Life's Roller Coaster

If I'm missing, or not taking messages sorry – I'm more angry about letting my friends down than YOU will ever be at being let down! Unfortunately that is sometimes a side effect of Cancer! Mea Culpa: may I blame being short fused & grumpy on it too! My first symptoms presented in Nov-1998 – Follow The Trail on >DIARY of CANCER< Immediately Below!

Know Your Heart! …

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Know Your Heart! …
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Posted by:
Greg Lance – Watkins
Greg_L-W

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 .Hi,

here are two versions naming the parts of the heart, which compliment eachother:

CORONARY ARTERIES 16 Anterior Labeled

 

OR:

CORONARY ARTERIES 16B Anterior Labeled

 

AND

Here is a video of how your heart functions, to better understand any problems you may have been diagnosed with:

Its your heart so take care of it!

Some Facts About The Heart:

Based on an article written by Diana Wells on 06 July 2017
Posted at CLICK HERE

  1. The average heart is the size of a fist in an adult.
  2. Your heart will beat about 115,000 times each day.
  3. Your heart pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood every day.
  4. An electrical system controls the rhythm of your heart. It’s called the cardiac conduction system.
  5. The heart can continue beating even when it’s disconnected from the body.
  6. The first open-heart surgery occurred in 1893. It was performed by Daniel Hale Williams, who was one of the few black cardiologists in the United States at the time.
  7. The first implantable pacemaker was used in 1958. Arne Larsson, who received the pacemaker, lived longer than the surgeon who implanted it. Larsson died at 86 of a disease that was unrelated to his heart.
  8. The youngest person to receive heart surgery was only a minute old. She had a heart defect that many babies don’t survive. Her surgery was successful, but she’ll eventually need a heart transplant.
  9. The earliest known case of heart disease was identified in the remains of a 3,500-year-old Egyptian mummy.
  10. The fairy fly, which is a kind of wasp, has the smallest heart of any living creature.
  11. The American pygmy shrew is the smallest mammal, but it has the fastest heartbeat at 1,200 beats per minute.
  12. Whales have the largest heart of any mammal.
  13. The giraffe has a lopsided heart, with their left ventricle being thicker than the right. This is because the left side has to get blood up the giraffe’s long neck to reach their brain.
  14. Most heart attacks happen on a Monday.
  15. Christmas day is the most common day of the year for heart attacks to happen.
  16. The human heart weighs less than 1 pound. However, a man’s heart, on average, is 2 ounces heavier than a woman’s heart.
  17. A woman’s heart beats slightly faster than a man’s heart.
  18. The beating sound of your heart is caused by the valves of the heart opening and closing.
  19. It’s possible to have a broken heart. It’s called broken heart syndrome and can have similar symptoms as a heart attack. The difference is that a heart attack is from heart disease and broken heart syndrome is caused by a rush of stress hormones from an emotional or physical stress event.
  20. Death from a broken heart, or broken heart syndrome, is possible but extremely rare.
  21. The iconic heart shape as a symbol of love is traditionally thought to come from the silphium plant, which was used as an ancient form of birth control.
  22. If you were to stretch out your blood vessel system, it would extend over 60,000 miles.
  23. Heart cells stop dividing, which means heart cancer is extremely rare.
  24. Laughing is good for your heart. It reduces stress and gives a boost to your immune system.

Be Kind To YOUR Heart – Tips:

Quit Smoking

Stop smoking—no ifs, ands, or butts

There are many steps you can take to help protect your health and blood vessels. Avoiding tobacco is one of the best.

In fact, smoking is one of the top controllable risk factors for heart disease. If you smoke or use other tobacco products, the American Heart Association (AHA), National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) all encourage you to quit. It can make a huge difference to not just your heart, but your overall health, too.

Slim down

Slim Down

Focus on the middle

That is, focus on your middle. Research in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology has linked excess belly fat to higher blood pressure and unhealthy blood lipid levels. If you’re carrying extra fat around your middle, it’s time to slim down. Eating fewer calories and exercising more can make a big difference.

 

Have sex

Play between the sheets

Or you can play on top of the sheets! That’s right, having sex can be good for your heart. Sexual activity may add more than just pleasure to your life. It may also help lower your blood pressure and risk of heart disease. Research published in the American Journal of Cardiology shows that a lower frequency of sexual activity is associated with higher rates of cardiovascular disease.

Engage in hobbies

Knit a scarf

Put your hands to work to help your mind unwind. Engaging in activities such as knitting, sewing, and crocheting can help relieve stress and do your ticker some good. Other relaxing hobbies, such as woodworking, cooking, or completing jigsaw puzzles, may also help take the edge off stressful days.

Eat fiber

Power up your salsa with beans

When paired with low-fat chips or fresh veggies, salsa offers a delicious and antioxidant-rich snack. Consider mixing in a can of black beans for an added boost of heart-healthy fiber. According to the Mayo Clinic, a diet rich in soluble fiber can help lower your level of low-density lipoprotein, or “bad cholesterol.” Other rich sources of soluble fiber include oats, barley, apples, pears, and avocados.

