Diabetes, Heart, and Cardiovascular Diseases News Chronicle.      Article 223

Breastfeeding Can Lower The Risk Of Heart Disease And Stroke In Women After Pregnancy

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A previous short term study shows the following health benefits to mother from breastfeeding.


  • Improved blood sugar (glucose) level.
  • Weight loss.
  • Improvement in blood pressure.
  • Lower levels of cholesterol.

Breastfeeding can lower the risk of heart disease and stroke in women after pregnancy.

But there are no long term studies on the benefits of breastfeeding to women after pregnancy.

A long-term study at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, China and the Oxford University, Oxford, the United Kingdom shows a lower risk of stroke and heart diseases in the future with the breastfeeding. Born babies are also benefited from breastfeeding.


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The researchers have conducted an eight-year-long study on about 289,573 middle-aged women with an average age of 51 years. The study has found the following.

  • Breastfeeding can reduce the risk of stroke by eight percent and the risk for the development of heart diseases by nine percent.
  • About 17 percent lower risk of stroke and about 18 percent lower risk for the development of heart diseases if the women continue breastfeeding for two years.
  • This study shows an increase in health benefits with an increase in the duration of breastfeeding.

The researchers say that breastfeeding will act as a fat clearing system and can restore the body metabolism. Breastfeeding can eliminate the stored fat quickly and completely in the women after the birth of the baby.


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The World Health Organization (WHO) advise breastfeeding for two years or longer.

The senior author of the study was Prof. Zhengming Chen, D.Phil., from the University of Oxford. The study was published on June 21, 2017, in the American Heart Association. Title of the article was "Breastfeeding may reduce a mother's heart attack and stroke risk".



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Continuous Mental Stress Such As Depression And Anxiety Can Increase The Risk Of Death In Patients Of Heart Disease

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A study suggests that mental relaxation can lower the risk of death in patients of heart diseases and suffering from continuous mental distress such as depression and anxiety. The intensity may range from moderate to severe.


Continuous mental stress such as depression and anxiety can increase the risk of death in patients of heart disease.

A study was conducted on about 950 individuals with stable coronary heart disease, aged between 31 and 74 years. All the participants had either a heart attack or hospitalized with severe chest pain during the past three years. The study has found the following risks with continuous mental distress.



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  • Nearly four times increased the risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
  • Nearly three times increased the risk of death from any cause.

The researchers have collected the validated general health questionnaire (GHQ30) during the study. The patients were categorized according to the severity and duration of mental distress. They tracked the health and survival of patients for 12 years. The deaths recorded during the study are as follows.

  • Deaths due to cardiovascular disease are 199.
  • Deaths due to all causes are 398.

The researchers say that stress hormones can increase with mental distress. The continuous mental distress can result in harmful physiological changes. The study also shows the relationship between psychological distress (such as depression and anxiety) and cardiovascular disease.


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The lead author of the study was Dr. Ralph Stewart, a cardiologist, from the University of Auckland, New Zealand. The study was published on June 26, 2017, in the journal Heart. Title of the article was "Persistent psychological distress and mortality in patients with stable coronary artery disease".
DOI: doi.org/10.1136/heartjnl-2016-311097



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Published on August 8, 2017

 


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