Why the human heart thrives with exercise

How did the human heart adapt during our evolution as a species? To explore that question, Harvard cardiologist Dr. Aaron Baggish led a unique study that compared the hearts of African great apes, Mexican farmers, and American athletes. But the findings also have a practical message. “They reinforce the importance of regular brisk walking or jogging throughout life to stay healthy as you age,” says Dr. Baggish, director of the cardiac performance lab at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. The study included great apes (gorillas and chimpanzees) and four different groups of men: inactive men, endurance runners, football linemen, and Tarahumara Indians. All underwent detailed heart function studies using ultrasounds done during different activities. Chimps vs. early humans Chimpanzees, our closest evolutionary relatives, spend most of the day feeding and resting, interspersed with short bouts of climbing and fighting. This brief but intense exertion creates pressure in the heart’s chambers, resulting in thicker, stiffer walls. In contrast, our ancient ancestors had to hunt and gather food to survive, requiring them to walk and run long distances. As evolution progressed, early farmers relied on that same physical endurance to plow, plant, and harvest their food. As a result, human hearts evolved to have thinner walls and be more flexible. The heart’s chambers became slightly larger, and they also were able to twist slightly (similar to wri...
Source: Harvard Health Blog - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Exercise and Fitness Health Heart Health Men's Health Source Type: blogs

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Objective: To study the interaction effects of rs10757278 polymorphisms at 9p21 locus and traditional risk factors on coronary heart disease (CHD) in Xinjiang, China. Methods: This case–control study consecutively enrolled 310 unrelated consecutive CHD patients aged 18–70 years old. All study participants were recruited between January and December 2017 from The Heart Center of The First Affiliated Hospital of Xinjiang Medical University. CHD patients were confirmed by coronary angiography (≥50% diameter stenosis in at least one of the major coronary arteries) according to the American Heart Association...
Source: Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology - Category: Cardiology Tags: Original Article Source Type: research
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is the most common cause of liver disease in the United States, and is estimated to affect up to a quarter of adults in the world. It is defined by excess fat accumulating in the liver and usually occurs in people with obesity, high blood sugars (diabetes), abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels, or high blood pressure. These disorders often run together and as a group are called metabolic syndrome. The “non-alcoholic” part of “non-alcoholic fatty liver disease” is important to distinguish it from alcohol-related liver disease, which can also cause excess liver...
Source: Harvard Health Blog - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Diet and Weight Loss Digestive Disorders Source Type: blogs
The majority of doctors will tell you that there is nothing you can do to reverse fatty liver and that health problems such as cirrhosis and liver failure may be in your future that they will address with the awful “solution” of liver transplant. The truth is the opposite: fatty liver is easily and readily reversible in virtually everybody, provided you take action before irreversible changes take place and are given the right information and tools. In this video, I discuss the three basic phenomena that drive fat deposition, liver damage, and inflammation that lead to this condition: Carbohydrate consumption ...
Source: Wheat Belly Blog - Category: Cardiology Authors: Tags: Open bowel flora carbohydrates carbs Inflammation NAFLD nash triglycerides undoctored wheat belly Source Type: blogs
By ANISH KOKA, MD Mr. Smith has a problem.  He can’t see.  Even this cardiologist knows why.  The not so subtle evidence lies in the cloudy lens in front of his pupils.  He is afflicted with cataracts that obstruct his vision to the point he can’t really do his job refurbishing antique furniture safely.  His other problem is that he hates doctors. He hasn’t had reason to see one for more than a decade.  He’s 68, takes no medications, smokes a pack of cigarettes a day, and is a master of one word answers. He’s in my office because he needs a medical eval...
Source: The Health Care Blog - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Medical Practice Patients Physicians Anish Koka cardiology low-value testing Source Type: blogs
Conclusion: Pulmonary artery imaging artifacts in patients with preexisting heart disease during echocardiographic examination can mimic pulmonary artery dissection. Understanding the types and origins of these ultrasound artifacts is important to avoid a false-positive diagnosis. PMID: 31321237 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Source: Biomed Res - Category: Research Authors: Tags: Biomed Res Int Source Type: research
We present the case of a 74-year-old woman with a history of hypertensive heart disease with preserved systolic function, atrial fibrillation and dyslipidemia. She had a DDDR pacemaker implanted in 2005 due to symptomatic complete atrioventricular block.The patient reported progressive fatigue, weakness, ascites with abdominal discomfort, and lower limb edema, accompanied by non-specific hepatic cholestasis on biochemical testing. Abdominal ultrasound revealed homogeneous hepatomegaly and dilatation of the inferior vena cava and upper hepatic veins, suggestive of congestive hepatopathy.Echocardiography revealed tricuspid r...
Source: Revista Portuguesa de Cardiologia - Category: Cardiology Source Type: research
Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a rare but serious diagnosis in children and adolescents defined by increased pulmonary vascular resistance with pulmonary artery (PA) pressures greater than 25 mmHg [1]. Pediatric PH is pathophysiologically distinct from adult PH in that pediatric PH is typically secondary to long-term pulmonary overcirculation or chronic lung pathology. Common primary pediatric causes include congenital heart disease with intracardiac left-to-right shunting and Eisenmenger syndrome [2].
Source: The American Journal of Emergency Medicine - Category: Emergency Medicine Authors: Source Type: research
AbstractPurpose of ReviewAcute heart failure (AHF) is a common emergency presentation in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). In the current review, we present the most recent data on the epidemiology of AHF in SSA and discuss recommended approaches to management in resource-limited settings, with a particular focus on primary and secondary facilities (e.g., health centers and district hospitals), where these patients often present.Recent FindingsAHF in SSA is most often due to hypertension, cardiomyopathies, and rheumatic heart disease. The etiology of AHF may be different in rural as compared with urban settings. Diagnostic tools f...
Source: Current Cardiology Reports - Category: Cardiology Source Type: research
The objectives were to examine pregnancy outcomes in adolescent primigravida and to determine the effects of adolescent pregnancy on pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH). A retrospective analysis of pregnancy outcomes was carried out in 2440 adolescent primigravida, compared with 14,259 primigravida aged 20-29 years. The adolescents had significantly higher rates of maternal death, maternal heart disease, PIH, puerperal infection, chorioamnionitis, urinary tract infection, foetal anomaly, preterm delivery, low birth weight, low Apgar scores and stillbirth. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that both old...
Source: Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology - Category: OBGYN Tags: J Obstet Gynaecol Source Type: research
Redemption of Medtronic’s renal denervation program to treat hypertension is seemingly on the horizon. The Dublin-based company reported results from an investigator-led study and a registry that demonstrate long-term results of RDN’s impact on uncontrolled hypertension. These results were presented during a Late-Breaking Clinical Trial session at EuroPCR in Paris. In the investigator -led study data indicated RDN with the Medtronic Symplicity system was associated with reduced occurrence of subclinical Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) in a small subset of high-risk patients with hypertensive ...
Source: MDDI - Category: Medical Devices Authors: Tags: Cardiovascular Business Source Type: news
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