Wondering why living next to heavy traffic is aging you from the inside out, or why one generation living in a very low air-pollution-wracked area of the world lives so much longer than those living in the highest neighborhoods of wafting air pollution? If you live in a polluted part of town, you may have a two percent higher risk of stroke as compared to people residing in a less polluted part of the same metropolitan area says a new study.
Researchers found in this latest study that long-term exposure to air pollution may be linked to heart attacks and strokes by speeding up atherosclerosis, or “hardening of the arteries,” according to an April 2013 study, reported University of Michigan public health researchers and colleagues from across the nation, according to an April 24, 2013 news release, “Air pollution linked to hardening of the arteries.”
There’s another issue besides strokes and heart attacks from small particulate air pollution, which is a frequent problem in Sacramento as in other areas. That’s road rage and hair-trigger tempers as well as just plain all-around agreeableness. In a different study of 5,614 residents of the Italian island of Sardinia, those ranking in the lowest 10 percent of agreeableness were 1.4 times as likely to have thickening in their lining of their carotid artery, those researchers found.
This held true even after the researchers adjusted for cholesterol levels, smoking status and other risk factors. Now in a new study, air pollution, again is linked with hardening of the arteries, including the carotid artery in the neck.
Sara Adar, the John Searle Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the U-M School of Public Health, and Joel Kaufman, professor of environmental and occupational health sciences and medicine at the University of Washington, led the latest study that found higher concentrations of fine particulate air pollution (PM2.5) were linked to a faster thickening of the inner two layers of the common carotid artery—an important blood vessel that provides blood to the head, neck and brain.
Fine particulate air pollution is linked to a faster thickening of the carotid artery
Conversely, the researchers found that reductions of fine particulate air pollution over time were linked to slower progression of the blood vessel thickness. Their research is published in this week’s (April 24, 2013) issue of PLOS Medicine. And those tiny particulates in the Sacramento air is an expensive health problem, particularly here and in the Central California Valley (and any other place with high air pollution).
Check out the original study’s article here. It’s “Fine Particulate Air Pollution and the Progression of Carotid Intima-Medial Thickness: A Prospective Cohort Study from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis and Air Pollution.” The thickness of this blood vessel is an indicator of how much atherosclerosis is present in the arteries throughout the body, even among people with no obvious symptoms of heart disease.
“Our findings help us to understand how it is that exposures to air pollution may cause the increases in heart attacks and strokes observed by other studies,” Adar said in an April 24, 2013 news release, “Air pollution linked to hardening of the arteries.” The researchers followed 5,362 people ages 45-84 from six U.S. metropolitan areas as part of the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis and Air Pollution (MESA Air).
The researchers were able to link air pollution levels estimated at each person’s house with two ultrasound measurements of the blood vessels, separated by about three years. After adjusting for other factors such as smoking, the authors found that on average, the thickness of the carotid vessel increased by 14 micrometers each year.
The vessels of people exposed to higher levels of residential fine particulate air pollution thickened faster than others living in the same metropolitan area
“Linking these findings with other results from the same population suggests that persons living in a more polluted part of town may have a 2 percent higher risk of stroke as compared to people in a less polluted part of the same metropolitan area,” Adar said in the news release, Air pollution linked to hardening of the arteries. “If confirmed by future analyses of the full 10 years of follow-up in this cohort, these findings will help to explain associations between long-term PM2.5 concentrations and clinical cardiovascular events.” Check out the original study or its abstract at PLOS. Or for general information on the university, see the website of the University of Michigan School of Public Health.
Can a thickened carotid artery, hardened with plaque caused from small particulate air pollution give you a nasty, hair-trigger temper?
There’s a study that shows that having a bad temper, being short-tempered, selfish, or a nasty attitude thickens the inside of your carotid arteries and dramatically raises your risk of strokes and heart attacks.
The problem worsens when people stress out if they can’t control another person’s behavior, such as getting their way from a store employee when a product is defective, verbally dominating a spouse, or getting the last word. The study published in August 2010 shows that individuals with antagonistic or disagreeable personalities have or soon develop thicker arterial walls that may make them more prone to heart attacks and strokes, researchers said. But there’s something you can do about it.
Some Sacramento and Davis researchers have known for decades the largely unappreciated role of psychological factors in cardiovascular disease risk. It’s food and psychological issues that matter in many cases. Another study reported by John Gever, MedPage Today Senior Editor, on the August 17, 2010 ABC Health news site, “Heart Attack, Stroke-Prone Arteries More Common in Nasty People: An Antagonistic Personality Might Increase Your Risk For Cardiovascular Disease,” also features an ABC News video.
Be nice to people, polite, smile, and meditate or do slow breathing exercises to calm yourself down
It’s not worth it to get angry, especially at things like road rage or someone riding a bike on a narrow sidewalk when you’re trying to walk. A new study finds that angry people are more like to develop thick lining in their carotid arteries.
