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Can High Cholesterol Cause A Heart Attack

Is There More To A Healthy

High cholesterol can cause heart attacks … and lead to death

Low-density lipoprotein, or bad cholesterol, is an accepted cause of heart disease.Credit: Juan Gaertner/SPL

Shortly after the end of the Second World War, large numbers of wealthy businessmen in the United States began dying from heart attacks. Shocked by the obituaries mounting up in his local newspaper, physiologist Ancel Keys decided to investigate. His findings would fundamentally change the way we eat for decades to come.

Keys couldnt understand why high-powered US executives, with access to plentiful food, had much higher rates of coronary heart disease than did people in post-war Europe, where food shortages were common. Then it dawned on him: could there be a correlation between fat in the diet and heart disease? Keys presented his dietheart hypothesis with gusto at a World Health Organization meeting in 1955. Six years later, his face appeared on the cover of Time magazine, in which he urged readers to shun fatty foods such as dairy products and red meat.

Landmark studies such as these laid the groundwork for the introduction of dietary guidelines in the United States and the United Kingdom during the 1970s and 1980s. The recommendations advised citizens to reduce their consumption of saturated fat to about 10% of their total energy intake, to lower cholesterol in the blood and therefore decrease the chances of a heart attack. In the public consciousness, a low-fat diet has been synonymous with good health ever since.

What To Do If You Have An Arrhythmia

If symptoms of arrhythmia persist or you have a history of sudden unexplained death in your family, do see a doctor. Your doctor may monitor your heartbeat using devices like a Holter monitor or event monitor or ask for an electrocardiogram, a test that measures your hearts electrical activity. Depending on the diagnosis, medication, surgery to remove heart tissue causing the arrhythmia, or implantation of a pacemaker may be recommended.

Lifestyle changes like stopping smoking, limiting the consumption of caffeine or alcohol, lowering stress, increasing physical activity , and maintaining a healthy weight can also be helpful as they can impact underlying medical conditions as well as target arrhythmias directly.22


Heart Disease Rx: Reduce Inflammation

If reducing inflammation is so powerful in reducing our death rate from heart attacks, the solution should be simple: add more fish oil to the diet. This idea was first posed in the 1970s by researchers who found through epidemiological studies that Eskimos in Greenland had virtually no heart disease even though they consumed a high-fat diet. Over the years, additional studies suggested that the more fish you consume, the lower your risk of dying from heart disease.

One of these studies was the DART study, which found that eating one serving of fish per week decreased heart attacks by 29 percent in patients who had had a previous heart attack. The researchers couldnt definitely prove, however, that it was the fish oil in the fish that conferred these protective benefits, or whether there was confounding factor, such as that people who eat fish have healthier lifestyles in general.

More definitive proof of the benefits of fish oil was found in the results of the GISSI trial, in which patients with heart disease who took about 1 gram per day of ultra refined-grade long-chain omega-3 fatty acids had a 45 percent reduction in their risk of having a sudden fatal heart attack, a 30 percent reduction in their total risk of cardiovascular mortality, and a 20 percent reduction in overall mortality. Surprisingly, vitamin E had no benefits.

Excerpted from The Omega RX Zone: The Miracle of the New High-Dose Fish Oil by Dr. Barry Sears. Copyright © by Dr. Barry Sears.

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Foods That Cause Heart Palpitations

By Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.C.N., C.N.S., C.B.T.

Often when I write about the best and worst foods for the heart, I talk in the context of heart-healing foods that are good to eat, as well as foods that should be avoided because they fan the flames of inflammation. Those discussions focus on how the things we eat and drink every day affect heart health over the long haul.

Today, though, I want to shift gears and focus on foods that can have more immediate and noticeable impacts on the heartstarting with foods that can cause heart palpitations. In this article Ill explore:

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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of High Cholesterol

Cholesterol Causes ED, Low Libido, Heart Attacks, Memory Problems, Etc ...

