The Heart

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Exercise can halve heart attack risk in healthy people

New research, appearing in the European Heart Journal, suggests that lack of physical activity can drastically increase the risk of a heart attack in the long-term, even if there are no symptoms at present.
woman stretching before running
Exercise that raises the heart rate, such as running, may cut heart attack risk by half, suggests a new study.

Cardiorespiratory fitness describes the body's ability to deliver oxygen to the muscles when we are engaged in physical activity. Specifically, the term refers to "the efficiency of the heart, lungs and vascular system."

A significant body of research has linked cardiorespiratory fitness with a variety of positive health outcomes, ranging from preventing cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality to staving off diabetes and improving insulin resistance.

However, most of these previous studies have relied on the participants' self-reported levels of fitness.

New research uses more precise methods of measuring cardiorespiratory fitness and highlights another one of its benefits.

Higher fitness levels can halve the risk of heart attack, the new study finds. Conversely, suggest the researchers, poor fitness levels can raise future risk even in the absence of warning symptoms in the present.

Bjarne Nes, from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology's Cardiac Exercise Research Group in Trondheim, is the corresponding and last author of the study.

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Studying fitness levels and heart attack risk

Nes and his colleagues analyzed the cardiorespiratory fitness of more than 4,500 people who took part in an extensive health survey called HUNT3.

None of the participants had a history of cardiovascular disease, lung disease, cancer, or high blood pressure at the start of the study.

Just over 50 percent of the participants were women, and more than 80 percent of all of them were at "low risk" of developing cardiovascular disease over a 10-year period.

The scientists used a "gold-standard method" — or maximum oxygen uptake — to directly measure the participants' fitness levels.

Maximum oxygen uptake refers to the maximum amount of oxygen the body can absorb during exercise. According to Nes, it is "the most precise measure of fitness."

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High fitness halves the risk of heart attack

By the end of the study, 147 of the participants had heart attacks or had developed angina pectoris — two conditions caused by blocked or narrowed coronary arteries.

The analysis by the researchers revealed a correlation between declining cardiovascular risk and increased fitness levels.

"Even among people who seem to be healthy, the top 25 percent of the most fit individuals actually have only half as high a risk as the least fit 25 percent," reports Nes.

Furthermore, even a small improvement in cardiorespiratory fitness saw significant benefits for heart health. Namely, each fitness increase of 3.5 points correlated with a 15 percent lower risk of heart attack or angina.

"We found a strong link between higher fitness levels and a lower risk of heart attack and angina pectoris over the 9 years following the measurements that were taken," says Nes.

"We know that patients with low oxygen uptake are at increased risk of premature death and cardiovascular disease," he continues.

"Our study shows that poorer fitness is an independent risk factor for coronary artery disease, even among healthy women and men who are relatively fit."

Bjarne Nes

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'Use training as preventive medicine'

Dr. Jon Magne Letnes, the study's first author, also further comments on the findings. "Our results should encourage people to use training as preventive medicine," Dr. Letnes says.

"A few months of regular exercise that gets you out of breath can be an effective strategy for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease."

Dr. Letnes explains that cardiorespiratory fitness offers insights into so much more than just endurance to exercise.

"Fitness isn't just a measure of how much you've trained in your life, but it also tells you what kind of genes you have," he says.

"Other factors like obesity may also affect fitness. So we measure a lot of the body's functions, and from other studies, we know that both genes and physical activity play a role in how your heart and blood vessels function," Dr. Letnes explains.

The study's first author thinks doctors should consider fitness measurements when evaluating heart disease risk.

"Although it may be inconvenient and difficult to measure oxygen uptake at the doctor's office, some simple and relatively accurate calculators exist that can provide a good estimate of fitness and disease risk," he advises.

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What are the benefits of golden milk?

Golden milk is a traditional Indian drink that people make with turmeric, which gives it a yellow or gold hue. People also call golden milk "turmeric milk."

To make golden milk, a person must warm up nondairy milk with turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, and other spices.

Many of these spices contain antioxidants or have anti-inflammatory properties. In this article, learn about the benefits of golden milk and how to make it.

Benefits The potential benefits of golden milk include: 1. Reducing inflammation Golden milk turmeric tea in glass on wooden table
People make golden milk with various spices, such as turmeric and cinnamon.

Golden milk's ingredients, which are ginger, cinnamon, and turmeric, contain anti-inflammatory properties. Reducing inflammation can help prevent or manage conditions including:

A person may reduce inflammation by adding golden milk to their regular diet. For example, a small study of 45 participants showed that consuming 500 milligrams (mg) of curcumin was as effective as taking 50 mg of a common arthritis medication at reducing inflammation. Curcumin is the active component in turmeric.

