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Journal: BMC cardiovascular disorders


BACKGROUND: Areca nut (commonly known as betel nut) chewing has been shown to be associated with metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease (CVD). The mechanism by which betel nut ingestion could lead to development of CVD is not precisely known; however, dyslipidemia hyperhomocysteinemia, hypertriglyceridemia and inflammation could be some of the potential risk factors. This study was undertaken to investigate the effects of two dosages of betel nut on homocysteinemia, inflammation and some of the components of metabolic syndrome, such as hypertriglyceridemia, low HDL-cholesterol, obesity and fasting hyperglycemia in a rat model. METHODS: Thirty-six adult female Sprague Dawley rats, aged 10–12 weeks were divided into three equal groups. Group-1 served as the control group (n = 12) and received water, whereas groups 2 and 3 were given water suspension of betel nut orally in two dosages, 30 mg and 60 mg, respectively for a period of 5 weeks. At the end of the fifth week, the animals were weighed and sacrificed, blood was collected and liver, kidney, spleen and stomach were removed for histological examination.Plasma/serum was analyzed for glucose, total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, homocysteine, folate, vitamin B12 and N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosaminidase (NAG) – a marker of inflammation. RESULTS: When the mean concentration values of 3 groups were compared using one way ANOVA followed by Tukey’s HSD-test, there was a significant increase in the concentration of total cholesterol (p = 0.04) in the group receiving 30 mg/day betel nut compared to the control group. However, administration of a higher dose of betel nut (60 mg/day) had no significant effect on the serum concentrations of glucose, total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, and NAG. Histological examination of spleen revealed a dose-dependent extramedullary hematopoiesis. No other remarkable change in the tissues (liver, kidney and stomach) was observed.Mean serum/plasma levels of folate, vitamin B12 and homocysteine were not found to be significantly different in all the groups. Betel nut ingestion had no effect on the mean body weights of rats. CONCLUSIONS: Low dosage of betel nut is found to be associated with hypercholesterolemia. However, betel nut ingestion is not associated with hyperhomocysteinemia, hypertriglyceridemia, hyperglycemia, inflammation and increase in body weight in a rat model.

Concepts: Cholesterol, Nutrition, Atherosclerosis, Cardiovascular disease, Low-density lipoprotein, Folic acid, Laboratory rat, Areca nut


BACKGROUND: Approximately 2/3 of Veterans admitting to Veterans Health Administration (VHA) facilities present >12 hours after symptom onset of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) (“late presenters”). Veterans admitted to VHA facilities with AMI may delay hospital presentation for different reasons compared to their general population counter parts. Despite the large descriptive literature on factors associated with delayed presentation in the general population, the literature describing these factors among the Veteran AMI population is limited. The purpose of this analysis is to identify predictors of late presentation in the Veteran population presenting with AMI to VHA facilities. Identifying predictors will help inform and target interventions for Veterans at a high risk of late presentation. METHODS: In our cross-sectional study, we analyzed a cohort of 335 male Veterans from nine VHA facilities with physician diagnosed AMI between April 2005 and December 2006. We compared demographics, presentation characteristics, medical history, perceptions of health, and access to health care between early and late presenting Veterans. We used standard descriptive statistics for bivariate comparisons and multivariate logistic regression to identify independent predictors of late presentation. RESULTS: Our cohort was an average of 64 +/- 10.5 years old and was 88% white. Sixty-eight percent of our cohort were late presenters. Bivariate comparisons found that fewer late presenters had attended at least some college or vocational school (late 53.2% vs. early 66%, p = 0.02). Multivariate analysis showed that presentation with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) was associated with early presentation (OR = 0.43 95%CI [0.2, 0.9]) and >=2 angina episodes in the prior 24 hours (versus 0-1 episode) was associated with late presentation (OR = 7.5 95%CI [3.6,15.6]). CONCLUSIONS: A significant majority of Veterans presenting to VHA facilities with AMI were late presenters. We found few differences between early and late presenters. Having a STEMI was independently associated with early presentation and reporting >=2 angina episodes in the 24 hours prior to hospital admission was independently associated with late presentation. These independent predictors of early and late presentation are similar to what has been reported for the general population. Despite these similarities to the general population, there may be untapped opportunities for patient education within the VHA to decrease late presentation.

