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Journal: Circulation


Poor lifestyle behaviors are leading causes of preventable diseases globally. Added sugars contribute to a diet that is energy dense but nutrient poor and increase risk of developing obesity, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, obesity-related cancers, and dental caries.

Concepts: Dental caries, Stroke, Genetic disorder, Sucrose, Nutrition, Disease, Cancer, Obesity


Rates of myocardial infarction in firefighters are increased during fire suppression duties, and are likely to reflect a combination of factors including extreme physical exertion and heat exposure. We assessed the effects of simulated fire suppression on measures of cardiovascular health in healthy firefighters.

Concepts: Cardiovascular disease, Myocardial infarction


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading global cause of death, accounting for 17.3 million deaths per year. Preventive treatment that reduces CVD by even a small percentage can substantially reduce, nationally and globally, the number of people who develop CVD and the costs of caring for them. This American Heart Association presidential advisory on dietary fats and CVD reviews and discusses the scientific evidence, including the most recent studies, on the effects of dietary saturated fat intake and its replacement by other types of fats and carbohydrates on CVD. In summary, randomized controlled trials that lowered intake of dietary saturated fat and replaced it with polyunsaturated vegetable oil reduced CVD by ≈30%, similar to the reduction achieved by statin treatment. Prospective observational studies in many populations showed that lower intake of saturated fat coupled with higher intake of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat is associated with lower rates of CVD and of other major causes of death and all-cause mortality. In contrast, replacement of saturated fat with mostly refined carbohydrates and sugars is not associated with lower rates of CVD and did not reduce CVD in clinical trials. Replacement of saturated with unsaturated fats lowers low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, a cause of atherosclerosis, linking biological evidence with incidence of CVD in populations and in clinical trials. Taking into consideration the totality of the scientific evidence, satisfying rigorous criteria for causality, we conclude strongly that lowering intake of saturated fat and replacing it with unsaturated fats, especially polyunsaturated fats, will lower the incidence of CVD. This recommended shift from saturated to unsaturated fats should occur simultaneously in an overall healthful dietary pattern such as DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) or the Mediterranean diet as emphasized by the 2013 American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology lifestyle guidelines and the 2015 to 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Concepts: Polyunsaturated fat, Atherosclerosis, Lipids, Trans fat, Fat, Unsaturated fat, Saturated fat, Nutrition


Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) has emerged as an important cause of acute coronary syndrome, myocardial infarction, and sudden death, particularly among young women and individuals with few conventional atherosclerotic risk factors. Patient-initiated research has spurred increased awareness of SCAD, and improved diagnostic capabilities and findings from large case series have led to changes in approaches to initial and long-term management and increasing evidence that SCAD not only is more common than previously believed but also must be evaluated and treated differently from atherosclerotic myocardial infarction. High rates of recurrent SCAD; its association with female sex, pregnancy, and physical and emotional stress triggers; and concurrent systemic arteriopathies, particularly fibromuscular dysplasia, highlight the differences in clinical characteristics of SCAD compared with atherosclerotic disease. Recent insights into the causes of, clinical course of, treatment options for, outcomes of, and associated conditions of SCAD and the many persistent knowledge gaps are presented.

Concepts: Stroke, Angina pectoris, Atheroma, Cardiology, Heart, Artery, Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis


Previous studies have yielded inconsistent results for the effects of periconceptional multivitamins containing folic acid and of folic acid food fortification on congenital heart defects (CHDs).

Concepts: Food fortification, Folic acid, Congenital heart disease, Congenital heart defect


