CARDIOVASCULAR HORIZON SCANNING Volume 11 Issue 7/8

August 16, 2019

High blood pressure and cholesterol in young adults linked to heart disease in later life

August 16, 2019

Source: NHS News – Behind the Headlines

Follow this link for full text

Date of publication: July 2019

Publication type: News item

In a nutshell: Researchers in the US modelled the risk factors of 36,030 people who took part in 6 long-running studies. They estimated the effects of high cholesterol and high blood pressure in young adulthood (from the age of 18 to 39) on people’s risk of heart attack, stroke or heart failure in later adulthood.

They found that both raised LDL “bad” cholesterol and raised blood pressure in young adulthood were linked to an increased risk of heart disease in later life.

The researchers say their study adds to evidence that raised blood pressure and cholesterol in early adulthood can be particularly harmful, and that new ways of tackling cardiovascular risk in early adulthood are needed.

Length of publication: 1 webpage

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS library if you cannot access the full text. Follow this link to find your local NHS library.

Acknowledgement:   NHS News – Behind the Headlines


Over half living with heart and circulatory diseases have experienced sadness, anxiety and depression

August 16, 2019

Source: British Heart Foundation

Follow this link for full text

Date of publication: July 2019

Publication type: News item

In a nutshell: Survey suggests that more than half of people living with heart and circulatory diseases have experienced feelings related to anxiety or depression, but many are not getting the help they need.

The survey involving almost 5,000 people living with conditions such as a heart attack, stroke and heart failure, found that 58% of respondents living with heart and circulatory diseases had reported feeling sad, down or depressed.

It also found that 59% had experienced feelings of anxiety, and fear or uncertainty about the future.

If these results were representative of the 7.4 million in the UK living with the daily burden of heart and circulatory diseases, this would mean that around four million of those may have experienced these feelings at some stage.

Parallel has revealed that less than half of all cardiac rehabilitation programmes – which offer exercise and information sessions to help people following a heart attack, heart surgery or procedure – have staff designated to mental health management.

And, according to further analysis of patient data by us, more than one in three (37%) working age adults in the UK living with coronary heart disease have been diagnosed with anxiety or depression by their GP, up from 30% a decade earlier. Around 4 in 10 (41%) working age stroke survivors have also been diagnosed with anxiety or depression by their GP. A decade earlier, this figure was 33%. Coronary heart disease, which can cause a heart attack, and stroke are two of the most common types of heart and circulatory disease in the UK.

The BHF is now urging the NHS and Governments across the UK to ensure that emotional and psychological support is a core consideration in the care and support provided to everyone affected by heart and circulatory diseases. In the BHF’s latest strategy, the nation’s heart charity is calling for everyone to receive the support they need to make a good recovery and live free from the fear of these conditions.

Length of publication: 1 webpage

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS library if you cannot access the full text. Follow this link to find your local NHS library.

Acknowledgement: British Heart Foundation


Increased risk of heart disease for healthy 75-year-olds who stop taking statins

August 16, 2019

Source: British Heart Foundation

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Date of publication: August 2019

Publication type: Research

In a nutshell: Statins are known to reduce the risk of further problems in patients of any age who have already suffered heart problems or stroke. However, until now it has not been clear how effective their use is in preventing such events occurring in healthy people aged 75 and over, with no previous history of cardiovascular disease.

Now, a nationwide study of 120,173 people in France, who were aged 75 between 2012 and 2014 and had been taking statins continuously for two years, has found those who stopped taking their statins had a 33% increased risk of being admitted to hospital with heart or blood vessel problems during an average follow-up period of 2.4 years.

Length of publication: 1 webpage

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS library if you cannot access the full text. Follow this link to find your local NHS library.

Acknowledgement: British Heart Foundation


New stem cell combination could help to repair damaged hearts

August 16, 2019

Source: British Heart Foundation

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Date of publication: August 2019

Publication type: Research

In a nutshell: Researchers have found that, by transplanting an area of damaged tissue with a combination of both heart muscle cells and supportive cells taken from the outer layer of the heart wall, they may be able to help the organs recover from the damage caused by a heart attack.

Length of publication: 1 webpage

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS library if you cannot access the full text. Follow this link to find your local NHS library.

Acknowledgement: British Heart Foundation


Researchers develop first tool for predicting sudden cardiac death in children with HCM

August 16, 2019

Source: British Heart Foundation

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Date of publication: August 2019

Publication type:  Research

In a nutshell: HCM is an inherited heart condition that causes the heart muscle to become thicker. It can lead to life-threatening abnormal heart rhythms and sudden cardiac arrest, which is the leading cause of death in children with the condition. Most people with HCM have few, if any, symptoms. Although there are tools which can help predict the risk of sudden death in adults with the condition, until now they haven’t existed for children.

Scientists at University College London and Great Ormond Street Hospital collected anonymised medical records from cardiac centres around the world to find out which factors are associated with a higher risk of sudden death in children with HCM. They used this to develop a tool that means doctors can identify children with HCM who may need to be fitted with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) which can shock the heart back into a normal rhythm if they experience a life-threatening abnormal heart rhythm. The new tool could also help to reassure families of those children with HCM who are found to be unlikely to experience a cardiac arrest.

Length of publication: 1 webpage

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS library if you cannot access the full text. Follow this link to find your local NHS library.

Acknowledgement: British Heart Foundation


Does more leg fat protect women against heart attack and stroke?

August 16, 2019

Source: NHS News – Behind the Headlines

Follow this link for full text

Date of publication: July 2019

Publication type: News item

In a nutshell: Researchers looked at the body composition of 2,683 women in the US who were a healthy weight and had been through the menopause.

They found women who had a higher percentage of fat around their trunk were more likely to have a heart attack or stroke than women who had more fat on their legs, but less around their upper body.

Because of the nature of the study, we cannot be sure that body fat distribution directly caused the differences in risk of having a heart attack and stroke.

But previous studies have found people who are “apple-shaped” with more central body fat have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease than those who are “pear-shaped”.

Scientists think this may be because fat on the legs is a harmless way of storing energy, while fat around the abdominal organs may affect metabolism and put people at risk of diabetes.

Length of publication: 1 webpage

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS library if you cannot access the full text. Follow this link to find your local NHS library.

Acknowledgement:   NHS News – Behind the Headlines