Keep a Healthy Heart...Early

Well, if this doesn’t strike you as obvious, than you really need to reconsider your basic knowledge of disease-prevention. New studies have determined that it’s important to take care of your heart before, and, after heart trouble. Steven Reinberg of HealthDay News is on it:
In the first study, researchers said that to avoid heart failure when you're 70 or 80, you must begin by keeping your blood pressure and weight under control when you're 50.


"We tested the hypothesis that higher levels of blood pressure and body mass index (BMI) in midlife would be powerful determinants of heart failure risk in later life, and that the risk posed by preceding measurements would remain even after accounting for these risk factors measured later in life," said lead researcher Dr. Ramachandran S. Vasan…

… The second study found that fewer than 20 percent of patients seek cardiac rehabilitation after a heart attack or coronary bypass surgery.

"It has been shown by many trials that cardiac rehabilitation reduced the risk for new coronary events, re-hospitalization and mortality. The main advantage of cardiac rehabilitation is to reduce mortality," said study leader Dr. Jose A. Suaya, a lecturer and scientist at the Brandeis University Schneider Institutes for Health Policy, Heller School, in Waltham, Mass.
Okay, the whole point of eating as Dr. Fuhrman prescribes is so that you don’t develop heart problems. Here it is from the man himself:
There is no magic to heart health. Educating yourself with the latest scientific findings and eating a diet of delicious, natural, unprocessed food allows you to protect yourself and your family from the heart disease tragedies you see all around you.


Following this approach, you can achieve positive results simply by making the right diet and exercise choices—consistently, without the use of drugs or surgery. Almost everyone can achieve protection against heart disease by reaching the following goals:
  • Achieve an LDL cholesterol of 100 or lower.
  • Achieve a homocysteine level below 10.
  • Achieve healthful weight and blood pressure.
Furthermore, it is true that you need to protect your heart early on because after all, the seeds of heart disease are sown young. More from Dr. Fuhrman:
Not only does the development of coronary atherosclerosis develop in childhood, but earlier development of atherosclerosis and higher serum cholesterol levels in childhood result in a significantly higher risk of premature sudden death relatively early in life. Sometimes the effects of childhood dietary abuses can be seen relatively early, with premature death or a heart attack at a young age.


When we study people who died young of coronary artery disease, we find that the highest risk of an earlier death occurs in those who were above average weight in childhood.1 Findings from the famous Bogalusa Heart Study show that a high saturated fat intake early in life is strongly predictive of later heart disease burden and the higher blood pressure in childhood and adolescence is powerfully predictive of cardiovascular death in adulthood.2
In not, I guess pretty soon kids will be saying, “Mom, Where Are My Statins?
1. Eriksson JG, Forsen T, Tuomilehto J, et al. Catch-up growth in childhood and death from coronary heart disease: longitudinal study. BMJ 1999;318(7181):427-431.

2. Berenson GS, Srinivasan SR, Nicklas TA. Atherosclerosis: a nutritional disease of childhood. Bogalusa Heart Study. AM J Cardiol 1998;82(10B):22T-29T. Berenson GS. Childhood risk factors predict adult risk associated with subclinical cardiovascular disease. The Bolgulusa Heart Study. Am J Cardiol 2002;90(10C):3L-7L. Vos LE, Orien A, Uiterwaal C, et al. Adolescent blood pressure and blood pressure tracking into young adulthood are related to subclinical atherosclerosis: the atherosclerosis risk in young adults (ARYA) study. Am J Hypertens 2003 16(7):549-555.
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