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1.  The effects of pentoxifylline administration on NFΚB P50 transcription factor expression 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;7(4):133-137.
BACKGROUND:
Pentoxifylline has anti-inflammatory properties and could suppress some inflammatory processes including tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) production. We assessed the effects of a two-month administration of pentoxifylline on nuclear factor-kappa B (NFκB) pathways in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) in which inflammatory pathways, especially NFκB transcription factors, have a critical role.
METHODS:
A double-blind randomized placebo-controlled study design was used. Forty CAD patients were randomized to either 2 months of pentoxifylline treatment (1200 mg/day) (n = 20) or placebo treatment (n = 20). Blood samples were obtained just before and after two months of treatment. P50 protein concentration in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) was measured by Enzyme Linked ImmunoSorbent Assay (ELISA) method.
RESULTS:
P50 concentration did not significantly change during two months of pentoxifylline administration.
CONCLUSION:
Longer pentoxifylline administration is needed to see its favorable effects on NFκB family elements.
PMCID: PMC3413080  PMID: 23205044
Coronary Artery Diseases; Inflammation; NFκB; Pentoxifylline
2.  Association of helicobacter pylori infection with severity of coronary heart disease 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;7(4):138-141.
BACKGROUND:
There are few literatures evaluating the association between cytotoxin-associated gene A (CagA) positive strains of Helicobacter pylori (HP) and the severity of coronary heart disease (CHD). This study was designed to investigate this association.
METHODS:
Medical and drug history of 112 consecutive patients who were candidate for coronary angiography were taken. Fasting blood samples were obtained to measure C-reactive protein (CRP), anti Helicobacter pylori immunoglobulin G (anti-HP IgG), anti-CagA antibody (Ab) and interlukine-6 (IL6). According to angiography reports, participants were divided into patients with mild (n = 69) and with sever CHD (n = 36). To measure the association between CagA positive strains of HP with the severity of CHD, multivariate logistic regression tests were used by adjusting age, sex, history of diabetes mellitus (DM), dyslipidemia (DLP), and/or hypertension (HTN), CRP status and IL-6 level.
RESULTS:
The analysis was concluded on 105 subjects. HP infection and CagA Ab were not significantly higher compared to the patients with severe and mild CHD (P = 0.28 and P = 0.68, respectively). Colonization of CagA positive HP did not significantly associate with severity of CHD (OR 1.05, 95% CI 0.33–3. 39).
CONCLUSION:
Colonization of CagA positive HP was not an independent risk factor for severe coronary heart disease.
PMCID: PMC3413081  PMID: 23205045
Helicobacter Pylori; CagA; Coronary Heart Disease; Severity
3.  Efficiency of black cumin seeds on hematological factors in normal and hypercholesterolemic rabbits 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;7(4):146-150.
BACKGROUND:
Hypercholesterolemia is among the most common health problems treated with traditional remedies. Nigella sativa (NS) is an effective plant for treating hypercholesterolemia. However, the effects of this herb on hematologic factors and hemostasis system have not been elucidated. This study was designed to investigate the effects of NS on these factors in both normal and hypercholesterolemic rabbits.
METHODS:
In this research, twenty rabbits were randomly distributed into four groups of five. The groups received four different diets, namely normal, normal + NS (5%), hypercholesterolemic (1% cholesterol), and hypercholesterolemic (1% cholesterol) + NS (5%), for 8 weeks. After this period, WBC (white blood cell), RBC (red blood cell), HTC (hematocrit), HGB (hemoglobin content), PLT (platelet), fibrinogen (FIB) and factors VII (F VII) were measured.
RESULTS:
Using NS significantly increased PLT count in the normal group. In addition, it significantly decreased WBC counts in the hypercholesterolemic group (P < 0.05). However, dietary use of NS did not have any effects on other hematologic factors including RBC, HTC, HGB, FIB, and F VII (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION:
Increased PLT numbers might cause enhanced coagulation. The achieved results call for more research on the effects of various diets (hypercholesterolemic and normal diet) supplemented with NS on different coagulation factors and hemostasis system.
PMCID: PMC3413082  PMID: 23205047
Hematological Factors; Hypercholesterolemia; Nigella Sativa L.; Rabbit
4.  Exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation improves hemodynamic responses after coronary artery bypass graft surgery 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;7(4):151-156.
BACKGROUND:
Cardiovascular disorders are an important public health problem worldwide. They are also the leading cause of mortality and morbidity. Therefore, American Heart Association proposed cardiac rehabilitation program as an essential part of care for cardiac patients to improve functional capacity. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of cardiac rehabilitation program on functional status and some hemodynamic responses in patients after coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery.
METHODS:
Thirty two patients were selected for this study. All patients underwent cardiac surgery two months before admission. They were allocated to two groups. While the rehabilitation group (n =17, mean age: 62 ± 12 years) completed the cardiac rehabilitation program for two months, the reference group (n = 15, mean age: 58.5 ± 12.5 years) did not have any supervised physical activity during this period. Cardiac rehabilitation program consisted of exercise, nutritional, psychological consultation and risk factor management. At the beginning of the study, functional capacity of patients was evaluated by exercise test, 6-minute walking test and echocardiography. Functional capacity was evaluated for a second time after two months of cardiac rehabilitation. Data were analyzed by SPSS15. For comparing the mean of outcomes, Mann-Whitney test and Wilcoxon signed ranks test were used.
