An hour of moderate exercise a day may decrease heart failure risk

Exercising each day can help keep the doctor away.

In a new study reported in the American Heart Association journal Circulation: Heart Failure, researchers say more than an hour of moderate or half an hour of vigorous exercise per day may lower your risk of heart failure by 46 percent.

Exercising each day can help keep the doctor away.

Heart failure is a common, disabling disease that accounts for about 2 percent of total healthcare costs in industrialized countries. Risk of death within five years of diagnosis is 30 percent to 50 percent, researchers said.
Swedish researchers studied 39,805 people 20-90 years old who didn’t have heart failure when the study began in 1997. Researchers assessed their total- and leisure time activity at the beginning of the study and followed them to see how this was related to their subsequent risk of developing heart failure. They found that the more active a person, the lower their risk for heart failure.

They also found:
The group with the highest leisure time activity (more than one hour of moderate or half an hour of vigorous physical activity a day) had a 46 percent lower risk of developing heart failure.

Physical activity was equally beneficial for men and women.
Those who developed heart failure were older, male, had lower levels of education, a higher body mass index and waist-hip ratio, and a history of heart attack, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

“You do not need to run a marathon to gain the benefits of physical activity — even quite low levels of activity can give you positive effects,” said Kasper Andersen, M.D., Ph.D., study co-author and researcher at the Uppsala University in Uppsala, Sweden. “Physical activity lowers many heart disease risk factors, which in turn lowers the risk of developing heart failure as well as other heart diseases.”

Study participants completed questionnaires that included information about lifestyle, physical activity, smoking and alcohol habits, and medication use. Researchers looked at total physical activity, which included job-related activities, and leisure activities. Participants’ self-reported leisure physical activity was divided further into three categories: light, such as casual walking; moderate, such as jogging or swimming; and heavy, such as competitive sports. Diagnoses, hospitalizations and deaths were verified using participants’ medical records.

“The Western world promotes a sedentary lifestyle,” Andersen said. “There are often no healthy alternative forms of transportation; in many buildings it is hard to find the stairs; and at home television and computers encourage sedentary behavior.

“Making it easier and safer to walk, bicycle or take the stairs could make a big difference. Our research suggests that everyone could benefit from getting out there and moving every day.”

Although the relationship between heart failure and exercise has not been broadly studied, the study’s findings reaffirm the importance of continued physical activity for all adults and support the American Heart Association’s recommendations of 150 minutes of moderately intense physical activity every week. For those who need to lower their blood pressure and cholesterol the association recommends 40 minutes 3-4 times per week.

In the United States, heart disease, a major risk factor for heart failure, remains the leading cause of death, claiming 380,000 lives every year. An estimated 5.7 million Americans have congestive heart failure and about half die within five years of their diagnosis.

Source: science daily

5 reasons why eating olives are a must

Almost everyone loves olives be it on your favourite pizza, sandwich or salad. Not only do they taste good but are loaded with a number of health benefits.

5 reasons why eating olives are a must

Here are a few reasons as to why olives are a must in your diet regularly:

  • -Olives are a rich source of vitamin E and monounsaturated fatty acids, which help reduce risk of heart disease by lowering blood press and LDL cholesterol.
  • -It has anti-inflammatory properties and hence helps in easing pain.
  • -Loaded with fatty acids and antioxidants, olives are an excellent food for your hair and skin.
  • -Eating olives help boost haemoglobin level in the body as it is a rich source of iron.
  • -Eating a cup of olives can help regulate blood pressure.

Source: zee news

5 reasons why Pineapples are good for you

5 reasons why Pineapples are good for you

Summers are here with all their heat, sweat and high humidity levels leaving you exhausted and de-energised. To beat the heat, pineapple is one of the best food packed with anti-oxidants.

Its anti-oxidant properties not just helps fight against diseases like atherosclerosis, heart diseases, and various cancers, but also aids digestion and boosts immune system to save you from this scorching heat.
Here are a few health benefits of this unique fruit:

  •  Pineapple helps in building strong bones as it is a rich source of manganese.
  •  Drinking a glass of pineapple juice can help keep gums healthy and strong teeth.
  •  Since, pineapple is a power house of beta-carotene, it helps in fighting macular degeneration.
  •  It is very helpful in weight-loss as it is a fruit rich in fibres and low in calories.
  •  Eating pineapples also boosts metabolism, provides nourishment to hair, skin and nails.

