Thursday January 23, 2020

Human Stem Cells May Help Recover from Damage Caused by Heart Attack: Study

The study showed improvement in the heart muscle cell's ability to contract and relax

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heart attack
The study showed improvement in the heart muscle cell's ability to contract and relax. Pixabay

Researchers have found a combination of heart cells derived from human stem cells could help to recover from the damage caused by a heart attack. In a study, published in the Nature Biotechnology journal, a team led by an Indian-origin researcher noted that by transplanting an area of damaged tissue with a combination of both heart muscle cells and supportive cells taken from the outer layer of the heart wall, they may be able to repair the damaged hearts.

The researchers from the University of Cambridge in collaboration with researchers from the University of Washington used supportive epicardial cells developed from human stem cells to help transplanted heart cells live longer.

They used 3D human heart tissue grown in the lab from human stem cells to test the cell combination, finding that the supportive epicardial cells helped heart muscle cells to grow and mature. The study showed improvement in the heart muscle cell’s ability to contract and relax. In rats with damaged hearts, the combination restored lost heart muscle and blood vessel cells.

heart attack
Researchers hope that by harnessing the regenerative power of stem cells, they will be able to heal human hearts one day by using a patient’s cells. Pixabay

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“There are hundreds of thousands of people in the UK living with heart failure — many are in a race against time for a life-saving heart transplant. But with only around 200 heart transplants performed each year in the UK, it’s essential that we start finding alternative treatments,” said a leader of the study Sanjay Sinha, a British Heart Foundation (BHF)-funded researcher from the University of Cambridge.

Researchers hope that by harnessing the regenerative power of stem cells, they will be able to heal human hearts one day by using a patient’s cells. “When it comes to mending broken hearts, stem cells haven’t yet really lived up to their early promise. We hope that this latest research represents the turning of the tide in the use of these remarkable cells,” said Nilesh Samani, Medical Director at BHF. (IANS)

Next Story

Here’s How Belly Fat Increases the Risk of Heart Attack

Belly fat may lead to multiple heart attacks

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Heart Attack
Heart attack survivors who carry excess fat around their waist are at increased risk of another heart attack. Pixabay

Heart patients, please take note, here’s a new health news. Researchers have found that heart attack survivors who carry excess fat around their waist are at increased risk of another heart attack.

“Abdominal obesity not only increases your risk for a first heart attack or stroke, but also the risk for recurrent events after the first misfortune,” said study author Hanieh Mohammadi from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.

Prior studies have shown that abdominal obesity is an important risk factor for having a first heart attack. But until now, the association between abdominal obesity and the risk of a subsequent heart attack or stroke was unknown.

The research, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, followed more than 22,000 patients after their first heart attack and investigated the relation between abdominal obesity (measured by waist circumference) and the risk for recurrent cardiovascular disease events. The researchers specifically looked at events caused by clogged arteries, such as fatal and non-fatal heart attack and stroke.

Heart Attack
Abdominal obesity not only increases your risk for a first heart attack or stroke, but also the risk for recurrent events after the first misfortune. Pixabay

Patients were recruited from the nationwide SWEDEHEART registry and followed for a median of 3.8 years. Most patients — 78 per cent of men and 90 per cent of women — had abdominal obesity (waist circumference 94 cm or above for men and 80 cm or above for women).

Increasing abdominal obesity was independently associated with fatal and non-fatal heart attacks and strokes, regardless of other risk factors (such as smoking, diabetes, hypertension, blood pressure, blood lipids and body mass index [BMI]) and secondary prevention treatments. According to the researchers, waist circumference was a more important marker of recurrent events than overall obesity.

The reason abdominal obesity is very common in patients with a first heart attack is that it is closely linked with conditions that accelerate the clogging of arteries through atherosclerosi, the researchers said. These conditions include increased blood pressure, high blood sugar and insulin resistance (diabetes) as well as raised blood lipid levels.

“Our results, however, suggest that there may be other negative mechanisms associated with abdominal obesity that are independent of these risk factors and remain unrecognised,” Mohammadi said.

“In our study, patients with increasing levels of abdominal obesity still had a raised risk for recurrent events despite being on therapies that lower traditional risk factors connected with abdominal obesity such as anti-hypertensives, diabetes medication and lipid lowering drugs,” she added.

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According to the study, the relationship between waist circumference and recurrent events was stronger and more linear in men.

“There were three times as many men in the study compared to women, contributing to less statistical power in the female group. Therefore, more studies are needed before definite conclusions can be drawn according to gender,” Mohammadi noted. (IANS)