Pacemaker study to help heart patients avoid hospital

November 19, 2019

Source: British Heart Foundation

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Date of publication: November 2019

Publication type: Research

In a nutshell: A study at The University of Manchester which will analyse heart patients’ activity levels through their pacemakers, to determine which people are at the highest risk of frailty and help them avoid long hospital stays.

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

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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


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     

 


New Sheffield research could help to develop preventative treatments for heart disease

May 14, 2019

Source: British Heart Foundation

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Date of publication: March 2019

Publication type: Research

In a nutshell: Researchers at the University of Sheffield are to study if ‘turning off’ a protein could help prevent heart attacks and strokes. Previous research found that a protein, known as c-Rel, is ‘switched on’ by damage to the blood vessel walls, and accelerates the build-up of fatty plaques even further. In this study, Professor Evans will investigate how removing c-Rel affects the progression of the disease in mice. If mice that have had c-Rel ‘switched off’ or removed are shown to have lower levels of build-up of these dangerous plaques, it could pave the way for developing drugs to block this protein and reduce a person’s risk of heart attack and stroke.

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


Statins reduce heart attack and stroke risk in older people

February 28, 2019

Source: British Heart Foundation

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Date of publication: February 2019

Publication type: Research

In a nutshell: According to new research that we part-funded, statins lower the risk of heart attack and stroke in all ages, including older people over the age of 75. The study was published in The Lancet. This new study also revealed that statin therapy did not increase the risk of deaths from diseases not linked to the heart, including cancer.

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


Higher statins dose and proper adherence would prevent thousands of heart attacks and strokes

December 21, 2018

Source: British Heart Foundation

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Date of publication: December 2018

Publication type: Research

In a nutshell: Researchers, from Imperial College London and the University of Leicester, estimate that 12,000 cardiovascular events including heart attacks and strokes would be averted with higher dose prescriptions and greater adherence to stain treatment.

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