This Protein Linked to Heart Disease

By , Category : Heart Health

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inflammationIt’s no secret that heart disease is a major health problem here in the U.S. and Canada. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year, 785,000 Americans have a first coronary attack and another 470,000 who have already had one or more coronary attacks have another attack. The heart, although amazingly resilient, can be worn down by an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise. Other health problems can prey on the heart, too. Diabetics and those with inflammatory disorders often have heart troubles.

This link is clearly shown in a recent clinical trial conducted at the Tehran University of Medical Sciences. There, a research team noted that increased C-reactive protein (CRP) levels are associated with coronary heart disease, stroke, and death. The key to avoiding this health dilemma, the researchers say, is to get some exercise. This helps to prevent cardiovascular disorders by reducing inflammation, including blood levels of CRP.

To back up their claims, the research team conducted a large population-based study. The association of different intensities of physical activity, sedentary behaviors, and CRP levels in blood was examined in the 3,001 study participants. The researchers made adjustments for markers of body fat, including waist circumference and body mass index (BMI).

A physical activity questionnaire was used for evaluating the duration and intensity of physical activity. Total physical activity was calculated by tracking the intensity of the participants’ exercise. CRP concentrations in the blood were then measured.

The researchers found that blood levels of CRP significantly correlated with the total amount of physical activity each participant recorded. The researchers broke down total physical activity into three subgroups: duration of vigorous-intensity activity; duration of moderate-intensity activity; and duration of sedentary behaviors.

After adjustments for age, area of residence, BMI, waist circumference, smoking, and diabetes, the researchers stated that physical activity (of both moderate and vigorous intensity) is inversely associated with CRP levels. This remained true independent of diabetes and body fat levels.

For some inspiration on how to make exercise a regular part of your life, read the article, Ideal Exercise Details Finally Revealed.

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