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Updated: 37 min 34 sec ago

Short kids may have higher future stroke risk

Thu, 02/15/2018 - 04:19
Embargoed until 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018

DALLAS, Feb. 15, 2018 –  Being a short kid is associated with increased risk of having a stroke in adulthood, according to Danish research published in Stroke, an American Heart Association journal.

A prospective study examined data on more than 300,000 Danish schoolchildren – born between 1930-1989 who were examined at ages 7, 10 and 13. Researchers noted that boys and girls who were 2 to 3 inches shorter than average for their age were at increased risk of clot-related (ischemic) stroke in adult men and women and of bleeding stroke in men.

While adult height is genetically determined, it is also influenced by factors such as maternal diet during pregnancy, childhood diet, infection and psychological stress. Several of these factors are modifiable and all are thought to affect the risk of stroke.

Researchers noted that a decline in stroke incidence and mortality rates in most high-income countries, primarily in women, occurred simultaneously with a general increase in attained adult height. Taken together, this suggests the involvement of shared underlying mechanisms for height and stroke development.

Researchers say these results have implications for understanding disease origin rather than for clinical risk prediction and future studies should focus on the mechanisms underlying the relationship between childhood height and later stroke.

“Our study suggests that short height in children is a possible marker of stroke risk and suggests these children should pay extra attention to changing or treating modifiable risk factors for stroke throughout life to reduce the chances of having this disease,” said senior study author Jennifer L. Baker, Ph.D., associate professor in the Center for Clinical Research and Prevention at Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg Hospital and Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, at the University of Copenhagen, in Denmark.

Funding sources and author disclosures are detailed in the manuscript.

Additional Resources:

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Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: 214.706.1173

Bridgette McNeill: 214.706.1135; bridgette.mcneill@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsThu, 15 Feb 2018 10:00:05 GMTBeing a short kid is associated with increased risk of having a stroke in adulthood, according to Danish research published in Stroke, an American Heart Association journal.https://newsroom.heart.org/news/short-kids-may-have-higher-future-stroke-riskThu, 15 Feb 2018 10:00:00 GMT

Survivors of childhood heart defects may have higher risk of premature dementia

Mon, 02/12/2018 - 04:44
Study Highlight:

  • Children born with heart defects are more likely to survive into old age because of improved early treatments, but they may be more likely to develop early-onset dementia than people born without heart defects.

Embargoed until 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Monday, February 12, 2018

DALLAS, February 12, 2018 — People born with heart defects who survive into adulthood may be at higher risk of developing dementia, particularly dementia that starts before 65 years of age, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation.

With improved newborn and childhood treatments, more people born with heart defects survive into adulthood. A 2016 study published in Circulation estimated that approximately 1.4 million adults are living with congenital heart defects in the United States.

“Previous studies showed that people born with heart defects have a higher risk of neurodevelopmental problems in childhood, such as epilepsy and autism, but this is, to our knowledge, the first study to examine the potential for dementia later in adult life,” said Carina N. Bagge, B.Sc., lead author of the study and a medical student in the Department of Clinical Epidemiology at Aarhus University Hospital in Aarhus, Denmark.

Using national medical databases and records covering all Danish hospitals, the researchers examined the occurrence of dementia in 10,632 mostly Caucasian adults (46 percent male) born with heart defects between 1890 and 1982 (most between 1960 and 1982), matching each with 10 members of the general population of the same gender born the same year.

Researchers found the risk of dementia from any cause, including vascular dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and others, in people born with heart defects in Denmark was:

  • 60 percent higher overall than the general population;
  • 160 percent (2.6 times) higher for early-onset dementia (diagnosed before age 65);
  • 30 percent higher for dementia diagnosed after age 65.

The study was observational, which means that the researchers were examining individuals with heart defects over time to see if there was an association between being born with a heart defect and developing dementia later in life. While they did find an association, the study does not mean that every person who was born with a heart defect will develop dementia. The study observed a higher risk, but did not prove cause and effect.

Heart defects are the most common group of birth defects, occurring in 4 to 10 of every 1,000 live births in the United States and 8 to 10 out of every 1,000 live births in Denmark’.

“Our study involved an older population born when treatments for heart defects were more limited. Modern treatment has improved greatly, and as a result we can’t directly generalize these results to children born today. We need further work to understand the risks in the modern era,” Bagge said.

Dementia or cognitive impairment is often progressive, and can be caused by many factors, including reduced blood flow to the brain, strokes and Alzheimer’s disease. People with dementia may have problems with memory, reasoning, behavior and other mental functions.

In this study, the risk of dementia was higher in people born with heart defects who developed other heart disease risk factors later in life, such as atrial fibrillation, heart failure, and diabetes. These risk factors are more common in people born with heart defects than in the general population, and they have also been shown to independently raise the risk of dementia.

“While we must be careful to appreciate these findings within the limitations of the study design, continued study of this association may yield important clinical screening and medical management strategies in the future, and there may even be opportunities discovered to aid in the prevention of dementia in this population,” said Nicolas L. Madsen, M.D., M.P.H., senior author of the study and assistant professor of pediatrics at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Co-authors are Victor W. Henderson, M.D., M.S.; Henning B. Laursen, M.D., D.M.Sc.; Kasper Adelborg, M.D., Ph.D.; and Morten Olsen, M.D., Ph.D. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

The study was funded by the Department of Clinical Epidemiology at Aarhus University Hospital, the Heart Institute at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, the National Institute on Aging, the Foundation of the Family Kjaersgaard Sunds, the Foundation of 1870, the Foundation of Raimond and Dagmar Ringgaard-Bohn, the Foundation of Torben and Alice Frimodt, the Foundation of the Family Hede-Nielsen, and the Oticon Foundation.

Additional Resources:

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Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: 214-706-1173

Staff Contact: Darcy Spitz: 212-878-5940; darcy.spitz@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsMon, 12 Feb 2018 10:00:06 GMTStudy Highlight: Children born with heart defects are more likely to survive into old age because of improved early treatments, but they may be more likely to develop early-onset dementia than people born without heart defects. https://newsroom.heart.org/news/survivors-of-childhood-heart-defects-may-have-higher-risk-of-premature-dementiaMon, 12 Feb 2018 10:00:00 GMT

Stroke journal features women’s studies on how gender influences stroke risk, treatment and outcomes

Thu, 02/08/2018 - 04:31
Embargoed until 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Thurs., Feb. 8, 2018

DALLAS, Feb. 8, 2018 — Many aspects of strokes affect women and men differently, and four articles in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke highlight recent research and identify future research needs.

“Gender influences all aspects of stroke, from risk factors, treatments and outcomes,” said Marc Fisher, M.D editor in chief of the Stroke journal and professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. “Highlighting these studies, all led by female researchers, in February, a month when the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association focuses on women’s health with Go Red For Women, is important. For too long, gender influences were not adequately studied.”

The studies include:

Stroke risk factors unique to women

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in women in the United States and is a leading cause of disability. Each year 55,000 more women than men have a stroke, a discrepancy largely driven by longer life expectancy in women.

This review highlights stroke risk factors specific to women, including fluctuations in naturally occurring hormone levels over women’s lives; adverse effects of supplemental hormones used as contraception or to treat menopausal symptoms; and pregnancy and pregnancy-related complications. The authors suggest that future research is needed to determine whether stroke risk prediction models should include risk factors specific to women such as supplemental hormones and pregnancy.

Preeclampsia: Association with posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome and stroke

Preeclampsia is a complication of pregnancy characterized by high blood pressure which can cause damage to the brain, kidneys and liver. Preeclampsia can advance to eclampsia, which is characterized by seizures. Both of these conditions are associated with an increased risk of maternal death, ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke. Preeclampsia is a treatable and possibly preventable condition which complicates up to 5 percent of pregnancies. The treatment for preeclampsia/eclampsia includes anti-hypertensives and magnesium.

According to this review, the risk of future ischemic stroke is approximately 80 percent greater in women with a history of preeclampsia than in those without the condition. Women whose pregnancy is complicated by preeclampsia or eclampsia should be counseled on the signs and symptoms of stroke and monitored closely in the postpartum period. 

A focused update of sex differences in patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) after stroke

This study is an updated review of sex differences in patient reported outcome measures less than 12 months after stroke, using data from studies published since 2007.

The review confirms that after stroke women suffer more activity limitations, worse health related quality of life and more post stroke depression than men, but do not have worse cognitive impairment or challenges in dealing with everyday life compared to men. The authors note that there is a pressing need for high-quality population-based studies of sex differences in patient reported outcome measures after stroke. Studies exploring potential modifiable contributors to these differences are needed so effective interventions to reduce sex disparities in outcomes can be designed.

Impact of Conventional Stroke Risk Factors on Stroke in Women: An Update

Due to increasing stroke risk with age and a longer life expectancy, women experience more strokes and more death from stroke over their lifetime and have worse functional outcomes following stroke. This study reviews current literature (2013 to present) on ischemic strokes, the most common type of stroke caused by narrowing or blockages in the arteries leading to the brain, and the degree to which conventional risk factors affect men and women differently. 

It concludes that risk factors -- including diabetes, metabolic syndrome, atrial fibrillation and migraine -- carry greater ischemic stroke risk for women compared with men. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of risk factors that significantly raises the risk of heart disease and stroke; atrial fibrillation is a heart rhythm disorder. The association between elevated cholesterol and stroke may be slightly higher among men, and the role of high blood pressure is complicated, with varying effects based on age/race/ethnicity and gender.

The authors also note that treatment disparities between men and women leading to suboptimal stroke prevention in women need to be addressed.

Editorial: Stroke in Women

In this edition of Stroke, the papers by McDermott, Demel, Madsen, Gall/Lisabeth and colleagues argue for further recognition of the factors causing stroke in women as well as for systematic intensification of treatments. Sex differences in stroke burden are most influenced by differences in cardiovascular risk factor burden; thus, the greatest gains in stroke prevention will come from increased screening and treatment of these primary risk factors in women early in life, especially in the obese, women in pregnancy, and those from high-risk ethnoracial groups.

Co-authors, funding sources and author disclosures are on the manuscripts.

Additional Resources:

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Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke –  the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About the American Stroke Association

The American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from stroke — the No. 2 cause of death in the world and a leading cause of serious disability. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat stroke. The Dallas-based association officially launched in 1998 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit StrokeAssociation.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: 214-706-1173

Darcy Spitz: 212-878-5940; darcy.spitz@heart.org.

