Dr. Susan Logan Recognized as Among the “Top Doctors” in the Bay Area by San Francisco Magazine

Dr. Susan Logan Recognized as Among the “Top Doctors” in the Bay Area by San Francisco Magazine

Susan Logan, M.D. of NCMA Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group has been selected by the San Francisco Magazine as among the top Obstetrics and Gynecology doctors for 2017.

San Francisco Magazine recently queried area doctors to nominate their choice of best physicians in eight Bay Area counties for 2017. Almost 1,000 nominations were submitted and a little over 500 physicians were selected by the healthcare research company managing the award process. Results were announced the magazine’s January 2017 issue.

Under the category of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Women’s OB/GYN Medical Groups physician Dr. Susan Logan has been selected for this honor by San Francisco Magazine for two years consecutively.

Dr. Lela Emad of the Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group says, “Dr. Susan C. Logan is a respected, caring OB/GYN certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She has been a part of our group since the early 90s, and has played an integral role in building the practice. We are honored to have her among our providers and her patients are lucky to have someone so knowledgeable to deliver such quality caring support for their healthcare needs.”

Dr. Logan also serves as Antepartum Testing Medical Director at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, as well as the Medical Director of the Sweet Success Program.

About the Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group

With a team made up of compassionate, expert doctors, midwives, nurses and medical assistants aimed at providing unmatched care to patients, the Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group offers a full range of obstetrics and gynecology services to women in the North Bay region.  Services offered include;

  • general gynecological health screenings
  • state-of-the-art diagnostics
  • comprehensive pregnancy and postpartum care
  • full mid-wifery services
  • minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery
  • uro-gynecological procedures
  • incontinence care
  • menopause care
  • laser hair reduction, skin care and Botox Cosmetic

Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group’s staff of physicians include; Lela Emad, MD, Shazah Khawaja, MD, Amita Kachru, MD, and Susan Logan, MD. Together, these doctors share a unique whole-body approach to medicine as they strive to find the underlying causes of a woman’s health problems, rather than simply treating the symptoms.

The team of health professionals at Women’s OB/GYN is committed to both alleviating short-term ailments and maximizing long-term health. The practice partnered with Northern California Medical Associates (NCMA) in 2014 to strengthen its network of experienced healthcare providers, directly benefitting patient access to healthcare specialists in the area.

The Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group strives to better the lives of all women with a holistic approach to women’s health. To learn more about these fine physicians and the many services provided by the Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group visit the website. Call for an appointment at (707) 579-1102.

Women who enter menopause at or before age 40 more susceptible to bone fracture

If you’re in menopause before the age of 40, you have a higher fracture risk. That fact has already been proven by the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) clinical trials. Now a new study evaluating the same WHI data further concludes that, even with calcium and vitamin D supplements, your risk of fracture is still higher. The study is being published online in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).

For years, calcium and vitamin D have been touted for their abilities to increase bone mineral density. Hormone therapy is also recognized for its ability to help ward off osteoporosis. That’s what prompted this latest study to evaluate the effectiveness of calcium, vitamin D, and/or hormones in offsetting the higher fracture risks for women experiencing early menopause. Based on an evaluation of nearly 22,000 women included in the WHI trials, women aged younger than 40 years already in menopause had significantly higher risks for fracture than women who experienced menopause between the ages of 40 and 49 or after 50, regardless of treatment intervention.

Although the findings are disappointing for women experiencing an early onset of menopause, the study did open the door to a number of questions and possibilities. For example, women with early menopause are candidates for hormone therapy until at least the average age of menopause (52 years) to reduce the risks of heart disease, osteoporosis, and cognitive and mood changes. It is possible that earlier initiation of treatment for those with early menopause with calcium, vitamin D, or hormones; more appropriate dosing of young women, longer duration of treatment; or longer duration of follow-up could provide better bone protection and ultimately reduce fracture risk.

“This study highlights the need for healthcare providers to take into consideration a woman’s age at menopause onset when evaluating patients for fracture risk,” says Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, NAMS executive director. “Women at risk for bone loss need 1,200 mg of calcium per day, with adequate vitamin D, and encouraged to get as much as possible through diet due to concern that too much supplemental calcium may increase atherosclerotic plaque in women. Women with early menopause should discuss whether they are candidates for hormone therapy with their providers, appropriate amount of calcium, vitamin D and hormones.”


