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1.  Beneficial Effects of Testosterone Therapy on Functional Capacity, Cardiovascular Parameters, and Quality of Life in Patients with Congestive Heart Failure 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:392432.
Background. According to the present evidences suggesting association between low testosterone level and prediction of reduced exercise capacity as well as poor clinical outcome in patients with heart failure, we sought to determine if testosterone therapy improves clinical and cardiovascular conditions as well as quality of life status in patients with stable chronic heart failure. Methods. A total of 50 male patients who suffered from congestive heart failure were recruited in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial and randomized to receive an intramuscular (gluteal) long-acting androgen injection (1 mL of testosterone enanthate 250 mg/mL) once every four weeks for 12 weeks or receive intramuscular injections of saline (1 mL of 0.9% wt/vol NaCl) with the same protocol. Results. The changes in body weight, hemodynamic parameters, and left ventricular dimensional echocardiographic indices were all comparable between the two groups. Regarding changes in diastolic functional state and using Tei index, this parameter was significantly improved. Unlike the group received placebo, those who received testosterone had a significant increasing trend in 6-walk mean distance (6MWD) parameter within the study period (P = 0.019). The discrepancy in the trends of changes in 6MWD between study groups remained significant after adjusting baseline variables (mean square = 243.262, F index = 4.402, and P = 0.045). Conclusion. Our study strengthens insights into the beneficial role of testosterone in improvement of functional capacity and quality of life in heart failure patients.
doi:10.1155/2014/392432
PMCID: PMC4109421  PMID: 25110677
2.  Qualitative study of women's experience after therapeutic massage 
Background:
Hypertension has become a major problem throughout the world, especially in developing countries like Iran. As it is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease, even small reductions in the prevalence can have potentially large public health benefits. Among the complementary methods, massage provides an effective means to lower the blood pressure. If nurses perceive the experiences of hypertensive patients receiving massage, they can use massage more effectively in their care plan.
Materials and Methods:
This is a descriptive phenomenological study. Deep interviews were conducted with nine prehypertensive women who received Swedish massage three times a week in a total of 10 sessions, with each session lasting 10-15 min. Then, the researcher conducted an interview using a ‘grand tour question (open ended question) and the participants were then encouraged to speak freely explaining their thoughts and feelings about the experience of massage therapy. Data analysis was done by Colaizzi's method. Validity and reliability were obtained through measures such as real value, applicability, continuity, and authenticity.
Results:
Women evaluated the massage therapy positively. The findings yielded six themes, including relaxation, sleeping better, reduction of anxiety and tension, reduction of fatigue, invigorating experience, improve connecting.
Conclusions:
This study demonstrates that a body-centered intervention like massage can be valuable in a multidisciplinary approach to women with prehypertension. This method is easy to learn and relatively short (10-15 min) to administer as a suitable complement in nursing care for this group of patients.
PMCID: PMC4145495  PMID: 25183981
Experience; qualitative research; therapeutic massage; women
3.  The relation between body iron store and ferritin, and coronary artery disease 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2014;10(1):32-36.
BACKGROUND
Iron is essential for many physiological processes; whereas, iron overload has been known as a risk factor in progression of atherosclerosis. The aim of this study was to investigate the importance of serum ferritin levels, which are known as an indicator of body iron stored in the incidence of coronary artery disease (CAD).
METHODS
In a case-control study, we evaluated 432 eligible men who underwent coronary angiography at Chamran Cardiology Hospital, Isfahan, Iran. They were separated into two groups of case (with CAD) and control (without CAD). All subjects had given written informed consents. Then, the blood samples were taken after 12-14 hours of fast by a biologist for measuring cardiovascular risk factors and body iron stores, including serum ferritin, serum iron, and total iron binding capacity (TIBC). For statistical analyses, chi-square test, Student’s t-test, one-way ANOVA, and the logistic regression were used.
RESULTS
In the present study, 212 participants with CAD in the case group and 220 participants free of CAD in the control group were included in the analysis. At baseline, there were significant differences in serum ferritin (P < 0.001) and other cardiovascular risk factors between the two groups. Moreover, when other risk factors of CVD were included in the model, serum ferritin [Odd Ratio (OR) = 1.006, 95% confidence interval of 95% (95% CI) 1.00-1.01, P = 0.045] and serum ferritin ≥ 200 (OR = 4.49, 95% CI 1.72-11.70, P < 0.001) were associated with CAD.
