cardiovascular diseases

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L-type calcium channel blockers

LCCBs may contribute to heart failure

L-type calcium channel blockers (LCCBs) — the most widely used drugs for treating hypertension — may harm the heart as much as help it, according to a new study. The research team, led by the Pennsylvania State University, found that in rats and human cells in vitro, LCCBs cause changes in blood vessels — known as vascular remodeling — that reduce blood flow and increase pressure.…

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3D microprinted scope

World’s smallest imaging device focuses on heart disease

A team of researchers led by the University of Adelaide and University of Stuttgart has used 3D micro-printing to develop the world’s smallest, flexible scope for looking inside blood vessels. The camera-like imaging device can be inserted into blood vessels to provide high quality 3D images to help scientists better understand the causes of heart attack and heart disease progression, and could…

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Non-pulmonary aspects

The cardiovascular impact of COVID-19

The increased risk of COVID-19 to patients with cardiac conditions will be an important theme discussed during an online presentation at ECR 2020. Dr Karl-Friedrich Kreitner, Professor of Radiology at the Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology of Johannes-Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, will focus on the prevalence of pulmonary embolism in COVID-19 patients, discuss the…

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Surprising find

More than half of heart scans abnormal in hospitalised COVID-19 patients

Half of COVID-19 patients who received a heart scan in hospital showed abnormalities in heart function, according to new research funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF). The study, published in the European Heart Journal - Cardiovascular Imaging, found that around one in seven showed severe abnormalities likely to have a major effect on their survival and recovery. It also showed that one…

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30 years after reunification, health disparities still exist

Germany: reunited but still divided (in healthcare)

East Germany has many more hospitalisations for heart failure compared to West Germany despite a nationwide healthcare system, according to research presented today on HFA Discoveries, a scientific platform of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). Heart failure is the most common reason for hospital admissions and is responsible for a large part of the total health expenditure on…

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Teaching partnership

Setting new standards for specialist integrated cardiac care

Royal Philips and Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust announced a seven-year managed service agreement to deliver on the Trusts’ vision to set new standards of excellence for cardiac care in the UK and globally. The partnership will combine the latest innovations in technology for integrated cardiovascular solutions to deliver on the quadruple aim: better health outcomes, lower cost of care, and…

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Heart failure monitoring

App detects fluid in the lungs via voice recordings

Voice analysis by a smartphone app identifies lung congestion in heart failure patients, allowing early intervention before their condition deteriorates. The small study is presented on HFA Discoveries, a scientific platform of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). “Speech is personal and as such, very small changes (related to the same person) can be detected – for example, the ability…

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Hypertension

High blood pressure increases COVID-19 death risk

Patients with raised blood pressure have a two-fold increased risk of dying from the coronavirus COVID-19 compared to patients without high blood pressure, according to new research published in the European Heart Journal. In addition, the study found that patients with high blood pressure who were not taking medication to control the condition were at even greater risk of dying from COVID-19.

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Heart attacks, heart failure, stroke

COVID-19’s cardiovascular complications

COVID-19 can cause serious cardiovascular complications including heart failure, heart attacks and blood clots that can lead to strokes, emergency medicine doctors at the University of Virgina report in a new scientific paper. They also caution that COVID-19 treatments can interact with medicines used to manage patients’ existing cardiovascular conditions.

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Air pollution with a bang

The health impact of festival fireworks

Fireworks associated with festival celebrations such as Australia Day, China’s Lunar New Year and Fourth of July, in the USA, may have a significant impact on the health of vulnerable people, a new study reveals. Using fireworks during these celebrations generates anthropogenic source of air pollutants with significant impacts on local air quality, creating up to eight times the average of…

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Obesity, heart disease, diabetes

Are NCD not so "non-communicable" after all?

Diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer or certain lung diseases are among the most common non-natural causes of death today and account for about 70 percent of deaths worldwide. They are defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as non-communicable because they are assumed to be caused by a combination of genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors and cannot be transmitted…

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Higher intake, lower risk

Could magnesium save women from fatal heart disease?

