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Open access

Stine A Holmboe, Ravi Jasuja, Brian Lawney, Lærke Priskorn, Niels Joergensen, Allan Linneberg, Tina Kold Jensen, Niels Erik Skakkebæk, Anders Juul, and Anna-Maria Andersson

Objective

Calculating the free testosterone level has gained increasing interest and different indirect algorithms have been suggested. The objective was to compare free androgen index (FAI), free testosterone estimated using the linear binding model (Vermeulen: cFTV) and the binding framework accounting for allosterically coupled SHBG monomers (Zakharov: cFTZ) in relation to cardiometabolic conditions.

Design

A prospective cohort study including 5350 men, aged 30–70 years, participating in population-based surveys (MONICA I–III and Inter99) from 1982 to 2001 and followed until December 2012 with baseline and follow-up information on cardiometabolic parameters and vital status.

Results

Using age-standardized hormone levels, FAI was higher among men with baseline cardiometabolic conditions, whereas cFTV and cFTZ levels were lower compared to men without these conditions as also seen for total testosterone. Men in highest quartiles of cFTV or cFTZ had lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes (cFTV: HR = 0.74 (0.49–1.10), cFTZ: HR = 0.59 (0.39–0.91)) than men in lowest quartile. In contrast, men with highest levels of FAI had a 74% (1.17–2.59) increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to men in lowest quartile.

Conclusion

The association of estimated free testosterone and the studied outcomes differ depending on algorithm used. cFTV and cFTZ showed similar associations to baseline and long-term cardiometabolic parameters. In contrast, an empiric ratio, FAI, showed opposite associations to several of the examined parameters and may reflect limited clinical utility.

Open access

Chunliang Yang, Junyi Li, Fei Sun, Haifeng Zhou, Jia Yang, and Chao Yang

Hyperglycemia is the consequence of blood glucose dysregulation and a driving force of diabetic complications including retinopathy, nephropathy and cardiovascular diseases. The serum and glucocorticoid inducible kinase-1 (SGK1) has been suggested in the modulation of various pathophysiological activities. However, the role of SGK1 in blood glucose homeostasis remains less appreciated. In this review, we intend to summarize the function of SGK1 in glucose level regulation and to examine the evidence supporting the therapeutic potential of SGK1 inhibitors in hyperglycemia. Ample evidence points to the controversial roles of SGK1 in pancreatic insulin secretion and peripheral insulin sensitivity, which reflects the complex interplay between SGK1 activation and blood glucose fluctuation. Furthermore, SGK1 is engaged in glucose absorption and excretion in intestine and kidney and participates in the progression of hyperglycemia-induced secondary organ damage. As a net effect, blockage of SGK1 activation via either pharmacological inhibition or genetic manipulation seems to be helpful in glucose control at varying diabetic stages.

Open access

Jian Ding, Yan Kang, Yuqin Fan, and Qi Chen

Objective

Preeclampsia (PE) is a complication affecting pregnant women worldwide, which usually manifests as severe maternal hypertension. Resveratrol (RESV), a naturally existing polyphenol, is known to exhibit beneficial effects in cardiovascular disease including hypertension. We evaluated the outcome of treatment combining oral nifedipine (NIFE) and RESV against PE.

Design and methods

Using a randomized group assignment, 400 PE patients were enrolled and received oral treatments of either NIFE + RESV or NIFE + placebo. Primary endpoints were defined as time to control blood pressure and time before a new hypertensive crisis. Secondary endpoints were defined as the number of doses needed to control blood pressure, maternal and neonatal adverse effects.

Results

Compared with the NIFE + placebo group, the time needed to control blood pressure was significantly reduced in NIFE + RESV group, while time before a new hypertensive crisis was greatly delayed in NIFE + RESV group. The number of treatment doses needed to control blood pressure was also categorically lower in NIFE + RESV group. No differences in maternal or neonatal adverse effects were observed between the two treatment groups.

Conclusion

Our data support the potential of RESV as a safe and effective adjuvant of oral NIFE to attenuate hypertensive symptoms among PE patients.

