Artery Calcification in the Heart May Lead to Stroke in the Brain
A stroke typically involves a failure in blood circulation to the brain, but a new study suggests it can also be caused by a blockage of blood to the heart. People with arterial clogs caused by calcium deposits (a.k.a. coronary artery calcification) are at a higher risk for stroke, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Stroke. Researchers analyzed 4,180 people between the ages of 45 and 75, who had never had a heart attack or stroke. They monitored these participants for about eight years, and during that time, there were 92 strokes. The people who suffered these strokes had higher values of coronary artery calcification than the others. The researchers therefore concluded that coronary artery calcification "is an independent stroke predictor in addition to classical risk factors in subjects at low or intermediate vascular risk."
Typical stroke risk factors include increasing age, the male gender, certain races, and a family history of stroke, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. However, there are also risk factors that can be treated, such as high blood pressure or hypertension, smoking, heart disease, diabetes, cholesterol imbalance, and physical activity or obesity.
What Do Happy Families Know That You Don't?
Tolstoy was right, Bruce Feiler told a rapt audience at Washington, D.C.'s Sixth and I synagogue Tuesday night, quoting the legendary opening line of Anna Karenina: "All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."
The crowd had gathered here, despite a damp and blustery evening, to learn the secrets of happy families, aka the title of Feiler's latest book, which already seems headed for the sort of spotlight turned on his bestsellers like Walking the Bible, a memoir of trekking through biblical landmarks, and The Council of Dads, on creating a group of godfathers to guide his twin daughters should he fail to survive cancer.
Feiler has been cancer-free for five years, the last three of which he has devoted to exploring how to make families happier, including his own. It's not so much that Feiler's family was in crisis—he knows crisis, having battled cancer—but the responsibilities to tend to their kids, parents, and each other were taking a toll on Feiler and his wife, Linda Rottenberg. "We were at a breaking point, and we felt there must be a better way," Feiler told U.S. News, ahead of Tuesday's program, a talk-show style conversation with David Gregory of NBC's Meet the Press. The biological clock doesn't quit once you have children; then you race "to actually build a family in time," he says. [Read more: What Do Happy Families Know That You Don't?]
Four Veggies That Deserve More Love
These days, the fact that so many fruits and veggies are dubbed "superfoods" makes you wonder if a food that isn't considered super is even worth eating, writes U.S. News blogger Keri Gans. As a fighter for the underdog—one who roots for the Mets instead of the Yankees—I'm here to tell you about the many vegetables that deserve more recognition.
Peas. I'm not sure how this happened, but many of my patients think peas shouldn't be eaten because they're too high in calories. (For the record, cooked peas have 62.5 calories per 1⁄2 cup serving.) What my patients don't realize is that one serving of peas is loaded with more than 4 grams of fiber and protein each, which is more than many other vegetables. Peas are also an excellent source of vitamins C and K, as well as folate, iron, niacin, potassium, and zinc. They're also packed with phytonutrients, including flavanols, phenolic acids, and carotenoids.
Peas are great eaten alone, or added to pasta sauce, brown rice, or salad for extra nutrients and flavor. While I do recommend watching the portion size because of their higher calorie count, do not leave peas off the plate. [Read more: Four Veggies That Deserve More Love]