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Short kids may have higher future stroke risk

AHA Stroke News - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 04:19
Embargoed until 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018

DALLAS, Feb. 15, 2018 –  Being a short kid is associated with increased risk of having a stroke in adulthood, according to Danish research published in Stroke, an American Heart Association journal.

A prospective study examined data on more than 300,000 Danish schoolchildren – born between 1930-1989 who were examined at ages 7, 10 and 13. Researchers noted that boys and girls who were 2 to 3 inches shorter than average for their age were at increased risk of clot-related (ischemic) stroke in adult men and women and of bleeding stroke in men.

While adult height is genetically determined, it is also influenced by factors such as maternal diet during pregnancy, childhood diet, infection and psychological stress. Several of these factors are modifiable and all are thought to affect the risk of stroke.

Researchers noted that a decline in stroke incidence and mortality rates in most high-income countries, primarily in women, occurred simultaneously with a general increase in attained adult height. Taken together, this suggests the involvement of shared underlying mechanisms for height and stroke development.

Researchers say these results have implications for understanding disease origin rather than for clinical risk prediction and future studies should focus on the mechanisms underlying the relationship between childhood height and later stroke.

“Our study suggests that short height in children is a possible marker of stroke risk and suggests these children should pay extra attention to changing or treating modifiable risk factors for stroke throughout life to reduce the chances of having this disease,” said senior study author Jennifer L. Baker, Ph.D., associate professor in the Center for Clinical Research and Prevention at Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg Hospital and Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, at the University of Copenhagen, in Denmark.

Funding sources and author disclosures are detailed in the manuscript.

Additional Resources:

###

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: 214.706.1173

Bridgette McNeill: 214.706.1135; bridgette.mcneill@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsThu, 15 Feb 2018 10:00:05 GMTBeing a short kid is associated with increased risk of having a stroke in adulthood, according to Danish research published in Stroke, an American Heart Association journal.https://newsroom.heart.org/news/short-kids-may-have-higher-future-stroke-riskThu, 15 Feb 2018 10:00:00 GMT

Short kids may have higher future stroke risk

AHA Heart News - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 04:19
Embargoed until 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018

DALLAS, Feb. 15, 2018 –  Being a short kid is associated with increased risk of having a stroke in adulthood, according to Danish research published in Stroke, an American Heart Association journal.

A prospective study examined data on more than 300,000 Danish schoolchildren – born between 1930-1989 who were examined at ages 7, 10 and 13. Researchers noted that boys and girls who were 2 to 3 inches shorter than average for their age were at increased risk of clot-related (ischemic) stroke in adult men and women and of bleeding stroke in men.

While adult height is genetically determined, it is also influenced by factors such as maternal diet during pregnancy, childhood diet, infection and psychological stress. Several of these factors are modifiable and all are thought to affect the risk of stroke.

Researchers noted that a decline in stroke incidence and mortality rates in most high-income countries, primarily in women, occurred simultaneously with a general increase in attained adult height. Taken together, this suggests the involvement of shared underlying mechanisms for height and stroke development.

Researchers say these results have implications for understanding disease origin rather than for clinical risk prediction and future studies should focus on the mechanisms underlying the relationship between childhood height and later stroke.

“Our study suggests that short height in children is a possible marker of stroke risk and suggests these children should pay extra attention to changing or treating modifiable risk factors for stroke throughout life to reduce the chances of having this disease,” said senior study author Jennifer L. Baker, Ph.D., associate professor in the Center for Clinical Research and Prevention at Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg Hospital and Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, at the University of Copenhagen, in Denmark.

Funding sources and author disclosures are detailed in the manuscript.

Additional Resources:

###

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: 214.706.1173

Bridgette McNeill: 214.706.1135; bridgette.mcneill@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsThu, 15 Feb 2018 10:00:05 GMTBeing a short kid is associated with increased risk of having a stroke in adulthood, according to Danish research published in Stroke, an American Heart Association journal.https://newsroom.heart.org/news/short-kids-may-have-higher-future-stroke-riskThu, 15 Feb 2018 10:00:00 GMT

Survivors of childhood heart defects may have higher risk of premature dementia

AHA Stroke News - Mon, 02/12/2018 - 04:44
Study Highlight:

  • Children born with heart defects are more likely to survive into old age because of improved early treatments, but they may be more likely to develop early-onset dementia than people born without heart defects.

