High incidence and prevalence of chronic diseases, increasing obesity and inactivity as well as rising health expenditure represent a set of developments that cannot be considered sustainable, and will have dire long-term consequences given the increasing proportion of elderly people in our society. Based on a review of the experiences from previous large scale population-based prevention programs and the documented effects of increased physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness on chronic diseases and its risk factors, we argue that increased physical activity, especially vigorous physical activity, is a major way to reduce the prevalence of chronic diseases and improve public health. We conclude that a coordinated population-based intervention program for improved health through increased physical activity in the entire population, with a special focus on high intensity exercise, urgently needs to be implemented nationally and internationally.
Inactivity; physical activity; public health; overweight; intervention; prevention programmes; cardiorespiratory fitness; high intensity.
The aim of this study was to evaluate complications experienced during implantation of the Braile Vena Cava filter (VCF) and the efficacy of the centralization mechanism of the filter.
This retrospective cohort study evaluated all Braile Biomédica VCFs implanted from 2004 to 2009 in Hospital de Base Medicine School in São José do Rio Preto, Brazil. Of particular concern was the filter’s symmetry during implantation and complications experienced during the procedure. All the angiographic examinations performed during the implantation of the filters were analyzed in respect to the following parameters: migration of the filter, non-opening or difficulties in the implantation and centralization of the filter.
A total of 112 Braile CVFs were implanted and there were no reports of filter opening difficulties or in respect to migration. Asymmetry was observed in 1/112 (0.9%) cases. A statistically significant difference was seen on comparing historical data on decentralization of the Greenfield filter with the data of this study.
The Braile Biomédico filter is an evolution of the Greenfield filter providing improved embolus capture and better implantation symmetry.
Vena cava filter; Deep venous thrombosis; Pulmonar embolism; Prevention.
Slow coronary flow phenomenon (SCFP) is characterized by angiographically normal coronary arteries with delayed run-off of contrast medium across the vasculature. Its etiology and clinical significance are still not completely known; however, acute congestive heart failure (CHF) is rare in this context. A 71 year-old woman with SCFP presented with acute CHF complicated by ventricular tachycardia. Treated with rosuvastatin (20 mg/day for 6 days) and inotropic drug infusion she had a complete recovery of left ventricular function and normalization of serum levels of the high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), which were increased (3.6 mg/L) during the acute phase. This case illustrates that the anti-inflammatory properties of rosuvastatin may deserve specific clinical tests not only during the chronic phase but also in the acute phase of CHF patients.
Rosuvastatin; acute heart failure; slow coronary flow.
Patients with diastolic dysfunction may have a disproportionate degree of elevation in pulmonary pressure, particularly in the elderly. Higher pulmonary vascular resistance in the elderly patients with heart failure but preserved ejection fraction suggests that beyond the post-capillary contribution of pulmonary venous congestion, a pre-capillary component of pulmonary arterial hypertension occurs. We aim to identify if pulmonary vascular resistance in elderly patients with diastolic dysfunction is disproportionately higher than patients with systolic dysfunction independent of filling pressures.
389 patients identified retrospectively between 2003- 2010; elderly with preserved ejection fraction, elderly with depressed ejection fraction, and primary arterial hypertension who underwent right-heart catheterization at Rush University.
No significant difference in pulmonary vascular resistance between systolic and diastolic dysfunction. The mean difference in pulmonary vascular resistance was not statistically significant at 0.40 mmHg·min/l (95% CI -3.03 to 3.83) with similar left ventricular filling pressures with mean difference of 3.38 mmHg (95% CI, -1.27 to 8.02). When adjusted for filling pressures, there remained no difference in pulmonary vascular resistance for systolic and diastolic dysfunction. The mean pulmonary vascular resistance is more elevated in systolic heart failure compared to diastolic heart failure with means 3.13 mmHg·min/l and 3.52 mmHg·min/l, respectively.
There was no other association identified for secondary pulmonary hypertension other than diastolic dysfunction and chronic venous pulmonary hypertension. Our results argue against any significant arterial remodeling that would lead to disproportionate pre-capillary hypertension, and implies that treatment should focus on lowering filling pressure rather than treating the pulmonary vascular tree.