2. Preventing cell damage

Curcumin also has antioxidant properties. Some studies have shown that antioxidants can help a person's body repair cell damage and help reduce the risk of many illnesses.

For example, one 2015 study found that antioxidants in foods and spices have a positive effect on reducing cell damage.

3. Improving mood

There is evidence to suggest that curcumin can help improve mood in people who consume it regularly.

A small study consisting of 60 participants found that taking curcumin supplements could help reduce symptoms in people with major depressive disorder. Those taking both curcumin and antidepressant drugs saw the most significant improvement.

However, more research is necessary to determine its efficacy and the right doses, as the authors of the study also said that the results were not statistically significant.

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4. Supporting brain function and improving memory

Some older studies have suggested that turmeric may help improve brain function, but more recent research is necessary to fully prove its effectiveness.

Ginger and cinnamon, the ingredients in golden milk, have shown some promise in animal studies.

For example, one study looked at cinnamon's effect on preserving specific proteins related to Parkinson's disease. These proteins are protective against its symptoms, such as memory loss and tremors.

The study showed promising results, but studies in human are necessary to fully show how effective cinnamon is for improving brain function.

5. Preventing heart disease

Woman drinking hot drink from mug in cafe.
Benefits of golden milk include improving mood and lowering the risk of heart disease.

The three major ingredients in golden milk have all shown some promise in helping reduce the risk of heart disease.

However, the studies tend to be small and limited. Also, the amount of each ingredient present in golden milk may not be enough to fully show the benefits found in research.

One small study showed that those taking curcuminoids had a lower incident rate of myocardial infarction events, such as heart attack, after coronary artery bypass surgery.

The rate fell from 30 percent in the placebo group to about 13 percent in the curcuminoid group. More research is still needed to prove these findings, however.

6. Possibly reducing the risk of cancer

Older studies on ginger, cinnamon, and curcumin show that they may have some effects on reducing the risk of cancer.

While many alternative health sites repeat these claims, most studies are:

limited older done in test tubes not definitive

It is unlikely that the small amounts of these spices in golden milk would have an impact on cancer risk. However, more research is necessary to find definitive results.

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7. Lowering blood sugar levels

Similarly to possibly reducing the risk of cancer, more research is necessary to show that the ingredients in golden milk can help lower blood sugar.

Some research has found that consuming ginger may help reduce fasting blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes.

A 2017 double-blind placebo-controlled trial supported these results. The scientists divided 50 participants with type 2 diabetes into two groups. For 10 weeks, one group took 2,000 mg of ginger per day, while the other group took a placebo.

At the end of the trial, the researchers found that the ginger had significantly reduced the participants' fasting blood sugar levels.

8. Boosting the immune system

People tend to use golden milk to help fight common illnesses, such as the cold.

One review of studies found that curcumin contains antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties that can help a person better fight infections.

Ginger and cinnamon are also common home remedies for colds and flus.

9. Improving bone health

Many enriched plant-based milks contain vitamin D and calcium, which are very beneficial to bone health.

Calcium is a necessary nutrient for maintaining bone health. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium from foods.

People tend to make golden milk using nondairy milks such as coconut milk. For this reason, people should be sure to find enriched versions that contain additional nutrients to gain this benefit.

10. Aiding digestion

The ginger present in golden milk may help aid digestion. Ginger is a common home remedy for nausea and vomiting.

Research supports this. For example, one study in people with chemotherapy-induced nausea found ginger to be an effective and low-risk way to reduce symptoms.

Thank you for supporting Medical News Today How to make it Golden tea is traditionally dairy-free, with almond milk being a popular ingredient.
Golden milk is traditionally dairy-free, with almond milk being a popular ingredient. Golden milk is available online, in health stores, and in some grocery stores. However, a person can easily make golden milk at home. To make golden milk, a person will need: ½ cup nondairy milk, such as coconut or almond milk 1 tsp turmeric 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger or 1/2 tsp ginger powder 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 1 pinch ground black pepper (optional) 1 tsp honey Combine all the ingredients in a pot. Next, bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Let the mixture simmer for about 10 minutes or until it is fragrant. To serve, strain the mixture through a fine strainer to remove the spices. Golden milk will keep in the refrigerator for around 5 days. Summary Golden milk may have several health benefits and has few risks unless a person is allergic to one of its ingredients. For those interested in trying it, they can make their own recipe at home or buy a premade mixture. It is worth noting that although golden milk may have health benefits, it is not a replacement for medical treatments. We picked linked items based on the quality of products, and list the pros and cons of each to help you determine which will work best for you. We partner with some of the companies that sell these products, which means Healthline UK and our partners may receive a portion of revenues if you make a purchase using a link(s) above.
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What are the benefits of oatmeal?

