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Open access

Charlotte Höybye, Laia Faseh, Christos Himonakos, Tomasz Pielak, and Jesper Eugen-Olsen

Growth hormone deficiency (GHD) syndrome is associated with adverse levels of several risk factors for cardiovascular diseases (CVD), including metabolic inflammation. However, the impact of GHD and GH treatment on low-grade inflammation is unknown. The aim of the study was to establish the level of the low-grade inflammation biomarker soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) in adults with GHD and the response to long-term GH treatment. Measurements of suPAR and CRP were performed in bio-bank serum samples from 72 adults, 34 males and 38 females, with GHD before and during at least 5 years of GH treatment. Mean age was 52.5 ± 15.5 years, BMI 27.3 ± 5 kg/m2. Clinical evaluations and blood sampling were performed at routine visits. Data on demography, anthropometry, lab results and clinical events were retrieved from post-marketing surveillance study databases and medical records. suPAR and high-sensitive (hs) CRP were analysed using ELISA and immunochemistry, respectively. At baseline blood pressure, lipid profile and fasting glucose were within the normal reference range. Baseline geometric mean and 95% CI of suPAR was 2.9 (2.7–3.3) ng/mL and of CRP 2.3 (0.6–4.0) mg/L. Mean follow-up was 8 ± 2 years. The suPAR levels remained stable during follow-up, although individual increases were seen on occurrence or presence of co-morbidities. In contrast, levels of CRP decreased. In conclusion, the decrease in CRP and indirectly the absence of an expected increase in suPAR over time indicates a favourable effect of GH on low-grade inflammation.

Open access

M A Webb, H Mani, S J Robertson, H L Waller, D R Webb, C L Edwardson, D H Bodicoat, T Yates, K Khunti, and M J Davies

Aims

Physical activity has been proposed to be an effective non-pharmacological method of reducing systemic inflammation and therefore may prove particularly efficacious for women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) who have been shown to have high levels of inflammation and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes (T2DM) and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Therefore, the aim of the present study was to assess whether modest changes in daily step count could significantly reduce levels of inflammatory markers in women with PCOS.

Subjects and Methods

Sixty-five women with PCOS were assessed at baseline and again at 6 months. All had been provided with an accelerometer and encouraged to increase activity levels. Multivariate linear regression analyses (adjusted for age, ethnicity, baseline step count, change in BMI and change in accelerometer wear-time) were used to assess changes in daily step count against clinical and research biomarkers of inflammation, CVD and T2DM.

Results

Mean step count/day at baseline was 6337 (±270). An increase in step count (by 1000 steps) was associated with a 13% reduction in IL6 (β: −0.81 ng/L; 95% CI, −1.37, −0.25, P = 0.005) and a 13% reduction in CRP (β: −0.68 mg/L; 95% CI, −1.30, −0.06, P = 0.033). Additionally, there was a modest decrease in BMI (β: 0.20 kg/m2; 95% CI, −0.38, −0.01, P = 0.038). Clinical markers of T2DM and CVD were not affected by increased step count.

Conclusions

Modest increases in step count/day can reduce levels of inflammatory markers in women with PCOS, which may reduce the future risk of T2DM and CVD.

Open access

Yen Kheng Tan, Yu Heng Kwan, David Choon Liang Teo, Marieke Velema, Jaap Deinum, Pei Ting Tan, Meifen Zhang, Joan Joo Ching Khoo, Wann Jia Loh, Linsey Gani, Thomas F J King, Eberta Jun Hui Tan, Shui Boon Soh, Vanessa Shu Chuan Au, Tunn Lin Tay, Lily Mae Quevedo Dacay, Keng Sin Ng, Kang Min Wong, Andrew Siang Yih Wong, Foo Cheong Ng, Tar Choon Aw, Yvonne Hui Bin Chan, Khim Leng Tong, Sheldon Shao Guang Lee, Siang Chew Chai, and Troy Hai Kiat Puar

Background

In addition to increased cardiovascular risk, patients with primary aldosteronism (PA) also suffer from impaired health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and psychological symptoms. We assessed for changes in HRQoL and depressive symptoms in a cohort of Asian patients with PA, after surgical and medical therapy.

Methods

Thirty-four patients with PA were prospectively recruited and completed questionnaires from 2017 to 2020. HRQoL was assessed using RAND-36 and EQ-5D-3L, and depressive symptoms were assessed using Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II) at baseline, 6 months, and 1 year post-treatment.

Results

At 1 year post-treatment, significant improvement was observed in both physical and mental summative scores of RAND-36, +3.65, P = 0.023, and +3.41, P = 0.033, respectively, as well as four subscale domains (physical functioning, bodily pain, role emotional, and mental health). Significant improvement was also seen in EQ-5D dimension of anxiety/depression at 1 year post-treatment. Patients treated with surgery (n = 21) had significant improvement in EQ-5D index score post-treatment and better EQ-5D outcomes compared to the medical group (n = 13) at 1 year post-treatment. 37.9, 41.6 and 58.6% of patients had symptoms in the cognitive, affective and somatic domains of BDI-II, respectively. There was a significant improvement in the affective domain of BDI-II at 1 year post-treatment.

