Curcumin exhibits anti-diabetic activities, induces heme-oxygenase-1 (HO-1) and is an inhibitor of transcriptional co-activator p300. A novel water soluble curcumin derivative (NCD) has been developed to overcome low invivo bioavailability of curcumin. We evaluated the effect of the NCD on signaling mechanisms involved in cardiomyocyte hypertrophy and studied whether its action is mediated via inducible HO-1.
Materials and methods
Rats were divided into controls, controls receiving NCD, diabetic, diabetic receiving NCD, diabetic receiving pure curcumin, diabetic receiving HO inhibitor, zinc protoporphyrin IX (ZnPP IX) and diabetic receiving NCD and ZnPP IX. NCD and curcumin were given orally. After 45 days, cardiac physiologic parameters, plasma glucose, insulin, glycated hemoglobin (GHb), HO-1 gene expression and HO activity in pancreas and cardiac tissues were assessed. Gene expression of p300, atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) and myocyte enhancer factor 2 (MEF2A and MEF2C) were studied.
NCD and curcumin decreased plasma glucose, GHb and increased insulin levels significantly in diabetic rats. This action may be partially mediated by induction of HO-1 gene. HO-1 gene expression and HO activity were significantly increased in diabetic heart and pancreas. Diabetes upregulated the expression of ANP, MEF2A, MEF2C and p300. NCD and curcumin prevented diabetes-induced upregulation of these parameters and improved left ventricular function. The effect of the NCD was better than the same dose of curcumin.
Curcumin; Diabetes type I; Heme-oxygenase-I; Diabetic cardiomyopathy; p300
Despite the well-known health risks, smoking is still highly prevalent worldwide. Greece has the highest level of adult smoking rate (40%) across the European Union. We investigated gender and socio-economic differences in daily smoking and smoking cessation among Greek adults. We conducted a cross-sectional survey between October and November 2009 in 434 adults residing in a Greek rural area. Data were collected with the use of the World Health Organization Global Adult Tobacco Survey (WHO GATS) Core Questionnaire. Respondents were classified into smokers (if they had smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime and continued to smoke) or non-smokers. Overall, 58.1% (n=252) were smokers (58.5% male, n=127 and 57.8% female, n=125); 51.2% (n=222) were younger than 18 years-old when they started smoking. Men tended to start smoking at a younger age, to smoke more cigarettes/day and to have smoked a greater average of cigarettes during the last 5 days. Overall, 82.5% of smokers attempted to stop smoking a year prior to the study, with women having a greater difficulty in quitting smoking. The main source of information on smoking was the mass media (73.5%) and books (53.7%), whereas doctors and other health professionals were the least listed source of relative information (27.7 and 8.1%, respectively). Smoking rates among Greek adults were high, but a considerable number of individuals who smoked, wished to quit and had attempted to do so. Smoking cessation clinics are not perceived as a valuable support in quitting effort.
Adults; gender; rural; smoking; smoking cessation; socio-economic.
A diet rich in fat is associated with hepatic fat deposition [steatosis; non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)]. The exact cause of NAFLD however, is still unknown. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of a water-soluble formulation of vitamin E on a dietary-induced-NAFLD animal model.
Adult male Wistar rats (n=20) were allocated to 2 groups: Controls (Group A, n=6), which received a standard chow diet for 24 weeks and a High Cholesterol group (HC: n=14), which received a standard chow diet enriched with cholesterol for the first 14 weeks of the experiment (t1). At t1, the HC group was divided into: Group HC(B), which received a high-saturated-fat/high-cholesterol (HSF/HCH) diet and Group HC(C), which followed the same HSF/HCH diet but was also administered water soluble vitamin E (10 IU/kg body weight/day), for 10 more weeks.
At the end of the study, group HC(C) exhibited significantly lower mean total cholesterol (T-CHOL) than group HC(B) (p<0.001). No significant differences were observed between HC(C) and Control groups in blood glucose and serum lipid concentrations. Liver Function Tests did not vary between all groups at the end of the study. Animals in group HC(B) exhibited higher SGOT at the end of the study compared with the beginning of the study (p<0.05). Group HC(B) exhibited the highest scores in steatosis, and grading (according to the NAFLD scoring system) in the histopathological analysis (p≤0.001 in all cases).