High cholesterol generally doesnt have obvious symptoms, but it can increase the risk of serious health conditions if left untreated. Thats why its important to get a blood test and regular check-ups. If you are 45 or older , see your doctor for a cholesterol test as part of a Heart Health Check. If you have a family history of high cholesterol, speak to your GP about your heart disease risk.

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When Do You Need To See A Doctor For High Cholesterol

Since there isnt a way to know if you have high cholesterol, its important to get regularly screened by your doctor.

The National Lung, Heart, and Blood Institute recommends that a persons first cholesterol screening should be between the ages of 9 to 11 and then repeated every five years after that.

For men ages 45 to 65 and women ages 55 to 65, doctors recommend a test every one to two years. If you are over the age of 65, its recommended that you receive a cholesterol test annually.

Dont Wait For Another Sign: Talk To Your Doctor About Your Heart Disease Symptoms

If youre noticing one or more of these seven symptoms, then the best place to start is by making an appointment with a primary care doctor to have your heart checked out and tested.

Your primary care doctor can diagnose and treat hundreds of conditions. They can help you build your heart wellness by working with you to create a tailored treatment plan. And if specialist help is needed, your doctor can connect you with an expert in cardiology for more testing and treatment.

Theres no doubt that symptoms of heart disease can be concerning, especially if youre not sure whats behind them or what the next steps are. But answers, care and treatment are available to help keep your heart as healthy as it can be so you can live your best life.

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What Is Dangerously High Cholesterol

You may be diagnosed with borderline-high or high cholesterol if your blood test results show:

  • Total cholesterol higher than 200 milligrams per deciliter
  • LDL cholesterol higher than 100 mg/dL
  • Triglycerides over 150 mg/dL
  • HDL cholesterol lower than 40 mg/dL

But what do these numbers really mean for your health?

While having high cholesterol isnt something youll notice day to day, it does mean youre at risk for or may already have heart disease, the leading cause of death for both women and men in the United States.

Want to know more? Here are answers to 11 frequently asked questions about high cholesterol.

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How Much High Cholesterol That You Will Have Heart Attack Or Stroke

Does High Cholesterol Cause Heart Attacks?

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Study Says Theres No Link Between Cholesterol And Heart Disease

20 June, 2016By NT Contributor

Controversial report claims theres no link between bad cholesterol and heart disease, the Daily Mail reports, while The Times states: Bad cholesterol helps you live longer,.

Controversial report claims theres no link between bad cholesterol and heart disease, the Daily Mail reports, while The Times states: Bad cholesterol helps you live longer,.

The headlines are based on a new review which aimed to gather evidence from previous observational studies on whether LDLcholesterol was linked with mortality in older adults aged over 60. The conventional view is that having high LDL cholesterol levels increases your risk of dying of cardiovascular diseases, such as heart disease.

Researchers chose 30 studies in total to analyse. 28 studies looked at the link with death from any cause. Twelve found no link between LDL and mortality, but 16 actually found that lower LDL was linked with higher mortality risk the opposite to what was expected.

Only nine studies looked at cardiovascular mortality link specifically seven found no link and two found the opposite link to what was expected.

However, there are many important limitations to this review. This includes the possibility that the search methods may have missed relevant studies, not looking at levels of other blood fats , and the possibility that other health and lifestyle factors are influencing the link.

Ldl Cholesterol And Your Pulse

A high cholesterol level is a major controllable risk factor for heart disease, a heart attack or stroke, reports the American Heart Association. When your LDL level gets too high plaque can build up along the blood vessel walls, which can cause the blood vessels to become hard and narrow. This can lead to a condition called coronary artery disease, or atherosclerosis. This hardening of the blood vessels can restrict blood flow to the heart and or brain. When less blood is able to get through the blood vessels, the heart must beat faster to deliver enough blood and oxygen. This can lead to a higher pulse and higher blood pressure. A fast pulse may or may not be accompanied by symptoms such as dizziness, trouble breathing, chest pain and weakness or fainting. Any of the above should be discussed with your physician.

