Today’s Headlines: Potential Vitamin D Benefits for Your Heart, The Link Between Endometriosis and Heart Disease, and How Climate Change May Affect Your Overall Health

Vitamin D might be able to help people with heart problems. In a recent study, vitamin D supplements were shown to improve the health in older people with heart issues. “And researchers measured the impact on heart failure – a condition in which the heart becomes too weak to pump blood properly. The key measure was the ejection fraction, the amount of blood pumped out of the chambers of the heart with each beat. In a healthy adult, the figure is between 60% and 70%, but only a quarter of the blood in the heart was being successfully pumped out in the heart failure patients. But in those taking the vitamin pills, the ejection fraction increased from 26% to 34%.The study also showed the patients’ hearts became smaller – a suggestion they are becoming more powerful and efficient. ” The reason vitamin D supplements were effective was unclear and more research needs to be done. (BBC)

Endometriosis may increase a woman’s risk for heart disease. Endometriosis is a condition that affects around 10% of pre-menopausal women and now may have other implications besides pain in the uterine area and fertility issues. “The analysis…included 116,430 women free of heart disease and stroke at the start of the study. By the end of a 20-year follow-up period, 11,903 of the women had been given a diagnosis of endometriosis…they found that women with endometriosis were 52 percent more likely to have had a heart attack, 91 percent more likely to have had angina and 35 percent more likely to have undergone coronary surgery.” Since the study had a fairly large number of participants over a long period of time the results were considered significant. (NYT)

Climate change may boost the amount of U.S. deaths and health problems within the next 25 years. There is growing concern about environmental changes and its effects on people’s health in the future. “Heat waves were estimated to cause 670 to 1,300 U.S. deaths annually in recent years. Premature U.S. deaths from heat waves can be expected to rise more than 27,000 per year by 2100…Extreme heat can cause more forest fires and increase pollen counts and the resulting poor air quality threatens people with asthma and other lung conditions. The report said poor air quality will likely lead to hundreds of thousands of premature deaths, hospital visits, and acute respiratory illness each year by 2030.” While these predictions are circumstantial, President Obama has called for a reduction in carbon emissions in response to these health concerns. (Reuters)