Vitamin E seems to exert a hypolipidemic and hepatoprotective role in the presence of a HSF/HCH atherogenic diet in a rat model.
Cholesterol; High saturated fat diet; Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; Steatosis; Vitamin E; Wistar rats.
This is a case report that describes a 67-year-old woman with mixed hyperlipidemia and diabetic nephropathy. She was initially prescribed a combination of simvastatin plus gemfibrozil by her general practitioner (GP). When referred to our cardiovascular unit, we further diagnosed the patient to have mixed hyperlipidemia and rhabdomyolysis. Because of concerns with her chronic kidney disease (CKD), we temporarily stopped all her drug treatments and started insulin treatment for her type 2 diabetes (T2D). A month later when her T2D was stabilised, we prescribed atorvastatin and an omega-3 fatty acid ethyl ester supplement to treat her hypertriglyceridemia. Within two months her blood lipids were within the recommended range. In patients with stage 3–5 CKD, it is not advisable to prescribe the fibrate gemfibrozil, particularly in combination with a statin that is metabolised predominantly in the kidneys. To minimise adverse events without compromise on efficacy, we used a combination of omega-3 fatty acid ethyl esters, which are not metabolised in the kidneys, with a statin that is minimally metabolised in the kidneys for the treatment of her hyperlipidemia.
Hypertriglyceridemia; statin; omega-3 fatty acid ethyl esters; type 2 diabetes.
Obesity is a multifactorial disease. Among its causes are physical inactivity and overeating. In addition, other factors may play an important role in the development of overweight/obesity. For example, certain hormones including leptin, insulin and ghrelin, may influence appetite and consequently body weight. Obesity frequently co-exists with metabolic disorders including dyslipidemia, hypertension and insulin resistance, thus constituting the metabolic syndrome which is characterized by increased cardiovascular risk.
Lack of comprehensive knowledge on obesity-related issues makes both prevention and treatment difficult. This review considers the psychobiological and neuroendocrine mechanisms of appetite and food intake. Whether these factors, in terms of obesity prevention and treatment, will prove to be relevant in clinical practice (including reducing the cardiovas-cular risk associated with obesity) remains to be established.
Obesity; appetite; psychobiology; neuroendocrine mechanisms; leptin; insulin; ghrelin; cardiovascular risk.
The short-term effects of multifactorial intervention for cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention on renal function and serum uric acid (SUA) levels in patients with stage 3 chronic kidney disease (CKD) and multiple CVD risk factors are unclear. The aim of the study was to prospectively assess these effects.
Material and methods
This post hoc analysis of 5 "best practice" studies involved patients with multiple CVD risk factors. Estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) was assessed using the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) formula. Among the 4,153 patients, 1,235 (29.7%) had stage 3 CKD (eGFR between 30 and 59 ml/min/1.73 m2). A baseline visit was followed by a concerted effort from previously trained physicians to improve adherence to lifestyle advice and optimize drug treatment, including a statin, for all vascular risk factors. After 6 months eGFR and SUA levels were re-evaluated.
The intervention improved compliance to lifestyle measures and increased the use of evidence-based medication, including a statin. There was also a 5.6% increase in eGFR (p < 0.001) in patients with stage 3 CKD and a 6.1% reduction in SUA levels (p < 0.001). Among patients with stage 3 CKD, 127 (10.3%) improved to stage 2 CKD and 9 (0.7%) advanced to stage 4 CKD by the end of the 6-month study period. There were no major side-effects.