Diastolic heart failure; heart failure; preserved left ventricular ejection function; pulmonary hypertension; right heart catheterization.
Left atrial (LA) enlargement is a common finding in hypertensive patients (pts), however little information is available on LA changes during pregnancy. The present study evaluated LA size and function in pregnant women with hypertension.
Patients population included 30 women with chronic hypertension and 30 patients with gestational hypertension. A control group of 16 normotensive pregnant women was selected. Serial echocardiography was performed at 12 and 24 week of gestation in chronic hypertension and at 24 week in gestational hypertension and after delivery. LA diameters and volumes were measured and compared. LA conduit volume, passive and active emptying volumes were calculated. Patients were divided in 2 groups according to max LAV Index > 32 ml/m2 at 24 week of gestation.
Patients with chronic hypertension showed higher LA diameters (42 ± 2.0 vs. 36.5 ± 1.8; p<0.001) and LA volumes (maximal volume 45.5 ± 4.0 vs. 38.1 ± 7.3; p<0.001) compared with patients with gestational hypertension. The median value of max LAVI was 32 + 6.2 ml/m2 in chronic and 26 + 5 ml/m2 in gestational hypertension (p<0.01). During follow-up patients with max LAVI > 32 ml/m2 had more clinical complications evaluated as increase of therapy, fluid retention that need diuretic and hospitalization.
Patients with chronic hypertension showed a more marked increased of LA volumes compared to gestational hypertension due to a remodeling of atrial shape as effect of chronic overload. Patients with more dilated LA volumes developed a greater number of clinical complications suggesting that a dilated LA could be a parameter of hemodynamic instability.
Hypertension; left atrium; pregnancy; women.
Little is known about soft tissue attenuation artifacts when an upright patient-position SPECTmyocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) system is used. In this investigation we sought to describe the patterns and frequency of attenuation artifacts associated with this type of instruments and we explored the impact of gender and body habitus on these artifacts.
In a cross-sectional study, we described the prevalence of various soft-tissue attenuation patterns in 212 normal SPECT-MPI studies acquired with an upright patient-position imaging system.
In these 212 normal, clinically-indicated, upright-acquisition SPECT-MPIs the attenuation patterns observed were: anterior (6.1%), inferior (63.7%) and lateral (24.1%). Though uncommon, anterior attenuation trended to being more prevalent among women [9.5% vs. 3.4%, P=0.07] and was independently associated with chest circumference. Lateral attenuation was more common among women [34.7% vs. 15.4%, p=0.001] and was strongly associated with obesity (p<0.001). Inferior attenuation was more prevalent among men than women (75.2% vs. 49.5% respectively, P<0.001).
Soft-tissue attenuation artifacts are common in upright-acquisition SPECT-MPI. Recognizing the frequency of these attenuation patterns and their interaction with gender and body habitus is critical for the accurate interpretation of SPECT-MPI.
SPECT; Myocardial Perfusion Imaging; soft tissue attenuation; artifacts; upright; interpretation.
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.
Diabetes mellitus; microvascular complications; residual cardiovascular risk; statin; fibrates; combination.
We have previously shown that mouse whole bone marrow cell (BMC) extract results in improvement of cardiac function and decreases scar size in a mouse model of myocardial infarction (MI), in the absence of intact cells. It is not clear if these results are translatable to extracts from human BMC (hBMC) or mononuclear cells (hMNC), which would have significant clinical implications.
Male C57BL/6J (10-12 weeks old) mice were included in this study. MI was created by permanent ligation of the left anterior descending artery. Animals were randomized into three groups to receive ultrasound-guided myocardial injections with either hBMCs extract (n=6), hMNCs extract (n=8) or control with 0.5% bovine serum albumin (BSA) (n=7). Cardiac function was assessed by echocardiography at baseline, 2 and 28 days post-MI. Infarct size and vascularity was assessed at 28 days post-MI.
hBMC and hMNC extract preserve cardiac function and result in smaller scar size post-MI when compared with the control group.
The current study for the first time reports that hBMC and hMNC extracts improve cardiac function post-MI in a mouse MI model. Further studies are necessary to fully address the potential clinical benefits of these therapies.
Bone marrow cells; stem cell therapy; paracrine effect; myocardial infarct.
