People with hot tempers may be at an increased risk for having a heart attack or stroke. Within the two hour period following an angry outburst, the risk of a heart attack is increased by five-fold while the risk of a stroke is increased by three-fold. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health calculated that five angry episodes a day would result in 158 heart attacks per 10,000 people with a low cardiovascular risk per year, and increase to 657 heart attacks per 10,000 people with a high cardiovascular risk per year. Even though having an acute cardiovascular event is relatively low with a single angry outburst, temper-prone individuals will be at a higher risk. What are some possible suggestions for your patients to help them cope with stress and anger? What dietary recommendations can be beneficial for your patients dealing with stress?
For additional information, please see BBC News Health.
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According to a study published in The Lancet, stroke rates among young and middle-aged adults are growing on a global scale. Researchers analyzed data gathered between 1990 and 2010 and found that the number of strokes among people aged 20 to 64 increased 25% during that time and that this age group now accounts for almost one-third of the total number of strokes. Another study found that hemorrhagic, or bleeding strokes were the most common in low- and middle-income countries and was strongly responsible for stroke related disability and deaths.
How do we educate patients about this information? What preventive measures do you recommend to reverse this trend?
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Some studies suggest that vitamin B supplements may increase the risk of stroke and heart attack. However, a new review published in the journal Neurology discovered the opposite. Researchers analyzed the findings of 14 clinical trials which compared taking vitamin B supplement or very low-dose vitamin B versus placebo for six or more months. They discovered that vitamin B supplements may reduce the risk of stroke by 7 percent, but did not appear to reduce the severity of strokes or the risk of death from stroke. The researchers also found that folic acid may reduce the beneficial effect of vitamin B. How often do patients ask you about vitamin B supplements? Do you recommend vitamin B for other conditions?
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Researchers followed 82,369 Japanese people without cardiovascular disease (CVD) for 13 years, assessing their green tea and coffee consumption and its effects on stroke incidence. The cohort study found that those who drank 2-3 cups a day of green tea reduced the risk of CVD and stroke by 14%, while those who drank 4 cups or more reduced this risk by 20%. Also, those who consumed coffee 3-6 times a week showed a 11% reduced risk of CVD and stroke, while those who drank coffee 1 cup or at least 2 cup a day reduced this risk by 20% and 19%, respectively. What other disease states have shown a benefit with green tea and coffee consumption?
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A prospective cohort study published in Circulation has shown that a heart- healthy diet may reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, or death in high risk individuals receiving medication therapy. This international study followed 31,546 people aged 55 years or older with a history of coronary, peripheral, or cerebrovascular disease, or diabetes with end-organ damage who were enrolled in 2 clinical trials. Participants were followed for 5 years and completed food frequency questionnaires asking how often they consumed 20 food items in the past 12 months. Those who ate a heart-healthy diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, and nuts were found to have a 35% lower risk of cardiovascular death, a 14% lower risk of MI, a 28% lower risk of heart failure, and a 19% lower risk of stroke. How will this research help you to promote already well accepted notions about healthy food with your patients?
According to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health,obese African-American patients with heart disease who are assigned to practice Transcendental Meditation twice daily for nine years were 48 percent less likely to die or have a heart attack or stroke than the comparison group who took a conventional health education class. Meditation also lowered systolic blood pressure and decreased anger and stress levels. How often do you recommend meditation to your patients with heart disease?