12 Cardiovascular Disease Real-Risk Factors - OAWHealth

12 Cardiovascular Disease Real-Risk Factors

April 4th, 2016 by Loretta Lanphier, NP, CN, CH, HHP

12 Cardiovascular Disease Real-Risk Factors

Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death in the US, killing about 610,000 people each year. Because of this very high number, it is very important that you know the 12 cardiovascular disease REAL-RISK factors.

“If we could eliminate heart disease tomorrow, the average
life expectancy of every American would increase by an
estimated ten years.”

Dr. Barry Sears

Heart Disease vs Cardiovascular Disease

Heart disease describes a broad range of conditions that affect your heart. Diseases under the heart disease umbrella include blood vessel diseases, such as coronary artery disease; heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias); and heart defects you’re born with (congenital heart defects), among others. The term “heart disease” is often used interchangeably with the term “cardiovascular disease.” However, cardiovascular disease generally refers to conditions that involve narrowed or blocked blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack, chest pain (angina) or stroke. Other heart conditions, such as those that affect your heart’s muscle, valves or rhythm, also are considered forms of heart disease.

What is Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in all cells of the body, produced by the liver to help perform thousands of bodily functions. We need cholesterol to produce important things like hormones, vitamin D, and substances that help us digest certain foods by synthesizing bile acids. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to maintain normal levels of testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, and cortisol. Cholesterol also assists in the production of cell membranes, the covering of nerve sheaths, and much of the brain. Understanding the functions of this much maligned molecule will help you understand why so many things can go wrong when we pursue lower and lower cholesterol numbers.

“So if you think cholesterol is the enemy, think again. Without
cholesterol, you would die. In fact, people with the lowest
cholesterol as they age are at highest risk of death.

Under certain circumstances, higher cholesterol can
actually help to increase life span.”
Dr. Mark Hymann

Cholesterol Risk

Fortunately the medical focus on high cholesterol levels as the ultimate cause of most heart attacks and strokes has started to turn. It’s important to understand that in a clinical setting the proven markers of cardiovascular disease include elevated levels of

  • Triglycerides
  • Insulin
  • Cortisol
  • C-reactive protein
  • NOT HIGH CHOLESTEROL LEVELS.

Medical studies now show that lowering one’s cholesterol levels will not lower one’s risk of a fatal heart attack or stroke. “People with low cholesterol (lower than 200) suffer nearly 40 percent of all heart attacks. In addition, people with low cholesterol (less than 180) have three times as many strokes as the general population.” William Castelli, MD (former director of the Framingham Heart Study)

Oasis Serene Botanicals Skincare

Statin Drugs

I cannot talk about cholesterol or cardiovascular disease without focusing on the current onslaught of statin drugs. Statin drugs are HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, that is, they act by blocking the enzyme in your liver that is responsible for making cholesterol (HMG-CoA reductase).

Currently, we have tens of millions of Americans are taking these cholesterol-lowering drugs and some experts claim that many millions more should be taking them. Accompanied by massive marketing campaigns, statin drugs are tremendous moneymakers for the drug industry, to the tune of about $29 BILLION worth of sales in 2013. That’s the amount of money you make when one in four Americans over the age of 45 are convinced, by their doctor, they need a statin drug. Twenty years ago, physicians were not concerned about the effects that cholesterol might have on heart disease. Today, thanks to efforts by pharmaceutical companies, high cholesterol levels are now recognized as a major health concern. In fact, IMS Health, a global healthcare information company, reports that the two best-selling drugs in 2004 were statins: Lipitor® (atorvastatin calcium) from Pfizer (New York, NY, USA)-valued at US$10.6 billion with growth of 13.9% over the previous year-and Zocor® (simvastatin) from Merck (Whitehouse Station, NJ, USA). A pharmaceutical executive noted: “The emergence of cholesterol reduction as a market was a major event for pharma. Metabolic syndrome promises to be as big or bigger”. (Breitstein, 2004).

The side effects of statin drugs are well proven; in fact, there are now 900 studies proving their adverse effects, some of which include muscle concerns, memory issues and even increased cancer risk.

Important: If you are taking a statin drug, you should also be taking a high quality CoQ10 supplement. Statin drugs actually deplete the body of CoQ10, which can have unfavorable results. Doctors rarely inform their patients who are taking statin drugs about the importance of including a CoQ10 supplement. As the body gets more and more depleted of CoQ10, the body may begin to suffer from fatigue, muscle weakness and soreness, and eventually heart failure.

