Failing eye condition linked to serious heart problems; Benefits of exercising in the morning; and the FDA warns consumers against certain dietary supplements

Age-related failing eyesight could signal serious types of cardiovascular disease, researchers say

According to a new study from the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai in New York.

The research, published in BMJ Open Ophthalmology, is considered the first to clarify which types of high-risk cardiovascular and carotid diseases are associated with the eye disorder. The findings could spur increased screening to save vision, diagnose undetected heart disease and prevent life-threatening cardiovascular events, including heart attacks and certain types of strokes.

“This study is the first strong link between the leading cause of blindness, AMD, and heart disease, the leading cause of death worldwide,” says lead author R. Theodore Smith, MD, Ph.D., professor of ophthalmology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, in a press release.

AMD, which is common, is the leading cause of visual impairment and blindness in people over 65. It is usually diagnosed following a lesion of the central area of ​​the retina called the macula. The macula is the part of your eye that processes what’s directly in front of you (or central vision), and it’s vital for overall vision. Blurred vision is a key symptom of AMD.

What’s more, adds Dr. Smith, researchers now have “strong evidence” of what causes this association. “Blood supply to the eye is directly decreased by these diseases, either by heart damage which decreases blood supply throughout the body, or by a clogged carotid artery which directly impedes blood flow to the eye.”

A type of early AMD, known as subretinal drusenoid deposits (SDD), requires high-definition retinal imaging to detect. These deposits contain a form of cholesterol that resides under the light-sensitive cells of the retina, where damage occurs and vision is lost. There is no known treatment for SDD. The Mount Sinai team of researchers initially found that patients with cardiovascular disease or stroke were more likely to have TDS. This research was published in the July issue of Retina

In the new study, which expands on their previous work, the researchers concluded that AMD patients with severe cardiovascular disease and stroke were nine times more likely to have SDD, compared to patients without these diseases. serious heart attacks.

“This work demonstrates that ophthalmologists may be the first physicians to detect systemic disease, particularly in asymptomatic patients,” said co-investigator Richard B. Rosen, MD, chief of the health system’s retina service. of Mount Sinai, in a press release. .

Exercising in the morning may reduce risk of heart disease and stroke, rather than being active later in the day, new study finds

Regular exercise has many health benefits, including reducing the risk of many chronic diseases. But is there a specific time of day when physical activity is most beneficial? New research has linked morning exercise to the lowest risk of heart disease and stroke.

So says a study of over 85,000 people published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. The results were consistent regardless of the total amount of daily activity.

“It’s well established that exercise is good for heart health, and our study now indicates that morning activity appears to be most beneficial,” said study author Gali Albalak, of the University Medical Center of Leiden in the Netherlands, in a press release. “The results were particularly pronounced in females and applied to both early risers and night owls.”

The study used the UK Biobank database and included 86,657 adults, aged 42 to 78, initially free of cardiovascular disease. The average age was 62 years and 58% were women. Participants wore an activity tracker on their wrist for seven consecutive days. Participants were followed for incident cardiovascular disease, “which was defined as first hospital admission or death related to coronary heart disease or stroke.”

Researchers followed for six to eight years. They found that 2,911 participants developed coronary heart disease and 796 had a stroke. Being most active between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. was associated with the lowest risks of heart disease and stroke.

In a second review of the data, the researchers divided the participants into four groups based on the peak time of physical activity: 1) noon; 2) early morning 3) late morning; and 4) in the evening. After adjusting for age and gender, participants who were most active in the early morning or late morning had an 11% and 16% lower risk of incident coronary heart disease, respectively, compared to those whose rush hour was at noon or later. frames. Additionally, those who were most active in the late morning had a 17% reduced risk of incident stroke.

FDA warns public not to use dietary supplement claiming to treat heart disease

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued warning letters to seven companies for “unlawfully selling dietary supplements that claim to cure, treat, mitigate, or prevent cardiovascular disease or related conditions, such as atherosclerosis, stroke or heart failure”.

The FDA states that it “urges consumers not to use these or similar products because they have not been evaluated by the FDA to be safe or effective for their intended use and may be harmful.”

The FDA urges consumers to speak with their doctor before deciding to use any dietary supplement or drug. Some supplements may interact with medications or other supplements. “Health care providers will work with patients to determine which treatment is the best option for their condition,” the FDA said.

Warning letters and company names can be found at this link.

“Because cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, it is important that the FDA protect the public from products and companies that illegally claim to treat it,” said Cara Welch, Ph.D. from the Office of Dietary Supplement Programs of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, in a statement. “Dietary supplements that claim to cure, treat, mitigate, or prevent cardiovascular disease and related conditions could potentially harm consumers who use these products instead of seeking safe and effective FDA-approved treatments from qualified healthcare providers. .”

The FDA says it has requested immediate responses from the companies “indicating how they will resolve the issues described in the warning letters or provide their reasoning and supporting information as to why they believe the products will not work.” are not in violation of the law”.

Keywords: exercise and fitness, eye health, heart disease

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