Soft-tissue attenuation patterns in SPECT-myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) of supine acquisition systems are well recognized. Their prevalence and interaction with body-habitus and gender are ill-defined, which we sought to describe in this study.
In a cross-sectional study, we described the prevalence of soft-tissue attenuation patterns in normal SPECT-MPI studies acquired with a supine patient-position SPECT system.
In 263 normal, clinically-indicated, supine-acquisition SPECT-MPIs the attenuation patterns observed were: anterior (35.4%), inferior (41.8%) and lateral (13.3%). Anterior attenuation was more prevalent among women (50.7% vs. 15.7%, P<0.001) and was associated with chest circumference among men. Conversely, inferior attenuation was more prevalent among men (78.3% vs. 13.5%, P<0.001) and was not affected by body-habitus. Lateral attenuation was more common among women (19.6% vs. 5.2%, p=0.001) and was associated with obesity (p=0.015).
Soft-tissue attenuation artifacts are common in supine-acquisition SPECT-MPI. The recognition of their prevalence and association with body-habitus and gender is critical for the accurate interpretation of SPECT-MPI.
SPECT; myocardial perfusion imaging; soft tissue attenuation; artifacts; supine; SPECT acquisition; interpretation.
Patients with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are at risk for multiple pulmonary complications including pulmonary hypertension. Exercise induced pulmonary hypertension (EIPH) has been previously described in patients with scleroderma, sickle cell disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, yet has not been associated with the HIV population.
A prospective case-control study design was implemented. Four HIV patients with unexplained dyspnea and four healthy controls underwent symptom-limited stationary bicycle exercise. Transthoracic Doppler Echocardiography was used to measure tricuspid regurgitation velocity which was used to calculate the right ventricular to right atrial pressure (RV-RA) gradient at rest and at peak exercise using the simplified Bernoulli’s equation. Change in RV-RA gradient between rest and peak exercise was calculated and considered to represent change in pulmonary arterial systolic pressure.
The mean age was 41.25 years (±8.7) for patients and 33.5 years (±6.0) for controls. The mean CD4 count of patients was 191.5 cells/μL (±136.2). Patients had a significantly higher increase in RV-RA gradient as compared to controls (180.2% vs. 27.5%, p = 0.03).
This pilot study suggests that it is feasible to use recumbent bicycle and transthoracic Doppler echocardiography for the evaluation of EIPH among HIV patients with dyspnea of unknown etiology. The study is too small to draw any broad conclusion. Further evaluation of this concept with a larger study is warranted.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV); pulmonary hypertension; exercises induced pulmonary hypertension.
Diabetes and hypertension are major risk factors for cardiovascular disease, a leading cause of death in humans. The aim of our study was to determine the prevalence of hypertension, and hypertension control among adults with diabetes in Basrah (Southern Iraq).
A prospective cohort study was conducted at Al-Faiha Diabetes and Endocrine Center in Basrah. It was started in August 2008 to April 2011. The total number of recruited patients with diabetes was 5578.
Hypertensive diabetic patients constituted 89.6% of this study cohort, with 45.3% of them newly discovered in the center. From hypertensive patients, 48.2% achieved the target blood pressure of less than 130/80 mmHg. The results of the multivariate analyses showed that the factors independently associated with the hypertension were aged > 50 years (odds ratio, 0.4; 95% CI, 0.3 to 0.5; p < 0.001), body mass index equal or more than 25 (odds ratio, 0.5; 95% CI, 0.4 to 0.6; p < 0.001), insulin use (odds ratio, 0.6; 95% CI, 0.5 to 0.8; p < 0.001) and duration of diabetes > 5 years (odds ratio, 0.6; 95% CI, 0.5 to 0.7; p < 0.001) .
This study confirmed that hypertension was seen in ~90% of diabetic patients in Iraq, and approximately half of them were achieving target blood pressure level.
Diabetes mellitus; hypertension; control; prevalence; Iraq.
Despite the fact that the elderly constitute an increasingly important group of patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS), they are often excluded from clinical trials and are underrepresented in clinical registries.
To evaluate the impact of age in patients hospitalized with ACS.
