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Smoking may increase heart failure risk among African Americans

Mon, 04/16/2018 - 08:58
Study Highlights:

  • African Americans who smoke may be at greater risk of developing heart failure.
  • Among African Americans, those who smoke a pack or more a day are likely at greatest risk for heart failure.
  • African Americans who quit smoking may no longer be at increased risk of heart failure.

Embargoed until 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Monday, April 16, 2018

DALLAS, April 16, 2018 — African Americans who smoke appear to be at far greater risk of developing heart failure than those who never smoked, or those who quit, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation.

“Previous research has focused on smoking and atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, but not enough attention has been given to the other bad effects of smoking on the heart,” said Michael E. Hall, M.D., M.S., a cardiologist at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson and senior study author. “With increasing rates of heart failure, particularly among African Americans, we wanted to look at the link between smoking and heart failure.”

Patients with heart failure are unable to pump enough blood and oxygen to their bodies to remain healthy. According to the American Heart Association, 1 of every 5 Americans over the age of 40 is expected to develop heart failure in their lifetime—and that number is growing.

The study included 4,129 participants in the Jackson Heart Study with a median follow up of 8 years. At enrollment, none of the participants (average age 54) had heart failure or hardening of the arteries, which can lead to heart failure. Among participants there were 2,884 people who never smoked, 503 who were current smokers and 742 who were former smokers. During the study period, there were 147 hospitalizations for heart failure.

The study found hospitalizations for heart failure were:

  • Nearly three times more likely among current smokers;
  • Three-and-a-half times more likely among current smokers who smoked a pack or more a day; and
  • Twice as likely among those with a smoking history equivalent to smoking a pack a day for 15 years.

Researchers also found a link between current smoking and a larger left ventricle, the heart’s main pumping chamber, which showed early signs that the left ventricle was not working properly.  Hall said these changes in the left ventricle’s structure and function likely put a person at greater risk of developing heart failure.

Importantly, researchers did not find a link between former smokers and heart failure hospitalization or changes in the left ventricle.

The study took into account high blood pressure, diabetes, body mass and other factors that might have biased results. Researchers said the association between smoking, heart failure hospitalizations and left ventricle changes remained even after also accounting for those participants who developed coronary heart disease during the study period.

Study limitations include the fact that the participants lived in only three counties in the Jackson, Mississippi metropolitan area, so findings may not be generalizable to African Americans living elsewhere.

“Still, the study clearly underscores the harms of smoking and the benefits of quitting,” Hall said. As healthcare professionals, we would recommend that all patients quit smoking anyway, but the message should be made even more forcefully to patients at higher risk of heart failure.”

Co-authors are Daisuke Kamimura, M.D., Ph.D.; Loretta R. Cain, Ph.D.; Robert J. Mentz, M.D.; Wendy B. White, Ph.D.; Michael J. Blaha, M.D., M.P.H.; Andrew P. DeFilippis, M.D., M.S.; Ervin R. Fox, M.D. M.P.H; Carlos J. Rodriguez, M.D., M.P.H.; Rachel J. Keith, Ph.D., N.P.; Emelia J. Benjamin,  M.D., Sc.M; Javed Butler, M.D., M.P.H.; Aruni Bhatnagar, Ph.D.; Rose M. Robertson, M.D.; Michael D. Winniford, M.D.; and Adolfo Correa, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D. There were no author disclosures.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the National Institute for Minority Health and Health Disparities 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

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, 16 Apr 2018 13:48:54 GMTStudy Highlights: African Americans who smoke may be at greater risk of developing heart failure. Among African Americans, those who smoke a pack or more a day are likely at greatest risk for heart failure. African Americans who quit smoking may no longer be at increased risk of heart failure. https://newsroom.heart.org/news/smoking-may-increase-heart-failure-risk-among-african-americansMon, 16 Apr 2018 09:00:00 GMT

Wildfire smoke associated with more ER visits for heart, stroke ailments among seniors

Wed, 04/11/2018 - 04:19
Study Highlight:

  • Exposure to smoke from wildfires was associated with increased rates of emergency room visits for heart- and stroke-related illness, especially among adults age 65 and older.

Embargoed until 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Wednesday, April 11, 2018

DALLAS, April 11, 2018 — Smoke from wildfires may send people – particularly seniors – to hospital emergency rooms (ERs) with heart, stroke-related complaints, according to new research in the Journal of the American Heart Association, the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

Previous studies have shown that wildfire smoke exacerbates respiratory conditions but yielded inconsistent results for effects on the heart, brain or blood vessels.

The study was the product of a collaboration between researchers at the University of California San Francisco, California Department of Public Health and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Researchers reviewed more than one million ER visits in northern and central California during intense wildfires in the summer of 2015. They examined the relative risk of daily heart-, brain- and blood vessel-related ER visits on light, medium and dense smoke days relative to days without wildfire smoke exposure.

They found that smoke exposure was associated with increased rates of ER visits, not just for breathing trouble, but also ischemic heart disease, irregular heart rhythm, heart failure, pulmonary embolism and stroke. The risk was greatest for adults age 65 and older.  

The greatest increased relative risk was noted within a day of dense wildfire smoke. During these times, researchers found rates of ER visits among adults 65 and older increased:

  • 42 percent for heart attack; and
  • 22 percent for ischemic heart disease.

Overall, ER visits for all cardiovascular and cerebrovascular causes were elevated across all smoke days, with the greatest increase on dense smoke days and among adults age 65 and older. Respiratory conditions also were increased, as anticipated.

“This is one of the most extensive studies of wildfire health impacts in California to date,” said Ana Rappold, Ph.D., study senior author and statistician with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Durham, North Carolina.

Wildfire smoke contains many pollutants including ozone, carbon monoxide and fine particulate matter – which is linked to cardiovascular risk. People with underlying cardiovascular disease risk factors may be at risk for an acute heart, brain or blood vessel event when exposed to wildfire smoke.

A 2010 AHA statement on air pollution noted that particulate matter has been associated with increased risks of heart attack, stroke, irregular heart rhythm and heart failure exacerbation within hours to days of exposure in susceptible individuals. In addition, long term exposure to particulate matter can reduce life expectancy by a few years.

“The findings have public health and clinical implications,” said Wayne E. Cascio, M.D., study author and acting director for the National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory in the EPA’s Research and Development Office. “I think it will have a significant impact on how clinicians and public health officials view future wildfire events and the smoke that's generated from them.”

Research has shown that wildfire season in North America is increasing in intensity and duration. As wildfires likely become a bigger problem, it is important to continue research for wider-ranging health impacts from smoke exposure and ways to help people prevent these health outcomes, said Zachary S. Wettstein, B.A., study first author and graduating medical student from the University of California San Francisco.

“We need to study effective interventions that might decrease exposure to smoke and the associated health impacts,” Wettstein said. “These findings urge us to study these impacts over longer periods of time and within susceptible populations.”

The study did not examine the effect of personal traits such as past medical history, race, socioeconomic status and other factors that might affect the association between smoke exposure and ER visits but did examine differences by sex and age.

Other co-authors are Sumi Hoshiko, M.P.H.; Jahan Fahimi, M.D., Ph.D.; and Robert Harrison, M.D., M.P.H. The authors reported no conflicts of interest.

The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, 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 heart.org/corporate funding.

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 NewsWed, 11 Apr 2018 09:00:07 GMTStudy Highlight: Exposure to smoke from wildfires was associated with increased rates of emergency room visits for heart- and stroke-related illness, especially among adults age 65 and older. https://newsroom.heart.org/news/wildfire-smoke-associated-with-more-er-visits-for-heart-stroke-ailments-among-seniorsWed, 11 Apr 2018 09:00:00 GMT

When heart disease runs in the family, exercise may be best defense

Mon, 04/09/2018 - 04:14
Embargoed until 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Monday, April 9, 2018

Study Highlight:

  • As fitness increases, heart risk decreases regardless of genetic risk.

DALLAS, April 9, 2018 – Exercise may be the best way to keep hearts healthy – and it works even for people with a genetic pre-disposition for heart disease, according to new findings in the American Heart Association’s journal, Circulation.

Data assessed from roughly a half-million people in the UK Biobank database showed that greater grip strength, more physical activity and better cardiorespiratory fitness are all associated with reduced risk for heart attacks and stroke, even among people with a genetic predisposition for heart disease.

For participants with an intermediate genetic risk for cardiovascular diseases, those with the strongest grips were 36 percent less likely to develop coronary heart disease and had a 46 percent reduction in their risk for atrial fibrillation compared to study participants with the same genetic risk who had the weakest grips.

Among individuals deemed at high genetic risk for cardiovascular diseases, high levels of cardiorespiratory fitness were associated with a 49 percent lower risk for coronary heart disease and a 60 percent lower risk for atrial fibrillation compared to study participants with low cardiorespiratory fitness.

“The main message of this study is that being physically active is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, even if you have a high genetic risk,” said Erik Ingelsson, M.D., Ph.D., lead author of the study and a professor of Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine in California. 

There are a few caveats: the study is not a prescription for a specific type or amount of exercise and because the results come from an observational study, Ingelsson said, “we can’t definitely claim a causal connection.” Observational studies are designed to establish trends. 