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Studies Point To Inflammation

Two decades ago, researchers discovered that high levels of inflammation were associated with an increased chance of having a heart attack or stroke. However, what they didnt know was whether anti-inflammatory treatments could prevent those events from occurring.

In 2008, the JUPITER study found that for older adults who did not have elevated blood cholesterol but who did have elevated blood levels of inflammatory markers, treatment with cholesterol-lowering statin drugs reduced the number of heart attacks and strokes. But it wasnt clear whether that was because statins reduced inflammation or because they further lowered bad cholesterol, since they do both.

However, a recent clinical trial called CANTOS studied an injectable antibody type of anti-inflammatory drug in people who had a prior heart attack and who also had elevated inflammatory markers despite statin treatment. This landmark study finally proved that targeting inflammation without changing cholesterol levels can have a significant impact. People treated with the novel anti-inflammatory treatment reduced their likelihood of subsequent heart attacks or strokes by 15 percent. It also decreased the need for major interventions such as angioplasty and bypass surgery by 30 percent, proving that addressing inflammation to prevent heart disease is essential. Additional studies are now looking at whether older, cheaper medications taken by mouth can have similar heart protection benefits.

Heart Attacks And High Blood Cholesterol

High Cholesterol : Symptoms

A heart attack occurs when your heart muscle is starved off oxygen. It mainly arises as a consequence of coronary artery disease. The heart muscle needs a constant supply of blood laden with oxygen to continue functioning. This blood reaches the heart muscle through the coronary arteries.

With high blood cholesterol, you are more likely to develop a condition known as atherosclerosis. This is where fatty plaques develop in the artery wall thereby narrowing it. Atherosclerosis is more likely to occur in people who suffer from high blood cholesterol and high blood pressure .

The coronary artery narrows gradually over months and years. Eventually the fatty plaque may rupture and a blood clot forms at the site. This can instantly block the already narrowed coronary artery. The blood supply to the heart muscle is cut off which means that not enough oxygen is reaching the heart muscle. Eventually the affected portion of the muscle dies .

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What Foods Will Lower My Cholesterol

The best way to eat a better diet is to swap your saturated fats with foods that are high in unsaturated fat like vegetable oils , nuts seeds and avocado and oily fish.

A few small swaps can make a big difference to your cholesterol level. Many people say they dont notice the difference. Try:

  • swapping butter to vegetable oil spreads like sunflower, olive or rapeseed oil spreads
  • switching whole milk to skimmed milk
  • using natural yogurt instead of sour cream or double cream
  • replacing regular mince with leaner, lower fat options
  • swapping red or processed meat for fish, turkey or chicken without the skin, or plant-based proteins such as lentils, soya or Quorn
  • switch your crisps for unsalted nuts
  • having reduced fat cheese instead of regular cheese
  • ordering less takeaways. Instead try our healthy comfort foods for delicious heart-healthy options.

When Ldl Is High

When you eat a diet thats high in fat, your level of LDL often called bad cholesterol can climb beyond what your HDL can take away, and something must happen with this excess LDL. That something is a buildup of fatty deposits in your bloodstream. These deposits accumulate in the walls of your blood vessels. Over time, these deposits grow enough to restrict the flow of blood through your arteries, the blood vessels that supply oxygen to your body.

These blockages are called atherosclerosis, which leads to coronary heart disease. The restricted supply of oxygen to your heart causes the various forms of angina pain. High cholesterol levels are one of the leading causes of coronary heart disease, but theyre not the only cause. High blood pressure and aging are examples of other risk factors.

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Blood Pressure And Cardiovascular Disease Risk

Blood pressure is the pressure of the blood in your arteries as it is pumped around your body by your heart. Blood pressure depends on two main things: the amount of blood pumped by your heart and how easily the blood can flow through your arteries.

