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Atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis

The link between smoking and cardiovascular disease

Smoking is a major cause of atherosclerosis — a buildup of cholesterol, fatty cells and inflammatory deposits (called plaque) on the inner walls of the arteries that can restrict blood flow to the heart, legs, brain, kidneys and other organs leading to peripheral or coronary artery disease. The decrease in supply of oxygen-rich blood to the heart or brain can lead to heart attack or stroke.

Tips to help you quit smoking

Results of a new study

The Bad News: A recently published study that examined the hazards of smoking and benefits of cessation has found that smokers lose at least one decade of life expectancy compared with people who have never smoked.

The Good News: The study also found that people who quit smoking by age 40 reduce their risk of smoking-related death by an astounding 90 percent.

So if you are thinking of quitting—there’s no time like the present.

Compelling evidence

“The reduction in death rates continues into an individual’s late 50s, although obviously not as profound,” says Lee Kirksey, MD, Cleveland Clinic vascular surgeon and an expert in peripheral artery disease (PAD). 

Smoking increases the risk of death from lung cancer, heart attack and stroke by 200 percent.

“We have always counseled patients to quit smoking to avoid these negative consequences,” Dr. Kirksey says. “We now have very compelling evidence that patients who make the prudent decision can effectively add years to their life expectancy.”

Landmark study

Smoking cessation at any age is, of course, beneficial. While the benefits of stopping at about 40 years of age are significant, the healthiest choice is to not pick up the habit in the first place. About one in six former smokers who quit before age 40 and who die before age 80 would have lived longer if they had never smoked.

Dr. Kirksey calls the recent report, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, a “landmark study” and says it will change the way that he and his colleagues counsel patients who smoke—especially those who may resist smoking cessation claiming that the damage is already done. “These data will allow us to continue to promote smoking cessation in a much more positive way,” he says.

Learn about smoking cessation at Cleveland Clinic

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The best way to manage heart health is through diet and exercise and, when necessary, the use of prescription medications. But there are certain heart attack triggers that might surprise you. In general, we think of the four “Es” as follows: exertion, exposure to cold, emotion and eating.

Too much exertion, too quickly

Over exertion

We all know that a regular exercise program is good for us, but it is important to work up to a level of fitness and not just “jump in.” If you are not used to regular aerobic exercise, sudden and strenuous physical exertion can lead to a heart attack. This can include everything from playing a competitive game of basketball with friends to going hunting and carrying an animal. Too much exertion could also come from sex with a new partner/sexual activity, running or shoveling snow.

“You should avoid being over strenuous in activities such as these if you are not used to exercising, have cardiac risk factors such as a family history of heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure, for starters. Testing your ability to exercise, especially in weather extremes, can be a dangerous proposition,” says Curtis Rimmerman, MD, of Cardiovascular Medicine at Cleveland Clinic.

Cold temperatures

Senior Shovelling Snow

Cold temperatures add to an increased risk for heart attack because they cause the arteries to constrict, which can cause a sudden increase in blood pressure. Combine this with physical exertion and the effects could be dangerous.

Dr. Rimmerman says people need to remember that shoveling snow is hard work and puts extra strain on your heart. Each year, shoveling snow sends more than 11,000 people to the hospital. While most have orthopedic injuries, 7 percent have cardiac problems, and many of these are heart attacks.

Intense emotions

Control Your Emotions

It turns out that extreme emotions, both good and bad, can have an impact on the electrical impulses of the heart. Studies show that the stress spanning extreme happiness to acute grief has the ability to spur a heart attack. This is due to the body’s involuntary and sudden increase in heart rate and blood pressure brought on by a surprising event.

Recent studies of grief have shown that the risk for heart attack is greatest within the first 24 hours of losing a close loved one and can remain high for a month after the person’s death. And sharp anger is another emotion with real consequences for the heart. In a 36-year study at John’s Hopkins, it was discovered that men who are quick to anger are more likely to develop premature heart disease and five times more likely to have an early heart attack.

Eating a big meal

Overeating

Studies have shown that a heavy meal can trigger a heart attack within a 26 hour period following the meal. The recent death of actor James Gandolfinifrom a heart attack brought this topic to the public domain. Researchers believe that this could be because eating raises levels of the hormone norepinephrine, which can increase blood pressure and heart rate.

