This Week in Health: Sex doesn't play into heart attack risk
Check out this week's latest health news.
Study subjects: 500 heart disease patients between the ages of 30 and 70
Results: For many people with heart disease, sex is something that brings up concern and worry. But new research suggests no apparent relationship between sexual activity and heart attacks. After reviewing the responses of a self-reported questionnaire, researchers found that just 0.7 percent of participants reported having had sex within an hour of a heart attack.
Significance: Researchers say that the majority of heart disease patients should be able to resume their sex lives without worrying about it triggering a heart attack. “Based on our data, it seems very unlikely that sexual activity is a relevant trigger of heart attack,” lead author Dietrich Rothenbacher, M.D., M.P.H., professor and chair of the Institute of Epidemiology and Medical Biometry at Ulm University in Germany, said in a press release.
Location of study: U.S.
Results:A new report put out by Trust for America’s Health says that 23 out of 25 states with the highest obesity rates are in the South and Midwest. The state with the highest rates of adult obesity is Arkansas, reporting a whopping 35.9 percent. On the other end of the spectrum, the state with the lowest rates was Colorado with just over 21 percent.
Significance: One encouraging finding, however, is that these rates are generally remaining stable. “What we’re seeing is the beginnings of a leveling off of the increases,” says Rich Hamburg, Deputy Director at Trust for America’s Health. “Having put this report out for a dozen years and having tracked obesity rates for a couple of decades, it’s heartening to see that this year.” Even so, he adds that U.S. obesity rates are still alarmingly high.
Study subjects: Nearly 300 sleep apnea patients
Results: Feeling down? If you have obstructive sleep apnea, treating it with CPAP therapy might improve symptoms of depression. In a recent study that included nearly 300 sleep apnea patients, 73 percent were also found to have “clinically significant depressive symptoms.” However, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy was shown to dramatically improve these symptoms.
Significance: “As our research points out, disturbed sleep from obstructive sleep apnea can result in symptoms that mimic depression, creating the potential for misdiagnosis and the wrong treatment being applied,” says senior author David R. Hillman, M.D., a clinical professor at the University of Western Australia. He adds that people who suffer from snoring and daytime sleepiness might want to consider the connection.
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