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Stress Raises Heart Disease Risks

Posted May 16 2013 10:09pm
Posted on May 16, 2013, 6 a.m. in Mental Health Cardio-Vascular Stress

In that previous studies have found psychosocial factors including personality traits associate with cardiovascular disease (CVD) and all-cause mortality, A Borglykke, from Copenhagen University Hospital (Denmark), and colleagues studied whether mental vulnerability – marked by physical and psychological symptoms such as frequent loss of appetite, sleeplessness, tiredness, as well as hands that shake easily, being easily bothered by things, feeling misunderstood, and troubling thoughts – is an independent risk factor. The team pooled together data from three Danish population-based prospective cohort studies (Monica I and III and Inter99) for a total of 10,943 cardiovascular disease-free individuals at baseline. About one in 10 scored as at least latently vulnerable, with three or more "yes" answers; 9% were considered vulnerable with five or more of the items reported. The intermediate group was 17% more likely to have incident fatal or nonfatal cardiovascular disease during the mean 15.2 years of follow-up (hazard ratio 1.17, 95% confidence interval 1.06 to 1.29).  That risk was elevated 29% with a higher mental vulnerability score (95% CI 1.14 to 1.45).   People who scored high for "mental vulnerability" were 37% more likely to develop fatal or nonfatal cardiovascular disease during a mean 15 years of follow-up after adjustment for top risk factors. 

A Borglykke, J Ebstrup, T Jorgensen.  “Mental vulnerability as a predictor of cardiovascular disease and death” [Abstract P52].  European J Preventive Cardiology,  April 2013; 20(Supplement 1), 4.

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Tip #162 - Halt High Blood Pressure
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine (Tennessee, USA) researchers report that an increased intake in minerals such as potassium, magnesium and calcium by dietary means may reduce the risk of high blood pressure and decrease blood pressure in people with hypertension. A high intake of these minerals in the diet may also reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. According to the study, if Americans were able to increase their potassium intake, the number of adults with known hypertension with blood pressure levels higher than 140/90 mm Hg might decrease by more than 10% and increase life expectancy. Similar studies show that diets high in magnesium (at least 500 to 1,000 mg/d) and calcium (more than 800 mg/d) may also be associated with both a decrease in blood pressure and risk of developing hypertension.

To boost your dietary intake of potassium, magnesium, and calcium, try these foods:

• Vegetables: broccoli, bok choy, spinach, beet greens, turnip greens, okra, artichoke, potatoes, carrot juice, and sweet potatoes

• Legumes: black beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, great northern beans, lentils, navy beans and soybeans

• Dairy: cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, and yogurt

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