RESULTS:
As a result of cardiac rehabilitation, a significant improvement was observed in the distance walked in the rehabilitation group (P < 0.01) compared to the reference group (P = 0.33). It also caused a significant development in hemodynamic responses to exercise such as resting and maximum systolic and diastolic blood pressure, resting and maximum heart rate, ejection fraction and rate pressure product.
CONCLUSION:
Cardiac rehabilitation significantly improves functional capacity and some hemodynamic responses post coronary artery bypass grafting. Therefore, patients need to be referred to rehabilitation units.
PMCID: PMC3413083  PMID: 23205048
Cardiac Rehabilitation Program; Hemodynamic Responses; Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery (CABG)
5.  Metabolic syndrome in Iranian elderly 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;7(4):157-161.
BACKGROUND:
This study aimed to compare Iranian elderly with the middle-aged population in terms of the prevalence of metabolic syndrome and its components.
METHODS:
This cross-sectional study was conducted using the data from the third phase of the Isfahan Healthy Heart Program. Male and female residents of Isfahan over 19 years of age were selected by multistage cluster random sampling. A questionnaire including demographic characteristics, health status, medical history, medications used, as well as waist circumference, weight, height, and systolic and diastolic blood pressures was completed for all participants. Fasting blood samples were obtained from all subjects and examined for fasting blood sugar and lipid profile. T-test and Mann-Whitney test were used for quantitative data and chi-square test was performed for qualitative data.
RESULTS:
The prevalence of metabolic syndrome in individuals aged over 60 years was significantly higher than those under 60 (49.5% vs. 17.5%, respectively; P < 0.001). Metabolic syndrome was also more prevalent among elderly females than in males (59.2% vs. 39.8%, respectively; P < 0.005). Some anthropometric measures such as height, body mass index, abdominal circumference, waist-hip ratio, and waist-to-height ratio were significantly different in men and women below 60 years in comparison with those over 60 years (P < 0.05). Moreover, there were significant differences in most studied parameters between the elderly and non-elderly women (P < 0.001).
CONCLUSION:
This study showed that metabolic syndrome has a relatively high prevalence in Iranian elderly people, especially in elderly women. Therefore, early diagnosis and management of the complication are recommended among this high-risk group to avoid the subsequent complications.
PMCID: PMC3413084  PMID: 23205049
Metabolic Syndrome; Elderly; Iran
6.  Initial clinical outcomes of intracoronary infusion of autologous progenitor cells in patients with acute myocardial infarction 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;7(4):162-167.
BACKGROUND:
Myocardial infarction (MI) is an irreversible cardiomyocytes injury which begins after 15–20 minutes of coronary artery occlusion. The extent of infarction is modulated by a number of factors including collateral blood supplies, medications, and ischemic preconditioning. Although angioplasty and thrombolytic agents can relieve the cause of the infarction, the time from the occlusion onset to reperfusion determines the degree of irreversible myocardial injury. Experimental studies suggested that stem cells and progenitor cells derived from bone marrow can be used in the repair of cardiac tissue after acute MI. This study was designed to investigate the feasibility, safety and initial clinical outcome of intracoronary infusion of autologous progenitor cells in patients with acute MI.
METHODS:
Patients with a history of anterior MI and a left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) less than 35 % who were candidates for coronary angioplasty were randomly allocated in a 1:1 ratio to either control or bone marrow cell groups (each including 16 patients). Thallium scan and 17-segment echocardiography analysis for regional wall motion abnormality were performed before and 1 and 6 months after intracoronary infusion of bone marrow cells. The same tests were also conducted for the control group at identical time intervals. Quantitative variables were compared by independent t-test and paired t-test. Statistical significance was assumed at a value of P < 0.05.
RESULTS:
LVEF in the case and control groups increased to 39.37 ± 2.47% and 31.00 ± 1.87%, respectively (P = 0.069 and 0.1, respectively). Wall motion abnormality index (WMAI) decreased insignificantly in both groups. Perfusion defect scores (PDSs) decreased significantly in the case group.
CONCLUSION:
In this study, autologous mesenchymal stem cell transplantation by intracoronary catheter during angioplasty in patients with a history of severe LV dysfunction caused mild increases in LVEF.
PMCID: PMC3413085  PMID: 23205050
Myocardial Infarction Left Ventricular Failure; Stem Cell
7.  The relation between dietary intake of vegetable oils and serum lipids and apolipoprotein levels in central Iran 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;7(4):168-175.
BACKGROUND:
The detrimental effects of partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (PHVOs) on apolipoproteins have been reported from several parts of the world. However, little data is available in this regard from the understudied region of the Middle East. The present study therefore tried to evaluate the association between type of vegetable oils and serum lipids and apolipoprotein levels among Iranians.
METHODS:
In this cross-sectional study, data from 1772 people (795 men and 977 women) aged 19–81 years, who were selected with multistage cluster random sampling method from three cities of Isfahan, Najafabad and Arak in “Isfahan Healthy Heart Program” (IHHP) (Iran), was used. To assess participants' usual dietary intakes, a validated food frequency questionnaire was used. Hydrogenated vegetable oil (commonly consumed for cooking in Iran) and margarine were considered as the category of PHVOs. Soy, sunflower, corn, olive and canola oils were considered as non-HVOs. After an overnight fasting, serum cholesterol (total, low density lipoprotein (LDL) and high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol) and triglyceride as well as apolipoproteins A and B were measured using standard methods.