The best and most effective form of CoQ10 to take is ubiquinol. And the most effective brand of CoQ10, in my opinion, is Kaneka.

12 Real Risk Factors of Cardiovascular Disease that May Cause Heart Attack and Stroke

The following are some of the most important clinical indicators that show you have a higher risk for heart attack and stroke.

  1. Cardiac arrhythmia. This includes atrial fibrillation and other disruptions of the heart’s normal rhythm.
  2. Elevated triglycerides, particularly an elevated ratio of triglycerides to HDL cholesterol. Studies have implicated triglycerides in the progression of coronary atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
  3. Elevated homocysteine. One study found that men with extremely high homocysteine levels were three times more likely to have a heart attack than others.
  4. Elevated insulin.
  5. Elevated cortisol levels. High levels of cortisol are associated with hypertension, which increases your cardiovascular risk. Patients with heart diseases exhibit higher cortisol levels than do others.
  6. Elevated estrogen in respect to progesterone.
  7. Low testosterone (in men). Higher levels of testosterone has been found to offer men greater than five-fold protection against coronary artery disease.
  8. High testosterone (in women).
  9. Lipid peroxide. Lipid peroxides are the products of chemical damage done by oxygen free radicals to the lipid components of cell membranes. High levels of lipid peroxides are associated with cancer, heart disease, stroke, and aging.
  10. Elevated C-reactive protein. C-reactive protein is a marker associated with production of inflammatory cytokines, which represent a threat to cardiovascular health. Men with CRP values in the highest quartile had three times as many heart attacks and two times as many ischemic strokes as the general population.
  11. Fibrinogen Activity and Fibrinogen Antigen Assays. When greater blood levels of fibrinogen are present, the balance is tipped in favor of blood clot formation, even when it may not be appropriate. This can happen, for instance, at the site of a ruptured coronary plaque. The injured plaque surface causes fibrinogen to be converted to fibrin, forming a blood clot, which may result in heart attack. Fibrinogen can also promote atherosclerotic plaque growth, even without blood clot formation. Elevated fibrinogen levels are associated with an increased risk of heart attack.
  12. Advanced Lipoprotein testing. Advanced lipoprotein testing can help provide great insight into your risks for heart disease, filling the gaping deficiencies of mainstream cholesterol or lipid testing. The superior information provided by lipoprotein testing can help you and your physician to devise an effective program to prevent future heart attacks. If you have a family history of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, or any measure of coronary plaque, you should strongly consider lipoprotein testing. If you have had coronary disease already diagnosed—that is, if you have had a heart attack, angina, or a heart procedure like coronary angioplasty or bypass surgery—then lipoprotein testing can be a crucial part of your program to prevent future cardiac catastrophes, particularly if conventional lipid testing has failed to pinpoint the cause of your disease.

Other risk factors include thyroid concerns, magnesium deficiency and fatty acid imbalances.

The Good News

The good news is that it may not take a long time to rectify the imbalances that show up in a thorough cardiovascular evaluation. In fact with consistent lifestyle changes such as a healthy more plant-based diet including healthy fats, daily exercise, good supplementation including optimizing Vitamin D levels, good sleep habits, avoidance of smoking and drinking and stress reduction, many people are able to lower their risk in as little as 6-8 weeks.

