Tag Archives: heart disease and women

Heart Health in the News: “Women with Diabetes Face Greater Heart Risks than Men”

It has been reported that Type 2 diabetes – the most common form of the disease – substantially increases one’s risk for heart disease. Interestingly, a recent wellness blog on The New York Times web site reported that a meta-analysis review of more than 64 published studies covering more than 850,000 patients, has found that this risk is much higher for women than men.

What is Type 2 diabetes?

According to the American Diabetes Association, with Type 2 diabetes, either the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin, which is necessary for the body to be able to use glucose for energy.

When glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into cells, it can cause two problems: (1) it may starve cells for energy and (2) over time can result in negative consequences for one’s eyes, kidneys, nerves or heart. Studies show that Type 2 diabetes is more common in African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders, as well as the aged population.

Why is there a greater risk for women than men?

The lead researcher on the review project, Sanne A. E. Peters, an epidemiologist at University Medical Center Utrecht, states that the reasons are largely unclear. However, Peters suggests that women may be taking worse care of themselves – i.e., gaining more weight and raising the risk of coronary disease – than men prior to the onset of diabetes.  The researcher mentions that while there is no proof of this, she suspects it may be true.

According to a Time.com blog on this study:

“Even after accounting for the fact that women tend to develop heart disease at different rates than men, the researchers report in Diabetologia that women with diabetes were 44% more likely to develop heart problems than men with the disease. Historically, women aren’t treated for heart risk factors as well as men, partly because their symptoms are different – many women don’t experience the chest pains and shortness of breath that are a hallmark of a heart attack among men, for example. So women may actually have more advanced, untreated heart disease when they are diagnosed with diabetes than men when they are diagnosed.”

At Vasomedical we believe in taking care of your heart in a variety of ways – from regular exercise to watching your diet and beyond. Diabetes is a serious issue with consequences that can impact your heart health. For more information about diabetes, visit: the American Diabetes Association’s website at: http://www.diabetes.org/.

Wear Red for American Heart Month

February is not only the month to think about heart-shaped cards for your Valentine, it’s the time to reflect on your own heart health as it is American Heart Month.

Every year, about 715,000 Americans have a heart attack and around 600,000 people die from heart disease in the United States each year – that’s 1 out of every 4 deaths, making heart disease the leading cause of death for both men and women. Cardiovascular disease takes a massive financial toll too as it costs the United States an estimated $312.6 billion each year.

Since 1963, February has been celebrated as American Heart Month to urge Americans to join the battle against heart disease and since 2004, February also has been the signature month for the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women campaign and the message that heart disease is not only a man’s problem.

As part of American Heart Month, Vasomedical is working with the International EECP Therapists Association (IETA) and the International EECP Society (IEECPS)  to promote and support EECP Therapy Week, to take place the last week in February (events to be announced).

To learn more about EECP Therapy Week or American Heart Month and how you can participate feel free to contact us at vaso@kcsa.com .

 

Heart Risks and the City

Last week, the Gallup-Healthways annual well-being study was released, which notably highlighted the increased health risks people who live in cities and the areas around them face. Gallup.com’s Deputy Managing Editor, Elizabeth Mendes, noted that “in general, residents living in metro areas have high rates of heart attacks and also struggle more with chronic health problems like high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes.”

This statistic resonates with us here at Vasomedical; we understand that residents of cities can sometimes be subjected to more stressful lifestyles due to poor health habits, daily commutes and accelerated paces of life.

Recently, USA Today used the findings from the 2012 Well-Being Index and compiled a report on the top ten cities where residents are at most risk for a heart attack. The top five cities and the areas around them that made the list are:

  • Huntington – Ashland, West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio area
  • Davenport – Moline – Rock Island, Iowa, Illinois.
  • Fort Smith, Arkansas, Oklahoma.
  • Utica – Rome, New York.
  • Charleston, West Virginia.

Upon first glance, what is surprising is all of the cities on the list are quite small and mainly industrial towns scattered all across the country, where obesity and smoking rates are much higher than the national averages.

These two studies highlight the importance of educating people about heart health – from small cities with high rates of obesity to large cities with high prevalence of stressful lifestyles. By building greater awareness of EECP Therapy, among other general best-practices for living a heart-healthy life, we can help transform heart patients’ lives in all cities across the country for the better.

