Sunday March 24, 2019

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)

Next Story

Study Reveals Medicine Taken To Treat High Blood Pressure Can Lead An Increased Risk of Sudden Cardiac Arrest

The results, presented at the annual congress of European Heart Rhythm Association 2019 in Lisbon, showed that high-dose (60 mg/day) nifedipine was significantly associated with an increased risk of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest with any dose of amlodipine. 

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drugs
"Nifedipine and amlodipine are often used by many cardiologists and other physicians, and the choice often depends on the prescriber's preference and personal experience," said Hanno Tan, cardiologist at the Academic Medical Center. VOA

A drug commonly used to treat high blood pressure and chest pain could be associated with an increased risk of sudden cardiac arrest, according to a study.

Doctors from the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, examined over 60,000 people to determine whether nifedipine and amlodipine or dihydropyridines — widely used for high blood pressure and angina — were linked with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

The results, presented at the annual congress of European Heart Rhythm Association 2019 in Lisbon, showed that high-dose (60 mg/day) nifedipine was significantly associated with an increased risk of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest with any dose of amlodipine.

heart
In sudden cardiac arrest, the heart stops pumping after a cardiac arrhythmia (ventricular fibrillation/tachycardia). This can be lethal if untreated. Pixabay

There was no risk associated with amlodipine.

“Nifedipine and amlodipine are often used by many cardiologists and other physicians, and the choice often depends on the prescriber’s preference and personal experience,” said Hanno Tan, cardiologist at the Academic Medical Center.

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A drug commonly used to treat high blood pressure and chest pain could be associated with an increased risk of sudden cardiac arrest, according to a study. Pixabay

The findings are surprising given that both the drugs have been in use for many years.

However, the researchers urged caution when interpreting the results.

Also Read: Planning A Major Vigil And Memorial, Place to Grieve for Shaken Christchurch Residents

“The findings need to be replicated in other studies before action could be taken by doctors or patients,” Tan said.

In sudden cardiac arrest, the heart stops pumping after a cardiac arrhythmia (ventricular fibrillation/tachycardia). This can be lethal if untreated. (IANS)