When you have a heart condition or are at high risk for one, it's a good idea to keep up with news about heart disease. Staying informed is good for your health, and can give you information to discuss at your next doctor's appointment. Here's a roundup of some of the latest news about heart disease risk from across the Web:
Troubled marriages could increase heart disease risk
New data from Michigan State University, published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, suggests marital discord may contribute to heart disease risk in older couples. The researchers looked at data from 1,000 couples over five years, who completed surveys about their marriages and were tested for heart disease risk. The study did not conclude what in particular about a troubled marriage could lead to this increased risk, but hypothesized the stress inherent in marital issues could be the culprit.
"Marriage counseling is focused largely on younger couples," study author Hui Liu, a sociology professor at Michigan State University, said in a release. "But these results show that marital quality is just as important at older ages, even when the couple has been married 40 or 50 years."
Age at menarche connected to heart disease risk
Research published in the journal Circulation found the risk of developing heart disease, stroke or high blood pressure could be tied to the age of first menstruation in women. Women who had their first menstrual cycle when they were 10 or younger or 17 or older were more likely to have these conditions. The results remained statistically significant even when controlled for weight, smoking status and socioeconomic factors. One likely cause of early menstruation is childhood obesity. Controlling this risk factor could help lower women's risk of heart disease and related conditions, according to the study's lead author Dr. Dexter Canoy of the Cancer Epidemiology Unit at the University of Oxford.
Yoga may cut heart disease risk
Yoga may not be the first thing you think of when you think about exercise, but a new study shows its possible heart benefits may be the same as brisk walking or biking. The study, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, reviewed 37 earlier studies that included 2,800 people in total. The participants who did yoga saw reductions in their body mass index, cholesterol, blood pressure and heart rate. This news is particularly good for people with limitations that prevent them from engaging in traditional aerobic exercise. Yoga can, in some of its forms, be a gentler option - but this study suggests it may bring the same benefits as something more strenuous.
"This finding suggests that [people] who are physically limited in some way do not have to 'pound the pavement' in order to improve their cardiovascular risk profile," lead researcher Paula Chu said, according to HealthDay News.