Can “depression” cause heart problems and diabetes?

Sadly Yes !

A UK Biobank study analysed more than 325,000 individuals of European ancestry. The study found that people with low mood are at higher risk of developing heart and blood sugar problems. [ medical terms- coronary artery disease (CAD), type 2 diabetes (T2D) and atrial fibrillation].

Individuals with depression in this study were more likely to be current smokers; reported less vegetable and fresh fruit intake, less exercise and sleep; and had higher body weight (body mass index – BMI).

Even though the study adjusted the statistics for various baseline factors, one cannot help wonder whether there are yet unidentified factors at play.

References: Low depression frequency is associated with decreased risk of cardiometabolic disease. Michael C. Honigberg, Yixuan Ye, Lillian Dattilo, Amy A. Sarma, Nandita S. Scott, Jordan W. Smoller, Hongyu Zhao, Malissa J. Wood & Pradeep Natarajan.
Nature Cardiovascular Research (2022). Published: 14 February 2022

Daily Mail. Depression may increase the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, major study warns. By Emily Craig Health Reporter For Mailonline16:00, 14 Feb 2022 , updated 16:34, 14 Feb 2022

Disclaimer: Please note – This blog is NOT medical advice. This blog is NOT a expert medical opinion on various topics. This blog is purely for information only and do check the sources where cited. Please DO consult your own doctor to discuss concerns and options relevant to you. The views expressed in this blog are NOT, in any way whatsoever, intended to be a substitute for professional advice. The blog is NOT previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed, in any way, by any organisation that the author is associated with. The views expressed in this blog likely represents some of the author’s personal views held at the time of drafting the blog and MAY CHANGE overtime, particularly when new evidence comes to light.

Do statins cause muscle aches and pain ?

Yes, Statins can cause muscle aches and pains.

But the number of people getting it is very small and in vast majority of people, the symptoms are not serious.

Most importantly, the benefits of statins outweighs the risk of side effects.

That is the conclusion of a study published in BMJ medical journal.

References

BMJ. Associations between statins and adverse events in primary prevention of cardiovascular disease: systematic review with pairwise, network, and dose-response meta-analyses
BMJ 2021; 374 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n1537 (Published 15 July 2021)
Cite this as: BMJ 2021;374:n1537

Disclaimer: Please note- This blog is NOT medical advice. This blog is NOT a expert medical opinion on various topics. This blog is purely for information only and do check the sources where cited. Please DO consult your own doctor to discuss concerns and options relevant to you. The views expressed in this blog represent the author’s personal views held at the time of drafting the blog and may change overtime, particularly when new evidence comes to light. The blog is NOT previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any organisation that the author is associated with. The views expressed in this blog are NOT, in way whatsoever, intended to be a substitute for professional advice.

Poor Sleep and Heart attacks

A study reports that going to sleep 10pm is linked to lower risk of heart disease.

The study suggests that “Early or late bedtimes may result in individuals missing cues that help reset body clock each day”

The association with increased heart problems was stronger in females.

Even though going to bed early is very hard with globally interconnected mobile devices, it is important we all sleep well !

References

Guardian newspaper. Sleep at 10pm linked to lower risk of heart disease, study finds.
Nicola Davis Science correspondent
@NicolaKSDavis
Tue 9 Nov 2021 00.05 GMT

Accelerometer-derived sleep onset timing and cardiovascular disease incidence: a UK Biobank cohort study
Shahram Nikbakhtian, Angus B Reed, Bernard Dillon Obika, Davide Morelli, Adam C Cunningham, Mert Aral, David Plans
European Heart Journal – Digital Health, ztab088, https://doi.org/10.1093/ehjdh/ztab088
Published: 09 November 2021

Disclaimer: Please note – This blog is NOT medical advice. This blog is NOT a expert medical opinion on various topics. This blog is purely for information only and do check the sources where cited. Please DO consult your own doctor to discuss concerns and options relevant to you. The views expressed in this blog are NOT, in way whatsoever, intended to be a substitute for professional advice. The blog is NOT previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed, in any way, by any organisation that the author is associated with. The views expressed in this blog likely represents some of the author’s personal views held at the time of drafting the blog and MAY CHANGE overtime, particularly when new evidence comes to light.

