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Open access

Po-Chung Cheng and Chia-Hung Kao

Objective

Coronary heart disease (CHD) is a prevalent complication of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). The proatherogenic low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is an established risk factor of cardiovascular disease, and evidence also suggests that postprandial plasma glucose (PPG) levels closely delineate CHD mortality in diabetes. The investigators hypothesized that the addition of telehealth consultation to standard antidiabetic therapy may help to reduce postprandial glucose variability and plasma LDL cholesterol levels in patients with T2DM.

Methods

This cross-sectional study enrolled patients with newly diagnosed T2DM who received standard antidiabetic therapy with or without additional telehealth consultation. Participants received blood tests for plasma lipid profile and glucose levels at the diagnosis of diabetes and after 1 month of therapeutic intervention. Laboratory results were compared between treatment groups to determine the efficacy of complementary telehealth consultation.

Results

In this study, 375 participants were enrolled. The standard treatment group had considerably greater levels of plasma LDL cholesterol than recipients of telehealth consultation (110 mg/dL vs 93.1 mg/dL, P < 0.001). Moreover, patients receiving standard treatment had greater levels of fasting plasma glucose (104 mg/dL vs 98.5 mg/dL, P = 0.027), 2-h PPG (169 mg/dL vs 111 mg/dL, P < 0.001), and postprandial glucose variability (65.4 mg/dL vs 12.8 mg/dL, P < 0.001) than participants under telehealth consultation.

Conclusions

Telemedicine in addition to standard antidiabetic therapy helped to reduce plasma LDL cholesterol levels and postprandial glucose variability in patients with newly diagnosed T2DM. Therefore, telehealth consultation is a suitable complement to pharmacologic therapy for diabetic patients to assist in the management of proatherogenic dyslipidemia and postprandial glucose variability.

Open access

Charlotte Janus, Dorte Vistisen, Hanan Amadid, Daniel R Witte, Torsten Lauritzen, Søren Brage, Anne-Louise Bjerregaard, Torben Hansen, Jens J Holst, Marit E Jørgensen, Oluf Pedersen, Kristine Færch, and Signe S Torekov

Rationale

The hormone glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) decreases blood glucose and appetite. Greater physical activity (PA) is associated with lower incidence of type 2 diabetes. While acute exercise may increase glucose-induced response of GLP-1, it is unknown how habitual PA affects GLP-1 secretion. We hypothesised that habitual PA associates with greater glucose-induced GLP-1 responses in overweight individuals.

Methods

Cross-sectional analysis of habitual PA levels and GLP-1 concentrations in 1326 individuals (mean (s.d.) age 66 (7) years, BMI 27.1 (4.5) kg/m2) from the ADDITION-PRO cohort. Fasting and oral glucose-stimulated GLP-1 responses were measured using validated radioimmunoassay. PA was measured using 7-day combined accelerometry and heart rate monitoring. From this, energy expenditure (PAEE; kJ/kg/day) and fractions of time spent in activity intensities (h/day) were calculated. Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF; mL O2/kg/min) was calculated using step tests. Age-, BMI- and insulin sensitivity-adjusted associations between PA and GLP-1, stratified by sex, were evaluated by linear regression analysis.

Results

In 703 men, fasting GLP-1 concentrations were 20% lower (95% CI: −33; −3%, P = 0.02) for every hour of moderate-intensity PA performed. Higher CRF and PAEE were associated with 1–2% lower fasting GLP-1 (P = 0.01). For every hour of moderate-intensity PA, the glucose-stimulated GLP-1 response was 16% greater at peak 30 min (1; 33%, P rAUC0-30 = 0.04) and 20% greater at full response (3; 40%, P rAUC0-120 = 0.02). No associations were found in women who performed PA 22 min/day vs 32 min/day for men.

Conclusion

Moderate-intensity PA is associated with lower fasting and greater glucose-induced GLP-1 responses in overweight men, possibly contributing to improved glucose and appetite regulation with increased habitual PA.