Source: zee news

World Sleep Day: Lack of sleep can cause heart disease

How you sleep is a major determinant of how well your heart functions. A new study carried out on cardiac patients at the Sir Gangaram Hospital here revealed that around 96 percent of patients who have cardiovascular problems have sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea, which is clinically called Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS), is a type of disorder characterized by pauses in breathing or instances of shallow or infrequent breathing during sleep.

“Lack of sleep is directly related to cardiac diseases,” Sanjay Manchanda, head of Sir Gangaram Hospital’s Department of Sleep Medicine, told IANS.

“Quality of sleep is very important. A good night’s sleep prevents heart attacks, diabetes as well as road accidents.”

The study, carried out by the hospital in collaboration with Philips Healthcare, also proves the correlation between lack of sleep and heart ailments.

It said that 58 percent of patients of cardiovascular disorders had severe sleep apnea and an estimated 85 percent of them were not aware that sleep apnea and
cardiovascular diseases were correlated.

Removing some of the myths associated with sleep apnea, the study further said that there is no correlation between weight and extent of sleep apnea.

Even thin patients can develop the disorder.

The severity of sleep apnea in cardiac patients was found to increase with age, the study said.

Sleep apnea involves cessation of airflow for 10 seconds or more during the night due to partial or full collapse of the airway in human beings. The reduced or absent airflow results in high carbon dioxide and low oxygen.

The sufferer is forced to increase his breathing effort against the collapsed airway. This means that the sufferer arouses to a lighter stage of sleep, which
leads to sleep fragmentation and the person wakes up unrefreshed.

Added Manchanda: “It is by far the single most common disorder seen at sleep centres and is responsible for more mortality and morbidity than any other sleep disorder.”

He said though there are many reasons that can lead to sleep apnea like alcohol, smoking and use of sedatives, in some people it is due to the structure of their
throat and the upper part of their body.

Snoring, the doctor said, is just an indication of the condition.

According to J.P.S. Sawhney, chairman of the cardiology department at Sir Gangaram Hospital, sleep apnea as a disease is grossly untreated.

He said its correlation with cardiac disease has not been understood by the public as yet.

However, the doctors said that the condition is easily treatable.

Surgical intervention or a machine called C-Pap which ensures trouble-free breathing during the night, can easily help patients.

The C-Pap, one of the most common treatments, derives its name from the application of “continuous positive airway pressure” (or forcing air) through a patient’s nose to prevent limp throat muscles from closing off the airway.

The price of the machines, which have several variants, range between Rs. 35,000 and Rs. 90,000.

Source: Daiji world

Three ways to keep your heart healthy

Though cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death, there are ways by which you can significantly reduce the risk.

Judith Mackall, MD, Cardiologist at University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Centre in Cleveland, Ohio, offers three tips to help reduce risk of heart diseases.

1. Exercise: Thirty minutes of moderate exercise every day can have a big impact on heart health. If 30 minutes is too much time to dedicate, then divide it into ten minutes and exercise thrice a day. Within ten weeks your cholesterol numbers will improve, blood pressure will come down and you will lose a few pounds. Just running a few miles can help improve cardiovascular fitness by increasing the flexibility of the coronary arteries.

2. Eat healthy: Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Remember the “Five Rule”, i.e. consume at least five fruits and vegetables every day as part of a balanced diet. This helps manage blood pressure and decrease inflammation in the body, preventing risk of cardiovascular disease. Replace saturated fats with mono or polyunsaturated fats and reduce salt intake to ensure blood pressure and cholesterol levels remain in healthy ranges.

3. Quit smoking: If you are a heavy smoker or even a social smoker, it’s time to call it quits. Smoking knocks off seven years of your life. And, if you have cardiovascular disease and you smoke, you’ll die 15 years sooner than you would otherwise, Dr Mackall adds.

Source: Zee news

Obesity during pregnancy could lead to long-term cardiovascular morbidity

A new study has revealed that obesity during pregnancy is an independent risk factor for long-term cardiovascular morbidity, and these complications tend to occur at a younger age.

Researchers concluded that obese pregnant patients might benefit from cardiovascular risk screening that could lead to early detection and secondary prevention of cardiovascular morbidity.

Researchers evaluated data from pregnant women who delivered between 1988 and 1999, and were followed-up retrospectively until 2010. Long-term cardiovascular morbidity was compared among women with and without obesity in pregnancy.