 

Listen to music

Let the music move you

Whether you prefer a rumba beat or two-step tune, dancing makes for a great heart-healthy workout. Like other forms of aerobic exercise, it raises your heart rate and gets your lungs pumping. It also burns up to 200 calories or more per hour, reports the Mayo Clinic.

Eat fish

Go fish

Eating a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can also help ward off heart disease. Many fish, such as salmon, tuna, sardines, and herring, are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Try to eat fish at least twice a week, suggests the AHA. If you’re concerned about mercury or other contaminants in fish, you may be happy to learn that its heart-healthy benefits tend to outweigh the risks for most people.

 

Laugh

Laugh out loud

Don’t just LOL in emails or Facebook posts. Laugh out loud in your daily life. Whether you like watching funny movies or cracking jokes with your friends, laughter may be good for your heart. According to the AHA, research suggests laughing can lower stress hormones, decrease inflammation in your arteries, and raise your levels of high-density lipoprotein (HLD), also known as “good cholesterol.”

 

Stretch

Stretch it out

Yoga can help you improve your balance, flexibility, and strength. It can help you relax and relieve stress. As if that’s not enough, yoga also has potential to improve heart health. According to research published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine, yoga demonstrates potential to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.

 

Drink alcohol in moderation

Raise a glass

Moderate consumption of alcohol can help raise your levels of HDL, or good cholesterol. It can also help prevent blood clot formation and artery damage. According to the Mayo Clinic, red wine in particular may offer benefits for your heart. That doesn’t mean you should guzzle it at every meal. The key is to only drink alcohol in moderation.

 

Avoid salt

Sidestep salt

If the entire U.S. population reduced its average salt intake to just half a teaspoon a day, it would significantly cut the number of people who develop coronary heart disease every year, report researchers in the New England Journal of Medicine. The authors suggest that salt is one of the leading drivers of rising healthcare costs in the United States. Processed and restaurant-prepared foods tend to be especially high in salt. So think twice before filling up on your favorite fast-food fix. Consider using a salt substitute, such as Mr. Dash, if you have high blood pressure or heart failure.

 

Move

Move it, move it, move it

No matter how much you weigh, sitting for long periods of time could shorten your lifespan, warn researchers in the Archives of Internal Medicine and the American Heart Association. Couch potato and desk jockey lifestyles seem to have an unhealthy effect on blood fats and blood sugar. If you work at a desk, remember to take regular breaks to move around. Go for a stroll on your lunch break, and enjoy regular exercise in your leisure time.

Know your numbers

Know your numbers

Keeping your blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglycerides in check is important for good heart health. Learn the optimal levels for your sex and age group. Take steps to reach and maintain those levels. And remember to schedule regular check-ups with your doctor. If you want to make your doctor happy, keep good records of your vitals or lab numbers, and bring them to your appointments.

 

Eat chocolate

Eat chocolate

Dark chocolate not only tastes delicious, it also contains heart-healthy flavonoids. These compounds help reduce inflammation and lower your risk of heart disease, suggest scientists in the journal Nutrients. Eaten in moderation, dark chocolate — not oversweetened milk chocolate — can actually be good for you. The next time you want to indulge your sweet tooth, sink it into a square or two of dark chocolate. No guilt required.

 

Do housework

Kick your housework up a notch

Vacuuming or mopping the floors may not be as invigorating as a Body Slam or Zumba class. But these activities and other household chores do get you moving. They can give your heart a little workout, while burning calories too. Put your favorite music on and add some pep to your step while you complete your weekly chores.

Eat nuts

Go nuts

Almonds, walnuts, pecans, and other tree nuts deliver a powerful punch of heart-healthy fats, protein, and fiber. Including them in your diet can help lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. Remember to keep the serving size small, suggests the AHA. While nuts are full of healthy stuff, they’re also high in calories.

 

Have fun

Be a kid

Fitness doesn’t have to be boring. Let your inner child take the lead by enjoying an evening of roller skating, bowling, or laser tag. You can have fun while burning calories and giving your heart a workout.

 

Own a pet

Consider pet therapy

Our pets offer more than good company and unconditional love. They also provide numerous health benefits. Studies reported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggest that owning a pet may help improve your heart and lung function. It may also help lower your chances of dying from heart disease.

 

Interval train

Start and stop

Start and stop, then start and stop again. During interval training, you alternate bursts of intense physical activity with bouts of lighter activity. The Mayo Clinic reports that doing so can boost the number of calories you burn while working out.

 

Avoid fat

Cut the fat

Slicing your saturated fat intake to no more than 7 percent of your daily calories can cut your risk of heart disease, advises the USDA. If you don’t normally read nutrition labels, considering starting today. Take stock of what you’re eating and avoid foods that are high in saturated fat.

 

Enjoy your ride

Take the scenic route home

Put down your cell phone, forget about the driver who cut you off, and enjoy your ride. Eliminating stress while driving can help lower your blood pressure and stress levels. That’s something your cardiovascular system will appreciate.