Concepts: Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Coronary artery disease, Infarction, Troponin, United States Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration, Cardiac stress test


BACKGROUND: Heart failure (HF) patients have a high risk of death, and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) are effective in preventing sudden cardiac death (SCD). However, a certain percentage of patients may not be immediate candidates for ICDs, particularly those having a short duration of risk or an uncertain amount of risk. This includes the newly diagnosed patients, as well as those on the cardiac transplant list or NYHA class IV heart failure patients who do not already have an ICD. In these patients, a wearable cardioverter defibrillator (WCD) may be used until long term risk of SCD is defined. The purpose of this study was to determine the incidence of SCD in this population, and the efficacy of early defibrillation by a WCD. METHODS: Ten enrolling centers identified 89 eligible HF patients who were either listed for cardiac transplantation, diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, or receiving inotropic medications. Data collected included medical history, device records, and outcomes (including 90 day mortality). RESULTS: Out of 89 patients, final data on 82 patients has been collected. Patients wore the device for 75+/-58 days. Mean age was 56.8+/-13.2, and 72% were male. Most patients (98.8%) were diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy with a low ejection fraction (<40%) and twelve were listed for cardiac transplantation. Four patients were on inotropes. There were no sudden cardiac arrests or deaths during the study. Interestingly, 41.5% of patients were much improved after WCD use, while 34.1% went on to receive an ICD. CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, the WCD monitored HF patients until further assessment of risk. The leading reasons for end of WCD use were improvement in left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) or ICD implantation if there was no significant improvement in LVEF.

Concepts: Myocardial infarction, Cardiology, Cardiomyopathy, Heart failure, Ejection fraction, Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator, Cardiac arrest, Ventricular fibrillation


BACKGROUND: Type VI dual left anterior descending artery (LAD) is a rare coronary anomaly, the first case of which has recently been described. This is the first report of type VI dual LAD anomaly in which the patient presented with non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction and percutaneous coronary intervention was performed in the anomalously originating LAD. CASE PRESENTATION: A 52-year-old man with diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidemia presented with chest pain without ST elevation on EKG, although the patient’s troponin I level was elevated. Coronary angiography revealed a short LAD originating from the left main coronary artery and a long LAD originating from the proximal portion of the right coronary artery (RCA). Three-dimensional reconstruction of computed tomography of images revealed that the long LAD originated from the proximal RCA and coursed between the right ventricular outflow tract (RVOT) and the aortic root before entering the mid anterior interventricular groove. The high take-off RCA originated underneath the RVOT, pointing downwards and forming an acute angle with the proximal portion of the long LAD. The anomalous long LAD displayed significant stenosis. We performed successful percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in the anomalous artery. CONCLUSION: With accurate understanding of the coronary anatomy and appropriate hardware selection, successful PCI can be performed in the in the long LAD in patients with type VI dual LAD anomaly.

Concepts: Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Angina pectoris, Cardiology, Heart, Atheroma, Cardiovascular system, Left coronary artery


From 2005 to 2011 Mazowe District recorded a gradual decline in prevalence of hypertension in the face of rising incidence of complications like stroke. This raised questions on whether diagnosis and management of hypertensive patients is being done properly.

Concepts: Myocardial infarction, Hypertension, Stroke, Blood pressure, Zambia, Provinces of Zimbabwe, Provinces of Sri Lanka, Mashonaland Central


Atrial fibrillation (AF), a common arrhythmia contributing substantially to cardiac morbidity, is associated with oxidative stress and, being an antioxidant, vitamin C might influence it.

Concepts: Nutrition, Antioxidant, Heart, Oxidative stress, Atrial fibrillation, Oxidative phosphorylation, Vitamin C, Ascorbic acid


Medical treatment of hypertension is not always sufficient to achieve blood pressure control. Despite this, previous studies on supplementary therapies, such as yoga, are relatively few. We investigated the effects of two yoga interventions on blood pressure and quality of life in patients in primary health care diagnosed with hypertension.

Concepts: Health care, Medicine, Myocardial infarction, Hypertension, Blood pressure, Classification of Pharmaco-Therapeutic Referrals, Artery, Orthostatic hypotension


There is increasing concern that prescription stimulants may be associated with adverse cardiovascular events such as stroke, myocardial infarction, and sudden death. Public health concerns are amplified by increasing use of prescription stimulants among adults.

Concepts: Public health, Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Cardiovascular disease, Stroke, Tobacco smoking, Infarction


Electronic cigarettes have been developed and marketed in recent years as smoking substitutes. However, no studies have evaluated their effects on the cardiovascular system. The purpose of this study was to examine the immediate effects of electronic cigarette use on left ventricular (LV) function, compared to the well-documented acute adverse effects of smoking.

Concepts: Heart, Smoking, Tobacco, Cigarette, Nicotine, Circulatory system, Electronic cigarette, Cigarettes


Many reports have claimed associations between diagonal earlobe crease (DELC) and coronary artery disease (CAD), but data in Chinese populations are limited.

Concepts: Coronary artery disease, Artery, Coronary circulation