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

 

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsThu, 08 Feb 2018 10:00:04 GMTMany aspects of strokes affect women and men differently, and four articles in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke highlight recent research and identify future research needs.https://newsroom.heart.org/news/stroke-journal-features-womens-studies-on-how-gender-influences-stroke-risk-treatment-and-outcomesThu, 08 Feb 2018 10:00:00 GMT

Top heart disease and stroke research advances of 2017

Wed, 02/07/2018 - 15:11
DALLAS, Feb. 7, 2018 — New medicines to fight heart disease, updated guidelines for strokes and high blood pressure, and research into genome editing are among the top heart disease and stroke advances in 2017, according to the American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary health organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular disease and stroke.

The Association, one of the top funders of heart- and stroke-related research worldwide, has been compiling an annual top 10 list of major advances in heart disease and stroke science since 1996. Here, in no particular order, are the organization’s picks for leading research accomplishments published in 2017.

Advancing the treatment of strokes

Following publication in 2017 of the DAWN study in The New England Journal of Medicine showing benefits of mechanical clot removal for longer periods after a stroke starts, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association released new guidelines for treating acute ischemic stroke. The guidelines were released at the International Stroke Conference in January 2018 and included additional data from DEFUSE 3, also presented at the meeting.

The new guidelines, published in the journal Stroke, say the clot-removal treatment window may be increased from six hours to up to 24 hours for specific patients who have clots in large vessels in the brain. The guidelines also increase the number of patients who will have access to a clot-dissolving drug proven to lower the chances for disability. The guidelines reiterated the need for fast action when a person shows the symptoms of a stroke, the second-leading cause of death in the world and a leading cause of disability.

Fixing a gene mutation in human embryos

A study in Nature suggests genome editing could be used to correct disease-causing mutations in the heart muscle of human embryos. Researchers focused on the MYBPC3 gene – which provides instructions for making a protein found in heart muscle cells and causes a form of inherited hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – and used new approaches to allow safe and accurate correction of the abnormal gene.

While early, this research furthers the potential for genome editing to correct mutations that pass from parent to child.

New high blood pressure guidelines for teens and children

For children, “normal” blood pressure varies based on gender, age and height. So for years, doctors had to refer to sets of charts to calculate whether a child’s blood pressure was normal or high.

Last August, the American Academy of Pediatrics simplified the process by issuing updated guidelines for diagnosing, evaluating and treating children and adolescents with high blood pressure. The guidelines, published in Pediatrics, provide a short, easy-to-understand table that uses a child’s age and gender to determine whether blood pressure is elevated or not.

The AHA and American College of Cardiology released new guidelines for adults last November at the Association’s annual Scientific Sessions. The guidance, published in the American Heart Association’s journal, Hypertension, redefined what should be classified as high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. Experts looking at the newest data defined hypertension as a reading of 130 (for the top, or systolic, number) or 80 (for the bottom, or diastolic, number). In the past, hypertension was defined as 140/90.

The change means 46 percent of U.S. adults are identified as having high blood pressure, compared with 32 percent under the previous definition. Lifestyle changes alone, without the need for medication, are recommended for the majority of Americans with newly diagnosed high blood pressure, according to the guidelines.

Economic recession affects the cardiovascular health of African-American teens

Previous research has shown that low household income can adversely affect patients’ health, but a new study found the health of some African-American teenagers was particularly impacted five years following the Great Recession that lasted from 2007-2009.

The study, in the Journal of the American Heart Association, found that 16- and 17-year-olds in the rural U.S. Southeast whose families suffered a financial downturn after the recession showed higher rates of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of disorders that may include abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar and high cholesterol. The results suggest the need for secondary prevention efforts for teens, including lifestyle modification, during and after a large-scale economic decline.

A deeper understanding of heart health for those living in food deserts

Health researchers have focused a lot in recent years on so-called food deserts: low-income neighborhoods with low access to healthy food. But a new study found that it’s not so much the “desert” itself as it is low income in general that is linked to poor heart health.

The study, in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, studied food deserts in metro Atlanta and found people who live there have higher rates of cardiovascular risk factors such as oxidative stress, inflammation and arterial stiffness. However, researchers concluded these associations are mostly due to low income of the area and its residents rather than proximity to a grocery store – a finding which could impact the future use of public health resources in poor neighborhoods.

Cholesterol-lowering drug cuts risk of heart attacks and strokes

A study in The New England Journal of Medicine found that the new injectable cholesterol-lowering drug evolocumab can reduce heart attacks and strokes among high-risk patients. The FOURIER study – paid for by Amgen, which makes and sells the PCSK9 inhibitor evolocumab under the brand name Repatha – showed that the drug cut the risk of having a heart attack, stroke or dying from a cardiovascular cause by 20 percent when added to intensive statin therapy.

The study reported that Repatha lowered “bad” LDL cholesterol by about 60 percent, to a median of 30.

SGLT2 inhibitors may lower rates of death and heart failure for people with diabetes

A large international study in Circulation showed lower rates of death and heart failure for diabetes patients treated with the SGLT2 inhibitors canagliflozin, dapagliflozin or empagliflozin, compared with other glucose-lowering drugs. The CVD-REAL study – paid for by AstraZeneca, which markets dapagliflozin under the brand name Farxiga – looked at more than 300,000 patients with Type 2 diabetes in the U.S., the U.K., Denmark, Norway and Sweden. The results suggest SGLT2 inhibitors may benefit a broad population of patients with Type 2 diabetes.

Improved therapy for treating patients with peripheral artery disease

According to a study in The Lancet, combining low doses of the blood thinner rivaroxaban and aspirin is more effective than aspirin alone in preventing cardiovascular deaths, heart attacks, strokes and major amputations for people with peripheral artery disease, or PAD.

The 33-country COMPASS study looked at 7,470 patients with PAD, a narrowing of the peripheral arteries to the legs, arms, stomach and head. Although major bleeding increased with the combination therapy, fatal or critical organ bleeding did not. Researchers said the new approach is a major advance in treating patients with peripheral artery disease.

A new treatment for fighting inflammation and reducing cardiovascular events

Scientists have long believed that reducing inflammation may reduce the risk of heart disease. The CANTOS study published in The New England Journal of Medicine looked at more than 10,000 high-risk patients who previously had heart attacks and found that canakinumab, a monoclonal antibody that targets interleukin-1 beta and blocks inflammation, significantly lowered their rate of having or dying from a heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular cause. Although the drug did not reduce overall deaths from any cause and was associated with significant side effects, the principle underlying the use of a specific anti-inflammatory antibody is important.

Catheter-based procedure extended for more patients with aortic stenosis

Aortic stenosis – a narrowing of the aortic valve opening – is a common and serious valve disease problem. For patients with severe aortic stenosis at high risk for surgical complications, a procedure called transcatheter aortic-valve replacement, or TAVR, that can be done through a catheter rather than with open-heart surgery, is already an accepted alternative.

The SURTAVI study in The New England Journal of Medicine looked at severe aortic stenosis patients at intermediate risk for complications from surgery and found TAVR to be a viable alternative for them as well.

Additional Resources:

  • Follow AHA/ASA news on Twitter @HeartNews
  • For updates and new science from the Circulation journal follow @CircAHA

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The information is available via an American Heart Association News story. Media may leverage this content for linking, quoting and excerpting. Copyright is owned or held by American Heart Association and all rights are reserved, but permission is granted, at no cost and without need for further request, to link to, quote or excerpt from these stories in any medium anywhere as long as the text is not altered and proper attribution is made to American Heart Association News. Full terms of use and attribution language can be found here.

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: 214-706-1173

Carrie Thacker: 214-706-1665; carrie.thacker@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsWed, 07 Feb 2018 21:07:31 GMTNew medicines to fight heart disease, updated guidelines for strokes and high blood pressure, and research into genome editing are among the top heart disease and stroke advances in 2017, according to the American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary health organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular disease and stroke.https://newsroom.heart.org/news/top-heart-disease-and-stroke-research-advances-of-2017Wed, 07 Feb 2018 20:51:00 GMT

Severe pre-eclampsia often leads to undetected high blood pressure after pregnancy

Mon, 02/05/2018 - 04:59
Study Highlights:

  • Hypertension commonly occurs in the year following pregnancy among women who had severe pre-eclampsia during pregnancy.
  • The lingering hypertension may go unnoticed because it often doesn’t present as classic high readings in the doctor’s office.
  • Offering post-pregnancy ambulatory blood pressure monitoring to all women who have severe pre-eclampsia may help detect those whose blood pressures might be high despite normal readings in doctors’ offices.

Embargoed 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Monday, February 5, 2018

DALLAS, Feb. 5, 2018 – Lingering hypertension is common and may go unnoticed among women who have severe pre-eclampsia during pregnancy, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Hypertension.

Pre-eclampsia, which is when a woman develops hypertension and elevated protein in the urine during pregnancy, occurs in three to five percent of pregnancies in the developed world. Recent studies have shown that women with pre-eclampsia are more likely than women with normal blood pressure during pregnancy to have high blood pressure post-pregnancy.

Women with severe pre-eclampsia can be seven times more susceptible to develop future cardiovascular disease compared to women with a normal blood pressure during pregnancy, according to study author Laura Benschop, M.D., a researcher in obstetrics and gynecology at Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

“The problem is high blood pressure after pregnancy often goes unnoticed because many of these women have normal blood pressure readings in the doctor’s office,” Benschop said. “We aimed to determine how common it is for women who have pre-eclampsia to have high blood pressure in the year after pregnancy, by looking at more than just their blood pressure readings in the doctor’s office.”

Benschop and colleagues studied 200 women who during their pregnancies were diagnosed with severe pre-eclampsia, defined by such criteria as a systolic blood pressure of 160 mmHg or higher and/or diastolic blood pressure of 110 mmHg or higher. They followed the women for one year after their pregnancies, monitoring blood pressure during the day and night and taking blood pressure readings in the clinic.

They found:

  • More than 41 percent of the women in the study had high blood pressure in the year after pregnancy.
  • The most common type of hypertension detected (17.5 percent) was masked hypertension, which is normal blood pressure in the doctor’s office, but high readings outside of the office; followed by sustained hypertension (14.5 percent); then, white coat hypertension (9.5 percent), which occurs when people have higher blood pressure readings at the doctor’s office than outside the clinic setting.
  • If the ambulatory readings hadn’t been taken and only in-clinic readings were used, doctors would have missed 56 percent of the women with high blood pressure.
  • Forty-six percent of the women studied had an insufficient decrease in blood pressure from daytime to nighttime, which is unhealthy.
  • Night-time hypertension, which increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and death, affected 42.5 percent of women in the study.