RESULTS:
Participants with the highest intakes of non-HVOs and PHVOs were younger and had lower weight than those with lowest intakes. High consumption of non-HVOs and PHVOs was associated with lower intakes of energy, carbohydrate, dietary fiber, and higher intakes of fruits, vegetables, meat, milk and grains. No overall significant differences were found in serum lipids and apolipoprotein levels across the quartiles of non-HVOs and PHVOs after controlling for potential confounding.
CONCLUSION:
We did not find any significant associations between hydrogenated or nonhydrogenated vegetable oil and serum lipid and apolipoprotein levels. Thus, further studies are needed in this region to explore this association.
PMCID: PMC3413086  PMID: 23205051
Vegetable Oils; Cardiovascular Risk Factors; Lipids; Apolipoproteins; Diet
8.  The effectiveness of stress management intervention in a community-based program: Isfahan Healthy Heart Program 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;7(4):176-183.
BACKGROUND:
This study was designed to assess the effectiveness of stress management training in improving the ability of coping with stress in a large population.
METHODS:
Five cross-sectional studies using multistage cluster random sampling were performed on adults aged ≥ 19 years between 2000 to 2005 in Isfahan and Najafabad (Iran) as intervention cities and Arak, Iran as the control city within the context of Isfahan Healthy Heart Program. Stress management training was adapted according to age and education levels of the target groups. In a 45-minute home interview, demographic data, General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) and stress management questionnaires were collected. Data was analyzed by t-test, linear regression and general linear model.
RESULTS:
Trends of both adaptive and maladaptive coping skills and GHQ scores from baseline to the last survey were statistically significant in both intervention and reference areas (P < 0.001). While adaptive coping skills increased significantly, maladaptive coping skills decreased significantly in the intervention areas. Furthermore, stress levels decreased significantly in the intervention compared to the reference area.
CONCLUSION:
Stress management programs could improve coping strategies at the community level and can be considered in designing behavioral interventions
PMCID: PMC3413087  PMID: 23205052
Stress Management; Community; Intervention; Coping Strategies
9.  The effects of a comprehensive community trial on cardiometabolic risk factors in adolescents: Isfahan Healthy Heart Program 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;7(4):184-190.
BACKGROUND:
This study aimed to assess the effects of a 6-year-long community-participatory program including school-based interventions on mean values and prevalence of cardiometabolic risk factors among adolescents.
METHODS:
The interventions of this community trial, conducted from 2000 to 2007 in Iran, targeted the whole population (of nearly two millions) living in two cities considered as the intervention area (IA) in comparison with a reference area (RA). Data from surveys conducted before and after interventions was used to compare the differences between the secondary school students of the IA and RA.
RESULTS:
The prevalence of hypercholesterolemia and hypertriglyceridemia declined significantly in girls and boys in the IA (P < 0.01). The prevalence of high LDL-C decreased significantly in the girls in the RA (P = 0.002). Among both sexes in the IA, the prevalence of low HDL-C increased significantly (P < 0.001), whereas it decreased in the girls and boys in the RA (P = 0.04). Although in the IA, the prevalence of overweight and obesity decreased significantly in girls (P = 0.001), it increased in boys (P = 0.001) as well as in the girls of the RA (P = 0.01).
CONCLUSION:
By performing school-based interventions, our study was successful, at least in part, in controlling some cardiometabolic risk factors in adolescents. Such modifications may have long-term impacts on non-communicable diseases prevention in adulthood.
PMCID: PMC3413088  PMID: 23205053
Prevention; Adolescents; Lifestyle; Community Trial; Iran
10.  Hypertension control in industrial employees: findings from SHIMSCO study 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;7(4):191-196.
BACKGROUND:
Hypertension prevention and control are among the most important public health priorities. We evaluated the impacts of a workplace intervention project “Stop Hypertension in Mobarakeh Steel Company” (SHIMSCO) on controlling hypertension in industrial workers.
METHODS:
The study was carried out in Mobarakeh Steel Company in Isfahan among 7286 male workers and employees. All individuals were evaluated for the presence of hypertension (HTN). According to examinations, 500 subjects with systolic blood pressure (SBP) ≥ 140 mmHg, and/or diastolic blood pressure (DBP) ≥ 90 mmHg, and/or those using antihypertensive medications were confirmed to have HTN and thus included in this study. They were questioned for sociodemographic characteristics, past medical history and medication use. They received an educational program including healthy lifestyle and self-care recommendations of HTN management and control as well as training for accurate blood pressure measurement and home monitoring for two years. SBP, DBP, weight, height and routine lab tests were measured for all hypertensive subjects before and after the interventions. Paired t-test, generalized estimation equation (GEE) and ordinary linear regression (OLR) were used for statistical analysis in SPSS.
RESULTS:
The comparison of SBP and DBP before and after the educational program showed significant reductions in both parameters (−7.97 ± 14.72 and −2.66 ± 9.96 mmHg, respectively). However, a greater decrease was detected in case of DBP. GEE showed SBP and DBP to decrease about −0.115 and −0.054 mmHg/month. OLR also revealed reductions of 4.88 and 2.57 mmHg respectively in SBP and DBP upon adding each antihypertensive drug.
