JUL 12, 2019 12:29 PM PDT

Many Cardiac Interventions Not Proven Beneficial

WRITTEN BY: Abbie Arce

Doctors have recommended numerous interventions to combat heart disease. With heart disease killing more people in the United States than anything else, this advice is often widely adopted. Be it taking additional vitamins or switching to a Mediterranean diet, thousands of Americans are offered these suggestions each year.

Unfortunately, a recent review of such interventions suggests that many of these efforts may have been in vain. Of the 24 nutritional supplements and dietary changes reviewed, only a select few were proven to have any effect at all.

Omega-3‘s decreased salt intake and folic acid seemingly helped in some patients but not in others. None of the other interventions, including lowering fat intake, had any proven impact at all.

To be clear, in most cases, this analysis uncovered poor quality evidence. This is in part because the type of study required to analyze the effectiveness of any given nutrient is incredibly time-consuming and expensive. Additionally, it’s apparent that while an intervention may change the life of one patient, it may be ineffective in another. These considerations are important motivators in the progress towards individualized medicine.

Despite the demotivating results of this review, doctors still strongly urge some lifestyle changes for those concerned about their heart health. One of those changes is being sure to get a healthy diet of widely varied vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains. This diverse diet can help avoid any nutritional deficiencies. 

Also recommended is getting enough exercise. Fitness professionals emphasize that this doesn’t necessarily mean lifting weights for hours each day at the gym. Any activity helps including walking, cycling, and even recreational activities that don’t feel like exercise such as kayaking.

Hopefully, doctors can deliver specialized medical attention to each individual in the future. Someday doctors may not just recommend what has worked for someone before, but something that will work for you, specifically. 

One of the ways we are rapidly moving towards the possibility of personalized cardiac care is through computer modeling. This type of data analysis can track and compare thousands of factors to help make precise decisions for patients. The above video, from John Hopkins Medicine, further discusses computer modeling in cardiology. 

 

 

Sources: John Hopkins MedicineAnnals of Internal Medicine

About the Author
Applied Sport and Exercise Science
Abbie is an AFAA certified personal trainer and fitness instructor with an interest in all things health-science. She has recently graduated with her BS in Applied Sport and Exercise Science from Barry University in Miami. Next, she intends to earn an MPH with a focus in Epidemiology.
You May Also Like
FEB 22, 2022
Clinical & Molecular DX
Gut Bacteria Imbalances and Heart Disease
FEB 22, 2022
Gut Bacteria Imbalances and Heart Disease
Patients with cardiovascular disease have significant disruptions in their gut microbiomes, says a new study by an inter ...
JUN 07, 2022
Cardiology
Overtraining Negatively Impacts Mood and Heart Rate Variability
JUN 07, 2022
Overtraining Negatively Impacts Mood and Heart Rate Variability
Athletes tend to have a worse mood and lower heart rate variability the day after intense training.
JUN 09, 2022
Cardiology
Supplements and Heart Health
JUN 09, 2022
Supplements and Heart Health
There is little evidence that supplements actually improve heart health.
JUL 20, 2022
Cardiology
Light Exposure During Sleep Linked to Obesity, Hypertension in Older Adults
JUL 20, 2022
Light Exposure During Sleep Linked to Obesity, Hypertension in Older Adults
Keeping your bedroom dark at night could have a major impact on your health.
JUL 26, 2022
Plants & Animals
Cocoa Could Help Reduce Blood Pressure and Arterial Stiffness
JUL 26, 2022
Cocoa Could Help Reduce Blood Pressure and Arterial Stiffness
A new study found that cocoa can reduce blood pressure and stiff arteries, but only when both are elevated. The cocoa pl ...
AUG 04, 2022
Cardiology
Lifestyle Can Offset Genetic Stroke Risk
AUG 04, 2022
Lifestyle Can Offset Genetic Stroke Risk
Those who are genetically susceptible to stroke can lower their risk by as much at 43% through lifestyle choices.
Loading Comments...