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Materials provided by North American Menopause Society (NAMS). Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


North American Menopause Society (NAMS). “Link between early menopause, higher risk of fracture, new study confirms.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 November 2016. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161102155224.htm.

Researchers find Vitamin B3 beneficial for pregnant women to treat preeclampsia, prevent strokes

Vitamin B3 nicotinamide may help treat pregnant women who suffer from preeclampsia by preventing strokes and in some cases, even stimulating the growth of their fetus, research indicates.

Scientists in Japan and the US have found that vitamin B3 nicotinamide may help treat pregnant women who suffer from preeclampsia by preventing strokes and in some cases, even stimulating the growth of their fetus.

Up to 8% of pregnant women suffer from preeclampsia, a deadly disease characterized by high blood pressure, blood vessel damage, high levels of protein in the urine and fluid retention that causes swelling in the legs and feet. In some cases, preeclampsia is also believed to restrict a fetus’ growth.

Blood pressure-lowering drugs do not improve blood vessel damage. In fact, they reduce blood supply to the babies, which could lead to fetal death.

Until now, the only treatment for preeclampsia-affected pregnant women has been delivery of the baby. Now, researchers at Tohoku University, in collaboration with US scientists, have found that nicotinamide — also referred to as Vitamin B3 — relieves preeclampsia in mouse models. Moreover, they have also discovered that nicotinamide can even improve fetal growth in mothers with preeclampsia.

“We had previously shown that endothelin, a strong vessel narrowing hormone, worsens preeclampsia. But inhibiting the hormone is harmful to the babies,” says Associate Professor Nobuyuki Takahashi of Tohoku University’s Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, who co-led the study.

“In contrast, nicotinamide is generally safe to mothers and babies, corrects the blood vessel narrowing effect of endothelin, and reduces stress to the babies. Accordingly, we evaluated the effects of nicotinamide using two mouse models of preeclampsia caused by different mechanisms.”

The researchers concluded that nicotinamide is the first safe drug that lowers blood pressure, reduces urine protein and alleviates blood vessel damage in preeclampsia-affected mice. The researchers went on to show that in many cases, nicotinamide also prevents miscarriage, prolongs pregnancy period and improves the growth of the babies in mice with preeclampsia.

“Nicotinamide merits evaluation for preventing and treating preeclampsia in humans,” says Oliver Smithies, a Weatherspoon Eminent Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Smithies is a Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine, and co-leader of this study.

The research team hopes that if the treatment works in humans, nicotinamide could help treat preeclampsia and prevent fetal growth restriction associated with the disease in pregnant women.

Journal Reference:

  1. Feng Li, Tomofumi Fushima, Gen Oyanagi, H. W. Davin Townley-Tilson, Emiko Sato, Hironobu Nakada, Yuji Oe, John R. Hagaman, Jennifer Wilder, Manyu Li, Akiyo Sekimoto, Daisuke Saigusa, Hiroshi Sato, Sadayoshi Ito, J. Charles Jennette, Nobuyo Maeda, S. Ananth Karumanchi, Oliver Smithies, Nobuyuki Takahashi. Nicotinamide benefits both mothers and pups in two contrasting mouse models of preeclampsia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2016; 113 (47): 13450 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1614947113

Read this article on Science daily:  “Potential treatment for pregnant women who suffer from preeclampsia found in a vitamin.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 December 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/12/161219100556.htm>.

New study takes on age-based mammography cut-off guidelines

As of December 2015, 410 mammography facilities in 39 states across the United States have already registered to be part of the National Mammography Database (NMD).
Credit: Radiological Society of North America

 In the largest-ever study on screening mammography outcomes, researchers found that there is no clear cut-off age to stop breast cancer screening. The findings were presented in November at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). This research adds support for guidelines that encourage screening decisions based on individual patients and their health status.

Mammography is the standard imaging exam for breast cancer screening. Guidelines on what age to stop breast cancer screening have been a source of controversy and confusion in recent years. In 2009, the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released new guidelines which stated there was not enough evidence to assess the balance of benefits and harms of screening mammography in women aged 75 years or older.

