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Is physical activity more effective than prescription medication? Is physical activity more effective than prescription medication?
Date: 2013-12-12 17:05:56

A new study showed that exercise can be as effective as prescription medication at treating some of the leading causes of death in the United States. The results, published in the British Medical Journal, question whether our country's health care system is too focused on medication as treatment and not promoting physical activity enough.

The comparative study was conducted by Huseyin Naci, London School of Economics and Political Science graduate student, and John Ioannidis, M.D., director of the Stanford Prevention Research Center at the Stanford University School of Medicine. They wanted to research how well exercise and prescription drugs reduced deaths among people who had been previously diagnosed with one of four different medical conditions: diabetes, stroke, chronic heart failure or heart disease.

Very few researchers have compared the effectiveness of medication and exercise, yet comparative effectiveness studies are important parts of pharmaceutical research. Naci and Ioannidis compiled data from 305 medical experiments that revolved around one of the four conditions they were researching. What they discovered was that out of all the studies, only 57 examined exercise as a method of treatment.

Using these numbers, the two researchers cross-referenced results from cases where participants were either prescribed medication, put on strict exercise regimens, or both. Typically, a prescribed exercise routine would include aerobic activity and some form of weight-training. The results of their cross-referencing were revelatory: exercise consistently showed similar results to medication when it came to treating life-threatening conditions.

Exercise as beneficial as medicine... Full Story

Trans fats FDA plans to phase out trans fats entirely
Date: 2013-11-07 14:20:59

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has plans in motion to completely remove trans fats from foods, a move the agency noted could reduce the number of heart attacks each year by several thousand. The fats are responsible for many ill health effects, like raising low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, often referred to as "bad cholesterol." While the agency is working to remove the fat altogether, those with high rates of LDL on cholesterol tests should try to avoid the fats in the meantime.

FDA working to eliminate trans fats... Full Story

Heart disease treaments What the new guidelines for cholesterol medication mean for you
Date: 2013-11-12 19:25:37

A major shift in the treatment of those with high risk for heart disease has been announced by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology. For people with poor results on cholesterol tests, this may mean a change in how doctors treat the condition. Read on to find more information regarding the changes made to the way that heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular issues will now be treated.

A focus on risk factors... Full Story

US cholesterol levels US cholesterol levels see improvement
Date: 2013-11-04 19:31:27

The levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, often known as "good cholesterol," have risen in the U.S., though the rates of low-density lipoprotein, or "bad cholesterol," have stayed about the same. The new report, from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found that screening rates for people having blood tests to determine their cholesterol levels have stalled, so those who may be at risk for high cholesterol should consider a lab test to help determine their levels.

The CDC compared levels of U.S. residents over the age of 20 in the years 2011 and 2012 to the rates of 2009 and 2010, finding that the rates of HDL cholesterol had improved significantly. The rate of adults in the U.S. with low levels of HDL cholesterol had dropped 20 percent between the time periods, with just 17 percent of adults surveyed having low levels. The study found that women had higher levels of LDL cholesterol and had been screened less frequently, though heart disease remains the most likely killer of both men and women in the country.

High levels of HDL cholesterol have been found to reduce the risk that is created by raised levels of LDL cholesterol, which is associated with heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular issues. Cholesterol tests can show the levels of both types, allowing for healthier lifestyle practices to begin, which can significantly reduce the risks of cardiovascular episodes.

Improving heart health... Full Story

A good diet for heart health What is a good diet for heart health and cholesterol?
Date: 2013-10-10 13:36:20

Controlling heart health is one of the most important parts about staying healthy. This involves keeping cholesterol levels low while making sure to eat plenty of vitamins and minerals as well as omega-3 fatty acids and whole grains. At the same time, staying away from certain fats can make hearts stronger and healthier.

Why control cholesterol levels for a healthy heart?... Full Story

What are the signs of heart disease? What are the risk factors for heart disease?
Date: 2013-10-07 19:53:40

Heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease, is a very common condition among Americans. It can lead to potentially deadly complications, so being aware of the risk factors for this condition is important for many.

Cholesterol levels... Full Story

Heart attacks and cholesterol New drug could reduce heart attacks and cholesterol
Date: 2013-10-03 13:04:58

A new drug may be able to reduce cholesterol in people with high levels whose bodies are resistant to statins. The drug has shown significant promise in a clinical testing trial, significantly lowering low-density lipoprotein, often referred to as "bad cholesterol."

