Lack of sleep linked to risk factors for diabetes and heart disease

admin   •   October 23, 2015   •   2834

A businessman takes a mid-day nap in the lobby of a midtown hotel in the Manhattan borough of New York August 1, 2014. REUTERS/CARLO ALLEGRI

A businessman takes a mid-day nap in the lobby of a midtown hotel in the Manhattan borough of New York August 1, 2014.

(Reuters Health) – People who get less than six hours of sleep a night may be more likely to have risk factors that increase their odds of diabetes, heart disease and strokes, a Korean study suggests.

This combination of risk factors – including high blood sugar, high cholesterol, extra fat around the midsection, high blood pressure and excess amounts of fats in the blood – is known as metabolic syndrome.

“The ‘short’ sleepers should be aware of the risks of developing metabolic syndrome, which could lead them to suffer from life threatening and chronic diseases,” lead author Dr. Jang Young Kim of Yonsei University in South Korea said by email.

Kim’s team followed about 2,600 adults for more than two years and found that participants who didn’t get at least six hours of sleep a night were 41 percent more likely to develop metabolic syndrome than individuals who got six to eight hours of shuteye.

The findings are drawn from two lifestyle surveys that included questions about sleep habits. The surveys were administered once between 2005 and 2008 and again sometime between 2008 and 2011. Study participants also underwent medical exams and shared their medical history.

After an average follow-up of 2.6 years, about 560 people in the study, or 22 percent of participants, developed metabolic syndrome, according to the results in the journal Sleep.

Short sleep duration was linked to about 30 percent increased risk of high blood sugar and excess belly fat, as well as 56 percent higher odds of hypertension, compared to those who slept longer.

One shortcoming of the study is its reliance on participants to accurately recall and report on their sleep habits, medical conditions and lifestyle behaviors, the authors acknowledge. It also lacked data on the quality of sleep.

Still, the findings are consistent with other studies that have found an association between sleep duration, cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome, said Kristen Knutson, a sleep researcher at the University of Chicago who wasn’t involved in the study.

“The strength of this study is that it is a prospective study, which means short sleep was associated with the development of metabolic syndrome,” Knutson said by email. “This is important because the sleep duration was measured before the people had the disease.”

To avoid the ill effects of insufficient sleep, patients should take a close look at their daily routines and make sure they allow enough time in their schedule for rest, Knutson said. Some things like time for work, school or childcare may not be optional, but other things like time for television or movies might be replaced with more rest.

“We don’t know yet if it is possible to reverse the effects” of too little sleep, Knutson added. “Still, adopting a healthy lifestyle which includes appropriate sleep, a healthy diet and sufficient exercise will be beneficial to your health.”

SOURCE: Sleep, online September 25, 2015.

College student viral for graduating in a wheel chair passes away

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 28, 2019

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — Smart, humble, and a good friend. That is how Joemar Kenik Mangkok’s friends describe him.

Joemar’s story became viral after his sister, Lyn Mangkok-Ayob, posted his graduation ceremony on Facebook .

#LABANPUSO…datu congrats🎓 dahil e2 na ang pangarap natin lahat na maabot mo ang araw na e2😭😭😭.sana gumaling kana at kc…

Posted by Lyn Mangkok Ayob on Saturday, 23 March 2019

Noor Galmak Mopak, one Joemar’s friends, said they have been together since first year college. They were even co-interns. Noor, Joemar and the rest of their friends made a promise to one another.

“First year pa lang po kami may pangako kami sa isa’t isa na kahit anong mangyari, sabay-sabay kami ga-graduate (Ever since first year, we promised that all of us will graduate together, no matter what ) she said.

Joemar graduated on March 22, Friday, at Southern Mindanao Institute of Technology Inc. in Sultan Kudarat. He graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education, major in Mathematics.

He had been suffering from rheumatic heart disease for five years and no matter what happened, he kept his promise.

Despite being unable to walk and despite the heaviness of his oxygen tank, he went up the stage and accepted his diploma.

No illness could stop him.

After receiving his diploma, Joemar was rushed to the hospital and went into a coma on March 25.

On Tuesday, his sister Lyn announced his passing.

