Red meat consumption and mortality

Red meat consumption and mortality: results from 2 prospective cohort studies.
Arch Intern Med. 2012 Apr 9;172(7):555-63.
Pan A, et al.

Red meat consumption has been associated with an increased risk of chronic diseases. However, its relationship with mortality remains uncertain.

We prospectively observed 37 698 men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (1986-2008) and 83 644 women from the Nurses’ Health Study (1980-2008) who were free of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer at baseline. Diet was assessed by validated food frequency questionnaires and updated every 4 years.

We documented 23 926 deaths (including 5910 CVD and 9464 cancer deaths) during 2.96 million person-years of follow-up. After multivariate adjustment for major lifestyle and dietary risk factors, the pooled hazard ratio (HR) (95% CI) of total mortality for a 1-serving-per-day increase was 1.13 (1.07-1.20) for unprocessed red meat and 1.20 (1.15-1.24) for processed red meat. The corresponding HRs (95% CIs) were 1.18 (1.13-1.23) and 1.21 (1.13-1.31) for CVD mortality and 1.10 (1.06-1.14) and 1.16 (1.09-1.23) for cancer mortality.
We estimated that substitutions of 1 serving per day of other foods (including fish, poultry, nuts, legumes, low-fat dairy, and whole grains) for 1 serving per day of red meat were associated with a 7% to 19% lower mortality risk. We also estimated that 9.3% of deaths in men and 7.6% in women in these cohorts could be prevented at the end of follow-up if all the individuals consumed fewer than 0.5 servings per day (approximately 42 g/d) of red meat.

Red meat consumption is associated with an increased risk of total, CVD, and cancer mortality.
Substitution of other healthy protein sources for red meat is associated with a lower mortality risk.

Comment in:
Additional ways to diminish the deleterious effects of red meat. [Arch Intern Med. 2012]

Higher red meat consumption is associated with increased risk of all-cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality. [Evid Based Nurs. 2012]

Holy Cow! What’s good for you is good for our planet: comment on “Red Meat Consumption and Mortality”. [Arch Intern Med. 2012]

journalistic version:
Death By Bacon? Study Finds Eating Meat Is Risky
March 12, 2012

BP in Relation to Coffee Consumption

Blood Pressure in Relation to Coffee and Caffeine Consumption
Current Hypertension Reports, August 2014, 16:468
Idris Guessous, Chin B. Eap, Murielle Bochud

The relationship between blood pressure (BP) and coffee is of major interest given its widespread consumption and the public health burden of high BP.
Yet, there is no specific recommendation regarding coffee intake in existing hypertension guidelines.
The lack of a definitive understanding of the BP-coffee relationship is partially attributable to issues that we discuss in this review, issues such as acute vs. chronic effects, genetic and smoking effect modifications, and coffee vs. caffeine effects.

We also present evidence from meta-analyses of studies on the association of BP with coffee intake.
The scope of this review is limited to the latest advances published with a specific focus on caffeine, acknowledging that caffeine is only one among numerous components in coffee that may influence BP.

Finally, considering the state of the research, we propose a mechanism by which the CYP1A2 gene and enzyme influence BP via inhibition of the adenosine receptor differentially in smokers and non-smokers.

this article cites:
Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
Neal D. Freedman, Ph.D., et al.
N Engl J Med, May 17, 2012; 366:1891-1904

Marathon Training Lowers Heart Disease Risk

Impact of Physical Activity on CV Disease
March 29, 2014
American College of Cardiology

Another study of physical activity concluded that marathon training improved cardiovascular risk factors among middle-aged, recreational runners who prepared for the Boston Marathon.
Jodi L. Zilinski, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital led the study of 45 male runners, ages 35 to 65, who trained for 18 weeks in advance of the 2013 marathon.
Their race preparation led to significant changes in cardiovascular risk: LDL was reduced by five percent overall among participants; total cholesterol fell four percent and triglycerides fell 15 percent.
The men collectively showed a four percent increase in peak oxygen consumption.

