Enjoy a Mediterranean Diet to Improve Vascular Health and Avoid Strokes

Approximately 795,000 strokes take place every year in the U.S., according to senior vascular surgeon at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospitals in New York, N.Y., Donna Mendes, M.D. As a member of the Society for Vascular Surgery, Mendes’ has firsthand knowledge of strokes and vascular health.

Improving your health and reducing your risk of a stroke are as simple as changing your lifestyle, particularly your diet. Avoiding a stroke means avoiding potential impairment and possible death. For instance, simply switching to a Mediterranean diet lowers your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, which is the “bad” cholesterol that’s more likely to cause fatty deposits to build up in the arteries.

De-Junk Before Spring Cleaning

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – A refreshing swim can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. These are vascular health bonuses for people who are at risk for stroke, the leading cause of disability and the fourth leading cause of death in the United States.
In 2010, 137,000 Americans died of stroke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“Swimming is a vascular health bonanza,” said David H. Stone, MD, and a member of the Society for Vascular Surgery. “Low-impact swimming provides a total cardiovascular workout. Regular exercise strengthens the heart muscle, resulting in less effort and a decrease in blood pressure.”
One in every three Americans over 20 years old — 74 million Americans — has high blood pressure according to 2010 statistics from the CDC. One in every six American adults has high cholesterol (more than 250 mg/d L). More American women than men have high cholesterol.
To reduce high cholesterol levels, exercise and diet are important factors. The American Council on Exercise suggests that adults burn 2000 calories a week from exercise.
The lack of regular physical activity results in 250,000 deaths annually, according to a 2003 report in the journal Circulation.
As long as the exercise regimen continues, the health benefits remain.
After 12 to 14 weeks of a three- to five-days-a-week exercise regimen of 20 to 60 minutes at an intensity of 60 to 90 percent heart rate, bad (LDL) cholesterol can decrease by up to 20 percent according to Livestrong.com. Another bonus: aerobic exercise can increase good (HDL) cholesterol.
In a 2010 University of Western Australia study, 100 women swimmers, ages 50 to 70, lowered their bad cholesterol and lost more inches in the waist and hips than walkers. Likewise, swimming is easy on the joints and doesn’t result in overheating.
There are non-invasive screening tests that can detect vascular disease. Medication can treat vascular disease. For free print and electronic vascular health information, visit VascularWeb.org.

Keep Gnats From Becoming A Pain in the Neck

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – It’s home run time. From spring training through the World Series in October, baseball fans are glued to their flat screens.
Vascular surgeon David H. Stone, M.D., encourages arm chair enthusiasts to get into the game. “Find your favorite summertime sports pastime, and give your vascular system a great workout.”
As a member of the Society for Vascular Surgery, Dr. Stone encourages physical activity that can pump up blood while lowering blood pressure. “More than diet, exercise helps keep your weight down and provides positive health benefits,” said Dr. Stone.
After a one-hour workout, the Mayo Clinic states that a 200-pound person will have burned the following calories:
* Baseball — 455
* Bicycling, 10 mph — 364
* Golfing, carrying clubs — 391
* Rope jumping — 1,074
* Swimming laps — 528
* Tennis, singles — 728

Instead of a Sports Fan, Become a Sports Participant

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – It’s home run time. From spring training through the World Series in October, baseball fans are glued to their flat screens.
Vascular surgeon David H. Stone, M.D., encourages arm chair enthusiasts to get into the game. “Find your favorite summertime sports pastime, and give your vascular system a great workout.”
As a member of the Society for Vascular Surgery, Dr. Stone encourages physical activity that can pump up blood while lowering blood pressure. “More than diet, exercise helps keep your weight down and provides positive health benefits,” said Dr. Stone.
After a one-hour workout, the Mayo Clinic states that a 200-pound person will have burned the following calories:
* Baseball — 455
* Bicycling, 10 mph — 364
* Golfing, carrying clubs — 391
* Rope jumping — 1,074
* Swimming laps — 528
* Tennis, singles — 728

Five Common Misconceptions About Cats Debunked

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Man’s best friend provides more than mere companionship. Dogs encourage humans to exercise daily — come rain or shine.
“The need to take a daily walk provides dog owners with a great form of exercise,” said Leila Mureebe, a member of the Society for Vascular Surgery. “Exercise is good for the body’s blood supply, for maintaining proper body weight and for controlling blood pressure.”
For persons with high blood pressure — and that’s one in three Americans over age 20, according to a 2010 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report — Fido’s calming effect can be a life saver.
Studies have disclosed that petting a dog reduces blood pressure and heart rate. This stress buster provides positive health benefits for the owners of 77.5 million dogs that reside in 39 percent of households, according to The Humane Society of the United States.
High blood pressure and stress contribute to the fourth leading cause of death in America: stroke. The National Vital Statistics Report indicated that 137,000 Americans died of stroke in 2010. The American Stroke Association estimated that Americans spent $73.7 billion for stroke-related medical costs and disability in 2010.
“Every 40 seconds, an American suffers a stroke,” said Dr. Mureebe. “Strokes occur suddenly and without warning. Two million brain cells die every minute during a stroke. Eighty percent of strokes are preventable through risk factor management.”
Thirty minutes of daily exercise, not smoking, and proper nutrition are included in “risk factor management.” A United States National Institutes of Health-funded study of 2,000 adults discovered that persons who regularly walked their dogs were more physically active and less likely to be obese than non-dog walkers.
“I’ve seen improvements in high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes when patients enter into a routine of daily exercise, not smoking, and healthy eating,” said Dr. Mureebe. “A brisk 30-minute walk with your dog is good for both of you.”
For more information on vascular health, log onto: VascularWeb.org.

Your Blood’s Amazing Trip Through Your Vascular System

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Your vascular system is made up of vessels that carry your blood throughout your body.

Arteries carry oxygen-rich blood away from your heart. Veins carry oxygen-poor blood back to your heart. Your blood leaves the left side of the heart and is pumped out to the rest of your body.

The main artery from your heart is called the “aorta.” As your blood travels throughout your body, it enters smaller and smaller blood vessels, reaching every cell, dropping off nutrients and picking up waste products and carbon dioxide. Your blood then starts the trip back in your veins, entering larger and larger ones as it goes, passing through your kidneys and liver on the way to drop off waste products. The blood eventually arrives back at the right side of your heart to start the trip all over again.

The Society for Vascular Surgery wants you to know that as we age, our arteries tend to thicken, get stiffer, and narrow when plaque builds up and cholesterol collects in large- and medium-sized arteries. A narrowing of the arteries from the build-up of plaque can lead to coronary heart disease and can cause a heart attack when this occurs in the blood vessels leading to the heart. The same situation in the arteries leading to the brain can cause strokes. Narrowing of the arteries in other places, such as your legs, can cause what is called peripheral arterial disease or PAD. PAD can lead to sores and pain with walking, which may eventually lead to gangrene and an amputation. When the smaller arteries are affected, it is called “arteriosclerosis.”

If your doctor diagnoses you with vascular disease, it is important to see a vascular surgeon. They are highly trained in vascular disease and are the only medical professionals who can treat vascular disease with medical management, minimally invasive procedures, and open surgeries. To learn more about your vascular health, visit www.VascularWeb.org.