Embargoed until 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Monday, February 12, 2018

DALLAS, February 12, 2018 — People born with heart defects who survive into adulthood may be at higher risk of developing dementia, particularly dementia that starts before 65 years of age, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation.

With improved newborn and childhood treatments, more people born with heart defects survive into adulthood. A 2016 study published in Circulation estimated that approximately 1.4 million adults are living with congenital heart defects in the United States.

“Previous studies showed that people born with heart defects have a higher risk of neurodevelopmental problems in childhood, such as epilepsy and autism, but this is, to our knowledge, the first study to examine the potential for dementia later in adult life,” said Carina N. Bagge, B.Sc., lead author of the study and a medical student in the Department of Clinical Epidemiology at Aarhus University Hospital in Aarhus, Denmark.

Using national medical databases and records covering all Danish hospitals, the researchers examined the occurrence of dementia in 10,632 mostly Caucasian adults (46 percent male) born with heart defects between 1890 and 1982 (most between 1960 and 1982), matching each with 10 members of the general population of the same gender born the same year.

Researchers found the risk of dementia from any cause, including vascular dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and others, in people born with heart defects in Denmark was:

  • 60 percent higher overall than the general population;
  • 160 percent (2.6 times) higher for early-onset dementia (diagnosed before age 65);
  • 30 percent higher for dementia diagnosed after age 65.

The study was observational, which means that the researchers were examining individuals with heart defects over time to see if there was an association between being born with a heart defect and developing dementia later in life. While they did find an association, the study does not mean that every person who was born with a heart defect will develop dementia. The study observed a higher risk, but did not prove cause and effect.

Heart defects are the most common group of birth defects, occurring in 4 to 10 of every 1,000 live births in the United States and 8 to 10 out of every 1,000 live births in Denmark’.

“Our study involved an older population born when treatments for heart defects were more limited. Modern treatment has improved greatly, and as a result we can’t directly generalize these results to children born today. We need further work to understand the risks in the modern era,” Bagge said.

Dementia or cognitive impairment is often progressive, and can be caused by many factors, including reduced blood flow to the brain, strokes and Alzheimer’s disease. People with dementia may have problems with memory, reasoning, behavior and other mental functions.

In this study, the risk of dementia was higher in people born with heart defects who developed other heart disease risk factors later in life, such as atrial fibrillation, heart failure, and diabetes. These risk factors are more common in people born with heart defects than in the general population, and they have also been shown to independently raise the risk of dementia.

“While we must be careful to appreciate these findings within the limitations of the study design, continued study of this association may yield important clinical screening and medical management strategies in the future, and there may even be opportunities discovered to aid in the prevention of dementia in this population,” said Nicolas L. Madsen, M.D., M.P.H., senior author of the study and assistant professor of pediatrics at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Co-authors are Victor W. Henderson, M.D., M.S.; Henning B. Laursen, M.D., D.M.Sc.; Kasper Adelborg, M.D., Ph.D.; and Morten Olsen, M.D., Ph.D. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

The study was funded by the Department of Clinical Epidemiology at Aarhus University Hospital, the Heart Institute at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, the National Institute on Aging, the Foundation of the Family Kjaersgaard Sunds, the Foundation of 1870, the Foundation of Raimond and Dagmar Ringgaard-Bohn, the Foundation of Torben and Alice Frimodt, the Foundation of the Family Hede-Nielsen, and the Oticon Foundation.

Additional Resources:

###

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: 214-706-1173

Staff Contact: Darcy Spitz: 212-878-5940; darcy.spitz@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsMon, 12 Feb 2018 10:00:06 GMTStudy Highlight: Children born with heart defects are more likely to survive into old age because of improved early treatments, but they may be more likely to develop early-onset dementia than people born without heart defects. https://newsroom.heart.org/news/survivors-of-childhood-heart-defects-may-have-higher-risk-of-premature-dementiaMon, 12 Feb 2018 10:00:00 GMT

Survivors of childhood heart defects may have higher risk of premature dementia

AHA Heart News - Mon, 02/12/2018 - 04:44
Study Highlight:

  • Children born with heart defects are more likely to survive into old age because of improved early treatments, but they may be more likely to develop early-onset dementia than people born without heart defects.