Multitargeted intervention, including a statin, may improve renal function and reduce SUA levels within 6 months, thus offsetting 2 potential CVD risk factors in high-risk patients.
renal function; uric acid; dyslipidaemia; diabetes mellitus; hypertension; metabolic syndrome; multifactorial intervention; statin
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is common in patients with diabetes mellitus (DM) and related clinical outcomes are worse compared with non-diabetics. The optimal treatment in diabetic patients with coronary heart disease (CHD) is currently not established. We searched MEDLINE (1975-2010) using the key terms diabetes mellitus, coronary heart disease, revascularization, coronary artery bypass, angioplasty, coronary intervention and medical treatment. Most studies comparing different revascularization procedures in patients with CHD favoured coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery in patients with DM. However, most of this evidence comes from subgroup analyses. Recent evidence suggests that advanced percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) techniques along with best medical treatment may be non-inferior and more cost-effective compared with CABG. Treatment of vascular risk factors is a key option in terms of improving CVD outcomes in diabetic patients with CHD. The choice between medical therapy and revascularization warrants further assessment.
diabetes; coronary heart disease; acute coronary syndrome; coronary artery bypass graft; percutaneous coronary intervention; statin
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a hepatic manifestation of metabolic syndrome (MetS), is common and accounts for 80% of cases of elevated liver function tests (LFTs). We assessed the long-term effects of multifactorial intervention on LFTs and their association with cardiovascular disease (CVD) events in patients with MetS without diabetes mellitus or CVD.
Material and methods
This prospective, randomized, open label study included 1,123 patients (aged 45-65 years). Patients received intensive lifestyle intervention and pharmacotherapy: atorvastatin in all patients (low density lipoprotein cholesterol [LDL-C] targets of<100 mg/dl [group A] or<130 mg/dl [group B]), inhibitors of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone axis for hypertension, metformin for dysglycaemia and orlistat for obesity.
Among participants, 326 had modestly elevated LFTs and ultrasonographic (US) evidence of NAFLD (165 patients in group A2 and 161 patients in group B2). The NAFLD resolved during the 42-month treatment period in 86% of patients in group A2 and in 74% of patients in group B2 (p<0.001). In both groups nearly 90% of patients attained lipid goals. Mean LDL-C and TG levels were higher in group B2 than in group A2 (p<0.001). There were no CVD events in group A2 whereas 5 non-fatal events occurred in group B2 (log-rank-p = 0.024). There were no major side-effects.
Attaining multiple treatment targets is safe and beneficial in primary prevention patients with MetS and NAFLD. Lipid levels and LFTs normalized, US findings associated with NAFLD resolved and no CVD events occurred in patients with LDL-C levels<100 mg/dl (group A2). Resolution of NAFLD might have contributed to the prevention of CVD events.
non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; metabolic syndrome; multifactorial treatment; atorvastatin; cardiovascular disease
Dyslipidaemia is frequently present in obesity, metabolic syndrome (MetS) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). The predominant features of dyslipidaemia in these disorders include increased flux of free fatty acids (FFA), raised triglyceride (TG) and low high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels, a predominance of small, dense (atherogenic) low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) particles and raised apolipoprotein (apo) B values Posprandial hyperlipidaemia may also be present. Insulin resistance (IR) appears to play an important role in the pathogenesis of dyslipidaemia in obesity, MetS and T2DM. The cornerstone of treatment of this IR-related dyslipidaemia is lifestyle changes and in diabetic patients, tight glycaemic control. In addition to these measures, recent clinical trials showed benefit with statin treatment. Nevertheless, a substantial percentage of patients treated with statins still experience vascular events. This residual vascular risk needs to be addressed. This review summarizes the effects of hypolipidaemic drug combinations (including statins with cholesterol ester protein inhibitors, niacin, fibrates or fish oil, as well as fibrate-ezetimibe combination) on the residual vascular risk in patients with obesity, MetS or T2DM.
Dyslipidaemia; obesity; metabolic syndrome; type 2 diabetes mellitus; residual vascular risk.
Rectus sheath hematoma (RSH) is an uncommon clinical event usually associated with trauma or coagulation disorders. It can also occur spontaneously. RSH usually runs a benign course but it can present with hypovolemic shock. When conservative management fails, surgical exploration becomes mandatory. We propose a technique of emergency ligation of the inferior epigastric artery. This is a simple approach as this artery originates at the posterior rectus sheath above the inguinal ligament. This safe technique provides immediate hemodynamic stabilization.