LDL rates and the new medication... Full Story

Cholesterol and cancer High HDL cholesterol may reduce risk of cancer
Date: 2013-09-25 15:32:23

A meta-analysis of two dozen lipid intervention trials has found a connection between high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and a lower risk of cancer. The analysis took data from more than 100,000 patients and found that for each 10 milligrams per deciliter increment that HDL levels increased, the likeliness of cancer was reduced by more than 30 percent.

Connection between cholesterol and cancer... Full Story

Cholesterol What are the differences between good and bad cholesterol?
Date: 2013-09-08 21:41:34

While many people know that high cholesterol is unhealthy, some may not be sure why. There are many conditions associated with high cholesterol that can negatively affect the entire body, all the way from the heart to the brain, potentially causing heart disease, heart attacks and strokes.

What is cholesterol?... Full Story

High blood pressure Making treatment easier can lower blood pressure
Date: 2013-09-03 12:06:10

A new study has found that making treatment easier for patients who have hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, can help them become healthier. High blood pressure, together with high cholesterol, can lead to heart attacks, strokes and heart disease as well as other serious health issues.

Study... Full Story

Will the Mediterranean diet lower my cholesterol? Will the Mediterranean diet lower my cholesterol?
Date: 2013-08-29 22:48:31

Cholesterol tests reveal that the Mediterranean diet, which is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and heart-healthy fats, can lower the amount of low-density lipoproteins, or bad cholesterol.

A recent study from the American Heart Association tested the effects of the diet on men who are genetically predisposed to have cardiovascular problems, and were shown to have low levels of high-density lipoproteins, or good cholesterol. Not all of the men lost weight, but regardless of what the scale said by the end of the study, they had all decreased their bad cholesterol by 9 percent.

"The Mediterranean-style diet, or MedDiet, may be recommended for effective management of the metabolic syndrome and its related risk of cardiovascular disease," said Caroline Richard, lead author of the study.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the MedDiet focuses on plant-based foods, heart-healthy fats in moderation - such as those found in olive oil - the use of spices and herbs as a replacement for salt, and an emphasis on lean white meat. The diet also encourages drinking a small amount of red wine.

... Full Story

Men may be at higher risk for cholesterol Men may be at higher risk for heart attacks related to cholesterol
Date: 2013-08-28 10:06:01

Middle-aged men with high cholesterol may be at a higher risk for heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems, according to a new study. Research found that men were far more likely to have a first heart attack than women, even if both had the same elevated levels of cholesterol.

Study... Full Story

Lower your cholesterol levels with a big breakfast Lower your cholesterol levels with a big breakfast
Date: 2013-08-05 14:41:12

If your cholesterol tests keep showing high results, it may be time to make a change. Eating breakfast is a well-known healthy habit, but new research showed that the size of your breakfast makes a difference, too. And, believe it or not, bigger is better.

A study led by a Tel Aviv University researcher revealed that people who eat their largest meal at breakfast are more likely to lose weight and have a smaller waist circumference than people who eat a big dinner. In addition to less scale stress, big breakfast eaters also had better levels of insulin, glucose and triglycerides - the main form of fat in the body. These factors mean a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and lower cholesterol levels.

Perhaps the more surprising discovery is that those big breakfasts actually included dessert, implying that weight management is not just what you eat, but also when you eat it. The researchers noted that these findings may pave the way for future obesity treatment and lifestyle factors.

How did they do it?... Full Story

Optimism may improve heart health Don't worry, be happy: It may save your life
Date: 2013-07-28 19:54:34

A new study from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine has discovered that being optimistic may significantly decrease a person's risk of heart issues. While stress and its management have long been associated with cardiovascular disease, this is the first report of its kind to link a specific mentality with heart attack risk.

"If you are by nature a cheerful person and look on the bright side of things, you are more likely to be protected from cardiac events," said Lisa Yanek, lead author of the study. "A happier temperament has an actual effect on disease, and you may be healthier as a result."

Researchers analyzed lab test data from roughly 7,400 U.S. citizens and discovered that people who are cheerful, relaxed, energized and content with their lives had a greatly reduced chance of sudden cardiac failure, heart attack and other cardiovascular complications, some by as much as 50 percent.