Embargoed until 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Monday, February 12, 2018

DALLAS, February 12, 2018 — People born with heart defects who survive into adulthood may be at higher risk of developing dementia, particularly dementia that starts before 65 years of age, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation.

With improved newborn and childhood treatments, more people born with heart defects survive into adulthood. A 2016 study published in Circulation estimated that approximately 1.4 million adults are living with congenital heart defects in the United States.

“Previous studies showed that people born with heart defects have a higher risk of neurodevelopmental problems in childhood, such as epilepsy and autism, but this is, to our knowledge, the first study to examine the potential for dementia later in adult life,” said Carina N. Bagge, B.Sc., lead author of the study and a medical student in the Department of Clinical Epidemiology at Aarhus University Hospital in Aarhus, Denmark.

Using national medical databases and records covering all Danish hospitals, the researchers examined the occurrence of dementia in 10,632 mostly Caucasian adults (46 percent male) born with heart defects between 1890 and 1982 (most between 1960 and 1982), matching each with 10 members of the general population of the same gender born the same year.

Researchers found the risk of dementia from any cause, including vascular dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and others, in people born with heart defects in Denmark was:

  • 60 percent higher overall than the general population;
  • 160 percent (2.6 times) higher for early-onset dementia (diagnosed before age 65);
  • 30 percent higher for dementia diagnosed after age 65.

The study was observational, which means that the researchers were examining individuals with heart defects over time to see if there was an association between being born with a heart defect and developing dementia later in life. While they did find an association, the study does not mean that every person who was born with a heart defect will develop dementia. The study observed a higher risk, but did not prove cause and effect.

Heart defects are the most common group of birth defects, occurring in 4 to 10 of every 1,000 live births in the United States and 8 to 10 out of every 1,000 live births in Denmark’.

“Our study involved an older population born when treatments for heart defects were more limited. Modern treatment has improved greatly, and as a result we can’t directly generalize these results to children born today. We need further work to understand the risks in the modern era,” Bagge said.

Dementia or cognitive impairment is often progressive, and can be caused by many factors, including reduced blood flow to the brain, strokes and Alzheimer’s disease. People with dementia may have problems with memory, reasoning, behavior and other mental functions.

In this study, the risk of dementia was higher in people born with heart defects who developed other heart disease risk factors later in life, such as atrial fibrillation, heart failure, and diabetes. These risk factors are more common in people born with heart defects than in the general population, and they have also been shown to independently raise the risk of dementia.

“While we must be careful to appreciate these findings within the limitations of the study design, continued study of this association may yield important clinical screening and medical management strategies in the future, and there may even be opportunities discovered to aid in the prevention of dementia in this population,” said Nicolas L. Madsen, M.D., M.P.H., senior author of the study and assistant professor of pediatrics at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Co-authors are Victor W. Henderson, M.D., M.S.; Henning B. Laursen, M.D., D.M.Sc.; Kasper Adelborg, M.D., Ph.D.; and Morten Olsen, M.D., Ph.D. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

The study was funded by the Department of Clinical Epidemiology at Aarhus University Hospital, the Heart Institute at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, the National Institute on Aging, the Foundation of the Family Kjaersgaard Sunds, the Foundation of 1870, the Foundation of Raimond and Dagmar Ringgaard-Bohn, the Foundation of Torben and Alice Frimodt, the Foundation of the Family Hede-Nielsen, and the Oticon Foundation.

Additional Resources:

###

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: 214-706-1173

Staff Contact: Darcy Spitz: 212-878-5940; darcy.spitz@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsMon, 12 Feb 2018 10:00:06 GMTStudy Highlight: Children born with heart defects are more likely to survive into old age because of improved early treatments, but they may be more likely to develop early-onset dementia than people born without heart defects. https://newsroom.heart.org/news/survivors-of-childhood-heart-defects-may-have-higher-risk-of-premature-dementiaMon, 12 Feb 2018 10:00:00 GMT

Stroke journal features women’s studies on how gender influences stroke risk, treatment and outcomes

AHA Stroke News - Thu, 02/08/2018 - 04:31
Embargoed until 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Thurs., Feb. 8, 2018

DALLAS, Feb. 8, 2018 — Many aspects of strokes affect women and men differently, and four articles in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke highlight recent research and identify future research needs.