 

Have breakfast

Make time for breakfast

The first meal of the day is an important one. Eating a nutritious breakfast every day can help you maintain a healthy diet and weight. To build a heart-healthy meal, reach for:

  • whole grains, such as oatmeal, whole-grain cereals, or whole-wheat toast
  • lean protein sources, such as turkey bacon or a small serving of nuts or peanut butter
  • low-fat dairy products, such as low-fat milk, yogurt, or cheese
  • fruits and vegetables

 

Take the stairs

Take the stairs

Exercise is essential for good heart health, so why not sneak it in at every opportunity? Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park on the far side of the parking lot. Walk to a colleague’s desk to talk, instead of emailing them. Play with your dog or kids at the park, instead of just watching them. Every little bit adds up to better fitness.

 

Drink tea

Brew up a heart-healthy potion

No magic is needed to brew up a cup of green or black tea. Drinking one to three cups of tea per day may help lower your risk of heart problems, reports the AHA. For example, it’s linked to lower rates of angina and heart attacks.

Brush your teeth

Brush your teeth regularly

Good oral hygiene does more than keep your teeth white and glistening. According to the Cleveland Clinic, some research suggests that the bacteria that cause gum disease can also raise your risk of heart disease. While the research findings have been mixed, there’s no downside to taking good care of your teeth and gums.

 

Walk

Walk it off

The next time you feel overwhelmed, exasperated, or angry, take a stroll. Even a five-minute walk can help clear your head and lower your stress levels, which is good for your health. Taking a half-hour walk every day is even better for your physical and mental health.

 

Lift weights

Pump some iron

Aerobic fitness is key to keeping your heart healthy, but it’s not the only type of exercise you should do. It’s also important to include regular strength training sessions in your schedule. The more muscle mass you build, the more calories you burn. That can help you maintain a heart-healthy weight and fitness level.

 

Find your happy place

Find your happy place

A sunny outlook may be good for your heart, as well as your mood. According to the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, chronic stress, anxiety, and anger can raise your risk of heart disease and stroke. Maintaining a positive outlook on life may help you stay healthier for longer.

.
Regards,
     Greg_L-W
Greg Lance-Watkins
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I Have Been Fighting Cancer since 1997 & I’M STILL HERE!
I Have Cancer, Cancer Does NOT Have Me
I just want to say sorry for copping out at times and leaving my wife Lee and friends to cope!
Any help and support YOU can give her will be hugely welcome.
I do make a lousy patient!

.

If YOU want to follow my fight against Cancer from when it started and I first presented with symptoms in 1998 see The TAB at the Header of this Blog. called >DIARY of Cancer ….< just click and it will give you a long list of the main events in chronological order, many linked to specific blog postings. . Later in the sequence of my experiences with cancer you will note that I introduce some results and events most probably linked with cancer such as enlarged & damaged Prostate and a consequential Heart Attack leaving me with no right coronary artery! . I have also included numerous articles and anecdotes regarding health – primarily related to cancer, prostate and heart conditions – FYI! . Thoughts, articles and comments will be in chronological order in the main blog and can be tracked in the >ARCHIVE< in the Left Sidebar. . You may find the TABS >MEDICAL LINKS< and also >CANCER LINKS< of help, also many of the links in articles and >HOT LINKS< in the Sidebar.
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YOU are welcome to call me, minded that I am NOT medically trained, if you believe I can help you in ANY way. .

Regards,
Greg_L-W.

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The Claim That There Is A Food Route To A Healthy Heart & Arteries

The Claim That There Is A Food Route To A Healthy Heart & Arteries
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Posted by:
Greg Lance – Watkins
Greg_L-W

eMail: Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

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Hi,

clearly whatever one’s health condition one has to both eat and drink to survive. We are constantly told that over weight and obesity hugely damage one’s health yet one minute we are told not to eat fatty foods, not to eat butter, not to eat eggs, not to drink milk, not to eat red meat and to drink only one glass of red wine a day – next one should drink no wine and next we should drink two glasses of red wine then that chicken is bad for you, and we are told butter is better for you than margarine, fatty meat is good for you and all that time the Government, often in action against its own advice, uses tax payerts money to fund agencies to promote meat production, egg production and milk production.

Is it any wonder that obesity is on the rise, with the constant adverts for foods packed with salt, sugar & chemical preservatives and junk food venues on every high street.

When did you last see a Government advertisement for drinking more water, yet classically we tend to drink too little putting strains on the urological system. Yet the Government willingly spends £Millions on propaganda for the sel;f styled elites pet projects like wind turbines, which are proven to be a costly scam, and propaganda for their planned sinecure of maintaining the damaging membership of the EU – against the best interests of the British peoples but as an aid to themselves and a selection of big corporations and tax payer funded politically correct organisations!

Let us look purely at health, where the budget for the NHS and Welfare State is so profligately and badly managed see CLICK HERE We are told to eat five portions of fruit and veg a day and I go a long way towards that each day with fresh fruit juice,

Each day for years now, and I believe it has beren a great help and cornerstone in my survival of almost 19 years of battling cancer, I make a fruit juice drink, dependent on season, by blending 2 bannanas with either a large Bramley cooking apple or a couple of sticks of rhubarb into 1.75 litres of fresh orange juice from the supermarket (make sure it is fresh and NOT made from concentrate) – I drink this each day together with at least another litre of some other fluid, often tap water.