Open access

Vito Francic, Martin Keppel, Verena Schwetz, Christian Trummer, Marlene Pandis, Valentin Borzan, Martin R Grübler, Nicolas D Verheyen, Marcus E Kleber, Graciela Delgado, Angela P Moissl, Benjamin Dieplinger, Winfried März, Andreas Tomaschitz, Stefan Pilz, and Barbara Obermayer-Pietsch

Objective

Cardiovascular disease manifestation and several associated surrogate markers, such as vitamin D, have shown substantial seasonal variation. A promising cardiovascular biomarker, soluble ST2 (sST2), has not been investigated in this regard – we therefore determined if systemic levels of sST2 are affected by seasonality and/or vitamin D in order to investigate their clinical interrelation and usability.

Design

sST2 levels were measured in two cohorts involving hypertensive patients at cardiovascular risk, the Styrian Vitamin D Hypertension Trial (study A; RCT design, 8 weeks 2800 IU cholecalciferol daily) and the Ludwigshafen Risk and Cardiovascular Health Study (LURIC; study B; cross-sectional design).

Methods

The effects of a vitamin D intervention on sST2 levels were determined in study A using ANCOVA, while seasonality of sST2 levels was determined in study B using ANOVA.

Results

The concentrations of sST2 remained unchanged by a vitamin D intervention in study A, with a mean treatment effect (95% confidence interval) of 0.1 (−0.6 to 0.8) ng/mL; P = 0.761), despite a rise in 25(OH)D (11.3 (9.2–13.5) ng/mL; P < 0.001) compared to placebo. In study B, seasonal variations were present in 25(OH)D levels in men and women with or without heart failure (P < 0.001 for all subgroups), while sST2 levels remained unaffected by the seasons in all subgroups.

Conclusions

Our study provides the first evidence that systemic sST2 levels are not interrelated with vitamin D levels or influenced by the seasons in subjects at cardiovascular risk.

Open access

M Ahmid, C G Perry, S F Ahmed, and M G Shaikh

Until quite recently, the management of children with growth hormone deficiency (GHD) had focussed on the use of recombinant human GH (rhGH) therapy to normalise final adult height. However, research over the past two decades that has demonstrated deficits in bone health and cardiac function, as well as impaired quality of life in adults with childhood-onset GHD (CO-GHD), has questioned this practice. Some of these studies suggested that there may be short-term benefits of rhGH in certain group of adolescents with GHD during transition, although the impact of GHD and replacement during the transition period has not been adequately investigated and its long-term benefits remain unclear. GH therapy remains expensive and well-designed long-term studies are needed to determine the cost effectiveness and clinical benefit of ongoing rhGH during transition and further into adulthood. In the absence of compelling data to justify widespread continuation of rhGH into adult life, there are several questions related to its use that remain unanswered. This paper reviews the effects of growth hormone deficiency on bone health, cardiovascular function, metabolic profile and quality of life during transition and young adulthood.

Open access

Elin Kahlert, Martina Blaschke, Knut Brockmann, Clemens Freiberg, Onno E Janssen, Nikolaus Stahnke, Domenika Strik, Martin Merkel, Alexander Mann, Klaus-Peter Liesenkötter, and Heide Siggelkow

Objective

Turner syndrome (TS) is characterized by the complete or partial loss of the second sex chromosome and associated with a wide range of clinical manifestations. We aimed to assess the medical care of adult patients with TS in Germany.

Design

Retrospective multicenter observational study.

Methods

Data were collected from medical records of 258 women with TS treated between 2001 and 2017 in five non-university endocrinologic centers in Germany.

Results

Mean age was 29.8 ± 11.6 years, mean height 152 ± 7.7 cm, and mean BMI 26.6 ± 6.3 kg/m2. The karyotype was known in 50% of patients. Information on cholesterol state, liver enzymes, and thyroid status was available in 81–98% of women with TS; autoimmune thyroiditis was diagnosed in 37%. Echocardiography was performed in 42% and cardiac MRI in 8.5%, resulting in a diagnosis of cardiovascular disorder in 28%. Data on growth hormone therapy were available for 40 patients (15%) and data concerning menarche in 157 patients (61%).

