Thursday August 22, 2019

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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Hangovers might last longer than you think
Hangovers might last longer than you think. Pixabay

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)

Next Story

People Suffering from Insomnia Might have Increased Risk of Coronary Artery Disease, Heart Failure and Stroke

These observational studies were unable to determine whether insomnia is a cause, or if it is just associated with them

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Insomnia, Heart Disease, Heart Failure
According to researchers, previous observational studies have found an association between insomnia, which affects up to 30 per cent of the general population and an increased risk of developing heart disease and stroke. Pixabay

People suffering from insomnia might have an increased risk of coronary artery disease, heart failure and stroke, says a study.

According to researchers, previous observational studies have found an association between insomnia, which affects up to 30 per cent of the general population and an increased risk of developing heart disease and stroke.

“These observational studies were unable to determine whether insomnia is a cause, or if it is just associated with them,” said the study’s lead author Susanna Larsson, Associate Professor at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.

In the study, the researchers applied Mendelian randomisation, a technique that uses genetic variants known to be connected with a potential risk factor, such as insomnia, to reduce bias in the results.

Insomnia, Heart Disease, Heart Failure
People suffering from insomnia might have an increased risk of coronary artery disease, heart failure and stroke, says a study. Pixabay

The 1.3 million participants with or without heart disease and stroke were drawn from four major public studies and groups, said the research published in the journal Circulation.

Researchers found genetic variants for insomnia were associated with significantly higher odds of coronary artery disease, heart failure and ischemic stroke – particularly large artery stroke.

“It is important to identify the underlying reason for insomnia and treat it.

“Sleep is a behaviour that can be changed by new habits and stress management,” Larsson said.

Also Read- Voice Assistant that Allows People with Visual Impairments to Get Web Content Quickly and Effortlessly

A limitation to the study is that the results represent a genetic variant link to insomnia rather than insomnia itself. (IANS)