Resources & Resources

  1. Law MR, Wald NJ. Risk factor thresholds: their existence under scrutiny. BMJ. 2002 Jun 29;324(7353):1570-6.
  2. Akosah KO, Schaper A, Cogbill C, Schoenfeld P. Preventing myocardial infarction in the young adult in the first place: how do the National Cholesterol Education Panel III guidelines perform? J Am Coll Cardiol. 2003 May 7;41(9):1475-9.
  3. Sharrett AR, Ballantyne CM, Coady SA, et al. Coronary heart disease prediction from lipoprotein cholesterol levels, triglycerides, lipoprotein(a), apolipoproteins A-I and B, and HDL density subfractions: The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study. Circulation. 2001 Sep 4;104(10):1108-113.
  4. Stamler J, Wentworth D, Neaton JD. Is relationship between serum cholesterol and risk of premature death from coronary heart disease continuous and graded? Findings in 356,222 primary screenees of the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial (MRFIT). JAMA. 1986 Nov 28;256(20):2823-8.
  5. Castelli WP, Anderson K, Wilson PW, Levy D. Lipids and risk of coronary heart disease. The Framingham Study. Ann Epidemiol. 1992 Jan;2(1-2):23-8.
  6. Sniderman AD, Pedersen T, Kjekshus J. Putting low-density lipoproteins at center stage in atherogenesis. Am J Cardiol. 1997 Jan 1;79(1):64-7.
  7. Cheung MC, Brown BG, Wolf AC, Albers JJ. Altered particle size distribution of apolipoprotein A-I-containing lipoproteins in subjects with coronary artery disease. J Lipid Res. 1991 Mar;32(3):383-94.
  8. Lamarche B, Despres JP, Moorjani S, et al. Prevalence of dyslipidemic phenotypes in ischemic heart disease (prospective results from the Quebec Cardiovascular Study). Am J Cardiol. 1995 Jun 15;75(17):1189-95.
  9. Walldius G, Jungner I, Holme I, et al. High apolipoprotein B, low apolipoprotein A-I, and improvement in the prediction of fatal myocardial infarction (AMORIS study): a prospective study. Lancet. 2001 Dec 15;358(9298):2026-33.
  10. van Lennep JE, Westerveld HT, van Lennep HW, et al. Apolipoprotein concentrations during treatment and recurrent coronary artery disease events. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2000 Nov;20(11):2408-13.
  11. Gotto AM, Jr., Whitney E, Stein EA, et al. Relation between baseline and on-treatment lipid parameters and first acute major coronary events in the Air Force/Texas Coronary Atherosclerosis Prevention Study (AFCAPS/TexCAPS). Circulation. 2000 Feb 8;101(5):477-84.
  12. St-Pierre AC, Ruel IL, Cantin B, et al. Comparison of various electrophoretic characteristics of LDL particles and their relationship to the risk of ischemic heart disease. Circulation. 2001 Nov 6;104(19):2295-9.
  13. Kwiterovich PO, Jr. Clinical relevance of the biochemical, metabolic, and genetic factors that influence low-density lipoprotein heterogeneity. Am J Cardiol. 2002 Oct 17;90(8A):30i-47i.
  14. Lamarche B, Tchernof A, Moorjani S, et al. Small, dense low-density lipoprotein particles as a predictor of the risk of ischemic heart disease in men. Prospective results from the Quebec Cardiovascular Study. Circulation. 1997 Jan 7;95(1):69-75.
  15. de Bruin TW. Lipid metabolism. Curr Opin Lipidol. 1998 Jun;9(3):275-8.
  16. Krauss RM. Dietary and genetic effects on LDL heterogeneity. World Rev Nutr Diet. 2001;89:12-22.
  17. St-Pierre AC, Bergeron J, Pirro M, et al. Effect of plasma C-reactive protein levels in modulating the risk of coronary heart disease associated with small, dense, low-density lipoproteins in men (The Quebec Cardiovascular Study). Am J Cardiol. 2003 Mar 1;91(5):555-8.
  18. Morgan JM, Carey CM, Lincoff A, Capuzzi DM. The effects of niacin on lipoprotein subclass distribution. Prev Cardiol. 2004;7(4):182-7.
  19. Guyton JR, Goldberg AC, Kreisberg RA, et al. Effectiveness of once-nightly dosing of extended-release niacin alone and in combination for hypercholesterolemia. Am J Cardiol. 1998 Sep 15;82(6):737-43.
  20. Superko HR. Exercise and lipoprotein metabolism. J Cardiovasc Risk. 1995 Aug;2(4):310-5.
  21. Berneis KK, Krauss RM. Metabolic origins and clinical significance of LDL heterogeneity. J Lipid Res. 2002 Sep;43(9):1363-79.
  22. Davy BM, Davy KP, Ho RC, et al. High-fiber oat cereal compared with wheat cereal consumption favorably alters LDL-cholesterol subclass and particle numbers in middle-aged and older men. Am J Clin Nutr. 2002 Aug;76(2):351-8.
  23. Griffin BA. The effect of n-3 fatty acids on low density lipoprotein subfractions. Lipids. 2001;36 SupplS91-7.
