Testosterone supplements helped heart failure patients breathe better and exercise more, according to research in Circulation Heart Failure, an American Heart Association journal. Researchers analyzed four randomized clinical trials of patients with moderate to severe chronic heart failure. Patients were given commercial testosterone supplements by injection, patch or gel. Based on the analysis of these studies, those who received supplemental testosterone scored 50 percent better in a six-minute walking test than those receiving placebo. Also, in two of the studies, the severity of heart failure as measured by the New York Heart Association classification system improved one to two grades in 35 percent of treated patients compared to 9.8 percent of those who didn't receive the supplements.
Treatment with an ACE inhibitor for lowering high blood pressure showed a significant mortality reduction in patients with a high prevalence of hypertension, according to a report published in the European Heart Journal, the flagship journal of the European Society of Cardiology. In the study, 20 different trials including nearly 160, 000 randomly selected patients with high blood pressure were treated with renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) inhibitors or control treatment, such as placebo or normal care with a mean follow up of 4.3 years. RAAS inhibitors showed a 5% reduction in all-cause mortality and a 7% reduction in cardiovascular mortality when compared with control antihypertensive therapy. However, in a stratified study according to the class of drug, the overall all-cause mortality reduction was a result of the beneficial effect of the class of ACE inhibitors, showing a significant 10% reduction, whereas the AT1 receptor blockers (ARBs) had no reduction.
Heart-like cells made in the laboratory from the skin of patients with a common cardiac condition contract less strongly than similarly created cells from unaffected family members, according to researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. The cells also exhibit abnormal structure and respond only dully to the wave of calcium signals that initiate each heartbeat. The finding used induced pluripotent stem, or iPS, cell technology to create heart-muscle-like cells from the skin of patients with dilated cardiomyopathy, which is one of the leading causes of heart failure and heart transplantation in the United States. It adds to a growing body of evidence indicating that iPS cells can faithfully reflect the disease status of the patients from whom they are derived. Using the newly created diseased and normal cells, the researchers were able to directly observe for the first time the effect of a common beta blocker drug, as well as validate the potential usefulness of a gene therapy approach currently in clinical trials.
Despite popular belief, gum disease hasn't been proven to cause atherosclerotic heart disease or stroke, and treating gum disease hasn't been proven to prevent heart disease or stroke, according to a new scientific statement published in Circulation, an American Heart Association journal. Keeping teeth and gums healthy is important for your overall health. However, an American Heart Association expert committee - made up of cardiologists, dentists and infectious diseases specialists - found no conclusive scientific evidence that gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, causes or increases the rates of cardiovascular diseases. Current data don't indicate whether regular brushing and flossing or treatment of gum disease can cut the incidence of atherosclerosis, the narrowing of the arteries that can cause heart attacks and strokes.
Pre-operative statin therapy can reduce the chance of post-operative atrial fibrillation and shortens the stay on the intensive care unit (ICU) and in the hospital in patients who undergo cardiac surgery, according to a new systematic review by Cochrane researchers. However, statin pre-treatment had no influence on the risk of dying, stroke, heart attack or kidney failure around the time of the operation. Statins are known to help lower the levels of lipids in people's blood. This in turn reduces the risk of patients with coronary heart disease dying. Before this study, it was unclear whether patients who are about to undergo heart surgery would also benefit if they took statins before the operation. A team of researchers based at the University of Cologne in Germany, analysed data found in 11 randomized controlled studies.