Rectus sheath; hematoma; inferior epigastric artery.
Fetal growth and development is primarily dependent upon the nutritional, hormonal and metabolic environment provided by the mother. A wartime famine study in Holland first showed that a low food intake reduces the glucose offered to the fetus and thus produces smaller size infants at birth. Maternal glucose regulation is however affected by numerous factors including physiological changes of pregnancy (e.g. insulin resistance [IR]), pathological conditions (e.g. gestational diabetes mellitus) and maternal nutrition. Maternal glucose is substantially influenced by the type of carbohydrates in the diet through its direct effect on glycemia. The rate at which each carbohydrate raises blood glucose levels after ingestion, can be measured via the dietary glycemic index (GI). Carbohydrate type and the GI of the diet enhance or inhibit abnormal hyperglycemia during pregnancy caused by either pathological conditions or the inability of the mother to cope with the physiological IR of pregnancy. In turn, maternal gestational hyperglycemia may be involved in the pathogenesis of IR, impaired glucose tolerance, type 2 diabetes mellitus, the Metabolic Syndrome and subsequent cardiovascular diseases in adult offspring. A low GI maternal diet has been associated with measurable benefits to the offspring. These include a positive effect on altering maternal blood glucose production, insulinemia and reduced adiposity as well as fetal and placental insulin and glucose regulation, fetal growth, birth weight and offspring adiposity. We review the possible links between dietary carbohydrate in health during pregnancy and the effect of maternal carbohydrate ingestion on programming the offspring’s metabolic profile.
Pregnancy; nutrition; carbohydrates; metabolic profile; glycemic index.
Insulin therapy is associated with weight gain in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Several peptides are implicated in appetite control. We evaluated the effects of insulin-induced improved glycaemic control on leptin, adiponectin, ghrelin, neuropeptide Y (NPY) levels and patient characteristics.
Consecutive T2DM patients (n = 90) were divided into 2 groups: Group A: 45 insulin-naïve uncontrolled (glycosylated haemoglobin A1c; HbA1c >7%) patients on oral hypoglycaemic agents (OHAs) who converted to insulin monotherapy. Group B: 45 well-controlled (HbA1c <7%) patients on OHAs. Both groups were monitored at baseline, 3 and 6 months. Males and females were analyzed separately because some hormone levels differ between genders.
In both genders, insulin therapy (Group A) was associated with significant (p = 0.003 to <0.001) increases in weight, body mass index and leptin levels and significant decreases in glucose, HbA1c and NPY levels. In male insulin-treated patients a significant increase in adiponectin levels (p = 0.008) was observed. There were significant correlations (p = 0.016 to <0.001) between leptin levels, waist circumference and body fat in all patient groups, except group B males.
Changes in leptin, adiponectin and NPY levels may occur after insulin-induced improved glycaemic control. These changes may be influenced by gender, weight, body fat and HbA1c.
Gender; glycosylated haemoglobin A1c; insulin; type 2 diabetes mellitus; weight gain.
Dyslipidemia is a major vascular risk factor. Interestingly, several agents used for the prevention and treatment of vascular diseases have an adverse effect on the lipid profile. In addition, agents belonging to the same class (e.g. beta blockers) can have significantly different actions on lipid levels. We summarize the effects of drugs used for the prevention and treatment of vascular diseases on the lipid profile. These effects should be considered when selecting a specific agent, particularly in high-risk patients.
Dyslipidemia; antihypertensive agents; antidiabetic agents; lipid-modifying agents; antiobesity agents.
Nitric oxide synthases (NOS) are the enzymes responsible for nitric oxide (NO) generation. NO is a reactive oxygen species as well as a reactive nitrogen species. It is a free radical which mediates several biological effects. It is clear that the generation and actions of NO under physiological and pathophysiological conditions are regulated and extend to almost every cell type and function within the circulation. In mammals 3 distinct isoforms of NOS have been identified: neuronal NOS (nNOS), inducible NOS (iNOS) and endothelial NOS (eNOS). The important isoform in the regulation of insulin resistance (IR) is iNOS. Understanding the molecular mechanisms regulating the iNOS pathway in normal and hyperglycemic conditions would help to explain some of vascular abnormalities observed in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Previous studies have reported increased myocardial iNOS activity and expression in heart failure (HF). This review considers the recent animal studies which focus on the understanding of regulation of iNOS activity/expression and the role of iNOS agonists as potential therapeutic agents in treatment of IR, T2DM and HF.
