Tag Archives: heart disease prevention

UTMB Study Shows Testosterone Therapy Does Not Increase Heart Attack Risk

Previous research on the effects of testosterone therapy on cardiovascular outcomes has yielded inconsistent results. Jacques Baillargeon, from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (Texas, USA), and colleagues examined enrollment and claims Medicare data 25,420 Medicare beneficiaries 66 years or older treated with testosterone for up to eight years.. Men of the same age, race, Medicaid eligibility, and health status who did not receive testosterone therapy were used as a control group for comparison.   The analyses showed that testosterone therapy did not associate with an increased risk of heart attack. Further, testosterone users with a higher probability of cardiovascular problems had a lower rate of heart attacks in comparison to equivalent patients who did not receive testosterone therapy. Observing that: “Older men who were treated with intramuscular testosterone did not appear to have an increased risk of [heart attack],” the study authors submit that: “For men with high [heart attack] risk, testosterone use was modestly protective.”

For more:  http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-07/uotm-uss063014.php

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American Heart Month turns 50

In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed a proclamation declaring the month of February to be American Heart Month. With that being said, each February for the past 50 years, the goal of the American Heart Association (AHA) has been to urge Americans to take responsibility for their heart health. Many things have changed in the past 50 years, but the importance of keeping our hearts healthy is not one of them. Although statistics of Americans dying from heart disease have decreased in recent decades, heart disease remains the # 1 killer of American men and women.

In 1960, over 662,000 Americans died each year from heart disease and over 920,000 died from all forms of cardiovascular disease, according to a Huffington Post article written by AHA CEO, Nancy Brown. In 2010, those numbers were below 600,000 and 784,000. Although less and less people are dying annually from heart related diseases, we’re still not out of the woods. Anyone can develop heart disease but those who smoke, have high blood pressure and high cholesterol are at greater risk. Other factors that contribute include diabetes, obesity, poor diet, lack of exercise, and excessive alcohol consumption.

On January 31, 2014, President Barak Obama instated the 50th proclamation written by an American president declaring cardiovascular disease our number one enemy and redefining February as American Heart Month. In the proclamation, President Obama states that one out of every four deaths in the U.S. is caused by cardiovascular disease. The purpose of this written, official statement, is to encourage the American people to “renew our fight, both as a Nation and in each of our own lives, against the devastating epidemic of heart disease.”

Although every month should be “American Heart Month,” The American Heart Association has numerous events going on throughout the month of February to raise awareness of cardiovascular disease and how individuals can make positive changes to their lifestyle to ensure optimal health. Some events include walks, donation drives, the “Go Red for Women” campaign, national Wear Red Day (Feb. 7th) among others. Also, their website is home to the American Heart Month fact of the day educating visitors on unknown cardiovascular information. The bottom line is, many people think it won’t happen to them but the best way to avoid developing a heart condition is to eat healthy, exercise regularly, and kick the unhealthy habits like smoking and drinking.

The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M) offers a Metabolic Cardiovascular Certification from the University of South Florida to physicians wishing to further their ability to treat patients with cardiovascular conditions as well as prevent disease in others. This certification program covers topics including how to apply nutrition, exercise and weight management programs when it comes to vascular aging and disease; the pathophysiology of hypertension, dyslipidemia, cardiovascular disease and heavy metal toxicity; immunologic vascular disease; and various conditions of vascular disease including dysglycemia, insulin resistance and diabetes and much more. Start your Metabolic Cardiovascular Certification in San Francisco, on March 14-16th by registering for Module XVI(A).

For more information on how you can help raise awareness against cardiovascular disease, visit www.heart.org.

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Make Your New Year’s Resolution Fool Proof

For many, the first of January means a new year, a clean slate, and lots of possibilities on the horizon. For many more, this also means it’s time to make a New Year’s resolution.

The most common New Year’s resolutions are to lose weight and improve one’s financial situation. According to the American Heart Association, over 154 million American adults are overweight or obese. Many people just decide they are going to lose 10, 15, 20 pounds without any sort of plan of how to do so. Slowly working towards your goals and setting a timeline will prevent you from getting discouraged early in the process and will allow you to see positive results over time. A TIME Magazine article states “Content of the resolution doesn’t matter as much as how the resolution is set…you can approach a health goal in a way that guarantees failure or approach it in a way that will guarantee success.”

  • Set realistic goals- If New Year’s resolutions were easy to maintain, everyone would look like supermodels, be filthy rich, be world travelers, experts at their hobbies, and be completely stress-free. Achieving goals means setting realistic expectations. For example, if you’re 30 pounds overweight, don’t expect to lose 30 pounds right away just because you’re ready to. It takes time, strategy and extreme commitment.
  • Keep yourself accountable- Have a friend or family member check in with you and keep you responsible for your goal.
  • Be strategic- Know what works for you. For example, if you know you’re going to have to work late one week, get your workouts done in the morning. Another example, if you’re trying to save money- dedicate a specific percentage of every paycheck to your savings account, set weekly grocery budgets, etc.
  • Reward yourself- While consistency with a New Year’s resolution is important, don’t be too hard on yourself. Depriving yourself of a piece of birthday cake while everyone else around you is enjoying one, is cruel torture. Have a small piece, and make sure you get your exercise in that day.
  • Be optimistic- Know that you can do it. Being your own worst enemy isn’t helping anyone, you’ll get discouraged way easier. A Positive attitude can go a long way.

Resolving to make a major life change without any thought or goals involved, is basically setting yourself up for failure. New Year’s resolutions are a great opportunity to change something you don’t like about yourself but they get a bad rep because their success rate is not always great. Gradual, consistent progress is a sure way to ensure triumph, no matter what you want the end result to be.

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