CONCLUSION:
SHIMSCO, a 3-year interventional project in workplaces, was effective in reducing SBP and DBP among hypertensive employees and workers. We conclude that implementing simple educational programs in worksites can improve the management and control of hypertension and perhaps other chronic diseases.
PMCID: PMC3413089  PMID: 23205054
Hypertension; Worksite; Industrial; Blood Pressure; Control
11.  Comparison of changes in serum fibrinogen level in primary intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) and ischemic stroke 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;7(4):142-145.
BACKGROUND:
There is a growing body of evidence indicating that increase in fibrinogen is associated with increased risk of stroke. This study aimed to determine the type of stroke and the role of fibrinogen in stroke type.
METHODS:
This case-control study comprised 58 hospitalized patients with intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) and ischemic stroke. Demographic and clinical characteristics, type of stroke and fibrinogen level were collected after starting the treatment.
RESULTS:
The prevalence of ICH was higher in men than in women so that 60% of men and 39.3% of women in this study were diagnosed with this type of stroke. In contrast, the corresponding figures for ischemic stroke were 40% and 60.7%, respectively. Statistical analysis by chi-square test revealed significant difference in the type of stoke in terms of gender (P = 0.026). The mean fibrinogen levels was lower in patients with ICH (348 ± 96 mg/dl) than in patients with ischemic stroke (381 ± 126 mg/dl), however this difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.12). Fibrinogen levels were significantly higher in women than in men (390 ± 111 vs. 340 ± 110 mg/dl, respectively, P = 0.017).
CONCLUSION:
Although the mean fibrinogen level was not significantly different in ICH and ischemic stroke patients, it is recommended to examine the serum fibrinogen and its related factors at least for those patients with non-modifiable risk factors and in particular for those with family history and genetic background.
PMCID: PMC3448377  PMID: 23205046
Cardiovascular Diseases; Ischemic Stroke; Fibrinogen
12.  Sinus of Valsalva aneurysm: An uncommon presentation 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;8(3):164-166.
BACKGROUND
Sinus of Valsalva aneurysm (SVA) may be congenital or acquired. They could mimic ventricular tumor symptoms and cause signs and symptoms of ventricular outflow tract obstruction. They may also involve the conduction system and cause palpitations or syncopal episodes. Both transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) and transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) serve as quick, noninvasive methods to provide information on size and location of aneurysmal dilatation and cardiac chamber involvement. These methods can identify any associated anomalies or complications. This study presents a patient with unruptured SVA.
CASE REPORT
A 46-year-old man, who had been suffering from nonspecific symptoms such as exercise intolerance and weakness for a few months, referred to our clinic in Isfahan (Iran). In TTE, a large mass was observed in the right ventricle. SVA was suspected after meticulous probing. This diagnosis was confirmed by TEE and computed tomography angiography. At open heart surgery, an SVA with a lot of clots it was removed.
CONCLUSION
SVA must be kept in mind when a tumor-like mass is observed in the right ventricle. Detailed evaluation would thus be necessary to rule out SVA and to prevent wrong diagnosis and treatment that can sometimes be catastrophic.
PMCID: PMC3557003  PMID: 23358699
Sinus Valsalva; Aneurysm; Cardiac Tumor
13.  Chest pain units: A necessity or only a name to encourage patients 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;8(3):158-160.
BACKGROUND
Acute chest pain is a common symptom among patients presenting to emergency wards. Identification and admission of patients with real acute coronary syndrome and preventing the hospitalization of people with false diagnosis of coronary syndrome are the most important tasks in emergency wards. The purpose of this study was to investigate the usefulness of designing a special chest pain unit in emergency department of Imam Khomeini Hospital (Ahvaz, Iran).
METHODS
The patients with markers of ongoing cardiac ischemia underwent selective coronary angiography. The chest pain unit protocol was applied to selected patients with no definite evidence of acute coronary syndrome or alternative pathology. The protocol consisted of twelve hours of observation and serial 12-lead electrocardiography, transthoracic echocardiography, and biochemical testing followed by an exercise treadmill test. We compared the number of patients who were discharged after work up, discharged themselves against medical advice, admitted at coronary care unit (CCU), underwent invasive procedures or died between 2007 and 2010.
RESULTS
During 2010, 43% of patients were discharged after evaluation in the chest pain unit. In 2007 however, 26% were discharged following traditional assessments. The admission rate increased from 23% in 2007 to 36% in 2010. The percentage of patients who discharged themselves against medical advice decreased from 37% in 2007 to 14% in 2010. There was not a statistically significant difference between mortality rates in 2007 and 2010.
CONCLUSION
Providing a special chest pain unit in emergency ward in our condition is helpful. It reduces unnecessary admissions and improves patient satisfaction.
PMCID: PMC3557000  PMID: 23359791
Chest Pain Unit; Acute Coronary Syndrome; Myocardial Infarction
14.  Determination of normal range of bleeding time in rural and urban residents of Borujerd, Iran: A pilot study 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;8(3):136-142.
BACKGROUND
Bleeding time test is used to assess the function of platelets in human body. The aim of this project was thus to estimate the sample size required to determine the normal range of bleeding time (BT) in Borujerd (a city in Iran). A pilot study was designed to determine the range of normal BT in a small group of normal people. The total sample size for the next study was then calculated according to the results.
