A recent research, published in Psychoneuroendocrinology, finds that in the three-month period after a spouse’s death widows and widowers are at higher risk of death associated with cardiovascular disease.
The study found that people who have lost a spouse within the last three months have higher levels of proinflammatory cytokines (immune markers indicating inflammation in the bloodstream) and lower heart rate variability (HRV) than those non-bereaved individuals of the same sex, age, body mass index, and education level.
Lead author Chris Fagundes, an assistant professor of psychology in Rice University’s School of Social Sciences, USA, says: “In the first six months after the loss of a spouse, widows/widowers are at a 41% increased risk of mortality. Importantly, 53% of this increased risk is due to cardiovascular disease. This study is an important step toward understanding why this is the case by identifying how bereavement gets under the skin to promote morbidity and mortality.”
A new study, conducted by the American Heart Association, suggests that people with depression are at higher risk for a common heart arrhythmia.
During the study, a team of scientists found that those patients who were on antidepressants or scored in the highest category for depression symptoms were at 30% higher risk of atrial fibrillation.
Lead study author Dr. Parveen Garg explains: “Our findings identify a large portion of Americans who may be at an increased risk for developing atrial fibrillation. Clinicians and patients should be aware that depression has been shown in several studies to be a risk factor for heart disease in general and, in this study, for atrial fibrillation as well.”
A team of scientists from the University of California identified a gene that may play role in preventing heart disease. The gene, called MeXis, acts within key cells inside clogged arteries to help remove redundant cholesterol from blood cells.
The gene MeXis was considered as “unhelpful” gene because it was presumed that it had no function as it didn’t make any protein. Nevertheless, the recent studies suggested that the genes of this type can perform important biological functions without making proteins. Instead, they are producing a special class of molecules, long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs).
Senior author of the study Dr. Peter Tontonoz, the Frances and Albert Piansky Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, says: “What this study tells us is that lncRNAs are important for the inner workings of cells involved in the development of heart disease. Considering many genes like MeXis have completely unknown functions, our study suggests that further exploring how other long non-coding RNAs act will lead to exciting insights into both normal physiology and disease.”
A new research from the University of Cambridge suggests that eating coconut daily may lower the risk of developing heart disease and stroke.
For the study, a team of researchers used data of 94 volunteers aged between 50 and 75 none of whom had diabetes or heart disease. All the participants were divided into 3 groups, where one group consumed coconut oil, the second group consumed extra virgin olive oil, and the third group consumed unsalted butter every day for 4 weeks.
The results of the study showed that those participants who ate coconut oil demonstrated the biggest rise in HDL cholesterol levels, 15% on average.
A new research, published in the journal Neurology, finds that the restless legs syndrome (RLS), the sleep and sensorimotor disorder, may increase the risk of heart-related death, especially in senior women.
For the study, a team of scientists examined data on 57,417 women from the Nurses’ Health Study. The women were clinically followed for a period of 10 years. Having analyzed the received data, the researchers concluded that over the 10-years period women with restless legs syndrome were 43% more likely to die from a heart disease.
The lead author of the research Xiang Gao, an associate professor of nutritional sciences at Pennsylvania State University in State College, says: “People with RLS are at elevated risk of CVD and other chronic conditions, but previous studies of all-cause mortality in people with RLS have reported inconsistent results. Our research clarifies how restless leg[s] syndrome affects cardiovascular disease-related mortality in older women, specifically. This study suggests that RLS could be a novel risk factor for CVD-related death.”