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1.  RENAL SINUS FAT AND POOR BLOOD PRESSURE CONTROL IN MIDDLE-AGED AND ELDERLY INDIVIDUALS AT RISK FOR CARDIOVASCULAR EVENTS 
Hypertension  2010;56(5):901-906.
Fat in the renal sinus (RS), a region of the kidney in which low pressure venous and lymphatic vessels are present, may indirectly influence blood pressure (BP). The purpose of this study was to assess the association between RS fat and control of BP upon receipt of antihypertensive medications.
Two hundred-five (205) participants aged 55 to 85 years at risk for cardiovascular (CV) events underwent magnetic resonance imaging assessments of abdominal and RS fat, measurement of blood pressure, and determination of the number of prescribed antihypertensive medications. Multivariable linear regression was used to determine associations between RS fat, blood pressure, and the number of prescribed antihypertensive medications.
Abdominal fat averaged (416 ± 160 cm3, median and interquartile range (IQR) of 396 cm3 and 308 to 518 cm3); intraperitoneal (IP) fat averaged (141 ± 73 cm3, median and IQR of 129 cm3 and 86 to 194 cm3); and RS fat averaged (4.6 ± 3.2 cm3, median and IQR of 4.2 cm3 and 2.2 to 6.6 cm3). After accounting for age, gender, height, body mass index (BMI), and IP fat, RS fat correlated with the number of prescribed antihypertensive medications (p=0.010), stage II hypertension (p=0.02), and renal size (p=<0.001).
In conclusion, after accounting for other body fat depots and risk factors for hypertension, renal sinus fat volume is associated with the number of prescribed antihypertensive medications and stage II hypertension. These results indicate that further studies are warranted to determine if fat accumulation in the renal sinus promotes hypertension.
doi:10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.110.157370
PMCID: PMC3634339  PMID: 20837881
Renal sinus; intraperitoneal fat; hypertension; blood pressure; body mass index
2.  Effect of exercise training on chronic inflammation 
Persistent, sub-clinical inflammation, as indicated by higher circulating levels of inflammatory mediators, is a prominent risk factor for several chronic diseases, as well as aging-related disability. As such, the inflammatory pathway is a potential therapeutic target for lifestyle interventions designed to reduce disease and disability. Physical exercise is well recognized as an important strategy for reducing the risk of chronic disease, and recent research has focused on its role in the improvement of the inflammatory profile. This review summarizes the evidence for and against the role of increasing physical activity in the reduction of chronic inflammation. Large population-based cohort studies consistently show an inverse association between markers of systemic inflammation and physical activity or fitness status, and data from several small-scale intervention studies support that exercise training diminishes inflammation. However, data from large, randomized, controlled trials designed to definitively test the effects of exercise training on inflammation are limited, and results are inconclusive. Future studies are needed to refine our understanding of the effects of exercise training on systemic low-grade inflammation, the magnitude of such an effect, and the amount of exercise necessary to elicit clinically meaningful changes in the deleterious association between inflammation and disease.
doi:10.1016/j.cca.2010.02.069
PMCID: PMC3629815  PMID: 20188719
inflammation; exercise; cytokines; acute phase proteins; physical activity
3.  Pericardial Fat is Associated with Carotid Stiffness in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis 
Background and Aims
Arterial stiffness is a prominent feature of vascular aging and a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Fat around the heart and blood vessels (i.e. pericardial fat, Pfat) may contribute to arterial stiffness via a local paracrine effect of adipose tissue on the surrounding vasculature. Thus, we determined the association between Pfat and carotid stiffness in 5,770 participants (mean age 62 yrs, 53% female, 25% African American, 24% Hispanic, and 13% Chinese) from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis.
Methods and Results
Pfat was measured by computed tomography, and ultrasonography of the common carotid artery was used to calculate the distensibility coefficient (DC) and young’s modulus (YM). Lower DC and higher YM values indicate stiffer arteries. Pfat quartile was highly associated with demographic, behavioral, anthropometric, hemodynamic, metabolic, and disease variables in both men and women. After adjusting for height, clinical site, CVD risk factors, and medications, a 1-standard deviation (41.91 cm3) increment in Pfat was associated with a 0.00007±0.00002 1/mmHg lower DC (p=0.0002) in men and a 48.1±15.1 mmHg/mm higher YM in women (p=0.002). Additional adjustment for C-reactive protein, coronary artery calcification, and carotid intima-media thickness had only modest effects. More importantly, adjusting for body mass index and waist circumference did not significantly change the overall results.