Nonetheless, he said the data is robust and these latest results are worthy for consideration in guidelines. For individuals, “it would be best to discuss a physical activity plan with a physician,” Ingelsson said.

Participants in the UK Biobank Study are from England, Scotland and Wales and gave their consent to have their genetic pre-disposition for diseases assessed when the study began. At the start of the study, they had no evidence of heart disease. Data from 482,702 participants, aged 40-69, was included in the published analysis. More than half of the participants were women.

The International Physical Activity Questionnaire was used to assess self-reported exercise, while wrist-worn accelerometers, hand dynamometers (grip strength) and submaximal exercise treadmill were used for objective measures. Additionally, 468,095 individuals had genome-wide genetic data.

The results were adjusted for age, gender, ethnicity, region, socioeconomic status, diabetes, smoking, systolic blood pressure, body mass index and use of lipid medications.

Previous research found associations between exercise and heart health, but Ingelsson said that less was known about the cardiovascular effect of exercise in persons with a family history of heart disease. This analysis was designed to answer two questions: is physical activity and fitness associated with lower risk of cardiovascular events and what effect – if any – does genetic predisposition play in that equation.

During follow-up, there were 20,914 reported cardiovascular events, which included heart attacks, strokes, atrial fibrillation and heart failure.

Co-authors were Emmi Tikkanen, Ph.D., of the Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, California and Stefan Gustafsson, Ph.D., of the Department of Molecular Sciences, Molecular Epidemiology and Science for Life Laboratory, Uppsala University, Sweden.

The National Institutes of Health, Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, Finnish Cultural Foundation, Finnish Foundation for Cardiovascular Research, and Emil Aaltonen Foundation 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, 09 Apr 2018 09:00:08 GMTStudy Highlight: As fitness increases, heart risk decreases regardless of genetic risk. https://newsroom.heart.org/news/when-heart-disease-runs-in-the-family-exercise-may-be-best-defenseMon, 09 Apr 2018 09:00:00 GMT

Depression negatively impacts heart and stroke patients

Sat, 04/07/2018 - 14:02
Study Highlights:

  • People with cardiovascular disease who haven’t been diagnosed with depression but are at high-risk for it are more likely to report worse healthcare experiences and use emergency room services more often than those diagnosed with depression.
  • Heart attack patients diagnosed with depression are more likely to be hospitalized, use emergency rooms and annually spend more on healthcare than heart attack patients without depression.
  • More aggressive screening for depression among people with cardiovascular disease could enhance patient experiences and increase healthcare efficiency and costs, researchers said.

Embargoed until 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Saturday, April 7, 2018

ARLINGTON, Virginia, April 7, 2018 — Depression, even when undiagnosed, can have many negative effects on cardiovascular patients, including poor healthcare experiences, more use of healthcare resources and higher health costs, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association’s Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions 2018, a premier global exchange of the latest advances in quality of care and outcomes research in cardiovascular disease and stroke for researchers, healthcare professionals and policymakers.

About one-fifth of cardiovascular disease patients suffer from depression.

“While we don’t know which comes first--depression or cardiovascular disease—the consensus is that depression is a risk marker for cardiovascular disease, meaning if you have cardiovascular disease, there is a higher likelihood that you could also have depression, when compared with the risk in the general population,” said Victor Okunrintemi, M.D., M.P.H., a research fellow at Baptist Health South Florida in Coral Gables, Florida, and lead author of a pair of studies that looked into different aspects of depression and cardiovascular disease.

In one study, Okunrintemi and colleagues evaluated patient experience, healthcare expenditure and resource use in a large population of adult cardiovascular disease patients, dividing them into two groups: those who had been diagnosed with depression and those who had not been diagnosed with depression. Based on responses from a health questionnaire, patients who had not been diagnosed with depression were divided into high- and low-risk groups for depression.

When researchers compared high- and low-risk groups of cardiovascular patients without depression, they found:

  • Those at high risk for depression spent more on overall and out-of-pocket healthcare expenditures yearly when compared with patients in the low-risk group.

  • High-risk patients for depression were more than two times more likely to be hospitalized and used the emergency room than those at low risk.

  • High-risk patients were more than five times more likely to have a poor self-perceived health status, and almost four times more likely to be dissatisfied with their healthcare.

  • Patients at high risk for depression had notably worse healthcare-related quality of life.

“When we compared non-depressed patients to those who had been diagnosed with depression, we found those who were not depressed and yet had a higher risk for depression had worse healthcare experiences, increased use of the emergency room, poorer perception of their health status and a lower health-related quality of life than those who actually had depression,” Okunrintemi said. “That could be because people at high risk for depression simply haven’t been diagnosed and treated for depression yet.”

In a second study comparing health resource use and expenditures among heart attack patients with and without depression, Okunrintemi and colleagues found that heart attack patients diagnosed with depression were 54 percent more likely to be hospitalized and 43 percent more likely to have emergency room visits, compared to those not diagnosed with depression.

Furthermore, heart attack patients with depression spent an estimated $4,381 more, annually on healthcare expenses, compared with those without depression.

“Depression and heart attack often coexist, which has been associated with worse health experiences for these patients,” he said. “As a quality improvement measure to increase healthcare efficiency, we recommend more aggressive depression screening at follow-up visits for heart attack patients.”

In a separate study by a different group of researchers, stroke patients diagnosed with depression prior to having a stroke were more likely than those without depression to report functional declines and worse stroke impact on health and quality of life months after their stroke.

Researchers studied more than 1,600 stroke patients with similar stroke severity and functional status when discharged from the hospital. Three and six months after the strokes, they found those diagnosed with depression before having a stroke were 56 percent more likely than those without depression to report functional declines and a greater negative stroke-related impact on health and life.

The researchers call for strategies to more effectively manage existing depression among stroke patients to improve patients’ health and quality of life post stroke.

Dr. Okunrintemi’s co-authors are: Javier Valero-Elizondo, M.D., M.P.H.; Erin Michos, M.D., M.H.S.; Joseph Salami, M.D., M.P.H.; Oluseye Ogunmoroti, M.D., M.P.H.; Chukwuemeka Osondu, M.D., M.P.H.; Martin Tibuakuu, M.D., M.P.H.; Eve-Marie Benson, M.D., M.P.H.; Timothy Pawlik, M.D., M.P.H.; and Khurram Nasir, M.D., M.P.H.

Authors of the stroke study are: Shreyansh Shah; Haolin Xu; Ying Xian; Lesley Maisch; Deidre Hannah; Brianna Lindholm; Barbara L. Lytle; Michael J. Pencina; DaiWai M. Olson; Eric E. Smith; Gregg C. Fonarow; Lee H. Schwamm; Deepak L. Bhatt; Adrian F. Hernandez; and Emily C. O'Brien.

Author disclosures are on the abstracts.

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: 214-706-1173

AHA Staff Contact: Cathy Lewis; 214-706-1324; cathy.lewis@heart.org

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

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

 

]]>Heart NewsScientific Conferences & MeetingsStroke NewsSat, 07 Apr 2018 18:00:09 GMTStudy Highlights: People with cardiovascular disease who haven’t been diagnosed with depression but are at high-risk for it are more likely to report worse healthcare experiences and use emergency room services more often than those diagnosed with...https://newsroom.heart.org/news/depression-negatively-impacts-heart-and-stroke-patientsSat, 07 Apr 2018 18:00:00 GMT

Online message board advice on ICDs reflects inaccuracies

Sat, 04/07/2018 - 14:02
Study Highlights:

  • Medical advice about implanted cardiac defibrillators obtained over two years from a dedicated online message board was accurate only about half of the time.
  • About a quarter of advice dispensed via the online message board was inappropriate and six percent controversial.
  • These findings underscore the need for clinicians to ask patients about sources of information to ensure they receive appropriate advice.

Embargoed until 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Saturday, April 7, 2018

ARLINGTON, Virginia, April 7, 2018 — Medical advice about implanted cardiac defibrillators obtained via an online message board appears to be accurate only half of the time, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association’s Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions 2018, a premier global exchange of the latest advances in quality of care and outcomes research in cardiovascular disease and stroke for researchers, healthcare professionals and policymakers.

The study, based on analysis of two years of messages on an anonymous online board about implanted cardiac defibrillators (ICDs), showed that about 25 percent of the messages contained inappropriate advice, and six percent of advice shared was controversial. Researchers analyzed 127 discussions, 82 of which pertained to medical advice in several topical areas, including cardiovascular disease, device programming and maintenance, physical activity restrictions and management of other health conditions.

The research team said the findings underscore the need to ensure that clinicians follow up with patients about their information sources to ensure they are receiving accurate advice outside of the doctor’s offices. Ensuring appropriate advice is particularly important when it comes to complex decisions about advanced procedures, tests and interventions such as the decision to have an ICD, the study authors added.

“The internet is a critical piece of the vast network of information available to patients, as Americans use the internet to understand their health all the time,” said Christopher Knoepke, Ph.D., study lead investigator and an instructor of cardiology at the University of Colorado Denver. “Our findings indicate that patients should be advised that discussions on these online message boards can provide some good, basic information, but more complicated and in-depth advice may be problematic.”