METHODS
In order to determine the sample size, a total of 33 volunteers participated in this study. The normal range of BT was determined by Ivy method. Written informed consents were obtained from all participants and their clinical history was recorded. The sampling was performed once for each participant. However, the results were interpreted by two observers. The study protocol was approved by the Ethics Committee of the research center at Lorestan University of Medical Sciences (Iran).
RESULTS
In this study, 33 normal participants (20 women and 13 men) were divided into four age groups of 35-44, 45-54, 55-64 and over 64 years old. Maximum and minimum BTs in men were 209 (in the age group of 35-44 years) and 150 seconds (in the age group of over 64 years), respectively. On the other hand, the corresponding values in women were 194 (in 55-64 year-old subjects) and 145 seconds (in women over 64 years of age). Considering the aforementioned results, the total sample size for the next study was determined to be 580 normal subjects by two-sample t-test power analysis at a power of 0.91816.
CONCLUSION
There was a significant difference between the normal range of BT in participants of Borujerd and previously recorded range in other studies. Moreover, normal BT in men decreased by aging. This study did not show any special order in increasing or decreasing BT in women.
PMCID: PMC3557001  PMID: 23358456
Platelet; Bleeding Time; Ivy Method; Gender
15.  Diagnostic dilemma: Saccular aneurysm or pseudoaneurysm of the ascending aorta with dissection above level of leaflets 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;8(3):167-169.
BACKGROUND
In true aneurysm, the wall of aneurysm is composed of the normal histological components of aorta. A false aneurysm (pseudoaneurysm) represents a rupture which does not contain the normal histological components of aorta. It is a fibrous peel that has formed from a small perforation of aorta. We describe an unusual presentation that has signs which some of them are only manifested in true aneurysm and some others only in pseudoaneurysm.
CASE REPORT
An 85-year-old man underwent elective coronary angiography for chest pain work-up. Our evaluation by invasive angiography and CT angiography showed aortic dissection. In surgery we found that dissection flap was composed of some parts of intima and media layers. These signs leaded to confusing symptoms. Localized bulging of ascending aorta had continued to brachiocephalic artery (transverse arch involvement). Dissection flap was composed of some part of intima and media layers. It was a strange case, it was not solely a perivascular hematoma and it did not have all three layers of aorta wall. Partial aorta replacement was performed. The operation and recovery was uneventful.
CONCLUSION
This unusual presentation of disease has not been mentioned in literatures. Our experience can help to manage similar cases. This case was the first unusual presentation of its type.
PMCID: PMC3557002  PMID: 23358558
Saccular Aneurysm; Aortic Dissection; Pseudoaneurysm; Aneurysm
16.  Effects of dietary supplementation with ghee, hydrogenated oil, or olive oil on lipid profile and fatty streak formation in rabbits 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;8(3):119-124.
BACKGROUND
Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of mortality worldwide. A high-fat diet, rich in saturated fatty acids and low in polyunsaturated fatty acids, is said to be an important cause of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases.
METHODS
In this experimental study, 40 male rabbits were randomly assigned to eight groups of five to receive normal diet, hypercholesterolemic diet, normal diet plus ghee, normal diet plus olive oil, normal diet plus hydrogenated oil, hypercholesterolemic diet plus ghee, hypercholesterolemic diet plus olive oil, and hypercholesterolemic diet plus hydrogenated oil. They received rabbit chow for a period of 12 weeks. At the start and end of the study, fasting blood samples were taken from all animals to measure biochemical factors including total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), high-density lipoprotein (HDL), triglyceride (TG), fasting blood sugar (FBS), and C-reactive protein (CRP). Moreover, aorta, left and right coronary arteries were dissected at the end of the study to investigate fatty streak formation (FSF). Data was analyzed in SPSS at a significance level of 0.05.
RESULTS
In rabbits under normal diet, ghee significantly increased TC, LDL, and HDL compared to the beginning (P < 0.01) and also to the other two types of fat (P < 0.05). Moreover, normal diet plus olive oil significantly enhanced FSF in left coronary arteries and aorta compared to normal diet plus ghee. In groups receiving hypercholesterolemic diets, ghee significantly increased HDL and CRP (P < 0.05) and significantly decreased FBS (P < 0.01). The hypecholesterolemic diet plus olive oil significantly increased HDL (P < 0.01). Supplementation of hypecholesterolemic diet with ghee significantly increased HDL and FBS in comparison with hydrogenated oil. Significant increase of FBS was also detected with the use of ghee compared to olive oil. Ghee also significantly reduced FSF in left and right coronary arteries compared to olive oil. FSF in left coronary arteries was significantly lower in the hypecholesterolemic diet plus ghee group compared to the hypecholesterolemic diet plus hydrogenated oil group.
CONCLUSION
According to the achieved results, future clinical trial studies and investigation of other risk factors such as inflammatory factors are required.
PMCID: PMC3557004  PMID: 23358722
Fatty Streak; Ghee; Hypercholesterolemic; Olive Oil
17.  Can cardiac rehabilitation programs improve functional capacity and left ventricular diastolic function in patients with mechanical reperfusion after ST elevation myocardial infarction?: A double-blind clinical trial 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;8(3):125-129.
BACKGROUND
Current guidelines recommend cardiac rehabilitation programs (CRP) as a means to improve functional status of patients after coronary revascularization. However, research supporting this recommendation has been limited and positive effects of CRP on diastolic function are controversial. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of an 8-week CRP on left ventricular diastolic function.
