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Impact of meteorological parameters and air pollution on emergency department visits for cardiovascular diseases in the city of Zagreb, Croatia

Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate whether nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone (O3), and certain meteorological conditions had an impact on cardiovascular disease (CVD)-related emergency department (ED) visits in the metropolitan area of Zagreb. This retrospective, ecological study included 20,228 patients with a cardiovascular disease as their primary diagnosis who were examined in the EDs of two Croatian University Hospitals, Sisters of Charity and Holy Spirit, in the study period July 2008-June 2010. The median of daily CVD-related ED visits during the study period was 28 and was the highest during winter. A significant negative correlation was found between CVD-related emergency visits and air temperature measured no more than three days prior to the visit, and the highest negative correlation coefficient was measured two days earlier (R=0.266, p≤0.001). The number of CVD-related emergency visits significantly correlated with the average NO2 concentration on the same day (R=0.191, p<0.001). The results of multiple stepwise regression analysis showed that the number of CVD-related emergency visits depended on air temperature, and NO2 and O3 concentrations. The higher the air temperatures, the lower the number of daily CVD-related emergency visits (p<0.001). An increase in NO2 concentrations (p=0.005) and a decrease in O3 concentrations of two days earlier (p=0.006) led to an increase in CVD-related ED visits. In conclusion, the decrease in O3 concentrations and the increase in NO2, even if below the legally binding thresholds, could be associated with an increase in CVD-related emergency visits and a similar effect was observed with lower temperature measured no more than three days prior to the visit.

Open access
Nuclear Transcription Factor Kappa B (NF-кB) and Molecular Damage Mechanisms in Acute Cardiovascular Diseases. A Review

Abstract

Worldwide, cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) represent one of the main causes of morbidity and mortality, and acute coronary syndromes are responsible for a large number of sudden cardiac deaths. One of the main challenges that still exist in this area is represented by the early detection and targeted monitoring of the pathophysiology involved in CVDs. During the last couple of years, researchers have highlighted the importance of molecular and epigenetic mechanisms involved in the initiation and augmentation of CVDs, culminating in their most severe form represented by acute myocardial infarction. One of the most studied molecular factors involved in this type of pathology is represented by nuclear transcription factor kappa B (NF-κB), as well as the involvement of microRNAs (miRNAs). It has been suggested that miRNAs can also be involved in the complex process of atheromatous plaque vulnerabilization that leads to an acute cardiac event. In this review paper, we describe the most important molecular mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of CVDs and atheromatous plaque progression and vulnerabilization, which include molecular mechanisms dependent on NF-κB. For this paper, we used international databases (PubMed and Scopus). The keywords used for the search were “miRNAs biomarkers”, “miRNAs in cardiovascular disease”, “NF-κB in cardiovascular disease”, “molecular mechanism in cardiovascular disease”, and “myocardial NF-κB mechanisms”. Numerous molecular reactions that have NF-κB as a trigger are involved in the pathogenesis of CVDs. Moreover, miRNAs play an important role in initiating and aggravating certain segments of CVDs. Therefore, miRNAs can be used as biomarkers for early evaluation of CVDs. Furthermore, in the future, miRNAs could be used as a targeted molecular therapy in order to block certain mechanisms responsible for inducing CVDs and leading to acute cardiovascular events.

Open access
Glycemic index and glycemic load in preventive cardiology – the state of knowledge, selected controversies

Abstract

The current epidemiological situation in Poland is characterized by prevalence of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) as the main cause of mortality. In the paper the current state of knowledge on the importance of glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL) in CVD prevention is presented, taking into consideration the latest recommendations on CVD prevention. In a nutrition strategy based on consumption of low GI/GL foods, the target of the intervention is the profile of dietary carbohydrates which is treated as a modulator of glycemic response. In the light of the current state of research, there is no reason to treat GI/GL values as markers of pro-health qualities of the dietary plan recommended in CVD prevention to individuals with normal glucose homeostasis. However, the preventive potential of diets characterized by low GI/GL deserves a more extensive application in patients with glucose homeostasis disturbances, including those with prediabetes and insulin resistance syndrome. Taking into account the relations between abnormal carbohydrate metabolism and a risk of developing diabetes, followed by CVD, the benefits of low-glycemic diets in individuals with impaired glucose homeostasis can indirectly result in lowering the risk of CVD. It is reasonable to conduct further clinical studies on the relevance of low GI/GL diets in preventive cardiology.