Oatmeal is a very popular breakfast food that consists of oats and a liquid, such as water, cow's milk, or plant-based milk. Full of nutrients and fiber, oats are one of the most nutritious whole-grain foods that a person can consume.

Oats offer many science-backed health benefits, including:

In this article, we list the potential benefits of oatmeal and provide its nutritional information. The benefits include:

1. Providing antioxidants benefits of oatmeal
Oatmeal contains high levels of antioxidants, which can improve blood flow in the body.

Oatmeal contains high levels of antioxidants.

Specifically, it contains polyphenols, which are plant-based compounds that are rich in avenanthramides.

Avenanthramides are a type of antioxidant that exists almost exclusively in oats.

Avenanthramides can benefit people by:

2. Improving insulin response and reducing blood sugar Oatmeal contains a soluble fiber called beta-glucan that can help improve insulin response and possibly reduce blood sugar too. People with type 2 diabetes may find that incorporating oatmeal into their diet helps them manage their blood sugar levels, as long as they do not add extra sugar to the dish. A review of research on the benefits of oatmeal for people with type 2 diabetes found that oatmeal has a positive effect on blood sugar control. The authors stated that more research is necessary to test the safety of oatmeal for people with type 1 diabetes. 3. Providing plenty of vitamins and minerals Oatmeal is a nutrient-rich food that contains many vitamins and minerals while being low in calories. Eating low-calorie foods that are high in nutrients can provide a person with the nutrients that their body needs while helping them lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. Oatmeal contains: Thank you for supporting Medical News Today 4. Improving cholesterol levels benefits of oatmeal cholesterol
Eating oatmeal can reduce total cholesterol levels. There is some evidence to back up the claim that oatmeal can support healthy cholesterol levels due to its beta-glucan content. A 2014 review determined that oatmeal can reduce total cholesterol levels if people consume 3 grams (g) or more of beta-glucan a day. According to the research, beta glucan decreased low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or "bad cholesterol," but did not affect high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or "good cholesterol." 5. Promoting healthful bacteria in the digestive tract The beta-glucan in oatmeal forms a gel-like substance when it mixes with water. This solution coats the stomach and digestive tract. The coating feeds good bacteria in the gut, which increases their growth rate and can contribute to a healthy gut. A small study examining oatmeal's effect on bacterial growth found that it could have a positive effect. 6. Managing weight Oatmeal is rich in soluble fiber, so people tend to feel full more quickly after eating it than they do after consuming other foods. Feeling full can help a person reduce their portion size and achieve their weight loss goals. Researchers looking at the effect of oatmeal on appetite concluded that it increased fullness and decreased the desire to eat for the next 4 hours. 7. Reducing the risk of asthma Asthma is a common condition that often develops during childhood. There is some evidence to suggest that specific foods can be a risk factor for developing asthma, while others may reduce the risk. For example, a study of 3,781 children determined that those who ate oats as one of their first foods were less likely to develop asthma by the age of 5 years. Other foods that may reduce the risk include: wheat rye barley cereals fish eggs Thank you for supporting Medical News Today 8. Relieving constipation Constipation is a common gastrointestinal problem that affects almost everyone at some point. The fiber in oatmeal can help keep waste in the gastrointestinal tract moving, which can relieve or prevent constipation. Nutrition benefits of cup of oatmeal
One cup of cooked oatmeal contains 5.94 g of protein. Oatmeal includes several key nutrients. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, one cup of cooked oatmeal contains: 166 calories 5.94 g of protein 4.00 g of dietary fiber 3.56 g of fat How to make oatmeal Oatmeal is available in several different varieties, including: oat groat steel-cut crushed rolled Oat groat takes the longest to cook, as it comprises whole oats. Steel-cut, crushed, and rolled oats take less time to prepare. Unless the packaging says otherwise, people can make oatmeal by boiling the oats in cow's milk, plant-based milk, or water. Cooking times will vary and can range from 10 to 60 minutes. To cook oatmeal, a person should follow the instructions on the packaging. The steps will usually involve: bringing 1.5 cups of milk or water to the boil stirring in one-half of a cup of oats reducing the heat to medium simmering for 10 to 20 minutes for steel-cut, crushed, or rolled oats simmering for 50 to 60 minutes for oat groat stirring in additional optional ingredients, such as spices or sweeteners Although instant varieties of oatmeal usually cook very quickly, they are also the most processed. Instant oatmeal often contains added sugar and preservatives. Summary Oatmeal is one of the most nutritious breakfast foods. It may help a person lose weight, reduce their risk of heart disease, and lower their blood sugar levels. It is best to choose varieties of oatmeal that are less processed and to limit added sugars.
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Metoprolol tartrate vs. metoprolol succinate