Yanek noted that while a clear correlation had been made, the team was not able to determine the cause and effect relationship that optimism had on heart health. However, she said that people who have that mindset tend to have that quality from birth, and most find it difficult to drastically change their temperament.

Lowering heart disease risk... Full Story

Study: Breakfast most important meal of the day Study: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day
Date: 2013-07-28 18:52:44

According to new research from Harvard University, skipping breakfast is not only a bad idea, it could adversely affect your health. Some of the largest risk factors for heart disease include high blood pressure and high levels of cholesterol, and university scientists suspected that not eating breakfast was linked to one or more of these factors.

By examining past data from blood pressure and cholesterol tests along with other measurements of heart health, the researchers assessed the well-being of almost 27,000 men who worked as health professionals. Of those men, 1,572 developed heart disease. The reported noted that previous research has found that those who skipped breakfast were 15 percent more likely to experience significant weight gain, and 21 percent more likely to be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

"We've focused so much on the quality of food and what kind of diet everyone should be eating, and we don't talk as often on the manner of eating," stated Suzanne Steinbaum, M.D., preventive cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York. "This study is not even discussing the type of food. It's just talking about behavior and lifestyle choice. Part of heart-healthy living is eating breakfast because that prevents you from doing a lot of other unhealthy things."

Why skipping breakfast is bad... Full Story

Researchers say eggs do not cause high cholesterol Researchers say eggs do not cause high cholesterol
Date: 2013-07-23 15:48:18

Cholesterol tests may not be necessary for young people: Researchers at the University of Granada have determined that eating eggs does not cause high cholesterol in adolescents, despite the long-time belief that more than two eggs a week would increase levels.

"Health professionals traditionally insisted that eating eggs increased cholesterol levels, so in recent decades there has been a tendency to restrict intake championed by various public health organizations," said Alberto Maldonado, lead author of the study.

The study examined possible correlations between egg intake and the primary risk factors for heart disease, including high blood pressure, extra body fat, lipid profile and insulin resistance. The researchers also took into account how frequently the adolescents engaged in physical activity.

Adolescents from nine European countries were analyzed for the report, which found no link between eating more than a certain amount of eggs and higher serum cholesterol levels. Nor did they find a connection between egg consumption and a heightened risk of cardiovascular disease, regardless of how often the subjects took part in physical activity.

Maldonado noted that his team's findings confirmed recent studies conducted with healthy adults that imply that eating up to seven eggs every week is not correlated with an increased risk of heart disease. He also stated that further study was necessary to conclude similar results with higher amounts of eggs.

Eggs beneficial for heart disease prevention ... Full Story

HDL and Cheerios: The benefits of cholesterol testing and fiber consumption Cholesterol and Cheerios: The benefits of cholesterol testing and fiber consumption
Date: 2013-07-05 12:29:50

Cholesterol testing may help curb the epidemic of high blood pressure affecting adults in the U.S., according to a recent study of more than 17,000 American adults performed by the American Heart Association and published in the journal Circulation.

The study found that high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, affects nearly one-third of U.S. adults and causes a two-fold increase in the likelihood that an individual will develop heart disease over his or her lifetime. Former research has shown that treating high blood pressure mitigates the risk by one-quarter. Likewise, treating high cholesterol in individuals with high blood pressure can reduce the risk by more than one-third. The present study endorsed a therapeutic regimen of managing both blood pressure and cholesterol and also found that prescribing medications to better manage blood pressure and cholesterol may improve the health of older individuals, individuals with diabetes, individuals with cardiovascular disease and Hispanic or African-American individuals.

Receive a cholesterol test... Full Story

1 in 4 stroke survivors affected by PTSD 1 in 4 stroke survivors affected by PTSD
Date: 2013-06-20 11:19:15

A stroke can impact a person's overall health in major ways, affecting the way he or she is able to engage in everyday tasks. According to a recent study published online in the journal PLoS ONE, one in four people who survive a stroke experience the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, which highlights how significant the event can be for individuals.

PTSD is most commonly associated with people who have experienced life-altering episodes and combat veterans or those who have been assaulted are among the most likely to be affected. However, this study reveals that a major medical incident like a stroke can have emotional bearing on the mental wellness of people for years to come.

Additionally, those who struggle with PTSD could be more susceptible to developing subsequent cardiovascular issues as a result of the psychological problems PTSD can create.

