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Heart-healthy tips for women

A cardiologist has offered some tips to women to keep their hearts healthy. Dr Karla Kurrelmeyer at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Centre in Houston focuses on research and treatment of women with heart disease.

American Heart Month, recognised in February by the American Heart Association, gives her an opportunity to share with women on a broader scale what she shares with her patients year round.

“The most important thing I tell my female patients is to stay as physically fit as possible. Every woman should work exercise into her lifestyle. Find something you enjoy doing, and do it regularly and often,” Karla said.

“In addition to exercising, follow the Mediterranean diet, which is high in fish and fresh vegetables, and low in processed carbohydrates.”

“Get your cholesterol checked, especially if there is a family history of heart disease or stroke. At age 20 women are seeing their OB/gynecologists who perform blood pressure checks, fasting lipid panels and fasting sugars. Even young women should pay attention to these numbers and be on alert if any are out of range. If these numbers are abnormal, they indicate that you are at risk for developing heart problems in the future.”

Parents unaware of their kids’ weight problems

Most parents of kids aged 4 or 5 are not aware if their children are overweight or obese, a new study has found.Researchers from the University Medical Centre Groningen in The Netherlands reached the conclusion after observing 800 parents and 439 children who took part in study.

Among those participating five per cent of the children were overweight, four were obese and the rest were normal weight.

It was found that half of the mothers who took part in a study thought that their obese four or five year-old was normal weight, as did 39 per cent of the fathers.

Parents of normal weight children tended to think their child was one sketch slimmer than their Body Mass Index (BMI) indicated and parents of obese children often chose sketches that were three slimmer.

Professor Pieter Sauer from the Department of Paediatrics, said: “It’s estimated that 10 per cent of children in The Netherlands are overweight, compared with 20 per cent in the USA. However, public perception of what is a normal weight has shifted upwards because more people are overweight or obese.”

“Overweight children are very likely to become overweight teenagers and adults, so intervening when they are aged between three and five could prevent weight problems later in life.”

Just one energy drink can affect heart seriously

Just one energy drink, designed to increase stamina and improve physical performance, can cause ‘serious heart conditions’, according to a new study.

According to ‘Adelaide Now’, the study has prompted Australian Medical Association state president Dr Andrew Lavender to warn people to limit their consumption of energy drinks to one a day until further urgent research into long-term consumption of the drinks is complete.

The study by the University of Adelaide, Royal Adelaide Hospital and Cardiovascular Research Centre, found “common energy drinks do trigger significant changes, including a rise in blood pressure, increased stickiness of blood and decreased blood vessel function”.

“These measures could potentially lead to serious heart conditions in otherwise fit and healthy individuals,” said study author Dr Scott Willoughby. The study has been published in the prestigious ‘American Journal of Medicine’.

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