“All prior randomized, controlled trials excluded women older than 75, limiting available data to small observational studies,” said Cindy S. Lee, M.D., assistant professor in residence at the University of California, San Francisco. “There has been a lot of controversy, debate and conversation regarding the different breast cancer screening guidelines, even among major national organizations, over the past few years.”

Using data from the National Mammography Database, Dr. Lee and her research team analyzed data from over 5.6 million screening mammograms performed over a 7-year period between January 2008 and December 2014 in 150 facilities across 31 states in the U.S. The research team looked at patient demographics, screening mammography results and biopsy results. Data from over 2.5 million women over age 40 were sorted into patient groups by age in 5-year intervals (40-44, 45-49, etc.).

Four standard performance metrics were calculated to evaluate the performance of screening mammography for each age group: cancer detection rate, recall rate, positive predictive value for biopsy recommended (PPV2) and biopsy performed (PPV3). Recall rate is the percentage of patients called back for follow-up testing after a screening exam. Positive predictive value reflects the percentage of cancers found among exams for which biopsy was recommended or performed. Ideal screening performances would have a higher cancer detection rate, PPV2 and PPV3, and a low recall rate.

Overall, researchers found mean cancer detection rate of 3.74 per 1,000 patients, recall rate of 10 percent, PPV2 of 20 percent and PPV3 of 29 percent. Based on increasing age from 40 to 90 years old, these performance metrics demonstrated a gradual upward trend for cancer detection rate, PPV2 and PPV3, but a downward trend in recall rate.

“The continuing increase of cancer detection rate and positive predictive values in women between the ages of 75 and 90 does not provide evidence for age-based mammography cessation,” Dr. Lee said.

The findings lend support to the argument that the decision whether or not to stop screening should be informed by an individual’s personal health history and preferences.

“We know that the risk of breast cancer increases with age,” Dr. Lee said. “With the uncertainty and controversy about what age to stop breast cancer screening, we want to address this gap in knowledge using a large national database.”


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Materials provided by Radiological Society of North America. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Read this article on Science Daily: www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161128132213.htm

Women who have their last baby after 35 are mentally sharper in old age

Participants in the study were tested on verbal memory, attention and concentration, and visual perception

mom

A new study has found that women have better brainpower after menopause if they had their last baby after age 35, used hormonal contraceptives for more than 10 years or began their menstrual cycle before turning 13.

This is the first study to investigate the association between age at last pregnancy, which can be a marker of a later surge of pregnancy-related hormones, and cognitive function in later life, said Roksana Karim, lead author of the study and assistant professor of clinical preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

“Based on the findings, we would certainly not recommend that women wait until they’re 35 to close their family, but the study provides strong evidence that there is a positive association between later age at last pregnancy and late-life cognition.”

Postmenopausal women who had their last pregnancy after 35 had better verbal memory. Those who had their first pregnancy when they were 24 or older had significantly better executive function, which includes attention control, working memory, reasoning and problem solving.

The main hormones at play are estrogen and progesterone. In animal studies, estrogen has a beneficial impact on brain chemistry, function and structure; progesterone is linked with growth and development of brain tissue, Karim said.

The study, published this month in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, includes 830 women who, on average, were 60 years old. The data was adjusted for age, race and ethnicity, income and education.

Participants were given a series of tests that included assessments of verbal memory (remembering a list of words or retelling a story after some distraction), psychomotor speed, attention and concentration, planning, visual perception and memory.

Previous research has shown that many women experience brainpower and memory declines in their postmenopausal years. An outpouring of estrogen and progesterone, especially in later life, appears to be beneficial, Karim said.

Pregnancy, the pill and more hormones

The study found that other reproductive events were also important to later life cognition. More time between first and last period — longer reproductive life — proved valuable for executive function.

“Starting your period early means you have higher levels of the female sex hormone being produced by the ovaries,” Karim said. “Girls are receiving the optimal levels early, so it’s possible that their brain structures are better developed compared to those who are exposed to estrogen levels associated with menstrual cycles at a later age.”

Use of the pill or other hormonal contraceptives for at least 10 years was beneficial for verbal memory and critical thinking ability.

