Cardiology Notes

By Jennifer Webster
Friday, January 1, 2016
Specialty: 

Research published in 2015 may make some heart-conscious patients happy. Still, people don’t know as much about cardiac health as they should — maybe the concept of “heart age” can help.

Nifty Notes

Chugging coffee? No problem, at least where atrial fibrillation is concerned. A study of approximately 250,000 participants revealed no connection between coffee drinking and AFib.

Sitting may be linked to increased coronary artery calcification burden — a 14 percent increase per hour spent on one’s duff each day, according to researchers. However, fidgeting may make a difference — a longitudinal study found participants who said they wiggled a lot in their chairs seemed to escape the health risks of sitting.

Doctor, is sex still safe? Yes, according to a longitudinal study of 536 heart disease patients. Only 0.7 percent had sex in the hour before a heart attack, though most were sexually active.

Heart Age — A Memory Assist?

In September, the CDC promoted a metric called “heart age” as a way to raise patients’ awareness of how prone they might be to cardiovascular disease. First articulated by the Framingham Heart Study in 2008, “heart age” is shorthand for cardiac risk: The higher one’s heart age compared with one’s true age, the higher the heart disease risk. Today, men’s heart ages exceed their chronological ages by 7.8 years on average; women’s by 5.4 years.

A Time Line of Cardiac Risk Awareness

While patient knowledge about heart attack and promptness in seeking help is increasing, dangerous gaps persist.

0116Data Vault Timeline With Legal 750