Your blood pressure will go up and down throughout the day, depending on the time of day and what you are doing. However, high blood pressure is a condition where your blood pressure is consistently high.

Your family history, eating patterns, alcohol intake, weight and level of physical activity have a strong influence on blood pressure. In some people, medicines, including the oral contraceptive pill, contraceptive âdepotâ injections, steroids and arthritis medicines, can also raise blood pressure.

High blood pressure can overload your heart and arteries and speed up the artery-clogging process. This can lead to problems such as heart attack and stroke.

High blood pressure can also affect arteries to other parts of your body, such as the eyes, kidneys and legs.

If high blood pressure is not treated, your heart may weaken because of the constant extra demand. This may cause âheart failureâ, a serious condition with symptoms such as tiredness, shortness of breath and swelling of the feet and ankles.

When Should High Cholesterol Be Treated With Medication

Foods That Can Cause You Heart Attack | Heart Failure | High Cholesterol | SILVA GUIDE |

If youve had a heart attack, stroke, or have diabetes or been diagnosed with inherited high cholesterol, youll need to take one or more cholesterol-lowering medications, in addition to being careful with your diet and staying active. Statins can have a tremendous impact for lowering LDL cholesterol, says Khandwalla. Statins decrease your risk of illness and dying if youre in one of these high-risk groups.

In addition to statins, which should always be used first, other cholesterol-lowering drugs include fibrates, niacin, PCSK9 inhibitors, bile-acid sequestrants, and cholesterol absorption inhibitors, according to the CDC.

If you found out your cholesterol was high after a routine checkup, discuss your test results with your doctor. Your doctor will calculate your individual risk of heart attack or stroke to decide if you should be on a statin.

In some cases, the doctor may recommend giving a healthy diet and active lifestyle a try first. However, if your cholesterol levels remain high, you may need a heart scan to look for plaque buildup in your arteries, and your doctor may prescribe cholesterol-lowering drugs to lower your heart-disease and stroke risk.

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Dietary Factors That Increase Cholesterol

Early research studies like the one above focused on the roles of fat and cholesterol in heart disease. No one considered that the amount of fat and cholesterol you consumed might merely be indicative of how much animal-based food you were eating.

More recent studies have indicated that, in addition to fat and cholesterol consumption, eating animal protein increases your risk of heart disease.

In one study, researchers fed casein to rats, rabbits, and pigs. They found that casein alone, independent of fat and dietary cholesterol, raised the animals blood cholesterol levels.

Conversely, feeding animals soy protein dramatically decreased their blood cholesterol levels, and human studies have indicated that eating plant protein has even more power to decrease cholesterol levels than decreasing fat or dietary cholesterol intake.

Heart Disease: 12 Warning Signs That Appear On Your Skin

Warning signs can appear on your skin and nails, which is why your dermatologist may be the first doctor to notice that you have heart disease. If you know what to look for, you can also find warning signs of heart disease on your skin and nails. The following pictures show you what to look for.

  • Swelling in your feet and lower legsWhat it may be telling you: Your heart isnt working properly.Many diseases of the heart cause fluid to build up in your feet and lower legs. As the fluid builds up, you may see swelling, which can extend as far as the upper legs and groin.Medical name: Edema

  • Blue or purple color on your skinWhat it may be telling you: You have a blockage in a blood vessel.When youre extremely cold, your skin can turn blue . If an area of your skin is blue when youre warm, thats can be a sign your blood isnt getting enough oxygen. The patient in this photo has a condition known as blue toe syndrome, which happens when one or more blood vessels are blocked.Without treatment, the lack of oxygen can cause the skin and underlying tissue to eventually die.Medical name: Cyanosis

  • Nails curve downward and the ends of your fingers are swollenWhat it may be telling you: You may have a heart infection, heart disease, or lung problem.For many people, these signs are harmless. That said, if your fingers and nails look like this, its best to find out if you may have a medical condition, such as lung disease or a heart problem.Medical name: Clubbing

  • References

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