Chocolate consumption and risk of cardiovascular diseases: a meta-analysis of prospective studies

October 19, 2018

Source: Heart Journal

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Date of publication: October 2018

Publication type: Article (abstract)

In a nutshell: Studies investigating the impact of chocolate consumption on cardiovascular disease (CVD) have reached inconsistent conclusions. As such, a quantitative assessment of the dose–response association between chocolate consumption and incident CVD has not been reported. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies assessing the risk of CVD with chocolate consumption. Chocolate consumption may be associated with reduced risk of CVD at <100 g/week consumption. Higher levels may negate the health benefits and induce adverse effects associated with high sugar consumption.

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Acknowledgement: Heart Journal

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Increased vascular endothelial growth factor D is associated with atrial fibrillation and ischaemic stroke

October 19, 2018

Source: Heart Journal

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Date of publication: October 2018

Publication type: Article (abstract)

In a nutshell: Increased VEGF-D concentrations were associated with AF and ischaemic stroke. The relationship with ischaemic stroke was more pronounced in subjects with a diagnosis of AF.

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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: Heart Journal


New 20 minute test diagnoses hidden heart condition

October 19, 2018

Source: British Heart Foundation

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Date of publication: October 2018

Publication type: Research

In a nutshell: New tests can diagnose ‘hidden’ heart diseases – such as microvascular angina – caused by problems with the small blood vessels supplying the heart, according to research funded by us and presented at the Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) conference today in San Diego. The new tests are not yet standard in the NHS because, before now, there has not been enough evidence gathered about whether they would benefit patients. Now, researchers say that they should be routinely available to pinpoint the cause of chest pain.

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


Genetic tool to predict adult heart attack risk in childhood

October 19, 2018

Source: British Heart Foundation

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Date of publication: October 2018

Publication type: Research

In a nutshell: People at high risk of a heart attack in adulthood could be spotted much earlier in life with a one-off DNA test, according to new research. An international team led by researchers from the University of Leicester, University of Cambridge and the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute in Australia used UK Biobank data to develop and test a powerful scoring system, called a Genomic Risk Score (GRS) which can identify people who are at risk of developing coronary heart disease prematurely because of their genetics.

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


Y chromosome puts men at risk of heart disease

September 21, 2018

Source: British Heart Foundation

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Date of publication: September 2018

Publication type: Research

In a nutshell: New research funded by us suggests that heart disease risk can be passed from father to son. The research, presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Munich shows that men who carry a specific type of Y chromosome are at an 11 per cent increased risk of heart and circulatory disease.

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 research could help people with hidden heart disease

September 21, 2018

Source: British Heart Foundation

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Date of publication: September 2018

Publication type: Research

In a nutshell: Researchers at the University of Aberdeen are working to identify people with the lung condition chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who may also have an undiagnosed heart condition.

COPD is a long-term lung condition that can cause severe breathing difficulties, and many people diagnosed with the condition also have some forms of heart disease, although they may not be aware that they have heart problems.

Beta blockers are often used to treat people with coronary heart disease, irregular heart rhythms and heart failure. Researchers are currently investigating whether, in people living with COPD, beta blockers may prevent sudden deterioration in their breathing. Dr Dana Dawson and her team at the University of Aberdeen have been awarded £299,169 by the BHF to lead a three-year clinical study to investigate whether the people with COPD who benefit from beta blockers have a hidden, undiagnosed heart condition.

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


Testing oxygen levels of newborn babies helps find serious heart defects

September 21, 2018

Source: National Institute for Health Research

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Date of publication: July 2018

Publication type: Research

In a nutshell: Measuring oxygen levels in newborn babies as part of routine care can identify cases of critical congenital heart defects sooner than waiting until symptoms appear. If 10,000 babies were screened, pulse oximetry could correctly identify about 5 of the 6 expected asymptomatic cases and might miss one. This international research suggests there would be about 14 false alarms. Waiting until babies are at least 24 hours old minimises the number of these false positives.

Babies with critical heart defects often show no symptoms at birth. Early detection of these problems increases the chance of successful treatment. This systematic review looked at 21 studies of 457,202 babies where pulse oximetry (measuring the amount of oxygen in the blood using a device put on the hand or foot) was used as a simple screening test.

Pulse oximetry correctly identifies 76.3% of babies who have critical congenital heart defects. It also correctly identifies 99.9% of healthy babies without problems.

Current UK newborn screening programmes do not include pulse oximetry because a national pilot scheme suggested there would be higher false positive results in routine NHS practice.

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: National Institute for Health Research