Friday December 13, 2019

30% Higher Risk Of Heart Failure Linked with Malaria

The findings were presented at the ESC Congress 2019 together with the World Congress of Cardiology in Paris

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Malaria, Heart failure, disease
FILE - A female Aedes aegypti mosquito is shown in this Center for Disease Control photograph. VOA

Malaria infection is linked to 30 per cent higher risk of heart failure, a new research has warned.

The mosquito-borne infection affects more than 219 million people worldwide each year, according to the 2018 statistics of the World Health Organization (WHO).

“We have seen an increase in the incidence of malaria cases and what is intriguing is that we have seen the same increase in cardiovascular disease in the same regions,” said the first author of the study, Philip Brainin, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Herlev-Gentofte University Hospital in Denmark.

“Even though we have taken preventive measures to decrease the malaria numbers, it remains a major burden,” Brainin said.

Mission Delhi, STEMI, Heart Attack
The Mission Delhi aims to provide care to STEMI, a very serious type of heart attack, patients. Pixabay

The researchers used Danish nationwide registries to identify patients with a history of malaria infection between January 1994 and January 2017. The mean age of patients in the study was 34 and 58 per cent of the subjects were male.

Around 4,000 malaria cases were identified, with 40 per cent having plasmodium falciparum, a parasite transmitted through mosquito bites that is responsible for the majority of severe malaria cases in humans.

The 11-year follow-up of patients revealed 69 cases of heart failure, which were very high as compared to the general population, and 68 cases of cardiovascular death, which were considered within normal range.

“These patients had a 30 per cent increased likelihood of developing heart failure over the follow-up time,” Brainin said.

More research will be needed to further validate the findings, but recent studies have found that malaria could be a contributor to functional and structural changes in the myocardium, which is the muscle tissue of the heart.

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Experimental studies have also shown that malaria may affect the blood pressure regulatory system causing hypertension, which is a contributor to heart failure.

Malaria can also affect vascular pathways that cause inflammation in the heart, which could lead to fibrosis and then heart failure.

According to the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), a combination of high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and coronary artery disease are among the most common risk factors for heart failure.

The findings were presented at the ESC Congress 2019 together with the World Congress of Cardiology in Paris.

Among the high malaria burden countries, India has made substantial progress in disease control. The malaria burden has declined by over 80 per cent — malaria cases came down to 0.39 million in 2018 from 2.03 million cases in 2000. Malaria deaths in India have declined by over 90 per cent — from 932 deaths in 2000 to 85 in 2018, according to Indian Council of Medical Research. (IANS)

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Children of Diabetic Mothers May Develop Heart Risks: Study

Kids born of diabetic mothers at heart risk

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Diabetes- heart
Children of mothers with diabetes have increased rates of early onset heart diseases. Pixabay

Children of mothers with diabetes have increased rates of early onset cardiovascular disease or CVD (conditions affecting the heart or blood vessels) from childhood up to the age of 40, the researchers have warned.

The increased rates were more pronounced among children of mothers with a history of CVD or diabetic complications, said the study published in the journal The BMJ.

“our study provides evidence that children of mothers with diabetes, especially those with a history of CVD or with diabetic complications, had increased rates of early onset CVD throughout the early decades of life,” said study researchers from Aarhus University in Denmark.

If this association is shown to be causal, preventing, screening, and treating diabetes in women of childbearing age could be important not only for improving the health of the women but also for reducing long term risks of CVD in their offspring, the researchers added

The number of women diagnosed with diabetes before or during pregnancy has increased globally, and children of these women are more likely to have risk factors for future CVD, such as high blood pressure and high blood sugar levels.

It is unclear, however, whether or to what extent exposure to diabetes in the womb increases the risk of developing CVD in offspring over a lifetime.

Heart disease
Children with diabetic mothers may develop CVD which may increase heart complications. Pixabay

So an international team of researchers set out to evaluate associations between diabetes diagnosed before or during pregnancy and early onset CVD in children during their first four decades of life.

They base their findings on national registry data for over 2.4 million children born without congenital heart disease in Denmark from 1977 to 2016.

Diabetes was categorised as pregestational (before pregnancy) or gestational (during pregnancy) and women with diabetic complications were identified.

Other potentially influential factors, such as mother’s age, education, lifestyle and medical history were also taken into account.

During up to 40 years of follow-up, children of mothers with diabetes had a 29 per cent increased overall rate of early onset CVD compared with children of mothers who did not have diabetes (cumulative risks: 17.8 per cent vs 13.1 per cent ).

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The researchers also found higher rates for specific types of CVD children of mothers with diabetes, particularly heart failure (45 per cent), hypertensive disease (78 per cent), deep vein thrombosis (82 per cent), and pulmonary embolism (91 per cent).

Increased rates were seen in each age group in childhood (before 20 years of age) and early adulthood (from 20 to 40 years of age), regardless of the type of diabetes they were exposed to (pregestational or gestational) and rates were similar for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, the study said. (IANS)