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3 Heart Rate Myths Busted, Sleep Problems and Alzheimer’s, Belly Fat and Stroke Risk

admin - September 7, 2012

Friday Roundup:


Uncover the Truth about Heart Rate

There’s tons of information out there on heart rates and conditions affecting heartbeat, but how do you know what’s true? In honor of Atrial Fibrillation Awareness month, we’re debunking some of the most common heart rate myths so you can keep your heart strong.

Myth: An irregular heartbeat is a heart attack.
This is partly myth. A heart attack is most often associated with not only an irregular, erratic heartbeat, but other symptoms like chest pain, body aches and shortness of breath. If abnormal heart rate appears on it’s own, it’s most likely just an arrhythmia that can be treated with medication. Some arrhythmias like atrial fibrillation can lead to further heart problems like stroke or heart attack, but at times can be completely harmless.

Myth: A normal heart rate equals normal blood pressure.
According to WebMD, there is no relationship between heart rate and blood pressure. Anyone who has high blood pressure could very well have a normal heart rate, and vice versa. You can’t determine if your blood pressure is high from knowing your heart rate, and you can’t determine your heart rate from knowing your blood pressure levels.

Myth: Stress doesn’t affect heart rate.
Actually, WebMD states that stress can increase your heart rate and cause it to beat more than 100 times per minute. This condition is called tachycardia. It’s important to note, however, that other factors may raise heart rate as well, like:

  • Smoking
  • Consuming large amounts of caffeine
  • Dehydration
  • Fever
  • Anemia
  • Thyroid disease

Keeping your heart healthy by maintaining a nutritious diet, staying active, not smoking and not consuming too much alcohol can greatly reduce your risk of developing heart problems like atrial fibrillation. Preventive health screenings that identify heart conditions early can also help. Schedule your screening today.

To read other heart rate myths, view this link:


Sleep Problems May Predict Alzheimer’s

Sleep problems may predict Alzheimer's - Life Line ScreeningBecause there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, researchers have been conducting studies to find early warning signs of the memory-loss disease in order to better treat or prevent it. A new study shows that bad sleep may be one indication of oncoming Alzheimer’s.

According to BBC News, the study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, revealed disrupted sleep in mice with Alzheimer’s plaques forming in the brain.

Since the study was only conducted on mice, there is no definite link between sleeping problems and Alzheimer’s in humans as of yet, but researchers believe they may be on to something.

In the study, nocturnal mice slept for 40 minutes per hour of daylight. In mice with plaques forming in the brain, sleep only occurred for 30 minutes per hour.

“If sleep abnormalities begin this early in the course of human Alzheimer’s disease, those changes could provide us with an easily detectable sign [of Alzheimer’s],” said researcher and professor David Holtzman in the BBC News article.

Further studies are being conducted to confirm whether there is a link between sleeping problems and Alzheimer’s disease in people, as well as mice. Should results prove the link, doctors will then be able to identify the disease early, before it becomes untreatable. Be on the lookout for more information on this topic.

To read the full article discussing this study on sleep and Alzheimer’s, view this link:


Why Belly Fat is Worse Than Obesity

Have you ever heard of the phrase ‘spare tyre’? It’s a name given to extra weight found around the waistline, and studies are showing it could be even more dangerous than being obese.

Physicians from the Mayo Clinic recently reviewed health records of about 12,700 individuals over a period of 14 years. Their average age was 44 years old. In the health records, the participants’ weight-to-height ratio (BMI) was recorded along with their waist-to-hip ratio.

Preventive health screenings from Life Line ScreeningDuring that 14 year period, 2,562 of the participants died, of which 1,138 died from heart disease or stroke. Resulting from these numbers, doctors concluded that people with a higher waist-to-hip ratio but normal BMI were almost 3 times more likely to die from a cardiovascular condition in comparison to people with normal ratios for both.

The reason? The fat that accumulates in the midsection around the organs is a different kind of fat cell than the fat that appears on other areas of the body, like the legs. These cells found in the midsection release a chemical that can raise insulin resistance and therefore increase risk of cardiovascular illnesses.

The study goes to show the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle to avoid accumulating the dreaded ‘spare tyre’. Eating right and working hard to burn any fat around your midsection is especially important in lowering your risk for stroke or other heart problems.

If you have excess body weight around your midsection, consider scheduling a health screening to become more aware of the state of your health. Learn more about these preventive health screenings now.

To read the full study on midsection weight gain and stroke risk, view this link:

What do you do to keep your waistline slim? We’d love to hear. Share with us below.


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