Open access

Daisuke Watanabe, Satoshi Morimoto, Noriko Morishima, and Atsuhiro Ichihara

Objective

Primary aldosteronism (PA) is divided into two major subtypes, aldosterone-producing adenoma (APA) and bilateral idiopathic hyperplasia (IHA) and is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular events. However, the nature of vascular function in PA patients remains to be determined. The aim of this study was to determine the vascular function and investigate the implications of vascular function assessments in the patients.

Methods

Flow-mediated dilation (FMD), as an index of endothelial function, and cardio-ankle vascular index (CAVI), as an index of arterial stiffness, were retrospectively compared between 42 patients with APA, 37 patients with IHA, and 42 patients with essential hypertension (EH). These values were also compared with background factors, KCNJ5 mutation and clinical outcome in terms of blood pressure reduction after adrenalectomy in the APA group.

Results

FMD was significantly lower in the APA group (4.8 ± 2.1%) and IHA group (4.1 ± 1.9%) than in the EH group (5.7 ± 2.1%). CAVI did not differ significantly among groups. Although no significant correlations were seen between FMD and background factors in the IHA group, FMD correlated negatively with BMI and plasma aldosterone concentration in the APA group (rs = −0.313, rs = −0.342, respectively). KCNJ5 mutational status was not associated with FMD value. High FMD was associated with blood pressure normalization after adrenalectomy in the APA group.

Conclusions

Patients with PA displayed impaired endothelial function. Complete clinical success after adrenalectomy was associated with preserved endothelial function. This study provides a better understanding of FMD assessment in patients with PA.

Open access

Enrique Soto-Pedre, Paul J Newey, John S Bevan, and Graham P Leese

Purpose

High serum prolactin concentrations have been associated with adverse health outcomes in some but not all studies. This study aimed to examine the morbidity and all-cause mortality associated with hyperprolactinaemia.

Methods

A population-based matched cohort study in Tayside (Scotland, UK) from 1988 to 2014 was performed. Record-linkage technology was used to identify patients with hyperprolactinaemia that were compared to an age–sex-matched cohort of patients free of hyperprolactinaemia. The number of deaths and incident admissions with diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, cancer, breast cancer, bone fractures and infectious conditions were compared by the survival analysis.

Results

Patients with hyperprolactinaemia related to pituitary tumours had no increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, bone fractures, all-cause cancer or breast cancer. Whilst no increased mortality was observed in patients with pituitary microadenomas (HR = 1.65, 95% CI: 0.79–3.44), other subgroups including those with pituitary macroadenomas and drug-induced and idiopathic hyperprolactinaemia demonstrated an increased risk of death. Individuals with drug-induced hyperprolactinaemia also demonstrated increased risks of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, infectious disease and bone fracture. However, these increased risks were not associated with the degree of serum prolactin elevation (P trend > 0.3). No increased risk of cancer was observed in any subgroup.

Conclusions

No excess morbidity was observed in patients with raised prolactin due to pituitary tumours. Although the increased morbidity and mortality associated with defined patient subgroups are unlikely to be directly related to the elevation in serum prolactin, hyperprolactinaemia might act as a biomarker for the presence of some increased disease risk in these patients.

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

David J F Smith, Hemanth Prabhudev, Sirazum Choudhury, and Karim Meeran

Introduction

Patients who need glucocorticoid replacement in both primary and secondary adrenal insufficiency (AI) have the choice of either once-daily prednisolone or thrice-daily hydrocortisone. A recent European study found no difference between prednisolone and hydrocortisone users in several markers including glucose, weight, body mass index, systolic and diastolic blood pressure and waist circumference, although an increase in cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) was suggested in a subgroup of these patients. The aim of this study was to expand the evidence base for the use of these agents as replacement therapy.

Methods

Data from 82 patients on hydrocortisone and 64 patients on prednisolone for AI at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust were analysed.

Results

There was no significant difference in total cholesterol, LDL levels or any other risk factors between hydrocortisone and prednisolone patients. Prednisolone was subjectively significantly more convenient than hydrocortisone (P = 0.048).

Conclusions

Prednisolone once daily is more convenient than hydrocortisone thrice daily, and there is no difference in the markers of cardiovascular risk measured. Because prednisolone mimics the circadian rhythm better than other glucocorticoids, it should be considered as an alternative to hydrocortisone for AI.