Studies show other triggers for people with compromised heart function include excessive drug and alcohol use, too much caffeine and severe air pollution.

Knowing that these and other events can lead to heart attack just points out how important it is to keep your heart as healthy as possible with a carefully selected diet, regular exercise and medications, when necessary.

Heart disease is the #1 cause of death, take care of yourself.  

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Move it! The Seven Best Reasons to Exercise

 Working out can do wonders for how you look on the outside, but that’s not all exercise is good for. Better mental health, stronger bones even easier orgasms, here are some of the other amazing benefits you’ll enjoy if you get your heart rate up more often.

1. Move it… for better memory
The effects of exercise on your brain have been well documented, but one of the most recent studies suggests it has many benefits for memory recall. Researchers at Dartmouth College in Hanover recently surveyed two groups: a sedentary group and an active group. The active group who’d exercised for the past month and on the day of testing performed better in memory tests, and improved their anxiety levels. Some researchers believe it may be partly due to a protein called BDNF (Brain Derived Neurotropic Factor) which acts like a ‘reset’ button for the brain – which is why we have greater clarity and are less stressed after exercise.
In The Memory Book, Judith and Janet Wiles discuss exercise and memory, saying the best thing to do to boost memory is getting regular exercise like walking. “It’s the key for getting more oxygen to the brain cells,” they write, “and providing optimum conditions for memory.”
2. Move it… for improved mental health
The same study at Dartmouth College also found that regular exercisers enjoyed reduced anxiety, compared to the sedentary group. And how about depression? Kate Carnell, CEO of Beyond Blue, says that if you’re a sufferer there’s absolutely no doubt that regular exercise should be a part of your treatment plan.
“It’s essential. We’re not 100 percent sure as to why regular exercise can help alleviate depression, but there are lots of theories,” explains Carnell. “We think exercise changes levels of chemicals in the brain, including serotonin – and also stress hormones. And, we know that endorphins are released with exercise which can help to lift mood. Exercise also helps you sleep better, and increases energy levels. Even regular exercise at a fairly low level helps quite significantly”.
See more:
https://www.12wbt.com/blog/health-and-fitness/move-it-the-seven-best-reasons-to-exercise/

allheartcare:

Move it! The Seven Best Reasons to Exercise

 Working out can do wonders for how you look on the outside, but that’s not all exercise is good for. Better mental health, stronger bones even easier orgasms, here are some of the other amazing benefits you’ll enjoy if you get your heart rate up more often.

1. Move it… for better memory

The effects of exercise on your brain have been well documented, but one of the most recent studies suggests it has many benefits for memory recall. Researchers at Dartmouth College in Hanover recently surveyed two groups: a sedentary group and an active group. The active group who’d exercised for the past month and on the day of testing performed better in memory tests, and improved their anxiety levels. Some researchers believe it may be partly due to a protein called BDNF (Brain Derived Neurotropic Factor) which acts like a ‘reset’ button for the brain – which is why we have greater clarity and are less stressed after exercise.

In The Memory Book, Judith and Janet Wiles discuss exercise and memory, saying the best thing to do to boost memory is getting regular exercise like walking. “It’s the key for getting more oxygen to the brain cells,” they write, “and providing optimum conditions for memory.”

2. Move it… for improved mental health

The same study at Dartmouth College also found that regular exercisers enjoyed reduced anxiety, compared to the sedentary group. And how about depression? Kate Carnell, CEO of Beyond Blue, says that if you’re a sufferer there’s absolutely no doubt that regular exercise should be a part of your treatment plan.

“It’s essential. We’re not 100 percent sure as to why regular exercise can help alleviate depression, but there are lots of theories,” explains Carnell. “We think exercise changes levels of chemicals in the brain, including serotonin – and also stress hormones. And, we know that endorphins are released with exercise which can help to lift mood. Exercise also helps you sleep better, and increases energy levels. Even regular exercise at a fairly low level helps quite significantly”.

See more:

https://www.12wbt.com/blog/health-and-fitness/move-it-the-seven-best-reasons-to-exercise/