“Gender influences all aspects of stroke, from risk factors, treatments and outcomes,” said Marc Fisher, M.D editor in chief of the Stroke journal and professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. “Highlighting these studies, all led by female researchers, in February, a month when the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association focuses on women’s health with Go Red For Women, is important. For too long, gender influences were not adequately studied.”

The studies include:

Stroke risk factors unique to women

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in women in the United States and is a leading cause of disability. Each year 55,000 more women than men have a stroke, a discrepancy largely driven by longer life expectancy in women.

This review highlights stroke risk factors specific to women, including fluctuations in naturally occurring hormone levels over women’s lives; adverse effects of supplemental hormones used as contraception or to treat menopausal symptoms; and pregnancy and pregnancy-related complications. The authors suggest that future research is needed to determine whether stroke risk prediction models should include risk factors specific to women such as supplemental hormones and pregnancy.

Preeclampsia: Association with posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome and stroke

Preeclampsia is a complication of pregnancy characterized by high blood pressure which can cause damage to the brain, kidneys and liver. Preeclampsia can advance to eclampsia, which is characterized by seizures. Both of these conditions are associated with an increased risk of maternal death, ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke. Preeclampsia is a treatable and possibly preventable condition which complicates up to 5 percent of pregnancies. The treatment for preeclampsia/eclampsia includes anti-hypertensives and magnesium.

According to this review, the risk of future ischemic stroke is approximately 80 percent greater in women with a history of preeclampsia than in those without the condition. Women whose pregnancy is complicated by preeclampsia or eclampsia should be counseled on the signs and symptoms of stroke and monitored closely in the postpartum period. 

A focused update of sex differences in patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) after stroke

This study is an updated review of sex differences in patient reported outcome measures less than 12 months after stroke, using data from studies published since 2007.

The review confirms that after stroke women suffer more activity limitations, worse health related quality of life and more post stroke depression than men, but do not have worse cognitive impairment or challenges in dealing with everyday life compared to men. The authors note that there is a pressing need for high-quality population-based studies of sex differences in patient reported outcome measures after stroke. Studies exploring potential modifiable contributors to these differences are needed so effective interventions to reduce sex disparities in outcomes can be designed.

Impact of Conventional Stroke Risk Factors on Stroke in Women: An Update

Due to increasing stroke risk with age and a longer life expectancy, women experience more strokes and more death from stroke over their lifetime and have worse functional outcomes following stroke. This study reviews current literature (2013 to present) on ischemic strokes, the most common type of stroke caused by narrowing or blockages in the arteries leading to the brain, and the degree to which conventional risk factors affect men and women differently. 

It concludes that risk factors -- including diabetes, metabolic syndrome, atrial fibrillation and migraine -- carry greater ischemic stroke risk for women compared with men. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of risk factors that significantly raises the risk of heart disease and stroke; atrial fibrillation is a heart rhythm disorder. The association between elevated cholesterol and stroke may be slightly higher among men, and the role of high blood pressure is complicated, with varying effects based on age/race/ethnicity and gender.

The authors also note that treatment disparities between men and women leading to suboptimal stroke prevention in women need to be addressed.

Editorial: Stroke in Women

In this edition of Stroke, the papers by McDermott, Demel, Madsen, Gall/Lisabeth and colleagues argue for further recognition of the factors causing stroke in women as well as for systematic intensification of treatments. Sex differences in stroke burden are most influenced by differences in cardiovascular risk factor burden; thus, the greatest gains in stroke prevention will come from increased screening and treatment of these primary risk factors in women early in life, especially in the obese, women in pregnancy, and those from high-risk ethnoracial groups.

Co-authors, funding sources and author disclosures are on the manuscripts.

Additional Resources:

###

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke –  the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About the American Stroke Association

The American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from stroke — the No. 2 cause of death in the world and a leading cause of serious disability. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat stroke. The Dallas-based association officially launched in 1998 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit StrokeAssociation.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: 214-706-1173

Darcy Spitz: 212-878-5940; darcy.spitz@heart.org.

