of saturated and trans-fats which can increase blood cholesterol. Cholesterol can create fatty deposits in the blood vessels that increase the risk of stroke, peripheral artery disease, and heart disease. Plant-based foods, by nature, have no dietary cholesterol. A diet high in fat and cholesterol can also lead to high blood pressure. (IANS)