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Framingham Heart Study

As the longest standing heart health study in the world, Framingham Heart Study, at Framingham, Massachusetts, continues to mine vast data for the last sixty years regarding the cause of heart trouble and care. The Framingham heart study has played a major role in identifying key risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

The first round of extensive physical examinations and lifestyle studies was conducted on 5,209 men and women who were healthy and ranging in ages 30 to 62 in the 1948. Since then, every two years, detailed medical history, physical examinations and diagnostic tests are carried out on the identified men and women folks. Participants in the study has been tracked using standardized biennial cardiovascular examination, daily surveillance of hospital admissions, information pertaining to death and information obtained from the physicians and sources outside the clinic.

In 1971, a second generation of 5,124 original participants' adult children and spouses were enrolled for similar examinations. Again in year 2002, enrollment of third generation participants, the grandchildren of the original cohort had begun. This is considered as a vital step to increase the understanding of heart disease and stroke and how these affect families. This third generation study was completed in July 2005 and it involved 4,095 participants.


Recently, the study has integrated new diagnostic technologies such as echocardiography, carotid artery ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging of heart and brain, CT scans of the heart and bone densitometry into the past and ongoing protocols. Framingham heart study, after decades of careful monitoring of the population has led to identification of major Cardiovascular Disease risk factors namely:



The Framingham heart study risk score was primarily designed to predict a 10-year risk for Coronary Heart Disease but subsequent analysis has revealed that the risk score is very effective in predicting the short term cumulative risk for CHD. This is also applicable in the context of competing risk of death from non coronary causes.

However, there are criticisms that the study's risk model does not perform well in predicting life time risk score in younger subjects. This is attributed to changes in risk factor status that occur over time. Rates of hypertension and diabetes seem to increase sharply with age and this may alter the long time risk of younger patients in an unpredictable manner.

DHEA

DHEA Dehydroepiandrosterone is a steroid hormone that is naturally produced by adrenal or the stress glands in the body. The dominant hormone in the body gets converted into other hormones such as estrogen, testosterone, progesterone and corticosterone.


DHEA levels are high in the 20s and early 30s, the average being about 25mg per day. The level declines with age. Besides the aging factor, decline in DHEA levels can be attributed to diseases such as end stage kidney disease, AIDS, anorexia, adrenal insufficiency and type 2 diabetes.

Intake of medications such as insulin, opiates, corticosteroids and danazol also contribute to DHEA depletion. DHEA - dehydroepiandrosterone (or Androstenolone as it is sometimes called) levels can be maintained through DHEA supplements under medical supervision. The dosage is to be determined by the healthcare provider. The benefits of DHEA supplementation includes improved immunological function, bone mineral density and sexual libido in women, reduced abdominal fat, diabetes prevention and cancer.


With specific reference to DHEA levels and heart health, data indicates that in men and women who die of heart disease, the DHEA levels are significantly less than others of the same age. The aim of DHEA level test is to measure the amount of hormone in the blood stream. When the levels are low, the endocrine function of the body is severely affected. Being the 'feel-good' hormone, a good level of DHEA contributes to a balanced mood.


Extensive research on DHEA levels suggests that healthy DHEA levels can prevent Alzheimer's disease, cancer, osteoporosis, depression, heart disease and obesity. Symptoms of low DHEA levels are extreme fatigue, decrease in muscle mass, decrease in bone density, depression, aching joints, loss of libido and lowered immunity. Doctors test DHEA levels as a diagnostic tool for varied reasons. The test results indicate specific disorders in men, women and children.


  • To check if the adrenal glands are working properly.

  • In women, the test is recommended if there is excessive hair growth or the appearance of male body characteristics.

  • In children who attain puberty at an abnormally early age, the DHEA level test is done to assess any gland disorder.

  • Prevalence of diseases and the process of aging can cause bone loss. By checking the DHEA levels, doctors can recommend measures to improve bone density.

  • Depression, anxiety and mood disorders are linked to hormonal imbalance. DHEA level test is a precursor to treating major depression.

  • Assessment of DHEA levels helps in taking measures to boost immune system.

  • Decreased libido is linked to lower DHEA levels.

  • Low levels of DHEA help predict HIV progression.

  • If afflicted with chronic fatigue syndrome, testing DHEA levels helps in taking necessary steps to improve the condition.

  • To assess if bone density is higher especially in women who have undergone menopause, DHEA level test is recommended.

  • Extensive research on DHEA indicates it as a predictive factor in diagnosing aging-related diseases.


Coenzyme Q10

Nutrient, antioxidant and vitamin-like compound Coenzyme Q 10 occurs naturally in the body. CoQ10 is present in all cells of our body. The highest amount of Coenzyme Q10 is present in mitochondria, the part of the cell where energy is produced. Cells use CoQ10 to produce energy the body needs for cell growth and maintenance. CoQ10 acts as an anti-oxidant, protects the body from damage caused by harmful molecules. It plays a critical role in the formation of ATP, the fundamental energy unit. CoQ10 plays a part in maintaining the proper pH of lysosomes, digestive component of cells.


Importance of Coenzyme Q10

Deficiency or lower levels of CoQ10 levels may result in low energy levels, physical and mental fatigue, chronic pain (frequent headaches, migraines, jaw pain or muscle and joint aches), gum disease, diabetes, increased risk of developing Fibromyalgia, a weak immune system, increased risk of heart disease and obesity and neurological disorders. Coenzyme Q10 helps in optimum functioning of the body as it has a role in producing ATP, a crucial chemical in human metabolism because the cells use it as a direct source of energy.

CoQ10 improves the effectiveness of exercise as it increases oxygen utilization and stimulates fat metabolism. Combining Coenzyme Q10 with regular aerobic exercise significantly improves fat release and thus assists in weight loss. For a healthy young skin, cells should continue energy production and extend the antioxidant power. Taking Coenzyme Q10 rejuvenates the cell's efficiency. The antioxidant property of Coenzyme Q10 acts against oxidative damage. It aids to get rid of dead skin cells and also help in the regeneration of the skin.


Coenzyme Q10 helps in fighting gum disease. Coenzyme Q10 helps maintain heart health. Intake of Coenzyme Q10 helps in normalizing blood pressure. Coenzyme Q10 ensures brain-cell energy production. The antioxidant property prevents damage from oxidative stress, an impact of aging. So, degenerative neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's, muscular dystrophy, Huntington's and Parkinson's disease are prevented. Also, as an antioxidant coenzyme Q10 protect DNA from oxidative damage, an early sign of cancerous growth.

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Bibliography / Reference

Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: October 18, 2019