Cardio Round-up: Belly Fat Not Great; Blood Pressure Perils, Marijuana Update, and More

This week’s edition of the Round-up reminds you to chip away and lessen the excess belly fat if possible, and in doing so lower the risk for resurgent atherosclerotic disease after a heart attack. Some interesting data in two hypertension studies as well.


Excess Belly Fat May Be Increasing Your Risk for Recurrent Atherosclerotic CVD 

Carrying around excess weight in the abdominal region is linked with the recurrence of atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases (CVD) following an initial myocardial infarction, according to a new study. published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, included more than 22,000 patients from the SWEDEHEART registry who reported for a clinical revisit four to 10 weeks following their first myocardial infarction.A univariate analysis revealed that risk for the recurrence was highest in the fifth quintile of waist circumference (HR=1.22; 95% CI, 1.07 to 1.39) compared with the first quintile.  “Maintaining a healthy waist circumference is important for preventing future heart attacks and strokes regardless of how many drugs you may be taking or how healthy your blood tests are. Abdominal obesity can be tackled by eating a healthy and balanced diet and regular physical activity,” a study author remarked.

Check that Belly Fat: Abdominal Obesity Linked with Resurgence of Atherosclerotic CVD after Heart Attack


Women Experience Changes in Blood Pressure Earlier and More Quickly

Sex-specific changes in lifetime blood pressure trajectory may actually progress more rapidly and present differently in women compared to men, according to a new analysis. Published in JAMA Cardiology, there were more than 32,000 participants in the sample, 17,733 of whom were women (54%). The study outcomes of interest included changes in primary blood pressure [systolic, diastolic, mean arterial pressure (MAP) and pulse pressure (PP)] compared to baseline, as well as new-onset cardiovascular events. Women exhibited steeper increases in blood pressure in the third decade, which the authors reported continued through life.

Blood Pressure Changes Appear To Progress Earlier And Faster In Women Than In Men: Study


Study: Many People Living With Heart Disease Have Used Marijuana at Some Point

A new JACC study indicates that more than two million people who have heart disease have reported using marijuana at some point. “Now that we have seen marijuana use become more popular than tobacco smoking, we need more rigorous research, including randomized clinical trials, to explore the effects of marijuana on cardiovascular health,” review co-author Muthiah Vaduganathan, MD, MPH, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Heart and Vascular Center, said in a press release. The finding that millions of patients have used the substance (shown by national survey data) was part of a review of marijuana use in patients with established cardiovascular disease. The recommended clinical screening.

Marijuana Update: More than 2 Million Patients with Heart Disease Have Used the Drug


Blood Pressure Spikes in Youth Led to Worse Risk Profiles Down the Line

Youth is fleeting, but spikes in blood pressure early in life may be long-term and are associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease later in life, a new study in JAMA Cardiology reports.For each spike of 3.6 mm Hg in systolic blood pressure during young adulthood was linked with a 15% increase in heart disease events. This relationship was independent of average blood pressure measurements during adulthood and any single measurement during midlife. “Current guidelines defining hypertension and assessing the need for anti-hypertensive therapies ignore variability in blood pressure readings,” study author Yurichio Yano MD, commented. “I think there has been a belief that variability is a chance phenomenon, but this research indicates maybe not. Variability matters.”

Sudden Blood Pressure Elevations in Youth Lead to Elevated Cardiovascular Disease Risk on Older Age