Our featured research news in 2008 looked at new treatment approaches, prevention strategies, drug research, and changes in medical care. The studies also reflected the changes in medical industry to decrease unnecessary costs without cutting care. Here is a quick recap on heart health research featured from 2008.

Heart Health News

Heart disease remains the number one killer of men and women. The research highlighted in the research news focused on decreasing the risk factors like ]]>high blood pressure]]> and ]]>high cholesterol]]> and finding and refining lifestyle changes that can make a difference.

New information was released about drug combinations:

  • A ]]>statement about combination drug Vytorin]]> was released in February. It stated that although the drug helped lower some cholesterol levels it did not slow or lower arterial plaque build-up as hoped.
  • A ]]>study published in May]]> reviewed the potential of combining well-known high blood pressure medications, ACE-inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers. The combination was no better than the single drug in preventing further illness or death. The study also suggested the combination may have some additional kidney risks.

More studies have supported that changing our habits can lead to better heart health.

  • Long periods of sitting at our desks, more than 2-3 hours at a time, ]]>may increase the risk]]> of blood clots.
  • Results from the ]]>Nurse’s Study and the Health Professional Study]]> suggested that caffeine consumption was not found to have a significant association with heart disease.
  • Red meat ]]>may increase blood pressure]]> for women over aged 45. Rates of blood pressure increased as the amount of consumed red meat increased.
  • Walking ]]>can help men reduce]]> their cholesterol levels according to a study that had men walk for 12 weeks, aiming to use 300 calories on each walk.

A clash of technology was also discovered. The popular MP3 and iPod player headphones may cause ]]>interference with heart devices]]> like implanted defibrillators or pacemakers when less than 1.2 inches (3 cm) away.

How Does This Affect You?

Many factors of heart disease can be prevented or managed through a healthy diet, regular physical activity, and keeping a healthy weight. If you have a risk factor like high blood pressure or high cholesterol, work closely with your doctor to manage the condition and decrease your risk of further heart problems.