“Our findings suggest women who have high blood pressure during pregnancy should continue to monitor their blood pressure long after they’ve delivered their babies. It’s not only important to monitor blood pressure in the doctor’s office, but also at different times of the day and night, at home,” Benschop said. “We’ve shown here that high blood pressure comes in many forms after pregnancy. Women who know their numbers can take the proper steps to lower their blood pressure and avoid the health consequences of high blood pressure later in life.”

This study has limitations, including that the findings might not be applicable across races and income levels. The women in this study were predominately highly educated and Caucasian.

According to new hypertension treatment guidelines recently released by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Clinical Practice Guidelines, high blood pressure is now defined as readings of 130 mm Hg and higher for the systolic blood pressure measurement, or readings of 80 and higher for the diastolic measurement. That is a change from the old definition of 140/90 and higher, reflecting complications that can occur at those lower numbers.

Co-authors are Johannes J Duvekot, M.D., Ph.D.; Jorie Versmissen, M.D., Ph.D.; Valeska van Broekhoven, M.D.; Eric AP Steegers, M.D., Ph.D.; and Jeanine E Roeters van Lennep, M.D., Ph.D. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

This study did not receive outside funding.

Additional Resources:

###

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: 214-706-1173

Carrie Thacker: 214-706-1665; carrie.thacker@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

 

 

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsMon, 05 Feb 2018 10:00:04 GMTStudy Highlights: Hypertension commonly occurs in the year following pregnancy among women who had severe pre-eclampsia during pregnancy. The lingering hypertension may go unnoticed because it often doesn’t present as classic high readings in the doctor’s office. Offering post-pregnancy ambulatory blood pressure monitoring to all women who have severe pre-eclampsia may help detect those whose blood pressures might be high despite normal readings in doctors’ offices. https://newsroom.heart.org/news/severe-pre-eclampsia-often-leads-to-undetected-high-blood-pressure-after-pregnancyMon, 05 Feb 2018 10:00:00 GMT

Breast cancer treatments may increase the risk of heart disease

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 04:40
Statement Highlights:

  • Some breast cancer therapies can damage the heart and healthcare providers should carefully monitor breast cancer treatment effects on the heart.
  • Breast cancer survivors, especially older women, are more likely to die from cardiovascular diseases such as heart failure rather than breast cancer.

Embargoed until 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Thurs., Feb. 1, 2018

DALLAS, Feb. 1, 2018 — Breast cancer patients may be at an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases including heart failure and may benefit from a treatment approach that weighs the benefits of specific therapies against potential damage to the heart, according to a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association published in its journal Circulation.

The statement is an overview of what we currently know about risk factors common to both heart disease and breast cancer, the potential heart damage from some breast cancer treatments, and suggested strategies to prevent or minimize the damage. Breast cancer survivors, especially older women over the age of 65, are more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than breast cancer, underscoring the importance of effectively managing heart disease risk factors during and following cancer treatment.

“Any patient who is going to undergo breast cancer treatment, whether they have heart disease at the beginning or not, should be aware of the potential effects of the treatments on their heart,” said Laxmi Mehta, M.D., chair of the writing group for the new scientific statement. “This should not deter or scare patients from undergoing breast cancer treatment, but should allow them to make informed decisions with their doctor on the best cancer treatment for them.” 

During cancer treatments, patients should pay attention not only to their breast health, but also to their general health, including their heart, said Dr. Mehta, who is director of the Women’s Cardiovascular Health Program and an associate professor of medicine at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.

For example, some cancer treatments, such as HER-2 targeted therapies, can cause weakening of the heart muscle, a condition known as heart failure. HER-2 is a specific type of breast cancer. In some cases, the reduction in heart function is temporary and cessation of the treatment and/or the addition of heart medicines can improve function. But in some breast cancer patients, heart failure can be permanent. Because of this, the early development of heart failure can signal a need to slow down and/or alter a patient’s breast cancer treatment because of the risk for worsening the condition or the development of permanent heart failure. 

Some small studies suggest that administering common chemotherapy agents in new ways may reduce heart disease risks. Doxorubicin is a chemotherapy drug used in breast cancer therapy that can lead to the damage of heart cells. Studies have shown that when doxorubicin is administered slowly, rather than all at once, patients may have a lower risk of heart failure.

In addition, a drug called dexrazoxane that could reduce cell damage has recently been approved for patients with metastatic breast cancer who receive high doses of doxorubicin. More studies will need to be done to confirm whether the results of the smaller studies are seen in larger groups of patients. 

Other treatments, such as radiation, can affect the heart arteries and cause the development of coronary artery disease or blockages. Some breast cancer treatment agents, such as anthracyclines, can result in abnormal heart rhythms that in some patients are benign but in others can lead to life-threatening heart rhythms. And, some treatments -- like antimetabolites -- can cause spasm of the heart arteries, which can cause chest pain symptoms but could lead to heart attacks as well.

Heart disease and breast cancer share a number of risk factors, including advanced age, poor diet, family history, physical inactivity and tobacco use. The fact that these diseases share some risk factors suggests that there are lifestyle choices, primarily diet and exercise, that could help decrease the risks of developing both diseases. Healthcare providers should monitor a woman’s heart health before, during and after breast cancer treatment.

Adherence to a number of ideal heart health behaviors or factors from the American Heart Association’s’ Life’s Simple 7 is associated with a trend towards a lower incidence of breast cancer. Life’s Simple 7 includes being physically active, achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight, eating a healthy diet, avoiding tobacco, maintaining healthy levels of blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar.

“Fortunately, with the advances in breast cancer treatment, there has been a growing number of survivors. However, during and after the treatment of breast cancer, having optimal control of heart disease risk factors is important, because older breast cancer survivors are more likely to die of heart disease than breast cancer,” Dr. Mehta said. “And that's why Life's Simple 7 is important for all patients with and without breast cancer.”

Although there are an estimated 47.8 million women in the U.S. who are living with cardiovascular diseases and approximately 3 million breast cancer survivors, many people regard breast cancer as the primary threat to women’s health. It is important to recognize the overlap of heart disease and breast cancer as both entities impact survival.

Co-authors are Karol E. Watson, M.D., Ph.D., Vice-Chair; Ana Barac, M.D., Ph.D.; Theresa M. Beckie, Ph.D.; Vera Bittner, M.D., M.S.P.H.; Salvador Cruz-Flores, M.D., M.P.H.; Susan F. Dent, M.D.; Lavanya Kondapalli, M.D.; Bonnie Ky, M.D.; Tochukwu Okwuosa, D.O.; Ileana L. Piña, M.D., M.P.H., FAHA; and Annabelle S. Volgman, M.D.; on behalf of the American Heart Association Cardiovascular Disease in Women and Special Populations Committee of the Council on Clinical Cardiology; Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing; and Council on Quality of Care and Outcomes Research. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

Additional Resources:

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The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association receives funding mostly from individuals. Foundations and corporations donate as well, and fund specific programs and events. Strict policies are enforced to prevent these relationships from influencing the association’s science content. Financial information for the American Heart Association, including a list of contributions from pharmaceutical and device manufacturers and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke –  the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries: 214-706-1173

Darcy Spitz: 212-878-5940; Darcy.Spitz@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

]]>Heart NewsScientific Statements/GuidelinesThu, 01 Feb 2018 10:00:09 GMTStatement Highlights: Some breast cancer therapies can damage the heart and healthcare providers should carefully monitor breast cancer treatment effects on the heart. Breast cancer survivors, especially older women, are more likely to die from cardiovascular diseases such as heart failure rather than breast cancer.https://newsroom.heart.org/news/breast-cancer-treatments-may-increase-the-risk-of-heart-diseaseThu, 01 Feb 2018 10:00:00 GMT

More than 100 million Americans have high blood pressure, AHA says

Wed, 01/31/2018 - 13:01
DALLAS, Jan. 31, 2018 — The number of Americans at risk for heart attacks and strokes just got a lot higher. An estimated 103 million U.S. adults have high blood pressure, according to new statistics from the American Heart Association. That’s nearly half of all adults in the United States.

“With the aging of the population and increased life expectancy, the prevalence of high blood pressure is expected to continue to increase,” said epidemiologist Dr. Paul Muntner, co-chair of the group that wrote the AHA’s Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2018 Update, published Wednesday in Circulation. Read more from AHA News

 American Heart Association News covers heart disease, stroke and related health issues. Not all views expressed in American Heart Association News stories reflect the official position of the American Heart Association.  Copyright is owned or held by the American Heart Association, Inc., and all rights are reserved. Permission is granted, at no cost and without need for further request, to link to, quote, excerpt or reprint from these stories in any medium as long as no text is altered and proper attribution is made to the American Heart Association News. See full terms of use.  

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The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association receives funding mostly from individuals. Foundations and corporations donate as well, and fund specific programs and events. Strict policies are enforced to prevent these relationships from influencing the Association's science content. Financial information for the American Heart Association, including a list of contributions from pharmaceutical companies and device manufacturers, is available at http://www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Media Inquiries:  For American Heart Association News stories on Heart.org, please contact editor@heart.org.

For other media inquiries: please call 214-706-1173

Public Inquiries: (800)-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

Life is why we fund scientific breakthroughs that save and improve lives.

]]>Media AlertsHeart NewsStroke NewsWed, 31 Jan 2018 18:01:18 GMTDALLAS, Jan. 31, 2018 — The number of Americans at risk for heart attacks and strokes just got a lot higher. An estimated 103 million U.S. adults have high blood pressure, according to new statistics from the American Heart Association. That’s nearly...https://newsroom.heart.org/news/more-than-100-million-americans-have-high-blood-pressure-aha-saysWed, 31 Jan 2018 18:00:00 GMT

Guideline adherence, not patient volume, may be better hospital heart failure metric

Mon, 01/29/2018 - 04:48
Study Highlights:

  • In evaluating the quality of inpatient heart failure care, patients and policy makers should consider how well a hospital meets clinical care guidelines. Hospitals that treat more heart failure patients tend to follow heart failure guidelines more closely.
  • However, death and hospital readmission rates can be just as good at hospitals with small numbers of heart failure patients whose treatment adheres to guideline recommendations.

Embargoed until 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Monday, Jan. 29, 2018

DALLAS, Jan. 29, 2018 — In evaluating the quality of care given to those hospitalized with heart failure, adherence to clinical guidelines may be a better measure of quality than the number of heart failure patients a hospital admits, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation.