Conclusion

In 258 women with TS, retrospective analysis of healthcare data indicated that medical management was focused on endocrine manifestations. Further significant clinical features including cardiovascular disease, renal malformation, liver involvement, autoimmune diseases, hearing loss, and osteoporosis were only marginally if at all considered. Based on this evaluation and in accordance with recent guidelines, we compiled a documentation form facilitating the transition from pediatric to adult care and further medical management of TS patients. The foundation of Turner Centers in March 2019 will improve the treatment of TS women in Germany.

Open access

Diana-Alexandra Ertl, Andreas Gleiss, Katharina Schubert, Caroline Culen, Peer Hauck, Johannes Ott, Alois Gessl, and Gabriele Haeusler

Background

Previous studies have shown that only a minority of patients with Turner syndrome (TS) have adequate medical care after transfer to adult care.

Aim of this study

To assess the status of medical follow-up and quality of life (QoL) in adult women diagnosed with TS and followed up until transfer. To compare the subjective and objective view of the medical care quality and initiate improvements based on patients’ experiences and current recommendations.

Methods

39 adult women with TS out of 64 patients contacted were seen for a clinical and laboratory check, cardiac ultrasound, standardized and structured questionnaires (SF-36v2 and Beck depression inventory).

Results

7/39 of the patients were not being followed medically at all. Only 2/39 consulted all the specialists recommended. Comorbidities were newly diagnosed in 27/39 patients; of these, 11 related to the cardiovascular system. Patients in our cohort scored as high as the mean reference population for SF-36v2 in both mental and physical compartments. Obese participants had lower scores in the physical function section, whereas higher education was related to higher physical QoL scores. Adult height slightly correlated positively with physical health.

Conclusion

Medical follow-up was inadequate in our study cohort of adults with TS. Even though their medical follow-up was insufficient, these women felt adequately treated, leaving them vulnerable for premature illness. Initiatives in health autonomy and a structured transfer process as well as closer collaborations within specialities are urgently needed.

Open access

Leyre Lorente-Poch, Sílvia Rifà-Terricabras, Juan José Sancho, Danilo Torselli-Valladares, Sofia González-Ortiz, and Antonio Sitges-Serra

Objective:

Permanent hypoparathyroidism is an uncommon disease resulting most frequently from neck surgery. It has been associated with visceral calcifications but few studies have specifically this in patients with post-surgical hypoparathyroidism. The aim of the present study was to assess the prevalence of basal ganglia and carotid artery calcifications in patients with long-term post-thyroidectomy hypoparathyroidism compared with a control population.

Design:

Case–control study.

Methods:

A cross-sectional review comparing 29 consecutive patients with permanent postoperative hypoparathyroidism followed-up in a tertiary reference unit for Endocrine Surgery with a contemporary control group of 501 patients who had an emergency brain CT scan. Clinical variables and prevalence of basal ganglia and carotid artery calcifications were recorded.

Results:

From a cohort of 46 patients diagnosed with permanent hypoparathyroidism, 29 were included in the study. The mean duration of disease was 9.2 ± 7 years. Age, diabetes, hypertension, smoking and dyslipidemia were similarly distributed in case and control groups. The prevalence of carotid artery and basal ganglia calcifications was 4 and 20 times more frequent in patients with permanent hypoparathyroidism, respectively. After propensity score matching of the 28 the female patients, 68 controls were matched for age and presence of cardiovascular factors. Cases showed a four-fold prevalence of basal ganglia calcifications, whereas that of carotid calcifications was similar between cases and controls.

Conclusion:

A high prevalence of basal ganglia calcifications was observed in patients with post-surgical permanent hypoparathyroidism. It remains unclear whether carotid artery calcification may also be increased.

