Wednesday June 19, 2019

New Software Can Spot Potentially Lethal Heart Diseases

The incidence and prevalence of cardiac disease continues to increase every year. However, improvements in prevention and treatment require better understanding of electrical behaviour across the heart

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Cardiovascular Disease
stress cardiac MRI can not only diagnose heart disease, but can also predict which cases are potentially fatal. Pixabay

Researchers have developed a new software that could spot potentially lethal heart diseases and may lead to improvements in prevention and treatment, says a new study.

The software – ElectroMap – which measures electrical activity in the organ, is a new open-source software for processing, analysis and mapping complex cardiac data.

The study showed that the heart’s pumping ability is controlled by electrical activity that triggers the heart muscle cells to contract and relax. In certain heart diseases such as arrhythmia, the organ’s electrical activity is affected.

Arrhythmia is improper beating of the heart too fast or too slow.

Heart disease
Stress cardiac MRI leads to fatal heart disease. Pixabay

“We believe that ElectroMap will accelerate innovative cardiac research and lead to wider use of mapping technologies that help prevent the incidence of arrhythmia,” said Kashif Rajpoot, Senior Lecturer at the University of Birmingham Dubai.

“This is a robustly validated open-source flexible tool for processing and by using novel data analysis strategies we have developed, this software will provide a deeper understanding of heart diseases, particularly the mechanisms underpinning potentially lethal arrhythmia,” Rajpoot added, published in the journal, Scientific Reports.

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The incidence and prevalence of cardiac disease continues to increase every year. However, improvements in prevention and treatment require better understanding of electrical behaviour across the heart, the study noted. (IANS)

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HIV Patients at Higher Risk of Developing Heart Diseases

The researchers emphasised on the importance of a healthy lifestyle that includes smoking cessation, adequate physical activity, eliminating or reducing the amount of alcohol consumed and a healthy diet

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AIDS, Indonesia, HIV
Students with their faces painted with messages pose during an HIV/AIDS awareness campaign to mark the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial, in Chandigarh, India, May 20, 2018. (VOA)

HIV patients are at a significantly higher risk of suffering from heart and blood vessel diseases as compared to those without the infection, according to a new scientific statement.

In the statement, published in the Circulation journal, the researchers indicated that the heart disease risk among HIV patients occurs due to interactions between traditional risk factors, such as diet, lifestyle and tobacco use; and HIV-specific risk factors, such as a chronically activated immune system and inflammation characteristic of chronic HIV.

“Considerable gaps exist in our knowledge about HIV-associated diseases of the heart and blood vessels, in part because HIV’s transition from a fatal disease to a chronic condition is relatively recent, so long-term data on heart disease risks are limited,” said Matthew J. Feinstein, lead author and Assistant Professor at Northwestern University in Chicago.

The statement, released by American Heart Association, highlighted that tobacco use, which increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases, is common among people living with HIV.

Forty-two per cent of HIV patients were smokers, it said.

HIV. Pakistan
Participants hold placards in the shape of the red ribbon, the universal symbol of awareness and support for those living with HIV, as a hot air balloon is released during an awareness campaign ahead of World AIDS Day in Kolkata, India. VOA

The researchers said that another risk factor is the aging population of HIV patients as 75 per cent of HIV patients are over 45 years of age.

“Aging with HIV differs greatly from the aging issues facing the general population,” said Jules Levin, Founder and Executive Director of the National AIDS Treatment Advocacy Project.

“On average, people living with HIV who are over 60 years old have 3-7 medical conditions, including heart attacks, strokes, heart failure, kidney disease, frailty and bone diseases and many take 12-15 medications daily,” Levin added.

The researchers insisted that more research is needed for informed decision-making and effective CVD prevention and treatment in the aging population of people living with HIV.

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“There is a dearth of large-scale clinical trial data on how to prevent and treat cardiovascular diseases in people living with HIV,” said Feinstein.

The researchers emphasised on the importance of a healthy lifestyle that includes smoking cessation, adequate physical activity, eliminating or reducing the amount of alcohol consumed and a healthy diet. (IANS)