Patients with heart failure are unable to pump enough blood and oxygen to their bodies to remain healthy. According to the American Heart Association’s 2017 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistical Update, 6.5 million Americans suffer from this chronic condition—and that number is growing.

“There is a feeling that hospitals that perform more procedures or treat more patients for a certain condition are likely to have better outcomes,” said lead study author Dharam Kumbhani, M.D. S.M, assistant professor of medicine and a cardiologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. “But what we have found in this study, and others we have conducted, is that patients at hospitals with established processes of care fare better.”

Researchers studied the medical records of 125,595 patients, age 65 and older, with heart failure who were treated at 342 hospitals participating in the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines®─Heart Failure program from 2005, when the program launched, through 2014. The goal of the program is to improve in-hospital care through adherence to the latest scientific treatment guidelines. Yearly admissions to a participating hospital ranged from 5 to 457 heart failure patients.

The study found:

  • Hospitals with a higher volume of heart failure patients were more likely to adhere to “heart failure process measures,” including appropriate testing, drug therapies and smoking cessation counseling.
  • Higher heart-failure-volume hospitals were much more likely to place or prescribe upon discharge cardiac resynchronization therapy devices and implantable cardioverter defibrillators, which are medical devices that improve heart function by restoring a normal heart beat.
  • There was no difference in in-hospital mortality, readmissions to the hospital or mortality 30 days after discharge between large-volume and small-volume hospitals when the hospitals closely followed the guidelines.
  • However, there was a slight decrease in hospital readmission and mortality 6 months after discharge between large-volume and small-volume hospitals when hospitals closely followed the guidelines.

Researchers adjusted their findings for a range of other medical conditions and demographic differences that may have biased results, including other cardiovascular and non-cardiovascular conditions, age, race, laboratory and clinical findings, prior medication and procedures performed during the initial hospitalization.

“Going to a high-volume medical center for heart failure doesn’t guarantee that you’ll have the best outcomes,” Kumbhani said. “Identifying the hospitals that provide the best care is more complicated than that, and patients and health policy makers should recognize that smaller-volume hospitals can deliver outstanding care.” Many of these hospitals are located in rural areas, where patients may not have access to a hospital that treats large numbers of heart failure patients.

He added that hospitals meeting the American Heart Association’s heart failure guidelines are recognized publicly for their achievements.

Study limitations include the fact that hospitals’ participation in the heart failure guidelines program is voluntary, so results may not be generalizable to all hospitals.

Co-authors are Gregg C. Fonarow, M.D.; Paul A. Heidenreich, M.D., M.P.H.; Phillip J. Schulte, Ph.D.; Di Lu, M.S.; Adrian Hernandez, M.D., M.P.H.; Clyde Yancy, M.D.; and Deepak L. Bhatt, M.D., M.P.H. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

There was not external funding of this study.

Additional Resources:

  • After Jan. 29 EMBARGO DATE, view the manuscript online.
  • Follow AHA/ASA news on Twitter @HeartNews
  • For updates and new science from the Circulation journal follow @CircAHA

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Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: 214-706-1173

Carrie Thacker: 214-706-1665; carrie.thacker@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

 

]]>Heart NewsMon, 29 Jan 2018 10:00:04 GMTStudy Highlights: In evaluating the quality of inpatient heart failure care, patients and policy makers should consider how well a hospital meets clinical care guidelines. Hospitals that treat more heart failure patients tend to follow heart failure guidelines more closely. However, death and hospital readmission rates can be just as good at hospitals with small numbers of heart failure patients whose treatment adheres to guideline recommendations. https://newsroom.heart.org/news/guideline-adherence-not-patient-volume-may-be-better-hospital-heart-failure-metricMon, 29 Jan 2018 10:00:00 GMT

Endothelial cells may contribute to formation of new vessels compensating for inadequate blood supply

Mon, 01/22/2018 - 04:59
Embargoed until 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Monday, Jan. 22, 2018

DALLAS, Jan. 22, 2018 –  Cells that line the interior surface of blood vessels (endothelial cells) have the capacity to clonally expand and contribute to the development of new vessels due to inadequate blood supply to the heart, known as ischemia, according to a study in mice published in Circulation Research, an American Heart Association journal.

“There are numerous areas within and beyond cardiovascular medicine, where the ability to increase endothelial growth in a controlled manner would be of significant clinical value,” said Circulation Research editor Roberto Bolli. M.D.

Bolli is Chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and Director of the Institute of Molecular Cariology at the University of Louisville in Kentucky.

“Attempts to control endothelial growth and proliferation for therapeutic gain, in the areas of coronary artery and peripheral vascular disease, have been met with limited success,” he said.  “These data provide potentially important information that endothelial proliferation, a critical process for meeting this goal, does not occur at random, but rather is the result of selective cells providing a greater than random contribution to the total new vasculature.”

The study’s senior author is Stefanie Dimmeler, Ph.D., Director of the Institute for Cardiovascular Regeneration Centre of Molecular Medicine at Goethe University Frankfurt in Frankfurt, Germany 

The study was funded the Excellence Cluster Cardiopulmonary Systems (German Research Foundation), and the LOEWE Centre for Cell- and Gene Therapy (State of Hesse) and the German Research Foundation (SFB834).  The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Additional Resources:

  • After Jan. 22, 2018, view the manuscript online.
  • Follow AHA/ASA news on Twitter @HeartNews
  • For updates and new science from the Circulation Research journal follow @CircRES.

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Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: 214-706-1173

Bridgette McNeill: 214-706-1135; bridgette.mcneill@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

 

 

]]>Heart NewsMon, 22 Jan 2018 10:00:05 GMTCells that line the interior surface of blood vessels (endothelial cells) have the capacity to clonally expand and contribute to the development of new vessels due to inadequate blood supply to the heart, known as ischemia, according to a study in mice published in Circulation Research, an American Heart Association journal.https://newsroom.heart.org/news/endothelial-cells-may-contribute-to-formation-of-new-vessels-compensating-for-inadequate-blood-supplyMon, 22 Jan 2018 10:00:00 GMT

Neighborhood factors may predict heart failure

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 04:32
Study Highlights:

  • Neighborhood-level socioeconomic factors may significantly predict heart failure risk beyond individual cardiovascular risk factors, individual income and education level.
  • Researchers found that almost 5 percent of the increased heart failure risk in “deprived” areas was attributable to neighborhood factors.
  • Improvements in community resources such as exercise facilities, healthy food outlets and medical facilities could benefit residents. 

Embargoed until 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018

DALLAS, Jan. 9, 2018 – Neighborhood-level socioeconomic factors in low-income areas may significantly predict heart failure risk beyond individual health factors and socioeconomic status, according to new research in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, an American Heart Association journal.

The study compared census tract data on socioeconomic deprivation – a clustering of neighborhood-level variables of wealth, education, occupation and housing patterns – and heart failure rates among 27,078 middle-aged whites and African-Americans from the Southeastern states.

Researchers grouped the participants (average age 55, 69 percent African-American, 63 percent women) in three groups ranging from the least-deprived to the most-deprived neighborhoods. During an average follow-up of more than five years, 4,300 participants were diagnosed with heart failure.

Researchers noted that residents living in more socioeconomically deprived areas were at the highest risk for heart failure. As neighborhood socioeconomic factors worsened between one group to the next, researchers noted a 12 percent increase in risk of heart failure. After adjusting for other factors, researchers say 4.8 percent of the variance in heart-failure risk was explained by neighborhood factors.

“There is existing evidence suggesting strong, independent associations between personal socioeconomic status – like education, income level and occupation – and risks of heart failure and many other chronic diseases,” said Loren Lipworth, Sc.D., the study’s co-senior author and associate professor of epidemiology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

“But what this study adds is evidence suggesting that characteristics of your place of residence, actually also play a significant role in influencing the risk of heart failure over and above the role of your own individual socioeconomic characteristics,” she said. “It opens the door for possible interventions that center on preventive measures in the community.”

Study participants were from the Southern Community Cohort Study (SCCS) – an ongoing prospective investigation of cancer and other chronic conditions in a largely resource-limited, underinsured group of recruits in 12 Southeastern states.

Heart failure is a major public health problem, particularly in the southeastern United States, which has the highest prevalence of established heart-failure risk factors, including coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.

More than 50 percent of the participants studied lived in the most deprived neighborhoods. Seventy percent of residents studied earned less than $15,000 a year. Nearly 39 percent had less than a high-school education and 44 percent were obese.

Researchers suggest residents may benefit most from improvements in community resources such as exercise facilities, healthy food outlets and medical facilities. 

“Increased and improved access to community-level resources could mitigate cardiovascular disease risk factors like obesity, hypertension and diabetes,” said Elvis Akwo, M.D., Ph.D., first author of the study and a postdoctoral research fellow at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “Improved community-level resources may ultimately reduce the risk of heart failure in these communities.”

The American Heart Association and other organizations recognize that improvements in cardiovascular health requires strategies that target the entire spectrum of health and wellness, including public policy changes, prevention efforts and treatment. The focus on public policy and prevention may have the greatest potential to mitigate the burden of cardiovascular disease and improve overall health, researchers said.

An accompanying editorial by Wayne Rosamond Ph.D.; M.S. and Anna Johnson, Ph.D.; MSPH, said this research adds an important aspect to our understanding of the role of neighborhood in health by focusing on low-income neighborhoods.

“By conducting this study in a predominantly low socioeconomic status (SES) population, the potential for bias from individual SES is reduced, allowing for a direct interpretation of associations of neighborhood aspects with heart failure incidence,” Rosasmond and Johnson wrote.  

“The careful and unique population prospective cohort approach taken by Akwo and colleagues further establishes that there indeed is something unique about neighborhoods.”

However, the study’s focus primarily on low-income, middle-aged adults limits it from being generalized to other groups. But researchers believe the emphasis on this population – now and in the future – provides much-needed research attention on a segment of people who have been underrepresented in previous cardiovascular studies.

Co-authors are Edmond Kabagambe, D.V.M., Ph.D.; Frank Harrell, Ph.D.; William Blot, Ph.D.; Justin Bachmann, M.D., M.P.H.; Thomas Wang, M.D.; and Deepak Gupta, M.D. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

The National Cancer Institute and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funded the study.