“Oral contraceptives maintain and sustain a stable level of sex hormones in our blood stream,” Karim said. “Stable is good.”

Women who didn’t carry their pregnancy to term and those who gave birth to two children had better overall cognitive ability, verbal memory and executive function when compared to women who had only one full-term pregnancy.

“The finding that even incomplete pregnancies are beneficial was novel and surprising,” said Wendy Mack, the study’s senior author and professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine. “In general, our findings are intriguing and are supported by other clinical studies and animal studies.”

In humans, however, previous studies have shown that “pregnancy brain” exists, meaning researchers found that pregnant women have poorer verbal memory, word fluency and word-list learning when compared to non-pregnant women.

“The issue is the human studies haven’t followed women for the long term,” Mack said. “They just looked at women during pregnancy. We are not sure if we can expect to detect a positive estrogen effect at that point, as the many bodily changes and psycho-social stressors during pregnancy also can impact women’s cognitive and emotional functions.”

The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health and included data from two clinical trials: Women’s Isoflavone Soy Health and Early vs. Late Intervention Trial of Estradiol.


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Materials provided by University of Southern California. Original written by Zen Vuong. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 November 2016.  www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161117150032.htm

Who has better memory recall: men or women?

woman-thinkingIn the battle of the sexes, women have long claimed that they can remember things better and longer than men can. A new study proves that middle-aged women outperform age-matched men on all memory measures, although memory does decline as women enter postmenopause. The study is being published online in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).

Memory loss, unfortunately, is a well-documented consequence of the aging process. Epidemiological estimates suggest that approximately 75% of older adults report memory-related problems. Women report increased forgetfulness and “brain fog” during the menopause transition. In addition, women are disproportionately at risk for memory impairment and dementia compared with men. Despite these conditions working against them, middle-aged women still outscore their similarly aged male counterparts on all memory measures, according to the study.

The cross-sectional study of 212 men and women aged 45 to 55 years assessed episodic memory, executive function, semantic processing, and estimated verbal intelligence through cognitive testing. Associative memory and episodic verbal memory were assessed using a Face-Name Associative Memory Exam and Selective Reminding Test.

In addition to comparing sex differences, the study also found that premenopausal and perimenopausal women outperformed postmenopausal women in a number of key memory areas. Declines in estradiol levels in postmenopausal women were specifically associated with lower rates of initial learning and retrieval of previously recalled information, while memory storage and consolidation were maintained.

“Brain fog and complaints of memory issues should be taken seriously,” says Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, NAMS executive director. “This study and others have shown that these complaints are associated with memory deficits.”


Story Source:

Materials provided by The North American Menopause Society (NAMS). Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Dorene M. Rentz, Blair K. Weiss, Emily G. Jacobs, Sara Cherkerzian, Anne Klibanski, Anne Remington, Harlyn Aizley, Jill M. Goldstein. Sex differences in episodic memory in early midlife. Menopause, 2016; 1 DOI: 10.1097/GME.0000000000000771

The North American Menopause Society (NAMS). “Who has the better memory, men or women?.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 November 2016. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161109112447.htm.

The Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group of Santa Rosa focuses on Gestational Diabetes for National Diabetes Month

Dr. Lela Emad shares insight into gestational diabetes and what pregnant women need to consider when it comes to diabetes to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

November is National Diabetes Month and is observed every year to bring attention to diabetes and its impact on millions of Americans. As part of this year’s theme Managing Diabetes – It’s Not Easy, But It’s Worth It the Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group is focusing on Gestational diabetes, a form of glucose intolerance that is diagnosed during pregnancy.

Nationally, about seven to 14 percent of all pregnant women develop gestational diabetes. And, according to the California Diabetes and Pregnancy Program, ethnic groups such as African American, Asian American, East Indian, Latina/Hispanic and Native American are more vulnerable to developing gestational diabetes, as are women who are overweight or have type 2 diabetes in the family.

“Diabetic women have more risk for complications both during and after pregnancy,” explains Dr. Emad. “It is important for pregnant women who know they have diabetes to manage symptoms, and for all women either pregnant or considering pregnancy to get checked for diabetes to avoid any potential complications.”