Data collected for all patients presenting with ACS (n=16,744) who were admitted in Qatar during the period (1991-2010) and were analyzed according to age into 3 groups (≤50 years [41.4%], 51-70 years [48.7%] and >70 years [9.8%]).
Older patients were more likely to be women and have hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and renal failure, while younger patients were more likely to be smokers. Non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction and heart failure were more prevalent in older patients. Older age was associated with undertreatment with evidence-based therapies and had higher mortality rate. Age was independent predictor for mortality. Over the study period, the relative reduction in mortality rates was higher in the younger compared with the older patients (61, 45.9 and 35.5%).
Despite being a higher-risk group, older patients were undertreated with evidence based therapy and had worse short-term outcome. Guidelines adherence and improvement in hospital care for elderly patients with ACS may potentially reduce morbidity and mortality.
Age; acute coronary syndrome; ST-elevation myocardial infarction; non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction; unstable angina; death.
We tested the hypotheses that TSP-1 participates in the initiation of remodeling of small muscular arteries in response to altered blood flow and that the N-terminal domain of TSP-1 (hepI) can reverse the pathological inward remodeling of resistance arteries from SHR.
We measured (1) changes in gene/protein expression in MA of 6 week old WKY and SHR exposed to either increased (+ 100 %) or reduced blood flow (- 90 %) for 24-40 hours and (2) structural changes in MA of 12 week old SHR exposed for 3 days to hepI in organ culture.
In both HF and LF of WKY, mRNA expression of eNOS, sGCα1 and PKG1β were significantly reduced (p < 0.05), whereas mRNA of TSP1 was markedly increased (p < 0.05). In MA of young SHR, similar results were obtained except that eNOS mRNA was not reduced in LF. Expression of TSP1 protein was significantly increased in LF of young WKY and SHR (p < 0.05). Exposure of MA of 12 week old SHR to hepI (1 µmol/L) resulted in a rapid lumen diameter increase (+ 12 ± 2% after 3 days) without alteration in vascular reactivity, distensibility, media surface area or cell number.
These are the first observations of reduced gene expression of eNOS/sGC/PKG and increased expression of TSP1 at the initiation of arterial remodeling in young WKY and SHR, irrespective of its outward or inward outcome. Furthermore, a fragment of TSP-1 rapidly and directly reversed pathological inward arterial remodeling of SHR in vitro.
Arterial remodeling; eNOS; experimental hypertension; gene-expression; guanylyl cyclase; protein kinase G; resistance arteries; thrombospondin-1.
The aims of this study were to evaluate adherence of patients and medical staff to warfarin guidelines and assess clinical outcome and predictors of treatment failure.
This cross-sectional survey involved out- and in-patient subjects receiving warfarin. Patient attentiveness, compliance, co-morbidities, complications, and international normalized ratio (INR) as well as adherence of medical staff to established warfarin treatment guidelines were recorded.
One-hundred-sixty patients were recruited (mean ± SD age = 54 ± 1.3 years; 46% males; 77% overweight/obese). Indications for warfarin were atrial fibrillation (35%), deep vein thrombosis (28%), prosthetic heart valve (20%) and stroke or dilated cardiomyopathy (12%). “Warfarin booklets” were made available to 25% of the patients, and ~80% of the recipients reported inadequate understanding of its content. INR was strictly monitored in 23% of the patients; ~70% never received Information Leaflets; ~88% were unaware of warning labels; and ~58% were unaware that over-thecounter medications may affect warfarin. Therapeutic INR (2.9 ± 0.2; 76 days) was achieved in 73%; 20% had high INR (3.7 ± 0.1; 18.6 days) and 7% had low INR (1.6 ± 0.1; 16.7 days). Of the patients with high INR, 2.5% had major bleeding events. Of the patients with low INR, 5% had thromboembolic events. Poor compliance and co-morbidities were associated with adverse events (p=0.01).
Attentiveness and adherence to warfarin treatment and monitoring guidelines are suboptimal among patients and medical staff. Novel strategies are necessary to alert patients, pharmacists and physicians on the seriousness of warfarin treatment failure.
Warfarin; international normalized ratio; bleeding; thromboembolism; United Arab Emirates.
