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

August 16, 2019

Source: NHS News – Behind the Headlines

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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

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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


New cholesterol-lowering drug shows promise

May 14, 2019

Source: NHS News – Behind the Headlines

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Date of publication: March 2019

Publication type: News item

In a nutshell: A study has looked into the safety of a new treatment to lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL), commonly known as “bad” cholesterol.

High cholesterol can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, which kills about 150,000 people in the UK each year.

Researchers recruited over 2,000 people who were already taking statins to lower their cholesterol. They were split into 2 groups. One group was given the new drug, bempedoic acid, alongside their statin for 1 year. The other group was given a dummy drug (placebo).

After 3 months, those who took bempedoic acid had lowered their bad cholesterol by around 17% compared to those on the placebo. There was no difference in reported side effects between this drug and the placebo over the course of 1 year. The dropout rate because of side effects was slightly higher in the bempedoic acid group (11%) compared with the placebo group (7%).

This study adds to the research looking for new cholesterol-lowering treatments when statins either don’t work or cause undesirable side effects. However, bempedoic acid is not currently a licensed treatment. The safety of the drug needs to be confirmed before it is made available.

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     

 


Smartphone ECG could be used in A&E to detect serious heart conditions

May 14, 2019

Source: British Heart Foundation

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Date of publication: March 2019

Publication type: News item

In a nutshell: A smartphone-based ECG recorder is five times more effective at diagnosing heart rhythm problems than standard tests, according to new research. Researchers at the University of Edinburgh and NHS Lothian carried out the first randomised control trial of the device, the AliveCor® KardiaMobile, in 243 people presenting with heart palpations or near blackout at 15 Emergency Departments across the UK. The device enabled doctors to diagnose the cause of the palpitations in over 40 per cent more patients than standard tests alone.

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


Eggs linked to heart disease and death, study suggests

May 14, 2019

Source: British Heart Foundation

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Date of publication: March 2019

Publication type: Research

In a nutshell: High levels of dietary cholesterol, like those found in eggs, are linked to an increased risk of heart and circulatory disease, or even death, according to a new study published in JAMA.

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