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Archives Of Heart-watch-blog From Medicineworld.Org


June 13, 2010, 10:35 PM CT

Cancer risks of blood pressure medications

Cancer risks of blood pressure medications
University Hospitals Case Medical Center heart specialists have uncovered new research showing an increased risk of cancer with a group of blood pressure medications known as angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARBs).

This class of drugs is used by millions of patients not only for hypertension but also for heart failure, cardiovascular risk reduction and diabetic kidney disease.

University Hospitals Harrington-McLaughlin Heart & Vascular Institute's Drs. Ilke Sipahi, Daniel I. Simon and James C. Fang recently completed a meta-analysis of over 60,000 patients randomly assigned to take either an ARB or a control medication. Their findings are published online today at The Lancet Oncology

The scientists observed that patients randomized to ARBs has "significantly increased risk of new cancer" in comparison to control patients.

"We have found the risk of new cancers was increased with these medications by 8-11 percent," said Dr. Ilke Sipahi, associate director of heart failure and transplantation and assistant professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. "Most importantly, risk of lung cancer was increased by 25 percent".

However, the research did not establish any link between ARBs and other types of cancer such breast cancer.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


June 6, 2010, 8:39 PM CT

Remote control for cholesterol regulation

Remote control for cholesterol regulation
Circulation of cholesterol is regulated in the brain by the hunger-signaling hormone ghrelin, scientists say. The finding points to a new potential target for the pharmacologic control of cholesterol levels.

The animal study, led by Matthias Tschp, MD, professor in the University of Cincinnati (UC) endocrinology division, appears online ahead of print Sunday, June 6, 2010, in Nature Neuroscience

"We have long thought that cholesterol is exclusively regulated through dietary absorption or synthesis and secretion by the liver," says Tschp. "Our study shows for the first time that cholesterol is also under direct 'remote control' by specific neurocircuitry in the central nervous system".

The hormone ghrelin inhibits the melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4R) in the hypothalamus and is important for the regulation of food intake and energy expenditure. Tschp and his team observed that increased levels of ghrelin in mice caused the animals to develop increased levels of blood-circulating cholesterol. This, the authors say, is due to a reduction in the uptake of cholesterol by the liver.

The research team next tested the effects of genetically deleting or chemically blocking MC4R in the central nervous system. This test also yielded increased levels of cholesterol, suggesting that MC4R was the central element of the "remote control".........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


May 21, 2010, 7:11 AM CT

Breakthrough in heart disease prevention

Breakthrough in  heart disease prevention
The results of a major clinical study carried out at the Montreal Heart Institute (MHI) by Dr. Jean-Claude Tardif are now available in the journal Circulation Cardiovascular Imaging Dr. Tardif is a heart specialist and director of the MHI Research Centre, as well as a professor in the faculty of medicine and holder of the atherosclerosis research chair at the Universit de Montral.

The promising findings of this study on VIA-2291 a medicine developed by Via Pharmaceuticals, a San Francisco-based biotechnology firm relate to its capacity to effectively reduce inflammation, which can contribute to the formation and progression of atherosclerosis plaque and infarct.

"Up to now, standard therapys for patients with acute coronary syndrome (unstable angina and infarct) have not specifically reduced inflammation, an important component of atherosclerosis. However, research in recent years has allowed us to determine that the presence of inflammation increases significantly the risk of recurrence among these patients. The clinical study was conducted with about 200 patients, and the findings we're publishing show that VIA-2291 may finally offer the solution we need to target and reduce inflammation. In fact, these newly published data strongly support the assessment of VIA-2291 in larger outcome trials," said Dr. Tardif.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


April 2, 2010, 6:57 AM CT

Mapping heart disease

Mapping heart disease
Though heart disease is a major cause of disability and death, very little is understood about its genetic underpinnings. Recently, an international team of researchers at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (IMBA), Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham) and other organizations shed new light on the subject. Studying Drosophila (fruit flies), the team investigated 7061 genes and built a detailed map that shows how a portion of these genes contribute to heart function and disease. Importantly, the scientists identified a number of genes that had not previously been linked to heart disease. The research is being published as the cover story in the April 2 issue of Cell

