Tuesday January 28, 2020

Researchers Identify Genes Linked to the Risk of Heart Failure

"That understanding of the genetic basis of heart structure and function in the general population improves our knowledge of how heart failure evolves," said study researcher Steffen Petersen

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genes, heart failure
The heart attack brings about activation of certain genes which stay as a permanent memory in genes. Pixabay

Researchers have found the way for earlier identification of people at risk of heart failure and development of new treatments.

The research team applied an artificial intelligence (AI) technique to analyse the heart MRI images of 17,000 healthy UK Biobank volunteers and found that genetic factors accounted for 22-39 per cent of variation in the size and function of the heart”s left ventricle, the organ”s main pumping chamber.

Enlargement and reduced pumping function of the left ventricle can lead to heart failure, the study said.

“It is exciting that the state-of-the-art AI techniques now allow rapid and accurate measurement of the tens of thousands of heart MRI images required for genetic studies,” said study lead researcher Nay Aung from Queen Mary University of London.

“The findings open up the possibility of earlier identification of those at risk of heart failure and of new targeted treatments,” Aung said.

“Heart failure is preventable and treatable,” Fonarow said. “There is an urgent need to eliminate the healthcare policy that has been associated with the increase in heart failure deaths. Pixabay

The research, published journal Circulation, suggests that genetic factors significantly influence the variation in heart structure and function.

The team identified 14 regions in the human genome associated with the size and function of the left ventricle – each containing genes that regulate the early development of heart chambers and the contraction of heart muscle.

Previous studies have shown that differences in the size and function of the heart are partly influenced by genes but the researchers have not really understood the extent of that genetic influence.

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This study has shown that several genes known to be important in heart failure also appear to regulate the heart size and function in healthy people.

“That understanding of the genetic basis of heart structure and function in the general population improves our knowledge of how heart failure evolves,” said study researcher Steffen Petersen. (IANS)

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Here’s Why Light Alcohol Consumption Might Also Increase Cancer Risk

The researchers found an almost linear association between cancer risk and alcohol consumption

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Alcohol
In a study published in the journal Cancer, the overall cancer risk appeared to be the lowest at zero alcohol consumption. Pixabay

If you thought one-two drinks a day would not do any harm, think again. Researchers in Japan have found that even light alcohol consumption might increase the cancer risk.

In the study published in the journal Cancer, the overall cancer risk appeared to be the lowest at zero alcohol consumption. The elevated risk appeared to be explained by alcohol-related cancer risk across relatively common sites, including the colorectum, stomach, breast, prostate and esophagus.

“In Japan, the primary cause of death is cancer,” said one of the researchers Masayoshi Zaitsu from The University of Tokyo. “Given the current burden of overall cancer incidence, we should further encourage promoting public education about alcohol-related cancer risk,” Zaitsu said. The team examined clinical data on 63,232 patients with cancer and 63,232 controls matched for sex, age, hospital admission date, and admitting hospital. The data was gathered from 33 general hospitals in Japan.

All participants reported their average daily amount of standardised alcohol units and the duration of drinking. One standardised drink containing 23 grams of ethanol was equivalent to one 180-ml cup of Japanese sake, one 500-ml bottle of beer, one 180-ml glass of wine, or one 60-ml cup of whiskey.

Drink, Alcohol, Cup, Whiskey, The Drink
If you thought one-two drinks a day would not do any harm, think again. Researchers in Japan have found that even light alcohol consumption might increase the cancer risk. Pixabay

The researchers found an almost linear association between cancer risk and alcohol consumption. A light level of drinking at 10-drink-year point, for example, one drink per day for 10 years or two drinks per day for five years would increase cancer risk by five per cent, the findings showed.

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Those who drank two or fewer drinks a day had an elevated cancer risk regardless of how long they had consumed alcohol. Also, analyses classified by sex, drinking/smoking behaviours and occupational class mostly showed the same patterns. (IANS)