The study found that the carotid artery (in your neck) lining was significantly thicker in people who rated low on a scale of agreeableness, according to researchers at the National Institute on Aging in Bethesda, Md., and colleagues.
The study wasn’t done in the USA but in Sardinia. In a study of 5,614 residents of the Italian island of Sardinia, those ranking in the lowest 10 percent of agreeableness were 1.4 times as likely to have thickening in their lining of their carotid artery, the researchers found. This held true even after the researchers adjusted for cholesterol levels, smoking status and other risk factors.
Are Unpleasant People More Prone to Stroke? And Is there a Food That Can Help Reverse the Thickening Process?
The researchers also found that an antagonistic personality predicted increased thickening over approximately three years of follow-up. See the article based on the study, “Unpleasant People May Be More Prone to Stroke,” published in the August 16, 2010 issue of MedPageToday.
The National Institute on Aging funded the study. The effect of personality appeared greater in women than in men, the researchers also found. Women scoring high in overall agreeableness showed decreases in intima-media thickness (mean -0.06 mm), whereas men with high scores had small increases (mean 0.04 mm).
But women with agreeableness scores more than one standard deviation below the mean — indicating a generally antisocial personality — showed increases that were essentially the same as men with similarly low scores, with increases in arterial thickness in the 0.06 to 0.08 mm range.
High agreeableness versus scoring near the mean: Unappreciated role of psychological factors in cardiovascular disease risk.
On the other hand, when the researchers looked at the risk of being in the top quartile of intima-media thickness, high agreeableness scores did not appear to have a protective effect compared with participants with scores near the mean, irrespective of gender.
Redford Williams, MD, of Duke University, who was not involved with the study, commented that the findings highlight the largely unappreciated role of psychological factors in cardiovascular disease risk.
Besides looking at what foods the person eats, you also might look at social factors and psychological responses to people around the individual. Reactions to stress and other people, such as your attitude plays a role in putting you at higher risk of heart disease, strokes, or other health problems, even arthritic-like pain.
Your attitude plays a role in putting you at higher risk of heart disease, strokes, or other health problems
The degree of cardiovascular event risk suggested by the study findings as associated with antagonistic personality traits was comparable to that of high LDL cholesterol, hypertension, or smoking, according to researchers. In the USA, where are the clinical trials? Who’s looking at psychological and social risks and factors that may override physical risk issues?
If you have thick carotid arteries, should you go to anger management training classes as well as eat a better diet, tailored to your individual metabolic responses? Your attitude helps your risk go up or down.
Studies are needed to find out whether cardiovascular risks can be changed by anger management classes or other social and psychological practices such as meditation, Qi Gong exercises, or learning to let things ride instead of stressing out to control other people’s behavior. But who’s doing the clinical trials locally?
The study wasn’t done in Sacramento, but in Sardinia. That limits the study to an island in the Mediterranean. Are people the same all over the world in their response to others being nice or nasty, agreeable or fault-finding and constantly critical? And are complainers who don’t take action to change or those holding resentment or grudges, as well as victims of childhood stresses also going to have thicker carotid arteries? Only a new study might give some clues.
UC Davis in the Sacramento-Davis Regional Area Studies Agreeableness and Environment
UC Davis studies personality and agreeableness as related to the situation of whether you’re a good fit for your environment. See, Person-Environment Fit and Its Implications for Personality, and Slide 1 – UC Davis, Psychology, where UC Davis studied self-concept in preschool children. At UC Davis in the Sacramento-Davis regional area, continuity and change in Person-Environment Fit (PE Fit) and its relation to personality development was studied in a 4-year longitudinal study of college students (N=305).
PE Fit demonstrated moderate rank-order stability and small increases in mean-levels over time. Antecedents to PE Fit included gender (being male), high academic ability, low agreeableness, and low neuroticism. Outcomes associated with PE Fit included greater personality consistency and changes in personality in the direction of higher self-esteem and lower agreeableness and neuroticism. The implications of the findings for personality development are discussed.
Reversing Atherosclerosis with Pomegranate? Can Fruit Extract Slow Down Aging of Your Arteries?
See Life Extension Magazine , July 2007, ” Reversing Atherosclerosis Naturally ,” by Dale Kiefer. The article notes, “In the past seven years alone, the amount of published research on pomegranate has increased seven-fold over all preceding years in the medical and scientific literature.”
The primary source for Life Extension Magazine’s article’s conclusion is the medical journal study by Lansky EP, Newman RA. Punica granatum (pomegranate) and its potential for prevention and treatment of inflammation and cancer. Journal of Ethnopharmacology , 2007 Jan 19;109(2):177-206.
Also see the article on SOD and oxidative stress titled, ” Oxidative stress and antioxidants: how to assess a risk or a prevention?” Science is looking at fruit juices, nutrients, and even hormones that slow the progression of hardening of the arteries and inflammation of the arteries. But can fruit juice actually reverse existing artery calcification, possibly due to a high LDL level of calcium in the blood instead of the bones? Without drugs, can a whole food reverse atherosclerosis?
