Wednesday June 19, 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.

C-sections
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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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)