Hidden Heart Attack Risks for Healthy People

Those at risk for heart attack might surprise you.

For people with genetic risk factors and a family history of heart disease, a “healthy” lifestyle may not be enough.

Aggressive dietary and exercise changes and early screening for signs of illness are a must.

Dr. Dean Ornish, who has researched the relationship between lifestyle and health, says even the most malignant family history can be overcome.
“I don’t think anyone is doomed to have heart disease,” said Ornish, founder and president of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute.
“You know, even if your mother and your father and your sister and your brother all die from heart disease it doesn’t mean you need ever to die from it,” he added. “It just means you need to make bigger changes in your life than someone else who doesn’t have those kinds of genes.”

An Apple a Day Keeps the Cardiologist Away!

As an apple lover I was really happy to hear that eating one or two apples a day may reduce the risk of heart disease.

Like any fruits there are nutritional benefits to eating them.

However, apples in particular seem to have certain properties which allay the onset of cardio-vascular disease.

“We were pleasantly surprised …” that apples so effectively lowered LDL (bad) cholesterol, says study researcher Bahram H. Arjmandi, PhD, RD, Margaret A. Sitton Professor and Chair, Department of Nutrition, Food and Exercise Sciences at The Florida State University in Tallahassee.

“When we look at the whole composite of human studies and animal studies and in vitro lab studies, when you look at the active components in apples and apple juice, there’s definitely benefit,” says Dianne A. Hyson, PhD, RD, a nutritionist and researcher at the University of California at Davis.

Are you in good enough shape for sex?

There are plenty of obvious reasons to stay in good shape, but this information might give you even more motivation:

People who don’t exercise on a regular basis, and then have episodes of intense exercise or sex are more likely to experience a heart attack or die suddenly than those who are more active, new research suggests.

An analysis of 14 previous heart studies in this week’s Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that irregular bouts of physical activity can be a trigger for a heart attack or sudden death, while infrequent episodes of sexual activity increased the risk for just heart attacks. No studies looked at the association of sexual activity and sudden cardiac death.

As many as a million acute myocardial infarctions (heart attacks) and 300,000 cardiac arrests occur in the United States each year, according to the study authors.

The researchers found a 3.5 times increased risk of heart attack from episodic physical activity, while sex was associated with a 2.7 times greater risk.

This shouldn’t be a surprise. Too many people subject themselves to bursts of activity when they’re not ready for it, but these things happen in the normal course of life. Things like sex (hopefully) and shoveling the driveway will happen, and yet most people just aren’t in good enough shape. You won’t so these things well, and you might kill yourself in the process.

Get in shape!

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