Gestational diabetes also increases the risk that the mother and the baby may develop type 2 diabetes later in life. Additional complications to pregnant women due to diabetes can include:

  • high blood pressure
  • eye disease
  • kidney disease
  • too much weight gain
  • severe hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
  • diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA)

Babies can also be at risk for complications including; high birth weight, birth defects, delivery complications and jaundice. Diabetes can lead to higher rates of miscarriage and stillbirth, so it is very important to manage symptoms early in the pregnancy under the care of a healthcare provider. Ongoing treatment is necessary to bring maternal blood glucose to normal levels and to help avoid any potential complications for the baby.

Managing Diabetes

Following a well-balanced, healthy diet is an important component to a healthy pregnancy and for women with diabetes, diet plays an especially important role. Not eating properly can cause glucose levels to fluctuate from too high or too low, which can result in some fairly serious symptoms. Glucose levels can be controlled with a combination of eating right, exercising and taking medications as directed by a health care provider. Check-ups may also need to be scheduled more frequently.

Hypoglycemia

Pregnant women with a history of diabetes, or who have developed gestational diabetes, are more likely to experience low blood glucose levels (hypoglycemia) and it usually occurs when skipping a meal, or when altering eating routines. Hypoglycemia can also manifest following vigorous exercise. Typical symptoms include; dizziness, sudden hunger, sweating, feeling shaky or general weakness.

 Exercise

Adopting and maintaining an exercise routine will help to support normal glucose levels. Exercise also helps to control weight; improves energy levels, aids sleep, and reduces symptoms including; backaches, constipation and bloating.

Medications During Pregnancy

Insulin dosages for women with pre-existing diabetes will usually increase during pregnant. Insulin is considered safe to use during pregnancy and does not cause birth defects.

Diabetes, Labor and Delivery

If problems with the pregnancy arise, labor may be induced prior to the due date. During labor, glucose levels are closely monitored. Occasionally insulin through an intravenous (IV) line may be required during labor.

Diabetes and Breastfeeding

Whether or not diabetes is a factor, experts highly recommend breastfeeding as it provides the baby the best means of nutrition and it is good for the mother as well. Breastfeeding can help reduce extra weight gained during pregnancy. It is also hailed by researchers for helping to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.

“Working with a specialist to manage blood sugar before and during pregnancy can be a life saver,” says Dr. Emad. “It an important measure to take to decrease the risk of complications, and to provide the best outcomes for both mother and baby.”

About the Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group

When thinking about having a baby, The Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group of providers encourages women to begin making healthy lifestyle changes one full year prior to trying to get pregnant. This process improves the chances of becoming pregnant soon after beginning to try, and prepares a woman’s body to provide the best environment for her infant.

For women who may be considering having a baby it’s important to schedule an appointment with a physician or certified nurse midwife to receive expert guidance from the start. The Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group strives to better the lives of all women with a holistic approach to women’s health. Visit our website to learn more or call 707-579-1102 to schedule an appointment.

New Study Reveals: Minimal exercise can prevent disease in menopausal women

Bicycle on the BeachPast research has indicated that metabolic function is critical for women to prevent cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes after they reach menopause. Now, according to new research from the University of Missouri, minimal exercise may be all it takes for postmenopausal women to better regulate insulin, maintain metabolic function and help prevent significant weight gain. These findings suggest that women can take a proactive approach and may not need to increase their physical activity dramatically to see significant benefits from exercise.

“Diseases and weight gain associated with metabolic dysfunction skyrocket after menopause,” said Vicki Vieira-Potter, assistant professor of nutrition and exercise physiology at MU. “The intent of this research was to determine what role exercise plays in protecting women, specifically less-active women, metabolically as they go through menopause.”

Vieira-Potter’s research team compared how exercise training maintained metabolic function in sedentary rats versus highly active rats. The rats were provided a running wheel which they could use as much or as little as they wanted. The sedentary rats only ran 1/5th of the distance as the highly active rats did; yet, the limited physical activity still maintained their metabolic function and normalized insulin levels. Moreover, the previously sedentary rats saw a 50 percent reduction in their fat tissue as a result of that small amount of exercise.

“These findings suggest that any physical activity, even just a small amount, can do wonders in terms of maintaining metabolic function,” Vieira-Potter said. “This is significant for postmenopausal women as they deal with weight gain associated with menopause as well as the increased risk for disease.”

