Population-wide reduction in salt consumption recommended

The American Heart Association today issued a call to action for the public, health professionals, the food industry and the government to intensify efforts to reduce the amount of sodium (salt) Americans consume daily.
In an advisory, published i…

MicroRNAs could increase the risk of amputation in diabetics

New research has found one of the smallest entities in the human genome, micro-RNA, could increase the risk of limb amputation in diabetic patients who have poor blood flow.
The study by Dr Andrea Caporali and colleagues in Professor Costanza Eman…

Blacks less likely to benefit from high-tech treatments for rapid heartbeat

Testing to guide treatment of rapid heart rhythms leads to poorer survival in blacks than in whites, according to research published in today’s rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. Lead author Andrea M. Russo, M.D., says blacks were much more likely to refuse implantable cardioverter-defibrillators or ICDs when doctors recommended the devices, which may explain some of the survival difference.

Fish oils in heart cells can block dangerous heart rhythm

Eating oily fish like salmon, tuna or bluefish at least twice a week can prevent sudden cardiac death because fatty acids in the fish block dangerous irregular heart rhythms, experts say in a review article in today’s of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Surgery better than drugs for serious lack of blood flow to the heart

Surgery or angioplasty to improve blood flow in patients with moderate to severe levels of blood flow restriction to the heart reduces the risk of cardiac death more than medication alone, researchers report in today’s rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

An enzyme puts the ‘good’ in good cholesterol

An oxidation-fighting enzyme called paraoxonase (PON1) can significantly reduce the risk of heart attacks, according to research reported in today’s rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. The enzyme attaches itself to high-density lipoprotein (HDL), which is known as “good” cholesterol. When PON1 is highly active, the risk for heart attack is cut by 43 percent, says study author Michael Mackness, Ph.D., of the University Department of Medicine, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Manchester, United Kingdom.

Trio of trouble: Infection, autoimmunity & inflammation gang up on heart

Chronic infections, autoimmune conditions and inflammation work together to increase the risk of heart disease, according to the first study to examine a possible relationship between the three conditions and the development of heart attacks. It’s reported in today’s rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Gene analysis finds ‘fingerprint’ of defects in heart development

Using a multiple-gene analysis technique, German researchers have gained new insights into specific genetic alterations that lead to congenital heart defects, according to a report in today’s rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. The technique, called microarray analysis, allowed investigators to identify specific patterns of gene expression in the entire human genome associated with common types of congenital heart defects. They sought to demonstrate the feasibility of using gene array analysis to study congenital heart defects. But their findings could represent an early step toward developing effective strategies to improve the quality of life in children and adults with heart defects.

Gene therapy during angioplasty improves blood flow

In the first study of its kind, researchers show that gene therapy given during angioplasty is safe and improves blood flow to the heart muscle more than angioplasty alone, according to a report in a recent rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. The trial is the first to transfer copies of the gene for vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) into the arteries of heart patients during angioplasty. It’s also the first human study that compared two different approaches to inserting the gene into heart cells.

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