New York, November 29, 2016: Preventing the development of hypertension, obesity and diabetes in mid-life — between the age of 45 and 55 years — can result in an 86 per cent lower risk of heart failure throughout the remainder of life, says a research.
Millions of people worldwide currently suffer from heart failure as well as face a significantly reduced quality of life and higher mortality rate.
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The study found that hypertension, obesity and diabetes — major risk factors as well as highly prevalent in individuals — are preventable risk factors for heart failure, the researchers said.
Further, people with diabetes were found to have a particularly strong association with shorter heart failure-free survival, as those without diabetes lived on average between 8.6 and 10.6 years longer without heart failure.
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Men at age 45 years without any of the three risk factors lived an average of 10.6 years longer free of heart failure, while women at age 45 without any of the three risk factors lived an average of 14.9 years longer without heart failure.
“The study adds to the understanding of how individual and aggregate risk factor levels, specifically in middle age, affect incident heart failure risk over the remaining lifespan,” said John T. Wilkins from the Northwestern University at Evanston, in Illinois, in the US.
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Prevention of hypertension, obesity and diabetes by ages 45 and 55 years may substantially prolong heart failure-free survival, decrease heart failure-related morbidity and reduce the public health impact of heart failure, the researchers noted.
The study was published in the journal JACC: Heart Failure. (IANS)
The body’s immune system plays a vital role in safe-guarding us from most infections, but as we age, our immune system also ages and gradually loses its ability to fight against infections. Among older people, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart and liver ailments put pressure on their weakened immune system, which makes it more difficult for them to deal with threats like the Coronavirus.
Dr Karthik Anantharaman, Director e-pharmacy, Medlife talks about the various chronic ailments that affect immunity and how one can protect themselves with the right diet, exercise and medicines. These exercise workouts can go a long way.
Diabetes is a major cause for concern among the older generation, and if not kept in control, may make them susceptible to other high-risk infections. High amounts of sugar in the body tends to release free-radicals, which can damage blood vessels, leading to atherosclerosis, a condition that restricts free blood flow in the body.
This may cause a stroke, or damage the smaller blood vessels present in the entire body – the eyes, leading to diabetic retinopathy, the kidneys – diabetic nephropathy, the nerves – diabetic neuropathy, where the patient loses all his sense of pain.
Uncontrolled blood sugar and diabetes also has a negative impact on the body’s immune system. It suppresses the immunity providing white blood cells (WBCs). When faced with an external infection, the immune system produces a protein called eantibody’, which is tested as eantibody test’, as a part of the eCOVID-19 tests’ to check whether the body has produced enough eantibodies’ to attack the virus from inside. This is done mainly because once the body produces enough antibodies to fight an infection the first time, there is little to no chance of the same infection returning again, which is the basis for any vaccine.
People who suffer from low thyroxine hormone levels are also at huge risk when dealing with infections due to reduced immune function. The thyroid gland is very important when it comes to managing several important body functions. The gland has an impact on pancreas, blood vessels, brain functions, digestive system, breathing functions, kidney, liver and the heart, thus making it important for immunity as well. Maintaining a normal level of thyroxine in the blood is extremely critical to the functioning of multiple organ systems, aside from the actual production of blood cells in the body.
Liver and Kidney
Liver and kidney-related ailments also negatively impact the immune system. In cases of liver or kidney failure, a patient can have a significantly weakened immune system due to reduced production of blood cells from bone marrow and some of the medicines used to treat liver/kidney diseases directly reduce immunity as well. Such patients need to take extreme care to keep infections at bay and not skip routine tests and medicines.
Heart patients are typically ones with high blood pressure & high cholesterol. High BP patients need to control their salt and fluid intake & their daily intake needs to be monitored the most. Heart patients also need to ensure they take their medications on time, at the exact prescribed hour because the intervals at which the medicines are taken at, inform their doctor on how the patient’s heart is performing. Based on this data, they may increase/decrease dosage or change the medicine.
Stress is a major factor in today’s lifestyle that needs to be watched out for, especially for heart patients.
Dos and Don’ts
For all the above listed ailments, a combination of healthy food, timely exercises, and combining it with medicines and tests is more than enough to ensure a healthy body, and a healthy immune system. For instance, someone with kidney complications needs to watch out for total salt intake, which has to be bare minimum, and fluid intake, which has to be in proportion with the food eaten. Someone with liver complications has to stay away from alcohol. Intake of foods rich in Vitamin B and Vitamin C, Vitamin D3 and Zinc are the most effective ways to increase the production of WBCs and antibodies. A healthy amount of sunlight also needs to be absorbed by the body to ensure a good amount of Vitamin D.