Do NOT buy bottled water as it tends, not only, to contain more contaminant that tap water but also comes in plastic bottles made, all too frequently, containing sterates, which leach into the water and are a well known carcinogen!

\here are a few more tips gleened from the internet which although I have no provenance of their benefit can clearly not harm you and may well provide the benefits claimed for them!

From David Wolfe

While there are juices, smoothies and many detox drinks out there to help flush out your system and get things running smoothly, nature has also provided us with foods that have the same powers, naturally. These 10 foods can help unclog your arteries and protect your heart!

1. Avocados

shutterstock_263066297

Instead of mayo on your burger or sandwich, switch it out for some avocado. Studies have shown that daily consumption of avocado results in improved blood cholesterol (lower LDL and higher HDL). HDL cholesterol is the cholesterol that helps keep arteries clear of obstructions.

2. Asparagus

Asparagus is a natural artery-clearing food. It can help to lower blood pressure and prevent blood clots that can cause cardiovascular illnesses. This veggie is full of fiber and minerals, along with a long list of vitamins includingK, B1, B2, C and E.

3. Pomegranate

shutterstock_342738881

This fun fruit contains phytochemicals that act as antioxidants to protect the lining of the arteries against damage. Pomegranate juice stimulates the body’s production of nitric oxide, which helps to keep your blood flowing and your arteries open!

4. Broccoli

Whether you love the stuff or hate it, broccoli is rich in Vitamin K, which helps to keep calcium from damaging the arteries. It’s also full of fiber, which can help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

5. Turmeric

shutterstock_273715592

This spice is a powerful anti-inflammatory. It works to lower inflammation, which is a major cause of arteriosclerosis — the hardening of the arteries. Adding turmeric to your diet can reduce damage to arterial walls, lowering your chances of a blood clot.

6. Persimmon

Persimmons are loaded with antioxidants and polyphenols, which work to decrease LDL and triglycerides. They’re also a great source of fiber, which helps to regulate blood pressure and keep your arteries clear.

7. Spirulina

shutterstock_369125939

It might sound a little weird, but this blue-green algae helps to regulate lipid levels in the blood. It’s also a source of protein that contains all of the essential amino acids needed by the body to maintain optimum health. It can help relax artery walls and stabilize blood pressure while balancing your blood fat levels.

8. Cinnamon

This delicious spice can help to reduce cholesterol levels while clearing out plaque and preventing further build-up. Cinnamon is full of antioxidants which improve cardiovascular health by protecting blood from oxidation. Sprinkle some in your coffee, on your toast, or on just about any other food to spice it up a little and reap the benefits!

9. Cranberries

shutterstock_158420861

Cranberries are another antioxidant-rich food that can reduce LDL and raise HDL cholesterol levels. In fact, regular consumption of pure cranberry juice may help reduce your overall risk of heart disease by as much as 40%!

10. Green Tea

Green tea contains high levels of catechins, which hinder the absorption of cholesterol during digestion. Drinking a cup or two each day can help to improve your blood-lipid levels and reduce arterial blockage. Green tea also gives your metabolism a natural boost, which can aid in weight loss and support cardiovascular health.

h/t: healthy careway – Mar 4, 2016LindseyShaffer

To view the original of this article CLICK HERE
 

Regards,
Greg_L-W.

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Heart to Heart Can Kill You With A Broken Heart …

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Heart to Heart Can Kill You With A Broken Heart …
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Posted by:
Greg Lance – Watkins
Greg_L-W

eMail: Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

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Hi,

How Getting Your Heart Broken Hurts Your Physical Heart

Science of a Broken Heart: How Loss Takes a Toll
Getty Images

People who lose a partner are at risk for heart problems for up to a year, a new large study shows

A growing body of research is showing that the death or loss of a person close to you can not only feel like heartbreak—it can actually cause physical changes that can lead to serious heart problems. A new study finds that people whose partner dies are at a significantly higher risk for atrial fibrillation, or irregular heart beat, and that the effects are lasting.

Researchers have long studied a phenomena called stress cardiomyopathy, or broken heart syndrome, which is when a highly stressful event, such as the death of a spouse, causes a person to feel like they’re having heart attack. This can include shortness of breath and chest pain, but without the telltale blocked arteries. Experts suspect a surge of stress hormones that are trigged by an emotional event could be responsible. In the new study, published in the journal Open Heart, the researchers looked at whether losing a partner could also contribute to a higher risk for atrial fibrillation, and if so, how big that risk is.

The team looked at a national registry in Denmark of 88,600 people who were diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. They found that people who had lost a partner were 41% more likely to develop atrial fibrillation in the first month after losing their partner compared to people who hadn’t. A higher risk for the condition continued for a year. They also found that the risk was especially high for younger people, and in people whose partner died suddenly or unexpectedly.