Open access

M L M Barreto-Chaves, N Senger, M R Fevereiro, A C Parletta, and A P C Takano

The cardiac growth process (hypertrophy) is a crucial phenomenon conserved across a wide array of species and is critically involved in the maintenance of cardiac homeostasis. This process enables an organism to adapt to changes in systemic demand and occurs due to a plethora of responses, depending on the type of signal or stimuli received. The growth of cardiac muscle cells in response to environmental conditions depends on the type, strength and duration of stimuli, and results in adaptive physiological responses or non-adaptive pathological responses. Thyroid hormones (TH) have a direct effect on the heart and induce a cardiac hypertrophy phenotype, which may evolve to heart failure. In this review, we summarize the literature on TH function in the heart by presenting results from experimental studies. We discuss the mechanistic aspects of TH associated with cardiac myocyte hypertrophy, increased cardiac myocyte contractility and electrical remodeling, as well as the associated signaling pathways. In addition to classical crosstalk with the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), emerging work pointing to the new endocrine interaction between TH and the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) is also explored. Given the inflammatory potential of the angiotensin II peptide, this new interaction may open the door for new therapeutic approaches which target the key mechanisms responsible for TH-induced cardiac hypertrophy.

Open access

Karoline Winckler, Lise Tarnow, Louise Lundby-Christensen, Thomas P Almdal, Niels Wiinberg, Pia Eiken, Trine W Boesgaard, and the CIMT trial group

Despite aggressive treatment of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors individuals with type 2 diabetes (T2D) still have increased risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. The primary aim of this study was to examine the cross-sectional association between total (25-hydroxy vitamin D (25(OH)D)) and risk of CVD in patients with T2D. Secondary objective was to examine the association between 25(OH)D and bone health. A Danish cohort of patients with T2D participating in a randomised clinical trial were analysed. In total 415 patients (68% men, age 60±9 years (mean±s.d.), duration of diabetes 12±6 years), including 294 patients (71%) treated with insulin. Carotid intima–media thickness (IMT) and arterial stiffness (carotid artery distensibility coefficient (DC) and Young's elastic modulus (YEM)) were measured by ultrasound scan as indicators of CVD. Bone health was assessed by bone mineral density and trabecular bone score measured by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. In this cohort, 214 patients (52%) were vitamin D deficient (25(OH)D <50 nmol/l). Carotid IMT was 0.793±0.137 mm, DC was 0.0030±0.001 mmHg, YEM was 2354±1038 mmHg and 13 (3%) of the patients were diagnosed with osteoporosis. A 25(OH)D level was not associated with carotid IMT or arterial stiffness (P>0.3) or bone health (P>0.6) after adjustment for CVD risk factors. In conclusion, 25(OH)D status was not associated with carotid IMT, arterial stiffness or bone health in this cohort of patients with T2D. To explore these associations and the association with other biomarkers further, multicentre studies with large numbers of patients are required.

Open access

Ursula M M Costa, Carla R P Oliveira, Roberto Salvatori, José A S Barreto-Filho, Viviane C Campos, Francielle T Oliveira, Ivina E S Rocha, Joselina L M Oliveira, Wersley A Silva, and Manuel H Aguiar-Oliveira

Abstract

GH and its principal mediator IGF1 have important effects on metabolic and cardiovascular (CV) status. While acquired GH deficiency (GHD) is often associated with increased CV risk, the consequences of congenital GHD are not known. We have described a large group of patients with isolated GHD (IGHD) due to a homozygous mutation (c.57+1G>A) in the GH releasing hormone receptor gene, and shown that adult GH-naïve individuals have no evidence of clinically evident premature atherosclerosis. To test whether subclinical atherosclerosis is anticipated in untreated IGHD, we performed a cross-sectional study of 25 IGHD and 27 adult controls matched for age and gender. A comprehensive clinical and biochemical panel and coronary artery calcium scores were evaluated by multi-detector tomography. Height, weight, IGF1, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance, creatinine and creatininekinase were lower in the IGHD group. Median and interquartile range of calcium scores distribution was similar in the two groups: IGHD 0(0) and control 0(4.9). The vast majority of the calcium scores (20 of 25 IGHD (80%) and 18 of 27 controls (66.6%)) were equal to zero (difference not significant). There was no difference in the calcium scores classification. None of IGHD subjects had minimal calcification, which were present in four controls. Three IGHD and four controls had mild calcification. There were two IGHD individuals with moderate calcification and one control with severe calcification. Our study provides evidence that subjects with congenital isolated lifetime and untreated severe IGHD do not have accelerated subclinical coronary atherosclerosis.