METHODS
This randomized, clinical trial included 29 men with ST elevation myocardial infarction (MI) who had received reperfusion therapy, i.e. coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) or percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). They were randomized to a training group (n = 15; mean age: 54.2 ± 9.04 years old) and a control group (n = 14; mean age: 51.71 ± 6.98 years old). Patients in the training group performed an 8-week CRP with an intensity of 60-85% of maximum heart rate. Exercise sessions lasted 60-90 minutes and were held three times a week. At the start and end of the study, all patients performed symptom-limited exercise test based on Naughton treadmill protocol. Pulsed-wave Doppler echocardiography was also used to determine peak velocity of early (E) and late (A) waves, E/A ratios, and the deceleration time of E (DT).
RESULTS
Left ventricular diastolic indices (E, A, E/A ratio, DT) did not change significantly after the CRP. Compared to baseline, patients in the training group had significant improvements in functional capacity (8.30 ± 1.30 vs. 9.7 ± 1.7) and maximum heart rate (118.50 ± 24.48 vs. 126.85 ± 22.75). Moreover, resting heart rate of the training group was significantly better than the control group at the end of the study (75.36 ± 7.94 vs. 79.80 ± 7.67; P < 0.001).
CONCLUSION
An 8-week CRP in post-MI patients revascularized with PCI or CABG led to improved exercise capacity. However, the CRP failed to enhance diastolic function.
PMCID: PMC3557005  PMID: 23358827
Cardiac Rehabilitation; Diastolic Function; Functional Capacity; Post-Myocardial Patients
18.  Effects of occupational exposure to lead on left ventricular echocardio graphic variables 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;8(3):130-135.
BACKGROUND
Lead contamination can affect many body organs including the heart. This study assessed a number of echocardiographic indices to clarify the effects of lead on cardiac function among battery factory workers who are in constant exposure to lead.
METHODS
In a cross-sectional study, 142 male battery factory workers who had been exposed to lead for at least 1 year were evaluated. The subjects aged 25-55 years old and were excluded if they had hypertension, diabetes, or cardiovascular diseases. Demographic characteristics, professional profile, lead exposure, history of respiratory diseases, drugs intake, and lifestyle information of the participants were collected. Height, weight and blood pressure measurements were then performed. Blood tests were also ordered to determine blood lead levels. The subjects finally underwent M-mode and Doppler echocardiography. Linear regression analysis was used to establish the effects of lead on the target indices. All statistical analyses were conducted in SPSS18.
RESULTS
The mean age and mean duration of lead exposure of the subjects were 41.78 ± 13.58 and 23.54 ± 14.44 years, respectively. The mean blood lead level was 7.59 ± 2.75 µg/dl. Left ventricular hypertrophy was detected in 12% of the participants. Blood lead levels were not significantly related with echocardiographic indices in the crude model or after adjustments for age alone or for age and other risk factors.
CONCLUSION
Blood lead levels of our participants were below standard values. In addition, no significant relation was found between left ventricular function indices and blood lead levels. The absence of such relations could have been caused by the exclusion of individuals with hypertension or cardiovascular diseases. Structural modifications in battery factories following legislations in Iran might have been responsible for low blood lead levels among the subjects.
PMCID: PMC3557007  PMID: 23358898
Occupational Exposure; Lead; Left Ventricular Echocardiography
19.  Can the infusion of isotonic fluids or vasopressors prevent hemodynamic changes in cardiac surgery patients? 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;8(3):161-163.
BACKGROUND
A common problem in cardiac surgery patients is decreased central venous pressure (CVP) and systemic blood pressure during transfer from operation room to intensive care unit (ICU). Since these reductions may lead to dangerous complications, this study aimed to evaluate the effects of vasopressors and isotonic fluids on hemodynamic status of cardiac surgery patients during their transfer to ICU.
METHODS
This randomized single-blind clinical trial was conducted in Chamran Hospital (Isfahan, Iran). A total number of 75 consecutive patients undergoing planned first-time coronary artery bypass grafting entered our study. Systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), CVP, and pulse rate (PR) were recorded at 5 to 10 minutes before leaving operating room and immediately after hospitalization in the ICU. Subjects in the first group received 7 cc/kg intravenous normal saline (as an isotonic fluid) within 5-10 minutes. The second group received 10 mg ephedrine before being transferred to the ICU.
RESULTS
The mean age of participants was 61.0 ± 3.6 years. No significant change in PR was detected in normal saline group (P > 0.05). No significant differences were found in two groups in SBP before and after hospitalization in the ICU (P > 0.05). DBP and CVP had statistically significant reductions in both groups after hospitalization in the ICU (P < 0.001). The mean CVP was also reduced significantly (10.7 ± 2.9 vs. 8.2 ± 3.4; P < 0.001).
CONCLUSION
Significant reductions in mean values of DBP and CVP occur during cardiac surgery and after arrival to the ICU. These reductions cannot be prevented by administration of vasopressors, such as ephedrine, or infusion of isotonic fluids, such as normal saline. Further studies are required to assess whether more fluids, other types of fluids, or other drugs can stop this phenomenon.
PMCID: PMC3557008  PMID: 23359114
Ephedrine; Cardiac Surgery; Isotonic Fluids; Intensive Care Unit
20.  Effects of gradual exposure to carbon dioxide gas on the blood pressure status of workers in coal mines of Kerman province, Iran 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;8(3):149-152.
