Negative stress may lead to heart disease

Health Care Comments Off

Marital disharmony and job dissatisfaction are the two main mental risk factors for the causation of heart attack. Many studies in the past have linked that there is a strong correlation between a nagging wife and early heart attacks in men. Similarly, literature has shown that work related stress is related to early onset of high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke and heart attacks.

A study from University College, London has shown that chronically stressed workers have a 68% higher risk of developing heart disease, especially in people under the age of 50.

Is stress-related chemical change or stress-related behavior linked to heart disease, is yet to be answered.

Stress-related lifestyle involves eating unhealthy food, smoking, drinking and skipping exercises.

Chemical changes related to chronic stress are increased levels of cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine.

Amongst stress, negative stress is more dangerous than positive stress and of negative stress, jealousy, anger and cynicism are associated with heart attack.

The answer lies in managing stress by acting on a personal situation and not reacting to it. In children the same type of stress, especially during exam days, can cause anxiety, insomnia and suicidal attempts.

How sleep loss threatens your health

Health Care Comments Off

Many people do not realize that lack of sufficient sleep can trigger mild to potentially life–threatening consequences, from weight gain to a heart attack. Recently I came across an article in the Harvard Health Newsletter (Health Beat) and thought of sharing the information with you all.

Viral infections: Anecdotal evidence supports the belief that when you’re tired and run–down, you’re more likely to get sick. A 2009 study in Archives of Internal Medicine provides some proof. Researchers followed the sleep habits of 153 men and women for two weeks, then quarantined them for five days and exposed them to cold viruses. People who slept an average of less than seven hours per night were three times as likely to get sick as those who averaged at least eight hours.

Weight gain: Not getting enough sleep makes you more likely to gain weight, according to a 2008 review article in the journal Obesity that analyzed observations from 36 different studies of sleep duration and body weight. This association is especially strong among children. Lack of sufficient sleep tends to disrupt hormones that control hunger and appetite, and the resulting daytime fatigue often discourages you from exercising. Excess weight, in turn, increases the risk of a number of health problems.

Diabetes: A 2009 report in Diabetes Care found a sharp increase in the risk of type 2 diabetes in people with persistent insomnia. People who had insomnia for a year or longer and who slept less than five hours per night had a three-fold higher risk of type 2 diabetes compared with those who had no sleep complaints and who slept six or more hours every night. As with overweight and obesity (which are also closely linked to type 2 diabetes), the underlying cause is thought to involve a disruption of the normal hormonal regulation of the body due to inadequate sleep.

High blood pressure: Researchers involved in the diabetes study also evaluated risk of high blood pressure among the same group of people, which included more than 1,700 randomly chosen men and women from rural Pennsylvania. As described in a 2009 article in the journal Sleep, the researchers found the risk of high blood pressure was three–and–a–half times greater among insomniacs who routinely slept less than six hours per night compared with normal sleepers who slept six or more hours nightly.

Heart disease: A number of studies have linked short–term sleep deprivation with several well–known risk factors for heart disease, including higher cholesterol levels, higher triglyceride levels, and higher blood pressure. One such report, published in a 2009 issue of Sleep, included more than 98,000 Japanese men and women ages 40 to 79 who were followed for just over 14 years. Compared with women who snoozed for seven hours, women who got no more than four hours of shut–eye were twice as likely to die from heart disease, the researchers found.

Sleep apnea is a common cause of poor sleep, a life–threatening condition in which breathing stops or becomes shallower hundreds of times each night also increases heart disease risk. In the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort study, people with severe sleep apnea were three times more likely to die of heart disease during 18 years of follow–up than those without apnea. When researchers excluded those who used a breathing machine (a common apnea treatment), the risk jumped to more than five times higher. Apnea spells can trigger arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats), and the condition also increases the risk of stroke and heart failure.

Mental illness: A study of about 1,000 adults ages 21 to 30 found that, compared with normal sleepers, those who reported a history of insomnia during an interview were four times as likely to develop major depression by the time of a second interview three years later. Two studies in young people–one involving 300 pairs of young twins, and another including about 1,000 teenagers–found that sleep problems developed before a diagnosis of major depression and (to a lesser extent) anxiety. Sleep problems in teenagers preceded depression 69% of the time and anxiety disorders 27% of the time.

Mortality: In the Japanese heart disease study (described above), short sleepers of both genders had a 1.3–fold increase in mortality compared with those who got sufficient sleep. According to a 2009 study of 6,400 men and women whom researchers followed for an average of eight years, severe sleep apnea raises the risk of dying early by 46%. Although only about 8% of the men in the study had severe apnea, those who did and who were between 40 and 70 years of age were twice as likely to die from any cause as healthy men in the same age group.

It is clear that getting enough sleep is just as important as other vital elements of good health, such as eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and practicing good dental hygiene.

In short, sleep is not a luxury but a basic component of a healthy lifestyle.

Mercury Is Hazardous To Health

Social Health Community Comments Off

World Earth Day 2012 – Every Day is Earth Day

World Earth Day organized at DPS Mathura Road

Flagging the World Earth Day Walk organized by Heart Care Foundation of India jointly with Delhi Public School, Mathura Road and Ministry of Earth Sciences, Military Secretary to the President of India- Lt. Gen. A.K. Bakshi, SM, VSM said that every school child should plant a tree to reduce the problem of global warming in the society.

Talking to a gathering of over one thousand children, Padmashri & Dr. B.C. Roy National Awardee, Dr. K K Aggarwal, President, Heart Care Foundation of India, said that one should not use mercury based thermometer and blood pressure instruments. They can be risky to life. Two thermometers are broken each year for every bed in a hospital. For 40,000 beds in Delhi alone, 80,000 thermometers get broken every year and the mercury of these thermometers enters the environment. Each thermometer contains ½ g of mercury meaning 4 kg of mercury is released in the environment every year only from breaking of thermometers in various hospitals in the city of Delhi.

Mercury is toxic and with active and chronic exposure, affects brain and kidney. Acute exposure can cause nausea, blurred vision, painful breathing, and excessive salivation. Chronic exposure can lead to high blood pressure, memory disturbance, vision disturbance, tremors and personality changes. Mercury can cross the blood brain barrier and affect the brain development in the child in the pregnant or lactating women.

Lt. Gen. Bakshi showed concern that in past few years, Delhi is experiencing differentiable shift in the climate like winters are squeezing with each passing year and temperatures staying over 45 degrees C for most part of the year. This scientists world over are attributing to increase in global temperatures. Unless the general public is sensitized and convinced to take measures/adopt environment friendly actions at their work places, in their homes; this trend of global warming cannot be arrested.

Mr. M.I. Hussain, Principal, DPS Mathura Road, said that unless preventive strategies are taken in this area, situation may worsen in the coming years.

Members of Management Committee of DPS Society and Parent Reps: from Nursery to Class XII were also present to celebrate the World Earth Day.

Over 500 school children participated in the walk and on-the-spot competition which included:

Children displayed the following placards and slogans:

1. Do not burn leaves and let them decompose.

2. Walking is the best medicine

3. The least amount of electricity one uses the better it is.

4. Plant trees to save the mother earth.

In addition inter school competitions (Painting, Poetry recitation, AD Mad) were also held.