Posts Tagged ‘heart disease’

The Vitamin-D Debate: How Much is OK?

The Vitamin-D Debate: How Much is OK?

By Alice Park, courtesy of TIME 

 

Danny Kim for TIME

Spend a few minutes soaking up some rays and your body will start to pump out more vitamin D. Many health officials believe Americans are D-deficient, but in the age of sunblock and self-tanners, how many vitamin-D pills should we be popping? New guidelines for the optimal dietary dose are expected in the fall, and definitive studies on vitamin D’s effects on cancer, heart disease and cognition are ongoing. In the meantime, here’s where the science stands.

Cancer
Vitamin D may prevent cancer by suppressing the cell growth and blood-vessel formation that feed tumors. At least that’s the idea, based on animal studies and analyses of human cells. But trials in which patients take vitamin D have not shown a consistent lowering of cancer risk.

One four-year trial of 1,200 postmenopausal women found a 77% lower risk of all cancers among those taking calcium and 1,000 IU of vitamin D a day than among those taking a placebo. A larger study, however, in which subjects took 400 IU of vitamin D — in the absence of an official daily recommended intake, that’s the "adequate" intake for adults ages 51 to 70 — did not show lower breast-cancer risk.

The data are strongest for colorectal cancer: subjects with higher blood levels of vitamin D were half as likely as those with lower levels to develop the disease. 

Heart Disease
Studies on animals and human-cell cultures indicate that vitamin D has a protective effect on the heart, controlling the release of stress hormones that lead to high blood pressure and inflammation.

Studies on human subjects confirm this link. In one trial, men whose blood work showed D levels below 30 nanograms per milliliter — the amount the Institute of Medicine says adults should aim for — were twice as likely to have a heart…
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Why Do Heavy Drinkers Outlive Nondrinkers?

Why Do Heavy Drinkers Outlive Nondrinkers?

By John Cloud, courtesy of TIME 

Side profile of a businessman holding a glass of whiskey at a bar counter Vertical

One of the most contentious issues in the vast literature about alcohol consumption has been the consistent finding that those who don’t drink actually tend to die sooner than those who do. The standard Alcoholics Anonymous explanation for this finding is that many of those who show up as abstainers in such research are actually former hard-core drunks who had already incurred health problems associated with drinking.

But a new paper in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research suggests that — for reasons that aren’t entirely clear — abstaining from alcohol does actually tend to increase one’s risk of dying even when you exclude former drinkers. The most shocking part? Abstainers’ mortality rates are higher than those of heavy drinkers. 

Moderate drinking, which is defined as one to three drinks per day, is associated with the lowest mortality rates in alcohol studies. Moderate alcohol use (especially when the beverage of choice is red wine) is thought to improve heart health, circulation and sociability, which can be important because people who are isolated don’t have as many family members and friends who can notice and help treat health problems.

But why would abstaining from alcohol lead to a shorter life? It’s true that those who abstain from alcohol tend to be from lower socioeconomic classes, since drinking can be expensive. And people of lower socioeconomic status have more life stressors — job and child-care worries that might not only keep them from the bottle but also cause stress-related illnesses over long periods. (They also don’t get the stress-reducing benefits of a drink or two after work.)

But even after controlling for nearly all imaginable variables — socioeconomic status, level of physical activity, number of close friends, quality of social support and so on — the researchers (a six-member team led by psychologist Charles Holahan of the University of Texas at Austin) found that over a 20-year period, mortality rates were highest for those who had never been drinkers, second-highest for heavy drinkers and lowest for moderate drinkers. 

The sample of those who were studied included individuals between ages 55 and 65 who had had any kind of outpatient care in the previous three years. The 1,824 participants were followed for 20 years. One drawback of the sample: a disproportionate number, 63%, were men. Just over…
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Heart Attack Grill

A Meal To Die For, CBS

Looks like an eventual class action suit to me. 

H/t Tom Burger


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Who Should Take Statins? The Debate Continues

Who Should Take Statins? The Debate Continues

By Alice Park, courtesy of TIME 

It is well known that the cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins can reduce the risk of heart attack among people who already have heart disease. But whether the medications can prevent a heart attack from occurring in the first place is still a hotly contested question among health experts.