Additional Resources:

###

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: 214-706-1173

Bridgette McNeill: 214-706-1135; bridgette.mcneil@heart.org  

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

]]>Heart NewsTue, 09 Jan 2018 10:00:05 GMTNeighborhood-level socioeconomic factors may significantly predict heart failure risk beyond individual cardiovascular risk factors, individual income and education level. Researchers found that almost 5 percent of the increased heart failure risk in “deprived” areas was attributable to neighborhood factors. Improvements in community resources such as exercise facilities, healthy food outlets and medical facilities could benefit residents. https://newsroom.heart.org/news/neighborhood-factors-may-predict-heart-failureTue, 09 Jan 2018 10:00:00 GMT

Multi-gene test predicts early heart disease risk

Mon, 01/08/2018 - 10:26
Study Highlights:

  • A risk score based on multiple genetic differences, or polygenic test, predicted significantly more cases of early heart disease than standard tests for single genetic defects.
  • The polygenic test predicted a high risk for early-onset heart disease in 1 out of 53 individuals, compared to 1 in 256 for the most frequent single genetic defect.

Embargoed until 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Monday, Jan. 8, 2018

DALLAS, Jan. 8, 2018 — A risk score based on multiple genetic differences, or polygenic risk score, predicted significantly more cases of early-onset heart disease than standard tests for single genetic defects, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine.

“Our results provide convincing evidence that the polygenic risk score could be added to the genetic investigation of patients with very early coronary artery disease,” said study lead author

Sébastien Thériault M.D., M.Sc., FRCPc, assistant professor at Laval University in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, and researcher at the Quebec Heart and Lung Institute.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death, both in the United States and worldwide. The most common form is coronary artery disease, which occurs when the blood vessels to the heart narrow or harden. Most people can decrease their risk by not smoking, being physically active, maintaining a healthy diet and body weight, and controlling cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar.

In rare instances, however, high blood levels of the so-called bad cholesterol, LDL, result from a genetic defect called familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). Patients with this genetic defect are at increased risk for early-onset heart disease, defined in the study as before age 40 in men and age 45 in women, so early diagnosis and treatment are critical. The problem is that many patients with early-onset heart disease do not have this single genetic defect which can be measured by current tests.

Accordingly, this study looked at the relationship between a risk score based on multiple genetic differences and early-onset heart disease. Results showed that the polygenic risk score predicted a high risk for early-onset heart disease in 1 out of 53 individuals at the same level as FH does. The prevalence of FH is 1 in 256 individuals for the single genetic test for FH.

“The increase in genetic risk was independent of other known risk factors, suggesting that testing for multiple genetic differences is clinically useful to evaluate risk and guide management,” said senior author Guillaume Paré, M.D. M.Sc. FRCPc, associate professor of medicine at McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and director of the Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology Laboratory. “Combining polygenic screening with current testing for familial hypercholesterolemia could potentially increase five-fold the number of cases for which a genetic explanation can be found.”

The investigators developed the polygenic risk score based on 182 genetic differences related to coronary artery disease. They then compared polygenic risk scores between study participants with and without early-onset heart disease.

Study participants included 30 patients with early-onset heart disease seen in the investigators’ clinic from 2014 to 2016. None of the patients in this study with high polygenic risk scores had the single, rare genetic defect for FH. Ninety-six patients with early-onset heart disease enrolled in the UK Biobank study between 2006 and 2010 were also tested. As controls, the study also included 111,283 UK Biobank participants without early-onset heart disease. Forty-seven percent of the UK Biobank participants were male and their average age was 58 years. The UK Biobank is a large study in the United Kingdom looking at the relationship between genetics, the environment and disease.

All study participants were of European descent, so the results may not apply to other populations. Another limitation is its inclusion of patients with severe early-onset heart disease, which is more likely to have genetic causes than milder disease.

Other co-authors are: Ricky Lali B.Sc.; Michael Chong M.Sc.; James L. Velianou M.D.; and Madhu K. Natarajan, M.D., M.Sc. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Université Laval; a Canada Research Chair in Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology; and the CISCO Professorship in Integrated Health Biosystems funded the study.

Additional Resources:

  • After Jan. 8, view the manuscript online.
  • Follow AHA/ASA news on Twitter @HeartNews
  • For updates and new science from the Circulation journal follow @CircAHA

###

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: 214-706-1173

Carrie Thacker: 214-706-1665; carrie.thacker@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721); heart.org and strokeassociation.org

]]>Heart NewsMon, 08 Jan 2018 15:53:34 GMTStudy Highlights: A risk score based on multiple genetic differences, or polygenic test, predicted significantly more cases of early heart disease than standard tests for single genetic defects. The polygenic test predicted a high risk for early-onset heart disease in 1 out of 53 individuals, compared to 1 in 256 for the most frequent single genetic defect. https://newsroom.heart.org/news/multi-gene-test-predicts-early-heart-disease-riskMon, 08 Jan 2018 10:00:00 GMT

Middle-aged couch potatoes may reverse heart effects of a sedentary life with exercise training

Mon, 01/08/2018 - 10:26
Study Highlights:

  • Two years of exercise training during middle age may reduce or reverse the cardiac consequences of a sedentary lifestyle.
  • Two years of exercise training may be an effective lifestyle modification for rejuvenating aging hearts and reducing the risk of heart failure.

Embargoed until 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Monday, Jan. 8, 2018

DALLAS, Jan. 8, 2018 — Middle-aged couch potatoes may reduce or reverse the risk of heart failure associated with years of sitting if they participate in two years of regular aerobic exercise training, according to a new study in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation.

Study participants who adhered to the aerobic exercise regimen had significant improvements in how their body used oxygen and had decreased cardiac stiffness after two years, both markers of a healthier heart. Aerobic exercises are sustained activities, such as walking, swimming, running and others that strengthen the heart and other muscles and help the body use oxygen effectively.

“The key to a healthier heart in middle age is the right dose of exercise, at the right time in life,” said study author Benjamin D. Levine, M.D., lead author of the study and the founder and director of the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine, a joint program between Texas Health Resources and UT Southwestern Medical Center Dallas, Texas.

“We found what we believe to be the optimal dose of the right kind of exercise, which is four to five times a week, and the ‘sweet spot’ in time, when the heart risk from a lifetime of sedentary behavior can be improved -- which is late-middle age. The result was a reversal of decades of a sedentary lifestyle on the heart for most of the study participants,” he said.

The researchers analyzed the hearts of 53 adults ages 45-64 who were healthy but sedentary at the start of the study – meaning they tended to sit most of the time. Study participants received either two years of training, including high- and moderate-intensity aerobic exercise four or more days a week (exercise group), or they were assigned to a control group, which engaged in regular yoga, balance training and weight training three times a week for two years.

The exercise group committed to a progressive exercise program which monitored participants’ recorded heart rates. People in this group worked up to doing exercises, such as four-by-fours –4 sets of four minutes of exercise at 95 percent of their maximum heart rate, followed by three minutes of active recovery at 60 percent to 75 percent peak heart rate. In this study, maximum heart rate was defined as the hardest a person could exercise and still complete the four-minute interval. Active recovery heart rate is the speed at which the heart beats after exercise. 

They found:

  • Overall, the committed exercise intervention made people fitter, increasing VO2max, the maximum amount of energy used during exercise, by 18 percent. There was no improvement in oxygen uptake in the control group.
  • The committed exercise program also notably decreased cardiac stiffness. There was no change in cardiac stiffness among the controls.

Sedentary behaviors – such as sitting or reclining for long periods of time – increase the risk of the heart muscle shrinking and stiffening in late-middle age and increases heart failure risk. Previous studies have shown that elite athletes, who spent a lifetime doing high-intensity exercise, had significantly fewer effects of aging on the heart and blood vessels, according to Levine.

However, the six to seven days a week of intense exercise training that many elite athletes perform throughout their life isn’t a reality for many middle-aged adults, which led Levine and colleagues to study different exercise doses, including casual exercise at two to three days a week and “committed exercise” at four to five days a week.

“We found that exercising only two or three times a week didn’t do much to protect the heart against aging. But committed exercise four to five times a week was almost as effective at preventing sedentary heart aging as the more extreme exercise of elite athletes,” he said. “We’ve also found that the ‘sweet spot’ in life to get off the couch and start exercising is in late-middle age, when the heart still has plasticity.”

People need to make an exercise program part of their personal routine, just like they brush their teeth every day, according to Levine. “I recommend that people do four to five days a week of committed exercise as part of their goals in preserving their health,” he said.

The program, according to Levine, should be similar to the one studied, including at least one long session a week, (such as an hour of tennis, cycling, running, dancing, brisk walking, etc.); one high-intensity aerobic session, such as the four-by-four interval training described previously; two or three days a week of moderate intensity exercise, where exercisers break a sweat but can still carry on a conversation; and at least one weekly strength training session.

“That’s my prescription for life, and this study really reinforces that it has quite extraordinary effects on the structure and function of the heart and blood vessels,” he said.

One of the study’s limitations is the researchers selected volunteers who were willing and able to participate in an intensive exercise regimen, so results might not apply to the general adult population. Another potential limitation is that study participants were for the most part Caucasian, which questions whether these results would apply to other racial groups.

Co-authors are Erin Howden, Ph.D.; Sarma Satyam, M.D.; Justin Lawley, Ph.D.; William Cornwell, M.D.; Douglas Stoller, M.D.; Marcus Urey, M.D.; and Beverley Adams-Huet, M.S. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

The National Institutes of Health funded the study.

Additional Resources:

###

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: 214-706-1173

Darcy Spitz; (212) 878-5940; darcy.spitz@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

]]>Heart NewsMon, 08 Jan 2018 15:53:10 GMTStudy Highlights: Two years of exercise training during middle age may reduce or reverse the cardiac consequences of a sedentary lifestyle. Two years of exercise training may be an effective lifestyle modification for rejuvenating aging hearts and reducing the risk of heart failure. https://newsroom.heart.org/news/middle-aged-couch-potatoes-may-reverse-heart-effects-of-a-sedentary-life-with-exercise-trainingMon, 08 Jan 2018 10:00:00 GMT

Mental stress-induced constricted blood vessels more likely in women

Thu, 12/21/2017 - 04:18
Study Highlight:

  • In women with heart disease, constriction of peripheral vessels during mental stress affects the heart circulation more than men’s, potentially raising women’s risk of heart-related events and death.

Embargoed until 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET, Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017

DALLAS, Dec. 21, 2017 – In women with heart disease, constriction of peripheral vessels during mental stress affects the heart circulation more than men’s, potentially raising women’s risk of heart-related events and death, according to new research in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, an American Heart Association journal.