“Participants experienced cardiac remodeling,” Zilinski said. “Even with a relatively healthy population that was not exercise naive.”

journalistic version:
Marathon Training Lowers Heart Disease Risk In Middle-Aged Men
March 27, 2014

Cardiac Arrest during Long-Distance Running Races
Jonathan H. Kim, M.D., et al.
N Engl J Med 2012; 366:130-140January 12, 2012
Marathons and half-marathons are associated with a low overall risk of cardiac arrest and sudden death.
Cardiac arrest, most commonly attributable to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or atherosclerotic coronary disease, occurs primarily among male marathon participants; the incidence rate in this group increased during the past decade.

Python fatty acids could provide heart repair treatment

Python fatty acids could provide heart repair treatment
Nature Medicine. 27 Oct 2011

Hearts under stress need to work harder, and cardiac cells bulk up to facilitate this output.
But healthy heart cell growth, caused by exercise or pregnancy, occurs by a different mechanism than so-called pathological growth, induced by heart attack or high blood pressure.

To better understand the difference, and possibly to uncover a way to preferentially encourage healthy growth, cardiologist Leslie Leinwand of the University of Colorado in Boulder studied Burmese python hearts, which balloon by 40% after the snakes’ monthly meal without incurring harm. In a paper published today in Science, Leinwand and her colleagues identified a mixture of three fatty acids in the pythons’ blood that were activated during cardiac growth: myristic, palmitic, and palmitoleic acids.
And, when she injected them into mice, their hearts exhibited healthy growth — although they expanded by less than 10%.

The next step is to study whether this fatty acid mixture can heal or treat diseased mouse hearts and then, eventually, human. “The question is whether this growth is truly physiological and is it going to help the heart function better,” …

Low Vitamin D Levels? Sardines To The Rescue

Sardines are naturally rich in vitamin D.

Low Vitamin D Levels? Sardines To The Rescue
August 03, 2009

Researchers have published two studies in this week’s journal Pediatrics that raise some concerns about whether children receive adequate amounts of vitamin D.

Vitamin D is abundant in fatty fish like sardines, tuna and salmon, and it’s also found in fortified cereals, milk and orange juice.
And the old-fashioned teaspoon of cod liver oil has about 400 international units of the vitamin, which is the current dose recommendation for children from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Federal officials are now reviewing their recommended daily allowance, which is currently set at 200 IUs a day.
The review is in response to mounting evidence that American adults as well as children are not getting enough vitamin D.
And that vitamin D deficiency could be linked to a host of health problems, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and certain cancers.

In one recent study, researchers from Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine looked at federal health statistics on children between the ages of 1 and 21.
They determined that 9 percent of them were deficient in vitamin D.
That’s nearly 8 million children who had less than 15 nanograms per milliliter of blood.

They also found that 61 percent — or 50.8 million children — were what researchers term “insufficient.”
These children had less than 30 nanograms per milliliter, though using this number as a standard is controversial, as the medical community does not agree on what constitutes optimal levels of vitamin D.

In the study, Dr. Michal Melamed, from Albert Einstein College, describes her findings as extremely surprising and worrisome.
“After we turn 30, we start losing bone, so, if many of our young children don’t have enough vitamin D and are not reaching peak bone mass, then, in 60 years, there’ll probably be a lot more osteoporosis” among adults, she says.

Escitalopram protects from Mental Stress–Induced Myocardial Ischemia

Effect of Escitalopram on Mental Stress–Induced Myocardial Ischemia: Results of the REMIT Trial
Jiang W, et al.
JAMA. 2013;309(20):2139-2149.,AAAAyT9oH9k~,DTe1zot21E1nSpajEYjJB2xxrjlZGznd&mediaid=5648540

Mental stress can induce myocardial ischemia and also has been implicated in triggering cardiac events.
However, pharmacological interventions aimed at reducing mental stress–induced myocardial ischemia (MSIMI) have not been well studied.

Conclusions and Relevance: Among patients with stable coronary heart disease and baseline MSIMI, 6 weeks of escitalopram, compared with placebo, resulted in a lower rate of MSIMI.
There was no statistically significant difference in exercise-induced ischemia.