American Heart Association

Editor's Note - February 2014

February is American Heart Month. The CDC estimates that 600,000 people die from heart disease in the United States every year—which translates to cardiovascular disease accounting for 1 in every 4 deaths.1 While the statistics are sobering, the good news is that heart disease is preventable and controllable. 

Primary care physicians are often the first line of defense when it comes to promoting good nutrition, regular exercise, and healthy habits to avoid heart disease. In honor of American Heart Month, Consultant360 has been offering insight into several new studies on simple steps to a better heart:

• Monitor adrenal tumors. Researchers documented cortisol concentrations in 198 patients with an andrenal incidentaloma.2 At the end of the 15-year study, 114 patients had stable non-secreting adrenal incidentaloma, 61 had either a stable intermediate phenotype or subclinical Cushing’s syndrome, and 23 had a worsening secretion pattern. The latter two groups were at a significantly higher risk of cardiovascular events as well as a lower survival rate for all-cause mortality.

• Increase fiber intake. Researchers studied 22 cohort studies to find that insoluble fiber and fiber from cereal and vegetable sources were inversely associated with risk of coronary heart and cardiovascular disease.3 Note: On average, intake of dietary fiber in the US is about half of what is advised. 

• Listen to more music. A new systematic review suggests a positive psychological impact of music interventions in people with coronary heart disease and a moderate effect on anxiety. People with myocardial infarction saw more consistent stress-reducing effects of music, while patients who selected their own music saw the greatest reduction in anxiety.4

• Spend more time out in the sun. When exposed to the sunlight, small amounts of nitric oxide, which is involved in the regulation of blood pressure, are transferred from the skin to circulation, lowering blood pressure without changing vitamin D levels.5

Visit the Acute Coronary Syndrome Medical Resource Center on to read these articles and much more—including studies on how boosting HDL may not lower risk of cardiovascular disease and how the amount of sitting time, irrespective of regular exercise, can impact the risk of heart failure. And while you are there, check out our other Medical Resource Centers too!


Pooja Shah

Managing Editor, Consultant and Consultant360


1.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. February is American Heart Month. 2014. Available at: Accessed February 10, 2014.

2.Musane A. Monitoring adrenal tumors for cardiovascular risk. Consultant360. 2014 Feb 3. Available at: Accessed February 10, 2014.

3.McGraw M. Greater fiber intake lowers coronary disease risk. 2014 Feb 2. Consultant360. Available at: Accessed February 10, 2014.

4.O’Brien A. Music reduces stress in coronary heart disease patients. Consultant360. 2014 Jan 22. Available at: Accessed February 10, 2014.

5.Potts M. Sun exposure can lower risk of heart attack. Consultant360. Available at: Accessed February 10, 2014.