Open access

Sirazum Choudhury, Tricia Tan, Katharine Lazarus, and Karim Meeran

The introduction of adrenocortical extract in 1930 improved the life expectancy of hyhpoadrenal patients, with further increases seen after the introduction of cortisone acetate from 1948. Most patients are now treated with synthetic hydrocortisone, and incremental advances have been made with optimisation of daily dosing and the introduction of multidose regimens. There remains a significant mortality gap between individuals with treated hypoadrenalism and the general population. It is unclear whether this gap is a result of glucocorticoid over-replacement, under-replacement or loss of the circadian and ultradian rhythm of cortisol secretion, with the risk of detrimental excess glucocorticoid exposure at later times in the day. The way forwards will involve replacement of the diurnal cortisol rhythm with better glucocorticoid replacement regimens. The steroid profile produced by both prednisolone and dual-release hydrocortisone (Plenadren), provide a smoother glucocorticoid profile of cortisol than standard oral multidose regimens of hydrocortisone and cortisone acetate. The individualisation of prednisolone doses and lower bioavailability of Plenadren offer reductions in total steroid exposure. Although there is emerging evidence of both treatments offering better cardiometabolic outcomes than standard glucocorticoid replacement regimens, there is a paucity of evidence involving very low dose prednisolone (2–4 mg daily) compared to the larger doses (~7.5 mg) historically used. Data from upcoming clinical studies on prednisolone will therefore be of key importance in informing future practice.

Open access

Christine Rode Andreasen, Andreas Andersen, Filip Krag Knop, and Tina Vilsbøll

In recent years, glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RAs) have become central in the treatment of type 2 diabetes (T2D). In addition to their glucose-lowering properties with low risk of hypoglycaemia, GLP-1RAs reduce body weight and show promising results in reducing cardiovascular risk and renal complications in high-risk individuals with T2D. These findings have changed guidelines on T2D management over the last years, and GLP-1RAs are now widely used in overweight patients with T2D as well as in patients with T2D and cardiovascular disease regardless of glycaemic control. The currently available GLP-1RAs have different pharmacokinetic profiles and differ in their ability to improve glycaemia, reduce body weight and in their cardio- and renal protective potentials. Understanding how these agents work, including insights into their pleiotropic effects on T2D pathophysiology, may improve their clinical utilisation and be useful for exploring other indications such as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and neurodegenerative disorders. In this review, we provide an overview of approved GLP-1RAs, their clinical effects and mode of action, and we offer insights into the potential of GLP-1RAs for other indications than T2D. Finally, we will discuss the emerging data and therapeutic potential of using GLP-1RAs in combinations with other receptor agonists.

Open access

Mark R Postma, Pia Burman, and André P van Beek

Introduction:

Adult-onset growth hormone deficiency (AGHD) is usually the last deficiency to be substituted in hypopituitarism. In children with documented GH deficiency, treatment without delay is crucial for achieving optimal effects on growth and development. In adults, it is not known whether a delay in treatment initiation influences biochemical response and the favourable physiological effects resulting from GH replacement therapy (GHRT).

Methods:

A total of 1085 GH-deficient adults from KIMS (Pfizer International Metabolic Database) were included, adequately replaced with all pituitary hormones except for GH at baseline. Patients were stratified by sex and age (20–50 years and ≥50 years) and subsequently divided into two groups below and above the median duration of unsubstituted AGHD for that subgroup. The median time of unsubstituted GHD for the total cohort was 2.53 years (P5 = 0.35, P95 = 24.42).

Results:

Beneficial effects of 4 years of GHRT were observed on lipids and quality of life in all subgroups. A decrease in waist circumference was observed only in older (>50 years) patients. There was no difference in IGF-I SDS and in GH dose required to normalize IGF-I in patients with a duration of unsubstituted AGHD above or below the median. No relevant differences were found between the groups for anthropometric measures, cardiovascular risk factors and quality of life scores.

Conclusion:

In contrast to GHD in children and adolescents, no difference could be established in treatment response between early or late initiation of GHRT in AGHD in terms of required GH dose, IGF-I, metabolic health and quality of life.