 

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A Patient Success Story: How EECP Therapy Helped Tina Get Her Life Back

When we come across a great recovery story from a patient, it encourages our whole team to work harder to ensure that more people with heart disease have access to EECP Therapy.

The following story is about Tina McCoy, who was able to restore her health and quality of life after two open-heart surgeries. Unfortunately, after the surgeries she was still in pain and ultimately learned that none of the bypasses had worked.

Determined to get healthy, she searched for more information about heart disease and ways to lead a heart healthy lifestyle, which helped her get her life back. In addition to rehab, Tina tried EECP Therapy and this winning combination kept her out of the hospital.

She found this Therapy with the help of CHAMPS, a cardiac rehabilitation program through University of Iowa.

Tina writes, “I’m always finding the beauty in the day and what makes life really wonderful to be a part of.”

We hope Tina can stay healthy and live an active life for many years to come!

Read the full article here: http://www.uihealthcare.org/contentWithMenu.aspx?id=235985

 

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Join Us to Celebrate American Heart Month

The American Heart Association has dubbed February American Heart Month, a month near and dear to our hearts here at Vasomedical.  This month, we feel it is an especially important time to come together and understand what we can do to help keep our hearts healthy and raise awareness about heart health issues facing us today. Statistics from the AHA suggest that heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women (and potentially even deadlier for women);  in fact, heart disease takes more lives than all the different form of cancers combined – a startling statistic.

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One way to help decrease the number of victims who fall to heart disease is to become educated on how to prevent and  address these health issues.

The good news is that heart disease is preventable. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that the following general lifestyle tips could help guide you to a healthier heart:

  • Eating a healthy diet, including lots of fruits and veggies
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Exercising regularly
  • Monitoring your blood pressure and having your cholesterol checked
  • Not smoking
  • Limiting alcohol use

Many folks have banded together to raise awareness about these issues, and you can do your part and join the fight as well.  Go Red for Women has already raised over 12 million dollars since July, 2012 to end heart disease, and by clicking here you can donate, too!

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Cardiac Disease Linked to Increased Risk of Nonamnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment in Women

According to the American Heart Association, 90% women are at a risk of developing cardiac disease. In the United States, 1 in 4 women have some form of cardiac disease, but did you know that it may also play a role in cognitive health?

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Recent evidence suggests cardiac disease is an independent risk factor for nonamnestic mild cognitive impairment or isolated memory impairment. Nonamnestic mild cognitive impairment, or naMCI, is believed to be a precursor of vascular and other non-Alzheimer dementias. During the course of a recent study conducted by Rosebud O. Roberts, M.B., Ch.B. and others, a total of 2,719 participants were evaluated at baseline and every 15 months using the Clinical Dementia Rating scale, a neurological evaluation, and neuropsychological testing. The prospective study, published this week in the Journal of Neurology, found that cardiac disease increased the risk of naMCI primarily in women, but not in men.  The findings in the study also suggests that prevention and management of cardiac disease and risk factors may reduce the risk of naMCI in women.

“This is a very interesting finding demonstrating there is a higher incident of memory loss in women and not men with cardiovascular disease. This is very similar to cardiac syndrome x where more female patients suffered from chest pain with abnormal stress tests but they have normal coronary angiography demonstrating normal coronary arteries” remarked Dr John Hui, Chief Technology Officer of Vasomedical, Inc. He continued to state that “we at Vasomedical think the link is microvascular disease. We think that if microcirculation in the brain is reduced, it will lead to naMCI. We have also shown that Enhanced External Counterpulsation (EECP) Therapy is effective in recruiting and developing microcirculation. It is logical to expect EECP Therapy may prevent MCI in high risk patients, such as women with chronic heart disease. We have initiated a small study to examine the possibility of using EECP to prevent or slow the progression of MCI. The results will be exciting.”

Sources:
Cardiac Disease Associated With Increased Risk of Nonamnestic Cognitive Impairment
Rosebud O. Roberts, MB, ChB, MS, et. Al
JAMA Neurol. 2013;():1-9. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2013.607.

Women and Cardiovascular disease
The Cleveland Clinic http://www.clevelandclinic.org/health/health-info/docs/0200/0285.asp