Using RNAi technologywhich selectively knocks out genes so scientists can study their functionthe team found nearly 500 genes that when inhibited cause flies to experience heart problems while under stress. In particular, the team observed that a protein complex called CCR4-Not has a role in heart function. Turning off CCR4-Not complex genes caused heart muscle abnormalities (cardiomyopathies) in both flies and mice. These findings provide new insights into human health, as a common mutation in the human NOT3 gene is linked to a heart condition that often leads to lethal arrhythmias or sudden cardiac death.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


April 2, 2010, 6:55 AM CT

Imaging life as it happens

Imaging life as it happens
Kirill Larin, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at UH, works in his lab documenting the formation of the mammalian heart through a high-resolution, noninvasive imaging device, providing perhaps the best live imagery taken of the vital organ.

Credit: Mark Lacy

Imagine being able to image life as it happens by capturing video of the embryonic heart before it begins beating. A professor at the University of Houston, in collaboration with researchers at Baylor College of Medicine, is doing just that.

Kirill Larin, assistant professor of biomedical engineering in the Cullen College of Engineering at UH, and colleagues in the Texas Medical Center are documenting the formation of the mammalian heart through a high-resolution, non-invasive imaging device, providing perhaps the best live imagery taken of the vital organ.

"Everything we know about early development of the heart and formation of the vasculature system comes from in vitro studies of fixed tissue samples or studies of amphibian and fish embryos," Larin said. "With this technology, we are able to image life as it happens, see the heart beat in a mammal for the very first time." .

Using optical-coherence tomography (OCT), a technique that relies on a depth-resolved analysis created by the reflection of an infrared laser beam off an object, Larin and colleagues at Baylor College of Medicine's Dickinson Lab are using the technique to study what leads to cardiovascular abnormalities. Whereas ultrasound uses sound waves to create viewable, yet grainy, video images, OCT uses optical contrast and infrared broadband laser sources to help generate a real-time, high-resolution output.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


March 17, 2010, 8:19 PM CT

Feeling lonely adds to rate of blood pressure increase

Feeling lonely adds to rate of blood pressure increase
Chronic feelings of loneliness take a toll on blood pressure over time, causing a marked increase after four years, as per a newly released study at the University of Chicago.

A newly released study shows, for the first time, a direct relation between loneliness and larger increases in blood pressure four years latera link that is independent of age and other factors that could cause blood pressure to rise, including body-mass index, smoking, alcohol use and demographic differences such as race and income.

The scientists also looked at the possibility that depression and stress might account for the increase but observed that those factors did not fully explain the increase in blood pressure among lonely people 50 years and older.

"Loneliness behaved as though it is a unique health-risk factor in its own right," wrote researcher Louise Hawkley in an article, "Loneliness Predicts Increased Blood Pressure," reported in the current issue of the journal Psychology and Aging

Hawkley, Senior Research Scientist with the Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience, is part of a University of Chicago research team that has been doing pioneering work on the impact of loneliness on health and quality of life issues. It includes Ronald Thisted, Chairman of Health Studies; Christopher Masi, Assistant Professor in Medicine; and John Cacioppo, the Tiffany & Margaret Blake Distinguished Service Professor in Psychology.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


March 14, 2010, 7:58 PM CT

Vitamin D and atherosclerosis

Vitamin D and atherosclerosis
Vitamin D is quickly becoming the "go-to" remedy for treating a wide range of illnesses, from osteoporosis to atherosclerosis. However, new evidence from a Wake Forest University School of Medicine study suggests that supplementing vitamin D in those with low levels may have different effects based on patient race and, in black individuals, the supplement could actually do harm.

The study is the first to show a positive relationship between calcified plaque in large arteries, a measure of atherosclerosis or "hardening of the arteries," and circulating vitamin D levels in black patients. It appears in the recent issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism

"In black patients, lower levels of vitamin D may not signify deficiency to the same extent as in whites," said the study's lead investigator, Barry I. Freedman, M.D., John H. Felts III Professor and chief of the section on nephrology at the School of Medicine "We should use caution when supplementing vitamin D in black patients while we investigate if we are actually worsening calcium deposition in the arteries with therapy".