Conclusion

Both surgical and medical therapy improve HRQoL and psychological symptoms in patients with PA, with surgery providing better outcomes. This highlights the importance of early diagnosis, accurate subtyping and appropriate treatment of PA.

Open access

Xiuzhen Zhang, Dan Xu, Ping Xu, Shufen Yang, Qingmei Zhang, Yan Wu, and Fengyi Yuan

Introduction

Metformin has been demonstrated to enhance cardioprotective benefits in type 1 diabetes (T1DM). Although glycemic variability (GV) is associated with increased risk of CVD in diabetes, there is a scarcity of research evaluating the effect of metformin on GV in T1DM.

Objectives

In the present study, the effects of adjuvant metformin therapy on GV and metabolic control in T1DM were explored.

Patients and methods

A total of 65 adults with T1DM were enrolled and subjected to physical examination, fasting laboratory tests, and continuous glucose monitoring, and subsequently randomized 1:1 to 3 months of 1000–2000 mg metformin daily add-on insulin (MET group, n = 34) or insulin (non-MET group, n = 31). After, baseline measurements were repeated.

Results

The mean amplitude of glycemic excursions was substantially reduced in MET group, compared with non-MET group (–1.58 (–3.35, 0.31) mmol/L vs 1.36 (–1.12, 2.24) mmol/L, P = 0.004). In parallel, the largest amplitude of glycemic excursions (–2.83 (–5.47, –0.06) mmol/L vs 0.45 (–1.29, 4.48) mmol/L, P = 0.004), the s.d. of blood glucose (–0.85 (–1.51, 0.01) mmol/L vs –0.14 (–0.68, 1.21) mmol/L, P = 0.015), and the coefficient of variation (–6.66 (–15.00, 1.50)% vs –1.60 (–6.28, 11.71)%, P = 0.012) all demonstrated improvement in the MET group, compared with the non-MET group. Significant reduction in insulin dose, BMI, and body weight was observed in patients in MET, not those in non-MET group.

Conclusion

Additional metformin therapy improved GV in adults with T1DM, as well as improving body composition and reducing insulin requirement. Hence, metformin as an adjunctive therapy has potential prospects in reducing the CVD risk in patients with T1DM in the long term.

Open access

K Amrein, A Papinutti, E Mathew, G Vila, and D Parekh

The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in intensive care units ranges typically between 40 and 70%. There are many reasons for being or becoming deficient in the ICU. Hepatic, parathyroid and renal dysfunction additionally increases the risk for developing vitamin D deficiency. Moreover, therapeutic interventions like fluid resuscitation, dialysis, surgery, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, cardiopulmonary bypass and plasma exchange may significantly reduce vitamin D levels. Many observational studies have consistently shown an association between low vitamin D levels and poor clinical outcomes in critically ill adults and children, including excess mortality and morbidity such as acute kidney injury, acute respiratory failure, duration of mechanical ventilation and sepsis. It is biologically plausible that vitamin D deficiency is an important and modifiable contributor to poor prognosis during and after critical illness. Although vitamin D supplementation is inexpensive, simple and has an excellent safety profile, testing for and treating vitamin D deficiency is currently not routinely performed. Overall, less than 800 patients have been included in RCTs worldwide, but the available data suggest that high-dose vitamin D supplementation could be beneficial. Two large RCTs in Europe and the United States, together aiming to recruit >5000 patients, have started in 2017, and will greatly improve our knowledge in this field. This review aims to summarize current knowledge in this interdisciplinary topic and give an outlook on its highly dynamic future.

Open access

Katica Bajuk Studen and Marija Pfeifer

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common disorder in women of reproductive age. Besides hyperandrogenism, oligomenorrhea and fertility issues, it is associated with a high prevalence of metabolic disorders and cardiovascular risk factors. Several genetic polymorphisms have been identified for possible associations with cardiometabolic derangements in PCOS. Different PCOS phenotypes differ significantly in their cardiometabolic risk, which worsens with severity of androgen excess. Due to methodological difficulties, longer time-scale data about cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in PCOS and about possible beneficial effects of different treatment interventions is missing leaving many issues regarding cardiovascular risk unresolved.

Open access

Marc Blondon, Emmanuel Biver, Olivia Braillard, Marc Righini, Pierre Fontana, and Alessandro Casini

Objective

Vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased risks of arterial and venous cardiovascular events. Hypothetically, supplementation with vitamin D may lead to a less prothrombotic phenotype, as measured by global coagulation assays and fibrin clot structure.

Methods

In this prospective cohort study, we enrolled adult outpatients attending the Primary Care Division of the Geneva University Hospitals with a severe vitamin D deficiency (25-hydroxyvitamin-D3 (25-OHD) <25 nmol/L), excluding obese patients or with a recent acute medical event. We evaluated changes in coagulation times, thrombin generation assay, clot formation and clot lysis time, 25-OHD and parathormone before and 1–3 months after cholecalciferol oral supplementation with one-time 300,000 IU then 800 IU daily. Paired t-tests with a two-sided alpha of 0.05 compared absolute mean differences.

