Health News – A new study shows how heart attack survivors are at a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Its researchers attribute this reduced risk to ‘classic’ causes of heart attack, like smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, etc.
A new study shows that heart attack survivors are less vulnerable to Parkinson’s disease (PD).
The researchers, at the Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark, have attributed this low vulnerability of heart attack patients to PD to classic risk factors of heart attack, like smoking habits and high cholesterol levels.
The researchers examined health registries from the Danish National Health Service. They surveyed 182,000 patients with a history of heart attacks between 1995 and 2016. They compared the participants’ risk of PD and secondary parkinsonism with a control group of another 909,000 participants—matching them on the basis of age, sex, and year of heart attack diagnosis.
The study implemented a maximum continual follow-up of 21 years and adjusted a variety of factors that influenced the risk of either heart attack or Parkinson’s disease.
The findings, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, show that, among heart attack patients, there is a 20% lower risk of Parkinson’s disease and a 28% lower risk of secondary parkinsonism.
The researchers admitted that these results were “surprising”, in view of earlier studies that established shared risk factors between heart attack and PD. But, the new study claims that the classic causes of heart diseases are associated with a lower risk of PD. These include high cholesterol levels, Type 2 diabetes, smoking, and high blood pressure.
The researchers were enthusiastic that this study can help harness the ‘positive effects’ of heart attacks in the treatment methods of diseases like PD and ulcerative colitis. However, the researchers still maintained that smoking is injurious to health.
One of the lead researchers, Jens Sundbøll, said, “Smoking increases the risk of the most common diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease and pulmonary disease and is definitely not good for your health.”
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Sundbøll, J., Szépligeti, S. K., Szentkúti, P., Adelborg, K., Horváth-Puhó, E., Pedersen, L., Henderson, V. W., & Sørensen, H. T. (2022). Risk of Parkinson Disease and Secondary Parkinsonism in Myocardial Infarction Survivors. Journal of the American Heart Association, 11(5), e022768. https://doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.121.022768