New hope for deep vein thrombosis patients

March 17, 2017

Source: British Heart Foundation

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Date of publication: March 2017

Publication type: Research

In a nutshell: Researchers have found a new target for drugs to prevent dangerous blood clots in the legs, thanks to our funding. The research found that mice with a defective receptor called CLEC-2 were protected from deep vein thrombosis.

The current treatments for deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which affects around 60,000 people in the UK every year, include anti-clotting drugs such as heparin and warfarin. These drugs are relatively effective but put patients at increased risk of dangerous bleeding. This is because as well as targeting the blood clot, they also affect haemostasis, the body’s natural response to blood vessel injury and bleeding. Imbalanced haemostasis can be dangerous, so patients have to be monitored carefully and hospitalised following bleeding injury.

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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


Deadly inherited condition more common than type 1 diabetes in children

March 17, 2017

Source: British Heart Foundation

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Date of publication: February 2017

Publication type: Research

In a nutshell: Approximately one in every 250 people in the UK has familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH), a potentially deadly inherited condition which, if undiagnosed, can cause people to die from a heart attack at an early age.

Our figures suggest that FH affects around 250,000 people and is more common than type one diabetes in children, which affects around one in 500 children.

FH causes abnormally high levels of cholesterol in a person’s blood, meaning that otherwise healthy individuals are at a much greater risk of having a heart attack at a young age. Without treatment, people with FH can die prematurely in their 20s, 30s or 40s. Each child of a parent who has FH has a 50 per cent chance of inheriting the condition.

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Acknowledgement: British Heart Foundation


Study reveals important new target for high blood pressure treatment

March 17, 2017

Source: British Heart Foundation

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Date of publication: March 2017

Publication type: Research

In a nutshell: New more effective treatments for high blood pressure could be possible thanks to the discovery that the nitric oxide that regulates blood pressure is formed in nerves rather than in the walls of blood vessels.

The surprising findings, published in the journal Hypertension, from BHF-funded researchers at King’s College London, follows a world-first study in healthy humans, and builds on previous work that established the fundamental role that the gas nitric oxide plays in regulating blood pressure.

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Acknowledgement: British Heart Foundation


Proposals for congenital heart disease services

March 17, 2017

Source: Kings Fund

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Date of publication: February – June 2017

Publication type: Consultation document

In a nutshell: Views are being sought on new proposals for hospital standards for congenital heart disease services. The standards set out the need for surgeons to do a minimum of 125 cases per year, the equivalent of three per week. They also require that there should be a minimum of three surgeons in the team to cover the workload 24 hours a day, rising to four surgeons per team by April 2021. To make sure critically ill children receive the full range of support, the standards also specify that specialist children’s cardiac services must also only be delivered where there are also a wider range of other paediatric specialities present on the same hospital site. The consultation closes on 5 June 2017.

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Acknowledgement: Kings Fund


Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug use is associated with increased risk of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest: a nationwide case–time–control study

March 17, 2017

Source: European Heart Journal

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Date of publication: February 2017

Publication type: Study

In a nutshell: Researchers found a link between the potentially fatal heart problem and ibuprofen use, as well as another type of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) called diclofenac. A cardiac arrest is a serious emergency where the heart stops pumping blood around the body.

The Danish study looked at 29,000 people who experienced a cardiac arrest, and then at whether these people had taken NSAIDs.

The researchers found the risk of a cardiac arrest was increased by a third for those who took ibuprofen in the 30 days leading up to cardiac arrest.

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Acknowledgement:  European Heart Journal


Long-term daily drinking linked to stiffening of the arteries in men

March 17, 2017

Source: NHS Choices

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Date of publication: February 2017

Publication type: News item

In a nutshell: A UK study found men who consistently drank more than the recommended limits had signs of stiffening of the arteries, which has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease.

Researchers used data from more than 3,000 British civil servants to examine the link. Participants reported their alcohol intake over a 20-year period.

Stiffness of the arteries was also measured using a device that looks at how pressure waves move through an artery – the faster the pulse wave moves, the stiffer the arteries.

Men who were frequent heavy drinkers across the follow-up period had stiffer arteries compared with frequent moderate drinkers. There were no significant findings seen for women. The reasons for this are unclear.

While the study cannot prove cause and effect, and stiffening of the arteries can have a range of causes, it does highlight the fact alcohol-related harms can affect anyone.

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 Choices


Worrying about work out-of-hours ‘may be bad for the heart’

March 17, 2017

Source: NHS Choices

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Date of publication: February 2017

Publication type: News item

In a nutshell: A small study of London-based office workers found those who reported being frequently troubled by work-related issues had patterns of heart activity associated with stress and anxiety.

Researchers interviewed 195 adults aged between 20 and 62 (70% male) about what they termed work-related rumination.

This was defined as how often a person was troubled by work-related issues when they weren’t at work, measured on a scale of one (never/seldom) to five (very often/always).

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 Choices