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Journal: Journal of the American Heart Association


The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends that adults accumulate moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in bouts of ≥10 minutes for substantial health benefits. To what extent the same amount of MVPA accumulated in bouts versus sporadically reduces mortality risk remains unclear.

Concepts: Health insurance


Physical activity (PA) has an established favorable impact on cardiovascular disease (CVD) outcomes and quality of life. In this study, we aimed to estimate the economic effect of moderate-vigorous PA on medical expenditures and utilization from a nationally representative cohort with and without CVD.

Concepts: Medicine, Disease, Life, Cardiovascular disease, Economics, Non-infectious disease, Cost


Background Previous studies have documented the cardiometabolic health benefits of plant-based diets; however, these studies were conducted in selected study populations that had narrow generalizability. Methods and Results We used data from a community-based cohort of middle-aged adults (n=12 168) in the ARIC (Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities) study who were followed up from 1987 through 2016. Participants' diet was classified using 4 diet indexes. In the overall plant-based diet index and provegetarian diet index, higher intakes of all or selected plant foods received higher scores; in the healthy plant-based diet index, higher intakes of only the healthy plant foods received higher scores; in the less healthy plant-based diet index, higher intakes of only the less healthy plant foods received higher scores. In all indexes, higher intakes of animal foods received lower scores. Results from Cox proportional hazards models showed that participants in the highest versus lowest quintile for adherence to overall plant-based diet index or provegetarian diet had a 16%, 31% to 32%, and 18% to 25% lower risk of cardiovascular disease, cardiovascular disease mortality, and all-cause mortality, respectively, after adjusting for important confounders (all P<0.05 for trend). Higher adherence to a healthy plant-based diet index was associated with a 19% and 11% lower risk of cardiovascular disease mortality and all-cause mortality, respectively, but not incident cardiovascular disease (P<0.05 for trend). No associations were observed between the less healthy plant-based diet index and the outcomes. Conclusions Diets higher in plant foods and lower in animal foods were associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in a general population.


A “Christmas holiday effect” showing elevated cardiovascular mortality over the Christmas holidays (December 25 to January 7) was demonstrated previously in study from the United States. To separate the effect of seasonality from any holiday effect, a matching analysis was conducted for New Zealand, where the Christmas holiday period falls within the summer season.

Concepts: United States, Pacific Ocean, Australia, Autumn, New York City, Antarctica, Christmas, Northern Hemisphere


Background Systemic iron status has been implicated in atherosclerosis and thrombosis. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of genetically determined iron status on carotid intima-media thickness, carotid plaque, and venous thromboembolism using Mendelian randomization. Methods and Results Genetic instrumental variables for iron status were selected from a genome-wide meta-analysis of 48 972 subjects. Genetic association estimates for carotid intima-media thickness and carotid plaque were obtained using data from 71 128 and 48 434 participants, respectively, and estimates for venous thromboembolism were obtained using data from a study incorporating 7507 cases and 52 632 controls. Conventional 2-sample summary data Mendelian randomization was performed for the main analysis. Higher genetically determined iron status was associated with increased risk of venous thromboembolism. Odds ratios per SD increase in biomarker levels were 1.37 (95% CI 1.14-1.66) for serum iron, 1.25 (1.09-1.43) for transferrin saturation, 1.92 (1.28-2.88) for ferritin, and 0.76 (0.63-0.92) for serum transferrin (with higher transferrin levels representing lower iron status). In contrast, higher iron status was associated with lower risk of carotid plaque. Corresponding odds ratios were 0.85 (0.73-0.99) for serum iron and 0.89 (0.80-1.00) for transferrin saturation, with concordant trends for serum transferrin and ferritin that did not reach statistical significance. There was no Mendelian randomization evidence of an effect of iron status on carotid intima-media thickness. Conclusions These findings support previous work to suggest that higher genetically determined iron status is protective against some forms of atherosclerotic disease but increases the risk of thrombosis related to stasis of blood.