Open access
Assessment of Cardiovascular Risk in Hospitalized Patients with Hypertension Aged 40 and Over

Summary

The aim of the cross-sectional study was to estimate the absolute 10-year risk for fatal cardiovascular disease (CVD) in patients with hypertension by Systematic Coronary Risk Estimation (SCORE). The study was carried out in 2016 as part of Project No 4/2016. Ninety-one patients aged 40-89 years were included. The mean age of the sample was 66.0±11.0, and 44.0% were males. Information of the patients’ risk profile included about age, gender, blood pressure, smoking and total cholesterol. The patients with hypertension were stratified according to a 10-year absolute risk of CVD. Data were processed by Statistical Package for Social Science versions 19.0 (SPSS.v.19.0). Over two-thirds of the patients had 1 stage hypertension (31.9%) and 2 stage hypertension (37.4%). Median systolic blood pressure on admission to the clinics was 160 mg Hg, and median diastolic blood pressure was 90 mm Hg. Total serum cholesterol values exceeded 4.9 mmol/L in 64.0% of the patients. Smokers accounted for about one-fourth of the patients, most of them having smoked for 40 years. The mean number of risk factors for CVD was 3.0. Over 65% of the patients were found to be at a very high 10-year absolute risk of fatal CVD by SCORE. Cardiovascular risk assessment has important role in prevention of morbidity, premature death and disability of CVD.

Open access
Body composition of Slovak midlife women with cardiovascular complications

Abstract

The aim of this study was to analyse differences in body composition of women with and without cardiovascular complications. Bioelectrical parameters were measured with bioimpedance monofrequency analyser (BIA 101) and tissue electric properties were analysed by bioelectric impedance vector analysis (BIVA). The clinical sample (with CVD) consisted of 254 women ranging in age between 39 and 65 years. The sample of women without CVD consisted of 318 women in the same age range and was created from database of our previous studies. Statistical analysis adjusted for age showed significant differences in body composition characteristics of the studied samples. The results of vector analysis showed significantly different tissue electric properties of women in studied groups, what was confirmed by the Hotelling T2- test (p=0.0000). More women with CVD attained risky mean values of obesity indices of BMI and WHR than their “healthy” counterparts. Among women with CVD 80.2% had higher value of the BMI index than optimal one (>24.9 kg/m2) and 74.4% of women had higher value of the WHR index than optimal (>0.80). From the BIA parameters strong correlation coefficient was found between BMI and FM in both groups (r=0.962 for women with CVD; r=0.968 for relatively healthy women). Our data confirmed that cardiovascular disease complications are strongly linked in body composition changes. The cross-sectional nature of our study makes it difficult to draw conclusions regarding causal pathways, though variables of obesity are in line with unhealthy conditions.

Open access
Lipophilic chemical exposure as a cause of cardiovascular disease

Abstract

Environmental chemical exposure has been linked to numerous diseases in humans. These diseases include cancers; neurological and neurodegenerative diseases; metabolic disorders including type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and obesity; reproductive and developmental disorders; and endocrine disorders. Many studies have associated the link between exposures to environmental chemicals and cardiovascular disease (CVD). These chemicals include persistent organic pollutants (POPs); the plastic exudates bisphenol A and phthalates; low molecular weight hydrocarbons (LMWHCs); and poly nuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Here it is reported that though the chemicals reported on differ widely in chemical properties and known points of attack in humans, a common link exists between them. All are lipophilic species that are found in serum. Environmentally induced CVD is related to total lipophilic chemical load in the blood. Lipophiles serve to promote the absorption of otherwise not absorbed toxic hydrophilic species that promote CVD.

Open access
Prevalence and impact of diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases in chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases: A hospital-based cross-section study

Abstract

Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is associated with important chronic comorbid diseases, including diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. As very limited data is available in India, the aim of the present study was to determine the relationship between COPD and the common, chronic comorbid conditions of diabetes mellitus (DM), hypertension (HTN), and cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and also to determine how these affect the clinical course of COPD.

