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.

Chocolate, Coffee and Wine: Good or Bad for Heart?

Are Chocolate, Coffee and Wine good for heart ?

Depends…

Dark Chocolate: good

Coffee: possibly good

Wine: probably not good

Read the interesting article in Guardian .

Good or bad? Top cardiologist gives verdict on chocolate, coffee and wine
Exclusive: Prof Thomas Lüscher assesses the heart healthiness of some of our favourite treats

Andrew Gregory Health editor
Fri 19 Nov 2021 12.29 GMT

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

So don’t be surprised if there is a completely different news report next week !

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 poor sleepers die early ?

Yes !

If someone feels they are not having regular refreshing sleep, then it is bad news.

In a very large U.K. study, involving 487,728 people, the following question was asked: Do you have trouble falling asleep at night or do you wake up in the middle of the night?

About a quarter of people in study answered “never/rarely”; just under half answered “sometimes” and less than one-third reported “usually”.

The people in study were followed up for many years (mean follow-up time = 8.9 years)

The people who reported frequent sleep disturbances (“usually” category) were found to be at risk of dying early.

The risk was highest in those with both diabetes and frequent sleep disturbances.

It needs to be seen whether the sleep disturbance by itself led to early death or whether people who are going to die early have medical problems that cause them to have disturbed sleep !

Sleep well. Don’t compromise sleep time !

References

Associations between sleep disturbances, diabetes and mortality in the UK Biobank cohort: A prospective population-based study
Malcolm von Schantz, Jason C. Ong, Kristen L. Knutson
First published: 08 June 2021
https://doi.org/10.1111/jsr.13392

( UK Biobank study participants experiencing sleep disturbances: 24.2% “never/rarely” ; 47.8% “sometimes” and 28.0% “usually”)

BMJ Minerva. Cognitive decline . . . and other stories. BMJ 2021; 373 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n1545 (Published 24 June 2021)
Cite this as: BMJ 2021;373:n1545

People who have trouble sleeping are at a higher risk of dying early – especially diabetics

NHS. Why lack of sleep is bad for your health

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.

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.

Does breast feeding the baby protect the mother from heart diseases in later life ?

Yes, it can.

A Study published in British Medical Journal found that “A longer length of breastfeeding was associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease”

The study also found that women who had certain pregnancy related complications were also at increased risk of heart disease in later life.

In addition, the study also found that taking contraceptive pills (combined pills) in younger age led to increased risk of heart disease and stroke in later life.

Awareness of these risks would help to take steps to reduce the risk from them.

References

Association between the reproductive health of young women and cardiovascular disease in later life: umbrella review. BMJ 2020; 371 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m3502 (Published 07 October 2020). Cite this as: BMJ 2020;371:m3502. https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m3502

Disclaimer: Please note- This blog is NOT medical advice. 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 necessarily endorsed by any organisation the author is associated with and the authors views 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.

Is red meat bad for heart?

Yes, red meat can increase the risk of developing heart disease.

A large study involving more than 43,000 men conducted at USA shows that “Red meat increased the risk of developing heart disease “.

In contrast , plant proteins such as nuts and lentils reduced the risk of developing heart disease.

References: Red meat intake and risk of coronary heart disease among US men: prospective cohort study.
BMJ 2020; 371 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m4141 (Published 02 December 2020)
Cite this as: BMJ 2020;371:m4141

Disclaimer: Please note- This blog is NOT medical advice. This blog is purely for information only and do check the the sources where cited. Please 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 is likely to change overtime, particularly when new evidence comes to light. The blog is not necessarily endorsed by any organisation the author is associated with and views are not substitute for professional advice.