"PTSD is a huge detriment to quality of life, a debilitating disorder in its own right, and deserves to be treated," Donald Edmondson, Ph.D., an assistant professor of behavioral medicine at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. "You can't develop PTSD without a life-threatening event. Having PTSD can't cause a stroke a month ago, so this research is some of the strongest causal evidence we have."

Nine previous studies were examined by researchers to determine the results, each of which focused on the occurrence of stroke or transient ischemic attacks. Collectively, more than 1,100 individuals were included in these reports.

According to the researchers, close to 300,000 stroke survivors will be affected by PTSD symptoms because of the incident, while 11 percent will develop chronic or recurring signs of the condition.

Individuals who are concerned about their overarching health should consider the benefits of being proactive with a lab test online. A lab test conducted in this way can help people get a better glimpse of their wellness and take health in their own hands, which can be important.

... Full Story

AMA classifies obesity as a disease AMA classifies obesity as a disease
Date: 2013-06-19 14:53:31

For those who are affected by obesity, health problems including Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, joint or muscle disorders and the threat of heart attack or stroke can be prevalent.

While cholesterol testing is one kind of lab test online that can help a person gain a better picture of your overarching health, it is not the only way individuals can take control of their own wellness. Exercising, eating right and being mindful of calorie intake can be beneficial for those who want to reduce their weight and prevent obesity outright.

Combating obesity has taken on new significance in the wake of the American Medical Association's announcement on June 18 that obesity will now be classified as a disease. Experts with the AMA hope that this shift will enable healthcare providers to offer a higher level of care to those impacted by the condition and give obese men and women the impetus to act, NPR reported.

"Recognizing obesity as a disease will help change the way the medical community tackles this complex issue that affects approximately one in three Americans," AMA board member Patrice Harris, M.D., said in a statement. "The AMA is committed to improving health outcomes and is working to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, which are often linked to obesity."

Treating obesity like a chronic illness is a crucial step toward reducing the impact that it can have on individuals in the years to follow. The AMA's decision, according to Esa Matius Davis, M.D., M.P.H., an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, will help broaden the resources available to healthcare specialists for the treatment of obesity.

Right now, drugs, nutritional counseling and gastric-bypass surgery are among the options explored by people and their doctors in the battle against the bulge. However, this can be costly if an insurance provider fails to provide adequate compensation, and can limit the help people are able to receive.

In addition, the declaration of the AMA that obesity is a disease may bolster research in the area by academics, which could be beneficial in helping to limit the spread of obesity in future years.

... Full Story

Cognitive function affected by heart health Cognitive function affected by heart health
Date: 2013-06-06 13:15:41

Can the health of a person's heart impact the rest of his or her body, and specifically the brain's overall function? According to a recent study by the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, the instances of cognitive decline increase among patients affected by cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes.

"There has been a lot of research looking at the links between Type 2 diabetes and increased risk for dementia, but this is the first study to look specifically at subclinical CVD and the role it plays," said lead author Christina E. Hugenschmidt, Ph.D., an instructor of gerontology and geriatric medicine at Wake Forest Baptist. "Our research shows that CVD risk caused by diabetes even before it's at a clinically treatable level might be bad for your brain."

Researchers analyzed data from the Diabetes Heart Study-Mind study - an accumulation of data focused on the connections between vascular calcified plaque, cognitive ability, and diabetes-related issues - and also considered links between cardiovascular disease, diabetes and hereditary.

The study had 1,443 participants. Researchers learned that of 516 individuals, 422 were impacted by Type 2 diabetes and 94 were unaffected.

They surmised that the connection between heart problems and mental stagnation may be associated with the decline of blood flow to the brain that occurs in the aftermath of these incidents. Researchers encouraged healthcare providers to be mindful of the risks of cognitive deterioration in people with Type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease, as this may help them delay or prevent this from occurring.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, coronary heart disease claims the lives of more than 385,000 people annually, while about 600,000 people die as a result of cardiovascular problems each year.

Individuals who feel they may be likely to develop the condition should consider the benefits of protime tests or other lab testing outside of a clinical setting. These processes can be beneficial for those who want to take control of their personal health and wellness.

... Full Story

Obese patients more likely to respond to advice from overweight physicians Obese patients more likely to respond to advice from overweight physicians
Date: 2013-06-04 16:29:21

Individuals who are overweight or obese are frequently asked by healthcare providers to undergo cholesterol tests and other screenings to observe the impact that their weight may be having on their bodily function.