  24. Gordon DJ, Rifkind BM. High-density lipoprotein—the clinical implications of recent studies. N Engl J Med. 1989 Nov 9;321(19):1311-6.
  25. Miller NE. Associations of high-density lipoprotein subclasses and apolipoproteins with ischemic heart disease and coronary atherosclerosis. Am Heart J. 1987 Feb;113(2 Pt 2):589-97.
  26. Syvanne M, Ahola M, Lahdenpera S, et al. High density lipoprotein subfractions in non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus and coronary artery disease. J Lipid Res. 1995 Mar;36(3):573-82.
  27. Johansson J, Carlson LA, Landou C, Hamsten A. High density lipoproteins and coronary atherosclerosis. A strong inverse relation with the largest particles is confined to normotriglyceridemic patients. Arterioscler Thromb. 1991 Jan;11(1):174-82.
  28. Bays H. Existing and investigational combination drug therapy for high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Am J Cardiol. 2002 Nov 20;90(10B):30K-43K.
  29. Thomas TR, Smith BK, Donahue OM, et al. Effects of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation and exercise on low-density lipoprotein and high-density lipoprotein subfractions. Metabolism. 2004 Jun;53(6):749-54.
  30. Tsunoda F, Koba S, Hirano T, et al. Association between small dense low-density lipoprotein and postprandial accumulation of triglyceride-rich remnant-like particles in normotriglyceridemic patients with myocardial infarction. Circ J. 2004 Dec;68(12):1165-72.
  31. Chung BH, Cho BH, Liang P, et al. Contribution of postprandial lipemia to the dietary fat-mediated changes in endogenous lipoprotein-cholesterol concentrations in humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Nov;80(5):1145-58.
  32. Rivellese AA, Maffettone A, Vessby B, et al. Effects of dietary saturated, monounsaturated and n-3 fatty acids on fasting lipoproteins, LDL size and post-prandial lipid metabolism in healthy subjects. Atherosclerosis. 2003 Mar;167(1):149-58.
  33. Otvos J. Measurement of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Clin Cardiol. 1999 Jun;22(6 Suppl):II21-7.
  34. Zilversmit DB. Atherogenic nature of triglycerides, postprandial lipidemia, and triglyceride-rich remnant lipoproteins. Clin Chem. 1995 Jan;41(1):153-8.
  35. Chan DC, Barrett HP, Watts GF. Dyslipidemia in visceral obesity: mechanisms, implications, and therapy. Am J Cardiovasc Drugs. 2004;4(4):227-46.
  36. Berglund L, Ramakrishnan R. Lipoprotein(a): an elusive cardiovascular risk factor. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2004 Dec;24(12):2219-26.
  37. Maher VM, Brown BG, Marcovina SM, et al. Effects of lowering elevated LDL cholesterol on the cardiovascular risk of lipoprotein(a). JAMA. 1995 Dec 13;274(22):1771-4.
  38. Sirtori CR, Calabresi L, Ferrara S, et al. L-carnitine reduces plasma lipoprotein(a) levels in patients with hyper Lp(a). Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2000 Oct;10(5):247-51.
  39. Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Marchie A, et al. Dose response of almonds on coronary heart disease risk factors: blood lipids, oxidized low-density lipoproteins, lipoprotein(a), homocysteine, and pulmonary nitric oxide: a randomized, controlled, crossover trial. Circulation. 2002 Sep 10;106(11):1327-32.
  40. Marcovina SM, Koschinsky ML, Albers JJ, Skarlatos S. Report of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Workshop on Lipoprotein(a) and Cardiovascular Disease: recent advances and future directions. Clin Chem. 2003 Nov;49(11):1785-96.
  41. Berglund L. Diet and drug therapy for lipoprotein (a). Curr Opin Lipidol. 1995 Feb;6(1):48-56.
  42. Anon. Homocysteine and risk of ischemic heart disease and stroke: a meta-analysis. JAMA. 2002 Oct 23;288(16):2015-22.
  43. Refsum H, Ueland PM, Nygard O, Vollset SE. Homocysteine and cardiovascular disease. Annu Rev Med. 1998;49:31-62.
  44. Ciubotaru I, Lee YS, Wander RC. Dietary fish oil decreases C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, and triacylglycerol to HDL-cholesterol ratio in postmenopausal women on HRT. J Nutr Biochem. 2003 Sep;14(9):513-21.
  45. Fredrikson GN, Hedblad B, Nilsson JA, et al. Association between diet, lifestyle, metabolic cardiovascular risk factors, and plasma C-reactive protein levels. Metabolism. 2004 Nov;53(11):1436-42.
  46. Patrick L, Uzick M. Cardiovascular disease: C-reactive protein and the inflammatory disease paradigm: HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, alpha-tocopherol, red yeast rice, and olive oil polyphenols. A review of the literature. Altern Med Rev. 2001 Jun;6(3):248-71.