“This study adds evidence to the growing knowledge that the mind-heart link is a powerful association and further examination is warranted,” says study author Simon Graff, a researcher in the Department of Public Health at Aarhus University. “Broken heart syndrome is a different disease with a whole other pathology, but some of the pathophysiological mechanisms might be the same. [Like] surges in hormones that facilitates inflammation and imbalance in the uncontrollable parts of our central nervous system.”

Harmony Reynolds, a cardiologist at NYU Langone Medical Center has also studied the relationship between stress and the heart says the link is well recognized in the medical community, but what can be done about it is still under investigation. “We can’t stop stressful situations from coming up in our lives but there may be ways to change the way stress affects our bodies,” she says. “Several things can increase parasympathetic nervous system activity, such as regular exercise, meditation, yoga and deep breathing. These activities all have other health benefits anyway—especially exercise—so they are easy to recommend even though I can’t be at all sure that they could affect risk.” Reynolds was not involved in this study.

Sometimes the condition isn’t spurred by grief, but other stressful situations, like the excitement that can accompany a big sports win.

The new study, while large, cannot confirm that the feelings of loss directly caused atrial fibrillation among those in the study. Still, it’s not the first to suggest that severe life stressors can spur problems in the heart. “Right now our work can only point to an association, but we hope to help make a shift in society’s mindset—that a time of grief is not only a mental state but maybe also physical,” says Graff.

To view the original of this article CLICK HERE

Regards,
Greg_L-W.

~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~
Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins
tel: 44 (0)1594 – 528 337
Calls from ‘Number Withheld’ phones Are Blocked

All unanswered messages are recorded.
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  9. I Regret due to BT in this area I have a rubbish Broadband connection
  10. I AM opposed to British membership of The EU
  11. I AM opposed to Welsh, Scottish or English Independence within an interdependent UK
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  14. I AM strongly opposed to the subsidy or use of failed technologies eg. WIND TURBINES
  15. I AM IN FAVOUR of rapid research & development of NEW NUCLEAR technologies
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The Value Of Controlling Blood Pressure In Early Life

The Value Of Controlling Blood Pressure In Early Life
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Keeping Blood Pressure Low in Those Under 50

Higher blood pressure in young adulthood increases the risk for coronary heart disease, a new study found.

Researchers followed almost 3,500 men and women for 25 years with periodic physical examinations beginning in 1985, when all were healthy and 18 to 30 years old. They calculated their cumulative exposure to high blood pressure over the years.

The scientists, writing in The Journal of the American College of Cardiology, studied left ventricular dysfunction — damage to the part of the heart that pumps blood to the entire body except the lungs. Left ventricle impairment is a main cause of heart failure. They found the higher the blood pressure, the greater the damage to the left ventricle. In addition, even after adjusting for other risk factors, chronic high blood pressure in young adulthood increased coronary calcium in middle age to a degree similar to that of the initial stages of atherosclerosis.

“This paper highlights that in the first half of adult life, it’s very important to keep blood pressure as low as one can,” said the lead author, Dr. João A.C. Lima, a professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins, adding that “130/80 or 130/70 should be the goal for people under 50.”

Current guidelines advise treatment at 140/90 for people ages 30 to 59.

To view the original of this article CLICK HERE

Cumulative Blood Pressure in Early Adulthood and Cardiac Dysfunction in Middle AgeThe CARDIA Study

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Satoru Kishi, MD; Gisela Teixido-Tura, MD, PhD; Hongyan Ning, MD; Bharath Ambale Venkatesh, PhD; Colin Wu, PhD§; Andre Almeida, MD; Eui-Young Choi, MD; Ola Gjesdal, MD; David R. Jacobs, Jr., PhD; Pamela J. Schreiner, PhD; Samuel S. Gidding, MD; Kiang Liu, PhD; João A.C. Lima, MD
J Am Coll Cardiol. 2015;65(25):2679-2687. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2015.04.042
 

Abstract

Background  Cumulative blood pressure (BP) exposure may adversely influence myocardial function, predisposing individuals to heart failure later in life.

Objectives  This study sought to investigate how cumulative exposure to higher BP influences left ventricular (LV) function during young to middle adulthood.

Methods  The CARDIA (Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults) study prospectively enrolled 5,115 healthy African Americans and whites in 1985 and 1986 (baseline). At the year 25 examination, LV function was measured by 2-dimensional echocardiography; cardiac deformation was assessed in detail by speckle-tracking echocardiography. We used cumulative exposure of BP through baseline and up to the year 25 examination (millimeters of mercury × year) to represent long-term exposure to BP levels. Linear regression and logistic regression were used to quantify the association of BP measured repeatedly through early adulthood (18 to 30 years of age) up to middle age (43 to 55 years).

Results  Among 2,479 participants, cumulative BP measures were not related to LV ejection fraction; however, high cumulative exposure to systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) were associated with lower longitudinal strain rate (both p < 0.001). For diastolic function, higher cumulative exposures to SBP and DBP were associated with low early diastolic longitudinal peak strain rate. Of note, higher DBP (per SD increment) had a stronger association with diastolic dysfunction compared with SBP.