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

 

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsThu, 08 Feb 2018 10:00:04 GMTMany aspects of strokes affect women and men differently, and four articles in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke highlight recent research and identify future research needs.https://newsroom.heart.org/news/stroke-journal-features-womens-studies-on-how-gender-influences-stroke-risk-treatment-and-outcomesThu, 08 Feb 2018 10:00:00 GMT

Stroke journal features women’s studies on how gender influences stroke risk, treatment and outcomes

AHA Heart News - Thu, 02/08/2018 - 04:31
Embargoed until 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Thurs., Feb. 8, 2018

DALLAS, Feb. 8, 2018 — Many aspects of strokes affect women and men differently, and four articles in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke highlight recent research and identify future research needs.

“Gender influences all aspects of stroke, from risk factors, treatments and outcomes,” said Marc Fisher, M.D editor in chief of the Stroke journal and professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. “Highlighting these studies, all led by female researchers, in February, a month when the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association focuses on women’s health with Go Red For Women, is important. For too long, gender influences were not adequately studied.”

The studies include:

Stroke risk factors unique to women

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in women in the United States and is a leading cause of disability. Each year 55,000 more women than men have a stroke, a discrepancy largely driven by longer life expectancy in women.

This review highlights stroke risk factors specific to women, including fluctuations in naturally occurring hormone levels over women’s lives; adverse effects of supplemental hormones used as contraception or to treat menopausal symptoms; and pregnancy and pregnancy-related complications. The authors suggest that future research is needed to determine whether stroke risk prediction models should include risk factors specific to women such as supplemental hormones and pregnancy.

Preeclampsia: Association with posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome and stroke

Preeclampsia is a complication of pregnancy characterized by high blood pressure which can cause damage to the brain, kidneys and liver. Preeclampsia can advance to eclampsia, which is characterized by seizures. Both of these conditions are associated with an increased risk of maternal death, ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke. Preeclampsia is a treatable and possibly preventable condition which complicates up to 5 percent of pregnancies. The treatment for preeclampsia/eclampsia includes anti-hypertensives and magnesium.

According to this review, the risk of future ischemic stroke is approximately 80 percent greater in women with a history of preeclampsia than in those without the condition. Women whose pregnancy is complicated by preeclampsia or eclampsia should be counseled on the signs and symptoms of stroke and monitored closely in the postpartum period. 

A focused update of sex differences in patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) after stroke

This study is an updated review of sex differences in patient reported outcome measures less than 12 months after stroke, using data from studies published since 2007.

The review confirms that after stroke women suffer more activity limitations, worse health related quality of life and more post stroke depression than men, but do not have worse cognitive impairment or challenges in dealing with everyday life compared to men. The authors note that there is a pressing need for high-quality population-based studies of sex differences in patient reported outcome measures after stroke. Studies exploring potential modifiable contributors to these differences are needed so effective interventions to reduce sex disparities in outcomes can be designed.

Impact of Conventional Stroke Risk Factors on Stroke in Women: An Update

Due to increasing stroke risk with age and a longer life expectancy, women experience more strokes and more death from stroke over their lifetime and have worse functional outcomes following stroke. This study reviews current literature (2013 to present) on ischemic strokes, the most common type of stroke caused by narrowing or blockages in the arteries leading to the brain, and the degree to which conventional risk factors affect men and women differently. 

It concludes that risk factors -- including diabetes, metabolic syndrome, atrial fibrillation and migraine -- carry greater ischemic stroke risk for women compared with men. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of risk factors that significantly raises the risk of heart disease and stroke; atrial fibrillation is a heart rhythm disorder. The association between elevated cholesterol and stroke may be slightly higher among men, and the role of high blood pressure is complicated, with varying effects based on age/race/ethnicity and gender.

The authors also note that treatment disparities between men and women leading to suboptimal stroke prevention in women need to be addressed.

Editorial: Stroke in Women

In this edition of Stroke, the papers by McDermott, Demel, Madsen, Gall/Lisabeth and colleagues argue for further recognition of the factors causing stroke in women as well as for systematic intensification of treatments. Sex differences in stroke burden are most influenced by differences in cardiovascular risk factor burden; thus, the greatest gains in stroke prevention will come from increased screening and treatment of these primary risk factors in women early in life, especially in the obese, women in pregnancy, and those from high-risk ethnoracial groups.