ICDs are miniature devices surgically implanted in the heart to fire off electric shocks that interrupt potentially lethal arrhythmias and restore normal heart rhythm. Between one and two million people live with ICDs in the United States, the study authors said, and some 130,000 new devices are implanted in patients each year.  

Given how common patient use of online medical information is, clinicians must be aware of the potential their patients will be exposed to inaccurate or dangerous information, the research team said.

“Clinicians should caution patients it’s impossible for anyone not familiar with his or her case and full medical history to help put information into context for their individual patient needs,” Knoepke said.

Co-authors are Daniel Slack, Daniel Matlock and Lucas Marzec. Author disclosures are on the abstract.

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: 214-706-1173

AHA Staff Contact: Cathy Lewis; 214-706-1324; cathy.lewis@heart.org

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

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

 

]]>Scientific Conferences & MeetingsHeart NewsSat, 07 Apr 2018 18:00:06 GMTStudy Highlights: Medical advice about implanted cardiac defibrillators obtained over two years from a dedicated online message board was accurate only about half of the time. About a quarter of advice dispensed via the online message board was...https://newsroom.heart.org/news/online-message-board-advice-on-icds-reflects-inaccuraciesSat, 07 Apr 2018 18:00:00 GMT

Study found people would rather pop a pill or sip tea than exercise to treat high blood pressure

Sat, 04/07/2018 - 08:46
Study Highlights:

  • Survey respondents were more likely to choose a daily cup of tea or a pill over exercise to “treat” high blood pressure in an imaginary scenario, but many didn’t think the interventions were worth the benefits.
  • When the perceived gain of treating hypertension was higher—one or five extra years of life versus one extra month, for example—survey respondents were more likely to say they would.
  • These findings underscore the importance of discussing treatment pros and cons with cardiovascular patients and getting their buy-in to ensure continued adherence.

Embargoed until 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time, Saturday, April 7, 2018

ARLINGTON, Virginia, April 7, 2018 — In a survey to assess treatment preferences for high blood pressure, respondents were more likely to choose a daily cup of tea or a pill over exercise, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association’s Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions 2018, a premier global exchange of the latest advances in quality of care and outcomes research in cardiovascular disease and stroke for researchers, healthcare professionals and policymakers.

Researchers wanted to find out how people weigh the benefits of high blood pressure treatment options against its inconvenience. They asked survey respondents to imagine that they had high blood pressure and then asked about their willingness to adopt any of four “treatments” to gain an extra month, year or five years of life. In this survey, the “treatments” proposed were: a daily cup of tea, exercise, pills or monthly or semi-annual injections.

Results showed that taking a pill or drinking a daily up of tea were the preferred treatments, though some were unwilling to adopt any intervention even if it meant gaining an additional year or five years of life. For each treatment, participants were more likely to say they would adopt it if the benefit were greater:

  • 79 percent of respondents said they would be willing to take a pill for an extra month of life, 90 percent would for an extra year of life and 96 percent would for an extra five years of life;

  • 78 percent said they would drink a daily cup of tea for one extra month of life, 91 percent would for one extra year of life and 96 percent would drink it for an extra five years of life;

  • 63 percent would be willing to exercise for an extra month of life, 84 percent would for an extra year of life and 93 percent would exercise if it meant an extra five years of life;

  • A shot was the least preferred of the options – 68 percent would take a shot every six months if it would give them an extra month of life, 85 percent would do it for an extra year of life and 93 percent would be willing if it gave them another five years, but only about half (51 percent) would take a monthly shot for an extra month of life, 74 percent would for an extra year and 88 percent would opt for an injection every month if it gave them five extra years of life.

In addition, at least 20 percent of respondents wanted to achieve gains in life expectancy beyond what any of the individual interventions could provide.

“Our findings demonstrate that people naturally assign different weights to the pluses and minuses of interventions to improve cardiovascular health,” said Erica Spatz, M.D., M.H.S., the study lead author and an assistant professor of cardiovascular medicine in the Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation at Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, CT. “I believe we need to tap into this framework when we are talking with patients about options to manage their blood pressure. We are good about discussing side effects, but rarely do we find out if other inconveniences or burdens may be impacting a person’s willingness to take a lifelong medication or to exercise regularly.”

From March to June 2017, 1,284 U.S. adults recruited through Amazon MTurk and 100 patients attending an outpatient health clinic completed the survey. Most survey respondents were under 45 years old, and half were female. Roughly three-quarters of respondents were non-Hispanic white, 10 percent were African American, 7 percent were Hispanic or Latino, and 8 percent were Asian. Most had high blood pressure.

A study limitation is that most respondents were relatively young. Since cardiovascular disease is more common among older people, they may have different responses than younger people. Another limitation is that survey respondents were not told the true life-extending ability of each intervention.

High blood pressure is a leading risk factor for heart and blood vessel, or cardiovascular, disease. Yet, it is often called the silent killer because it causes no symptoms. To prevent high blood pressure, the American Heart Association recommends getting regular physical activity, in addition to other lifestyle changes. These changes include eating a healthy diet, limiting alcohol, managing stress, maintaining a healthy weight, and quitting smoking. It is also important to work with a healthcare provider and to properly take medications, if prescribed, to reduce blood pressure.

Co-authors are: Andi Shahu, B.S.; Tamara Kliot, B.S.; Nihar R Desai, M.D., M.P.H.; Darrel P Francis, M.D.; Jeph Herrin, Ph.D.; and Harlan M Krumholz, M.D., M.H.S. Author disclosures are on the abstract.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (Mentored Career Development Program) funded the study.

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: 214-706-1173

AHA Staff Contact: Cathy Lewis; 214-706-1324; cathy.lewis@heart.org

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

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

]]>Heart NewsScientific Conferences & MeetingsSat, 07 Apr 2018 13:00:06 GMTStudy Highlights: Survey respondents were more likely to choose a daily cup of tea or a pill over exercise to “treat” high blood pressure in an imaginary scenario, but many didn’t think the interventions were worth the benefits. https://newsroom.heart.org/news/study-found-people-would-rather-pop-a-pill-or-sip-tea-than-exercise-to-treat-high-blood-pressureSat, 07 Apr 2018 13:00:00 GMT

Out-of-pocket expenses for chronic heart disease care inflict heavy financial burdens for low-income families; even those with insurance

Fri, 04/06/2018 - 11:05
Study Highlights:

  • 1 in 4 low-income families experience significant financial burden from out-of-pocket expenses for treatment of chronic heart disease.
  • 1 in 10 low-income families, including those with insurance, experience catastrophic financial burden for treating chronic heart disease conditions.
  • Low-income families with insurance had higher rates of out-of-pocket expenses than those without insurance.

Embargoed until 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time, Friday, April 6, 2018

ARLINGTON, Virginia, April 6, 2018 —  Cumulative out-of-pocket expenses for the treatment of chronic heart disease led to significant financial burdens for low-income families, even for those with health insurance, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association’s Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions 2018, a premier global exchange of the latest advances in quality of care and outcomes research in cardiovascular disease and stroke for researchers, healthcare professionals and policymakers.

The study focused on the effect of out-of-pocket health expenses for treating atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease on low-income families, defined as those with an income below 200 percent of the federal poverty limit. During the study period (2006-2015), that ranged from $20,000 to $24,250 per year for a family of four.

Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease is a group of conditions caused by atherosclerosis—a build-up of plaque that can harden and narrow the arteries and consequently result in a heart attack, stroke or death. It’s the leading cause of death, a major cause of disability and a major source of healthcare costs. The researchers defined high and catastrophic health expenses as out-of-pocket expenses of more than 20 percent and more than 40 percent of family income, respectively.

“We were surprised to find that one in ten low-income families, including those with health insurance, bear catastrophic medical expenses for these chronic conditions,” said Rohan Khera, M.D., lead author of the study and a cardiology research fellow at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. “This finding means that the quality of insurance provided to these patients does not sufficiently cover their medical expenses or it doesn't account for their financial resources.”

To determine the actual out-of-pocket expenses for treatment of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease care, the researchers used data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, a nationwide study conducted to learn more about the health-care services people use, the charges for those services, and how those services are paid for.

Using data from 2006 to 2015, researchers assessed the annual inflation-adjusted out-of-pocket expenses for families with one or more members with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and compared this against annual family incomes. Out-of-pocket expenses included insurance premiums and deductible payments, expenses for hospitalizations and clinic visits, and prescription costs.

The researchers identified 22,521 adults over 18 with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, from 20,600 families in the study database. This corresponds to an annual estimated 23 million (9.9 percent) U.S. adults, and 21 million (15 percent) U.S. families, of which 39 percent were low-income.

The researchers found that one in four low-income families with a member with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease experienced a high financial burden, and one in ten experienced a catastrophic healthcare expense, even with insurance coverage. Overall, low-income families were three times more likely to experience a significant financial burden and nine times more likely to experience catastrophic medical expenses than middle- to high-income families.