Conclusion
Higher Pfat is associated with higher carotid stiffness, independent of traditional CVD risk factors and obesity.
doi:10.1016/j.numecd.2009.10.010
PMCID: PMC2929306  PMID: 20153618
pericardial fat; arterial stiffness; distensibility; carotid artery
4.  Caloric Restriction, Aerobic Exercise Training, and Soluble Lectin-like Oxidized LDL Receptor-1 Levels in Overweight and Obese Postmenopausal Women 
Background
Elevated circulating levels of soluble lectin-like oxidized low-density lipoprotein receptor-1 (sLOX-1) have been observed in obese persons and are reduced by weight loss. However, it is not known if combining caloric restriction (CR) with exercise training is better in reducing sLOX-1 levels than CR alone.
Objective
We examined whether the addition of aerobic exercise to a weight loss intervention differentially affects sLOX-1 levels in 61 abdominally obese postmenopausal women randomly assigned to a CR only (n=22), CR + moderate-intensity exercise (n=22), or CR + vigorous-intensity exercise (n=17) intervention for 20 weeks. The caloric deficit was ~2,800 kcal/week for all groups.
Results
The intervention groups were similar at baseline with respect to body weight, body composition, lipids, and blood pressure. However, plasma sLOX-1 levels were higher in the CR only group (99.90 ± 8.23 pg/ml) compared to both the CR + moderate-intensity exercise (69.39 ± 8.23 pg/ml, p=0.01) and CR + vigorous-intensity exercise (72.83 ± 9.36 pg/ml, p=0.03) groups. All three interventions significantly reduced body weight (~14%), body fat, and waist and hip circumferences to a similar degree. These changes were accompanied by a 23% reduction in sLOX-1 levels overall (−19.00 ± 30.08 pg/ml, p<0.0001), which did not differ among intervention groups (p=0.13). Changes in body weight, body fat, and VO2 max were not correlated with changes in sLOX-1 levels. In multiple regression analyses in all women combined, baseline sLOX-1 levels (β = − 0.70 ± 0.06, p<0.0001), age (β = 0.92 ± 0.43, p=0.03) and baseline BMI (β = 1.88 ± 0.66, p=0.006) were independent predictors of the change in sLOX-1 with weight loss.
Conclusions
Weight loss interventions of equal energy deficit have similar effects on sLOX-1 levels in overweight and obese postmenopausal women, with the addition of aerobic exercise having no added benefit when performed in conjunction with CR.
doi:10.1038/ijo.2010.199
PMCID: PMC3023845  PMID: 20856256
obesity; weight loss; caloric restriction; aerobic exercise; soluble receptor
5.  Effect of ginkgo biloba on blood pressure and incidence of hypertension in elderly men and women 
American journal of hypertension  2010;23(5):528-533.
Background
Accumulating evidence suggests that ginkgo biloba is cardioprotective, in part, through its vasodilatory and antihypertensive properties. However, definitive data on its blood pressure-lowering effects in humans is lacking.
Methods
We determined the effects of ginkgo biloba extract (240 mg/day) on blood pressure and incident hypertension in 3,069 participants (mean age, 79 yrs; 46% female; 96% White) from the Ginkgo Evaluation of Memory study. We also examined whether the treatment effects are modified by baseline hypertension status.
Results
At baseline 54% of the study participants were hypertensive, 28% were pre-hypertensive, and 17% were normotensive. Over a median follow-up of 6.1 years, there were similar changes in blood pressure and pulse pressure in the ginkgo biloba and placebo groups. Although baseline hypertension status did not modify the antihypertensive effects of ginkgo biloba, it did influence the changes in blood pressure variables observed during follow-up, with decreases in hypertensives, increases in normotensives, and no changes in pre-hypertensives. Among participants who were not on antihypertensive medications at baseline, there was no difference between treatment groups in medication use over time, as the OR (95% CI) for being a never-user in the ginkgo biloba group was 0.75 (0.48–1.16). The rate of incident hypertension also did not differ between participants assigned to ginkgo biloba vs. placebo (HR, 0.99, 95% CI, 0.84–1.15).
Conclusions
Our data indicate that ginkgo biloba does not reduce blood pressure or the incidence of hypertension in elderly men and women.
doi:10.1038/ajh.2010.14
PMCID: PMC2989407  PMID: 20168306
gingko biloba; blood pressure; hypertension; elderly

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