CONCLUSION
High iron store, as assessed by serum ferritin, was associated with the increased risk of CAD. Furthermore, it was a strong and independent risk factor in the incident of atherosclerosis in the Iranian male population.
PMCID: PMC4063519  PMID: 24963311
Iron; Ferritin; Coronary Artery Disease; Coronary Angiography
4.  Combination of atorvastatin/coenzyme Q10 as adjunctive treatment in congestive heart failure: A double-blind randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2014;10(1):1-5.
BACKGROUND
Heart failure is one of the leading causes of mortality, is a final common pathway of several cardiovascular diseases, and its treatment is a major concern in the science of cardiology. The aim of the present study was to compare the effect of addition of the coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)/atorvastatin combination to standard congestive heart failure (CHF) treatment versus addition of atorvastatin alone on CHF outcomes.
METHODS
This study was a double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled trial. In the present study, 62 eligible patients were enrolled and randomized into 2 groups. In the intervention group patients received 10 mg atorvastatin daily plus 100 mg CoQ10 pearl supplement twice daily, and in the placebo group patients received 10 mg atorvastatin daily and the placebo of CoQ10 pearl for 4 months. For all patients echocardiography was performed and blood sample was obtained for determination of N-terminal B-type natriuretic peptide, total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and C-reactive protein levels. Echocardiography and laboratory test were repeated after 4 months. The New York Heart Association Function Class (NYHA FC) was also determined for each patient before and after the study period.
RESULTS
Data analyses showed that ejection fraction (EF) and NYHA FC changes differ significantly between intervention and placebo group (P = 0.006 and P = 0.002, respectively). Changes in other parameters did not differ significantly between study groups.
CONCLUSION
We deduce that combination of atorvastatin and CoQ10, as an adjunctive treatment of CHF, increase EF and improve NYHA FC in comparison with use of atorvastatin alone.
PMCID: PMC4063520  PMID: 24963306
Coenzyme Q10; Atorvastatin; Clinical Trial; Congestive Heart Failure
5.  The Impacts of Cardiac Rehabilitation Program on Echocardiographic Parameters in Coronary Artery Disease Patients with Left Ventricular Dysfunction 
Introduction. The accurate impact of exercise on coronary artery disease (CAD) patients with left ventricular dysfunction is still debatable. We studied the effects of cardiac rehabilitation (CR) on echocardiography parameters in CAD patients with ventricular dysfunction. Methods. Patients with CAD who had ventricular dysfunction were included into an exercise-based rehabilitation program and received rehabilitation for eight weeks. All subjects underwent echocardiography before and at the end of the rehabilitation program. The echocardiography parameters, including left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), LV end-diastolic (LVEDD) and end-systolic diameters (LVESD), and peak exercise capacity measured in metabolic equivalents (METs), were assessed. Results. Seventy patients (mean age = 57.5 ± 10.2 years, 77.1% males) were included into the study. At the end of rehabilitation period, the LVEF increased from 45.14 ± 5.77% to 50.44 ± 8.70% (P < 0.001), and the peak exercise capacity increased from 8.00 ± 2.56 to 10.08 ± 3.00 METs (P < 0.001). There was no significant change in LVEDD (54.63 ± 12.96 to 53.86 ± 8.95 mm, P = 0.529) or in LVESD (38.91 ± 10.83 to 38.09 ± 9.04 mm, P = 0.378) after rehabilitation. Conclusion. Exercise training in postmyocardial infarction patients with ventricular dysfunction could have beneficial effects on cardiac function without adversely affecting LV remodeling or causing serious cardiac complications.
doi:10.1155/2013/201713
PMCID: PMC3891233  PMID: 24459599
6.  Lipid profile in antipsychotic drug users: A comparative study 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2013;9(3):198-202.
BACKGROUND
Schizophrenic patients who receive antipsychotic drugs may be highly prone to metabolic disorders such as weight gain, dyslipidemia, and insulin resistance. The objective of the present study was to compare the effect of atypical and conventional antipsychotics on lipid profile.