“While more low-income families gained insurance coverage over the period of time for which we evaluated the expense data, those with insurance had high rates of out-of-pocket expenses that frequently exceeded expenses of those without insurance,” Khera said. “To alleviate economic disparities, the quality of insurance coverage for low-income families must improve.”

Co-authors are: Javier Valero-Elizondo, M.D.; M.P.H., Victor Okunrintemi, M.D., M.P.H.; Anshul Saxena, Ph.D., M.P.H.; James A. de Lemos, M.D.; Harlan M. Krumholz, M.D.; and Khurram Nasir, M.D., M.P.H. Author disclosures are on the abstract.

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 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.

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

AHA Staff Contact: Cathy Lewis; 214-706-1324; cathy.lewis@heart.org

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

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

 

]]>Heart NewsScientific Conferences & MeetingsFri, 06 Apr 2018 15:00:06 GMTStudy Highlights: 1 in 4 low-income families experience significant financial burden from out-of-pocket expenses for treatment of chronic heart disease. 1 in 10 low-income families, including those with insurance, experience catastrophic...https://newsroom.heart.org/news/out-of-pocket-expenses-for-chronic-heart-disease-care-inflict-heavy-financial-burdens-for-low-income-families-even-those-with-insuranceFri, 06 Apr 2018 15:00:00 GMT

Vegetables may help protect elderly women from hardening of neck arteries

Wed, 04/04/2018 - 04:49
Study Highlight:

  • Eating more cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli was associated with less carotid artery wall thickness among elderly women.

Embargoed until 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Wednesday, April 4, 2018

DALLAS, April 4, 2018 — Elderly Australian women who ate more vegetables showed less carotid artery wall thickness, according to new research in Journal of the American Heart Association, the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

Cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts proved the most beneficial.

“This is one of only a few studies that have explored the potential impact of different types of vegetables on measures of subclinical atherosclerosis, the underlying cause of cardiovascular disease,” said Lauren Blekkenhorst, study lead author and Ph.D. candidate at the University of Western Australia in Crawley.

Researchers distributed food frequency questionnaires to 954 Australian women aged 70 and older. The women noted their vegetable intake in a range from “never eating vegetables” to “three or more times per day”. Vegetable types included cruciferous, allium (for example, onions, garlic, leeks and shallots), yellow/orange/red, leafy green and legumes. Sonograms were used to measure carotid artery wall thickness and entire carotid trees were examined to determine carotid plaque severity.

Researchers observed a 0.05 millimeter lower carotid artery wall thickness between high and low intakes of total vegetables. “That is likely significant, because a 0.1 millimeter decrease in carotid wall thickness is associated with a 10 percent to 18 percent decrease in risk of stroke and heart attack,” Blekkenhorst said.

In addition, each 10 grams per day higher in cruciferous vegetable intake was associated with 0.8 percent lower average carotid artery wall thickness. Other vegetable types did not show an association with carotid artery wall thickness in this study.

“After adjusting for lifestyle, cardiovascular disease risk factors (including medication use) as well as other vegetable types and dietary factors, our results continued to show a protective association between cruciferous vegetables and carotid artery wall thickness,” Blekkenhorst said.

However, due to the observational nature of this study a causal relationship cannot be established. “Still, dietary guidelines should highlight the importance of increasing consumption of cruciferous vegetables for protection from vascular disease,” Blekkenhorst said.

Co-authors are Catherine Bondonno, Ph.D.; Joshua Lewis, Ph.D.; Richard Woodman, Ph.D.; Amanda Devine, Ph.D.; Nicola Bondonno, B.Sc.; Wai Lim, M.D., Ph.D.; Kun Zhu. Ph.D.; Lawrence Beilin, M.D.; Peter Thompson, M.D.; Richard Prince, M.D.; and Jonathan Hodgson, Ph.D.

The author reported no conflicts of interest. Funding information is on the manuscript.

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, 04 Apr 2018 09:00:07 GMTStudy Highlight: Eating more cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli was associated with less carotid artery wall thickness among elderly women. https://newsroom.heart.org/news/vegetables-may-help-protect-elderly-women-from-hardening-of-neck-arteriesWed, 04 Apr 2018 09:00:00 GMT

Genetic test may improve post-stent treatment, outcome

Tue, 04/03/2018 - 04:17
Study Highlights:

  • A test for specific genetic mutations successfully informed blood-thinner treatment selection following stent placement to open clogged blood vessels, leading to significantly fewer complications.
  • Genetic testing identified patients with specific mutations that render the widely used blood thinner clopidogrel ineffective.
  • Patients with the genetic mutations who received alternative medications were much less likely to die or have a heart attack, stroke or other complications than patients with the mutations who received clopidogrel.  

Embargoed until 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Tuesday, April 3, 2018

DALLAS, April 3, 2018 – Using genetic testing to inform which blood thinner to use following a procedure to open narrowed blood vessels resulted in significantly fewer complications among patients, according to new research in Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine, an American Heart Association journal.

In the United States, heart disease is the leading cause of death, and stroke is the fifth-leading cause. A major contributor to these cardiovascular diseases is clogged blood vessels (atherosclerosis), which result from the buildup of fatty deposits or plaque.

Treatment for clogged blood vessels often includes angioplasty. In this procedure, the doctor inserts a small, medical balloon into the damaged blood vessels, and then inflates and removes it. Small tubes, or stents, also may be used to hold open the blood vessels. To prevent further damage from occurring, patients often take multiple blood thinners, such as clopidogrel and aspirin, after stent placement.

Previous research has shown that clopidogrel is less effective in patients with mutations on a specific gene, called CYP2C19, than in patients without the mutations. Whether genetic testing can help guide treatment in clinical practice, however, has remained unclear.

In this study, results showed that genetic testing for CYP2C19 mutations could be used to guide blood-thinner treatment after stent placement. Furthermore, patients with the mutations who received one of two clopidogrel alternatives compared to clopidogrel were more than three times less likely to die or have a heart attack, stroke or other major complications 12 months after treatment. Specifically, major complications occurred among 27 percent of clopidogel patients with the genetic mutations, compared to 8 percent of patients with the mutations who received the alternative medications.

These findings are similar to those of an earlier, multicenter study that found the risk of a major cardiovascular event more than doubled in patients with the genetic mutations who took clopidogrel.

“Using an algorithm based on genetic testing to guide treatment is sustainable and associated with better clinical outcomes in a real-world clinical practice, although it is difficult to consistently maintain,” said Craig R. Lee, Pharm.D., Ph.D., F.A.H.A., associate professor of pharmacy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Eshelman School of Pharmacy. “Clinicians need to be aware of the increased risk of major adverse cardiovascular events associated with use of clopidogrel in patients receiving stents who carry either one or two copies of the mutation.”

Study participants included 1,193 patients at the University of North Carolina Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory who received stent placement between July 1, 2012, and June 30, 2014. Their average age was 63 years and more than two-thirds were male. Most were white, 21 percent were black, and 1 percent was Asian. Patients identified as high risk, due to decreased blood flow to the heart, received the genetic testing. Follow up was 12 months.

The study has several limitations. For one, the investigators collected information after treatment, so they could not definitively say whether blood-thinner choice and the results of genetic testing caused better patient outcomes. Another limitation includes the use of a single hospital, which may not be applicable to different settings.

“We are using CYP2C19 genetic testing on a daily basis at our institution to help decide in a timely manner which drug to prescribe,” said George “Rick” Stouffer, III, M.D., F.A.H.A., chief of cardiology and co-director of the McAllister Heart Institute at UNC.

Co-authors are Vindhya B. Sriramoju, M.D.; Alexandra Cervantes, B.S.; Lucius A. Howell, M.D.; Nicholas Varunok, M.S.; Shivanshu Madan, M.D.; Kasey Hamrick, Pharm.D.; Melissa J. Polasek, Pharm.D.; John Andrew Lee, Pharm.D.; Megan Clarke, Pharm.D.; Jonathan D. Cicci, Pharm.D.; Karen E. Weck, M.D.; and George A. Stouffer, M.D. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

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; c.thacker@heart.org

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

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

]]>Heart NewsTue, 03 Apr 2018 09:00:07 GMTStudy Highlights: A test for specific genetic mutations successfully informed blood-thinner treatment selection following stent placement to open clogged blood vessels, leading to significantly fewer complications. Genetic testing identified patients with specific mutations that render the widely used blood thinner clopidogrel ineffective. Patients with the genetic mutations who received alternative medications were much less likely to die or have a heart attack, stroke or other complications than patients with the mutations who received clopidogrel. https://newsroom.heart.org/news/genetic-test-may-improve-post-stent-treatment-outcomeTue, 03 Apr 2018 09:00:00 GMT

Heart defects in infant may predict heart problems in birth mother later in life

Mon, 04/02/2018 - 04:03
Study Highlight:

  • Women who give birth to infants with congenital heart defects may be at increased risk of heart problems including heart attack and heart failure later in life.

Embargoed until 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET, Monday, April 2, 2018

DALLAS, April 2, 2018 — Women who give birth to infants with congenital heart defects may have an increased risk of cardiovascular hospitalizations later in life, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation. 

The study of more than one million women is the first to show congenital heart defects in newborns may be a marker for an increased risk of their mothers developing heart problems, including heart attack and heart failure, years after pregnancy.