If atherosclerosis is caused by aging, it’s not the years that cause it because there are older people who don’t have either arteries hardened by calcium deposits or plaque made of fats. Hardening of the arties actually is caused by endothelial dysfunction.
And endothelial dysfunction can be slowed by certain natural forms of vitamins A, C, and E, provided the E vitamin contains all eight tocotrienols, vitamin C is in its whole food state, and A is in a natural form of betacarotene obtained from natural foods with carotenoids.
Read for yourself a few of the numerous medical articles that have tested pomegranate for its ability to reverse hardening of the carotid arteries include the following studies. Also find out what studies are coming up in the near future.
Here is a list of some of the studies that look place in the last decade. Cloarec M, Caillard P, Provost JC, et al. GliSODin, a vegetal sod with gliadin, as preventative agent vs. atherosclerosis, as confirmed with carotid ultrasound-B imaging. European Annals of Allergy Clinical Immunology . 2007 Feb;39(2):45-50. de NF, Williams-Ignarro S, Sica V, et al. Effects of a pomegranate fruit extract rich in punicalagin on oxidation-sensitive genes and eNOS activity at sites of perturbed shear stress and atherogenesis. Cardiovascular Research . 2007 Jan 15;73(2):414-23.
Kaplan M, Hayek T, Raz A, et al. Pomegranate juice supplementation to atherosclerotic mice reduces macrophage lipid peroxidation, cellular cholesterol accumulation and development of atherosclerosis. Journal of Nutrition . 2001 Aug; 131(8):2082-9. Aviram M, Rosenblat M, Gaitini D, et al. Pomegranate juice consumption for 3 years by patients with carotid artery stenosis reduces common carotid intima-media thickness, blood pressure and LDL oxidation. Clinical Nutrition . 2004 Jun;23(3):423-33.
Can pomegranate extract alone or a combination of Super Glisodin® Super Oxide Dismutase (SOD) and pomegranate extract (in one softgel) help reverse hardening of the arteries, particularly in the carotid arteries, because the thicker the carotid arteries, it has been said, the more irritable the personality? How does the reversing process work?
To reverse hardening of the arteries you have to first halt the progressive process and then reverse the calcium, plaque, cholesterol and other materials that have narrowed arteries for decades. Let’s say you have an ultrasound test of the carotid arteries in your neck. It gives you a reading of the blockage by measuring the thickness of the carotid artery walls.
You can ask for an IMT, also called an “intima-media thickness test.” When your LDL cholesterol is high, it means calcium is flowing into your bloodstream to clog your arteries instead of being deposited in your bones. The balance of multiple minerals going in your body isn’t quite right.
Before you start planning the next step, first read the article from the Journal of Nutrition . 2001 Aug; 131(8):2082-9, Aviram M, Rosenblat M, Gaitini D, et al. “Pomegranate juice consumption for 3 years by patients with carotid artery stenosis reduces common carotid intima-media thickness, blood pressure, and LDL oxidation.” Also see an article in the scientific journal titled, Clinical Nutrition . 2004 Jun;23(3):423-33.
In a controlled study involving people with severe carotid artery narrowing (stenosis), one group drank pomegranate juice with conventional drugs such as statins and high blood pressure medications. The other group didn’t consume any pomegranate but were on the same type and doses of drugs. The findings observed in the pomegranate group showed that the severe carotid artery narrowing had been reversed.
The study lasted three years, but what about people who don’t want to take drugs and just drink the pomegranate juice? Will the juice reverse the calcium and fat deposits in their narrow carotid arteries without any drugs? It’s difficult to get funding for people not taking drugs and just drinking pomegranate juice or taking some other nutrients with the pomegranate. If you take away the drugs and give both groups just juice to drink and similar meals with the juice, will the arteries clean themselves?
That’s the question, since studies usually involve people on conventional drugs rather than on juicing diets. How many studies look at patients that stepped away from conventional medicine and are willing to drink certain amounts of various juices to see what the pomegranate or other juices are doing to their arteries? And how does pomegranate work on people over age 65 with similar issues who are not on drugs?
Can a combination of Super GLISODIN® – Super Oxide Dismutase (SOD) and pomegranate extract (containing the fruit, flowers, skin and seeds) help to reverse hardening of the arteries and slow aging and thickening of the carotid artery in humans? Check out the clinical research on the website, A research community dedicated to the SOD/gliadin complex.
What are the non-drug approaches that reverse atherosclerosis caused by aging? According to medical journal articles touting studies showing the ability of consumed pomegranate juice and a natural superoxide dismutase (SOD) -enhancing agent called GliSODin® to reverse “carotoid artery ultrasound markers” of hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) better than any prescribed commercial drug.