Monday September 23, 2019

Vitamin C Treatment During Pregnancy Can Cut Babies’ Risk of Heart Diseases

It turns out that vitamin C is a comparatively weak antioxidant, and while the Cambridge study provides a proof-of-principle, future work will focus on identifying alternative antioxidant therapies that could prove more effective in human clinical practice

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Vitamin C helps treating TB. Pexels

Maternal treatment with vitamin C antioxidant during a complicated pregnancy could protect the baby from developing hypertension and heart disease in adulthood, suggests a study.

Heart disease is the greatest killer in the world today, and it is widely accepted that our genes interact with traditional lifestyle risk factors such as smoking, obesity and/or a sedentary life to promote an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

However, a new study on sheep by a team from Cambridge University, finds that babies born from pregnancies complicated by chronic hypoxia have increased indicators of cardiovascular disease such as high blood pressure and stiffer blood vessels.

Chronic hypoxia or lower-than-normal oxygen levels in the developing baby within the womb is one of the most common outcomes of complicated pregnancy in humans. It occurs as a result of problems within the placenta, as can occur in preeclampsia, gestational diabetes or maternal smoking.

“Our discoveries emphasise that when considering strategies to reduce the overall burden of heart disease, much greater attention to prevention rather than treatment is required,” said lead researcher Dino Giussani, Professor from the varsity.

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Maternal vitamin C treatment can cut babies’ risk of heart disease. Pixabay

“Treatment should start as early as possible during the developmental trajectory, rather than waiting until adulthood when the disease process has become irreversible,” Giussani added.

The study, published in the journal PLOS Biology, draws attention to a new way of thinking about heart disease with a much longer term perspective, focusing on prevention rather than treatment.

The team used pregnant sheep to show that maternal treatment with the antioxidant vitamin C during a complicated pregnancy could protect the adult offspring from developing hypertension and heart disease.

Also Read- Remembering Your Partner Can Help You Keep Your BP Down

The study not only provides evidence that a prenatal influence on later heart disease in the offspring is indeed possible, but also shows the potential to protect against it by “bringing preventative medicine back into the womb”, said Kirsty Brain from the varsity.

It turns out that vitamin C is a comparatively weak antioxidant, and while the Cambridge study provides a proof-of-principle, future work will focus on identifying alternative antioxidant therapies that could prove more effective in human clinical practice, the research said. (IANS)

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Heart Disease, Stroke-related Deaths on Rise Due to Obesity: Study

The researchers observed that obesity is the main risk factors for cardiovascular disease mortality — others include smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes

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obese children
India with 14.4 million had the second highest number of obese children in 2015. Pixabay

Heart disease and stroke mortality rates have almost stopped declining in many high-income countries and are even increasing in some countries, reveals a new study.

For the study, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, researchers from the University of Melbourne analysed trends in cardiovascular disease mortality, which consists of mainly heart disease and stroke — in 23 high-income countries since the year 2000.

The study found that cardiovascular disease mortality rates for people aged 35 to 74 years are now barely declining, or are increasing, in 12 of the 23 countries.

Cardiovascular disease mortality rates have increased in the most recent years in US and Canadian females, while in Australia, the UK and New Zealand annual declines in deaths from cardiovascular diseases are now 20 to 50 per cent.

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Two women converse in New York, June 26, 2012. The nation’s obesity epidemic continues to grow, led by an alarming increase among women. Obesity is one of the risk factors of heart failure. VOA

“Research suggests that obesity, or at least poor diet, may have been a significant contributor to the slowdown in the decline of cardiovascular disease deaths,” said Alan Lopez, Professor at the University of Melbourne.

“Each of these countries have very high levels of obesity. In Australia, close to one-third of adults are obese,” Lopez said.

Also Read: Google Fit Can Now Track Users’ Sleep Patterns

The researchers observed that obesity is the main risk factors for cardiovascular disease mortality — others include smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

“Failure to address these issues could confirm the end of the long-term decline in cardiovascular disease deaths and threaten future gains in life expectancy.” concluded study’s co-author Tim Adair, a researcher at the varsity. (IANS)