This weekend in Philadelphia, PA doctors from around the globe will gather at the American Heart Association’s annual Scientific Sessions. The three-day conference attracts Nobel laureates, world renown researchers and healthcare providers to shape the future of cardiovascular science and medicine. Two researchers from New York City are among those whose work is expected to gather national interest.
In one presentation by Nour Makarem, Ph.D from Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, she studies the link between heart health and eating later in the evening. She highlights that women who consumed a higher portion of their daily caloric intake later in the day were more likely to be at greater risk for cardiovascular disease than women who did not.
“So far, lifestyle approaches to prevent heart disease have focused on what we eat and how much we eat,” said lead study author Nour Makarem, Ph.D. “These preliminary results indicate that intentional eating that is mindful of the timing and proportion of calories in evening meals may represent a simple, modifiable behavior that can help lower heart disease risk.”
Researchers found that while most study participants consumed some food after 6 p.m., those who consumed a higher proportion of their daily calories after this time had poorer heart health. Specifically, women who consumed more of their calories after 6 p.m. were more likely to have higher blood pressure, higher body mass index and poorer long-term control of blood sugar.
With every 1% increase in calories consumed after 6 p.m., heart health declined. Similar findings occurred with every 1% increase in calories consumed after 8 p.m.
The American Heart Association funded the study through its Go Red For Women Strategically Focused Research Network initiative.
Another presentation from New York City looked at social support and its link heart health in transgender and gender-nonconforming adults. Billy A. Caceres, Ph.D., R.N., lead author of the study and assistant professor in the Program for the Study of LGBT Health at the Columbia University School of Nursing in New York says his findings are important because they suggest that social support might protect against the negative heart disease and stroke effects of discrimination in the trans community.
He observed that having strong social support may help offset heart and stroke risk factors caused by discrimination. Higher levels of discrimination and internalized transphobia were linked with higher rates of risky drinking and lower sleep duration. However, greater levels of social support raised the odds of getting enough sleep by half, increased odds of getting adequate exercise by almost a third and weakened the link between discrimination and sleep duration.
“It’s important for healthcare professionals to ask these patients about their exposure to these types of stressors, hormone use and whether they have adequate social support,” Caceres said.
For more information about Scientific Sessions 2019 in Philadelphia please visit our website.
Diego is the Communications Director for the American Heart Association in New York City. He loves sharing powerful stories that inspire people to take control of their health.