Heart Attack Risk Jumps After Divorce

A new study shows that after a divorce people have an increased lifetime risk for heart attacks (myocardial infarction). Although previous studies have found that MIs occur more frequently in people who are divorced, this is the first study to prospectively examine the lifetime relationship between divorce and MI. In a paper published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, Duke…

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Healthy Habits Of Young Women Lead To Long-Term Health Benefits

It may seem obvious but a new study shows that young women with healthy habits are less likely as they age to get coronary heart disease or go on to develop cardiovascular risk factors like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes. Andrea Chomistek and colleagues analyzed data from more than 88,000 women participating in…

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Large Genetic Studies May Help Unravel The Triglyceride Problem

The precise role of triglycerides in heart disease has been very difficult to determine. To help untangle the knotty problem two research groups studied large populations and identified rare variations in a gene (APOC3) that encodes for apolipoprotein C3, which is known to increase triglyceride levels. … The two studies have received a lot of…

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Large Study Uncovers New Details About the Role of Hypertension in CVD

Although high blood pressure has long been recognized and studied as a cardiovascular risk factor, a large new study published in the Lancet provides a more detailed, granular view of the specific role of different forms of hypertension. Eleni Rapsomaniki and colleagues in the U.K. analyzed data from 1.25 million people without existing cardiovascular disease age 30 and older. An…

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Glucose Measurements Don’t Improve Cardiovascular Risk Assessment

Although blood glucose and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) play a central role in diabetes, the value of these measurements to assess cardiovascular risk has been unclear. Now, in a paper published in JAMA, members of the Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration analyze data from nearly 300,000 people without known diabetes or cardiovascular disease who were enrolled in…

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After Long Wait, Updated US Cardiovascular Guidelines Now Emphasize Risk Instead Of Targets

Original illustration by Max Husten

Updated cardiovascular health guidelines were released today by  the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC). The guidelines are designed to provide primary care physicians with evidence-based expert guidance on cholesterol, obesity, risk assessment, and healthy lifestyle. The new guidelines reinforce many of the same messages from previous guidelines, but also…

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Hypertension And Smoking Top List Of Global Risk Factors

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Worldwide, hypertension and tobacco smoking are the single largest causes of death and disability, according to findings from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 (GBD 2010), the largest ever assessment and analysis of global health and disease. In an unprecedented move, the Lancet devoted an entire issue to the study, including seven separate articles and eight comments….

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State Of The Heart: AHA Publishes Year-End Statistical Update

Although deaths from cardiovascular disease have been declining for many years, continued progress is threatened by disturbing trends in US lifestyles. That’s the clear message from the American Heart Association’s year-end report, “Heart Disease and Stroke Statistical Update 2013,” published in Circulation. “Americans need to move a lot more, eat healthier and less, and manage risk…

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Observational Study Links Common Household Chemical To Cardiovascular Disease

High levels of a manmade chemical widely used in common household products and detectable in more than 98% of people may increase the risk of cardiovascular (CV) disease and peripheral arterial disease (PAD), according to a study published in Archives of Internal Medicine. (The study was published online in September and will appear in this week’s print…

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What Is The Benefit Of Adding CRP To Risk Factor Assessment?

In recent years controversy has swirled around the role of inflammation in cardiovascular disease and the relative worth of measuring novel risk factors like CRP. Now, in a new paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers from the Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration provide detailed calculations that estimate the benefits of adding two of…

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Meta-Analysis Links Stress At Work And Heart Disease

A new study published in the Lancet provides the best evidence yet that work-related stress and, in particular, job strain– “the combination of high job demands and low control at work”– plays a small but important role in causing heart disease. In order to address the limitations of previous studies on this topic, including a…

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Cardiovascular Risk Prediction: Two More Studies, Little Progress

Two studies published in JAMA provide new data — and, perhaps, some additional clarity — about using additional markers to help improve risk prediction for coronary heart disease (CHD) and cardiovascular disease (CVD). In one study, Joseph Yeboah and colleagues used data from 1330 intermediate-risk participants in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA)  to analyze the prognostic value of…

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ESC Position Paper Advocates Population-Based Strategies To Reduce Cardiovascular Deaths

About half of all cardiovascular deaths could be prevented by implementing population-level changes, according to a position paper from the European Society of Cardiology published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. Torben Jørgensen and colleagues maintain that population-level interventions are much more effective than current strategies that seek to reduce individual risk. Population-based strategies include taxation,…

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Is Chronic Kidney Disease A CHD Risk Equivalent?

A new study published in the Lancet provides new data about whether chronic kidney disease (CKD) should, like diabetes, be considered a coronary heart disease (CHD) risk equivalent. Marcello Tonelli and colleagues analyzed data from a population of 1.25 million people in Alberta, Canada. During a median followup of 4 years, 11,340 people were admitted to…

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This Week In Medicine: Stop Exercising and Eat Chocolate!

It’s been a terrific few days of medical news for lazy people and chocoholics. First, a study in PLoS One provided ammunition to the exercise-averse crowd by claiming that exercise can actually be bad for some healthy people. As an added bonus, a story about the study was carried on the front page of the…

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The Y Chromosome May Explain Why Men Have Earlier Coronary Disease

The earlier onset of coronary artery disease in men has long provoked speculation and research. Now a new study in the Lancet suggests that common variations in the Y chromosome (which is transmitted directly from father to son and does not undergo recombination) may play an important role in the increased risk seen in men. Using…

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