Co-authors, funding sources and author disclosures are on the manuscripts.

Additional Resources:

###

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke –  the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About the American Stroke Association

The American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from stroke — the No. 2 cause of death in the world and a leading cause of serious disability. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat stroke. The Dallas-based association officially launched in 1998 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit StrokeAssociation.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: 214-706-1173

Darcy Spitz: 212-878-5940; darcy.spitz@heart.org.

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

 

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsThu, 08 Feb 2018 10:00:04 GMTMany aspects of strokes affect women and men differently, and four articles in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke highlight recent research and identify future research needs.https://newsroom.heart.org/news/stroke-journal-features-womens-studies-on-how-gender-influences-stroke-risk-treatment-and-outcomesThu, 08 Feb 2018 10:00:00 GMT

Top heart disease and stroke research advances of 2017

AHA Stroke News - Wed, 02/07/2018 - 15:11
DALLAS, Feb. 7, 2018 — New medicines to fight heart disease, updated guidelines for strokes and high blood pressure, and research into genome editing are among the top heart disease and stroke advances in 2017, according to the American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary health organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular disease and stroke.

The Association, one of the top funders of heart- and stroke-related research worldwide, has been compiling an annual top 10 list of major advances in heart disease and stroke science since 1996. Here, in no particular order, are the organization’s picks for leading research accomplishments published in 2017.

Advancing the treatment of strokes

Following publication in 2017 of the DAWN study in The New England Journal of Medicine showing benefits of mechanical clot removal for longer periods after a stroke starts, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association released new guidelines for treating acute ischemic stroke. The guidelines were released at the International Stroke Conference in January 2018 and included additional data from DEFUSE 3, also presented at the meeting.

The new guidelines, published in the journal Stroke, say the clot-removal treatment window may be increased from six hours to up to 24 hours for specific patients who have clots in large vessels in the brain. The guidelines also increase the number of patients who will have access to a clot-dissolving drug proven to lower the chances for disability. The guidelines reiterated the need for fast action when a person shows the symptoms of a stroke, the second-leading cause of death in the world and a leading cause of disability.

Fixing a gene mutation in human embryos

A study in Nature suggests genome editing could be used to correct disease-causing mutations in the heart muscle of human embryos. Researchers focused on the MYBPC3 gene – which provides instructions for making a protein found in heart muscle cells and causes a form of inherited hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – and used new approaches to allow safe and accurate correction of the abnormal gene.

While early, this research furthers the potential for genome editing to correct mutations that pass from parent to child.

New high blood pressure guidelines for teens and children

For children, “normal” blood pressure varies based on gender, age and height. So for years, doctors had to refer to sets of charts to calculate whether a child’s blood pressure was normal or high.

Last August, the American Academy of Pediatrics simplified the process by issuing updated guidelines for diagnosing, evaluating and treating children and adolescents with high blood pressure. The guidelines, published in Pediatrics, provide a short, easy-to-understand table that uses a child’s age and gender to determine whether blood pressure is elevated or not.

The AHA and American College of Cardiology released new guidelines for adults last November at the Association’s annual Scientific Sessions. The guidance, published in the American Heart Association’s journal, Hypertension, redefined what should be classified as high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. Experts looking at the newest data defined hypertension as a reading of 130 (for the top, or systolic, number) or 80 (for the bottom, or diastolic, number). In the past, hypertension was defined as 140/90.

The change means 46 percent of U.S. adults are identified as having high blood pressure, compared with 32 percent under the previous definition. Lifestyle changes alone, without the need for medication, are recommended for the majority of Americans with newly diagnosed high blood pressure, according to the guidelines.

Economic recession affects the cardiovascular health of African-American teens

Previous research has shown that low household income can adversely affect patients’ health, but a new study found the health of some African-American teenagers was particularly impacted five years following the Great Recession that lasted from 2007-2009.

