Archive for December, 2007

In the News: Brushing and flossing your teeth could save you from a heart attack

Saturday, December 1st, 2007

There is mounting evidence of a link between gum disease and heart disease, but a study claims to be the first to show that the severity of each disease may also be connected.

Doctors found those with the worst blockages in their arteries had the most severe gum disease. French cardiologists and dentists looked at 131 patients referred to hospital for an X-ray examination of the arteries. All were examined for gum disease and had their blood checked for inflammation. Patients with artery disease had more severe periodontitis than those without, said study leader Dr Nicolas Amabile. It is not clear how gum disease may trigger heart problems, although it is thought that bacteria released from the infected gums are the key. The bacteria enter the bloodstream where they may activate the immune system, making artery walls inflamed and narrower, or attach directly to fatty deposits already present in the arteries which causes further narrowing.

In the News: Lack of sleep linked to an increased risk of heart disease

Saturday, December 1st, 2007

Almost one in three people gets less than five hours’ sleep a night, while half the population gets less than seven hours but people who deprive themselves of sleep may be more likely to die of heart disease, researchers have found.

A new study has identified a link between lack of sleep, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. An analysis of more than 6,500 people also found that women getting less than five hours’ sleep were twice as likely to have hypertension as men. Hypertension – chronically high blood pressure – is a risk factor for heart disease, Britain’s biggest killer. Researchers said the results were “highly suggestive” that sleep deprivation may be also linked to death from cardiovascular disease.

In the News: Nuts and oily fish cuts risk of childhood diabetes

Saturday, December 1st, 2007

Eating oily fish could cut the risk of children developing diabetes. A study found that omega 3 fatty acids abundant in fish such as trout and sardines could halve the chance of pancreas damage, which is linked to childhood diabetes.

Researchers from the University of Colorado studied 1,700 youngsters judged to be genetically at risk of developing the condition. After six years, those with a diet rich in omega 3 were up to half as likely to have suffered damage to the pancreas. The researchers said in the Journal of the American Medical Association that, in time, a childhood diet rich in omega 3 could become a mainstay in preventing diabetes.