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In the News

November 7, 2007

Atkins Diet May Damage Blood Vessels

Researchers say the high-fat Atkins diet can cause long-term damage to blood vessels. A study presented at the meeting of the American Heart Association finds that the Atkins diet raises LDL cholesterol levels by an average of 7% to 10%. Markers of inflammation, such as dilation and flexibility of blood vessels, and protein in the blood, increased by as much as 30% to 40% during an 18-month Atkins diet. In contrast, the researchers found low-fat regimens, such as the South Beach diet, lowered cholesterol, and appeared to benefit artery function.

Extra Weight Won’t Raise Death Risk: JAMA

A government study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that being a few extra pounds overweight will not boost a person’s risk of dying from cancer or heart disease. However, those who are considered overweight do have a higher mortality risk from diabetes and kidney disease, and those who are more than 30lbs. overweight for their height have a higher risk of death from cancer, heart disease, and other conditions.

Energy Drinks Jolt Blood Pressure: Study

A new study finds energy drinks, which generally have high levels of caffeine and the amino acid taurine, can adversely affect heart function and blood pressure. The results of a small study conducted at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit prompted researchers to advise people with hypertension or heart disease to avoid energy drinks, as they could impact the effectiveness of medication, as well as their blood pressure.

Pill’s Heart Risk Extends Past Use

Researchers report at the meeting of the American Heart Association that current and former users of oral contraceptives face an increased risk of heart disease, even in women who have stopped taking the pills. The study found women who used birth control pills had an unexpected increase in the presence of artery-clogging plaque in key blood vessels in the heart and legs.

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