Low serum vitamin (vit) D levels are common even in sunny countries. We assessed the prevalence and relationship of low vit D with cardiovascular risk factors in Qatar.
Data were collected retrospectively from January 2008 and November 2009. In patients who had low vi t D (< 30 ng/ml ) , demographic and clinical profiles were analyzed and compared in males and females.
The overall mean level of vit D among 547 patients was 14.4±11 ng/mL. Among the low vitamin D group, 56% were females (mean age 48±12) and 44% males (mean age 49.6±13). Severely low vit D levels (<10 ng/mL) were found in 231 (46%) patients with mean age of 46±12 years. Compared with females, males with low vitamin D were more likely to have diabetes mellitus (38 vs 22%, p=0.001), dyslipidemia (41 vs 29%, p=0.007), myocardial infarction (5.5 vs 1.5%, p=0.001) and angiographically documented coronary artery disease (CAD) (53 vs 17%, p=0.001). Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that in the presence of low vit D, age and hypertension were independent predictors of CAD (OR 1.07;95% CI: 1.02-1.11) and OR 8.0; 95% CI: 1.67-39.82), respectively.
Our study supports the widespread prevalence of low vit D in sunny regions. Low vit D is associated with 3 times increase in the rate of MI among males. Hypertension increases the risk of CAD 8 times in the presence of low vit D regardless of gender.
Low vitamin D; cardiovascular; risk; gender; Qatar.
To evaluate clinical profiles, management and in-hospital outcomes of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) patients with metabolic syndrome (MetS) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
MetS was defined according to the criteria for its diagnosis by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the American Heart Association/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (AHA/NHLBI). Participants were admitted to various hospitals in the UAE with a diagnosis of ACS in 2007 as part of the Gulf Registry of Acute Coronary Events (Gulf RACE) project. We compared baseline characteristics, treatment patterns, and in-hospital outcomes stratified by MetS status.
Of 1259 patients with ACS in the UAE (mean age: 52 ± 11 years, 88.8% males), the majority (n = 851, 67.6%) had MetS. MetS patients were more frequently males (86.4 vs 13.6%; P < 0.001). They were more obese (waist circumference and BMI, P < 0.001) as compared with non-MetS patients. MetS was more frequently associated with hypertension (51.1 vs 37.7%; P < 0.001) and diabetes mellitus (45.6 vs 24.3%; P < 0.001). After multivariate adjustment, certain MetS criteria rather than MetS itself were associated with higher in-hospital mortality and heart failure. Paradoxically, hypertension was associated with lower in-hospital mortality.
Prevalence of MetS among patients with ACS in our study population was high. Certain MetS criteria were associated with higher in-hospital mortality and heart failure.
acute coronary syndrome; Gulf Registry of Acute Coronary Events; metabolic syndrome; Middle East; obesity; United Arab Emirates.
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.
We used prospective cohort data of patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) to compare their management on weekdays/mornings with weekends/nights, and the possible impact of this on 1-month and 1-year mortality. Analyses were evaluated using univariate and multivariate statistics. Of the 4,616 patients admitted to hospitals with ACS, 76% were on weekdays. There were no significant differences in 1-month (odds ratio (OR), 0.88; 95% CI: 0.68-1.14) and 1-year mortality (OR, 0.88; 95% CI: 0.70-1.10), respectively, between weekday and weekend admissions. Similarly, there were no significant differences in 1-month (OR, 0.92; 95% CI: 0.73-1.15) and 1-year mortality (OR, 0.98; 95% CI: 0.80-1.20), respectively, between nights and day admissions. In conclusion, apart from lower utilization of angiography (P < .001) at weekends, there were largely no significant discrepancies in the management and care of patients admitted with ACS on weekdays and during morning hours compared with patients admitted on weekends and night hours, and the overall 30-day and 1-year mortality was similar between both the cohorts.
Acute coronary syndrome; Weekend; Weekday; Mortality; Admission.
To determine the relationship of vitamin c intake from supplements vs food on early atherosclerosis detected by carotid intima media thickness (IMT).
Oxidative stress and endothelial dysfunction play a critical role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Dietary vitamin C appears to have anti-oxidant properties and beneficial relations to endothelial function, yet vitamin C taken as a vitamin supplement does not appear to protect from cardiovascular events. The impact of vitamin c intake from supplements vs food on progression of atherosclerosis is unknown.