Conclusions  Higher cumulative exposure to BP over 25 years from young adulthood to middle age is associated with incipient LV systolic and diastolic dysfunction in middle age.

Central Illustration

Early Adulthood Blood Pressure and Middle-Age Left Ventricular Function

Blood pressure (BP) trends with increasing age. The trajectory slope shows mean systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) with increasing age for white and black men and women. All BP measurements over 25 years were within guideline acceptable range (A and B). Systolic and diastolic function with increasing cumulative SBP and DBP. (C) For left ventricular (LV) systolic function, there were no differences in left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) among cumulative SBP deciles; meanwhile, higher deciles of cumulative SBP produced a lower 4-chamber longitudinal peak systolic strain rate (Ell_SRs) compared with the lowest SBP (0% to 10%) decile. For LV diastolic function, early peak diastolic mitral velocity/peak early diastolic mitral annular velocity (E/e′) ratio increased in higher deciles of cumulative SBP compared with the lowest decile. Higher deciles of cumulative SBP were associated with lower 4-chamber longitudinal peak early diastolic strain rate (Ell_SRe) versus the lowest decile. (D) In considering cumulative DBP deciles, the same trends were seen for LVEF, as well as when comparing the higher deciles with the lowest group for Ell_SRs, E/e′ ratio, and Ell_SRe.

Perspectives

COMPETENCY IN MEDICAL KNOWLEDGE: BP in early adulthood is related to later systolic and diastolic ventricular dysfunction.

TRANSLATIONAL OUTLOOK: Further studies are needed to determine whether specific lifestyle interventions implemented to reduce DBP in early adulthood prevent HF from developing later in life.

 For more details from JACC CLICK HERE
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I just want to say sorry for copping out at times and leaving Lee and friends to cope!
Any help and support YOU can give her will be hugely welcome.
I do make a lousy patient!

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If YOU want to follow my fight against Cancer from when it started and I first presented with symptoms in 1998 see The TAB at the Header of this Blog. called >DIARY of Cancer ….< just click and it will give you a long list of the main events in chronological order, many linked to specific blog postings.
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Thoughts, articles and comments will be in chronological order in the main blog and can be tracked in the >ARCHIVE< in the Left Sidebar.
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You may find the TABS >MEDICAL LINKS< and also >CANCER LINKS< of help, also many of the links in articles and >HOT LINKS< in the Sidebar.
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YOU are welcome to call me, minded that I am NOT medically trained, if you believe I can help in ANY way. .

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CHOLESTEROL & STATINS – New Guidelines Drop Targets.

CHOLESTEROL & STATINS – New Guidelines Drop Targets.

HEART 01

New Guidelines on Statins Drop Cholesterol Targets

The nation’s leading heart organizations released new guidelines on Tuesday that will fundamentally reshape the use of cholesterol-lowering statin medicines that are now prescribed for a quarter of Americans over 40. Patients on statins will no longer need to lower their cholesterol levels to specific numerical targets monitored by regular blood tests, as has been recommended for decades. Simply taking the right dose of a statin will be sufficient, the guidelines say.

Have a question about heart health? Try Ask Well. Your question may be answered by a Times journalist or expert.

The new approach divides people needing treatment into two broad risk categories. Those at high risk because, for example, they have diabetes or have had a heart attack should take a statin except in rare cases. People with extremely high levels of the harmful cholesterol known as LDL — 190 or higher — should also be prescribed statins. In the past, people in these categories would also have been told to get their LDL down to 70, something no longer required.

Everyone else should be considered for a statin if their risk of a heart attack or stroke in the next 10 years is at least 7.5 percent. Doctors are advised to use a new risk calculator that factors in a person’s blood pressure, age and total cholesterol levels, among other things.

“Now one in four Americans over 40 will be saying, ‘Should I be taking this anymore?’” said Dr. Harlan M. Krumholz, a cardiologist and professor of medicine at Yale who was not on the guidelines committee.

The new guidelines, formulated by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology and based on a four-year review of the evidence, simplify the current complex, five-step process for evaluating who needs to take statins. In a significant departure, the new method also counts strokes as well as heart attacks in its risk calculations, a step that will likely make some additional people candidates for the drugs.

It is not clear whether more or fewer people will end up taking the drugs under the new guidelines, experts said. Many women and African-Americans, who have a higher-than-average risk of stroke, might find themselves candidates for treatment, but others taking statins only to lower LDL cholesterol to target levels might no longer need them.

The previous guidelines put such a strong emphasis on lowering cholesterol levels by specific amounts that patients who did not hit their target levels just by taking statins often were prescribed additional drugs like Zetia, made by Merck. But the new guidelines say doctors should no longer prescribe those extra medicines because they have never been shown to prevent heart attacks or strokes.

Zetia has been viewed with increasing skepticism in recent years since studies showed it lowered LDL cholesterol but did not reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease or death. Still, it is among Merck’s top-selling drugs, earning $2.6 billion last year. Another drug, Vytorin, which combines Zetia with a statin, brought in $1.8 billion in 2012, according to company filings. And in May, Merck won approval for another drug, Liptrzeut, which also contains the active ingredient in Zetia and a statin, a development that surprised many cardiologists because of questions about its effectiveness.