Two new studies published on Monday in the Archives of Internal Medicine reignite the simmering debate.

One study revisits the merits of the controversial Jupiter trial (or Justification for the Use of Statins in Primary Prevention), which was published in 2008 in the New England Journal of Medicine. That trial concluded that the statin drug Crestor (rosuvastatin) lowered the combined risks of heart attack, stroke, other heart events or heart-related death by 47% in healthy patients with no history of heart problems or high cholesterol but high levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker for inflammation. The findings prompted the Food and Drug Administration in February to expand the eligible patient population for Crestor by millions.

Critics of the Jupiter trial have contended that the benefits of the cholesterol drug may have been exaggerated because the trial was stopped early — after two years, instead of the planned five. Had the trial been allowed to continue, critics say, the differences in benefit between the treatment and placebo groups may have disappeared. That is the argument raised again by the new study in the Archives, by an international group of scientists led by Dr. Michel de Lorgeril at the University Joseph Fourier and the National Center of Scientific Research in Grenoble, France.

Jupiter was stopped prematurely when an independent monitoring board gleaned an overwhelming treatment benefit in the statin group. Although the early termination of randomized and blinded control studies is common — to ensure the safety of patients, study leaders frequently monitor the accruing data and stop the trial when one group shows a predetermined amount of benefit over the other — in Jupiter’s case, de Lorgeril’s group argues, the study never made clear what the predetermined benefit was.

What the data did show, however, is that when certain hard clinical endpoints — such as heart-related death — were considered, the difference between the two groups was not significant enough to warrant stopping the trial. Among the entire study population of more than 17,000, there was a total of only 240…
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Tea, Coffee Drinkers Have Lower Heart Risk

Good news, coffee and tea drinkers. Keep drinking--6 cups of tea or 4 cups of coffee. – Ilene 

Tea, Coffee Drinkers Have Lower Heart Risk

Black coffee in ornate coffee cup

Study Shows 3 to 6 Cups of Tea Daily Linked Reduced Risk of Death From Heart Disease 

By Salynn Boyles
WebMD Health News

June 18, 2010 — People who drink a lot of tea or drink coffee in moderation are less likely to die of heart disease than coffee and tea abstainers, new research suggests.

The finding adds to the growing body of evidence suggesting that coffee and tea help protect against heart disease, but not stroke.

Researchers followed more than 37,000 people in The Netherlands for 13 years in one of the largest and longest studies ever to examine the impact of coffee and tea drinking on heart health.

They found that:

  • People who drank three to six cups of tea per day had a 45% lower risk of death from heart disease than people who drank less than one cup of tea a day.
  • Drinking more than six cups of tea a day was associated with a 36% lower risk of heart disease, compared to drinking less than one cup.
  • People who drank more than two, but no more than four, cups of coffee a day had about a 20% lower risk of heart disease than people who drank more or less coffee or no coffee at all.
  • Moderate coffee consumption was associated with a slight, but not statistically significant, reduction in death from heart disease, but neither coffee nor tea affected stroke risk.

Continue here.>

See Also:

Tea and coffee reduce heart disease risk, study suggests

By Richard Alleyne, Telegraph 

The researchers believe that the health benefits are down to antioxidants found in both drinks which remove damaging free radicals from the body.

The team, whose research is published in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology: Journal of the American Heart Association, also noted that tea and coffee drinkers have different health behaviours – with more coffee drinkers prone to smoke and have a less healthy diet.

This is the latest research into the relative health benefits of two of the world’s favourite beverages.

It has been claimed that they can reduce risks of some cancers, diabetes, stress and even acne.

But they have also been linked to increased rates of cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and high blood pressure.

Full article here.>


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FREAK YOURSELF OUT WITH NEW AT-HOME GENETIC TESTING KIT

I’m not likely to ruin my life and take this test, but can see the value. For example, small amounts of alcohol, particularly red wine, may lower the risk of heart disease while simultaneously increasing the risk for certain cancers. If a genetic test revealed a higher than normal risk for heart disease, but not cancer, maybe a glass of wine would be more enjoyable than if the test revealed the opposite results. Knowing one’s risk areas might be of use in financial planning as well.  

