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Heart Disease Trends: Research and Trends

By: Terri McKinney

Working in the emergency medical field means keeping up with current heart disease trends. 2012 generated a multitude of research regarding cardiovascular health. February is National Heart Month, and the perfect time to brush up on current heart disease trends. Here are three key studies from the past year about which every healthcare professional and first responder should know.

New findings: Weight loss does not lower heart disease risk from type 2 diabetes

Individuals who are overweight or obese are at a significantly higher risk for cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and stroke. But according to a recent study from the National Institute of Health, weight loss may not help certain individuals immediately reduce this risk.

Researchers from across the country worked with 5,145 patients – half of which participated in an intensive diet and exercise program. The results showed that the diet and exercise program, while resulting in weight loss for many patients, did not reduce cardiovascular events for those with longstanding type 2 diabetes.

These findings are significant, as type 2 diabetes affects nearly 24 million people in the United States alone, and cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among Americans.

The researchers did note, however, that weight loss did help patients reduce other health conditions, such as sleep apnea.

Source: http://www.nih.gov/news/health/oct2012/niddk-19.htm

Heart Disease Statistics 2012: Family history may affect individuals’ cardiovascular risk

According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, family history may play a part in an individual’s risk for cardiovascular disease.

Researchers examined the family histories of people born in Denmark between 1950 and 2008. They found that family history of premature cardiovascular death was consistently and significantly associated with a risk of early cardiovascular disease, suggesting the risk is inherited.

The researchers emphasized that healthcare professionals should keep these results in mind when assessing the risk of an individual with a family history of premature cardiovascular death.

Source: http://content.onlinejacc.org/article.aspx?articleid=1352140

Heart disease trends: Sleep disturbance connected to cardiovascular risk in adolescents

Past research has shown that inadequate or disturbed sleep is associated with higher risk for cardiovascular problems in adults. But a new study suggests that this may also be true among adolescents.

Researchers collected data on adolescents from the 2009/10 cycle of the Healthy Heart Schools' Program, a study in the Niagara region of Ontario. From this data, they were able to draw a connection between amount and quality of sleep, and risk of cardiovascular disease.

The researchers who conducted this study suggest that improving sleep hygiene early in life may be a crucial step in preventing cardiovascular disease.

Source: http://www.cmaj.ca/content/early/2012/10/01/cmaj.111589

Health Ed Solutions (HES) offers online courses for emergency healthcare certification and training. HES’ courses are geared toward healthcare professionals and first responders. Course offerings include advanced cardiac life support (ACLS), pediatric advanced life support (PALS) and basic life support (BLS) certifications, as well as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), automated external defibrillator (AED) and first aid training. HES also offers an online library, which includes information on relevant health topics, such as heart disease trends (2012). Learn more at HealthEdSolutions.com