The new guidelines are part of a package of recommendations to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke that includes moderate exercise and a healthy diet. But its advice on cholesterol is the flash point, arousing the ire of critics who say the authors ignored evidence that did not come from gold-standard clinical trials and should also have counted less rigorous, but compelling, data.

For example, Dr. Daniel J. Rader, the director of the preventive cardiovascular medicine and lipid clinic at the University of Pennsylvania, points to studies of people with genes giving them low LDL levels over a lifetime. Their heart attack rate is greatly reduced, he said, suggesting the benefits of long-term cholesterol reduction.

Committee members counter his view, saying that cholesterol lowered by drugs may not have the same effect.

Critics also question the use of a 10-year risk of heart attack or stroke as the measure for determining who should be treated. Many people will have a lower risk simply because they are younger, yet could benefit from taking statins for decades to keep their cholesterol levels low, they say.

He and other experts also worry that without the goad of target numbers, patients and their doctors will lose motivation to control cholesterol levels.

Experts say it is still unclear how much the new guidelines will change clinical practice. Dr. Rader suspects many cardiologists will still strive for the old LDL targets, at least for patients with heart disease who are at high risk. “They are used to it and believe in it,” he said.

Dr. Steven E. Nissen, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic, said he thought it would take several years for doctors to change their practices.

The process of developing the new guidelines was rocky, taking at least twice as long as previous efforts. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute dropped out, declaring that drafting the guidelines was no longer part of its mission. Several committee members, including Dr. Rader, also dropped out, unhappy with the direction the committee was going.

Have a question about heart health? Try Ask Well. Your question may be answered by a Times journalist or expert.

The architects of the guidelines say their recommendations are based on the best available evidence. Large clinical trials have consistently shown that statins reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes, but the committee concluded that there is no evidence that hitting specific cholesterol targets makes a difference. No one has ever asked in a rigorous study if a person’s risk is lower with an LDL of 70 than 90 or 100, for example.

Dr. Stone said he was surprised by what the group discovered as it delved into the evidence. “We deliberated for several years,” he said, “and could not come up with solid evidence for targets.”

Dr. Nissen, who was not a member of the committee, agreed. “The science was never there” for the LDL targets, he said. Past committees “made them up out of thin air,” he added.

The Department of Veterans Affairs conducted its own independent review and came to the same conclusion. About a year ago, the department, the nation’s largest integrated health care system, dropped its LDL targets, said Dr. John Rumsfeld, the V.A.’s national director of cardiology.

“It is a shift,” he acknowledged, “but I would argue that it is not a radical change but is a course correction.”

The department had also used target LDL numbers as rewards for doctors and hospitals, but no longer does.

M. Ridker, the director of the center for cardiovascular disease prevention at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in Boston, said he worried the new guidelines could easily lead to overtreatment. An older man with a low LDL level who smokes and has moderately elevated blood pressure would qualify for a statin under the new guidelines. But what he really needs is to stop smoking and get his blood pressure under control.

Dr. Stone said he hoped doctors would not reflexively prescribe a statin to such a patient. Doctors are supposed to talk to their patients and realize that, with a man like the one Dr. Ridker described, the real problem was not cholesterol.

“We are taking people out of their comfort zone,” Dr. Stone said. “Instead of being reassured that reaching this number means they will be fine, we are asking, ‘What is the best therapy to do the job?’”

To view the original article CLICK HERE

3 Things to Know About the New Cholesterol Guidelines

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The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association just released new cholesterol guidelines to reduce atherosclerotic cardiovascular risk –- and the change from the previous version, last updated in 2004, is profound. Here are three things you need to know about these new guidelines.

First, the guidelines have moved away from achieving target cholesterol levels.

Americans have long been urged to focus on their laboratory numbers. Many people are obsessive about checking their cholesterol levels and pursuing even better numbers. Doctors have been told to focus on these numbers and, in some cases, the quality of their care was assessed by the percentage of their patients with low cholesterol levels.

Those days are over. The new guidelines recognize that for patients who have exhausted lifestyle efforts and are considering drug therapy, the question is not whether a drug makes your lab tests better, but whether it lowers your risk of heart disease and stroke. Studies over the past several years have shown that improving your lab profile with drugs is not equivalent to lowering your heart risks. Drugs have thousands of effects on the body, and a drug’s effect on an individual lab test cannot necessarily predict its overall effect on you.

Importantly, the guidelines still state that cholesterol is important. But the point is that changing your cholesterol level with medications is now accompanied with the appreciation that other effects of the drugs may offset any benefit to reducing cholesterol.

There’s one exception to the numbers rule. People with very high cholesterol still need to worry about targets. The new guidelines set that level at 190 milligrams per deciliter – but the principle is that if people have very high cholesterol levels, then their cardiovascular risk is so high that it is likely that treatment to reduce the levels would offset any risks of the drug treatment.