Benefit or not, I hope the package includes a lot of disclaimers such as "we are not responsible for the effects of any food or drinking binges in celebration of your low risk test results."  - Ilene 

FREAK YOURSELF OUT WITH NEW AT-HOME GENETIC TESTING KIT

Courtesy of Richard Metzger of Dangerous Minds 

image
 
Attention hypochondriacs! If you are feeling the need to seriously freak yourself out, look no further than your local Walgreens store! Yup, starting Friday you can purchase an at-home test kit that allows people who, well, worry about these things (obsessively) to see if their DNA makes them more likely to develop one (or more!) of dozens of different health conditions. Breast cancer? Check. Heart disease? Check! Alzheimer’s disease? Can do! Just swab your cheek, pop it in the mail and within a week or so, your life will be completely ruined!

From The Chicago Tribune:

The product’s introduction raises immediate concerns among scientists, bio-ethicists and genetic counselors. They worry that consumers will misuse or misunderstand the results of a test so open to interpretation it is potentially meaningless, or frightening, especially without a full medical assessment.

On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration told the Tribune it is investigating the medical claims the product’s manufacturer, California-based Pathway Genomics, is making in marketing its genetic test, which hasn’t been approved by U.S. regulators.

Pathway officials say the company’s home genetic test meets federal regulations and doesn’t require FDA approval. “The tests conducted are not an in-vitro medical device and are not intended for use in diagnosis, treatment, mitigation or cure of disease. It does provide information that allows a person to learn about their health to make healthier lifestyle choices,” said Ed MacBean, Pathway’s vice president of product management. “If the FDA contacts us, we will discuss it and address any concerns they


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Hide your children or they’ll be on Statins before you know it.

Boy playing hide and seek

Introduction and post idea, courtesy of John Wrenn, MD - Ilene 

Are you ready for your Crestor?  Maybe lifestyle modification would be just as effective or possibly even more so.

Thanks goodness they listed the absolute risk reduction numbers at the end of the article.  The needed to treat number is 500 to prevent one adverse cardiovascular outcome (stoke/MI). Crestor is $3.50 a day which works out to $638,000 per year for every event avoided and that doesn’t include the cost of the doctor’s visits or the liver function tests to monitor for toxicity or the cost of side effects.

Risks Seen in Cholesterol Drug Use in Healthy People

By DUFF WILSON, NY TIMES 

With the government’s blessing, a drug giant is about to expand the market for its blockbuster cholesterol medication Crestor to a new category of customers: as a preventive measure for millions of people who do not have cholesterol problems.

Some medical experts question whether this is a healthy move.

They point to mounting concern that cholesterol medications — known as statins and already the most widely prescribed drugs in the United States — may not be as safe a preventive medicine as previously believed for people who are at low risk of heart attacks or strokes. 

Continue here.>>

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See also John’s Take On The Prostate.

Treat the Risk, Not the Cholesterol: Study Challenges Current Cholesterol Recommendations

(Ilene’s yellow highlights)

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Jan. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A new study by the University of Michigan Medical School and VA Ann Arbor Health System challenges the medical thinking that the lower the cholesterol, the better.

Tailoring treatment to a patient’s overall heart attack risk, by considering all their risk factors, such as age, family history, and smoking status, was more effective, and used fewer high-dose statins, than current strategies to drive down cholesterol to a certain target, according to the U-M study.

While study authors support the use of cholesterol-lowering statins, they conclude that patients and their doctors should consider all the factors that put them at risk for heart attack and strokes.…
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Treat the Risk, Not the Cholesterol: Study Challenges Current Cholesterol Recommendations

Here’s a very important – maybe paradigm shifting - press release on a study that challenges the current, broad-based recommendations for people to lower their cholesterol. My highlights. – Ilene

Pharmboy had this comment: 

Good article, and I agree with most of what’s in it, from scientific standpoint.  I am not a Doc, but I have worked on this area of research.  There are a few things in the pipelines of several companies that may help the inflammation of the arteries when someone is on a statin, and [the biotech] VIAP is spearheading the trials for this exact study.  Unfortunately, their drug is for a shorter term treatment, and the real trials will have to be a bodybag trial….either they preserve life, or don’t.  Diet and exercise are the two biggest things we can do to stay healthy. 

