Thursday June 21, 2018

New Link Found Between Alcohol, Genes And Heart Failure

The team found that the faulty titin gene may also play a role in the condition

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New Link Found Between Alcohol, Genes And Heart Failure
New Link Found Between Alcohol, Genes And Heart Failure. Pixabay
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Even moderate level of alcohol consumption may worsen the condition of heart failure patients with a faulty versions of a gene called titin, new research has found.

Titin is crucial for maintaining the elasticity of the heart muscle. But faulty version of the gene may cause dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM)– a type of heart failure where the left ventricle becomes weak causing lessening the ability to pump blood.

“Our research strongly suggests alcohol and genetics are interacting — and genetic predisposition and alcohol consumption can act together to lead to heart failure,” said study co-author James Ware from the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London.

For the first part of the study, the team analysed 141 patients with a type of heart failure called alcoholic cardiomyopathy (ACM) — a type of heart failure due to long term alcohol abuse which may trigger because of drinking more than 70 units a week (roughly seven bottles of wine) for five years or more.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

The team found that the faulty titin gene may also play a role in the condition.

The results, published in Journal of the American College of Cardiology, showed that 13.5 per cent of ACM patients carried the mutation — much higher than the proportion of people who carry them in the general population.

Ware explained that the condition is not simply the result of alcohol poisoning, but arises from a genetic predisposition and thus can put other family members at risk as well.

He added that relatives of patients with ACM should receive assessment and heart scans to see if they unknowingly carry the faulty gene.

Also Read: Alcoholic Beverages Aren’t That Good For You As You May Have Thought

In the second part, the team analysed 716 patients with dilated cardiomyopathy – a condition that causes the heart muscle to become stretched and thin.

The team found that in patients whose DCM was caused by the faulty titin gene, even moderately increased alcohol intake (defined as drinking above the weekly recommended limit of 14 units), affected the heart’s pumping power.

“Alcohol and the heart have a complicated relationship. While moderate levels may have benefits for heart health, too much can cause serious cardiac problems. This research suggests that in people with titin-related heart failure, alcohol may worsen the condition,” explained study co-author, Paul Barton from the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial. (IANS)

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US Cancels A Planned Alcohol Study Over Trust Issues

NIH Director Francis Collins temporarily suspended the study

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A photo made with a fisheye lens shows bottles of alcohol in a liquor store in Salt Lake City. The National Institutes of Health said Friday that it was canceling a study of moderate drinking's health benefits because the results could not be trusted. Beer and liquor companies were helping to underwrite it.
This June 16, 2016, file photo, taken with a fisheye lens, shows bottles of alcohol during a tour of a state liquor store, in Salt Lake City. Cheap liquor, wine and beer have long been best-sellers among Utah alcohol drinkers, but new numbers from Utah's tightly-controlled liquor system show local craft brews, trendy box wines and flavored whiskies are also popular choices in a largely teetotaler state. VOA

The U.S. government is shutting down a planned study testing whether moderate drinking has health benefits over concerns that its funding by the alcohol industry would compromise its credibility.

The National Institutes of Health said Friday that the results of the planned $100 million study could not be trusted because of the secretive way that employees negotiated with beer and liquor companies to underwrite the effort.

Government officials say it is legal to use industry money to pay for government research as long as all rules are followed. However, in this case, NIH officials say employees did not follow proper procedures, including keeping their interactions with industry officials secret.

NIH Deputy Director Lawrence Tabak said the interactions between the employees and industry representatives appeared to “intentionally bias” the study so that it would have a better chance to conclude that moderate drinking is beneficial.

An NIH review panel was also concerned that the study’s proposed span of 10 years was too short a time period to adequately test the potential problems of a daily drink, such as an increased risk of cancer or heart failure.

Red wine
Red wine, Pixabay

NIH Director Francis Collins temporarily suspended the study last month after reporting by The New York Times first raised questions about the funding policy violations. Collins said Friday that he was completely shutting down the research.

“This is a matter of the greatest seriousness,’’ he said.

The study had planned to track two groups of people, one group drinking a glass of alcohol a day and another abstaining from alcohol. The study had planned to compare new cases of cardiovascular disease and the rate of new cases of diabetes among participants.

Some of the world’s largest alcoholic beverage makers, including Anheuser-Busch InBev and Heineken, had contributed to the study, although Anheuser-Busch InBev had recently withdrawn its contribution.

The NIH said of the $67.7 million raised from private donations, nearly all from the alcohol industry, $11.8 million, had been spent for the study.

Also read: New Link Found Between Alcohol, Genes And Heart Failure

The NIH’s National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) had planned to spend $20 million of its own money for the study. It said $4 million had been spent.(VOA)