Does taking omega 3 fatty acids from plants improve health ?

Yes.

“Alpha linolenic acid (ALA) and linoleic acid is a essential polyunsaturated fatty acids commonly extracted from plants”

These fatty acids are found in “soybean, nuts, canola oils, flaxseed, and other plant foods”.

A recent study published in BMJ shows that these dietary fatty acids are good for overall health and reduces risk of death. The study found benefits in terms of reducing strokes and heart problems but paradoxically these fatty acids slightly increased the risk of death from cancer .

A word of caution applies to all ‘food and disease’ association reports. Almost every week there are reports of studies exploring associations between “various food/drink” with “various diseases”. Some of them are conflicting and sometimes confusing with a positive study followed by a negative study. So take all food related studies with a pinch of salt !

Reference: Dietary intake and biomarkers of alpha linolenic acid and risk of all cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality: systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of cohort studies
BMJ 2021; 375 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n2213 (Published 14 October 2021)
Cite this as: BMJ 2021;375:n2213

Disclaimer: Please note – This blog is NOT medical advice. This blog is NOT a expert medical opinion on various topics. This blog is purely for information only and do check the sources where cited. Please DO consult your own doctor to discuss concerns and options relevant to you. The views expressed in this blog are NOT, in way whatsoever, intended to be a substitute for professional advice. The blog is NOT previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed, in any way, by any organisation that the author is associated with. The views expressed in this blog likely represents some of the author’s personal views held at the time of drafting the blog and MAY CHANGE overtime, particularly when new evidence comes to light.

Do COVID vaccines cause heart inflammation?

Yes

COVID Vaccines have caused heart inflammation in a small minority of people.

But that does NOT mean Vaccines have to be avoided.

The benefits of vaccines are far higher than risk of side effects for vast majority of adult population.

People have not stopped traveling by car because of risk of road accidents. This is because benefits considerably outweigh the risks !

References

BBC news. Heart inflammation link to Pfizer and Moderna jabs
By James Gallagher
Health and science correspondent

BMJ. News Analysis.
Covid-19: Should we be worried about reports of myocarditis and pericarditis after mRNA vaccines?
BMJ 2021; 373 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n1635 (Published 24 June 2021)
Cite this as: BMJ 2021;373:n1635

Disclaimer: Please note- This blog is NOT medical advice. This blog is NOT a expert medical opinion on various topics. This blog is purely for information only and do check the sources where cited. Please DO consult your own doctor to discuss concerns and options relevant to you. The views expressed in this blog represent the author’s personal views held at the time of drafting the blog and may change overtime, particularly when new evidence comes to light. The blog is NOT previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any organisation that the author is associated with. The views expressed in this blog are NOT, in way whatsoever, intended to be a substitute for professional advice.

Is drinking alcohol within guideline amount safe ?

No !

It would be a shock for many to hear that “No amount of alcohol is absolutely safe”.

A team at Imperial College London analysed MRI scans of heart, brain and liver of people who drink alcohol. They found that higher alcohol consumption was related to smaller brain, weaker heart and fatty liver.

They reported that “there is no ‘safe threshold’ below which there were no toxic effects of alcohol.

Previously other studies have also reported that there is no safe limit for alcohol!

In 2018, a Lancet study reported that the risk of death and risk of cancers increased substantially with increasing levels of alcohol consumption; and there was no safe limit below which there was no risk.

The message is “Avoid alcohol”

If you can’t, then atleast drink as little as possible.

