Saturday January 25, 2020

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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This AI Model may Predict Heart Diseases

AI may predict long-term risks of heart attack, cardiac death

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Heart attack
Researchers have found that Artificial Intelligence can be used to predict heart attacks and cardiac deaths. Pixabay

Researchers have found that machine learning, patterns and inferences computers use to learn to perform tasks, can predict the long-term risk of heart attack and cardiac death.

According to the study, published in the journal Cardiovascular Research, machine learning appears to be better at predicting heart attacks and cardiac deaths than the standard clinical risk assessment used by cardiologists.

“Our study showed that machine learning integration of clinical risk factors and imaging measures can accurately personalise the patient’s risk of suffering an adverse event such as heart attack or cardiac death,” said the study researchers from the Biomedical Imaging Research Institute in US

For the findings, the research team studied subjects from the imaging arm of a prospective, randomised research trial, who underwent coronary artery calcium scoring with available cardiac CT scans and long-term follow-up.

Participants here were asymptomatic, middle-aged subjects, with cardiovascular risk factors, but no known coronary artery disease.

Researchers used machine learning to assess the risk of myocardial infarction and cardiac death in the subjects, and then compared the predictions with the actual experiences of the subjects over fifteen years.

Heart Health
Diet, exercise and marital status are some of the factors that can affect the heart health. Pixabay

Subjects here answered a questionnaire to identify cardiovascular risk factors and to describe their diets, exercise and marital status. The final study consisted of 1,912 subjects, fifteen years after they were first studied.

76 subjects presented an event of myocardial infarction and/or cardiac death during this follow-up time. The subjects’ predicted machine learning scores aligned accurately with the actual distribution of observed events.

The atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease risk score, the standard clinical risk assessment used by cardiologists, overestimated the risk of events in the higher risk categories. Machine learning did not.

In unadjusted analysis, high predicted machine learning risk was significantly associated with a higher risk of a cardiac event.

Also Read- Find out Why Pregnant Women Shouldn’t Binge-Eat After 7 PM

“While machine learning models are sometimes regarded as “black boxes”, we have also tried to demystify machine learning; in this manuscript, we describe individual predictions for two patients as examples,” said researchers

“When applied after the scan, such individualised predictions can help guide recommendations for the patient, to decrease their risk of suffering an adverse cardiac event,” they added. (IANS)