Stroke Risk Factors And Heart Medication

Does Heart Medication Increase Stroke Risk Factors?

Two very popular heart medications on the market today show very similar results in relieving many of the main symptoms of heart disease and encouraging longer life in patients however the stroke risk factors of taking these heart medications is unclear and needs more study.

Before we discuss the resulting increases in stroke risk with taking heart medication lets first look into the two types of meds identified int he following study.

Beta Blockers
Beta blockers is a heart medication that is used for the treatment of heart diseases such as arrhythmias, hypertension, and heart attacks among many others. These heart medications work by blocking the stimulation of beta receptors and as a result they cause the heart to relax. The pulse rate drops as does the force of the contraction.

ACE Inhibitors
Similar to beta-blockers, ACE Inhibitors also are used for the treatment cardiac related diseases such as hypertension and congestive heart failure. They basically work by lowering the resistance of blood flowing through the arteries (i.e. artery plaque build up) thus increasing cardiac output and relieving strain on the heart.

Both heart medications, beta blockers and ACE inhibitors, have been proven effective in the treatment of serious heart diseases but a recent group of studies compared the two forms of treatments and find that the two have very different results when it comes to the increase in stroke risk factors.

Increasing Stroke Risk Factors

"According to a review of twelve randomized trials that involved 112,117 patients, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, beta blockers and ACE inhibitors were equally effective in lowering blood pressure and preventing heart failure.

The drugs differed in the fact that people taking beta blockers [had notably increased stroke risk factors and] were much more likely to suffer a stroke. The researchers recommend not taking beta blockers for high blood pressure but advise speaking with your physician before making any changes."
Risk Factors For Stroke
This finding on the stroke risk factors of heart medications is quite conclusive in my opinion. Generally speaking, either treatment plan is just as good as the other with individual exceptions. For instance some people might be prone to adverse side effects to one heart medication over the other. Stripping these side-affect cases out of the picture however, the only finding worth noting is the fact that beta blockers increase the risk factors for stroke in patients down the road. I would assume that this is reason alone to lean to treatment with ACE inhibitors over Beta-blockers but of course there are always case-specific details which a doctor must weigh independently.

Improve Your Risk Factors For Stroke

A study of this size really averages out outliers so that they can’t be seen without diving into the data. If you are an outlier and don’t conform to the law of averages hopefully your doctor will catch it and prescribe the correct heart medication treatment accordingly. Of course you can always take some action yourself and improve your stroke risk factors by taking walking breaks, eating more fish, and avoiding binge drinking.

You may also be interested in similar stroke risk findings involving the correlation of an increased risk factor for stroke and when high systolic blood pressure is present. If this describes you then learning what some of the leading causes of hypertension are and working to lower blood pressure should be your top priority which these heart medications can help with.

Best Life, Feb 2009
Journal of the American College of Cardiology -

Get A Good Posture Office Chair

A Good Posture Office Chair May Help Stop Heart Disease

Studies have recently come out showing that your heart is affected negatively by having poor posture and using poor posture office chairs. Whether you believe it or not if you have poor posture you may be at risk for heart disease according to these findings. 

You should look into your desk situation at home or at work especially if you are already in danger of heart disease and especially if your office chair causes you to have poor posture. Best Life had this to say about the findings:

Posture and Heart Disease
"Slumping over your keyboard [at your desk] not only makes you look like a slob but also increases your risk of heart disease. According to a new study in The Journal of Neuroscience, bad ergonomic posture at your desk [or using a bad posture office chair] might actually raise blood pressure.

Researchers found a direct neural connection between the muscles in the back of the neck and the part of the brain stem that regulates heart rate and blood pressure – the nucleus tractus solitarius. This finding may help researchers figure out why desk jockeys are prone to hypertension."

Alternative Hypertension Treatments

This study and finding makes a strong case for analyzing the ergonomics of your desk area from reasons outside of the obvious. Neck pain and hunchback are now not the only reasons to sit up straight and stick your chest out, posture is also apparently another one of the leading causes of hypertension… practicing correct ergonomic posture and the using a quality posture office chair might be good for your heart too.

It seems that alternative treatments for hypertension is a constant theme in life and the question is posed by many.  Many of the alternative treatments (non-medicine) are just unknown to the bulk of society. Everybody knows they should exercise but if the cause of hypertension is due to some other factor, then exercise is not the end-all answer.

This is just another alternative cause and treatment for hypertension I’ve blogged about on How To Live Long, and interestingly many causes are tied to sitting at a desk all day. This tells us that those of us who do sit all day really should take heed of the warning signs like poor posture which these findings alert us to. Sit up straight and walk around the office a few times a day and you will most likely live a longer life.

Best Life mag., Feb. ‘08

Mold And Depression

Mold Inspection

Have you had a mold inspection lately? Especially if you've been suffering from depression you may find that mold may be to blame.

Mold And Depression
Recent findings have shown that if you live in a house with water damage mold or other forms of household mold you are far more likely to suffer from depression. This might be reason ebnough to have a professional come and do a mold inspection on your house if you just can't get over the blues.
"40 – Percentage increase in your risk of depression if you live in a moldy house, according to a new study in the American Journal of Public Health that tracked the mental health and living conditions of 6,000 men and women.

While it’s impossible to eliminate all the mold spores in your home, if you keep humidity levels below 50 percent, and wash mold spots with water and detergent, mold wont thrive."

Mold Removal

What’s also unclear from this study is whether the presence of mold triggers depression in people or if depression triggers the mold… maybe from a decreased desire to clean? Regardless though, no matter how you look at it if you have mold clean it up and have it removed. If it's bad enough hire a mold removal company to do the job for you. It might just help you out with you depression issues and if not it will make your living environment a healthier place to be in and might just help you live longer. Mold and depression do not have to go hand in hand.

Related to Mold and Depression
Depression as we all know is an issue that is befuddling. It seems to breed with itself and spawn further depression. If antidepressants aren’t your thing or you don’t have the money for a routine prescription then let this be another reason to go exercising daily. Other studies have shown that exercise is just as effective and should be considered an acceptable alternative treatment for depression. Go walking after eating; this will kill two birds with one stone.

Best Life magazine, Dec. ‘07

Leading Causes of Death

Heart Disease is easily the leading cause of death in America. One of the major contributors to heart disease is cholesterol. See the following posts for more on lowering your risk for heart disease:

How To Lower LDL Cholesterol Levels Naturally

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