  47. Phillips T, Childs AC, Dreon DM, Phinney S, Leeuwenburgh C. A dietary supplement attenuates IL-6 and CRP after eccentric exercise in untrained males. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2003 Dec;35(12):2032-7.
  48. Chambless LE, Folsom AR, Sharrett AR, et al. Coronary heart disease risk prediction in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study. J Clin Epidemiol. 2003 Sep;56(9):880-90.
  49. Koenig W. Fibrin(ogen) in cardiovascular disease: an update. Thromb Haemost. 2003 Apr;89(4):601-9.
  50. Palmieri V, Celentano A, Roman MJ, et al. Relation of fibrinogen to cardiovascular events is independent of preclinical cardiovascular disease: the Strong Heart Study. Am Heart J. 2003 Mar;145(3):467-74.
  51. Vanschoonbeek K, Feijge MA, Paquay M, et al. Variable hypocoagulant effect of fish oil intake in humans: modulation of fibrinogen level and thrombin generation. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2004 Sep;24(9):1734-40.
  52. de Maat MP. Effects of diet, drugs, and genes on plasma fibrinogen levels. Ann NY Acad Sci. 2001;936:509-21.
  53. Berg A, Konig D, Deibert P, et al. Effect of an oat bran enriched diet on the atherogenic lipid profile in patients with an increased coronary heart disease risk. A controlled randomized lifestyle intervention study. Ann Nutr Metab. 2003;47(6):306-11.
  54. Kerckhoffs DA, Brouns F, Hornstra G, Mensink RP. Effects on the human serum lipoprotein profile of beta-glucan, soy protein and isoflavones, plant sterols and stanols, garlic and tocotrienols. J Nutr. 2002 Sep;132(9):2494-505.
  55. Brown L, Rosner B, Willett WW, Sacks FM. Cholesterol-lowering effects of dietary fiber: a meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 Jan;69(1):30-42.
  56. Anderson JW, Allgood LD, Lawrence A, et al. Cholesterol-lowering effects of psyllium intake adjunctive to diet therapy in men and women with hypercholesterolemia: meta-analysis of 8 controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 Feb;71(2):472-9.
  57. Bokura H, Kobayashi S. Chitosan decreases total cholesterol in women: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2003 May;57(5):721-5.
  58. Gallaher DD, Gallaher CM, Mahrt GJ, et al. A glucomannan and chitosan fiber supplement decreases plasma cholesterol and increases cholesterol excretion in overweight normocholesterolemic humans. J Am Coll Nutr. 2002 Oct;21(5):428-33.
  59. Anderson JW, Tietyen-Clark J. Dietary fiber: hyperlipidemia, hypertension, and coronary heart disease. Am J Gastroenterol. 1986 Oct;81(10):907-19.
  60. Harbis A, Perdreau S, Vincent-Baudry S, et al. Glycemic and insulinemic meal responses modulate postprandial hepatic and intestinal lipoprotein accumulation in obese, insulin-resistant subjects. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Oct;80(4):896-902.
  61. Pelkman CL. Effects of the glycemic index of foods on serum concentrations of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides. Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2001 Nov;3(6):456-61.
  62. Bowden, Johnny, Sinatra MD, Stephen, Rawlings, Deirdre. The Great Cholesterol Myth. 2015. ISBN: 978-1-59233-712-5.
  63. Life Extension Foundation. www.lef.org

Loretta Lanphier is a Naturopathic Practitioner (Traditional), Certified Clinical Nutritionist, Holistic Health Practitioner and Certified Clinical Herbalist as well as the CEO / Founder of Oasis Advanced Wellness in The Woodlands TX. She has studied and performed extensive research in health science, natural hormone balancing, anti-aging techniques, nutrition, natural medicine, weight loss, herbal remedies, non-toxic cancer support and is actively involved in researching new natural health protocols and products.  A 14 year stage 3 colon cancer survivor, Loretta is able to relate to both-sides-of-the-health-coin as patient and practitioner when it comes to health and wellness. “My passion is counseling others about what it takes to keep the whole body healthy using natural and non-toxic methods.” Read Loretta’s health testimony Cancer: The Path to Healing. Loretta is Contributor and Editor of the worldwide E-newsletter Advanced Health & Wellness. Check out Oasis Advanced Wellness and our natural skin care site Oasis Serene Botanicals.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Join Thousands of People & Receive - Advanced Health & Wellness Monthly Newsletter
x
Join Our Wellness Newsletter!