In most people, mental stress causes peripheral vessels to constrict. In people with heart disease, this effect can cause a reduction in blood supply to the heart muscle called “ischemia.”

“This research is important because previous studies have shown that a reduction in blood supply to the heart (ischemia) during mental stress doubles the risk of heart attack or death from heart disease,” said Viola Vaccarino, M.D., Ph.D., senior author of the study and professor of epidemiology and medicine at Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health in Atlanta, Georgia. “This increased risk of adverse cardiovascular events is about the same level as that seen in people who develop reduced blood flow in the heart muscle during a conventional test, such as a treadmill stress test.” 

In the Mental Stress Ischemia Mechanisms Prognosis study, 678 adults (average age 63) with heart disease delivered a speech while researchers measured their blood pressure and heart rate, took imaging pictures of their hearts and measured the constriction of tiny arteries supplying blood in their fingers.

Previously, researchers found that stress-induced reduced blood supply to the heart happened more often in women under age 50 than in men and older women. In this new analysis from the same study, the researchers found:

  • Reduced blood supply to the heart during mental stress in women was mostly influenced by the constriction of tiny peripheral blood vessels in reaction to mental stress, which can cause an increase in afterload, the force the heart must exert to pump blood out of the heart.

  • Reduced blood supply to the heart during mental stress in men was mostly due to a rise in blood pressure and heart rate during mental stress, which increased the workload on the heart.

“Our findings in the peripheral circulation also could reflect what occurs in the arteries in the heart. Instead of dilating and increasing blood flow to the heart during stress, in women the tiny blood vessels are constricted, leading to areas of reduced blood flow,” said Vaccarino, who is also chair of the department of epidemiology at the Emory University School of Public Health. “Constriction of peripheral vessels can also induce ischemia in the heart indirectly, because the heart has to pump against increased resistance.”

For people with heart disease, these results emphasize the importance of finding ways to reduce psychological stress and its potential impact on the body, researchers said.

“Women with heart disease need to know that they may be vulnerable to the effects of mental stress and think about ways to protect their hearts, such as relaxation techniques and physical exercise,” Vaccarino said.

Health professionals treating people with heart disease need to pay attention to the burden of mental stress on their patients, particularly women.

“The psychosocial sphere doesn’t receive a lot of attention during current clinical practice, but it is very important to advise both women and men with heart disease about interventions to reduce stress, and to refer them to other professionals if they need help with depression or anxiety,” Vaccarino said.

Gender differences in the impact of stress on the cardiovascular system detected in this study emphasize the importance of including enough women in all studies of heart disease so that their results can be analyzed separately.

However, this study could not tell whether the unhealthy reaction to mental stress in these participants eventually translated into greater numbers of heart attacks or other indicators of worsening heart disease. This is the objective of the team’s future research.

Co-authors are Samaah Sullivan, Ph.D.; Muhammad Hammadah, M.D.; Ibhar Al Mheid, M.D.; Kobina Wilmot, M.D.; Ronnie Ramadan, M.D.; Ayman Alkhoder, M.D.; Nino Isakadze, M.D., Amit Shah, M.D.; Oleksiy Levantsevych, M.D.; Pratik M. Pimple, M.B.B.S., M.P.H.; Michael Kutner, Ph.D.; Laura Ward, M.P.H.; Ernest V. Garcia, Ph.D.; Jonathon Nye, Ph.D.; Puja K. Mehta, M.D.; Tené T. Lewis, Ph.D.; J. Douglas Bremner, M.D.; Paolo Raggi, M.D.; and Arshed A. Quyyumi, M.D. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute funded the study.

Additional Resources:

###

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: 214-706-1173

Karen Astle: 214-706-1392; karen.astle@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

]]>Heart NewsThu, 21 Dec 2017 10:00:05 GMTStudy Highlight: In women with heart disease, constriction of peripheral vessels during mental stress affects the heart circulation more than men’s, potentially raising women’s risk of heart-related events and death. https://newsroom.heart.org/news/mental-stress-induced-constricted-blood-vessels-more-likely-in-womenThu, 21 Dec 2017 10:00:00 GMT

Unmarried heart patients face higher risk of death

Wed, 12/20/2017 - 04:59
Study Highlights:

  • Compared to married heart disease patients, being unmarried was associated with a higher risk of dying.
  • This is the first study to show an association between marital status and death from any cause and heart disease-related death in a high-risk heart patient population.

Embargoed until 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET,  Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017

DALLAS, Dec. 20, 2017 — Compared to married heart disease patients, being unmarried was associated with a higher risk of dying, according to new research in Journal of the American Heart Association, the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

Scientists have known that divorced individuals are at increased risk for death in general. However, few studies have evaluated the relationship between adverse cardiovascular outcomes and marital status in patients with known or suspected coronary artery disease.

The study of 6,051 patients (average age 63, 23 percent black) undergoing cardiac catheterization for coronary artery disease, is the first to show poor outcomes specifically among those who were divorced, separated, widowed or never married.

Patients were followed for 3.7 years. Researchers found that compared to married patients, being unmarried was associated with:

  • 24 percent higher risk of death from any cause;
  • 45 percent higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease; and
  • 52 percent higher risk of cardiovascular death/heart attack.

And specifically, the risk of cardiovascular death/heart attack was:

  • 40 percent higher for those who were never married;
  • 41 percent higher for those who were divorced or separated; and
  • 71 percent higher for those who had been widowed.

1,085 deaths were reported in this study (including 688 cardiovascular deaths and 272 heart attacks) during the follow-up.

“I was somewhat surprised by the magnitude of the influence of being married has (on heart patients),” said Arshed Quyyumi, M.D., lead researcher  and co-director of Emory Clinical Cardiovascular Research Institute and professor of medicine at Emory University in Atlanta. “Social support provided by marriage, and perhaps many other benefits of companionship, are important for people with heart disease.”

Unmarried individuals were more likely to be female and black, have hypertension, heart failure, or high cholesterol and less likely to be smokers compared with the married patients.

Researchers suggest that it may be important to consider marital status in treating coronary artery disease patients. Psychological conditions associated with being unmarried and potentially more aggressive follow-up and therapy needs to be considered in future studies.

Patients with severe heart valve damage, anemia, congenital heart disease, cancer or active inflammatory disease were excluded from this study. Marital status was determined from self-administered questionnaires. Divorced and separated people were combined into one group for this study. Telephone interviews and medical chart abstractions were used to identify adverse outcomes.

Researchers suggest the study be interpreted with caution as it is a retrospective analysis conducted at a single institution and did not follow-up regarding continued marital status. The findings cannot be applied to the general population without cardiovascular disease. In addition, the study did not consider cohabitation.

Co-authors are William M. Schultz, M.D.; Salim S. Hayek, M.D.; Ayman Samman Tahhan, M.D.; Yi-An Ko, Ph.D.; Pratik Sandesara, M.D.; Mosaab Awad, M.D.; Kareem H. Mohammed, M.D.; Keyur Patel M.D.; Michael Yuan, MPH; Shuai Zheng, Ph.D.; Matthew L. Topel, M.D.; Joy Hartsfield; Ravila MBhimani; Tina Varghese, M.D.; Jonathan H. Kim, M.D.; Leslee Shaw, Ph.D.; Peter Wilson, M.D. and Viola Vaccarino M.D., Ph.D. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

National Institutes of Health grants and the Abraham J. & Phyllis Katz Foundation (Atlanta, GA) helped fund the study.

Additional Resources:

###

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: 214-706-1173

Karen Astle: 214-706-1392; karen.astle@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

]]>Heart NewsWed, 20 Dec 2017 10:00:04 GMTStudy Highlights: Compared to married heart disease patients, being unmarried was associated with a higher risk of dying. This is the first study to show an association between marital status and death from any cause and heart disease-related death in a high-risk heart patient population. https://newsroom.heart.org/news/unmarried-heart-patients-face-higher-risk-of-deathWed, 20 Dec 2017 10:00:00 GMT

Higher risk of dying due to heart cell damage without any symptoms occurs during or after non-heart surgery

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 04:48
Study Highlights:

  • One in seven patients 65 or older undergoing non-heart surgery experienced heart cell damage during or after surgery, known as perioperative myocardial injury (PMI).
  • Deaths of patients with PMI were six times higher in the 30 days following surgery compared to patients without PMI.

Embargoed until 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Monday, December 4, 2017

DALLAS, December 4, 2017 — Surgery that doesn’t involve the heart may cause damage to the heart in people with known or at high risk of developing heart disease and was  associated with an increased risk of death, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation. 

Heart cell damage during or after non-heart surgery, known as perioperative myocardial injury (PMI), is an important yet often undetected complication following non-heart surgery and is strongly associated with death within 30 days after surgery, according to research published in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation. The causes of PMI are still under investigation. 

“Patients with PMI are easily missed because they show no symptoms of heart disease in the majority of cases and only very rarely experience chest pain, which is the typical symptom of heart attack,” said Christian Puelacher, M.D., Ph.D., first author of the study and a clinical researcher at Cardiovascular Research Institute Basel, in Basel, Switzerland.

To determine whether a patient’s non-heart surgery damaged heart cells, researchers screened patients for PMI by measuring levels of troponin – a heart protein -- in the blood before and after surgery to determine if there was injury to the heart. Troponin can indicate damage to the heart even when the patient has no symptoms. Non-heart surgeries ranged from low-risk (prostate or knee surgery) to moderate risk (hip replacement or gall bladder removal) to high risk (peripheral artery bypass or resection of a lung or the liver).

The researchers found that 1 out of 7 patients above the age of 65 or with preexisting coronary artery disease, peripheral artery disease, or stroke developed PMI. More than 90 percent of PMI patients reported typical chest pain. Patients with PMI had six times more likely to die of any cause within 30 days compared to patients without PMI. The high death rate associated with PMI persisted up to one year after surgery.

The increased death rate within the first 30 days of surgery highlights that PMI is associated with death early after surgery, Puelacher said. After one year, it was clear that the patients who had high levels of troponin, meaning there was some damage to the heart from non-heart surgery, were more likely to die, and that the main increase in deaths was observed within the first weeks after surgery.

“Recognizing PMI as a potential contributor to death after surgery might help improve the outcomes of non-cardiac surgery,” Puelacher said. “However, since there are no clear treatment recommendations for these patients, treatment currently has to be tailored to each patient individually. Therefore, further research is needed to find optimal PMI management strategies following detection.”

