Your blood can reveal your risk for heart disease

Researcher at CERG, Anja ByeWhen you visit your general practitioner you can get your blood analyzed for cholesterol and triglycerides, to get an idea of your risk for cardiovascular disease. With additional information about BMI, smoking habits and blood pressure, this can be used to calculate your 10-year risk for cardiovascular disease. There are several risk prediction calculators available today that general practitioners can use the before they give advice and prescriptions to their patients. This risk calculators predicts the 10-year risk for dying form cardiovascular disease, and includes information on age, gender, smoking habits, systolic blood pressure and total cholesterol.

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Exercise reduced burden of atrial fibrillation

Vegard Malmo. Foto: Andrea Hegdahl Tiltnes / NTNU“Time in atrial fibrillation and symptoms of the disease were reduced, and exercise capacity, cardiac function, lipid levels and quality of life were improved in the patients preforming high intensity interval training”, PhD candidate at CERG and medical doctor at St. Olavs Hospital,  Vegard Malmo.

He is first author in the paper “Aerobic Interval training reduces the burden of atrial fibrillation in the short term: A randomized trial” recently published in Circulation. In this study, 51 persons with non-permanent atrial fibrillation (AF) were randomized either to high intensity interval training (four 4-minute intervals at 85-95% of peak heart) rate three times a week for 12 weeks or a control group (continuing their earlier exercise habits). Minutes of AF each day was monitored continuously with an implanted recorder. In addition cardiac function, exercise capacity, lipid status, quality of life and AF symptoms were assessed.

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The Physically Active Less Prone to Post-Heart Attack Depression

Linda ErnstsenDepression is common and estimates suggest that in a family of four, one of the family members will likely suffer from mental health problems. Depression is even 3 times more common in patients after a heart attack than in the general population. Depression after a heart attack is bad not only because of the accompanying emotional distress, it also increases the risk of having another heart attack or premature death.

Studies of patients with coronary heart disease with elevated depressive symptoms support that exercise is just as effective as antidepressant drugs, and that the reduction in depressive symptoms among those participating in cardiac rehabilitation is related to improvements in fitness. All together the existing literature gives support for a positive effect of aerobic exercise on depressive symptoms in patients with established heart disease.

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CO-rebreathing technique safe for patients with coronary artery disease

Forsker ved CERG Trine KarlsenThe CO-rebreathing technique for measuring total blood volume and hemoglobin mass is safe to perform in stable coronary artery disease patients having completed cardiac rehabilitation. Trine Karlsen and colleagues show this in a resent study ”Safety of the CO-Rebreathing Method in Patients with Coronary Artery Disease”, published in the Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise Journal.

“The aim of the study was to investigate the use of this methodology in stable coronary artery disease patients to allow for an implementation of the methodology in this patient group”, Karlsen says. Knowledge of total blood volume and absolute hemoglobin mass is vital when evaluating cardiovascular physiology and function, as well as physical activity performance.

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Are people who feel tired all the time less active?

Thorlene EgertonTiredness or fatigue is one of the most commonly reported symptoms in primary care. There are many different types of fatigue. For example, people may experience fatigue if they cannot sleep well or if they exercise intensively. But there are a lot of older people that feel fatigued all day every day for no apparent reason. This can be distressing and may reduce their quality of life. We don’t currently know a great deal about this problem. For example, we don’t know how daily physical activity levels are related to these experiences of fatigue. On one hand, people who are more active might be more likely to feel tired. But on the other hand, people who experience unrelenting fatigue may be forced to be less active. I am a post-doctoral research fellow working in the Geriatrics, Movement and Stroke (GeMS) group at NTNU, and through collaboration with CERG and the Generation 100 study, I was able to try and find out a bit more about fatigue.

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Do we become more active when we get fitter?

Four women running by riverWe all know that we need to exercise in order to get more fit and research has shown that high intensity training will get us fit much faster than moderate intensity training. Increasing our fitness should, at least in theory, give us more energy, which would in turn enable us to increase our daily activity levels, even when we are not exercising. We at K. G. Jebsen – Center of Exercise in Medicine at NTNU wanted to test if this was in fact true. Do we become more active when we become fore fit?

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Why do some people get fitter than others?

Two women running outdoorThe response to exercise training is often described in general terms, with the assumption that the group average represents a typical response for most individuals. However, in reality, it is more common for individuals to show a wide range of responses to identical exercise programs. In 1999, a large study published by Claude Bouchard and colleagues, reported that 20 % of us show little or no gain in maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) with exercise training. This is a concern, since a high VO2max is associated with decreased rates of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Exploring the phenomenon of high responders and low responders following the same exercise program may provide helpful insights into mechanisms of training adaptation and methods of training prescription.

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