Treat the Risk, Not the Cholesterol: Study Challenges Current Cholesterol Recommendations

Increasing Obesity Figures Cause Health Concerns

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Jan. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A new study by the University of Michigan Medical School and VA Ann Arbor Health System challenges the medical thinking that the lower the cholesterol, the better.

Tailoring treatment to a patient’s overall heart attack risk, by considering all their risk factors, such as age, family history, and smoking status, was more effective, and used fewer high-dose statins, than current strategies to drive down cholesterol to a certain target, according to the U-M study.

While study authors support the use of cholesterol-lowering statins, they conclude that patients and their doctors should consider all the factors that put them at risk for heart attack and strokes.

The findings will be released online Monday ahead of print in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

"We’ve been worrying too much about people’s cholesterol level and not enough about their overall risk of heart disease," says Rodney A. Hayward, M.D., director of the Veterans Affairs Center for Health Services Research and Development and a professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School.

The National Cholesterol Education Program recommends harmful LDL cholesterol levels should be less than 130 for most people. High risk patients should be pushed even lower — to less than 70.

The U-M study took a different approach, called tailored treatment, which uses a person’s risk factors and mathematical models to calculate the expected benefit of treatment, by considering:

  --  A person’s risk of a heart attack or…
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Why Genes Aren’t Destiny

Your genes may not be your destiny, but when your grandmother over-ate that one long summer, that was a killer… Fascinating article on epigenetics. – Ilene

Why Genes Aren’t Destiny

TIME photoBy John Cloud, courtesy of TIME

The remote, snow-swept expanses of northern Sweden are an unlikely place to begin a story about cutting-edge genetic science. The kingdom’s northernmost county, Norrbotten, is nearly free of human life; an average of just six people live in each square mile. And yet this tiny population can reveal a lot about how genes work in our everyday lives.

Norrbotten is so isolated that in the 19th century, if the harvest was bad, people starved. The starving years were all the crueler for their unpredictability. For instance, 1800, 1812, 1821, 1836 and 1856 were years of total crop failure and extreme suffering. But in 1801, 1822, 1828, 1844 and 1863, the land spilled forth such abundance that the same people who had gone hungry in previous winters were able to gorge themselves for months.

In the 1980s, Dr. Lars Olov Bygren, a preventive-health specialist who is now at the prestigious Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, began to wonder what long-term effects the feast and famine years might have had on children growing up in Norrbotten in the 19th century — and not just on them but on their kids and grandkids as well. So he drew a random sample of 99 individuals born in the Overkalix parish of Norrbotten in 1905 and used historical records to trace their parents and grandparents back to birth. By analyzing meticulous agricultural records, Bygren and two colleagues determined how much food had been available to the parents and grandparents when they were young.

Around the time he started collecting the data, Bygren had become fascinated with research showing that conditions in the womb could affect your health not only when you were a fetus but well into adulthood. In 1986, for example, the Lancet published the first of two groundbreaking papers showing that if a pregnant woman ate poorly, her child would be at significantly higher than average risk for cardiovascular disease as an adult. Bygren wondered whether that effect could start even before pregnancy: Could parents’ experiences early in their lives somehow change the traits they passed to their offspring?

It was a heretical idea. After all, we have had a long-standing deal with biology:…
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Zero Hedge

How To Spend $45,000 On A $27,000 Car

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk,

As cars become more expensive, and trade-ins worth less and less, buyers go deeper in debt on new cars.

Please consider taking a $45,000 Loan for a $27,000 Ride.

...

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Phil's Favorites

Peace advocates have long been found among veterans who fought in America's wars

 

Peace advocates have long been found among veterans who fought in America's wars

Veterans for Peace gather for a Veterans Day ceremony at the Minnesota State Capitol mall, Nov. 11, 2014, in St. Paul. AP/Jim Mone

Courtesy of Michael Messner, University of Southern California – Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

If President Donald Trump had gotten his way, the nation would have celebrated the centennial of the World War I armistice last year on Nov. 11 with ...



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Insider Scoop

These Analysts Love BellRing Brands

Courtesy of Benzinga

BellRing Brands Inc (NYSE: BRBR) is a nutrition products company known for its ready-to-drink protein shakes and was born out of the separation of Post Holdings Inc (NYSE: POST)....