Patients were enrolled in the BASEL-PMI study, which is aimed at improving patient outcomes after non-cardiac surgery, focusing on heart complications in the period after surgery. From 2014 to 2015, 2,018 patients with known or at high risk of developing heart disease undergoing 2,546 non-cardiac surgeries at the University Hospital Basel in Switzerland, were included in the study.

Co-authors are Giovanna Lurati Buse, M.D., Daniela Seeberger, M.D., Lorraine Sazgary, M.D., Stella Marbot, M.D., Andreas Lampart, M.D., Jaqueline Espinola, M.D., Christoph Kindler, M.D., Angelika Hammerer, M.D., Esther Seeberger, D.A.S., Ivo Strebel, M.Sc., Karin Wildi, M.D., Raphael Twerenbold, M.D., Jeanne du Fay de Lavallaz, M.D., Luzius Steiner, M.D., Ph.D., Lorenz Gurke, M.D., Tobias Breidthardt, M.D., Katharina Rentsch, D.Sc., Andreas Buser, M.D., Danielle M Gualandro, Ph.D., Stefan Osswald, M.D., and Christian Mueller, M.D., for the BASEL-PMI investigators.

Contributing authors are:  Manfred Seeberger, M.D., Mirjam Christ-Crain, M.D., Ph.D., Florim Cuculi, M.D., Patrick Badertscher, M.D., Thomas Nestelberger, M.D., Desiree Wussler, M.D., Dayana Flores, M.D., Jasper Boeddinghaus, M.D., Zaid Sabti, M.D., Maria Rubini Giménez, M.D., Nikola Kozhuharov, M.D., Samyut Shrestha, M.D., Wanda Kloos, M.D., Jens Lohrmann, M.D., Tobias Reichlin, M.D., Michael Freese, R.N., Kathrin Meissner, R.N., Christoph Kaiser, M.D., and Andreas Buser, M.D.

Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

The University of Basel, the University Hospital Basel, the Swiss Heart Foundation, Abbott, Astra Zeneca, the Ph.D. Educational Platform for Health Sciences, the Forschungsfond Kantonsspital Aarau, and the Cardiovascular Research Foundation Basel funded the study.

Additional Resources:

###

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: 214-706-1173

Staff Contact; Darcy Spitz; (212) 878-5940; darcy.spitz@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

]]>Heart NewsMon, 04 Dec 2017 10:00:04 GMTStudy Highlights: One in seven patients 65 or older undergoing non-heart surgery experienced heart cell damage during or after surgery, known as perioperative myocardial injury (PMI). Deaths of patients with PMI were six times higher in the 30 days following surgery compared to patients without PMI. https://newsroom.heart.org/news/higher-risk-of-dying-due-to-heart-cell-damage-without-any-symptoms-occurs-during-or-after-non-heart-surgeryMon, 04 Dec 2017 10:00:00 GMT

Using Real Patient Stories, New PSA Campaign Urges Americans to Bring High Blood Pressure Under Control

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 06:13
New York, NY, November 16, 2017: Today the American Heart Association (AHA), American Stroke Association (ASA), and the American Medical Association (AMA) announced a new public service awareness (PSA) campaign in partnership with the Ad Council. The campaign seeks to raise awareness of the serious, life-altering consequences of uncontrolled high blood pressure, and motivate people to work with their doctor on developing and committing to a treatment plan to manage their blood pressure. Launched on the heels of a new guideline that means more people will have high blood pressure, the new campaign features actual stroke and heart attack survivors to show viewers the devastating consequences of uncontrolled high blood pressure—underscoring the urgency of controlling the condition.

An estimated 103 million American adults now have high blood pressure, but only about half have their condition under control. While most people know what their blood pressure numbers are, many don’t feel an urgency to manage them because there are often no signs or symptoms associated with high blood pressure—which is why it’s often referred to as the “silent killer.” If left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to potentially fatal consequences like heart attack and stroke. Although there is no cure for high blood pressure, it can be managed effectively by working with a doctor to create a treatment plan, which includes healthy lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy diet, exercising, consuming less salt, drinking alcohol in moderation, losing weight if overweight, and taking medication if needed.

Based on the latest available science, the 2017 Guideline for the Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Management of High Blood Pressure in Adults now considers a person to have hypertension when they have persistently elevated blood pressures at or above 130 systolic or 80 diastolic. While this now means that nearly half of all American adults have high blood pressure, treatment still begins with lifestyle changes. Both the new guideline and PSA campaign encourage people to adopt healthy behaviors and prevent problems by gaining awareness of their blood pressure and taking earlier action to control it.

“Of all the things we can do right now to reduce heart disease, strokes, and other debilitating disease, controlling blood pressure is one thing that has tremendous potential to save lives and improve well-being,” said Eduardo Sanchez, M.D., M.P.H., FAAFP, who is the American Heart Association’s Chief Medical Officer for Prevention. “Physicians and patients, together, need a clear and workable plan to keep blood pressure controlled. We want to help make that happen.”

The new “HBP Numbers” campaign links blood pressure numbers to the real effects of high blood pressure by helping viewers visualize the consequences from people who have suffered a heart attack or stroke. The PSAs, developed pro bono by Havas Adrenaline and filmed by renowned photographer and director Marco Grob, provide a hopeful and empowering message that anyone with high blood pressure can lower their risk of heart attack or stroke by talking to their doctor and finding a treatment plan that works for them.

“The real-life patients featured in this campaign have experienced first-hand the devastating and lasting effects of not having their high blood pressure under control. They are bravely sharing their stories and letting people see the real, negative health consequences of high blood pressure to help us awaken people who have high blood pressure and aren’t doing anything to manage it, before it’s too late,” said AMA President David O. Barbe, M.D. “Our goal is to reach more Americans living with uncontrolled high blood pressure to help them realize that working with their doctor to create an individualized treatment plan is the most effective way to help them maintain a lower blood pressure, reduce their risk for serious health consequences and ultimately save their life.”

Research suggests that adults with high blood pressure don’t always realize that their treatment plan can be modified to fit their lives, and they face several barriers to sticking to a plan--time, willpower and consistency with medication are the most frequently mentioned challenges. It has also been shown that awareness of the serious consequences of uncontrolled high blood pressure motivates people to take action to manage their condition. With this in mind, the campaign empowers patients to talk to a doctor and address this important issue together.

The campaign encourages viewers to visit LowerYourHBP.org and BajeSuPresion.org to find resources in English and Spanish that will help them understand their numbers, commit to a plan in partnership with their doctor and learn to manage their blood pressure. The digital experience also includes stories of people who experienced a heart attack or stroke because of high blood pressure.

“The stark imagery of the creative reframes high blood pressure numbers from something abstract and intangible to something visceral and important,” said Ad Council President & CEO Lisa Sherman. “But the work is also incredibly motivating because it reminds people that they have the support they need to prevent the devastating side effects of high blood pressure.”

“The honest power of these different personalities, the openness in which they revealed their physical and psychological scars will make people who write-off high blood pressure as just a number, immediately re-think the issue. Hopefully a lot of people’s lives will change or even be saved because of this effort. And that’s a tremendous reward for all of us involved,” said Havas Adrenaline Chief Creative Officer Rich Russo.

The American Heart Association, American Stroke Association, and American Medical Association are also working with their local offices, affiliates and partners to promote and activate the campaign in their communities, with evidence-based materials to aid physicians and other health care providers in the plan-building process.

###

American Heart Association

The American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary health organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular disease, is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke –  the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

American Medical Association

The American Medical Association is the premier national organization providing timely, essential resources to empower physicians, residents and medical students to succeed at every phase of their medical lives. Physicians have entrusted the AMA to advance the art and science of medicine and the betterment of public health on behalf of patients for more than 170 years. For more information, visit ama-assn.org.

Ad Council

The Ad Council brings together the most creative minds in advertising and media to address the most worthy causes. Its innovative, pro bono social good campaigns raise awareness. They inspire action. They save lives. To learn more, visit Adcouncil.org, follow the Ad Council’s communities on Facebook and Twitter, and view the creative on YouTube.

Media Contacts:

Ad Council

Shareeza Bhola

sbhola@adcouncil.org

(212) 984-1910

American Heart Association

Maggie Francis

maggie.francis@heart.org

(214) 706-1382

American Medical Association

Kelly Jakubek

Kelly.Jakubek@ama-assn.org

(312) 464-4443

Havas

Carly Wengrover

carly.wengrover@havas.com

(212) 886- 2736

]]>Program NewsHeart NewsThu, 16 Nov 2017 11:10:04 GMTNew York, NY, November 16, 2017: Today the American Heart Association (AHA), American Stroke Association (ASA), and the American Medical Association (AMA) announced a new public service awareness (PSA) campaign in partnership with the Ad Council. The...https://newsroom.heart.org/news/using-real-patient-stories-new-psa-campaign-urges-americans-to-bring-high-blood-pressure-under-controlThu, 16 Nov 2017 11:10:00 GMT

Treating gum disease may help lower blood pressure

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 17:28
Study Highlight:

  • Intensive treatment of gum disease, or periodontitis, was associated with a significant decrease in blood pressure among patients at risk for developing high blood pressure in this Chinese study.

Embargoed until 3 p.m. PT/ 6 p.m. ET, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017

This news release contains updated study information not reflected in the abstract.

ANAHEIM, California, Nov. 14, 2017 — Treatment for gum disease, or periodontitis, significantly lowered blood pressure among Chinese patients at risk for developing high blood pressure, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2017, a premier global exchange of the latest advances in cardiovascular science for researchers and clinicians.

This small study compared blood pressure levels after standard and intensive treatment for gum disease. The standard treatment included basic oral hygiene instructions and teeth cleaning with plaque removal above the gum line. The intensive treatment included the standard treatment along with cleaning down to the roots with local anesthesia, antibiotic treatment and dental extractions, if necessary.

Researchers found:

  • One month after treatment, systolic blood pressure was nearly 3 points lower in participants receiving intensive treatment, but no significant difference was observed in diastolic blood pressure.
  • Three months after treatment, systolic blood pressure was nearly 8 points lower and diastolic pressure was nearly 4 points lower in patients receiving intensive treatment.
  • Six months after treatment, systolic blood pressure was nearly 13 points and diastolic blood pressure was almost 10 points lower in patients receiving intensive treatment.

“The present study demonstrates for the first time that intensive periodontal intervention alone can reduce blood pressure levels, inhibit inflammation and improve endothelial function,” said study lead author Jun Tao, M.D., Ph.D., chief of the department of Hypertension and Vascular Disease and director of the Institute of Geriatrics Research at The First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China.