BACKGROUND
The present study was conducted to investigate the probable changes in blood pressure of workers in coal mines.
METHODS
In this study 91 workers, who worked in forwarding, preparation and exploitation units of coal mines and were in direct contact with carbon dioxide gas (from fireworks), have been selected as the case group, and 70 workers, who did not have direct contact with this gas, from other units were selected as the control group by simple random sampling method. The inclusion criteria were over 10 years of work experience and the age range of 30 to 45 years. The blood pressure values and their classification were determined based on the Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention of Hypertension. Statistical analysis was performed using t-test.
RESULTS
The results of this study showed that mean systolic and diastolic blood pressures in the case group were significantly lower than the control group (P < 0.001).
CONCLUSION
The mean diastolic blood pressure of workers in coal mines is less than other people due to the CO2 gas. A greater control of the existing gas in mines by relevant factors is required. Necessary medical care and support measures should also be considered.
PMCID: PMC3557009  PMID: 23359216
Blood Pressure Changes; Workers; Coal Mine
21.  Changes in serum lipid profile of obese or overweight children and adolescents following a lifestyle modification course 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;8(3):143-148 .
BACKGROUND
Considering rapid global increase in children obesity and high prevalence of dyslipidemia in obese and overweight children, this study aimed to evaluate the effect of an educational course on changes of lipid profile in children.
METHODS
This non-pharmacological clinical trial study was performed on 4-18 year-old children attending outpatient clinics of Isfahan Endocrine and Metabolism Research Center (Iran). Anthropometric measurements were conducted for all children. Fasting blood samples were taken from right hand of the participants at the first laboratory visit. Biochemical tests including measurement of total cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TG), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) were also carried out. Children took part in one educational session in which they were taught about ways and benefits of having regular physical activity once a day and having healthy foods. All children were followed up for about four months and anthropometrics and biochemical tests were repeated. Data was analyzed using SPSS16.
RESULTS
A total number of 412 children (245 girls and 167 boys) were divided into four age groups of under 6, 6-9, 10-13, and 14-18 years old. Baseline anthropometric measures were significantly higher in boys. However, there was no difference between boys and girls in baseline lipid profile. Children's body mass index (BMI) z-score increased in all age groups except for 14-18 year-old boys. In boys older than 10 years, there were significant reductions in LDL-C and TC. In girls over 10 years of age, there was a significant increase in HDL-C. Although anthropometric measurements did not change in children (except for 14-18 year-old-boys), there was a significant reduction in children's lipid profile after the study.
CONCLUSION
Our study showed that although one session of interventional education had no significant effects on children's anthropometric measurements, it could change their lipid profile. Moreover, the intervention was more effective on improving lipid profile in children over 10 years of age. Therefore, effective interventional strategies must be invented and implemented on children based on their age group.
PMCID: PMC3557010  PMID: 23359278
Children Obesity; Education; Anthropometry; Lipid Profile; Lifestyle
22.  Comparative interrater reliability of Asian Stroke Disability Scale, modified Rankin Scale and Barthel Index in patients with brain infarction 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;8(3):153-157 .
BACKGROUND
This study tried to develop an Asian Stroke Disability Scale (ASDS) and compared its interrater reliability with modified Rankin Scale (mRS) and Barthel Index (BI).
METHODS
Three items including self-care, mobility, and daily activities were selected as variables for development of the ASDS. The variables were provisionally graded on a 2- to 4-point scale based on the importance of each item. Each of the variables was categorized into 3 categories. Afterward, 125 rater-patient assessments for each scale (mRS, BI, and ASDS) were performed on 25 stroke patients by 5 raters. For categorization of functional impairment as minor or major, the scores of mRS, BI and ASDS were categorized as ≤ 2 and > 2, < 90 and ≥ 90, and < 3 and ≥ 3, respectively.125 rater-patient assessments for each of the mRS, BI, and ASDS were performed on 25 stroke patients by five raters.
RESULTS
The quantitative variability of BI, mRS, and ASDS scores was not significant (P = 0.379; P = 0.780; and P = 0.835, respectively). Interrater variability of mRS, BI, and ASDS scores based on qualitative categorization was not significant (P = 1.000; P = 0.978; and P = 0.901, respectively). Paired interrater variability of mRS, BI, and ASDS scores based on qualitative categorization was not significant (P > 0.05).
CONCLUSION
The ASDS is easy to use, requires less than 1 minute to complete and is as valid as mRS and BI in assessment of functional impairment of patients with stroke.
PMCID: PMC3557011  PMID: 23359790
Stroke; Disability; Scale; Validation
23.  The first Iranian recommendations on prevention, evaluation and management of high blood pressure 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;8(3):97-118 .