Researchers analyzed data on women who delivered infants between 1989 and 2013 in Quebec, Canada, who had critical, noncritical or no heart defects. They tracked the women up to 25 years after pregnancy for hospitalizations related to cardiovascular disease including heart attack, heart failure, atherosclerotic disorders and heart transplants.

Compared to mothers of infants without congenital heart defects, researchers found:

  • 43 percent higher risk of any cardiovascular hospitalization in women whose offspring had critical heart defects; and
  • 24 percent higher risk of any cardiovascular hospitalization in women whose infants had noncritical defects.

How heart defects in infants relate to post-pregnancy cardiovascular disease in their mothers is unclear, the study notes, and a genetic component cannot be excluded. In addition, because 85 percent of infants with heart defects now survive past adolescence, the psychosocial impact of congenital heart disease on caregivers may have a cumulative effect over the long term.

“Caring for infants with critical heart defects is associated with psychosocial and financial stress, which may increase the mothers’ long-term risk for cardiovascular disease,” said Nathalie Auger, M.D., the study’s lead author and an epidemiologist at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Researchers believe the study provides an opportunity for these mothers to benefit from early prevention strategies and counseling to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease – the leading cause of death in women.

Healthcare providers, like obstetricians, who treat and follow mothers in the early stages of dealing with children who have heart defects can help women understand and minimize their risk, Auger said.

“Those physicians are very well-positioned to inform women about this possibility, the greater risk of heart disease, and to provide recommendations for targeting other risk factors like smoking, obesity and physical activity,” she said.

Some limitations of the research include the fact that women were young at the start of study, so for many, the 25-year follow-up did not extend past menopause, which excluded the highest risk period for cardiovascular disease. And, because researchers used existing medical data, they didn’t have detailed risk factor information on the women, such as body weight and smoking status. These are important points that should be considered in future studies, researchers noted.

Co-authors are Brian Potter, M.D., C.M., S.M.; Marianne Bilodeau-Bertrand, M.Sc.; and Gilles Paradis, M.D., M.Sc. The authors reported no conflicts of interest. The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and the Fonds de recherche du Québec-Santé 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.mcneill@heart.org  

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

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

]]>Heart NewsMon, 02 Apr 2018 09:00:10 GMTStudy Highlight: Women who give birth to infants with congenital heart defects may be at increased risk of heart problems including heart attack and heart failure later in life. https://newsroom.heart.org/news/heart-defects-in-infant-may-predict-heart-problems-in-birth-mother-later-in-lifeMon, 02 Apr 2018 09:00:00 GMT

Higher blood pressure before pregnancy may increase miscarriage risk

Mon, 04/02/2018 - 04:03
Study Highlights:

  • Higher blood pressure prior to conception may increase the risk of miscarriage, even in women not diagnosed with hypertension.
  • The study involved women who had already experienced at least one pregnancy loss and were trying again.
  • If confirmed, the findings imply that lowering heart disease risk factors in young adulthood may also improve reproductive health.

Embargoed 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Monday, April 2, 2018

DALLAS, April 2, 2018 – Elevated blood pressure before becoming pregnant and early in pregnancy may increase the risk of pregnancy loss, even if the woman doesn’t have a hypertension diagnosis, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Hypertension.

“Elevated blood pressure among young adults is associated with a higher risk of heart disease later in life, and this study suggests it may also have an effect on reproductive health,” said Carrie J. Nobles, Ph.D., lead author of the study and a postdoctoral fellow in the Epidemiology Branch of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) in Bethesda, Maryland.

The study – which cannot reach a cause-and-effect conclusion – is the first to look at preconception blood pressure and reproductive outcomes in healthy women not diagnosed with high blood pressure or heart disease.

Researchers studied 1,228 women (average age 28.7 years, 95 percent white) who had already experienced 1-2 pregnancy losses and were currently trying to become pregnant. The women were part of a clinical trial to determine whether taking low-dose aspirin might reduce the risk of miscarriage.

During the study, women had their blood pressure measured when they were trying to become pregnant and again during early pregnancy. Average blood pressure prior to pregnancy was 111.6 mm Hg /72.5 mm Hg. Of the 797 women who conceived within six months, 24 percent suffered a pregnancy loss.

Researchers also found:

  • Every 10-point increase in diastolic blood pressure (lower number) was associated with an 18 percent increased risk of pregnancy loss.
  • Every 10-point increase in mean arterial pressure (an average of the lower and higher numbers) was associated with a 17 percent increased risk of pregnancy loss.
  • The findings were similar for preconception and early-pregnancy blood pressure.

“The impact of cardiovascular risk factors starts really early in life. Physicians treating women of reproductive age should pay attention to slightly elevated blood pressure because it may have other not-well-recognized effects, such as adverse pregnancy outcome,” said Enrique F. Schisterman, Ph.D., senior author of the study and Senior Investigator and Chief of the Epidemiology Branch of NICHD. “Preconception is a previously unrecognized critical window for intervention such as lifestyle changes that can help prevent later heart disease and may also improve reproductive health.”

Whether women had been randomly assigned to take low-dose aspirin as part of this clinical trial (Effects of Aspirin in Gestation and Reproduction) made no difference in the impact of blood pressure on pregnancy loss, the researchers found.

Because the study was conducted in women who already had experienced a miscarriage, it is unclear whether the results can be generalized to all young women. Additionally, the study was mostly composed of white participants, and further research is needed to ensure the results apply to women of different races.

Other co-authors are Pauline Mendola, Ph.D.; Sunni L. Mumford, Ph.D.; Ashley I. Naimi, Ph.D.; Edwina H. Yeung, Ph.D.; Keewan Kim, Ph.D.; Hyojun Park, Ph.D.; Brian Wilcox, M.D., Ph.D.; Robert M. Silver, M.D.; Neil J. Perkins, Ph.D.; and Lindsey Sjaarda, Ph.D. The authors reported no conflicts of interest.

The Intramural Research Program of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (National Institutes of Health) in Bethesda, Maryland 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.mcneill@heart.org

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

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsMon, 02 Apr 2018 09:00:07 GMTStudy Highlights: Higher blood pressure prior to conception may increase the risk of miscarriage, even in women not diagnosed with hypertension. The study involved women who had already experienced at least one pregnancy loss and were trying again. If confirmed, the findings imply that lowering heart disease risk factors in young adulthood may also improve reproductive health. https://newsroom.heart.org/news/higher-blood-pressure-before-pregnancy-may-increase-miscarriage-riskMon, 02 Apr 2018 09:00:00 GMT

American Heart Association sends Arnold Schwarzenegger wishes for a speedy recovery following emergency heart surgery

Fri, 03/30/2018 - 11:45
DALLAS, March 30, 2018 — The American Heart Association is sending actor and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger best wishes, following media reports that he has undergone emergency open-heart surgery due to complications from another procedure.

Schwarzenegger, 70, who first grew to fame as a body builder, was reported have had a catheter valve replacement on Thursday.

Schwarzenegger has shared that he was born with a congenital heart defect, called a bicuspid aortic valve. In the late 1990s, sources indicate he had a valve transplant made from his own tissue, rather than a mechanical valve. In the past, he has also told fans and followers about his family history of heart ailments.

According to the American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary organization dedicated to building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke, the goal of heart valve surgery is to cure the problem or lengthen life by restoring the function of the heart valves, whether they are diseased or damaged.

When possible, it's generally best to repair a valve and preserve a person’s own tissue in the heart. However, when the tissue is too damaged, a replacement valve may be used from another human heart, an animal or a manufactured mechanical valve.

###

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

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

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

]]>Heart NewsFri, 30 Mar 2018 16:30:02 GMTThe American Heart Association is sending actor and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger best wishes, following media reports that he has undergone emergency open-heart surgery due to complications from another procedure.https://newsroom.heart.org/news/american-heart-association-sends-arnold-schwarzenegger-wishes-for-a-speedy-recovery-following-emergency-heart-surgeryFri, 30 Mar 2018 16:30:00 GMT

Heart disease, stroke less widespread among foreign-born vs. U.S.-born adults

Wed, 03/28/2018 - 04:17
Study Highlight:

  • Rates of heart disease and stroke are less widespread among U.S. adults who were born in another country.

Embargoed until 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Wednesday, March 28, 2018

DALLAS, March 28, 2018 — Foreign-born adults living in the United States had a lower prevalence of coronary heart disease and stroke than U.S.-born adults in nationally representative data spanning 2006-2014, according to new research in Journal of the American Heart Association, the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention compared the prevalence of coronary heart disease and stroke among U.S. adults by birthplace. The proportion of adults living in the United States who were born elsewhere has almost tripled from about 9.6 million in 1970 to 40 million in 2010.

After adjusting for age and select demographic and health characteristics, researchers found that overall:

  • The percentage of U.S. men who report having coronary heart disease was 8.2 percent among those born in the United State versus 5.5 percent for those born in another country.For women with coronary heart disease, the figures were 4.8 percent for those born in the United States and 4.1 percent for those born elsewhere.

