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Coffee can trigger heart attack

A cup of coffee may trigger a heart attack in some people within an hour of drinking it, reveals a new study.

Ana Baylin and colleagues at the Brown University School of Medicine in Providence, Rhode Island, studied 503 cases of non-fatal heart attacks in Costa Rica. They surveyed participants about their coffee consumption in the hours and days before their heart attack and also studied their lifestyle and medical history.

The researchers found that for people with multiple risk factors for a heart attack and those who have a sedentary lifestyle, a cup of coffee could be the final straw, reported the online edition of health magazine WebMD.

The researchers suggest that caffeine causes short-term increase in blood pressure and sympathetic nervous activity that could trigger a heart attack. “It can trigger a heart attack within an hour in some people,” said Baylin.

They said moderate coffee drinkers (those who consumed two-three cups a day) raised their risk of having a heart attack by 60 per cent.

Light drinkers increased their risk of heart attack by more than four times with one cup, the study observed. Little effect was seen among heavy coffee drinkers (those who drank four or more cups per day). Further, coffee drinkers who have three or more risk factors for heart disease more than doubled their risk of sustaining a heart attack after downing a cup.

Although the study was conducted in Costa Rica, the researchers say the results are relevant to people who have similar caffeine habits.

Aerobic exercise reduces blood pressure: Exercise is good for your blood pressure — no matter your age, weight, race or gender. And it really doesn’t matter whether you get exercise from a brisk walk, a fast run or few laps in the pool; the results are equally as good.

That’s the conclusion of a new study published today in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Researchers conclude that almost any type of aerobic exercise is an effective tool for lowering blood pressure — and that it works for just about everyone.

“Our report is the most comprehensive study in this area… [it] was able to provide an overall effect of exercise on blood pressure reduction across the board,” says study author Dr. Jiang He, associate professor of epidemiology and medicine at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Rather than conduct new clinical trials, He and his group analyzed evidence from many previous trials showing links between aerobic exercise and blood pressure. While many of these studies concentrated on specific groups — such as white men or overweight blacks — by combining all the results and analyzing them in a new way, He was able to show a multi-varied effect of exercise on blood pressure in all groups.

He also found that all types of aerobic exercise work equally well. These include walking, running, jogging and swimming. Aerobic exercise also works for both those taking medication for high blood pressure and those with normal pressure.

While experts don’t debate He’s findings, some say it’s important to note that the effects of exercise were modest at best, with an average per person drop in blood pressure of just 3-to-4 mm Hg.

This means that if a person had a slightly elevated blood pressure count of 130 (higher number) over 86 (lower number), the aerobic exercise regimen could lower it to about 125 over 81. The numbers most often cited as normal blood pressure are 120 over 80.

“This can be important for people with borderline hypertension, and when combined with other lifestyle modifications such as a change in diet and quitting smoking, can drop pressure enough to keep some people from having to use medication to control blood pressure,” says hypertension expert Dr. Samuel J. Mann, an associate professor of medicine at New York Weill Cornell Medical Center.

Source: The News

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