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Photo: iStockphoto

Way to a healthy heart: Sleep more, sit less, eat a Mediterranean diet

Women get healthier after the death of their husband and heartburn drugs can lead to serious kidney problems studies and research tips for a healthier you

Lack of sleep increases risk of cardiovascular disease

People who sleep less are more likely to suffer from poor cholesterol metabolism and face greater risk of cardiovascular diseases, a Finnish research claims. Researchers from University of Helsinki found that people who get less sleep had fewer high-density HDL lipoproteins, also known as the good cholesterol transport proteins, compared to people who slept soundly. The study explains why the risk of cardiovascular disease is high in sleep-deprived people and also helps understand the mechanisms behind it which increases this risk. The study was published in journal Scientific Reports. Read more here.

Every hour spent sitting ups risk of calcium deposit in arteries

Every additional hour of sedentary time can increase the risk of calcium deposit in the coronary arteries by 12%, a US study warns. Calcium deposit is an early marker of coronary heart disease. Researchers from University of Texas examined data on more than 2,000 middle aged people. Participants who were the most sedentary were more likely to have coronary calcium. The study shows that the risk can be mitigated by moderate to vigorous physical activity. The study was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Read more here.

Mediterranean diet can cut risk of stroke and heart attacks

Following a Mediterranean diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish and legumes can lower the risk of heart attack and stroke, a study suggests. Researchers from New Zealand interviewed 15,482 people diagnosed with coronary heart disease from 39 countries. Participants who had more healthy foods were awarded a Mediterranean diet score, while those who had more unhealthy food were given a Western diet score. The study was published in the European Heart Journal. The researchers found that every one unit increase in the Mediterranean diet score led to a 7% reduction in the risk of heart attacks, strokes or death from heart diseases. Read more here.

Risk of stress and frailty lower in widows than in married women

Widows suffer less stress and frailty compared to wives whose husbands are still alive, an Italian study suggests. The study refutes the notion that marriage lowers the risk of heart attack and depression, and increases the chances of survival from cancer. Researchers from University of Padova followed 733 Italian men and 1154 women for four and a half years and found that men suffer when their wives die as they rely more heavily on their spouses, whereas women appeared to get healthier as they no longer had to go through the stress and restrictions of married life. The study was published in Journal of Women’s Health. Read more here.

Common heartburn drugs linked to kidney problems again

Commonly used heartburn medications known as proton pump inhibitors (PPI) can increase risk of kidney diseases, a US study suggest. Researcher examined a national health database involving 20, 270 people who were taking PPI. When the researchers compared the findings from this group with another group of 173,321 people who did not take PPI, they found that the risk of decline in kidney function was 32% higher while the risk of developing a new chronic kidney disease was 28% higher in the first group. None of the participants had kidney related problems at the beginning of the study. The study was published in the journal of the American Society of Nephrology. Read more here.

Compiled by Abhijit Ahaskar

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