Underinsured CVD patients die sooner than patients with private insurance, irrespective of race…
Insurance status is a better predictor of survival after a serious cardiac event than race, and may help explain racial disparities in health outcomes for cardiovascular disease. A new study by Derek Ng, from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the US, and his team shows that race is not linked to an increased risk of death but being underinsured is a strong predictor of death among those admitted into hospital with a serious cardiac event. Their work appears online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, published by Springer…
g and colleagues looked at whether the risk of early death was associated with insurance status or race. They took into account the potential effects of neighborhood socioeconomic status and disease severity. They analyzed data from a sample of patients admitted to one of three Maryland hospitals for three specific cardiovascular events: 4,908 with acute myocardial infarction (or heart attack); 6,758 with coronary atherosclerosis (or furring up of the arteries); and 1,293 with stroke.
They found that underinsured patients died sooner than patients with private insurance, whereas the survival rates were comparable between whites and blacks. More specifically, underinsured patients had a 31 percent higher risk of early death after a heart attack and a 50 percent higher risk after atherosclerosis. This survival effect was independent of race, neighborhood socioeconomic status and disease severity.
The authors conclude: “Among those admitted to the hospital with an acute cardiovascular event, there was an increased risk of mortality among subjects who were underinsured compared to those who had private insurance. Given the recent changes in health insurance and healthcare reform, these results underscore the need to closely investigate the factors relating to health insurance that may explain these disparities. Indeed, targeting these factors may relieve the burden of mortality disproportionally affecting those who are underinsured.”
- Those who are covered, recover (eurekalert.org)
- Those who are covered, recover (medicalxpress.com)
- Medicaid. Again. (washingtonmonthly.com)
- Every person deserves access to health care (bangordailynews.com)
- U.S. health centers get $11 billion boost (upi.com)
For older adults, loneliness is a major risk factor for health problems — such as cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s — and death. Attempts to diminish loneliness with social networking programs like creating community centers to encourage new relationships have not been effective.
However, a new study led by Carnegie Mellon University’s J. David Creswell offers the first evidence that mindfulness meditation reduces loneliness in older adults. Published in Brain, Behavior & Immunity, the researchers also found that mindfulness meditation — a 2,500-year-old practice dating back to Buddha that focuses on creating an attentive awareness of the present moment — lowered inflammation levels, which is thought to promote the development and progression of many diseases. These findings provide valuable insights into how mindfulness meditation training can be used as a novel approach for reducing loneliness and the risk of disease in older adults.
“We always tell people to quit smoking for health reasons, but rarely do we think about loneliness in the same way,” said Creswell, assistant professor of psychology within CMU’s Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences. “We know that loneliness is a major risk factor for health problems and mortality in older adults. This research suggests that mindfulness meditation training is a promising intervention for improving the health of older adults.”…
Yoga reduces stress; now it’s known why – UCLA study helps caregivers of people with dementia (EurkAlert)
Six months ago, researchers at UCLA published a study that showed using a specific type of yoga to engage in a brief, simple daily meditation reduced the stress levels of people who care for those stricken by Alzheimer’s and dementia. Now they know why.
As previously reported, practicing a certain form of chanting yogic meditation for just 12 minutes daily for eight weeks led to a reduction in the biological mechanisms responsible for an increase in the immune system’s inflammation response. Inflammation, if constantly activated, can contribute to a multitude of chronic health problems.
Mindfulness Meditation Reduces Loneliness in Older Adults (westallen.typepad.com)
- Older adults who meditate feel less lonely (holykaw.alltop.com)
- Reducing Loneliness in Seniors Is Possible Through Meditation (news.softpedia.com)
- Mindfulness reduces loneliness in older adults (lonelinessblog.com)
- Older adults who meditate feel less lonely (futurity.org)
- Mindfulness meditation reduces loneliness in older adults, Carnegie Mellon study shows (eurekalert.org)
- The High Price of Loneliness (newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Yoga reduces stress; now it’s known why (sciencedaily.com)
- Loneliness linked to serious health problems and death among elderly (eurekalert.org)
- Yoga reduces stress; now it’s known why (scienceblog.com)
(I will continue to floss, tho, for the sake of my gums. However it is a relief to know there is one less thing to think about when it comes to heart health)
Despite popular belief, gum disease hasn’t been proven to cause atherosclerotic heart disease or stroke, and treating gum disease hasn’t been proven to prevent heart disease or stroke, according to a new scientific statement published in Circulation, an American Heart Association journal.