Vitamin D is widely used to treat patients with osteoporosis and/or low vitamin D levels based on a medically accepted normal range. This "normal" range is typically applied to all race groups, eventhough it was established predominantly in whites. It is thought that as low vitamin D levels rise to the normal range with supplementation, protection from bone and heart disease (atherosclerosis) may increase, as well.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


March 9, 2010, 8:24 AM CT

'Biological bypass' for heart disease

'Biological bypass' for heart disease
A new method of growing arteries could lead to a "biological bypass"or a non-invasive way to treat coronary artery disease, Yale School of Medicine scientists report with their colleagues in the recent issue of Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Coronary arteries can become blocked with plaque, leading to a decrease in the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart. Over time this blockage can lead to debilitating chest pain or heart attack. Severe blockages in multiple major vessels may require coronary artery bypass graft surgery, a major invasive surgery.

"Successfully growing new arteries could provide a biological option for patients facing bypass surgery," said main author of the study Michael Simons, M.D., chief of the Section of Cardiology at Yale School of Medicine.

In the past, scientists used growth factorsproteins that stimulate the growth of cellsto grow new arteries, but this method was unsuccessful. Simons and his team studied mice and zebrafish to see if they could simulate arterial formation by switching on and off two signaling pathwaysERK1/2 and P13K.

"We observed that there is a cross-talk between the two signaling pathways. One half of the signaling pathway inhibits the other. When we inhibit this mechanism, we are able to grow arteries," said Simons. "Instead of using growth factors, we stopped the inhibitor mechanism by using a drug that targets a particular enzyme called P13-kinase inhibitor".........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


February 25, 2010, 1:22 AM CT

Antibodies linked to cardiovascular disease

Antibodies linked to cardiovascular disease
A study by scientists in Australia and the United Kingdom suggests that autoantibodies to fat binding proteins significantly increase in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients with active disease. This increase in anti-apolipoprotein (anti-Apo A-I), anti-high-density lipoprotein (anti-HDL), and anti-C-reactive protein (anti-CRP) may contribute to the development of atherosclerosis in SLE patients, placing them at risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Complete findings of this study are available in the recent issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism, published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the American College of Rheumatology.

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease where the immune system creates antibodies that attack an individuals' own cells, causing inflammation throughout the body. The inflammation leads to tissue and organ damage, affecting the heart, kidneys, lungs, brain, blood, skin and/or joints of those with SLE. As per a 2008 study for the National Arthritis Data Workgroup 322,000 Americans have a definite or probable SLE diagnosis. The Lupus Foundation of America's figures are much higher, with up to 1.5 million in the U.S. and close to 5 million worldwide reported having form (SLE, discoid, sub-acute cutaneous, drug-induced, or neonatal) of lupus.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


February 10, 2010, 8:02 AM CT

Racial gaps continue in heart disease

Racial gaps continue in heart disease
Racial gaps exist in women's heart-health awareness, women's knowledge of heart attack warning signs requires attention and nearly half of women report they would not call 9-1-1 if they were having heart attack symptoms, as per new research published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, a journal of the American Heart Association.

Results of the study, commissioned by the American Heart Association, revealed that eventhough 60 percent of white women were aware of heart disease as the leading cause of death for women, less than half of African-American (43 percent), Hispanic (44 percent) and Asian (34 percent) women identified heart disease as the leading cause.

In addition, most women lacked knowledge of evidence-based therapies for preventing cardiovascular disease, and half of women ages 25-34 were unaware of heart disease as women's No. 1 killer, demonstrating the need for prevention education to avert death and disability from heart disease.

"The American Heart Association just announced its 2020 strategic goal: by 2020, to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent while reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent," said Lori Mosca, M.D., Ph.D, M.P.H., main author of the paper and Director of Preventive Cardiology at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. "Our study shows that these goals will be virtually impossible to achieve without first creating awareness among multicultural and younger women, educating women about the warning signs of heart attack and underscoring the importance of calling 9-1-1 immediately if they are experiencing heart attack symptoms".........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source



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Heart disease
About 13 million Americans (about 7 percent of the total population) suffer from coronary artery disease. Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death in American men and women amounting a staggering 20 percent of all causes of death. About half of all deaths related to cardiovascular diseases occur from coronary artery disease. Through this heart watch blog we will have our humble contribution towards making men and women aware of the risks of heart diseases.

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