Celebrate Go Red for Women: Wear Red, learn your risk for heart disease

Meet three women meeting the challenges of heart disease

Ask women when they’re at risk for heart disease, and they may say they have until after menopause gored.fwto start thinking about their cardiovascular health.

Not only is this wrong, it’s also dangerous because it prevents women from taking signs of heart disease seriously.

“The idea that heart disease is not a major risk for women is the biggest myth we need to counter,” says Claire Duvernoy, M.D., chief of cardiology at VA Ann Arbor Healthcare and an interventional cardiologist at the U-M Frankel Cardiovascular Center. “The truth is that more women die from cardiovascular disease than all forms of cancer combined.”

The good news is that women can lower their risk for heart disease, and campaigns like Go Red for Women, which celebrates National Wear Red Day, Feb. 7, inspires women to stand together for what is the fight for their lives. Every minute a women dies from heart disease, and 1 in 3 women’s deaths are caused by heart disease.   Continue reading

Simple stress-reducing techniques

Find the technique that fits your lifestyle

When you’re able to identify the situations that trigger stress in your life, you can learn techniques for PhysicalTechniquesBlog1.fwdealing with those situations more effectively. If not dealt with in a healthy way, stress can lead to a weakened immune system, loss of sleep, increased heart rate, high blood pressure and an increased risk of heart disease.

With the right stress-reducing techniques, you’ll not only be able to manage the harmful effects of stress on your mind and body, you’ll also be saving your energy for things that are more positive and productive in your life.

Remember, controlling stress is a lifelong process. Learning what triggers your stress is an important first step, along with recognizing that some stressors cannot be controlled or changed no matter how much you worry about them. The key is to incorporate relaxation techniques for managing stress and its effects on your body. Here are some to get you started:

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Encouraging News About the Incidence of Dementia

Many projections forecast a major increase in dementia in coming decades. With populations aging across the globe, many more elderly adults are expected to develop dementia.Better heart health reducing dementia

Current projections, for example, predict that cases of dementia will triple in the United States alone.

The results of several recent European studies, however, suggest a more optimistic future.

Large studies of aging individuals in Britain, Denmark, Sweden, and the Netherlands indicate that a smaller proportion of aging individuals will experience cognitive impairment and dementia than had been anticipated.

While no one doubts that the aging of the worldwide population will result in marked increases in the number of individuals with dementia, the future may not be as grim as projected – which is very encouraging. Continue reading

Serious heart disease diagnosis forces lifestyle changes

Patient Bob Lee shares how he lost 50 lbs after surgery

Stethoscope and heart ECGIt took a dramatic health scare for Bob Lee to grasp the importance of a heart-healthy lifestyle. After the shock of serious heart disease diagnosis (blockages in four arteries and a rare condition known as anomalous left artery) and necessary surgery, Bob was left with one overriding conviction: “I never want to find myself in this situation again.”

Among other revelations, his experience made him realize this: “You can’t control your gene pool, but you can control other aspects of your life that will lead to better health.” Bob shares his story here.

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Embrace of aging examines male perspective of getting old

Tune in Sundays as the documentary looks at heart disease, diabetes, weight, relationships and man caves

Embrace_Men (2)The process of growing old. We all face it — if we’re lucky. We all fear it. Some do it gracefully, and some are not so lucky. What’s the secret to aging and doing it well? Is it genetics, attitude, environment, diet, love, or an active lifestyle – perhaps all of these?

Dr. Kim Eagle joins the conversation as the PBS TV series “The Embrace of Aging” follows the personal stories of men at various ages and stages of their lives. “You cannot beat it. You have to just do it,” Eagle says in the series that examines heart disease, prostate cancer, weight gain, relationships, exercise and man caves.

Eagle cared for coaching legend Bo Schembechler during his battle with heart disease, a disease progression that Eagle says “played out … like a football game.”  

The film promises to be an in-depth documentary that will traverse the world to discover how men from diverse environments and of different cultures face the inevitable. How do they embrace aging? Continue reading

Diabetes and heart disease – what’s the connection?

Today is American Diabetes Alert Day

finger_stick_diabetesIs there a connection between diabetes and heart disease? High levels of bad cholesterol (LDL), a risk factor for heart disease and stroke, are often found in patients with diabetes. However, Dr. Peter Arvan of the University of Michigan Department of Internal Medicine says that those with diabetes also often have low levels of the good cholesterol (HDL), as well as high levels of triglycerides — both of which are factors that could also lead to heart disease and stroke.

Low levels of HDL and high levels of triglycerides can be improved by weight loss, says Dr. Arvan. “In addition to diet and exercise,” he says, “diabetes patients can also experience weight loss with certain (but not all) medications that they take for the disease.”

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