Billions of dollars are spent every year on medications that reduce the risk of heart disease — the No. 1 killer in the United States.
But some people feel powerless to prevent it: Many of the risk factors seem baked into the cake at birth. Genetic factors can have a huge impact on people’s chances of dying of heart disease, and it has long been thought that those factors are almost always outside of one’s control.
Recent research contradicts this, though, and that should give us all renewed hope.
Read Article: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/12/upshot/the-power-of-simple-life-changes-to-prevent-heart-disease.html?_r=0
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the number 1 killer across the globe, accounting for around 31 percent of all deaths in 2012.
With this in mind, it is no surprise that cardiology researchers have been particularly focused on identifying ways to stop the deadly disease in its tracks, as well as finding strategies that could enable heart specialists to make earlier and more accurate diagnoses.
New insights this year include the potential for future risk calculations to include genetic markers, and one study even used nanosized porous magnetite frameworks for thrombolytic agents.
In terms of everyday practice, other research findings included confirmation that ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) mortality can be reduced if emergency medical services are able to get patients directly to centers that offer percutaneous coronary interventions.
In this review, we look back at some of the most popular and potentially game-changing medical research news of 2016, targeted specifically at heart specialists.
Read Entire Article: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/314590.php
People who drink a moderate level of alcohol on a regular basis appear to be at increased risk for atrial fibrillation, according to a review published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Although moderate consumption of alcohol has been associated with reduced risk for CAD, the same is not true for AF, according to the researchers.
“There has been a lot of attention in recent years about the benefits of drinking small amounts of alcohol for the heart,” Peter Kistler, MBBS, PhD,from the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute and the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, said in a press release. “The results are significant since, chances are, there are people ... consuming one or two glasses of alcohol per day that may not realize they are putting themselves at risk for irregular heartbeat.”
Mechanisms of alcohol-associated AF include electrical atrial remodeling, effects on autonomic modulation and causation of tissue fibrosis, Kistler and colleagues wrote.
Although “holiday heart syndrome” — a short-term case of AF after binge drinking — has been previously documented, occasional binge drinking combined with habitual moderate consumption of alcohol confers a similar risk for AF as does habitual heavy drinking, according to the researchers.
An analysis of 859,420 patients who were followed for 12 years showed an 8% increased risk for AF for every alcoholic drink consumed per day, although the relationship was more pronounced with wine and liquor than with beer, Kistler and colleagues wrote.
Another study found risk for AF was elevated by 17% in women who consumed more than 14 standard drinks per week and by 25% in men consuming more than 21 standard drinks per week, they wrote.
Kistler and colleagues also evaluated the relationship between alcohol and other risk factors for AF, including hypertension, obesity, obstructive sleep apnea and cardiomyopathy, concluding that alcohol’s “interaction with other AF risk factors, particularly in habitual drinkers, may be understated.”
One study found consumption of more than 14 standard drinks per week was the strongest risk factor for paroxysmal AF progressing to persistent AF (OR = 3; 95% CI, 1.1-8), Kistler and colleagues wrote.
Studies demonstrating CV benefits of light to moderate alcohol intake “predominantly included healthy adults, and should not be extended to those with a history of AF or structural heart disease,” they wrote.
“Even though we do not have randomized data that tell us what a ‘safe’ amount is to consume, people with an irregular heartbeat should probably drink no more than one alcoholic drink per day, with two alcohol-free days a week,” Kistler said in the release. – by Erik Swain
Read Article: http://www.healio.com/cardiology/arrhythmia-disorders/news/online/%7Bcd586139-7008-4601-896a-0b87edd4ab9c%7D/review-moderate-but-regular-alcohol-consumption-can-raise-risk-for-af