Diabetes drug could help millions with heart and circulatory disease

June 15, 2018

Source: British Heart Foundation

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Date of publication: June 2018

Publication type: Research

In a nutshell: New research has found that metformin – a cheap drug routinely used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes – could help millions of people living with heart and circulatory disease in the UK.

Two studies involving the drug, led by Dr Ify Mordi and colleagues at the University of Dundee, at the University of Dundee and presented today at the British Cardiovascular Society (BCS) Conference in Manchester, have provided promising results for patients with high blood pressure-induced heart damage and a condition called aortic stenosis, which causes heart failure.

The BHF-funded MET-REMODEL trial, found that metformin could reverse harmful thickening of the left ventricle – the heart’s main pumping chamber. It also helped to bring down high blood pressure and reduce body weight in patients who had 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

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Increased risk of heart disease for mothers with more than 4 children

June 15, 2018

Source: British Heart Foundation

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Date of publication: June 2018

Publication type: Research

In a nutshell: Researchers from the Universities of Cambridge and North Carolina studied data from over 8,000 White and African-American women from the United States, aged 45-64 years. They found that having 5 or more children is associated with a 40% increased risk of a serious heart attack in the next 30 years, compared to having just 1 or 2 children, after taking into account how long the women breastfed for.

Having 5 or more children was also associated with a 30% increased risk of heart disease – the major cause of heart attacks – as well as a 25% increased risk of stroke and a 17% increase in the risk of heart failure compared to having 1-2 children. Having 3-4 children was also associated with a modest increased risk of serious health implications, but the research found that the most significant risk increases were seen with 5 or more children.

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


Heart attack blood test sensitive enough to be used in portable device

June 15, 2018

Source: British Heart Foundation

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Date of publication: June 2018

Publication type: Research

In a nutshell: A new blood test being developed to diagnose heart attacks could one day be carried out on a simple handheld device, giving a rapid diagnosis in A&E departments without the need for samples to be sent to a lab, according to new research presented at the British Cardiovascular Society conference in Manchester.

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


Major heart attacks are more deadly during colder months

June 15, 2018

Source: British Heart Foundation

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Date of publication: June 2018

Publication type: Research

In a nutshell: Heart attacks are more likely to kill you in the winter than in the summer, according to new research presented at the British Cardiovascular Society Conference in Manchester. Cardiologists at Leeds General Infirmary compared information from 4,056 people who received treatment for a heart attack in four separate years, and found the most severe heart attacks were more deadly in the coldest six months, compared to the warmest.

The overall number of heart attacks was roughly the same in the coldest half of the year, compared to the warmer months (52% between November and April), with the most serious heart attacks leading to cardiac arrest and cardiogenic shock. The risk of dying within 30 days of a severe heart attack was nearly 50% higher in the six coldest months, compared to the six warmest months (28% vs 20%).

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


Research highlights the urgent need for better diagnosis of deadly inherited heart conditions

June 15, 2018

Source: British Heart Foundation

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Date of publication: March 2018

Publication type: News item

In a nutshell: New figures we’ve released today show that people with potentially deadly inherited heart conditions are too often not diagnosed until a life-threatening cardiac arrest or sudden death in the family. Our survey of almost 200 people with inherited heart conditions from across the UK found that one in six (16%) people with a deadly inherited heart condition are only diagnosed after having a cardiac arrest, whilst a fifth (18%) of people are diagnosed after a sudden death in the family.

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


Weak handshake could be sign of a failing heart

June 15, 2018

Source: British Heart Foundation

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Date of publication: March 2018

Publication type: News item

In a nutshell: Scientists at Queen Mary University of London have discovered that a weak grip can be associated with changes in the heart’s structure and function, and could be used as a broad measure of someone’s heart health.

By asking people to grip a device called a dynamometer for 3 seconds, the scientists were able to determine someone’s grip strength and compare this to detailed scans of their heart.

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


Largest ever study of killer heart condition which could affect up to 260,000 people in UK

April 27, 2018

Source: British Heart Foundation

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Date of publication: March 2018

Publication type: News item

In a nutshell: There is fresh hope for hundreds of thousands of people in the UK with the potentially deadly heart condition dilated cardiomyopathy. We at the British Heart Foundation are investing over £2 million on the largest ever study of this poorly-understood disease.

DCM is a condition that stretches and thins the heart muscle so it becomes ‘baggy’ and is unable to pump blood around the body efficiently. It is estimated to affect up to 260,000 (1 in 250) people in the UK and is the leading cause of heart transplantation.

Additionally, a staggering 650,000 (1 in 100) people in the UK risk developing the condition due to a common mutation in the titin protein. This mutation predisposes the heart to developing DCM when it is placed under stress such as pregnancy, some cancer treatments and possibly other stresses like alcohol abuse. Development of the condition puts people at greater risk of sudden death, and can also lead to heart failure. After coronary heart disease, DCM is the leading cause of heart failure.

Currently DCM is very poorly understood, with most causes unknown and poor outcomes for patients – research suggests that 15% of patients do not survive beyond 5 years after diagnosis, and up to half of deaths occur within the first 2 years of diagnosis.

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