This paper presents the complete report of the first Iranian Recommendations on Prevention, Evaluation and Management of High Blood Pressure. The purpose is to provide an evidence-based approach to the prevention, management and control of hypertension (HTN) by adapting the most internationally known and used guidelines to the local health care status with consideration of the currently available data and based on the locally conducted researches on HTN as well as social and health care requirements. A working group of national and international experts participated in discussions and collaborated in decision-making, writing and reviewing the whole report. Multiple subcommittees worked together to review the recent national and international literature on HTN in different areas. We used the evaluation tool that is called "AGREE" and considered a score of > 60% as a high score. We adapted the Canadian Hypertension Education Program (CHEP), the United Kingdom's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and the US-based joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation and Treatment of High Blood Pressure (JNC7). The key topics that are highlighted in this report include: The importance of ambulatory and self-measurement of blood pressure, evaluation of cardiovascular risk in HTN patients, the role of lifestyle modification in the prevention of HTN and its control with more emphasis on salt intake reduction and weight control, introducing pharmacotherapy suitable for uncomplicated HTN or specific situations and the available drugs in Iran, highlighting the importance of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin-receptor blockers and calcium channel blockers as the first line therapy in many situations, the non-use of beta blockers as the first time treatment except in specific conditions, treating HTN in women, children, obese and elderly patients, the patient compliance to improve HTN control, practical guidelines to improve the patient's information on knowing their risk and self-care as well as a quick reference guide that can serve as simplified guidelines for physicians. The working team decided to update these recommendations every two years.
PMCID: PMC3557580  PMID: 23362408
High Blood Pressure; Prevention; Treatment; Control; Iran
24.  Predictive value of P-wave duration and dispersion in post coronary artery bypass surgery atrial fibrillation 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;8(2):59-62.
BACKGROUND
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common complication of cardiac surgery. Although it is managed easily, it can cause critical hemodynamic instabilities for intensive care patients. This observational study investigated the predictive power of P-wave dispersion (PWD) for the incidence of post cardiac surgery AF.
METHODS
Among patients undergoing isolated coronary artery bypass grafting surgery (CABG), 52 patients were selected randomly. Before the operation, ejection fraction, regional wall motion abnormality, and mitral regurgitation were determined by echocardiography. Angiographic data provided information about stenosed vessels. PWD was measured before and after CABG. The incidence of post-CABG AF was determined by rhythm monitoring.
RESULTS
There were no significant differences in age, sex, stenosed vessels, maximum P-wave duration, the prevalence of hypertension, smoking, mitral regurgitation, and regional wall motion abnormality between post-CABG AF and non-AF groups (P > 0.05). The mean prevalence of diabetes mellitus in post-CABG AF group was more than non-AF group (P = 0.036). The mean ejection fraction in post-CABG AF group was lower than non-AF group (P < 0.005). The mean PWD in AF group vs. non-AF group before CABG was 47.5 vs. 23.7 ms. The mean values of post-surgical PWD in AF and non-AF groups were 48.10 and 24.4 ms, respectively. Before CABG, the mean ejection fraction value and minimum P-wave duration in AF group were lower than non-AF group (P < 0.005). A reverse relation was present between minimum P wave duration and PWD (P < 0.001). There was a negative association between high ejection fraction values and decreased PWD (P = 0.002).
CONCLUSION
Our data suggested minimum P wave duration, PWD, and low ejection fraction are as good predictors of AF in patients undergoing isolated CABG. The absence of differences in age, sex, smoking, hypertension, mitral regurgitation, and regional wall motion abnormality in our study was in contrast with other reports. On the other hand, increased rate of post-CABG AF in our diabetic patients with lower ejection fraction supports other studies. Overall, minimum P wave duration, PWD, and low ejection fraction can be used for patient risk stratification of AF after CABG.
PMCID: PMC3463989  PMID: 23056104
Atrial Fibrillation; Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting; P-Wave Dispersion; Predictor
25.  The Relationship between Weight and CVD Risk Factors in a Sample Population from Central Iran (Based on IHHP) 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;8(2):82-89 .
BACKGROUND
Atherosclerosis is one of the leading causes of mortality all around the world. Obesity is an independent risk factor for atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases (CVD). In this respect, we decided to examine the effect of the subgroups of weight on cardiovascular risk factors.
METHODS
This cross-sectional study was done in 2006 using the data obtained by the Iranian Healthy Heart Program (IHHP) and based on classification of obesity by the World Health Organization (WHO). In this study, the samples were tested based on the Framingham risk score, Metabolic Measuring Score (MMS) and classification of obesity. Chi-square and ANOVA were used for statistical analysis.
RESULTS
12514 people with a mean age of 38 participated in this study. 6.8% of women and 14% of men had university degrees (higher than diploma). Obesity was seen in women more than men: 56.4% of women and 40% of men had a Body Mass Index of (BMI) ≥ 25 Kg/m2. 13% of the subjects had FBS > 110 and13.9% of them were using hypertensive drugs. In this study, we found that all risk factors, except HDL cholesterol in men, increased with an increase in weight. This finding is also confirmed by the Framingham flowfigure for men and women.
CONCLUSION
One of every two Americans, of any age and sex, has a Body Mass Index of (BMI) ≥ 25 Kg/m2. Obesity associated CVD and other serious diseases. Many studies have been done in different countries to find the relationship between obesity and CVD risk factors. For example, in the U.S.A and Canada they found that emteropiotic parameters, blood presser and lipids increased by age(of both sexes). Moreover, another study done in China, which is a country in Asia like Iran, shows that BMI has an indirect effect on HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglyceride. This data is consistent with the results of the current study. However, In China they found that this relationship in men is stronger than women, but our study reveals the opposite.
PMCID: PMC3463990  PMID: 23056109
Body Mass Index (BMI); Overweight; Cardiovascular Risk Factors; Framingham Risk Score; Metabolic Syndrome

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