Friday News Tips

March 04, 2016 Categories: Scientific Conferences & Meetings

Tip Headlines:

  • Being more optimistic linked to better cardiovascular health among Hispanics/Latinos
  • Routine, frequent self-weighing was associated with people being better equipped to lose weight
  • Strained spouse caregivers at higher stroke risk

Note: All news materials are embargoed until the time of presentation or 3 p.m. MT/5 p.m. ET each day, whichever comes first.

Embargo: 11 a.m. MT/ 1 p.m. ET, Friday, March 4, 2016, Abstract 575

Being more optimistic linked to better cardiovascular health among Hispanics, Latinos

Optimism and cardiovascular health may be linked, according to a study on a large group of Hispanic/Latino adults presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology/Lifestyle 2016 Scientific Sessions.

Researchers analyzed a study of 4,960 Hispanic/Latino adults, ages 18 to 75 years. An optimism score was calculated that ranged from six to 24, with higher scores indicating greater levels of optimism. Researchers used American Heart Association measures of cardiovascular health, which included diet, body mass index, physical activity, cholesterol, blood pressure, fasting glucose, and smoking status, to group people into categories of poor (0-7 points), intermediate (8-11 points) and ideal (12-14 points).

They found that 9.2 percent of the people studied had ideal cardiovascular health.

Compared to the least optimistic group, those with moderate levels of optimism were 61 percent more likely to have ideal cardiovascular health and 37 percent more likely to have intermediate cardiovascular health.

This study offers early evidence of a potential association between optimism and cardiovascular health among Hispanic/Latino adults, according to the authors.

Rosalba Hernandez, Ph.D., Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois.

Note: the actual presentation time for this abstract is 11 a.m. MT on Friday, March 4.

 

Embargo: 3 p.m. MT/ 5:00 p.m. ET, Friday, March 4, 2016, Abstract 448

Routine, frequent self-weighing was associated with people being better equipped to lose weight

People who are trying to lose weight and frequently weigh themselves report feeling equipped to handle certain situations that could trigger them to overeat, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology/Lifestyle 2016 Scientific Sessions.

Researchers analyzed information from a 12-month behavioral weight-loss intervention study, which grouped 148 people according to self-weighing patterns: high/consistent, meaning they weighed themselves at least six days a week consistently throughout the period; moderate/declined, which means they decreased their weigh-ins from 4-5 days a week to two days per week; minimal/declined, decreased their weigh-ins from 5-6 days per week to 0 days per week.

The study also assessed the participant’s self-efficacy at six and 12 months, where they rated their confidence to avoid eating under various conditions, including when they had negative emotions, availability (when food is available), social pressure, physical discomfort and positive activities. The higher the total score and score for each condition, the greater their self-efficacy rating. The high/consistent group had significant increases in all 5 conditions and the total score.  The other two groups had no change over time.

Yaguang Zheng, Ph.D., M.S.N., R.N., Connell School of Nursing, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.

Note: The actual presentation for this abstract is 4:30 p.m. MT on Friday, March 4.

 

Embargo: 3:30 p.m. MT/ 5:30 p.m. ET, Friday, March 4, 2016, Abstract 759

Strained spouse caregivers at higher stroke risk

Caregivers who feel they are straining under the burden of caring for a spouse with a chronic illness or disability are, themselves, at higher risk of stroke, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology/Lifestyle 2016 Scientific Sessions

Researchers analyzed a study of more than 6,000 caregivers and non-caregivers and compared the two groups for stroke risk. Caregivers were asked about their relationship to the care recipient and the amount of perceived physical and mental strain they associated with that care, rating their perceived strain as none, some or a lot.

They found:

  • During an average 8.5-year follow up period, 3.73 percent of caregivers 3.67 percent of non-caregivers had a stroke.

  • Caregivers as a whole did not have a notably higher risk of stroke compared to non-caregivers.

  • Strained spouse caregivers who reported high or moderate strain had a 95 percent higher risk of stroke than matched non-caregivers.

Targeted support to reduce caregiving strain, particularly among spouse caregivers, might be an important intervention, according to the authors.

Sindhu Lakkur, Ph.D., University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama.

Note: The actual presentation of this abstract is 4:30 p.m. MT on Friday, March 4.

Additional Resources:

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Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

 

For media inquiries about this news release and AHA spokesperson perspective:

Darcy Spitz: (212) 878-5940; darcy.spitz@heart.org

Julie Del Barto (national broadcast): (214) 706-1330; julie.delbarto@heart.org

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heart.org and strokeassociation.org

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