Results

The 48 participants had a mean age of 43.8 ± 13.8 years. After supplementation, 25-OHD levels increased from 17.9 ± 4.6 nmol/L to 62.5 ± 20.7 nmol/L 6.4 ± 3.0 weeks after inclusion. Endogenous thrombin potential and thrombin generation peak values both decreased significantly (−95.4 nM × min (95%CI −127.9 to −62.8), P < 0.001; −15.1 nM (−23.3 to −6.8), P < 0.001). The maximum absorbance by turbidimetry decreased significantly (P = 0.001) after supplementation. There was no change in clot lysis time, coagulation times or plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 and homocysteine levels.

Conclusions

In severe vitamin D deficiency, a high-dose cholecalciferol supplementation was associated with a reduction in thrombin generation and an average decreased number of fibrin protofibrils per fibers and fibrin fiber size measured by turbidimetry. This suggests that severe vitamin D deficiency may be associated with a potentially reversible prothrombotic profile.

Open access

Ann-Kristin Picke, Graeme Campbell, Nicola Napoli, Lorenz C Hofbauer, and Martina Rauner

The prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is increasing worldwide, especially as a result of our aging society, high caloric intake and sedentary lifestyle. Besides the well-known complications of T2DM on the cardiovascular system, the eyes, kidneys and nerves, bone strength is also impaired in diabetic patients. Patients with T2DM have a 40–70% increased risk for fractures, despite having a normal to increased bone mineral density, suggesting that other factors besides bone quantity must account for increased bone fragility. This review summarizes the current knowledge on the complex effects of T2DM on bone including effects on bone cells, bone material properties and other endocrine systems that subsequently affect bone, discusses the effects of T2DM medications on bone and concludes with a model identifying factors that may contribute to poor bone quality and increased bone fragility in T2DM.

Open access

Mírian Romitti, Vitor C Fabris, Patricia K Ziegelmann, Ana Luiza Maia, and Poli Mara Spritzer

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most prevalent endocrine disorder affecting women of reproductive age. PCOS has been associated with distinct metabolic and cardiovascular diseases and with autoimmune conditions, predominantly autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD). AITD has been reported in 18–40% of PCOS women, depending on PCOS diagnostic criteria and ethnicity. The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to summarize the available evidence regarding the likelihood of women with PCOS also having AITD in comparison to a reference group of non-PCOS women. We systematically searched EMBASE and MEDLINE for non-interventional case control, cross-sectional or cohort studies published until August 2017. The Ottawa–Newcastle Scale was used to assess the methodological quality of studies. Statistical meta-analysis was performed with R. Thirteen studies were selected for the present analysis, including 1210 women diagnosed with PCOS and 987 healthy controls. AITD was observed in 26.03 and 9.72% of PCOS and control groups respectively. A significant association was detected between PCOS and chance of AITD (OR = 3.27, 95% CI 2.32–4.63). Notably, after geographical stratification, the higher risk of AITD in PCOS women persisted for Asians (OR = 4.56, 95% CI 2.47–8.43), Europeans (OR = 3.27, 95% CI 2.07–5.15) and South Americans (OR = 1.86, 95% CI 1.05–3.29). AIDT is a frequent condition in PCOS patients and might affect thyroid function. Thus, screening for thyroid function and thyroid-specific autoantibodies should be considered in patients with PCOS even in the absence of overt symptoms. This systematic review and meta-analysis is registered in PROSPERO under number CRD42017079676.

Open access

Trevor Lewis, Eva Zeisig, and Jamie E Gaida

Background

While metabolic health is acknowledged to affect connective tissue structure and function, the mechanisms are unclear. Glucocorticoids are present in almost every cell type throughout the body and control key physiological processes such as energy homeostasis, stress response, inflammatory and immune processes, and cardiovascular function. Glucocorticoid excess manifests as visceral adiposity, dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes. As these metabolic states are also associated with tendinopathy and tendon rupture, it may be that glucocorticoids excess is the link between metabolic health and tendinopathy.

Objective

To synthesise current knowledge linking glucocorticoid exposure to tendon structure and function.

Methods

Narrative literature review.

Results

We provide an overview of endogenous glucocorticoid production, regulation, and signalling. Next we review the impact that oral glucocorticoid has on risk of tendon rupture and the effect that injected glucocorticoid has on resolution of symptoms. Then we highlight the clinical and mechanistic overlap between tendinopathy and glucocorticoid excess in the areas of visceral adiposity, dyslipidemia, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. In these areas, we highlight the role of glucocorticoids and how these hormones might underpin the connection between metabolic health and tendon dysfunction.

Conclusions

There are several plausible pathways through which glucocorticoids might mediate the connection between metabolic health and tendinopathy.