Vieira-Potter says sedentary women can be proactive as they enter menopause by:

• Going on regular walks with friends;

• Taking the stairs rather than the elevator;

• Joining beginners’ fitness programs;

• Monitoring physical activity through use of fitness trackers.


Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Missouri Health. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Young-Min Park, Jaume Padilla, Jill A. Kanaley, Terese Zidon, Rebecca J. Welly, Steven L. Britton, Lauren G. Koch, John P. Thyfault, Frank W. Booth, Victoria J. Vieira-Potter. Voluntary Running Attenuates Metabolic Dysfunction in Ovariectomized Low-Fit Rats. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 2016; 1 DOI: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000001101

University of Missouri Health. “Minimal exercise can prevent disease, weight gain in menopausal women.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 October 2016. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161017142931.htm.

Hot in the news: Calcium supplements may damage the heart

A capsule with calcium supplement pills

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A study conducted by Johns Hopkins Medicine concluded that taking calcium in the form of supplements may raise the risk of plaque buildup in arteries and heart damage, although a diet high in calcium-rich foods appears be protective, say researchers at conclusion of their study that analyzed 10 years of medical tests on more than 2,700 people.

After analyzing 10 years of medical tests on more than 2,700 people in a federally funded heart disease study, researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine and elsewhere conclude that taking calcium in the form of supplements may raise the risk of plaque buildup in arteries and heart damage, although a diet high in calcium-rich foods appears be protective.

In a report on the research, published Oct. 10 in the Journal of the American Heart Association, the researchers caution that their work only documents an association between calcium supplements and atherosclerosis, and does not prove cause and effect.

But they say the results add to growing scientific concerns about the potential harms of supplements, and they urge a consultation with a knowledgeable physician before using calcium supplements. An estimated 43 percent of American adult men and women take a supplement that includes calcium, according the National Institutes of Health.

“When it comes to using vitamin and mineral supplements, particularly calcium supplements being taken for bone health, many Americans think that more is always better,” says Erin Michos, M.D., M.H.S., associate director of preventive cardiology and associate professor of medicine at the Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “But our study adds to the body of evidence that excess calcium in the form of supplements may harm the heart and vascular system.”

The researchers were motivated to look at the effects of calcium on the heart and vascular system because studies already showed that “ingested calcium supplements — particularly in older people — don’t make it to the skeleton or get completely excreted in the urine, so they must be accumulating in the body’s soft tissues,” says nutritionist John Anderson, Ph.D., professor emeritus of nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Global Public Health and a co-author of the report. Scientists also knew that as a person ages, calcium-based plaque builds up in the body’s main blood vessel, the aorta and other arteries, impeding blood flow and increasing the risk of heart attack.

The investigators looked at detailed information from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, a long-running research project funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, which included more than 6,000 people seen at six research universities, including Johns Hopkins. Their study focused on 2,742 of these participants who completed dietary questionnaires and two CT scans spanning 10 years apart.

The participants chosen for this study ranged in age from 45 to 84, and 51 percent were female. Forty-one percent were white, 26 percent were African-American, 22 percent were Hispanic and 12 percent were Chinese. At the study’s onset in 2000, all participants answered a 120-part questionnaire about their dietary habits to determine how much calcium they took in by eating dairy products; leafy greens; calcium-enriched foods, like cereals; and other calcium-rich foods. Separately, the researchers inventoried what drugs and supplements each participant took on a daily basis. The investigators used cardiac CT scans to measure participants’ coronary artery calcium scores, a measure of calcification in the heart’s arteries and a marker of heart disease risk when the score is above zero. Initially, 1,175 participants showed plaque in their heart arteries. The coronary artery calcium tests were repeated 10 years later to assess newly developing or worsening coronary heart disease.

For the analysis, the researchers first split the participants into five groups based on their total calcium intake, including both calcium supplements and dietary calcium. After adjusting the data for age, sex, race, exercise, smoking, income, education, weight, smoking, drinking, blood pressure, blood sugar and family medical history, the researchers separated out 20 percent of participants with the highest total calcium intake, which was greater than 1,400 milligrams of calcium a day. That group was found to be on average 27 percent less likely than the 20 percent of participants with the lowest calcium intake — less than 400 milligrams of daily calcium — to develop heart disease, as indicated by their coronary artery calcium test.