We examined 3-year progression of carotid IMT in a randomly sampled cohort of 573 healthy women and men aged 40-60 years. Progression of carotid IMT was determined bilaterally with B-mode ultrasound at 3 examinations (1.5-year intervals). Intake of dietary vitamin C was measured by six, 24-hour recall interviews. Intake of vitamin C from vitamin supplements was measured by questionnaire in quartiles of supplement intake and no supplement. Vitamin C wasmeasured in plasma as ascorbic acid.
Carotid IMT progressed 10.0±16.5 μm/year (mean±SD) among all those with follow-up (n=500; 87%). For those who took vitamin C supplements, carotid IMT progression increased with dose (p-trend=0.0009). Among persons in the highest quartile (857-5000 mg/day) of vitamin C supplement intake compared to those not consuming any vitamin C supplements, carotid IMT progression increased three-fold (20.3±2.6 versus 7.6±1.8 μm/year (mean±SD); p<0.001). The adverse association of vitamin C supplement intake with carotid IMT was two-fold greater in the upper tertile of serum cholesterol compared to the lower two tertiles (p=0.01). In contrast to the adverse association of vitamin C supplements, vitamin C intake from food had a weak protective relationship on carotid IMT progression (reduced progression -5.0±1.9 μm/year; p=0.008).
Vitamin C supplementation is associated with accelerated early atherosclerosis measured by carotid IMT compared to a protective association with vitamin C from food. Theadverse association of vitamin C supplementation may be greater in patients with higher serum cholesterol levels. The current results provide a potential mechanistic understanding for the observed differences between Vitamin C in supplements vs food in prior studies. Given these observations,vitamin C supplementation does not appear to be currently advisable for prevention or treatment of atherosclerosis.
Ascorbic acid; vitamin C; atherosclerosis; cardiovascular disease.
We explored the differences in epidemiologic, clinical, laboratory and echocardiographic characteristics between idiopathic dilated (IDCM) and ischaemic cardiomyopathy (ICM).
Consecutive patients with stable chronic heart failure evaluated at a tertiary cardiac centre were enrolled. Clinical examination, blood tests and echocardiographic study were performed.
A total of 76 patients (43 IDCM, 33 ICM) were studied. IDCM patients were younger (p<0.001) and female gender was more prevalent (p=0.022). NYHA class and left ventricular ejection fraction were similar. IDCM patients had lower rates of dyslipidaemia (p<0.001) but smoked more than ICM patients (p=0.023) and had higher rates of family history of sudden cardiac death (p=0.048). Blood pressure was similar but resting heart rate was higher in IDCM patients (p=0.022). IDCM patients presented less frequently with peripheral oedema or ascites (p=0.046 and 0.020, respectively) and showed better right ventricular function on echocardiogram. QRS duration was similar between groups but only in IDCM patients there was a positive correlation between QRS duration and age (r=0.619, p<0.001). Cardiac output was similar but functional capacity assessed by the Duke Activity Status Index was better in IDCM (p=0.036). Despite these differences, IDCM and ICM patients received similar treatments.
Patients with IDCM were younger, presented lower rates of right ventricular dysfunction and clinical right ventricular failure and had better functional capacity. Additional differences in clinical and laboratory findings exist pointing to a different patient population with diverse prognosis and potential need for individualized management.
Dyslipidaemia; echocardiogram; idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy; ischaemic cardiomyopathy; right ventricular dysfunction; smoking.
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.
To implement a prospective interventional clinical audit to evaluate the current clinical practice and the effect of standard interventions on the management of type 2 diabetes (T2DM).
254 patients with T2DM where recruited in a specialized diabetes care center in Al-Ain, UAE. The diabetes care components were audited before (baseline) and after (3 and 6 months) implementation of Institute of Clinical System Improvement (ICSI) guidelines. Data was compared against international guidelines to achieve target goals of normoglycemia, blood pressure (BP), and low density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C). We measured changes in mean scores of patient satisfaction level regarding diabetes care at similar intervals, by validated Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire (PSQ-18).