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The Technical Traders

Welcome to the Zombie-land Of Investing - Part I

Courtesy of Technical Traders

This current market environment is very reminiscent of the 2006-08 market environment where price rotated into weakness on technicals and continued to establish new all-time price highs in the process – creating what we are calling a “zombie-land melt-up”.  This very dangerous price action is indicative of money chasing a falling trend.  Where technicals and fundamentals are suggesting that price is actually weakening quite substantial, yet the process of price exploration is continually biased towards the upside as investors continue to pile onto the back of the beast expecting a further melt-up.

Let’s take a look at what happened to the ES and Gold in 2006 an...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Gold Indicator Sending Fresh Bearish Message, Says Joe Friday!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Could the Gold/US Dollar ratio be sending a fresh concerning message to Gold bulls this week? Joe Friday says Yes!

This chart looks at the Gold/Dollar ratio over the past 8-years.

The intersection of two long-term channel met at (1) a few months ago. The ratio was testing the bottom of one as resistance and the top of another as resistance at the same time.

As the ratio was testing both channels as resistance, a sizeable bearish reversal pattern took place at (1).

Since the reversal pattern took place, the ratio has been heading lower.

Joe Friday Just The Facts Ma’am; The ratio is breaking below...



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Digital Currencies

3 Reasons Why One Trader Didn't "Manipulate" Bitcoin Price To $20K

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Authored by William Suberg via CoinTelegraph.com,

Bitcoin price highs in 2017 were not the result of a single trader on an exchange, the CEO of payment company Circle claims. In a series of tweets on Nov. 4, Jeremy Allaire disputed ...



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Chart School

Gold Gann and Cycle Review

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Gold has performed well, golden skies are here again. In fact it has been a straight line move, and this is typically unusual and a pause can be expected.

It seems the markets are happy again, new highs in the SP500, US 10 year interest rates look to re bound, negative interest may soften. The US FED has reversed their QT and now doing $250BN (not QE) repo. The main point is the FED has stopped QT, and will do QE forever. The evidence now is the FED put is under market risk and the possibility of excessive losses do not exist. 

Point: If in future if there is market risk, the FED will print it's way out of it.
Subject To: In this blog view. The above is so until the amount required rocks confidence in the US dollar as a reserve currency.&n...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Today's Fed POMO TOMO FOMC Alphabet Soup Unspin

Courtesy of Lee Adler

But make no mistake, if the Fed wants money rates to stay down by another quarter, it will need to imagineer even more money.

That’s on top of the $281 billion it has already imagineered into existence since addressing its “one-off” repo market emergency on September 17. This came via  “Temporary” Repo Man Operations money, and $70.6 billion in Permanent Open Market Operations (POMO) money.

By my calculations that averages out to $7.4 billion per business day. That works out to a monthly pace of $155 billion or so.

If they keep this up, it will be more than enough to absorb every penny of new Treasury supply. That supply had caused the system to run out of money in mid September.  This flood of paper had been inundati...



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Biotech

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

Reminder: We are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

Courtesy of  , Visual Capitalist

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

As evidence of cannabis’ many benefits mounts, so does the interest from the global pharmaceutical industry, known as Big Pharma. The entrance of such behemoths will radically transform the cannabis industry—once heavily stigmatized, it is now a potentially game-changing source of growth for countless co...



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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

...

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Members' Corner

Despacito - How to Make Money the Old-Fashioned Way - SLOWLY!

Are you ready to retire?  

For most people, the purpose of investing is to build up enough wealth to allow you to retire.  In general, that's usually enough money to reliably generate a year's worth of your average income, each year into your retirement so that that, plus you Social Security, should be enough to pay your bills without having to draw down on your principle.

Unfortunately, as the last decade has shown us, we can't count on bonds to pay us more than 3% and the average return from the stock market over the past 20 years has been erratic - to say the least - with 4 negative years (2000, 2001, 2002 and 2008) and 14 positives, though mostly in the 10% range on the positives.  A string of losses like we had from 2000-02 could easily wipe out a decades worth of gains.

Still, the stock market has been better over the last 10 (7%) an...



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Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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