Inducible nitric oxide synthase; insulin resistance; diabetes; heart failure.
To estimate the prevalence, predictors, and impact of low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) on in-hospital outcomes among acute coronary syndrome (ACS) patients in the Middle East.
Data were collected prospectively from 6,266 consecutive patients admitted with a diagnosis of ACS and enrolled in the Gulf Registry of Acute Coronary Events (Gulf RACE). A low HDL-C was defined as a level <40 mg/Dl (1.0 mmol/L) for males and <50 mg/dL (1.3 mmol/L) for females. Analyses were performed using univariate and multivariate statistical techniques.
The overall mean age of the cohort was 56±12 years and majority were males (77%). The overall prevalence of low HDL-C was 62%. During in-hospital stay and at discharge, the majority were on statin therapy (83%) while 10% were on other cholesterol lowering agents. After adjustment of demographic and clinical characteristics, the predictors for low HDL-C were higher body mass index (BMI), prior myocardial infarction (MI), diabetes mellitus, smoking and impaired renal function. Multivariable adjustment revealed that low HDL-C was associated with higher in-hospital mortality (odds ratio (OR), 1.54; 95% CI: 1.06-2.24; p=0.022) and cardiogenic shock (OR, 1.61; 95% CI: 1.20-2.14; p=0.001).
ACS patients in the Middle East have a high prevalence of low HDL-C. Higher BMI, prior MI, diabetes mellitus, smoking, and impaired renal function were predictors of low HDL-C. Significantly higher in-hospital mortality and cardiogenic shock were associated with low HDL-C in men but not in women.
High density lipoprotein cholesterol; low density lipoprotein cholesterol; triglycerides; acute coronary syndrome; myocardial infarction; gender; Middle East.
High levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol are associated with a decreased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). Subjects with high levels of HDL cholesterol (>70 mg/dl; 1.79 mmol/l) as well as high levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, could represent a group with longevity syndrome (LS). Since HDL particles are influenced by cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) activity, it is worth studying the CETP polymorphism. The aim of the study was to detect whether 2 genetic variants of the CETP are associated with the LS.
Subjects and Methods:
The study population consisted of 136 unrelated men and women with no personal and family history of CHD; 69 met the criteria for LS and 67 did not meet these criteria and had “normal” HDL cholesterol (>40 and <70 mg/dl; >1.03 and <1.79 mmol/l). All patients were genotyped for the TaqIB and I405V polymorphisms.
The B2 allele frequency of TaqIB polymorphism was higher in the LS in comparison with the non-LS group (p=0.03) whereas B1 allele frequency was higher in the non-LS group (p=0.03).
Gene polymorphisms could help decide whether individuals who have increased levels of both LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol require treatment. Some of the prerequisites could include that subjects with LS should not only have very high levels of HDL cholesterol but also favorable gene polymorphisms. However, further investigations with a larger sample and including other gene polymorphisms, are needed.
Coronary heart disease; high density lipoprotein-cholesterol; longevity syndrome; TaqIB and I405V polymorphisms.
The main criterion for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repair is an AAA diameter ≥5.5 cm. However, some AAAs rupture when they are smaller. Size alone may therefore not be a sufficient criterion to determine rupture risk. Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) uptake is increased in the presence of inflammation and it was suggested that this may be a better predictor of rupture risk than AAA size. Furthermore, increased FDG uptake following endovascular AAA repair may be an indirect predictor of continuous AAA sac enlargement due to the presence of an endoleak (even if this is not detected by imaging modalities) and/or increased AAA rupture risk. The role of FDG uptake needs to be explored further in the management of AAAs.
Abdominal aortic aneurysm; fluorodeoxyglucose; endovascular aneurysm repair; rupture risk; predictor; endoleak.