Lyn expressed her heartfelt thanks to everyone who sent their support. In her previous post, she expressed her wish for her brother after he graduated in college.

“Sana maging inspirasyon ka sa mga kabataan. We love you so much datu (I hope you become an inspiration to the youth)—Aileen Cerrudo

Air quality linked to cardiac ‘events,’ heart disease patients unaware

UNTV News   •   April 18, 2018

FILE PHOTO: A cyclist wears a mask as he cycles near Buckingham Palace in London April 2, 2014. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

Poor air quality with high levels of tiny pollution particles known as PM 2.5 are tied to a spike in emergency department visits for heart- and lung-related illnesses and stroke, a California study suggests, but a nationwide U.S. survey finds that few heart patients are aware of air quality risks.

Based on analysis of areas affected by the intense 2015 California wildfire season, researchers found that within a day of residents being exposed to dense smoke, emergency room visits for heart attacks and other cardiac events and symptoms rose by 15 percent overall, and 42 percent among people over age 65.

Stroke and other cerebrovascular emergencies rose 17 percent overall, and 22 percent for older adults, the study team reports in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

“Unlike places that have chronic exposure to poor air quality where we can educate people about the health risks, wildfires happen at unexpected times,” said senior study author Ana Rappold of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Health and Environmental Effects Research Lab in Durham, North Carolina.

“Wildfires have become a leading cause of short-term exposure to polluted air,” she said in a telephone interview. “It’s important to talk to people about how exposure to wildfire can impact their health.”

Large-scale wildfires are projected to increase through the end of the century in many areas, particularly in California, Rappold and her colleagues note in their report. Wildfire smoke contains several pollutants, including carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and ash particles that have been associated with lung and heart problems.

It also contains tiny particles, smaller than 2.5 micrometers, that are produced by burning, such as in wildfires, indoor cooking fires and motor vehicle exhaust.

These particles are small enough to enter the bloodstream from the lungs and are linked to inflammation, heart rhythm disturbances and clotting issues, the authors write.

Rappold and colleagues analyzed emergency room visits between May 1 and September 30, 2015 in eight northern and central California basins where fires covered more than 800,000 acres of land.

Based on data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the research team followed smoke plumes and particulate matter concentrations as they moved across the state. They also looked at emergency room data for diagnoses such as heart attack, angina, cardiac dysrhythmia, pulmonary embolism, stroke, asthma, COPD and pneumonia.

The researchers found 361,000 cardiovascular, 15,500 cerebrovascular and 230,000 respiratory diagnoses. Emergency room visits for heart issues were associated with wildfire smoke density for all adults and were more pronounced for those over age 65. Brain and lung issues were also more severe among older adults, especially on medium- and dense-smoke days.

“We have an aging population in this country with increasing obesity, diabetes and associated heart and lung diseases, and we have an increasing number of acres that burn every year,” said one of the study’s coauthors, Dr. Wayne Cascio, who directs the EPA National Health and Environmental Effects Research Lab.

“We also have an increasing number of people encroaching on acres that have a high likelihood of burning,” Cascio said in a telephone interview. “That’s the perfect storm of increasing the number of people who are at risk for wildfire exposure.”

In future studies, the EPA team plans to look at how long wildfire smoke and particulate matter lingers in the air and causes health problems, as well as how these air pollution exposures affect healthcare expenses through programs such as Medicare.

They’ve also launched Smoke Sense (, a mobile app that encourages people to submit information about wildfire exposures and their health and productivity.

“I tell my patients that if they have heart or lung disease, they need to be mindful about poor air quality and smoke from wildfires,” Cascio said. “Avoid them to the extent that you can and look at EPA resources or others to plan what else you should do.”

In a separate study by a team at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, researchers found that people with lung disease are more likely than those with heart diseases to be aware of the risks they face during poor air quality alerts.

The research team analyzed surveys of more than 12,000 U.S. adults between 2014 and 2016. About half of participants were aware of air quality alerts, 27 percent said they avoided busy roads to reduce their exposure and 3 percent said they had talked with a health professional about ways to avoid exposure to air pollution. Compared to the other survey participants, awareness of air quality alerts was 11 percent more common among people with asthma and avoidance of busy roads was 13 percent more common. People with asthma were also five times more likely to have spoken with a doctor about avoiding pollution exposure.

