[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Constipation is common in Western societies, accounting for 2.5 million physician visits/year in the US. Because many factors predisposing to constipation also are risk factors for cardiovascular disease, we hypothesized that constipation may be associated with increased risk of cardiovascular events.
We conducted a secondary analysis in 93,676 women enrolled in the observational arm of the Women's Health Initiative. Constipation was evaluated at baseline by a self-administered questionnaire. Estimates of the risk of cardiovascular events (cumulative end point including mortality from coronary heart disease, myocardial infarction, angina, coronary revascularization, stroke, and transient ischemic attack) were derived from Cox proportional hazards models adjusted for demographics, risk factors, and other clinical variables (median follow-up 6.9 years).
The analysis included 73,047 women. Constipation was associated with increased age, African American and Hispanic descent, smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol, family history of myocardial infarction, hypertension, obesity, lower physical activity levels, lower fiber intake, and depression. Women with moderate and severe constipation experienced more cardiovascular events (14.2 and 19.1 events/1000 person-years, respectively) compared with women with no constipation (9.6/1000 person-years). After adjustment for demographics, risk factors, dietary factors, medications, frailty, and other psychological variables, constipation was no longer associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events except for the severe constipation group, which had a 23% higher risk of cardiovascular events.
In postmenopausal women, constipation is a marker for cardiovascular risk factors and increased cardiovascular risk. Because constipation is easily assessed, it may be a helpful tool to identify women with increased cardiovascular risk.
The American journal of medicine 06/2011; 124(8):714-23. · 4.47 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: High sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP) is a marker of acute inflammation recently recognized as an independent predictor of future cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The identification of modifiable factors, such as diet, that influence serum CRP concentrations may provide the means for reducing the risk of these diseases. Data on longitudinal associations between dietary fiber intake and CRP are currently lacking.
The purpose of this study was to examine longitudinal associations between dietary fiber intake and CRP.
Data collection took place at baseline and quarterly (every 13 wk) thereafter for a total of 5 visits, each including measurements of body composition, CRP, diet, and physical activity. Relations between serum CRP and dietary fiber were assessed by using linear mixed models and logistic regression, adjusted for covariates.
A total of 524 subjects had multiple measurements of CRP and dietary factors. The average total dietary fiber intake was 16.11 g/d. Average serum CRP was 1.78 mg/L. We observed an inverse association between intake of total dietary fiber (separately for soluble and insoluble fiber) and CRP concentrations in both cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses. The likelihood of elevated CRP concentrations was 63% lower (OR: 0.37; 95% CI: 0.16, 0.87) in participants in the highest quartile of total fiber intake than in participants in the lowest quartile.
Our results suggest that dietary fiber is protective against high CRP, which supports current recommendations for a diet high in fiber.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 05/2006; 83(4):760-6. · 6.50 Impact Factor