  • The percentage of the population living with stroke was 2.7 percent for U.S.-born men and women compared to 2.1 percent for foreign-born men and 1.9 percent for foreign-born women.

  • The number of years people had been living in the United States was not related to risk of coronary heart disease or stroke after adjustment with demographic and health characteristics.

Comparing individual regions with those of U.S.-born, coronary heart disease prevalence was lower among people born in Asia, Mexico, Central America or the Caribbean. Stroke prevalence was lowest among men born in South America or Africa and women from Europe.

The reason foreign-born adults fare better could be explained by the “healthy immigrant effect”, where those who decide to immigrate to another country are usually healthier than others, due to either self-selection or physical/legal barriers.

Researchers said these findings may support efforts to target high-risk groups with public health interventions.

The study was led by Jing Fang, M.D., M.S., of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The author reported no conflicts of interest.

A commentary by Eduardo Sanchez, M.D., M.P.H., American Heart Association Chief Medical Officer for Prevention and Chief of the Centers for Health Metrics and Evaluation, will be available on this manuscript.

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.mcneill@heart.org

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

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsWed, 28 Mar 2018 09:00:07 GMTStudy Highlight: Rates of heart disease and stroke are less widespread among U.S. adults who were born in another country. https://newsroom.heart.org/news/heart-disease-stroke-less-widespread-among-foreign-born-vs-u-s-born-adultsWed, 28 Mar 2018 09:00:00 GMT

Treatment rates for dangerously high cholesterol remains low

Mon, 03/26/2018 - 04:43
Embargoed until 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Monday, March 26, 2018

DALLAS, March 26, 2018 — Less than 40 percent of people with severe elevations in cholesterol are being prescribed appropriate drug treatment, according to a nationally representative study reported in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation.

Data from the 1999-2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey was used to estimate prevalence rates of self-reported screening, awareness and statin therapy among U.S. adults age 20 and older with severely elevated LDL or “bad cholesterol” levels of 190 mg/dL or higher. In addition, they considered a subgroup of patients with familial hypercholesterolemia, a genetic disorder that causes extreme elevations in cholesterol leading to an increased risk of early cardiovascular disease.

The frequency of cholesterol screening and awareness were high (at more than 80 percent) among adults with definite/probable familial hypercholesterolemia and severely elevated cholesterol; however, use of cholesterol-lowering statins was low (38 percent). Of those, only 30 percent of patients with severely elevated cholesterol had been prescribed a high intensity statin.

The discrepancy between cholesterol screening and medical treatment was most pronounced in younger patients, uninsured patients and patients without a regular source of healthcare – such as a doctor’s office or an outpatient clinic.

“Young adults may be less likely to think that they are at risk of cardiovascular disease, and clinicians may be less likely to initiate statin therapy in this population,” wrote lead author Emily Bucholz, M.D., Ph.D., MPH, Department of Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital in Massachusetts. “It is possible that lifestyle modifications continue to be prescribed as an initial treatment prior to initiating statin therapy.”

However, both the original 2002 National Cholesterol Education Program’s Adult Treatment Panel III (ATP-III guidelines) and the current  American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association cholesterol guidelines recommend initiation of statin therapy in patients with LDL cholesterol at or above 190 mg/dL.

“Markedly elevated levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol put you at increased risk of developing heart disease and developing it earlier in life,” said Circulation Editor-in-Chief, Joseph A. Hill. “If your ‘bad’ cholesterol is over 190 you should work with your physician regarding optimal drug treatment, in addition to lifestyle changes and management of other risk factors.”

Study authors said additional studies are needed to better understand how to close these gaps of screening and treatment.

The authors indicate no conflicts of interest. Funding information is listed on the manuscript.

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.mcneill@heart.org  

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

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

 

]]>Heart NewsMon, 26 Mar 2018 09:00:07 GMTLess than 40 percent of people with severe elevations in cholesterol are being prescribed appropriate drug treatment, according to a nationally representative study reported in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation.https://newsroom.heart.org/news/treatment-rates-for-dangerously-high-cholesterol-remains-lowMon, 26 Mar 2018 09:00:00 GMT

Bariatric surgery for severely obese teens may help prevent premature heart disease

Fri, 03/23/2018 - 09:01
Study Highlights

  • For teens with severe obesity, the predicted 30-year risk of having a heart disease event, such as a heart attack or stroke, could be cut in half one year after bariatric surgery, according to a modeling study.
  • The model found that reduction in risk could be sustained every year for up to five years after surgery.

Embargoed until 9 a.m. Central Time/10 a.m. Eastern Time, Fri., March 23, 2018

NEW ORLEANS, March 23, 2018 — Bariatric surgery is predicted to cut in half the risk of premature heart disease and stroke in teens with severe obesity, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention | Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health Scientific Sessions 2018, a premier global exchange of the latest advances in population based cardiovascular science for researchers and clinicians.

The researchers used a model based on research from the Framingham Heart Study that predicts the likelihood of heart disease events over a 30-year period. They found that prior to bariatric surgery the overall risk of a severely obese teen having a fatal or non-fatal heart attack, stroke, heart failure or other heart disease event over a 30-year period was 8 percent on average. One year after surgery, the model predicted that the risk of a heart disease event would be cut in half — to 4 percent overall — and was sustained every year for the five years following surgery.

“This study clearly shows that the benefits of bariatric surgery to treat severe obesity, at least from a cardiovascular event perspective, outweighs the risk of having the surgery. Teens with severe obesity are at high risk for having a premature cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack, stroke, heart failure and others by the time they are 50, which has significant implications in terms of their healthcare costs and their quality of life,” said Justin Ryder, Ph.D., study author and assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Minnesota Medical Center in Minneapolis.

The prediction model was applied to 215 participants of the Teen-Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery (Teen-LABS), a study designed to assess the short and longer-term safety and usefulness of bariatric surgery in teens. The teens in the study had average BMI’s – body mass index, a weight-to-height measurement – of 53. In adults, that translates to a 5'5” woman who weighs 320 pounds and a 6' man who weighs 390 pounds. Participants were average age 17 before surgery. Data on gender, age, blood pressure, treatment for high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and weight was collected and analyzed before surgery and annually for five years after surgery.

Bariatric surgery helps obese people lose weight by surgically altering the digestive system. In some cases that means making the stomach smaller, so a sense of fullness is more easily achieved, or shortening the intestines so that less food is absorbed. Previous studies have shown that bariatric surgery results in substantial weight loss and the reduction of risk factors for heart disease in adults, but little is known about how the reduction in risk factors translates into a reduction of heart disease events, later in life for teens who undergo this procedure.

“These findings add another piece to the mountain of evidence suggesting that bariatric surgery is the most effective treatment for sustained reduction of weight and risk factors for chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes in teens with severe obesity,” Ryder said.

The researchers note that the study is limited because it uses a prediction model that estimates the likelihood of having a heart disease event but does not measure true events.

Co-authors are Peixin Xu, M.S.; Changchun Xie, Ph.D.; Todd M. Jenkins, Ph.D., M.P.H.; Thomas H. Inge, M.D., Ph.D.; Aaron S. Kelly, Ph.D.; and Elaine M. Urbina, M.D. The authors report no disclosures on the abstract.

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

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 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.

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

Darcy Spitz; 212-878-5940; darcy.spitz@heart.org or Carrie Thacker; 214-706-1665; c.thacker@heart.org

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

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

]]>Heart NewsScientific Conferences & MeetingsFri, 23 Mar 2018 14:00:07 GMTStudy Highlights: For teens with severe obesity, the predicted 30-year risk of having a heart disease event, such as a heart attack or stroke, could be cut in half one year after bariatric surgery, according to a modeling study.https://newsroom.heart.org/news/bariatric-surgery-for-severely-obese-teens-may-help-prevent-premature-heart-diseaseFri, 23 Mar 2018 14:00:00 GMT

Women’s antibiotic use linked to higher risk of death from heart disease, other causes

Thu, 03/22/2018 - 15:27
Study Highlights

  • Long-term antibiotic use in late adulthood is associated with increased risk of death from heart disease and other causes.
  • The association between long-term antibiotic use and death is especially noticeable when looking at death from heart disease.

Embargoed until 3 p.m. Central Time/ 4 p.m. Eastern Time, Thursday, March. 22, 2018

NEW ORLEANS, March 22, 2018 — Women who take antibiotics for long periods, especially in late adulthood, appear to have a higher risk of death from heart disease and in general, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention | Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health Scientific Sessions 2018, a premier global exchange of the latest advances in population-based cardiovascular science for researchers and clinicians.

While previous studies have found antibiotic use is associated with long-lasting changes to microorganisms that live in the human gut, known as gut microbiota, researchers had yet to examine relatively healthy populations of people to determine how duration of antibiotic use at different times during adulthood might be related to all-cause and cause-specific risk of death, according to study author Lu Qi, M.D., Ph.D., professor of epidemiology at Tulane University in New Orleans.

“Gut microbiota alterations have been associated with a variety of life-threatening disorders, such as cardiovascular diseases and certain types of cancer,” Qi said. “Antibiotic exposure affects balance and composition of the gut microbiome, even after one stops taking antibiotics; so, it is important to better understand how taking antibiotics might impact risks for chronic diseases and death.”

