Sufficient sleep further lowers CVD risk.

 

Getting at least seven hours of sleep a night further lowers the risk of CVD (cardiovascular disease) events—on top of the lowered risk from following four traditional healthy habits.

The Monitoring Project on Risk Factors for Chronic Diseases (MORGEN) study looked at how adequate sleep might enhance the benefits of being physically active, eating a healthy diet, not smoking, and drinking alcohol in moderation. (published in the July 2, 2013 issue of the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology).

In the current study, researchers analyzed data from 6672 men and 7967 women who participated in MORGEN, a prospective study of people aged 20-65 years living in the Netherlands who replied to a lifestyle questionnaire in 1994 to 1997.

Researchers defined five healthy lifestyle habits, as follows:

Spending 3.5 or more hours a week cycling or doing other sports at a moderate to vigorous intensity.

A modified Mediterranean diet score of five or higher.

One drink of alcohol or more a month.

Not smoking.

Sleeping seven hours or more a night.

The population was fairly healthy: 52% were sufficiently active, 37% consumed a healthy diet, 91% of men and 78% of women consumed alcohol, 65% were nonsmokers, and 80% of men and 86% of women obtained sufficient sleep.

During the 10-14 year follow-up, there were 607 composite CVD events: 129 fatal CVD events, 367 nonfatal heart attacks, and 111 nonfatal strokes.

Each factor on its own reduced the risk of CVD. The reduced risk for composite CVD ranged from 12% lower for following a healthy diet to 43% lower for not smoking; the risk of fatal CVD ranged from 26% lower for being physically active to 43% lower for not smoking. Getting a good night’s sleep reduced the risk of composite CVD by 22% (HR 0.78) and fatal CVD by 43% (HR 0.57) compared with having insufficient sleep.

Not surprisingly, compared to people with fewer than two traditional healthy lifestyle habits, those who adhered to four traditional habits had a 57% lower risk of composite CVD and 67% lower risk of fatal CVD. People who added sufficient sleep to these four habits had an even greater benefit: a 65% lower risk of a composite CVD event and an 83% lower risk of fatal CVD.

 

So, Get healthy and catch a good nights sleep!

 

via Sufficient sleep further lowers CVD risk | theheart.org.

Know more about AF (atrial fibrillation).

 

Atrial Fibrillation (AF) is a common condition affecting the elderly. The prevalence of AF increases with age. It is estimated that 1% of individuals above the age of 60 and 8% of individuals above the age of 80 years must be suffering from AF

 

AF means fast beating of the upper chambers (atria) of the heart. The atrial rate is expected around 400-600 beats per minute. At this rate there is no effective contraction of the upper chambers and this causes blood to stagnate. This can cause small clots which can then migrate to the brain causing stroke. The other symptoms of this condition may be palpitations and breathlessness. A fast heart rate for a long time may also cause the heart pumping to go down and cause a condition called heart failure.

 

AF increases stroke risk!

The most devastating consequence of this heart beat disorder is stroke. The elderly (aged > 65 years) are at high risk of stroke. The other risk factors for stroke are blood pressure, heart failure, diabetes and patients who have had strokes in the past.

 

Treatment of AF:

Treatment of AF is two-fold.

1. The primary goal is to prevent strokes.

Patients with the highest risk should receive blood thinners. Warfarin and Dabigatran are the commonest drugs used. Individuals at lower risk can be treated with Aspirin.

2. The second goal of treatment is to control or prevent AF.

Patients who have had AF for a long duration are on drugs which slow down the heart rate and thereby reduce palpitations. In the initial stages of the disease, the recurrence of the condition  (AF) can be prevented by medications. There are multiple drugs available and should be taken in consultation with physicians.

 

The main goal of treatment still remains Stroke Prevention.