We observed a significant reduction in fasting blood glucose (FBG; mean± SD; 9.3 ± 0.03 vs 7.4 ± 0.3mmol/l; P=0.03), and HbA1c (8.7 ± 0.02 vs 8.1 ± 0.02 %; P=0.04) levels after 6 months compared with baseline. Patients who achieved target FBG and HbA1c levels improved significantly (45.7 vs 81.1%; P=0.03), and (40.1 vs 73.6%; P=0.04), respectively. The LDL-C levels improved, though this was not statistically significant. Patients achieving target of BP control improved significantly (SBP 142±7.6 and DBP 95±6.2 vs SBP 136±8.2 and DBP 87±5.8 mmHg;P=0.05).
The results of this interventional audit were generally positive and emphasized the feasibility of improving the current clinical practice. Our individualized approach has helped us to achieve a better target in glycemic and BP control as well as patient satisfaction. Further research is needed to understand the long-term impact of our structured approach to improve the quality of T2DM care in the UAE.
Al Ain; Audit; Care; Clinical; Diabetes; UAE.
Despite the high burden of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in Oman, there are scarce data from a nationally representative sample on the level of glycaemia and other cardiovascular (CVD) risk factor control.
To estimate the proportion of patients with T2DM at goal for glycaemia and CVD risk factors using the National Diabetes Guidelines (NDG) and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) clinical care guidelines; and to assess the quality of selected services provided to patients with T2DM.
A sample of 2,551 patients (47% men) aged ≥20 years with T2DM treated at primary health care centers was selected. Patient characteristics, medical history and treatment were collected from case notes, Diabetes Registers and computer frameworks including the use of the last 3 laboratory investigations results and blood pressure (BP) readings recorded in 2007.
The overall mean age of the cohort was 54±13 years with an average median duration of diabetes of 4 (range 2 to 6) years. Over 80% of patients were overweight or obese (body mass index (BMI) of ≥25 Kg/m2). Sixty-nine percent were on oral anti-diabetic medication, 52% on anti-hypertensives and 40% on lipid lowering drugs. Thirty percent of patients were at goal for glycosylated haemoglobin level (<7%), 26% for BP (systolic/diastolic <130/80 mmHg), 55% for total cholesterol (<5.2 mmol/l), 4.5% for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (<1.8 mmol/l), 52% for high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (>1 mmol/l for men, >1.3 mmol/l for women), and 61% for triglycerides (<1.7 mmol/l). Over 37% had micro-albuminuria and 5% had diabetic nephropathy.
Control of hyperglycaemia and other CVD risk factor appears to be suboptimal in Omani patients with T2DM and need to be addressed in the triad of patient, physician and health system.
Diabetes mellitus; glycosylated hemoglobin Alc; blood pressure; low-density lipoprotein cholesterol; high-density lipoprotein cholesterol; triglycerides; Oman.
The epidemic proportions of overweight, obesity and diabetes in most European countries stress the need for the implementation of an effective action plan for the prevention of cardiovascular (CV) disease. This ques-tionnaire study was designed to evaluate the viewpoint of the general population regarding the relative significance of CV risk factors in the cumulative risk of CV disease.
All participants answered a questionnaire regarding the self-reported presence of CV disease risk factors and the perceived notion of having excess weight. They were also asked to list CV disease risk factors, ranking them in order of perceived relative significance. Participants were also subjected to total cholesterol measurement using a portable total cholesterol testing meter.
The survey population consisted of 32,736 individuals (49.1% males). According to participant self reporting, 32.9% were smokers, 24.7% had hypertension, 9.8% had diabetes, 74.8% reported having stress, 41.9% had insufficient physical activity and 43.3% had hyperlipidemia. The prevalence of overweight was 43.9% and the prevalence of obesity (BMI ≥30 kg/m2) was 18.6%. Only 24.4% of participants reported that they had excess weight. The 45.2% of the ques-tioned individuals considered that stress was the most important CV risk factor.
Despite the high prevalence of overweight and obesity, the majority of participants were unaware of the contribution of these well-established risk factors to the occurrence of CV disease. Improving public awareness is impor-tant in order to control the epidemic proportions of these modifiable risk factors.
Cardiovascular disease; Cholesterol; Mediterranean; Obesity; Overweight; Prevention.