References:

Alcohol consumption in the general population is associated with structural changes in multiple organ systems. Evangelos Evangelou, Hideaki Suzuki, Wenjia Bai, Raha Pazoki, He Gao, Paul M Matthews MD, PhD, Paul Elliott. https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.65325

Does Drinking Within Low-Risk Guidelines Prevent Harm? Implications for High-Income Countries Using the International Model of Alcohol Harms and Policies
Adam Sherk et al. J Stud Alcohol Drugs. 2020 May

Lancet. GBD 2016 Alcohol Collaborators
Alcohol use and burden for 195 countries and territories, 1990–2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016.
Lancet. 2018; (published online Aug 23.)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(18)31310-2

Disclaimer: Please note- This blog is NOT medical advice. This blog is NOT a expert medical opinion on various topics. This blog is purely for information only and do check the sources where cited. Please DO consult your own doctor to discuss concerns and options relevant to you. The views expressed in this blog represent the author’s views held at the time of drafting the blog and may change overtime, particularly when new evidence comes to light. The blog is not previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any organisation that the author is associated with. The views expressed in this blog are not, in way whatsoever, intended to be a substitute for professional advice.

What has ‘Public health’ ever done for us ?

An apple a day might not keep the doctor away. But a good public health team can keep the doctors away for many people!

Public health is about prevention and promotion of health in the society.

Public health is largely responsible for the significant improvements in life expectancy over the last 150 years.

Providing people with clean drinking water, removal of rubbish from houses and streets, good sewage system, and vaccination has saved many millions of lives over the years.

The recent smoking ban in work-places, public places and indoor venues is a modern example of public health activity.

The one area where public health has not been hugely successful is obesity. It may be because of the reliance on nudging the individual to change rather than dealing with underlying structural problems.

Read my letter in BMJ and make your views known at the BMJ rapid response section.

Sundar S. Public health needs to go back to basics, not rely on nudge theory.

Toll-free link:
http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/bmj.n1153?ijkey=CUQNozGH9yJeK57&keytype=ref

References:

BMJ. Lifestyle and socioeconomic group on health
Public health needs to go back to basics, not rely on nudge theory
BMJ 2021; 373 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n1153 (Published 06 May 2021)
Cite this as: BMJ 2021;373:n1153

BMJ. Short term impact of smoke-free legislation in England: retrospective analysis of hospital admissions for myocardial infarction
BMJ 2010; 340 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c2161 (Published 08 June 2010)
Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c2161

BMJ. Associations of healthy lifestyle and socioeconomic status with mortality and incident cardiovascular disease: two prospective cohort studies
BMJ 2021; 373 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n604 (Published 14 April 2021)
Cite this as: BMJ 2021;373:n604

Disclaimer: Please note- This blog is NOT medical advice. This blog is NOT a expert medical opinion on various topics. This blog is purely for information only and do check the the sources where cited. Please DO consult your own doctor to discuss concerns and options relevant to you. The views expressed in this blog represent the author’s views held at the time of drafting the blog and may change overtime, particularly when new evidence comes to light. The blog is not previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any organisation the author is associated with. The views expressed in this blog are not in way intended to be a substitute for professional advice.

Are breakfast cereals bad for your heart?

Yes.

A large study in BMJ reports that high intake of cereals is associated with higher risk of Blood pressure and Heart diseases.

High intake of white bread, pasta/noodles were also as bad as breakfast cereals because of the refined grains.

Intake of whole grains and whole grain porridges. did not affect the health outcomes.

Interestingly, white rice did not affect the health outcomes either.

Associations of cereal grains intake with cardiovascular disease and mortality across 21 countries in Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiology study: prospective cohort study
BMJ 2021; 372 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m4948 (Published 03 February 2021)
Cite this as: BMJ 2021;372:m4948

Disclaimer: Please note- This blog is NOT medical advice. This blog is NOT a expert medical opinion on various topics. This blog is purely for information only and do check the the sources where cited. Please DO consult your own doctor to discuss concerns and options relevant to you.

The views expressed in this blog represent the author’s views held at the time of drafting the blog and may change overtime, particularly when new evidence comes to light. The blog is not previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any organisation the author is associated with. The authors views are not in way intended to be a substitute for professional advice.