Sunday October 21, 2018

Heart Attack Risk on The Rise for Pregnant Women and Death Rate Remains High

Patients should work out a plan with their physicians to monitor and control risk factors during pregnancy so that they can minimize their risk

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The risk of having a heart attack while pregnant, giving birth, or during two months after delivery, continues to increase, a US-based study has found.

The findings, published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings, suggest that the trend among many women to have children later in life is one possible reason for the increase, as the3 heart attack risk rises with age overall, and especially during pregnancy.

“Our analysis, the largest review in a decade, serves as an important reminder of how stressful pregnancy can be on the female body and heart, causing a lot of physiological changes, and potentially unmasking risk factors that can lead to heart attack,” said co-author Sripal Bangalore from the New York University Langone Health.

According to the researchers, an increased number of women are obese or have diabetes, which are the key risk factors for a heart attack.

highlight the importance to women considering pregnancy to know their risk factors for heart disease beforehand,
It highlights the importance to women considering pregnancy to know their risk factors for heart disease beforehand. Pixabay

For the study, the researchers examined 49,829,753 births recorded in hospitals — where the majority of deliveries in the US take place — and found that 1,061 heart attacks happened during labour and delivery.

They also found that another 922 women were hospitalized for myocardial infarction before birth, and 2,390 heart attacks occurred during the recovery period after birth.

The researcher said that although the absolute number of heart attacks and deaths from them remain low, the persistence of the relatively high death rate (unchanged at 4.5 per cent of cases) comes despite advances in treating heart attacks with drug-coated stents and improved use of blood-thinning medications to prevent heart-vessel blockages.

Also Read: Being Positive During Pregnancy May Lead to Kids Being in Shape: Study

“Our findings highlight the importance to women considering pregnancy to know their risk factors for heart disease beforehand,” said lead author Nathaniel Smilowitz from the varsity.

“These patients should work out a plan with their physicians to monitor and control risk factors during pregnancy so that they can minimize their risk,” Smilowitz noted. (IANS)

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Anaemia Drug Can Aid in Recovery After Heart Attack

However, further studies will be needed to confirm if the same benefits are seen in humans, they noted

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Drugs currently undergoing development to treat anaemia — lack of blood — could be repurposed to help prevent people with Type-2 diabetes from developing heart failure, according to a new research.

Researchers found that after a heart attack, a protein called HIF acts to help heart cells survive.

In people with diabetes, fats accumulate within the heart muscle and stop the HIF protein from becoming active. This means that a person is more likely to suffer lasting heart muscle damage, and develop heart failure after a heart attack.

“After a heart attack, people with Type-2 diabetes are more likely to develop heart failure more quickly, but we have not fully understood the reasons why that is the case,” said lead researcher Lisa Heather, research student at the University of Oxford in the UK.

“What we have shown with this research is that the metabolism of people with Type-2 diabetes means they have higher levels of fatty acids in the heart. This prevents signals going to the heart protective protein telling it to ‘kick-in’ after a heart attack,” she added.

Representational image.
Representational image. (IANS)

In the study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the team treated diabetic rats with a drug known to activate the HIF protein, and were able to encourage the heart to recover after a heart attack.

However, these initial results suggest that several drugs known to activate HIF and currently undergoing phase-III clinical trials to treat people with anaemia, could potentially be given to people with diabetes, immediately after a heart attack in the future, the researchers said.

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“This research in rats has not only identified the mechanism that could explain why people with Type-2 diabetes have poorer outcomes after a heart attack, but also a practical way this might be prevented,” the researchers explained.

However, further studies will be needed to confirm if the same benefits are seen in humans, they noted. (IANS)