“Targeted public health messages about air quality might raise awareness about alerts and motivate changes in behavior among those at risk during periods of unhealthy air quality,” said lead study author Maria Mirabelli of the CDC’s Asthma and Community Health Branch.

“Be aware of air quality alerts and discuss with a health professional the strategies to reduce air pollution exposure,” Mirabelli advised in an email. “Avoid busy roads to reduce exposure when walking, biking or exercising outdoors.”

SOURCES: Journal of the American Heart Association; online April 11, 2018; and American Journal of Preventive Medicine, online March 15, 2018.

Many breast cancer survivors may die of heart disease, doctors warn

UNTV News   •   February 8, 2018

FILE PHOTO: A breast cancer patient listens to her doctor after a radiological exam in a file photo. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

(Reuters Health) – The same advances in breast cancer treatment that have dramatically improved survival in recent years have also left a growing number of women vulnerable to potentially fatal cardiovascular problems, the American Heart Association warns.

Chemotherapy can weaken the heart muscle, some newer targeted medicines can increase the risk of heart failure, and radiation can cause heart rhythm disorders and structural damage in the arteries and heart valves, the AHA emphasizes in its scientific statement on the link between breast cancer and heart disease.

Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in women, and this risk increases with age, noted Dr. Laxmi Mehta, lead author of the statement and section director of preventive cardiology and women’s cardiovascular health at the Ohio State University Medical center in Columbus.

“So as breast cancer survivors are living longer, their risks of cardiovascular disease increase,” Mehta said by email.

Breast cancer survivors, especially women over age 65, are more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than tumors, the AHA statement stresses.

This doesn’t mean women should skip lifesaving cancer therapies, but it does mean they should be aware of the cardiac side effects and be monitored for cardiovascular disease during treatment and afterwards, Mehta added.

“Any patient who is going to undergo breast cancer treatment, whether they have heart disease at the beginning or not, should be aware of the potential effects on their heart,” Mehta advised.

Several cancer treatments have long been linked to an increased risk of heart problems in the future.

For example, anthracyclines, such as doxorubicin, are a type of chemotherapy that has been used since the 1970s and can cause irreversible damage to the left ventricle, the heart’s main pumping chamber.

And taxanes, such as paclitaxel, have been linked to irregular heart rates and rhythm disorders.

Trastuzumab and pertuzumab, targeted therapies for an aggressive type of malignancy known as HER-2 positive breast cancer, can also damage the left ventricle but this damage may be reversible after treatment stops. Women who develop heart failure while taking these drugs may be able to alter treatment to help prevent worsening or permanent cardiac damage.

Another chemotherapy – doxorubicin – can damage heart cells, but the risk of heart failure may be reduced when the medicine is administered slowly, rather than all at once. Women taking this medicine may also reduce their risk of heart failure by pairing it with another drug, dexrazoxane.

Radiation can damage arteries and cause blockages, but newer techniques can deliver lower and more targeted doses of radiation that are less toxic to the heart than standard regimens a generation ago.

Heart disease and breast cancer share many of the same risk factors, including obesity, inactivity, smoking, and poor eating habits, according to the AHA statement published in Circulation. Lifestyle changes designed to avoid these risk factors may help women minimize their risk of cancer and heart problems.

“Women have a higher risk for heart disease if they go untreated for existing cardiovascular risk factors or develop risk factors such as obesity or low fitness during breast cancer treatment,” said Dr. Susan Gilchrist, a cardiology professor at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

Even when women don’t have any risk factors for heart disease when they’re diagnosed with breast cancer, they should still adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle to lower the chances of developing heart problems associated with cancer treatments, the AHA recommends.

“The key message is to be proactive and focus on prevention,” Gilchrist, who wasn’t involved in the AHA statement, said by email. “Stay active during treatment, avoid smoking and weight gain, get to goal with blood pressure and cholesterol, and do appropriate cardiovascular screening as determined by your oncologist.”

SOURCE: Circulation, online February 1, 2018.


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