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Significant Increase In Heart Diseases Found In Older People Living Alone

by Medindia Content Team on  July 14, 2006 at 10:54 AM Lifestyle News   - G J E 4
Significant Increase In Heart Diseases Found In Older People Living Alone
Danish researchers, in their new studies have concluded that persons who live alone are twice as likely to suffer from a serious heart condition when compared to people who live with partners, or families.
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Research by Kirsten Melgaard Nielsen, Ph.D., and colleagues, of the Aarhus Sygehus University Hospital in Denmark, was conducted after obtaining data on 138,000 adults between the ages of 30-69. Their findings on the study have been reported in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

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It was explained that the goal of their study was to identify the sociodemographic risk factors in the population, which are associated with a 1st episode of acute coronary syndrome, like unstable angina, myocardial infarction, sudden cardiac death, or in combinations. The researchers identified 138,290 residents of Aarhus who were representative of 5% of the entire Danish population of men and women between the ages of 30 and 69. They collected information on each cohort members' age, gender, social background, and cause of death, when appropriate.

The researchers explained that the susceptibility to acute coronary syndrome was a bit higher for people with lower educational qualifications and people surviving on pensions, and they also found that the, susceptibility was considerably higher for people who were either living alone or/and the elderly. People who did not live alone, had a job, and a high level of education were found to be at a much lower risk.

It was explained that the women over 60 and men over 50 who lived alone were twice at risk of acute coronary syndrome, when compared to women and men around the same age with a partner. Their statistics indicated that 5% of the 138,000 people were women over 60 who lived alone, 8% were men over 50 who lived alone, and that one third of all the deaths from the syndrome were women over 60 who lived alone, the other two thirds came from the men over 50 who lived alone.

The researchers also explained that it is just not the fact of living alone that probably raises the risk. They stated that there are certain other lifestyle indicators as well, as people who live alone do not often go visiting their GP's, a higher percentage of them smoke, there is a larger incidence of obesity, and a higher cholesterol levels due to their dietary and sedentary habits.

Meanwhile another research study showed that a person having longer legs might be at a lower risk of heart disease. Dr. Kate Tilling of the University of Bristol in the UK and colleagues in their study on the analyses of data from 12,254 men and women aged between 44 to 65, found a direct association between leg length and intimal-medial thickness (IMT), a measurement of the thickness of blood vessel walls used to detect the early stages of arteriosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. They concluded that longer a persons leg, thinner would be their carotid artery walls, which would indicate a reduced build up of deposits within the blood vessels and thereby a reduced risk of heart diseases and stroke.

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