So, the new guidelines are saying: we should not be chasing the cholesterol levels alone. The “know your number” campaign is no longer consistent with the guidelines, and the days of doctors adding additional medications to get you to some arbitrary cholesterol level should no longer occur.

Second, know your risk.

What is taking the place of cholesterol levels? What should you do now?

The guidelines are now focusing you on your overall risk of heart disease and stroke. They indicate that drug treatment is recommended for people with a high risk — and that more powerful treatments are best for those with the highest risk.

So what they are saying now is: know your risk of heart disease and stroke. They have published an online calculator to help you -– but more important is the general concept that drug treatment with effective medications (those proven to lower risk) should be used in people with the most to gain.

The guidelines do set thresholds for risk, but my view is that these recommendations should not be considered dictums to be followed without question. They say that if your 10-year risk of heart disease and stroke is 7.5 percent or higher, then you should be treated with drugs. However, I believe that only you can determine what constitutes a high enough risk that it is worth it to you to be treated with drugs. Such a decision depends on how you feel about your risk of heart disease and stroke and how you feel about taking drugs — and their risks and benefits.

Third, use medications proven to reduce risk.

The understanding that simply improving cholesterol lab tests may not reduce your risk for heart attack and stroke has focused attention on the choice of drug therapy. In the “treat to target” era, there was a sense that we could use any of the medications to lower LDL — and what was most important was the lab test.

However, there have been numerous studies showing that many popular drugs that may have improved lab tests for cholesterol failed to reduce risk. These studies led the authors of the guidelines to make a distinction between proven and unproven medications.

Thus, the focus of the guidelines is on statins, the drug class with clear evidence that it can lower risk in many groups of patients. In fact, statins seem to lower risk regardless of your cholesterol levels. This fact has led many of us to think about statins as risk-reduction medications rather than just medications that modify cholesterol levels. Regardless, the evidence that statins lower risk is very clear.

So the guidelines now make clear that if you use drug therapy for higher risk, you should use statins. If you cannot tolerate one statin, you might want to try another statin, after consultation with your doctor. If you use another type of drug, then you should know whether that drug has been shown to reduce risk in contemporary studies. Many popular drugs, like Zetia (ezetimibe), have yet been proven to save lives.

Bottom line: The new guidelines are a marked departure from the era of chasing targets and being agnostic to the drugs you used. The new message is don’t chase targets, know your risk, and — if you need drug therapy — use statins. These principles should guide your discussions with your doctor.


Harlan Krumholz is a cardiologist and the Harold H. Hines Jr. Professor of Medicine, director of the Yale-New Haven Hospital Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation (CORE) and director of the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program at Yale University School of Medicine.

To view the original of this article CLICK HERE
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 Please Be Sure To
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I Have Been Fighting Cancer since 1997 & I’M STILL HERE!
I Have Cancer, Cancer Does NOT Have Me
I just want to say sorry for copping out at times and leaving Lee and friends to cope!
Any help and support YOU can give her will be hugely welcome.
I do make a lousy patient!

.
If YOU want to follow my fight against Cancer from when it started and I first presented with symptoms in 1998 see The TAB at the Header of this Blog. called >DIARY of Cancer ….< just click and it will give you a long list of the main events in chronological order, many linked to specific blog postings.
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Thoughts, articles and comments will be in chronological order in the main blog and can be tracked in the >ARCHIVE< in the Left Sidebar.
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You may find the TABS >MEDICAL LINKS< and also >CANCER LINKS< of help, also many of the links in articles and >HOT LINKS< in the Sidebar.
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YOU are welcome to call me, minded that I am NOT medically trained, if you believe I can help in ANY way. .

Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins

tel: 01594 – 528 337
Accuracy & Copyright Statement: CLICK HERE
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CARDIAC ECHO SCAN RESULT

CARDIAC ECHO SCAN RESULT
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Here is my Cardiac Echo Scan result:

ECHO SCAN RESULT 26-Sep-2013

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 Please Be Sure To
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I Have Been Fighting Cancer since 1997 & I’M STILL HERE!
I Have Cancer, Cancer Does NOT Have Me
I just want to say sorry for copping out at times and leaving Lee and friends to cope!
Any help and support YOU can give her will be hugely welcome.
I do make a lousy patient!

.
If YOU want to follow my fight against Cancer from when it started and I first presented with symptoms in 1998 see The TAB at the Header of this Blog. called >DIARY of Cancer ….< just click and it will give you a long list of the main events in chronological order, many linked to specific blog postings.
.
Thoughts, articles and comments will be in chronological order in the main blog and can be tracked in the >ARCHIVE< in the Left Sidebar.
.
You may find the TABS >MEDICAL LINKS< and also >CANCER LINKS< of help, also many of the links in articles and >HOT LINKS< in the Sidebar.
.
YOU are welcome to call me, minded that I am NOT medically trained, if you believe I can help in ANY way. .

Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins

tel: 01594 – 528 337
Accuracy & Copyright Statement: CLICK HERE
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DO MAKE USE of LINKS & >Right Side Bar< & The Top Bar >PAGES<
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