Increase in medication sales during COVID-19
Chronic ailments such as diabetes or high blood pressure don’t just disappear; they need to be monitored every single day. With the rise of COVID-19 cases day by day, people are becoming more aware, have more fear and are thus taking steps to ensure their safety, by keeping themselves equipped. They are becoming more compliant with their medication and ensuring they take it regularly and on time, which is why there is an increase in the sales of these medications. “Over the last couple for months, we have seen a sharp increase in the sales of blood pressure and diabetes medicines, more specifically, a 20% increase in blood pressure and heart medicines and a 10% increase in diabetes medicine”, says Dr Karthik.
How important is it for chronic patients to not skip/delay lab tests?
For most chronic diseases, like diabetes & high cholesterol, tests are prescribed at specific intervals. For instance, a random blood sugar test is to be done at least twice a week, fasting sugar is to be done at least 5 times a week, but that seldom happens in practicality. Hence, we recommend patients to do a fasting blood sugar test at least 2 times in a week and keep their records. For a hypertensive patient, maintaining a record of their pressure at least once a day is crucial. This kind of sequential data is very critical for a doctor to take decisions pertaining to their patients. (IANS)
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables given over a relatively short period of time was associated with significantly lower levels of markers for subclinical cardiac damage and strain in adults without preexisting cardiovascular disease (CVD), say researchers.
Observational studies show that a healthy diet is linked to a reduced risk for CVD events, leading many to advocate for stronger public policy to promote healthy food choices.
Critics, however, point to a dearth of evidence to support the hypothesis that adopting a healthy diet directly reduces CVD injury or is effective for the primary prevention of CVD.
For the findings, published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre in the US, studied data and stored serum specimens for 326 participants of the original DASH trial to compare the effects of diets rich in fruits and vegetables with a typical American diet in their effects on cardiac damage, cardiac strain, and inflammation in middle-aged adults without known preexisting CVD.
The DASH diet is a lifelong approach to healthy eating that’s designed to help treat or prevent high blood pressure (hypertension).
The DASH diet plan was developed to lower blood pressure without medication in research sponsored by the US National Institutes of Health.It includes lots of whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products.
The DASH diet also includes some fish, poultry and legumes, and encourages a small amount of nuts and seeds a few times a weekThe study found that after eight weeks, participants in both the fruits and vegetables and the DASH diet groups had significantly lower concentrations of the biomarkers for subclinical cardiac damage and strain compared with control group.
The authors hypothesize that dietary factors common to both the DASH and fruit-and-vegetable diets, such as higher amounts of potassium, magnesium, and fibre, may partly explain the observed effects.These findings strengthen recommendations for the DASH diet or increased consumption of fruits and vegetables as a means of optimising cardiovascular health, the researchers noted. (IANS)
The pandemic has contributed to an increase in obesity rates as weight loss programmes (which are often delivered in groups) and referred interventions such as surgery are being severely curtailed. We bring to you some Health Tips-
Importantly, the current crisis and the need for self-isolation is prompting many to rely on processed food with longer shelf life (instead of fresh produce) and canned food (with higher quantities of sodium). One might notice an increase in weight if this pattern of lifestyle persists for a longer period of time.
So what should a person do to stay healthy and make one stronger in these times? Dr Sharad Sharma, Laparoscopic and Bariatric Surgeon, Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi gives a few recommendations:
Proper nutrition and hydration are vital
Those who consume a well-balanced diet are healthier and are able to build stronger immune system. A healthy diet limits the risk of chronic illnesses and infectious diseases
It is recommended to eat a variety of fresh and unprocessed foods every day to accomplish the body’s requirement of necessary Vitamins, Minerals, Dietary Fiber, Proteins and Antioxidants
Consume whole grains and legumes – this also reduces the risk of Diabetes
Drink ample water ï¿½ at least 5 liters per day
Avoid sugar, fat and salt to significantly lower your risk of being overweight, and obese
Do not consume sugar-sweetened beverages & limit intake of oily food
While the stay at home order has restricted our outdoor movements, it is important for people of all ages and abilities to be as active as possible.
Avoid sitting or slouching all the time
Every 20 minutes, move around for 3-5 minutes; walk or stretch-this will help reduce the strain on a muscle, relieve any form of mental tension and will help circulate blood to the body.