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first_imgIt is well known that a healthy lifestyle — not smoking, avoiding excess weight, and getting regular exercise — can reduce the risk of heart disease. But what about people who have inherited gene variants known to increase risk?A study led by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators has found that, even among those at high genetic risk, leading a healthy lifestyle can cut in half the probability of a heart attack or similar event. The report received early online publication in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with a presentation at the American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions.“The basic message of our study is that DNA is not destiny,” said senior author Sekar Kathiresan, director of the Center for Human Genetic Research at MGH and an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS). “Many individuals — both physicians and members of the general public — have looked on genetic risk as unavoidable, but for heart attack that does not appear to be the case.”The multi-institutional research team analyzed genetic and clinical data from more than 55,000 participants in four large-scale studies. Three of these — the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study, the Women’s Genome Health Study, and the Malmö Diet and Cancer Study — are prospective studies that have followed participants for up to 20 years. The fourth, the BioImage Study, assessed a variety of risk factors, including the presence of atherosclerotic plaques in the coronary arteries when participants joined the initiative.Each participant in the current analysis was assigned a genetic risk score, based on whether they carried any of 50 gene variants that previous studies had associated with elevated heart attack risk. Based on data gathered when participants entered each study, the investigators used four AHA-defined lifestyle factors — no current smoking; lack of obesity, defined as a body mass index less than 30; physical exercise at least once a week; and a healthy dietary pattern — to determine whether participants had a favorable (three or four healthy factors), intermediate (two), or unfavorable lifestyle score.For participants in the prospective studies, the researchers investigated how each individual’s genetic risk score and lifestyle factors related to the incidence of heart attack, the need for procedures designed to open blocked coronary arteries, or sudden cardiac death. Among participants in the BioImage study, genetic and lifestyle factors were compared to the extent of atherosclerotic disease in the coronary arteries at baseline.Across all three prospective studies, a higher genetic risk score significantly increased the incidence of coronary events — as much as 90 percent in those at highest risk. While known risk factors such as a family history and elevated LDL cholesterol were also associated with an elevated genetic risk score, genetic risk was the most powerful contributor to cardiac risk. Each healthy lifestyle factor reduced risk. The unfavorable lifestyle group also had higher levels of hypertension, diabetes, and other known risk factors upon entering the studies.Within each risk category, the presence of lifestyle factors significantly altered the risk of coronary events to such an extent that following a favorable lifestyle could reduce the incidence of coronary events by 50 percent in those with the highest genetic risk scores. Among participants in the BioImage study, both genetic and lifestyle factors were independently associated with levels of calcium-containing plaque in the coronary arteries, and healthy lifestyle factors were associated with less extensive plaque within each genetic risk group.“Some people may feel they cannot escape a genetically determined risk for heart attack, but our findings indicate that following a healthy lifestyle can powerfully reduce genetic risk,” says Kathiresan.“Now we need to investigate whether specific lifestyle factors have stronger impacts and conduct studies in more diverse populations, since most of the participants in these studies are white.”last_img read more

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first_imgBy ShareAmerica December 06, 2019 Despite shutting down the internet and other cover-up efforts, Iran’s regime is well known for its brutality. In the last two weeks of November, the regime has killed 161 protesters while suppressing the demonstrations of the Iranian people.Less well known is what happens after the regime’s thugs murder a citizen. Amnesty International reports that the government refused to return some victims’ bodies to their families and that government “security forces” have removed dead bodies from morgues and transferred them to unknown locations.The rights group also reports that some families of the deceased are being billed for the bullets used to kill their loved ones.“There are shocking reports that, when the authorities have returned victims’ bodies to their families, they have demanded payment citing several reasons, including the cost of the bullet that killed their loved one or compensation for property destroyed during the protests,” Amnesty International said in a November 29 statement.One Iranian official has denied the allegation. But Amnesty International says Iran’s regime has a history of harassing the families of its victims and that it is continuing in the current crackdown.“In a pattern consistent with previous protester killings, the authorities have threatened victims’ families with arrest if they hold funerals for their loved ones or to speak to media,” Amnesty International said.“The Iranian people are, once again, on the streets because of the regime’s poor economic management,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters November 26. “And instead of addressing their grievances, Tehran has responded with violence and by blaming those outside of the country.”“We will continue to sanction Iranian officials who are responsible for these human rights abuses,” Pompeo added.last_img read more

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first_imgWith the release of Madden 20 right around the corner, EA Sports has released the player ratings for the latest edition of the popular video game franchise.The rating system is based on a scale from one to 99. While no player in this year’s game is rated as low as a one (the lowest rated player is a 36), there are a select few who garnered the coveted 99-overall rating. MORE: Best defenses to use in ‘Madden 20’Bobby Wagner, MLB, Seattle SeahawksWagner rounds out the top four players in Madden 20. Seattle’s premier defender sports a 99 awareness rating like the other top four players, and has a well-balanced rating for speed (88), acceleration (89) and agility (85). His tackle (99), pursuit (99) and hit power (98) are also the best among all players featured in the game. It’s an exclusive club to join as players like Barry Sanders (2000), Ray Lewis (2002) and Peyton Manning (2006-11) have all received 99-overall ratings in past versions of the game.This year’s edition features four players rated 99 overall and for the first time since 2016, none of them are quarterbacks. Here’s a brief look at each player.MADDEN 20 REVIEW: The good, the bad and the new from EA SportsAaron Donald, DT, Los Angeles RamsDonald comes in as the top overall player in Madden 20. His strength and awareness are both rated at 99, while his acceleration ratings tops out at 90.His 97 rating in block shedding and 99 rating for power moves will make him a must-have player for any ultimate team.MORE: Best offenses to use in ‘Madden 20’DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston TexansHopkins is this year’s highest-rated wideout as he just barely edged out Antonio Brown (98 overall) for the top spot. The Texans’ top pass-catching target boasts a 92 rating in speed and agility to go along with his 99 rating for awareness. His acceleration speed rounds out at a 93. He also sports a 99 rating in jumping, catching, catching in traffic, spectacular catch and release.Khalil Mack, OLB, Chicago BearsThe Bears’ beast on the defensive line has an awareness rating of 99, much like Donald and Hopkins. However, it’s his quickness that really shines through; Mack’s speed, acceleration and agility ratings are 87, 89 and 88 respectively. All unbelievably high for a player at his position. last_img read more

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