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Plant another tree: Living in greener neighbourhoods linked to lower risk of heart disease – Economic Times
WASHINGTON DC: According to a recent study, people who live in leafy, green neighbourhoods are at a lower risk of developing heart diseases and strokes.

As part of the study, which was published in Journal of the American Heart Association, researchers investigated the impact of neighbourhoods with green spaces on individual-level markers of stress and cardiovascular disease risk. Over five years, blood and urine samples were collected from 408 people of varying ages, ethnicities and socioeconomic levels, and then assessed for biomarkers of blood vessel injury and the risk of having cardiovascular disease.

The risk was calculated using biomarkers measured from blood and urine samples. The participants were recruited from the University of Louisville’s outpatient cardiology clinic and were largely at elevated risk for developing cardiovascular diseases.

The density of the green spaces near the participants’ residences was measured using the Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), a tool that indicates levels of vegetation density created from satellite imagery collected by NASA and USGS. Air pollution levels were also assessed using particulate matter from the EPA and roadway exposure measurements.

Green neighbourhood

Researchers found that living in areas with more green vegetation was associated with:

* Lower urinary levels of epinephrine, indicating lower levels of stress

* Lower urinary levels of F2-isoprostane, indicating better health (less oxidative stress)

* Higher capacity to repair blood vessels

The researchers also found that associations with epinephrine were stronger among women, study participants not taking beta-blockers — which reduce the heart’s workload and lower blood pressure — and people who had not previously had a heart attack.

“Our study shows that living in a neighbourhood dense with trees, bushes and other green vegetation may be good for the health of your heart and blood vessels,” said Aruni Bhatnagar, lead author of the study.

“Indeed, increasing the amount of vegetation in a neighbourhood may be an unrecognised environmental influence on cardiovascular health and a potentially significant public health intervention,” Bhatnagar added.

Cut Down On Salt, Drink Fluids: Simple Diet Tips To Avoid Chronic Heart Failure

Save Your Heart

29 Sep, 2018

Cardiac or heart failure is a clinical condition in which the heart loses the ability to eject blood to meet the requirements of the tissues of the body. Irrespective of the cause, nutritional concerns need to be addressed in this condition in order to prevent morbidity and mortality. Patients with chronic heart failure are at constant risk of losing weight due to the medical condition and also low dietary intake which is due poor appetite, depression or loss of appetite due to consumption of drugs.Dietary interventions to maintain and restore the nutritional balance are essential part of treatment therapy. These include a suitable change in calorie intake, reduction in sodium and fluid intake, maintenance of potassium and magnesium in the body, and appropriate supplementation with vitamins and minerals.Here are some simple tips by Dr Ritika Samaddar, Chief Nutritionist at Max Hospital, Saket.

Watch The Calories

29 Sep, 2018

Obese patients are encouraged to lose weight to minimize cardiac workload. On the other hand, in the malnourished patients with chronic heart failure, the calorie intake has to be increased to match the requirement.

Cut Down On Salt

29 Sep, 2018

In patients with heart failure, a reduction in salt intake brings about a significant improvement. Mostly, the limit is set at 2-3 gm of salt per day. This requires a control on the intake of sodium rich foods, and restricted use of table salt.

Eat More Fruits And Vegetables

29 Sep, 2018

Most diuretics increase the excretion of potassium and magnesium leading to depletion of minerals in the body. A diet high in potassium and magnesium-rich foods like fresh fruits and vegetables is encouraged and also the use of supplements.

Keep Yourself Hydrated

29 Sep, 2018

In patients with a severe fluid overload, those requiring high doses of diuretic, or those taken to excessive fluid intake, the total daily water and fluid intake should be limited in the range of 500 to 2000 ml daily.

The findings were independent of age, sex, ethnicity, smoking status, neighbourhood deprivation, use of statin medications and roadway exposure.

Previous studies have also suggested that neighbourhood green spaces are associated with positive effects on overall physical and psychosocial health and well-being, as well as reduced rates of death from cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, and improved rates of stroke survival, according to Bhatnagar.

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