Pregnant women with heart disease should give birth before 40 weeks

Female heart patients should give birth at no later than 40 weeks gestation, beyond that harm can be caused to the mother, new guidelines by the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) recommends.

Besides pre-pregnancy risk assessment and counselling, a delivery plan should be devised at 20-30 weeks, specifying vaginal or caesarean delivery, whether an epidural or forceps will be used, and the duration of hospital stay after delivery, the guidelines said.

“Pregnancy is a risky period for women with heart disease because it puts additional stress on the heart, so the guidelines advise inducing labour or a caesarean section at 40 weeks,” said Jolien Roos-Hesselink, Professor at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

“Beyond 40 weeks, pregnancy has no added benefit for the baby and may even have negative effects,” Roos-Hesselink added.

Heart disease is the main reason women die during pregnancy in western countries, because they have a 100-fold greater risk of death or heart failure than their healthy peers.

An estimated 18-30 per cent of the offsprings have complications and up to 4 per cent of neonates die.

The new guidelines, published in the European Heart Journal, also recommended against in vitro fertilisation (IVF), contraception, and termination of pregnancy for women with heart disease.

It is because IVF often uses high doses of hormones, which increases the risk of thrombosis and heart failure, so women with heart diseases need a cardiologist’s confirmation.

“Since carrying more than one baby puts more stress on the heart, women with heart disease undergoing IVF are strongly advised to transfer a single embryo,” the guidelines said.

While women with heart disease can have a healthy pregnancy, they should be aware of a higher risk of obstetric complications including premature labour, pre-eclampsia, and post-partum bleeding.

Moreover, girls with congenital heart disease should take advice before using contraceptives because some methods are contraindicated in patients with certain types of heart disease, the guidelines noted.

[“source=indiatvnews”]

Simple Leg Exercises Can Reduce Negative Effects On Heart And Blood Vessels

Simple Leg Exercises Can Reduce Negative Effects On Heart And Blood Vessels

Did you know how beneficial are simple leg exercises while lying down? A sedentary lifestyle can cause an impairment of transportation of blood in the body which in turn may increase the risk of diseases in the heart and blood vessels. Performing simple leg exercises can make a huge change and prevent such problems, a new study reveals. Earlier work has demonstrated that prolonged sitting for up to 6 hours results in a decline in both blood flow to the limbs and in our larger arteries’ ability to widen to accommodate increased blood flow.

This is the first study to show that sitting for just 10 minutes is sufficient to reduce blood flow to the legs and impairs the function of small blood vessels supplying muscles in the leg.

This paper also highlights a reduction in the function of small blood vessels when lying down. However, this study suggests that we might be able to reverse this impairment to some extent by performing some simple leg exercises when lying down in bed or on the sofa.

The effects of sitting on blood circulation have been attributed to blood passing more slowly through arteries while sitting. The researchers aimed to find out whether these reductions were caused by sustained sitting, or whether 10 minutes would be sufficient to have a negative effect.

The researchers used a Doppler ultrasound technique alongside the knee to measure blood flow and examined the extent to which blood vessels widened in 18 healthy, young males. These measurements were made prior to and following a 10 -minute period of sitting or during a period of rest while lying down, with or without leg exercises, which were performed by extending the foot back and forth every two seconds for a third of the time spent lying down.

Results showed that a 10 minute period of sitting reduced participants’ ability to rapidly increase blood flow to the lower legs via small blood vessels, but it did not affect the widening of larger arteries in response to increased blood flow. The results also suggest leg exercises can help maintain rapid increases in the blood supply to the limbs.

The study demonstrates changes in blood vessel function measured at the level of the knee. However, the researchers only tested healthy young males and their findings cannot be extended to females. It remains unknown as to how these responses may vary with age, or with people who have heart problems.

Further study may investigate the impact of sitting and inactivity on blood vessels in other places in the body. Studies designed to investigate the impact of repeated bouts of short-term sitting on blood vessel function are needed.

“These findings further our understanding of the negative impact of inactivity on blood vessel function and demonstrate the positive effects of simple leg exercises whilst lying down providing further insight into how inactivity affects vascular health of the lower legs”, says study author Dr Paul Fadel.

The findings appeared in the journal Experimental Physiology.

[“source=ndtv”]

Cardiovascular diseases, here’s how exposure to toxic metals can affect your heart health

Cardiovascular Health,Toxic Metals,Lead

Exposure to environmental toxic metals such as arsenic, lead, copper, and mercury has become a major global health concern. The metals like arsenic, lead, copper and cadmium are linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease.

Arsenic and cadmium, for example, are known carcinogens, but there are increasing suggestions that exposure to toxic metals may be an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

To investigate further, an international research team, led by Rajiv Chowdhury at the University of Cambridge, reviewed and analysed the results of epidemiological studies that had looked at the association of arsenic, lead, copper, cadmium, and mercury with coronary heart disease, stroke and composite cardiovascular disease.

They identified 37 separate studies published before December 2017 involving almost 350,000 participants. A total of 13,033 coronary heart disease, 4,205 stroke and 15,274 cardiovascular outcomes were reported across the studies.

The studies were designed differently and were of varying quality, but the researchers were able to allow for that in their analysis. Exposure to arsenic was found to be significantly associated with a 23% greater relative risk of coronary heart disease and a 30% greater relative risk of composite cardiovascular disease, but there was no evidence of an association with risk of stroke.

Exposure to cadmium and copper was also associated with increased relative risks of coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease, while lead and cadmium were associated with an increased relative risk of stroke (63% and 72% respectively).

In contrast, mercury was not found to be associated with cardiovascular risk. The researchers point out that their review was solely based on observational data, which might be affected by unmeasured factors, making it difficult to draw firm conclusions about cause and effect.

Nevertheless, they say their findings “reinforce the (often under-recognised) importance of environmental toxic metals in enhancing global cardiovascular risk, beyond the roles of conventional behavioural risk factors, such as smoking, poor diet and inactivity.”

Furthermore, they say their study highlights the potential need for additional worldwide efforts and strategies “to reduce human exposures even in settings where there is a relatively lower average level of exposure (such as many Western countries).”

[“source=hindustantimes”]