In a collaborative research study between Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Qi and colleagues studied 37,510 women, aged 60 years and older, who reported their antibiotic use and were free of heart disease and cancer at the study’s start. They classified the women based on how long they had used antibiotics: not at all, less than 15 days, 15 days to less than two months or two or more months. Then, the researchers followed the study population from 2004 until June 2012.

They found:

  • Women who took antibiotics for two months or longer in late adulthood were 27 percent more likely to die from all causes during the study period than women who did not take antibiotics.

  • Taking antibiotics two or more months was associated with a 58 percent higher risk of cardiovascular death, compared to no antibiotic use.

  • These associations existed regardless of traditional risk factors for death, including lifestyle factors, dietary habits, obesity, medication use and more.

  • The association between long-term antibiotic use in late adulthood and increased risk of death from all causes was more evident among women who reported also using antibiotics in middle adulthood, from ages 40 to 59 years, than women who didn’t use antibiotics in middle adulthood.

  • There was no notable association between antibiotic use and death from cancer.

“Although we observed a notable association between long-term antibiotic use and risk of death, it isn’t yet clear whether long-term antibiotic use is the specific cause of the association. For example, women who reported antibiotic use might be sicker in other unmeasured ways,” Qi said. “These results, however, contribute to a better understanding of risk factors for all-cause and cardiovascular death. We now have good evidence that people who take antibiotics for long periods during adulthood may be a high-risk group to target for risk-factor modification to prevent heart disease and death.”

Co-authors are: Yoriko Heianza, R.D., Ph.D.; Wenjie Ma, M.D., Ph.D.; Dianjianyi Sun, Ph.D.; Yin Cao, Sc.D.; Andrew T. Chan, M.D., M.P.H.; Eric B. Rimm, Sc.D.; Frank B. Hu, M.D., Ph.D.; Kathryn M. Rexrode, M.D., M.P.H.; and JoAnn E Manson, M.D., Dr.PH. Author disclosures are on the abstract.

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 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.

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

Darcy Spitz; 212-878-5940; darcy.spitz@heart.org or Carrie Thacker; 214-706-1665; c.thacker@heart.org

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

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

]]>Heart NewsScientific Conferences & MeetingsThu, 22 Mar 2018 20:00:09 GMTStudy Highlights: Long-term antibiotic use in late adulthood is associated with increased risk of death from heart disease and other causes. The association between long-term antibiotic use and death is especially noticeable when looking at...https://newsroom.heart.org/news/womens-antibiotic-use-linked-to-higher-risk-of-death-from-heart-disease-other-causesThu, 22 Mar 2018 20:00:00 GMT

Depression linked to common heart rhythm disorder

Thu, 03/22/2018 - 15:27
Study Highlights

  • People with symptoms of depression have a higher risk for a heart rhythm disorder known as atrial fibrillation, which increases the risk for stroke.
  • Clinicians should be aware that depression may increase atrial fibrillation risk, while patients suffering from depression should be counseled that depression affects cardiac health.

Embargoed until 3 p.m. Central Time/ 4 p.m. Eastern Time, Thurs., March 22, 2018

NEW ORLEANS, March 22, 2018 — Depression may increase the risk for atrial fibrillation, the most common heart rhythm disorder that can lead to blood clot formation and stroke, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention | Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health Scientific Sessions 2018, a premier global exchange of the latest advances in population based cardiovascular science for researchers and clinicians.

Participants in the study who scored highest on a clinical screening test for depression as well as those taking anti-depressant medication had more than a 30 percent higher risk for developing atrial fibrillation than people with normal test scores and those not taking medications for depression.

The results suggest an association between two very common disorders, a finding that demands further research and greater awareness among both clinicians and patients, researchers said.

“Our findings identify a large portion of Americans who may be at an increased risk for developing atrial fibrillation and who may benefit from more targeted efforts to prevent this arrhythmia,” said study lead investigator Parveen Garg, M.D., M.P.H, assistant professor of clinical medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. “If our findings are affirmed in future studies, especially those that formally assess for clinical depression, then we will need to see if treating depression may, in fact, lower the risk for atrial fibrillation.”

The findings stem from the national Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) study, which involved more than 6,600 people from various ethnic groups. Participants, average age 62, had no known heart disease at the onset of the study and were followed for a median of 13 years.

Exactly how depression disrupts heart function remains unclear, researchers said, but several possible mechanisms have been suggested. These include increased levels of inflammation as well as elevated levels of certain hormones that directly or indirectly interfere with the heart’s ability to stay in a normal rhythm.

The new findings add further credence to the notion that mental health and heart health are closely intertwined, underscoring previous research showing an association between depression and heart disease.

“Clinicians and patients should be aware that depression has been shown in several studies to be a risk factor for heart disease in general and, in this study, for atrial fibrillation as well,” Garg said. “Treating depression is important for many reasons including cardiovascular health.”

Atrial fibrillation occurs when the upper two chambers of the heart begin to quiver chaotically, compromising their ability to propel blood into the two lower chambers of the heart. When blood pools in the upper chambers, it can lead to clot formation, which in turn can cause a stroke. Untreated atrial fibrillation doubles the risk of heart-related deaths and is associated with a 5-fold increased risk for stroke.

More than 16 million adults in the United States suffer from depression, according to estimates from the National Institutes of Health. Atrial fibrillation, the most common heart-rhythm disorder, affects some 2.7 million Americans, according to the American Heart Association’s 2018 Heart and Stroke Statistical Update.

Co-authors are Wesley O’Neal, M.D., M.P.H.; Ana Diez Roux, M.D., Ph.D.; Alvaro Alonso, M.D., Ph.D.; Elsayed Soliman, M.D., M.Sc., M.S.; and Susan Heckbert M.D., Ph.D. The authors reported no disclosures on the abstract.

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 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.

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

Darcy Spitz; 212-878-5940; darcy.spitz@heart.org or Carrie Thacker; 214-706-1665; c.thacker@heart.org

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

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

]]>Heart NewsScientific Conferences & MeetingsThu, 22 Mar 2018 20:00:06 GMTStudy Highlights: People with symptoms of depression have a higher risk for a heart rhythm disorder known as atrial fibrillation, which increases the risk for stroke. Clinicians should be aware that depression may increase atrial fibrillation...https://newsroom.heart.org/news/depression-linked-to-common-heart-rhythm-disorderThu, 22 Mar 2018 20:00:00 GMT

Grilling and other high-temperature cooking may raise risk of high blood pressure

Wed, 03/21/2018 - 15:36
Study Highlight:

  • Among people who routinely eat meat, chicken and fish, those who grill, broil or roast these foods at high temperatures may be more likely to develop high blood pressure.

Embargoed until 3 p.m. Central Time/4 p.m. Eastern Time Wed., March 21, 2018

NEW ORLEANS, March 21, 2018 — Grilled or well-done beef, chicken or fish may raise the risk of developing high blood pressure among people who regularly eat those foods, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention | Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health Scientific Sessions 2018, a premier global exchange of the latest advances in population based cardiovascular science for researchers and clinicians.

Researchers analyzed cooking methods and the development of high blood pressure in people who regularly ate beef, poultry or fish: 32,925 women taking part in the Nurses’ Health Study; 53,852 women participating in the Nurses’ Health Study II; and 17,104 men in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. Detailed cooking information was collected in each of these long-term studies. None of the participants had high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, or cancer when they enrolled, but 37,123 people developed high blood pressure during an average follow-up of 12-16 years.

Among participants who reported eating at least two servings of red meat, chicken or fish a week, the analysis revealed that the risk of developing high blood pressure was:

  • 17 percent higher in those who grilled, broiled, or roasted beef, chicken or and fish more than 15 times/month, compared with less than 4 times a month.

  • 15 percent higher in those who prefer their food well done, compared with those who prefer rarer meats.

  • 17 percent higher in those estimated to have consumed the highest levels of heterocyclic aromatic amines (HAAs) – chemicals formed when meat protein is charred or exposed to high temperatures – compared to those with the lowest intake.

Researchers noted the relationship between cooking temperature, method, doneness and high blood pressure was independent of the amount or type of food consumed.

“The chemicals produced by cooking meats at high temperatures induce oxidative stress, inflammation and insulin resistance in animal studies, and these pathways may also lead to an elevated risk of developing high blood pressure,” said Gang Liu, Ph.D., lead author of the study and a postdoctoral research fellow in the department of nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston.

Oxidative stress, inflammation and insulin resistance affect the inner linings of blood vessels, and are associated with the development of atherosclerosis, the disease process that underlies heart disease and causes the arteries to become narrowed.

It is important to note that this study identifies a trend but does not prove cause and effect. The findings are limited because data came from questionnaires that did not include certain types of meats (such as pork and lamb) and certain cooking methods (such as stewing and stir-frying). Because the participants were all health professionals and mostly Caucasian, the results may not generalize to other groups.

“Our findings suggest that it may help reduce the risk of high blood pressure if you don’t eat these foods cooked well done and avoid the use of open-flame and/or high-temperature cooking methods, including grilling/barbequing and broiling,” Liu said.

