1. Dietary factors linked to high proportion of deaths from stroke, heart disease and type 2 diabetes

Reported in JAMA, this is an interesting study that showed how dietary factors contributed to “substantia” portion of deaths from stroke, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Researchers utilized a comparative risk assessment model to estimate deaths that related to poor dietary habits in the intake of 10 dietary factors. These are:

  1. Fruits
  2. Vegetables
  3. Nuts or Seeds
  4. Whole grains
  5. Unprocessed red meats
  6. Processed meats
  7. Sugar beverages
  8. Polyunsaturated fats
  9. Sodium
  10. Seafood omega-3 fats

In 2012, there were 702,308 total deaths that occurred due to adnormal cardiometabolic conditions prevalent among people. Out of these, 506,100 occurred from heart disease, 128,294 from stroke and 67,914 from diabetes. High sodium intake was related to the largest number of deaths (66,508), followed by the low intake of nuts and seeds (59,374) and high amount of processed meats (57,766).

Among those suffering from coronary heart disease, for example, blockage of an artery or a previous heart attack, the highest death rates were among those who had low intake of nuts and seeds. Among people who suffered a stroke, highest death rates were among those who consumed very littel vegetables and fruits. Among those with hypertension, highest death rates were among those who consumed high levels of sodium. Among those with diabetes, the highest rates of death were seen in those who took high quantities of processed meats. If you fall under any of these categories of diseases these results should help you identify which dietary factors you should focus upon for proper consumption to avoid premature death.

2. Influenza increases odds of Heart Attack: Patients with respiratory infections, particularly influenza, have an increased risk of getting a heart attack. Researchers analyzed data for heart attack between May 2008 and May 2015 in 332 patients who were tested and diagnosed with influenza between May 2009 and May 2014. The focused period was the first 7 days after the diagnosis was made when increased number of heart attacks occurred during this period determined as high risk period.

For example, suppose if there were 20 admissions for heart attack in the first week of illness, there were only 3 admissions for heart attack during the non-risk period, that is from day 8 through rest of the post influenza period. This confirmed what prior studies have suggested that there was indeed a temporal association between influenza and heart attack. Dr. Jeffrrey C. Kwong, a scientist at the institute of Evaluative Sciences and Public Health, Ontario who led the research with his colleagues said that their study reinforces the importance of Flu Vaccination in reducing the incidence of heart attacks.

3. Mortality rates are higher in unmarried patients with coronary artery disease: According to a study published in the Journal of American Heart Association, patients who underwent cardiac catheterization because of coronary artery disease and were unmarried had an increased risk of dying compared to thse who were married. “ I was surprised by the magnitude of the influence marriage has on heart patients. Social support provided by marriage and perhaps any other benefits of companionship are important for people with heart disease.” Arshad Quyyumi MD, professor of medicine in the division of cardiology at Emory university said in a press release. The researchers reviewed data from 6,051 patients who underwent cardiac catheterization for known or suspected coronary artery disease between 2003 and 2015. They found that the total number of deaths, deaths because of heart disease including heart attack, were more in unmarried patients compared to those who were married.