Less Money, More Heart Risk?


ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — In the U.S., someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds. Researchers know that diet, genetics, and lifestyle habits can all contribute to heart attack risk. Now, a new study reveals your bank account may also play a role. Ivanhoe explains.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., accounting for one out of every four deaths!

“Things like obesity, growing rates of diabetes, and probably other factors that we don’t totally understand … maybe pollution, or other things are raising levels of heart disease in certain populations,” stated Deepak L. Bhatt, MD, MPH, Executive Director of Interventional Cardiovascular Programs at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Now, a new study published in JAMA Cardiology shows your finances may also affect your heart attack risk.

Researchers followed more than 5,500 adults for about 24 years. They found participants whose wealth increased were less likely to develop heart disease. And those whose wealth decreased were more likely to have a heart event. The authors suspect that the decreases in wealth led to more stress, less leisure time, and more unhealthy behaviors, which could have contributed to the link. But here’s the bottom line for everyone …

“Pay attention to your symptoms. If you’re having symptoms, get them checked out,” said Prakash Balan, MD, JD, an interventional cardiologist with UT Health/Memorial Hermann.

Doctors recommend exercise, yoga, and meditation as good ways to cope with stress. A diet rich in veggies, fruits, and whole grains can improve your heart health. Also, keep your blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight in check.

While most research has focused on income or salary and heart risk, this new study examined a person’s complete financial situation, or their “wealth.” Wealth includes a person’s income as well as their assets and debts.


Contributors to this news report include: Julie Marks, Producer; and Roque Correa, Editor.    

REPORT #2892

BACKGROUND: Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. according to the CDC. About one in four deaths is due to heart disease which is roughly 610,000 people per year who are dying from heart disease. Almost half of Americans are at risk for heart disease, and the number of people being diagnosed with a heart condition is rising. Different types of heart disease include arrhythmia, a heart rhythm abnormality; atherosclerosis, a hardening of the arteries; cardiomyopathy, which causes the heart’s muscles to harden or grow weak; congenital heart defects that are present at birth; coronary artery disease (CAD), caused by the buildup of plaque in the heart’s arteries and heart infections that may be caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites. Each type of heart disease are all caused by a different factor.

(Source: https://www.healthline.com/health/heart-disease#risk-factors)

SYMPTOMS AND DIAGNOSIS: Symptoms of heart disease include chest pain, chest tightness, chest pressure and chest discomfort, shortness of breath, pain, numbness, weakness or coldness in your legs or arms if the blood vessels in those parts of your body are narrowed. As well as pain in the neck, jaw, throat, upper abdomen or back. Tests to tell if you have heart disease, aside from blood tests and chest X-rays are electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG), Holter monitoring, echocardiogram, stress test, cardiac catheterization, cardiac computerized tomography (CT) scan, and a cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Treatments for heart disease are not as simple as just medications or procedures, however, they can help. Lifestyle changes are important to combatting heart disease and can lower your risk when taken seriously. These changes include eating a low-fat and low-sodium diet, getting at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most days of the week, quitting smoking, and limiting alcohol intake. Managing stress can also decrease the risk of heart disease.

(Source: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20353124)

NEW REGULATIONS: A new drug helping heart disease called Farxgia, has shown improvement in survival and reduction in hospitalizations in adults with heart failure. The safety and effectiveness of the drug was tested in a andomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 4,744 participants. The mean age of the participants was 66 years old and 77% of the participants were male. Each patient was either given Farxgia or a placebo pill and were monitored for cardiovascular death, hospitalization for heart failure, and urgent heart failure visits. The trial lasted 18 months and proved that the participants that were given Farxgia had less cardiovascular deaths, hospitalizations for heart failure, and urgent heart failure visits than those receiving the placebo. The drug can cause dehydration, serious urinary tract infections and genital yeast infections.

(Source: https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-new-treatment-type-heart-failure)

* For More Information, Contact:

Deepak Bhatt, MD, MPH



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