Cardiovascular morbidity was divided into four categories including simple and complex cardiovascular events and invasive and non-invasive cardiac procedures.

During the period of study, 46,688 women who delivered were recruited, and of that number, 1221 were found to suffer from obesity. Ten years later, these patients had higher rates of simple cardiovascular events, non-invasive diagnostic procedures, and total number of cardiovascular-related hospitalizations.

The data recovered not only indicates an association between obesity in pregnancy and future risk for cardiovascular morbidity, but also reveals the effect of obesity in pregnancy on earlier occurrence of cardiovascular morbidity.

Dr. Shimrit Yaniv Salem, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Soroka University Medical Center, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer sheva, Israel, said, “These results are of major importance to the obstetricians counseling a patient regarding future risk for cardiovascular complications. It is important for secondary prevention, early detection, and specific screening programs for this population.”

The study will be presented at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine’s annual meeting in New Orleans.

Source: sify

Top 5 reasons to indulge in a chocolate treat

Are you keeping a distance from indulging in your favourite chocolate treat, only because all that you are worried about is putting on those extra pounds? Surely, you are not aware of the wonders that a piece of chocolate can do to your health.

Hold on; don’t jump on to grab a bar of chocolate yet. Your favourite milk chocolate or white chocolate may not give you the desired benefits. It’s the dark chocolate, that is power packed with health benefits and when taken in moderation can actually help keep your heart healthy, improve brain power and even help maintain a slimmer figure. There are 5 Proven Reasons You Should Be Eating More Dark Chocolate. Here are the top excuses that make when indulging in a chocolate treat:

Keeps heart healthy: Dark chocolate (containing at least 60% cocoa solids) helps protect against cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks and strokes.

Flavanols present in cocoa produce a chemical in the body called nitric oxide which helps relax blood vessels making it easier for blood to pass through them. Moderate consumption of dark chocolate can help lower blood pressure, “bad” LDL cholesterol and the risk of heart diseases.
Improves brain power: The antioxidants in dark chocolate help improve blood flow to the brain, thus enhancing your cognitive ability. In a study published in online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, researchers found that drinking hot chocolate did help older people keep their brains healthy and their thinking skills sharp. Helps deal with mood swings: Dealing with terrible mood swings? Bite on a chocolate.

Chocolate contains phenylethylamine (PEA), the same chemical our brain creates when one falls in love. The magnesium content in chocolate aids relaxation; anandamide- a neurotransmitter- helps regulate mood, and phenylethylamine raises endorphin levels making you feel happier.
Helps manage weight: Unlike the popular assumption that eating chocolates can lead to weight gain, consuming dark chocolate in moderation can actually help you keep your BMI (body mass index) in check.

Chocolates boost metabolism, thus balancing out the calorie intake. Rich in fiber, it can actually help keep you full for long, so you’ll eat less. Chocolates may even reduce cravings for sweet, salty and fatty foods. May help fight diabetes: According to a study, eating dark chocolate improves the body’s ability to metabolise sugar.

The team concluded that flavanol was responsible for the effect because it neutralised potentially cell-damaging substances known as oxygen free radicals. However, commercial chocolates don’t have the same effect as they are high in calorie and fat content.

Despite all the health benefits of dark chocolates, researchers warn people to be careful about chocolate consumption. Anything in moderation would do no harm, so dig your way into the favourite dark chocolate treat.

Source: Journey Line

Six health benefits of carrots

One of the world’s healthiest foods is Carrot. Carrots are a great way to infuse good nutrition and flavor into your diet. With this power food, you get vitamin A and a host of other powerful health benefits.

– Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the liver which is further converted to rhodopsin, a purple pigment necessary for night vision.

– Beta-carotene in carrot acts as an antioxidant to cell damage done to the body through regular metabolism thus it helps slow down the aging of cells.

– Carrots have not only beta-carotene but also alpha-carotene and lutein which lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

– Studies show that carrots reduce the risk of lung cancer, breast cancer and colon cancer.

– Vitamin A and antioxidants in carrots protect the skin from harmful effects of sun rays. Vitamin A prevents premature wrinkling, acne, dry skin, pigmentation, blemishes, and uneven skin tone.

– Carrots also considerably reduce cholesterol levels because the soluble fibers in carrots bind with bile acids.

Source: Health me up