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


People with severe eczema at higher risk of heart conditions

July 20, 2018

Source: NHS Choices

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Date of publication: May 2018

Publication type: News item

In a nutshell: A large UK study found that people with severe eczema were more likely than people without eczema to develop a range of heart conditions, including unstable angina, heart attack 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: NHS Choices


Regular exercise may be more beneficial for men than post-menopausal women

July 20, 2018

Source: British Heart Foundation

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Date of publication: June 2018

Publication type: Research

In a nutshell: Researchers at Loughborough University examined the effects of regular exercise training on the blood vessels of 12 men and post-menopausal women. Blood pressure and arterial stiffness were assessed before and one hour after a brisk walk.

Their preliminary findings suggest that arterial stiffness, an independent risk factor for heart disease, is higher in women compared with age-matched men. A single bout of brisk walking improved arterial stiffness and blood pressure in both groups, however, arterial stiffness remained higher in women. Interestingly, the improvements in arterial stiffness were related to changes in blood pressure in men only, suggesting possible sex-differences in how the blood vessels adapt and respond to exercise.

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


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


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