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Priyanka Parab , 27. April 2010, 16:05

killer trans fat

The recent IPL finals saw a group of friends yelling their lungs out supporting their team and at the same time gorging on fried, oily and greasy junk food. But all that yelling and gorging on junk food could not save their team from losing! However these youngsters also lost something that day – a small percentage of their health.



Well, according to a recent report, French fries or a couple of samosas are enough to increase your risk of cardiovascular diseases by a whopping 23% And all this because of the mere 2% of Trans- fatty acids present in them, added mainly during the cooking process by means of the cooking oil.


 Trans-fat raise low density lipoprotein or to put it simply your “bad cholesterol” levels and reduce your “good cholesterol” levels. Not only this but trans- fat also causes an imbalance in your omega-6 and omega-3 ratios, while raising levels of C- reactive protein which puts you in danger of developing cardiovascular diseases.

Despite trans-fat being so harmful they are found to be a part of most commonly used cooking oils in India. A survey conducted in Delhi revealed shocking results in terms of awareness regarding trans-fat where only 72% of women had ‘heard’ of it, while only 28% knew what they were and only 17% knew their sources.

To know more, click here…   

heartFormer U.S. president Bill Clinton recently underwent surgery for a heart procedure. The 63 year old, was admitted to the New York-Presbyterian Hospital for the placement of two stents in a coronary artery! While the news came as a shock to the world, it was a routine procedure for the doctors at the hospital, as Clinton had earlier undergone a quadruple bypass surgery at the same hospital in 2004.

This news made headlines because it was the former president of the USA, who underwent a heart surgery. But did you know that the WHO (World Health Organization) has predicted that India is going to account for 60% of the entire world’s cardiac patients by this current year! The reason being, India falls under the group of South East Asian countries belt, which are notorious for having elevated levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, while also suffering from a deficiency in HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol, which helps clear fatty buildups from blood vessels).

 Not only this, but we also tended to gain weight around the abdominal region thereby, greatly increasing our risk of heart disease. Other factors include low birth weight and malnutrition which increases our risk of diabetes and heart attacks in adulthood! So how does one identify the symptoms, which can lead to a heart disease? Following are 12 possible heart symptoms that one shouldn’t ignore:

12 Possible Heart Symptoms Never to Ignore

Here are a dozen symptoms that may signal heart trouble.

1. Anxiety. Heart attack can cause intense anxiety or a fear of death. Heart attack survivors often talk about having experienced a sense of "impending doom."

2. Chest discomfort. Pain in the chest is the classic symptom of heart attack, and "the No. 1 symptom that we typically look for," says Jean C. McSweeney, PhD, RN, associate dean for research at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Nursing in Little Rock and a pioneer in research on heart symptoms in women. But not all heart attacks cause chest pain, and chest pain can stem from ailments that have nothing to do with the heart.

Heart-related chest pain is often centered under the breastbone, perhaps a little to the left of center. The pain has been likened to "an elephant sitting on the chest," but it can also be an uncomfortable sensation of pressure, squeezing, or fullness. "It's not unusual for women to describe the pain as a minor ache," McSweeney says.

Women, more so than men, can also experience a burning sensation in their chest, rather than a pressure or pain. "Sometimes people make the mistake that the pain comes from a stomach problem," says Nieca Goldberg, MD, clinical associate professor of medicine at the NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City and another expert on women's heart symptoms.

3. Cough. Persistent coughing or wheezing can be a symptom of heart failure -- a result of fluid accumulation in the lungs. In some cases, people with heart failure cough up bloody phlegm.

4. Dizziness. Heart attacks can cause lightheadedness and loss of consciousness. So can potentially dangerous heart rhythm abnormalities known as arrhythmias.

5. Fatigue. Especially among women, unusual fatigue can occur during a heart attack as well as in the days and weeks leading up to one. And feeling tired all the time may be a symptom of heart failure. Of course, you can also feel tired or fatigued for other reasons too! But it is better to clear up the reasons for feeling fatigue all the time, with your doctor.

6. Nausea or lack of appetite. It's not uncommon for people to feel sick to their stomach or throw up during a heart attack. And abdominal swelling associated with heart failure can interfere with appetite.

7. Pain in other parts of the body. In many heart attacks, pain begins in the chest and spreads to the shoulders, arms, elbows, back, neck, jaw, or abdomen. But sometimes there is no chest pain -- just pain in these other body areas. The pain might come and go. Men having a heart attack often feel pain in the left arm. In women, the pain is more likely to be felt in both arms, or between the shoulder blades.