METHODS
128 schizophrenic patients were enrolled into the study. Patients were divided into two groups. One group had received one type of atypical antipsychotic drug, and, the other, one type of conventional antipsychotic drug. They were considered as atypical and conventional groups. Moreover, both groups had not used any other antipsychotic drugs during the past year. Demographic data and food frequency questionnaire were completed by the participants. Serum triglyceride, total cholesterol (TC), high-density lipoprotein and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterols, and apolipoprotein A and B (Apo B) were tested by blood sample drawing after 12 hours of fasting through the antecubital vein. Student’s t-test was used to compare atypical and conventional groups.
RESULTS
There was no significant difference in age, gender, duration of illness, period of drug consumption, and age at onset of illness in the two groups. Patients in the atypical group used clozapine and risperidone (46.9%) more than olanzapine. In the conventional group 81.3% of patients used phenothiazines. Comparison between lipid profile in the conventional and atypical groups showed a significantly higher mean in TC (P = 0.01), LDL (P = 0.03), and Apo B (P = 0.01) in conventional group than the atypical group.
CONCLUSION
In schizophrenic patients, the level of lipid profile had been increased in both atypical and conventional antipsychotic users, especially conventional users, so the effect of antipsychotic drugs should be investigated periodically.
PMCID: PMC3681276  PMID: 23766777
Atypical Antipsychotic; Conventional Antipsychotic; Lipid Profile
7.  Heart rate recovery in exercise test in diabetic patients with and without microalbuminuria 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2013;9(3):167-171.
BACKGROUND
Diabetes mellitus (DM) has a lot of complications such as macrovessel and microvessel disease. Another complication of DM is cardiac autonomic neuropathy (CAN), which have effect on automatic nervous system of heart. Failure in heart rate slowing after exercise is a presentation of this abnormality.
METHODS
We selected diabetic patients and divided them to case and control group based on microalbuminuria. Case group comprised of diabetic patients with microalbuminuria and control group included those without microalbuminuria. Patients in both groups exercised on treadmill using Bruce protocol and heart rate was measured in first and second minutes in the recovery period.
RESULTS
We selected 35 patients with microalbuminuria (case group) and 35 without microalbuminuria (control group) among diabetic patients. No statistically significant difference was seen in sex and age between case and control groups. Heart rate recovery in the first minute of recovery in the case and control groups did not show significant difference; but in the second minute of recovery, it was significantly higher in control group (97 ± 19.4 vs. 101.9 ± 12.4 beat per minute, P = 0.04).
CONCLUSION
In this study we evaluated the heart rate recovery or deceleration in diabetic patients with albuminuria and without microalbuminuria in recovery phase after exercise test. We found out that heart rate recovery at the second minute in the case and control groups has statistically significant difference but at the first minute, it did not.
PMCID: PMC3681282  PMID: 23766772
Diabetes Mellitus; Exercise Test; Heart Rate Recovery
8.  Association of serum potassium level with ventricular tachycardia after acute myocardial infarction 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;8(2):79-81.
BACKGROUND
One of the causes of mortality in acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is ventricular tachycardia. Abnormal serum Potassium (K) level is one of the probable causes of ventricular tachycardia in patients with AMI. This study carried out to determine the relationship between serum potassium level and frequency of ventricular tachycardia in early stages of AMI.
METHODS
Ina cross-sectional study on 162 patients with AMI in the coronary care unit (CCU) of Nour Hospital (Isfahan, Iran), the patients' serum potassium level was classified into three groups: 1) K<3.8 mEq/l, 2) 3.8≤K<4.5 mEq/l and 3) K≥4.5 mEq/l. The incidence of ventricular tachycardia in the first 24 hours after AMI was determined in each group by chi-square statistical method.
RESULTS
The frequency of ventricular tachycardia in the first 24 hours after AMI in K< 3.8 mEq/l, 3.8≤K<4.5 mEq/l and K≥4.5 mEq/l groups were 19.0%, 9.6% and 9.9% respectively. The high frequency of this arrhythmia in the first group as compared with the second and the third group was statistically significant.
CONCLUSION
Hypokalemia increased the probability of ventricular tachycardia in patients with AMI. Thus, the follow up and treatment of hypokalemia in these patients is of special importance.
PMCID: PMC3463994  PMID: 23056108
Acute Myocardial Infarction; Ventricular Tachycardia; Hypokalemia; SerumPotassium Level

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