While the results of these tests can help people begin to make more informed decisions about their personal habits, if patients opt not to follow the recommendations of doctors, they may be jeopardizing their personal health and wellness.

Adherence to the suggestions of healthcare professionals is a crucial component of medical guidelines, and in a recent study by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, researchers found that overweight or obese patients are more likely to follow medical advice from physicians who are themselves overweight or obese.

"With respect to overall trust, our results suggest that overweight and obese patients trust their primary care physicians, regardless of their body weight," said Sara Bleich, Ph.D., associate professor with the Bloomberg School's Department of Health Policy and Management. "However, with respect to trust in weight-related advice, we found that patients more strongly trusted diet advice from overweight primary care physicians as compared to normal BMI primary care physicians."

Analyzing a cross-section of 600 overweight and obese patients, the researchers were able to calculate the level of trust that patients felt in their healthcare providers and found that BMI impacted the confidence they had in the advice.

More importantly, it reduced the stigma felt by individuals regarding their own weights and their willingness to approach conversations in an open and straightforward manner.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of adults in the country are overweight or obese. Being obese may increase the risk of stroke, heart attack, Type 2 diabetes and other medical issues.

If a person is impacted by a cardiovascular or similar disease and is also overweight or obese, a lab test can help one determine the quality of personal wellness.

... Full Story

Institute of Medicine calls for kids to get more exercise Institute of Medicine calls for kids to get more exercise
Date: 2013-05-23 15:40:21

Blood tests to check for cholesterol levels are not just important for adults, but children as well. As childhood obesity rates continue to rise in the U.S., parents need to realize that children need to be screened for obesity-related conditions like high blood pressure and cholesterol. It's also important for parents, educators, community leaders and politicians to all come together to find ways to keep kids healthy.

Recently, a report from the Institute of Medicine calls for schools to do their part to help kids maintain a healthy weight by ensuring that they engage in 60 minutes of moderate or vigorous physical activity during each school day.

"Schools are critical for the education and health of our children," said Harold Kohl, Ph.D., professor of epidemiology and kinesiology at the University of Texas School of Public Health and chair of the committee that wrote the report. "They already provide key services such as health screenings, immunizations and nutritious meals. Daily physical activity is as important to children's health and development as these other health-related services, and providing opportunities for physical activity should be a priority for all schools, both through physical education and other options."

Schools are key ... Full Story

Talking to parents may get college students to eat healthier Talking to parents may get college students to eat healthier
Date: 2013-05-16 14:44:56

It's not just middle-aged and older adults who should use cholesterol testing tools to determine if they have healthy levels, but people of all ages. That's because high cholesterol can strike at any age, particularly for individuals who have a family history of poor cholesterol levels or those who follow an unhealthy diet, like many college students. Recently, researchers from Penn State University set out to determine how college students could be convinced to improve their notoriously fat-filled diets.

The scientists discovered that on days when students talk to their parents, they tend to consume more fruits and vegetables than on days when they do not. This suggests that encouraging greater communication between parents and students may be the key to getting young people to eat better.

Parents know best... Full Story

Research confirms that fast food is still bad for you Research confirms that fast food is still bad for you
Date: 2013-05-07 12:04:04

For years, fast food was known as the worst type of food a person could consume, since it is so packed with fat and sugar. In recent years, there has been an effort within the fast food industry to offer healthier options on their menus. However, this doesn't mean that people who eat these foods regularly aren't in need of blood tests to check their cholesterol levels. According to recent research funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Healthy Eating Research program, fast food menus are only slightly healthier than they were years ago, and much improvement is still needed.

The report also discovered that more than 25 percent of American adults eat fast food two or more times a week. Clearly, it's important for people to know what they are putting into their bodies when they consume these potentially unhealthy foods.

Improvements are slow and small ... Full Story

Could cholesterol-lowering drugs help men beat cancer? Could cholesterol-lowering drugs help men beat cancer?
Date: 2013-05-06 15:09:41

People who get regular blood tests and lab tests may be more likely to catch and treat health problems like high cholesterol or even cancer. While these two conditions may not seem directly related, recent evidence suggests that there may be a strong association between the two. According to scientists from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, men with prostate cancer who took cholesterol-lowering statin drugs were less likely to die of cancer than those who did not take the pills.

To come to their conclusions, the scientists examined 1,000 Seattle-area prostate cancer patients. About 30 percent of the study participants said that they were on statins to help lower their cholesterol. When the researchers followed up with these individuals eight years later, they found that the risk of death was significantly reduced in the men who took the statins.