Metoprolol tartrate and metoprolol succinate are different salt forms of the same active ingredient, metoprolol. Although these medications are similar, they have slightly different uses and effects.

Metoprolol belongs to a class of drugs called beta-blockers. These drugs work by slowing down a person's heart rate and lowering their blood pressure.

Doctors often prescribe beta-blockers for people with cardiovascular conditions or those who have had a heart attack. Both metoprolol tartrate and metoprolol succinate are prescription-only drugs.

In this article, we explore the differences and similarities between these two drugs.

Uses Woman taking a pill
Metoprolol tartrate and metoprolol succinate can both treat high blood pressure and angina.

Doctors prescribe metoprolol tartrate to treat people with the following health conditions:

They use metoprolol succinate to treat the following health conditions:

Both drugs are effective in treating people with high blood pressure and angina. However, doctors prescribe only metoprolol tartrate to prevent further heart attacks in people who have already experienced a heart attack. For heart failure, they prescribe only metoprolol succinate.

Forms and dosage The appropriate dosage of both metoprolol tartrate and metoprolol succinate depends on a person's condition and how well that condition responds to the medication. Metoprolol tartrate Metoprolol tartrate is available either as an immediate-release tablet, as an intravenous injection, or in liquid form. People using the immediate-release tablet may need to take it several times a day, and doctors advise that they do so either with or directly after a meal. The recommended dosage of metoprolol tartrate ranges between 100–450 milligrams (mg) daily. One full dose of the intravenous injection provides 15 mg of the drug. If an individual tolerates this dose, the doctor may recommend that they switch to using metoprolol tartrate tablets instead. Metoprolol succinate Metoprolol succinate is available as an extended-release tablet, which means that people only have to take one tablet a day. The initial dosage of metoprolol succinate ranges from 25–100 mg per day. If the person experiences no problems on the initial dosage, a doctor may increase the dosage to a maximum of 200 mg per day. Thank you for supporting Medical News Today Who might benefit from these medications? A person may benefit from taking metoprolol tartrate if they have: experienced a heart attack high blood pressure angina Metoprolol succinate may benefit people who have: high blood pressure angina class II or III heart failure Side effects Woman with a headache and fatigue at her desk
Side effects of metoprolol tartrate can include fatigue and dizziness. Although beta-blockers are generally safe and effective drugs, they may cause unwanted side effects in some people. However, the side effects of metoprolol tartrate and metoprolol succinate are usually mild and temporary. Side effects of metoprolol tartrate can include: Side effects of metoprolol succinate can include: very low blood pressure dizziness difficulty sleeping fatigue difficulty breathing depression sexual dysfunction rash constipation nausea vomiting dry mouth rash Risks While metoprolol tartrate and metoprolol succinate are both generally very safe, people may experience problems if they abruptly stop taking them. Suddenly stopping beta-blockers can lead to worsening chest pain, increased blood pressure, and heart attack. If someone wishes to end their treatment, they should speak to a healthcare professional first. A doctor will usually advise people to lower the dosage gradually over 2 weeks. People who have diabetes may need to take care when taking any form of metoprolol medication because it can conceal symptoms that indicate low blood sugar, such as a rapid heartbeat. However, research has shown that beta-blockers can help control high blood pressure in people with diabetes. Beta-blockers can also affect how the heart responds to general anesthesia. A doctor may recommend temporarily withdrawing from beta-blocker treatment before undergoing major surgery. People should always consult their doctor before stopping or starting any new medications or supplements. Thank you for supporting Medical News Today Drug interactions Metoprolol tartrate and metoprolol succinate contain the same active ingredient, so these medications have similar drug interactions. People should inform a healthcare professional if they are taking any other prescription or over-the-counter drugs or supplements. Metoprolol tartrate and succinate can interact with a range of medications, including: Blood pressure drugs: amlodipine (Norvasc) hydralazine (Apresoline) ephedrine guanethidine betanidine clonidine Heart condition medications: digoxin (Lanoxin) furosemide (Lasix) quinidine gluconate Antipsychotics: haloperidol (Haldol) chlorpromazine (Thorazine, Largactil) fluphenazine (Prolixin) Antidepressants: phenelzine (Nardil) selegiline (Eldepryl) escitalopram (Lexapro) fluoxetine (Prozac) paroxetine (Paxil) Other medications: atorvastatin calcium (Lipitor) aspirin abiraterone acetate (Zytiga) acetaminophen (Tylenol) ergot alkaloid fingolimod (Gilenya) guaifenesin (Theocon Elixir, Brondelate) insulin glargine (Lantus) sildenafil (Viagra) Summary Metoprolol tartrate and metoprolol succinate belong to a class of drugs known as beta-blockers. Both drugs are different salts of the same active ingredient, metoprolol. However, despite being similar, they do have different uses. Both drugs are effective in treating people with high blood pressure and angina. However, doctors prescribe metoprolol tartrate for people who have had a heart attack and metoprolol succinate to treat individuals with type II and III heart failure. The two medications share similar drug interactions, so it is essential that people make their doctor aware of any medications or supplements that they are currently taking. Both forms of medication also share similar warnings. People should not stop taking these medications abruptly as this can lead to worsening symptoms and even heart attacks in some people. People with diabetes should take care when using beta-blockers because these medications can mask some symptoms of low blood sugar.
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Personal income may increase risk of heart disease