Keeping teeth and gums healthy is important for your overall health. However, an American Heart Association expert committee — made up of cardiologists, dentists and infectious diseases specialists — found no conclusive scientific evidence that gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, causes or increases the rates of cardiovascular diseases. Current data don’t indicate whether regular brushing and flossing or treatment of gum disease can cut the incidence of atherosclerosis, the narrowing of the arteries that can cause heart attacks and strokes.
Observational studies have noted associations between gum disease and cardiovascular disease, but the 500 journal articles and studies reviewed by the committee didn’t confirm a causative link.
“There’s a lot of confusion out there,” said Peter Lockhart, D.D.S., co-chair of the statement writing group and professor and chair of oral medicine at the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, N.C. “The message sent out by some in healthcare professions that heart attack and stroke are directly linked to gum disease, can distort the facts, alarm patients and perhaps shift the focus on prevention away from well known risk factors for these diseases.”
Gum disease and cardiovascular disease both produce markers of inflammation such as C-reactive protein, and share other common risk factors as well, including cigarette smoking, age and diabetes mellitus . These common factors may help explain why diseases of the blood vessels and mouth occur in tandem. Although several studies appeared to show a stronger relationship between these diseases, in those studies researchers didn’t account for the risk factors common to both diseases….
“We already know that some people are less proactive about their cardiovascular health than others. Individuals who do not pay attention to the very powerful and well proven risk factors, like smoking, diabetes or high blood pressure, may not pay close attention to their oral health either” Lockhart said. [Janice's emphasis]
Statements that imply a cause and effect relationship between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease, or claim that dental treatment may prevent heart attack or stroke are “unwarranted,” at this time, the statement authors said.
The American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs agrees with the conclusions of this report. The statement has been endorsed by the World Heart Federation.
- No proof gum disease causes heart problems (cbc.ca)
- Health: New Research Says No Proof Gum Disease Linked To Heart Disease (washington.cbslocal.com)
- Heart Association: No link between gum disease and heart disease (cbsnews.com)
- Health: New Research Says No Proof Gum Disease Linked To Heart Disease (tampa.cbslocal.com)
- Health: New Research Says No Proof Gum Disease Linked To Heart Disease (connecticut.cbslocal.com)
- Health: New Research Says No Proof Gum Disease Linked To Heart Disease (baltimore.cbslocal.com)
- Is There Proof Gum Disease Causes Heart Disease? (webmd.com)
- No proof that gum disease causes heart disease or stroke (eurekalert.org)
- No Proof That Gum Disease Causes Heart Disease, Experts Say (news.health.com)
- Gum disease doesn’t lead to heart attack or stroke – WANE (drugstoresource.wordpress.com)
- Health: New Research Says No Proof Gum Disease Linked To Heart Disease (philadelphia.cbslocal.com)
Harvard researchers suggest optimism, happiness and other positive emotions may help protect heart health and lower the risk of heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular events. It also appears that these psychological well-being factors slow the progress of cardiovascular disease.
The findings are the result of the first and largest systematic review of its kind, and are reported in the 16 April online issue of Psychological Bulletin, by lead author Julia Boehm, a research fellow, and senior author Laura Kubzansky, an associate professor, in the department of society, human development, and health, at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) in Boston, Massachusetts….
- Positive feelings may help protect cardiovascular health (eurekalert.org)
- Positive feelings, optimism protect heart (upi.com)
- Do Happy People Have Healthier Hearts? (webmd.com)
- Study: Optimism reduces heart attack, stroke risk (cbsnews.com)
- Positive feelings may help protect cardiovascular health (medicalxpress.com)
- Study Says Optimism Can Help Protect Your Heart (washington.cbslocal.com)
- Study Says Optimism Can Help Protect Your Heart (tampa.cbslocal.com)
- Study Says Optimism Can Help Protect Your Heart (connecticut.cbslocal.com)
- Study Says Optimism Can Help Protect Your Heart (baltimore.cbslocal.com)
- Optimism Might Cut Your Risk for Heart Attack (news.health.com)