Next, the investigators focused on the differences among those taking in only dietary calcium and those using calcium supplements. Forty-six percent of their study population used calcium supplements.

The researchers again accounted for the same demographic and lifestyle factors that could influence heart disease risk, as in the previous analysis, and found that supplement users showed a 22 percent increased likelihood of having their coronary artery calcium scores rise higher than zero over the decade, indicating development of heart disease.

“There is clearly something different in how the body uses and responds to supplements versus intake through diet that makes it riskier,” says Anderson. “It could be that supplements contain calcium salts, or it could be from taking a large dose all at once that the body is unable to process.”

Among participants with highest dietary intake of calcium — over 1,022 milligrams per day — there was no increase in relative risk of developing heart disease over the 10-year study period.

“Based on this evidence, we can tell our patients that there doesn’t seem to be any harm in eating a heart-healthy diet that includes calcium-rich foods, and it may even be beneficial for the heart,” says Michos. “But patients should really discuss any plan to take calcium supplements with their doctor to sort out a proper dosage or whether they even need them.”

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, coronary heart disease kills over 370,000 people each year in the U.S. More than half of women over 60 take calcium supplements — many without the oversight of a physician — because they believe it will reduce their risk of osteoporosis.


Story Source:

Materials provided by Johns Hopkins Medicine. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. John J.B. Anderson, Bridget Kruszka, Joseph A.C. Delaney, Ka He, Gregory L. Burke, Alvaro Alonso, Diane E. Bild, Matthew Budoff, Erin D. Michos. Calcium Intake From Diet and Supplements and the Risk of Coronary Artery Calcification and its Progression Among Older Adults: 10‐Year Follow‐up of the Multi‐Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Journal of the American Heart Association, 2016; 5 (10): e003815 DOI: 10.1161/JAHA.116.003815

Johns Hopkins Medicine. “Calcium supplements may damage the heart.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 October 2016. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161011182621.htm.

Experts recommend Acupuncture to reduces hot flashes for some women

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menopause-smHot flashes — the bane of existence for many women during menopause — can be reduced in frequency by almost half for about 50 percent of women over eight weeks of acupuncture treatment, according to scientists at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

In a study published in the Sept. 28 issue of the journal Menopause, scientists reported that about half the women in the study reduced the frequency of hot flashes, while half did not.”Women bothered by hot flashes and night sweats may want to give acupuncture a try as a relatively low-cost, low-risk treatment,” said Nancy Avis, Ph.D., lead author of the study and professor of Public Health Sciences at Wake Forest School of Medicine, a part of Wake Forest Baptist. “Women will know pretty quickly if acupuncture will work for them. Women who had a reduction in their hot flashes saw a benefit beginning after about three to four weeks of weekly treatments.

“The National Institutes of Health-funded study was designed to examine different patterns of responses to acupuncture. Participants included 209 perimenopausal and postmenopausal women ages 45 to 60 who had on average at least four hot flashes or night sweats per day. Women were randomized to receive up to 20 acupuncture treatments within six months or to a control group.

Of the 170 women who received acupuncture, a small group of women (11.9 percent) had an 85 percent reduction in hot flashes by the eighth week of the study, Avis said. Forty-seven percent of the study group reported a 47 percent reduction over this same time frame. However, 37 percent showed only a minimal reduction of 9.6 percent in frequency of hot flashes, while 4 percent reported a 100 percent increase in hot flashes.

“We had hoped to identify some of the characteristics of the women who benefitted from acupuncture, but like so many treatments, we could not really tell ahead of time who would benefit,” Avis said.


Story Source:Materials provided by Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Nancy E. Avis, Remy R. Coeytaux, Beverly Levine, Scott Isom, Timothy Morgan. Trajectories of response to acupuncture for menopausal vasomotor symptoms. Menopause, 2016; 1 DOI: 10.1097/GME.0000000000000735

 

“Acupuncture reduces hot flashes for half of women, study finds.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 September 2016. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/09/160928141719.htm