Despite public awareness that tobacco secondhand smoke (SHS) is harmful, many people still assume that marijuana SHS is benign. Debates about whether smoke-free laws should include marijuana are becoming increasingly widespread as marijuana is legalized and the cannabis industry grows. Lack of evidence for marijuana SHS causing acute cardiovascular harm is frequently mistaken for evidence that it is harmless, despite chemical and physical similarity between marijuana and tobacco smoke. We investigated whether brief exposure to marijuana SHS causes acute vascular endothelial dysfunction.

Concepts: Smoking, Tobacco, Tobacco smoking, Law, Endothelium, Endothelial dysfunction, Cannabis, Smoke


There are substantial differences in the distribution of adipose tissue between women and men. We assessed the sex-specific relationships and their differences between measures of general and central adiposity and the risk of incident myocardial infarction (MI).

Concepts: Myocardial infarction, Obesity, Muscle, Gender, Adipose tissue


Caffeine in doses <400 mg is typically not considered arrhythmogenic, but little is known about the additional ingredients in energy drinks. We evaluated the ECG and blood pressure (BP) effects of high-volume energy drink consumption compared with caffeine alone.

Concepts: Randomized controlled trial, Caffeine, Energy drink


Background Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) have been proposed as a potential harm reduction tool for combustible cigarette smokers. The majority of adult e-cigarette users continue to smoke combustible cigarettes and are considered dual users. The vascular impact of e-cigarettes remains incompletely defined. Methods and Results We examined the association of e-cigarette use with measures of vascular function and tonometry, preclinical measures of cardiovascular injury. As part of the CITU (Cardiovascular Injury due to Tobacco Use) study, we performed noninvasive vascular function testing in individuals without known cardiovascular disease or cardiovascular disease risk factors who were nonsmokers (n=94), users of combustible cigarettes (n=285), users of e-cigarettes (n=36), or dual users (n=52). In unadjusted analyses, measures of arterial stiffness including carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity, augmentation index, carotid-radial pulse wave velocity, and central blood pressures differed across the use groups. In multivariable models adjusted for age, sex, race, and study site, combustible cigarette smokers had higher augmentation index compared with nonusers (129.8±1.5 versus 118.8±2.7, P=0.003). The augmentation index was similar between combustible cigarette smokers compared with sole e-cigarette users (129.8±1.5 versus 126.2±5.9, P=1.0) and dual users (129.8±1.5 versus 134.9±4.0, P=1.0). Endothelial cells from combustible cigarette smokers and sole e-cigarette users produced less nitric oxide in response to A23187 stimulation compared with nonsmokers, suggestive of impaired endothelial nitric oxide synthase signaling. Conclusions Our findings suggest that e-cigarette use is not associated with a more favorable vascular profile. Future longitudinal studies are needed to evaluate the long-term risks of sustained e-cigarette use.


Background Energy drinks have been linked to an increase in emergency room visits and deaths. We aim to determine the impact of energy drinks on electrocardiographic and hemodynamic parameters in young healthy volunteers. Methods and Results A randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled, crossover study was conducted in healthy volunteers. Participants consumed 32 oz of either energy drink A, energy drink B, or placebo within 60 minutes on 3 study days with a 6-day washout period in between. The primary end point of QT c interval and secondary end points of QT interval, PR interval, QRS duration, heart rate, and brachial and central blood pressures were measured at baseline, and every 30 minutes for 240 minutes. A repeated-measures 2-way analysis of variance was performed with the main effects of intervention, time, and an interaction of intervention and time. Thirty-four participants were included (age 22.1±3.0 years). The interaction term of intervention and time was statistically significant for Bazett’s corrected QT interval, Fridericia’s corrected QT interval, QT , PR , QRS duration, heart rate, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, central systolic blood pressure, and central diastolic blood pressure (all P<0.001). The maximum change from baseline in Bazett's corrected QT interval for drinks A, B, and placebo were +17.9±13.9, +19.6±15.8, and +11.9±11.1 ms, respectively ( P=0.005 for ANOVA ) ( P=0.04 and <0.01, respectively compared with placebo). Peripheral and central systolic and diastolic blood pressure were statistically significantly different compared with placebo (all P<0.001). Conclusion Energy drinks significantly prolong the QT c interval and raise blood pressure. Clinical Trial Registration URL : . Unique identifier: NCT03196908.