Income levels, if they are unstable, can easily turn into a stressor. However, the volatility of personal income could be having a more serious effect on people's heart health.
Money heart
Does how much money we earn affect cardiovascular health?

It is often expected that a person's income will constantly rise until they reach retirement age.

However, this isn't always the case. In fact, incomes have become so unpredictable that their volatility has reached an all-time high since 1980.

When a person's income fluctuates, it can alter many other factors in their life.

It can affect everything from mental health to diet, which could result in potentially serious health problems.

A new study suggests that personal income may even be associated with an increased risk of heart disease and death.

What is most surprising is that this link is present in relatively young people. We know this because an ongoing study has been tracking the health of young people living in four cities around the United States for nearly 3 decades.

The Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study started in 1990. The four cities are Minneapolis, MN, Chicago, IL, Oakland, CA, and Birmingham, AL. Each participant was aged 23–35 years when the researchers first examined them.

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The risk of low income

The researchers behind the new study analyzed data from the CARDIA study to see whether there was a link between income fluctuations and risk of cardiovascular events as well as death. They first studied income levels taken from five assessments in 1990–2005.

They defined income volatility as a percentage change from one income figure to the next. They also looked at income drop, or an income decrease of 25 percent or more from the previous assessment figure.

They then tracked the number of people who experienced cardiovascular events — both fatal and non-fatal — or died of any cause in 2005–2015.

There were 106 cardiovascular events and 164 deaths. The team took into account factors such as pre-existing heart risk and sociodemographic background.

The results, now published in the journal Circulation, found that substantial fluctuations in personal income were associated with a higher risk of death and cardiovascular diseases in the decade following this income change.

The highest levels of income volatility were linked with almost double the risk of death and over double the risk of conditions such as strokes, heart failure, or heart attacks.

These findings were all compared with those of people who fell into a similar category but who had less of an alteration in their personal income.

Some people were more likely to experience high income volatility. Such people included women, African-American people, those who are unemployed, people who are not married, people who smoke, those with less than a high school education, and people with signs of depression.

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Why money matters

Lead study author Tali Elfassy, Ph.D., at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Florida, says that income volatility "presents a growing public health threat, especially when federal programs, which are meant to absorb unpredictable income changes, are undergoing continuous changes, and mostly cuts."

"While this study is observational in nature and certainly not an evaluation of such programs, our results do highlight that large negative changes in income may be detrimental to heart health and may contribute to premature death."

Tali Elfassy, Ph.D.

It is not clear what exactly prompts income volatility to result in an elevated risk of cardiovascular problems, death, or both. It could be that fluctuations in a person's income result in unhealthful behaviors, such as excessive alcohol consumption, a lack of exercise, stress, and high blood pressure.

All of these things are linked to lifespan and cardiovascular health.

The researchers hope that other scientists will carry out further research to understand the cause of this newly found association. They list biologic and psychosocial pathways as being two potential reasons to explore.

They also see these findings as a way to more effectively screen people, especially those who are younger, for cardiovascular disease risk.

However, these results cannot currently be applied to all identities. Other ethnic groups and people living outside of cities will also need to be studied to see whether the same association is present.

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