Background -Americans have a shorter life expectancy compared with residents of almost all other high-income countries. We aim to estimate the impact of lifestyle factors on premature mortality and life expectancy in the US population. Methods -Using data from the Nurses' Health Study (1980-2014; n=78 865) and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (1986-2014, n=44 354), we defined 5 low-risk lifestyle factors as never smoking, body mass index of 18.5 to 24.9 kg/m2, ≥30 min/d of moderate to vigorous physical activity, moderate alcohol intake, and a high diet quality score (upper 40%), and estimated hazard ratios for the association of total lifestyle score (0-5 scale) with mortality. We used data from the NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys; 2013-2014) to estimate the distribution of the lifestyle score and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention WONDER database to derive the agespecific death rates of Americans. We applied the life table method to estimate life expectancy by levels of the lifestyle score. Results -During up to 34 years of follow-up, we documented 42 167 deaths. The multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios for mortality in adults with 5 compared with zero low-risk factors were 0.26 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.22-0.31) for all-cause mortality, 0.35 (95% CI, 0.27-0.45) for cancer mortality, and 0.18 (95% CI, 0.12-0.26) for cardiovascular disease mortality. The population-attributable risk of nonadherence to 5 low-risk factors was 60.7% (95% CI, 53.6-66.7) for all-cause mortality, 51.7% (95% CI, 37.1-62.9) for cancer mortality, and 71.7% (95% CI, 58.1-81.0) for cardiovascular disease mortality. We estimated that the life expectancy at age 50 years was 29.0 years (95% CI, 28.3-29.8) for women and 25.5 years (95% CI, 24.7-26.2) for men who adopted zero low-risk lifestyle factors. In contrast, for those who adopted all 5 low-risk factors, we projected a life expectancy at age 50 years of 43.1 years (95% CI, 41.3-44.9) for women and 37.6 years (95% CI, 35.8-39.4) for men. The projected life expectancy at age 50 years was on average 14.0 years (95% CI, 11.8-16.2) longer among female Americans with 5 lowrisk factors compared with those with zero low-risk factors; for men, the difference was 12.2 years (95% CI, 10.1-14.2). Conclusions -Adopting a healthy lifestyle could substantially reduce premature mortality and prolong life expectancy in US adults.


-The association between consumption of caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee and risk of mortality remains inconclusive.

Concepts: Decaffeination, Caffeine, Coffee


Background - Poor fitness in middle age is a risk factor for heart failure, particularly heart failure with a preserved ejection fraction. The development of heart failure with a preserved ejection fraction is likely mediated through increased left ventricular (LV) stiffness, a consequence of sedentary aging. In a prospective, parallel group, randomized controlled trial, we examined the effect of 2 years of supervised highintensity exercise training on LV stiffness. Methods - Sixty-one (48% male) healthy, sedentary, middle-aged participants (53±5 years) were randomly assigned to either 2 years of exercise training (n=34) or attention control (control; n=27). Right heart catheterization and 3-dimensional echocardiography were performed with preload manipulations to define LV end-diastolic pressure-volume relationships and Frank-Starling curves. LV stiffness was calculated by curve fit of the diastolic pressure-volume curve. Maximal oxygen uptake (Vo2max) was measured to quantify changes in fitness. Results - Fifty-three participants completed the study. Adherence to prescribed exercise sessions was 88±11%. Vo2max increased by 18% (exercise training: pre 29.0±4.8 to post 34.4±6.4; control: pre 29.5±5.3 to post 28.7±5.4, group×time P<0.001) and LV stiffness was reduced (right/downward shift in the end-diastolic pressure-volume relationships; preexercise training stiffness constant 0.072±0.037 to postexercise training 0.051±0.0268, P=0.0018), whereas there was no change in controls (group×time P<0.001; pre stiffness constant 0.0635±0.026 to post 0.062±0.031, P=0.83). Exercise increased LV end-diastolic volume (group×time P<0.001), whereas pulmonary capillary wedge pressure was unchanged, providing greater stroke volume for any given filling pressure (loading×group×time P=0.007). Conclusions - In previously sedentary healthy middle-aged adults, 2 years of exercise training improved maximal oxygen uptake and decreased cardiac stiffness. Regular exercise training may provide protection against the future risk of heart failure with a preserved ejection fraction by preventing the increase in cardiac stiffness attributable to sedentary aging. Clinical Trial Registration - URL: Unique identifier: NCT02039154.

Concepts: Middle age, Heart failure, Epidemiology, Heart, Avicenna, Ejection fraction, Frank-Starling law of the heart, Cardiology


Survivors of teenage and young adult cancer are acknowledged as understudied. Little is known about their long-term adverse health risks, particularly of cardiac disease that is increased in other cancer populations where cardiotoxic treatments have been used.

Concepts: Actuarial science, Population, Death, Genetic disorder, Senescence, Demography, Cancer, Epidemiology


Most US adults consume excess sodium. Knowledge about the dietary sources of sodium intake is critical to the development of effective reduction strategies.

Concepts: Learning, Geography