8. Rapid or irregular pulse. Doctors say that there's nothing worrisome about an occasional skipped heartbeat. But a rapid or irregular pulse -- especially when accompanied by weakness, dizziness, or shortness of breath -- can be evidence of a heart attack, heart failure, or an arrhythmia. Left untreated, some arrhythmias can lead to stroke, heart failure, or sudden death.

9. Shortness of breath. People who feel winded at rest or with minimal exertion might have a pulmonary condition like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). But breathlessness could also indicate a heart attack or heart failure. "Sometimes people having a heart attack don't have chest pressure or pain but feel extremely short of breath," Goldberg says. "It's like they've just run a marathon when they haven't even moved." During a heart attack, shortness of breath often accompanies chest discomfort, but it can also occur before or without chest discomfort.

10. Sweating. Breaking out in a cold sweat is a common symptom of heart attack. "You might just be sitting in a chair when all of a sudden you are really sweating like you had just worked out," Frid says.

11. Swelling. Heart failure can cause fluid to accumulate in the body. This can cause swelling (often in the feet, ankles, legs, or abdomen) as well as sudden weight gain and sometimes a loss of appetite.

12. Weakness. In the days leading up to a heart attack, as well as during one, some people experience severe, unexplained weakness

Sources: WebMD and Express Healthcare Management.

Just yesterday, we were discussing Cholestrol levels in Medimanage Video Library Sessions. We discussed the thresholds, the causes, treatments  - the basics. The discussion reminded me of this article below from Forbes India, which touches upon, the umpteen number of instances, when Pharma companies lure Doctors to prescribe drugs, which may actually not necessary in the ideal sense.

Article reproduced "as is" below:


by Pravin Palande, Neelima Mahajan-Bansal, Shishir Prasad | Sep 14, 2009 | Original Article

When Radhika Nayyar, 47, at last agreed to take drugs to lower her cholesterol level, her cardiologist felt he had scored a mini victory. For months, the good doctor had tried to persuade her to go on a dosage of statins but she stoutly refused to do so. As the world’s largest selling drugs, statins have convinced millions of their power to reduce cholesterol and thereby the risk of heart attacks, but Nayyar is one of those other millions who believe them to be at best pills of dubious credibility and at worst, a tool of corporate conspiracy against humanity.

“Last time you ignored my prescription,” her doctor, a cardiologist, would say. “But one more time I’m requesting you to go on statins,” he would add painstakingly. But Nayyar would resist: “I am not classified as a heart patient. So why should I take drugs?”

Image: Abhijeet Kini

This sort of exchange went on several times before Nayyar’s cholesterol numbers became so high that she began to reconsider her decision. A compromise was then struck. She was put on a drug called Ezetimibe, a cholesterol lowering drug that is not a statin. It was only a partial victory for the doctor after all.

In Nayyar’s stubbornness lies the story of patients’ tussle with cholesterol and heart disease. Nobody argues with their doctors when put on medication because their upper blood pressure level is above 140 or blood sugar levels are above 140 milligram per decilitre (mg/dl). But when it comes to high cholesterol levels, people just don’t want to pop pills. Nayyar argued for long that she would change her lifestyle and her cholesterol would fall. That was never achieved.

The world over, cholesterol is one of the most controversial subjects in medicine and statins are among the most critiqued treatments. The connection between cholesterol and heart attacks is still challenged by some, but even among those who accept that link, there is a large group which says the pharmaceutical industry is raking in billions in profits by selling statins to people who don’t need them. These people say the fraternity of doctors also co-operates in this grand scheme. What’s the proof?

They point to the fact that the recommended cholesterol level has been lowered repeatedly over the last several decades. It is not that only laymen and activists hold this view. Some veterans in the business of mending hearts think so too. Dr. Devi Shetty, founder of Narayana Hrudayalaya which is the world’s largest centre for heart surgery, says the importance of statins as a drug to prevent heart attacks has been exaggerated. “Hundred percent it is the pharma companies. Pharma companies can influence the prescription process,” he says.

At the core of the debate is the threshold number for total cholesterol (TC) in a person that would require statin medication. This number is a blend of low-density lipoproteins (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol, and high-density lipoproteins (HDL) called the “good” cholesterol. For a person to escape statins, not only must the total cholesterol be low enough, but LDL should be within limits too. And the clinical world, after dozens of studies, has been lowering these threshold numbers bringing more and more people, previously considered healthy, under the category of cholesterol patients and statin pill-poppers.

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