Uncovering the connection between sleep and heart health

January 15, 2018

Source: Harvard Heart Health newsletter

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Date of publication:  January 2018

Publication type: Bulletin

In a nutshell:  Sleeping either too little or too much has been linked to a higher risk of heart disease. But how much do other interconnected factors — namely, activity levels and body weight — affect this observation?

In an effort to find out, researchers studied nearly 240,000 healthy adults ages 51 to 72 who were part of a nationwide health study. The investigators examined the influence of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, television viewing, and body mass index on sleep duration and death rates.

During an average of 14 years of follow-up, just over 44,000 people died. Compared with people who slept seven to eight hours per day, those with either shorter or longer snooze times were more likely to die of heart disease. How long a person exercised or was sedentary (inferred by TV-watching time) did not appear to affect the connection between sleep and mortality. But among people who were overweight or obese, sleeping less than seven hours per day was strongly linked to a higher risk of death from heart disease. The study appeared in the Oct. 3, 2017, American Journal of Epidemiology.

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:  Harvard Heart Health newsletter

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Fewer women would die from heart attacks if given same treatments as men

January 15, 2018

Source: British Heart Foundation

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Date of publication:  January 2018

Publication type: Research

In a nutshell:  Fewer of the thousands of women who suffer a heart attack each year in the UK would die if they were given the same treatments as men, according to new research part funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Researchers at the University of Leeds and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden used data from Sweden’s extensive online cardiac registry, SWEDEHEART, to monitor the long-term health of 180,368 patients who suffered a heart attack between 1st January 2003 and 31st December 2013.

After accounting for the expected number of deaths seen in the average population, the researchers found that women had an excess mortality of up to three times higher than men’s in the year after having a heart attack. The excess mortality is the extra deaths in the people who have a disease, above and beyond what you might expect in the general population. It helps to separate the deaths are due to a specific disease (in this case heart attacks) from deaths due to other causes. This is important because it adjust for the fact that women generally live longer than men.

Women were more likely to suffer from other illnesses, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, but these did not fully account for the excess mortality.

However, women were on average less likely than men to receive the recommended treatments after 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


Scientists study early heart growth to help heart attack patients

January 15, 2018

Source: British Heart Foundation

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Date of publication:  January 2018

Publication type: Research

In a nutshell:  Scientists at the University of Cambridge are to study how the heart grows at its earliest moments in an effort to help heart attack patients.

Dr Sanjay Sinha has been awarded £183,000 by the BHF to identify different cells within the epicardium – the outer layer of the heart that plays an important role in the development of the heart and its response to injury (a heart attack).

The cells have different levels of a variety of key proteins, such as TCF21 and WT1. These proteins  are believed to play a critical role by controlling the growth of cells which eventually form the connective tissues and blood vessels of the heart in an embryo. Dr Sinha will be studying the differences between the epicardial cells to see if some cells have better regenerative properties than others.

After a heart attack, damage to the heart muscle is irreversible as the heart does not repair itself or replace damaged tissue. This can lead heart failure, a condition where the heart is less able to pump blood around the body.

Unlike some fish and amphibians, humans are unable to replace or regenerate lost heart muscle. However, by determining how the epicardium controls heart cell growth in the embryo, Dr Sinha believes it might be possible to ‘switch on’ this ability in adults.

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


Steroid abuse ‘raising health risk for thousands’

December 22, 2017

Source: British Cardiovascular Society

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Date of publication: December 2017

Publication type: News item

In a nutshell: The British Cardiovascular Society today advised that people may be at increased risk of dying early from heart attacks and strokes by misusing anabolic steroids.

Speaking on behalf of the Society, Dr Aneil Malhotra gave the warning amid concern that steroids are now being taken by hundreds of thousands of people.

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 Cardiovascular Society

 


New cause of heart failure discovered

December 22, 2017

Source: British Heart Foundation

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Date of publication: November 2017

Publication type: Research

In a nutshell: A new treatment for heart failure is a step closer after a study has found that a part of our immune system once thought to prevent organ damage is actually a leading cause of scarring and heart failure.

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


Drug could put an end to transplant rejection

December 22, 2017

Source: British Heart Foundation

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Date of publication: November 2017

Publication type: Research

In a nutshell: A diabetes drug currently undergoing development could be repurposed to help end transplant rejection, without the side-effects of current immunosuppressive drugs, according to new research that we’ve funded.

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


Scientists to explore how stem cells could heal heart attack damage

December 22, 2017

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Date of publication: December 2017

Publication type: Research

In a nutshell: Scientists at the University of Surrey are to investigate how stem cells could be used to repair the heart after it’s damaged 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