A round up of heart news for you from all over to mark the end the week.
CVD prevention watch
This vaccine was developed to protect people from one disease but it has shown additional beneficial effects in another indication – cardiovascular health. The pneumococcal vaccine is meant to prevent acute infections caused by the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae. However, the vaccine seems to lower people’s risk of having heart attacks 2 years (and beyond) after inoculation. The authors interpret their results as follows:
“Pneumococcal vaccination was associated with a decrease of more than 50% in the rate myocardial infarction 2 years after exposure. If confirmed, this association should generate interest in exploring the putative mechanisms and may offer another reason to promote pneumococcal vaccination.”
CVD treatment watch
A single intravenous dose of the hormone erythropoietin (EPO) immediately after a heart attack can significantly reduce cell death and heart damage, according to Japanese researchers. Following a heart attack, damage occurs in two ways: necrosis (normal cell death) and apoptosis (programmed cell death or cell suicide). EPO administration reduced apoptosis as demonstrated in laboratory rats.
CVD clinical trial watch
This aptly named clinical trial called US PARACHUTE evaluates a device to improve the heart’s pumping action in the management of congestive heart failure. The trial tests the efficacy of placing a small device in the main pumping chamber of the heart – the left ventricle. Cardiologists at the Northwestern Memorial physicians has just recently implanted device in the first study participant, so far only the sixth person in the United States to undergo the procedure.
“The goal of the study is to return the ventricle to a normal shape, decrease heart failure symptoms and prevent the heart from further deterioration,” according to the trial’s chief investigator.
CVD stem cell watch
In a previous post, I reviewed nonclinical studies on the use of stem cells in treating heart disease. According to experts who reviewed existing data, more research is needed before stem cell therapy can be used in the clinical setting.
CVD patient watch
He weighed 450 kg but he wasn’t the heaviest man in the world. The online newspaper The Australian reports that Jose Luis Garza died of heart failure shortly after appealing for medical help on national (Mexican TV). The man who holds the record for being heaviest – Manual Uribe is 560 kg – lives just about an hour away.
Photo credit: world news by jayofboy at stock.xchng