Methods: All the COPD cohorts diagnosed as per Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease-2013 (GOLD-2013) criteria were screened for DM, HTN, and CVD as per stipulated national and WHO guidelines.

Results: The prevalence of DM, HTN, and CVD in the 2432 COPD subjects was 25.94%, 37.25%, and 13.93%, respectively. In multivariate analyses, very severe COPD was associated with a higher risk of DM (odds ratio [OR] 1.6, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.2–2), HTN (OR 1.6, 95% CI 1.4–1.9), and CVD (OR 2.5, 95% CI 1.9–3.0).

Conclusion: A significant relationship was found between COPD and the presence of comorbid DM, HTN, and CVD. It was also found that subjects with advanced COPD were more likely to have at least two of these conditions and hugely affect the outcome of the disease. These findings suggest that the presence of COPD could provide a rationale to look for other comorbid disease and, conversely, that the presence of DM, HTN, or CVD might be the basis for the assessment of patients for airflow limitation and COPD as the tobacco smoking and advancing age were common risk factors.

Open access
Fish Lipids as a Valuable Source of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids

Abstract

This article presents information about omega-3 (h-3) and omega-6 (n-6) polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) contents in a broad range of commercially important fish species available on Bulgarian fish markets. The aim is to raise consumers’ awareness and encourage them to eat fish. Fish species from the Black Sea coast have relatively high proportion of n-3 PUFAs, of which more than 80% is by EPf (eicosapentaenoic acid, C 20:5 n-3) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid, C 22:6 n-3). Extensive epidemiological studies show that fish consumption is inversely associated with the incidence of cardiovascular diseases (CVD), stroke and the functioning of the brain. About 0.5 g of omega-3 (EPA+DHA) a day or two savings of oily fish a week are required to reduce the risk of death from CVD. PUFAs needs should be satisfied not only with food additives but with fish lipids containing food.

Open access
Predictive Value of Updating te Score Cardiovascular Risk Assessment Engine with Novel Biomarkers in a Type 2 Diabetes Population

Abstract

Background and Aims: The aim of the study was to estimate the predictive value of some new biomarkers in the assessment of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk in a type 2 diabetes (T2DM) population and to perform a correlation between the SCORE risk results and the risk profile estimated by the use of these biomarkers. Finally, we aimed to establish if the CVD risk assessment can be improved by adding the biomarkers into the SCORE risk equation. Material and Methods: In the study population the CVD risk assessment was performed using the SCORE High Risk Chart. The new individual biomarkers were: estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), urinary albumin excretion (UAE) rate, albumin/creatinine ratio (UACR), cystatin C, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) and apolipoprotein B (apo-B). Results: The SCORE risk prediction model results were significantly altered by adding in the equation apo-B and HDLc values. An increase of one standard deviation of the apo-B values caused the increase of the SCORE results with 0.19 standard deviations while an increase of one standard deviation of the HDLc values decreased the SCORE results with 0.26 standard deviations. Conclusions: Advanced lipid testing, including the measurement of apo-B, provides a more comprehensive cardiac risk assessment and should be used in the development of specifically designed risk-scores for T2DM individuals.

Open access
Statins as Pleiotropic Modifiers of Vascular Oxidative Stress and Inflammation

Abstract

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the industrialized world and in the future is expected to be the number one killer worldwide. The main cause underlying CVD is atherosclerosis. A key event in atherosclerosis initiation and progression is oxidative stress through the production of reactive oxygen species as well as endothelial dysfunction. Several pro- inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines and proteins are involved in this process, complemented by activation of adhesion molecules that promote leukocyte rolling, tethering and infiltration into the sub-endothelial space. Statins represent the agent of choice since numerous clinical trials have verified that their pharmacological action extends beyond lipid lowering. Statins demonstrate direct anti-oxidant effects by scavenging free radicals and stimulating anti-oxidant enzymes while acting as regulators for cytokine, protein and adhesion molecule expression, all of which are involved in the atherosclerotic process. Statin use is considered one of the most efficient currently used interventions in managing CVD with the likely hood of remaining so in the near future.

Open access