Help cholesterol and cancer?... Full Story

An unhealthy diet while pregnant sets children up for trouble An unhealthy diet during pregnancy sets children up for trouble
Date: 2013-05-02 16:43:34

Regularly using cholesterol testing services is important for not only adults, but children as well. There is a childhood obesity problem in the U.S., and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that overweight children and those who have a family history of high cholesterol get tested before the age of 10. According to recent research from the University of Adelaide, one way that mothers may be able to help their children avoid a future of obesity and unhealthy cholesterol levels is to eat healthy while pregnant.

The scientists discovered that mothers who regularly consumed junk food during their pregnancy have a high risk of having children who are addicted to fatty and sugary foods.

Setting them up for trouble... Full Story

Is a happy marriage making you fat? Is a happy marriage making you fat?
Date: 2013-04-04 17:22:45

Over the years, studies have come out suggesting that marriage may be good for health for a number of reasons. It can help keep people from feeling lonely or developing depression, and even appears to have some benefits for cardiovascular health. However, the findings of a recent study may have some married people ordering cholesterol testing and other blood tests to make sure that they have not developed any obesity-related conditions. According to scientists from Southern Methodist University, happy newlyweds may find themselves packing on the pounds.

Researchers discovered that young newlyweds who are happy in their relationship are more likely to gain weight in the first few years of marriage than those who were less satisfied in their marriage.

Happy isn't always healthy... Full Story

Marketing researchers discovers tops reasons why people eat poorly Marketing researchers discovers tops reasons why people eat poorlyheadline??
Date: 2013-04-14 23:40:06

Eating healthy isn't always easy, which is why it's important for people to get blood tests and lab tests to help show them if they are on the right track. It has been difficult for researchers to pin down exactly why people choose unhealthy foods over ones that are good for them. While there are certainly many theories - it can be hard to determine what factors influence food choices the most. However, recently, a researcher from the University of Alberta analyzed consumer data and found what he believes to be some of the top reasons why people choose unhealthy foods, even when they have a medical problem that requires them to eat better.

According to the researcher, Alberta School of Business professor Yu Ma, after being diagnosed with a condition such as diabetes, people initially make decisions about their food that they think are healthy ones, but that may not always be. Furthermore, the price of food plays a large role in the decisions people make.

Cutting sugar is not enough ... Full Story

Sleep may keep teens fit Sleep may help keep teens fit
Date: 2013-04-10 00:14:01

It's not just adults who have to worry about having high cholesterol levels, but children as well. This is particularly true for obese children, who may be more likely to have high cholesterol levels due to their poor diet. Recently, a study conducted by researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania found that encouraging adolescents to get more sleep could help reduce the rate of obesity among this population.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 20 percent of adolescents between the ages of 12 and 19 have at least one abnormal lipid level, which is why kids should engage in cholesterol testing as well as adults.

Less sleep, greater weight... Full Story

A compound found in red meat may promote atherosclerosis A compound found in red meat may promote atherosclerosis
Date: 2013-04-08 14:15:04

Recent research has given red meat eaters a good reason to seek out blood tests and other health screenings. In addition to promoting high cholesterol, it turns out that red meat contains a compound that's specifically detrimental to cardiovascular health, according to researchers at the Cleveland Clinic.

The scientists reported that a compound found in red meat and some energy drinks may promote atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is the hardening or clogging of the arteries, and is one of the contributing factors of heart disease.

A dangerous compound ... Full Story

Survey shows children eat poorly and do not get enough exercise Survey shows children eat poorly and do not get enough exercise
Date: 2013-04-01 15:41:09

Anyone can have high cholesterol levels, regardless of whether they maintain a healthy diet or how old they are, which is why everyone should be getting regular lab tests to check cholesterol levels. While some people may think that children don't have to worry about their readings, they would be incorrect. According to WebMD, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children first get screened for high cholesterol after age 2, but no later than age 10.

Recently, the National Health and Nutrition Survey was released and it shed some light on why kids may need cholesterol screenings. According to the findings, 80 percent of young people surveyed followed an unhealthy diet.