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

Dr. Liu lists no disclosures.

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 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.

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

Darcy Spitz; 212-878-5940; darcy.spitz@heart.org or Carrie Thacker; 214-706-1665; c.thacker@heart.org

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

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

]]>Heart NewsScientific Conferences & MeetingsWed, 21 Mar 2018 20:00:10 GMTStudy Highlight: Among people who routinely eat meat, chicken and fish, those who grill, broil or roast these foods at high temperatures may be more likely to develop high blood pressure. https://newsroom.heart.org/news/grilling-and-other-high-temperature-cooking-may-raise-risk-of-high-blood-pressureWed, 21 Mar 2018 20:00:00 GMT

Middle-aged tooth loss linked to increased coronary heart disease risk

Wed, 03/21/2018 - 15:36
Study Highlights:

  • Losing two or more teeth during middle age is associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk.
  • Having fewer natural teeth by middle age is linked to higher cardiovascular disease risk.

Embargoed until 3 p.m. Central Time/4 p.m. Eastern Time, Wednesday, March 21, 2018

NEW ORLEANS, March 21, 2018 — Losing two or more teeth in middle age is associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention | Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health Scientific Sessions 2018, a premier global exchange of the latest advances in population based cardiovascular science for researchers and clinicians.

Studies have shown that dental health problems, such as periodontal disease and tooth loss, are related to inflammation, diabetes, smoking and consuming less healthy diets, according to study author Lu Qi, M.D., Ph.D., professor of epidemiology at Tulane University in New Orleans.

“Previous research has also found that dental health issues are associated with elevated risk of cardiovascular disease,” Qi said. “However, most of that research looked at cumulative tooth loss over a lifetime, which often includes teeth lost in childhood due to cavities, trauma and orthodontics. Tooth loss in middle age is more likely related to inflammation, but it hasn’t been clear how this later-in-life tooth loss might influence cardiovascular disease risk.”

In a collaborative research effort between Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Qi and colleagues analyzed the impact of tooth loss in large studies of adults, aged 45 to 69 years, in which participants had reported on the numbers of natural teeth they had, then in a follow-up questionnaire, reported recent tooth loss. Adults in this analysis didn’t have cardiovascular disease when the studies began. The researchers prospectively studied the occurrence of tooth loss during an eight-year period and followed an incidence of cardiovascular disease among people with no tooth loss, one tooth lost and two or more teeth lost over 12-18 years. 

They found:

  • Among the adults with 25 to 32 natural teeth at the study’s start, those who lost two or more teeth had a 23 percent increased risk of cardiovascular disease, compared to those with no tooth loss.

  • The increased risk occurred regardless of reported diet quality, physical activity, body weight and other cardiovascular risk factors, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

  • There wasn’t a notable increase in cardiovascular disease risk among those who reported losing one tooth during the study period.

  • Cardiovascular disease risk among all the participants (regardless of the number of natural teeth at the study’s start) increased 16 percent among those losing two or more teeth during the study period, compared to those who didn’t lose any teeth.

  • Adults with less than 17 natural teeth, versus 25 to 32, at the study’s start, were 25 percent more likely to have cardiovascular disease.

“In addition to other established associations between dental health and risk of disease, our findings suggest that middle-aged adults who have lost two or more teeth in recent past could be at increased risk for cardiovascular disease,” Qi said. “That’s regardless of the number of natural teeth a person has as a middle-aged adult, or whether they have traditional risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as poor diet or high blood pressure.”

Armed with the knowledge that tooth loss in middle age can signal elevated cardiovascular disease risk, adults can take steps to reduce the increased risk early on, he said.

A limitation of the study was that participants self-reported tooth loss, which could lead to misclassification in the study, according to Qi.

Co-authors are: Yoriko Heianza, R.D., Ph.D.; Dianjianyi Sun, M.D, Ph.D.; Eric B. Rimm, Sc.D.; Kaumudi J. Joshipura, B.S.D., M.S., Sc.D.; and JoAnn E. Manson, M.D., Dr.PH. Author disclosures are on the abstract.

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 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.

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

Darcy Spitz; 212-878-5940; darcy.spitz@heart.org or Carrie Thacker; 214-706-1665; c.thacker@heart.org

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

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

]]>Heart NewsScientific Conferences & MeetingsWed, 21 Mar 2018 20:00:10 GMTStudy Highlights: Losing two or more teeth during middle age is associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk. Having fewer natural teeth by middle age is linked to higher cardiovascular disease risk.   https://newsroom.heart.org/news/middle-aged-tooth-loss-linked-to-increased-coronary-heart-disease-riskWed, 21 Mar 2018 20:00:00 GMT

Drinking sugary drinks may be associated with greater risk of death

Wed, 03/21/2018 - 15:36
Study Highlights:

  • Being among the highest vs. the lowest 25 percent of consumers of sugary beverages was associated with increased risk of death in people over 45 in an observational study which establishes a trend but does not prove cause and effect.
  • There was no increased risk of death from consumption of sugar-sweetened foods.

Embargoed until 3 p.m. Central Time/4 p.m. Eastern Time Wed., March 21, 2018

NEW ORLEANS, March 21, 2018 — Adults over the age of 45 who consume large amounts of sugary beverages including soft drinks, fruit drinks and fruit juices may have a higher risk of dying from heart disease or other causes, compared to those who drink fewer sugary drinks, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention | Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health Scientific Sessions 2018, a premier global exchange of the latest advances in population based cardiovascular science for researchers and clinicians.

The researchers found a graded association between consuming more sugary beverages and an increased risk of death from heart disease or any cause. Study participants in the top 25 percent of consumers, those who tended to drink 24 ounces or more of sugary beverages each day, had twice the risk of death from coronary heart disease compared to those in the lowest 25 percent of people who drank less than 1 ounce. In addition, there was an increased risk of death from all causes, including other cardiovascular conditions. The study, however, found no link between the consumption of sugary foods and increased risk of death, a distinction the researchers said may be related to how sugary drinks and foods are processed by the body.

Several studies have shown an association between added sugar and obesity and various chronic diseases. However, few have been able to look at the association between increased sugar consumption and death. It is important to note that this study does not prove cause and effect, rather it identifies a trend.  

“There were two parts of this question we wanted to understand,” said Jean Welsh, Ph.D., M.P.H., study author, assistant professor at Emory University and a research director with Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. “Do added sugars increase risk of death from heart disease or other causes, and, if so, is there a difference in risk between sugar-sweetened beverages and sugary foods? We believe this study adds strong data to what already exists highlighting the importance of minimizing sugary beverages in our diet.”

This study used data from the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study, a U.S.-based longitudinal study of 30,183 black and white adults over age 45. The final study population was 17,930 after excluding those with a self-reported history of heart disease, as well as stroke and Type 2 diabetes. This type of study is designed to find an association or trend, not to prove cause and effect.

The researchers estimated sugary food and beverage consumption using a food frequency questionnaire. Sugar-sweetened beverages included those pre-sweetened, such as sodas and fruit drinks. Sugar-sweetened foods included desserts, candy and sweetened breakfast foods as well as foods to which calorie-containing sweeteners such as sugars or syrups had been added.

The participants were followed for an average of about 6 years, and researchers used death records to look at the cause of death, focusing on deaths from heart disease, such as heart attack, heart failure and deaths from all other causes.

The researchers observed this effect when they statistically made the participants equal with respect to income, race, education, smoking history and physical activity. When they controlled for known heart disease risk factors such as total calorie consumption, high blood pressure, abnormalities in blood lipids or body weight, the effect remained. Researchers did not see any increased risk with consumption of sugary foods.

The quantity and frequency of consumption of sugary beverages, coupled with the fact that they contain few, if any other nutrients, results in a flood of sugars that need to be metabolized, Welsh said. When people consume sugars in foods there are often other nutrients such as fats or proteins which slow down metabolism and may explain the different effect seen between the two.

The study’s finding should encourage healthcare providers to ask patients about sugary beverage consumption during well visits to open the door to a conversation about a dietary change that could be made to reduce risk, Welsh said.

“We know that if healthcare providers don't ask patients about lifestyle practices linked to obesity and chronic disease, patients tend to think they’re not important,” Welsh said. “Simply asking patients about their sugary beverage consumption is valuable.”

Co-authors are: Lindsay Collin, M.P.H.; Suzanne Judd, Ph.D.; Monika Safford, M.D.; and Viola Vaccarino, M.D., Ph.D. Authors reported no disclosures on the abstract.

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 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.

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

Darcy Spitz; 212-878-5940; darcy.spitz@heart.org or Carrie Thacker; 214-706-1665; c.thacker@heart.org

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

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

]]>Heart NewsScientific Conferences & MeetingsWed, 21 Mar 2018 20:00:07 GMTStudy Highlights: Being among the highest vs. the lowest 25 percent of consumers of sugary beverages was associated with increased risk of death in people over 45 in an observational study which establishes a trend but does not prove cause and...https://newsroom.heart.org/news/drinking-sugary-drinks-may-be-associated-with-greater-risk-of-deathWed, 21 Mar 2018 20:00:00 GMT

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