A new prospective study based on data from the Women's Health Initiative found a potential inverse association between dietary magnesium and fatal coronary heart disease in postmenopausal women. The study, which also showed a trend between magnesium and sudden cardiac death in this population, is published in Journal of Women's Health. Charles Eaton, MD, Alpert Medical School of Brown University,…

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CVD and stroke risk

How work stress and low income sap your heart

Low educational levels predict an increased risk of developing or dying from heart disease and stroke according to the first nationwide study of the link between education and risk of cardiovascular disease. The study, which is published in the European Heart Journal, is also the first nationwide study to look at the extent to which low income and work stress plays a role in the association…

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Cardiology in Cape Town

First successful robotic coronary angioplasties in Africa

Robocath, a company that designs, develops and commercializes cardiovascular robotic systems for the treatment of vascular diseases, announced it has successfully completed six robotic coronary angioplasties with R-One, a first for the continent of Africa. The Percutaneous Coronary Interventions (PCI) were performed by Dr Faizel Lorgat, an interventional cardiologist at the Netcare Christiaan…

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New research

Cancer patients at higher risk of dying from heart disease and stroke

More than one in ten cancer patients do not die from their cancer but from heart and blood vessel problems instead, according to new research published in the European Heart Journal. For some cancers, like breast, prostate, endometrial, and thyroid cancer, around half will die from cardiovascular disease (CVD). Dr Nicholas Zaorsky, a radiation oncologist, and Dr Kathleen Sturgeon, an assistant…

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Biological aging

Wearables link insufficient sleep to cardiovascular disease risk

Getting a good night’s sleep is important and insufficient sleep has been linked to poor health in many studies. Analysing data collected from wearable trackers, researchers from the SingHealth Duke-NUS Institute of Precision Medicine (PRISM) and the National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS) recently demonstrated that chronic sleep deprivation is associated with increased cardiovascular disease…

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Interactive CVD risk calculator

KardioKompassi: Individualised cardiac disease prevention with genomic data

With KardioKompassi, researchers from the University of Helsinki have developed an interactive web tool that aims to predict and prevent cardiovascular disease. The application for patients and doctors uses traditional health information combined with genome information, including 49,000 DNA variations associated with the disease. Using this data, the risk calculator evaluates the risk of cardiac…

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Food study

Red and processed meat: not so bad for our health, but...

Most people can continue to eat red and processed meat as they do now. A major study led by researchers at McMaster and Dalhousie universities has found cutting back has little impact on health. A panel of international scientists systematically reviewed the evidence and have recommended that most adults should continue to eat their current levels of red and processed meat. The researchers…

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Multi-component procedure

SULEEI: extending the functional lives of biological heart valve prostheses

For decades now, the Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP has been developing processes and systems for cleaning, sterilization, and surface modification. The newly in-house developed process, called SULEEI, makes it possible to sterilize (S) and preserve decellularized pericardial tissue by means of photo-initiated ultraviolet (U) crosslinking…

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RiskCardio

Using machine learning to estimate risk of cardiovascular death

Humans are inherently risk-averse: We spend our days calculating routes and routines, taking precautionary measures to avoid disease, danger, and despair. Still, our measures for controlling the inner workings of our biology can be a little more unruly. With that in mind, a team from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) came up with a new system for better…

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The XX factor

XX chromosomes put women's hearts at risk

New research at the University of Kentucky has confirmed that the presence of XX sex chromosomes increases the amount of fat circulating in the blood, which leads to narrowing of the arteries and ultimately a higher risk of heart attacks and coronary artery disease. The research was published in Nature Communications. The leading cause of death in women is coronary artery disease (CAD), but women…

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Risk stratification

Cardio-controversy: Added value through CAD imaging?

ESC Congress, Paris: Two key strands in the ‘Controversies in imaging coronary artery disease’ session at the congress will examine the pros and cons of imaging use for coronary artery disease risk stratification in asymptomatic patients; the second strand will focus on whether CT angiography should be the first choice for imaging coronary artery disease in patients with stable chest pain.…

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Cardiovascular disease

Why exercise is even more beneficial for CVD patients

A study of nearly half a million people has found for the first time that those with heart or blood vessel problems benefit more from having a physically active lifestyle than do healthy people without cardiovascular disease (CVD). Increased physical activity reduced the risk of dying during a six-year follow-up period for people with and without CVD, but the researchers found the greatest…

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The MR-INFORM trial

Seeking a first-line ischaemia test

Findings from a comparative outcome study have highlighted the benefits of using cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) perfusion imaging as a first-line ischaemia test in patients with moderate risk of coronary artery disease (CAD). The MR-INFORM (Magnetic Resonance Perfusion or Fractional Flow Reserve in Coronary Disease) trial, which began in 2012 (results published in the New England…

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