Study participants included 107 Chinese women and men age 18 years and over with prehypertension and moderate to severe gum disease. Through random assignment, half of the participants received standard treatment and half received intensive treatment for gum disease.

Researchers noted additional research with patients from diverse backgrounds is needed.

In the United States, high blood pressure affects 29.1 percent of adults aged 18 and over in 2011 – 2012. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart and blood vessel disease. Fortunately, most people can manage the disease through diet and lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active, limiting alcohol and taking prescribed medications properly.

Co-authors are Jun-Ying Yang, M.D.; Qian-Bing Zhou, M.D.; Wen-Hao Xia, M.D., Ph.D.; Jing Ren, M.D.; Chen Su, M.D., Ph.D., and Xiao-Yu Zhang, M.D., Ph.D. Author disclosures are on the abstract.

The National Science and Technology Pillar Program funded the study.

Note: Scientific presentation is 4:45 p.m. PT, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017.

Presentation location: 209AB (Main Building)

Additional Resources:

Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

###

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA Spokesperson Perspective:

AHA News Media in Dallas: 214-706-1173

AHA News Media Office, Nov. 11-15, 2017 at the Anaheim Convention Center: 714-765-2004.

For Public Inquiries: 800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

]]>Heart NewsScientific Conferences & MeetingsTue, 14 Nov 2017 23:00:04 GMTStudy Highlight: Intensive treatment of gum disease, or periodontitis, was associated with a significant decrease in blood pressure among patients at risk for developing high blood pressure in this Chinese study. https://newsroom.heart.org/news/treating-gum-disease-may-help-lower-blood-pressureTue, 14 Nov 2017 23:00:00 GMT

Sleep deprivation may increase risk of cardiovascular disease in older women

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 16:26
Embargoed until 2:20 p.m. PT/5:20 p.m. ET, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017

ANAHEIM, California, Nov. 14, 2017 — Older women who don’t get enough sleep were more likely to have poor cardiovascular health, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2017, a premier global exchange of the latest advances in cardiovascular science for researchers and clinicians.

In the new study, researchers considered sleeping at least two hours more during the weekend than on the weekday as a sign of being in sleep debt. Among the roughly 21,500 female health professionals between ages of 60 and 84 the research team followed, women who were in sleep debt were more likely to be obese and have hypertension. When taking into account socioeconomic status and sources of stress, such as negative life events and work-related stress that could also influence cardiovascular health, quality of sleep was still an important factor for good overall cardiovascular health. The results suggest that not getting enough sleep during the week might throw the body off and may increase risk of cardiovascular disease in older women.

Tomas Cabeza De Baca, Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco

Presentation location: Population Forum, Science & Technology Hall

Additional Resources:

Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

###

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA Spokesperson Perspective:

AHA News Media in Dallas: 214-706-1173

AHA News Media Office, Nov. 11-15, 2017 at the Anaheim Convention Center: 714-765-2004.

For Public Inquiries: 800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

 

]]>Heart NewsScientific Conferences & MeetingsTue, 14 Nov 2017 22:20:04 GMTANAHEIM, California, Nov. 14, 2017 — Older women who don’t get enough sleep were more likely to have poor cardiovascular health, according to preliminary research presented at the...https://newsroom.heart.org/news/sleep-deprivation-may-increase-risk-of-cardiovascular-disease-in-older-womenTue, 14 Nov 2017 22:20:00 GMT

E-cigarettes are more likely to be used by alcohol drinkers and former cigarette smokers

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 16:26
Embargoed until 1:30 p.m. PT/ 4:30 p.m. ET, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017

ANAHEIM, California, Nov. 14, 2017 — Electronic cigarettes are more frequently used by people who recently quit smoking and alcohol drinkers, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2017, a premier global exchange of the latest advances in cardiovascular science for researchers and clinicians.

Researchers examined data from 5,423 individuals with recorded tobacco use in the 2013-2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). A total of 116 (2.6 percent) of NHANES participants were found to use e-cigarettes.

They found electronic cigarettes were used by 8 percent of people who never smoked. When compared to individuals who never used any tobacco products, e-cigarette users were:

  • 6.32 times as likely to be exposed to second-hand tobacco smoke.
  • 4.19 times as likely to report drinking alcohol 12 times or more in the last 12 months.
  • Less likely to be college graduates, illicit drug users and people with an income of at least $75,000.

Compared to other tobacco users, e-cigarette users were more likely to be current or former smokers. Former smokers were 23 times likely to use e-cigarette, within the last three months of quitting cigarettes.

With an observed trend, the longer the time duration since quitting cigarettes, the lower the difference was between e-cigarette users and other tobacco users. However, the difference remained large and significant for all time intervals, researchers said.

The American Heart Association cautions against the use of e-cigarettes, stating that e-cigarettes containing nicotine are tobacco products that should be subject to all laws that apply to these products. The association also calls for strong new regulations to prevent access, sales and marketing of e-cigarettes to youth, and for more research into the product’s health impact.

Authors are Rana M. Jaber, Ph.D.; Mohammadhassan Mirbolouk, MD.; Andrew P. DeFilippis, Ph.D.; Wasim Maziak, MD.; Ron Blankstein, Ph.D.; Anshul Saxena, Ph.D. and Thomas Payne, Ph.D., Rachel Keith, Ph.D., Benjamin Emelia, MD., Bhatnagar Aruni, Ph.D., Michael J. Blaha, MD., Khurram Nasir, MD.

American Heart Association Tobacco Regulation and Addiction Center (A-TRAC) funded the study.

Rana M. Jaber, Ph.D., Baptist Health South Florida, Coral Gables.

Note: Scientific presentation is 1:30 p.m. PT, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017.

Presentation location: Population Science Section, Science and Technology Hall

Additional Resources:

Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

###

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA Spokesperson Perspective:

AHA News Media in Dallas: 214-706-1173

AHA News Media Office, Nov. 11-15, 2017 at the Anaheim Convention Center: 714-765-2004.

For Public Inquiries: 800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

]]>Heart NewsScientific Conferences & MeetingsTue, 14 Nov 2017 21:30:05 GMTANAHEIM, California, Nov. 14, 2017 — Electronic cigarettes are more frequently used by people who recently quit smoking and alcohol drinkers, according to preliminary research presented...https://newsroom.heart.org/news/e-cigarettes-are-more-likely-to-be-used-by-alcohol-drinkers-and-former-cigarette-smokersTue, 14 Nov 2017 21:30:00 GMT

Stressful events can increase women’s odds of obesity

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 14:21
Study Highlights:

  • Women who reported one or more traumatic lifetime events, such as death of a child, had increased odds of obesity.
  • Women who reported four or more negative events in the last five years, such as unemployed though wanting work, had increased odds of obesity.

Embargoed until 12 p.m. PT /3 p.m. ET, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017

ANAHEIM, California, Nov.14, 2017 — Women who experienced one or more traumatic lifetime events or several negative events in recent years had higher odds of being obese than women who didn’t report such stress, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2017, a premier global exchange of the latest advances in cardiovascular science for researchers and clinicians.

“Little is known about how negative and traumatic life events affect obesity in women. We know that stress affects behavior, including whether people under- or overeat, as well as neuro-hormonal activity by in part increasing cortisol production, which is related to weight gain,” said study senior author Michelle A. Albert, M.D., M.P.H., professor of medicine, cardiology, and founding director of the Center for the Study of Adversity and Cardiovascular Disease, at University of California, San Francisco.

Obesity, a preventable risk factor for cardiovascular and other diseases, impacts more than one-third of U.S. adults. According to the American Heart Association, nearly 70 percent of American adults are either overweight or obese.  Women tend to live longer than men, putting especially obese, aging women at greater risk for disease, said study author Eva M. Durazo, Ph.D., a post-doctoral scholar at the NURTURE Center, Division of Cardiology, UCSF said.

The researchers studied the relationship between major life events and obesity in a group of 21,904 middle-aged and older women, focusing on women with the highest obesity prevalence. They defined obesity as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 kg/m2 or higher. And, they measured the impacts of two types of stress: traumatic events, which could occur anytime in a woman’s life and includes such things as death of a child or being a victim of a serious physical attack, as well as negative life events that had occurred in the previous five years of a woman’s life. Negative events included wanting employment but being unemployed for longer than three months or being burglarized.

They found:

  • Nearly a quarter (23 percent) of the women studied were obese.
  • Women who reported greater than one traumatic life event versus no traumatic life events had 11 percent increased odds of obesity.
  • The higher the number of negative life events reported by women in the last five years, the higher the tendency for increased odds of obesity. Specifically, women who reported four or more negative life events had a 36 percent higher risk of obesity, compared to women who reported no such events.
  • Among women who had higher levels of physical activity, there was a stronger association between increasing cumulative/chronic stress and obesity, though the reason for this finding remains uncertain.

“Our findings suggest that psychological stress in the form of negative and traumatic life events might represent an important risk factor for weight changes and, therefore, we should consider including assessment and treatment of psychosocial stress in approaches to weight management,” Albert said.

Because the study looks at the association between stressful events and obesity in a snapshot of time, future studies should look at the relationship longitudinally, following people for weight gain over time after life events have occurred, according to Albert.

“This is important work because women are living longer and are more at risk for chronic illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease. The potential public health impact is large, as obesity is related to increased risks of heart attack, stroke, diabetes and cancer, and contributes to spiraling healthcare costs,” Albert said.

Co-authors are Fumika Matsushita, M.P.H.; Alan M. Zaslavsky, Ph.D.; Tiffany Powell-Wiley, M.D., M.P.H.; Natalie Slopen, Sc.D. and Julie E. Buring, Sc.D. Author disclosures are on the abstract.

The National Institute on Aging, National Cancer Institute and National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute funded the study.

Presentation location: Population Science Section, Science & Technology Hall

Additional Resources:

Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

###

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA Spokesperson Perspective:

AHA News Media in Dallas: 214-706-1173

AHA News Media Office, Nov. 11-15, 2017 at the Anaheim Convention Center: 714-765-2004

For Public Inquiries: 800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

]]>Heart NewsScientific Conferences & MeetingsTue, 14 Nov 2017 20:00:07 GMTStudy Highlights: Women who reported one or more traumatic lifetime events, such as death of a child, had increased odds of obesity. Women who reported four or more negative events in the last five years, such as unemployed though wanting work, had...https://newsroom.heart.org/news/stressful-events-can-increase-womens-odds-of-obesityTue, 14 Nov 2017 20:00:00 GMT

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