Are You at Risk for Silent Heart Disease? by: Cindy Kuzma


Better rush to shrink that gut. The more years of young adulthood you spend obese, the greater your risk of coronary artery calcification—early, “silent” heart disease with no symptoms—in middle age, says a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

In fact, each extra year of obesity between ages 18 and 30 boosts your risk by 2 to 4 percent. Though you don’t notice it, the calcification predicts your risk of future heart problems.

“While 2 to 4 percent per year doesn’t seem very high, this risk adds up over many years and therefore becomes more and more substantial over time,” says study author Jared P. Reis, Ph.D.

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The Mindset that Doubles Your Heart Attack Risk by: Cassie Shortsleeve


Don’t dwell on it: People who think their stress levels negatively impact their health have double the risk of heart attack than those who shrug it off, finds new European research.

Scientists asked more than 7,000 people how much their life stress affected their health, then followed them for 18 years. At the end, those who originally said stress had an extreme impact on their well-being—about 8 percent—were twice as likely to have experienced or died from heart failure. While those people tended to have higher overall levels of angst, the results held even after the researchers accounted for biological and psychological risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

“It could be that anxious people also have this sense that [their stress] is going to do them in,” says Eric Topol, M.D., director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute. And the worrywarts might be right: “Stress does increase the incidence of heart disease,” Dr. Topol adds, “but your reaction can modulate that risk.”

Work strain riling you up? Put the extra energy toward upping your intensity at the gym. In a recent BMJ Open study, people who worked out harder instead of longer were more likely to ward off metabolic syndrome, a combo of risk factors like obesity and high blood pressure that raises your risk for heart disease.