Too much junk food ... Full Story

Researchers find more reasons to lose weight now, rather than later Researchers find more reasons to lose weight now, rather than later
Date: 2013-03-04 15:28:02

There are many things in life that people put off - but getting important blood tests and cholesterol tests should not be on that list. Similarly, losing weight should not be something that people wait to do until the time feels right for them. According to researchers from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, losing weight at a younger age increases the chance of reversing heart damage, compared to shedding pounds later in life.

These findings should encourage people to stop making excuses and telling themselves that they will get around to exercising at some point, and starting working toward developing a healthy weight now.

The sooner the better ... Full Story

Scientist confirms dietary causes of bad cholesterol Scientist confirms dietary causes of bad cholesterol
Date: 2013-03-01 16:27:51

Many people harbor the misconception that all cholesterol is bad for the heart, when in fact it is not. While individuals should regularly receive cholesterol testing, it's not to make sure they have low levels of all types of this substance in their body, just the bad kind. Now, Fred Kummerow, an emeritus professor of comparative biosciences at the University of Illinois, has released a study arguing that, contrary to popular belief, dietary cholesterol actually can be good for the heart.

According to the researcher, dietary cholesterol can benefit the heart, as long as it is not unnaturally oxidized.

What's the difference? ... Full Story

Volunteering may help lower cholesterol levels Volunteering may help lower cholesterol levels
Date: 2013-02-26 23:20:02

Lowering cholesterol can be difficult, since it involves changing eating habits, taking medication and getting more exercise, not to mention the significant role genetics play in high cholesterol risk. However, recent research suggests that something that is good for the soul and the community may also benefit cholesterol levels. According to scientists from the University of British Columbia, people who volunteer not only feel good about themselves, they may also see more positive results the next time they go in for cholesterol tests.

The researchers set out to determine how volunteering not only affects the self esteem of adolescents, but their physical health as well.

Good for the mind and body ... Full Story

Want to get healthier? Consider eating more avocado Want to get healthier? Consider eating more avocado
Date: 2013-02-22 15:09:17

Lowering cholesterol levels and following a heart-healthy lifestyle aren't always easy, which is why people should regularly get blood tests to help make sure they are on the the right path. However, sometimes boosting wellness can be as simple as adding one particular food to your diet. For example, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently determined that people who consume avocados are healthier than those who do not.

Researchers analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to come to their conclusions. According to their findings, adding avocados to a diet could be a simple way for people to get more nutrients into their diet while simultaneously helping to lower their weight and increase the amount of "good" cholesterol in their body.

Time for more avocado... Full Story

Exercise doesn't have to be vigorous to be effective Exercise doesn't have to be vigorous to be effective
Date: 2013-02-14 16:54:07

Obese individuals have a higher risk than those with healthier weights to develop heart disease and high cholesterol. This is why people who are obese should regularly get blood tests to help determine if they are on their way to developing any adverse health conditions. While overweight individuals likely know that they need to exercise regularly in order to shed pounds and improve insulin sensitivity and cholesterol levels, not everyone has the motivation to workout.

It can particular be difficult for people to participate in a high-intensity workout regimen if it's been a long time since they last hit the gym. However, according to a recent study conducted by researchers from Maastricht University in the Netherlands, a low-intensity exercise program can be even more effective than a strenuous one.

Walk your way to healthier levels... Full Story

Complications from existing diseases are not uncommon, though finding ways to treat multiple illnesses at once can be difficult for physicians and trying for patients. Blood testing could reveal underlying diabetic health issues
Date: 2013-01-31 12:09:37

Complications from existing diseases are not uncommon, though finding ways to treat multiple illnesses at once can be difficult for physicians and trying for patients. Diabetics especially face a number of potential complications, making regular blood tests for sugar levels, heart function and tissue health essential to ongoing wellness. Researchers are now finding new ways that basic cholesterol testing can help isolate risks before they arise in these sensitive patients.

The Kaiser Permanente group looked at over 26,000 diabetics to isolate common factors in their blood and other samples that indicated the incidence for developing heart disease. The center's recent report, published by the Journal of General Internal Medicine, highlighted some of the trends scientists at the center uncovered, including patterns in heart disease, stroke and other pulmonary events that resulted in hospitalization of diabetics.

The results of the research comparison showed that people with diabetes are up to four times more likely than people without the condition to have heart disease or die from a heart attack. Elevated blood pressure, unsafe levels of cholesterol and uncontrolled blood sugar were common themes in records of patients, both living and deceased, who had been diagnosed with cardiovascular problems.

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