The study, in the Journal of the American Heart Association, found that 16- and 17-year-olds in the rural U.S. Southeast whose families suffered a financial downturn after the recession showed higher rates of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of disorders that may include abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar and high cholesterol. The results suggest the need for secondary prevention efforts for teens, including lifestyle modification, during and after a large-scale economic decline.

A deeper understanding of heart health for those living in food deserts

Health researchers have focused a lot in recent years on so-called food deserts: low-income neighborhoods with low access to healthy food. But a new study found that it’s not so much the “desert” itself as it is low income in general that is linked to poor heart health.

The study, in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, studied food deserts in metro Atlanta and found people who live there have higher rates of cardiovascular risk factors such as oxidative stress, inflammation and arterial stiffness. However, researchers concluded these associations are mostly due to low income of the area and its residents rather than proximity to a grocery store – a finding which could impact the future use of public health resources in poor neighborhoods.

Cholesterol-lowering drug cuts risk of heart attacks and strokes

A study in The New England Journal of Medicine found that the new injectable cholesterol-lowering drug evolocumab can reduce heart attacks and strokes among high-risk patients. The FOURIER study – paid for by Amgen, which makes and sells the PCSK9 inhibitor evolocumab under the brand name Repatha – showed that the drug cut the risk of having a heart attack, stroke or dying from a cardiovascular cause by 20 percent when added to intensive statin therapy.

The study reported that Repatha lowered “bad” LDL cholesterol by about 60 percent, to a median of 30.

SGLT2 inhibitors may lower rates of death and heart failure for people with diabetes

A large international study in Circulation showed lower rates of death and heart failure for diabetes patients treated with the SGLT2 inhibitors canagliflozin, dapagliflozin or empagliflozin, compared with other glucose-lowering drugs. The CVD-REAL study – paid for by AstraZeneca, which markets dapagliflozin under the brand name Farxiga – looked at more than 300,000 patients with Type 2 diabetes in the U.S., the U.K., Denmark, Norway and Sweden. The results suggest SGLT2 inhibitors may benefit a broad population of patients with Type 2 diabetes.

Improved therapy for treating patients with peripheral artery disease

According to a study in The Lancet, combining low doses of the blood thinner rivaroxaban and aspirin is more effective than aspirin alone in preventing cardiovascular deaths, heart attacks, strokes and major amputations for people with peripheral artery disease, or PAD.

The 33-country COMPASS study looked at 7,470 patients with PAD, a narrowing of the peripheral arteries to the legs, arms, stomach and head. Although major bleeding increased with the combination therapy, fatal or critical organ bleeding did not. Researchers said the new approach is a major advance in treating patients with peripheral artery disease.

A new treatment for fighting inflammation and reducing cardiovascular events

Scientists have long believed that reducing inflammation may reduce the risk of heart disease. The CANTOS study published in The New England Journal of Medicine looked at more than 10,000 high-risk patients who previously had heart attacks and found that canakinumab, a monoclonal antibody that targets interleukin-1 beta and blocks inflammation, significantly lowered their rate of having or dying from a heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular cause. Although the drug did not reduce overall deaths from any cause and was associated with significant side effects, the principle underlying the use of a specific anti-inflammatory antibody is important.

Catheter-based procedure extended for more patients with aortic stenosis

Aortic stenosis – a narrowing of the aortic valve opening – is a common and serious valve disease problem. For patients with severe aortic stenosis at high risk for surgical complications, a procedure called transcatheter aortic-valve replacement, or TAVR, that can be done through a catheter rather than with open-heart surgery, is already an accepted alternative.

The SURTAVI study in The New England Journal of Medicine looked at severe aortic stenosis patients at intermediate risk for complications from surgery and found TAVR to be a viable alternative for them as well.

Additional Resources:

  • Follow AHA/ASA news on Twitter @HeartNews
  • For updates and new science from the Circulation journal follow @CircAHA

###

The information is available via an American Heart Association News story. Media may leverage this content for linking, quoting and excerpting. Copyright is owned or held by American Heart Association and all rights are reserved, but permission is granted, at no cost and without need for further request, to link to, quote or excerpt from these stories in any medium anywhere as long as the text is not altered and proper attribution is made to American Heart Association News. Full terms of use and attribution language can be found here.

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: 214-706-1173

Carrie Thacker: 214-706-1665; carrie.thacker@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsWed, 07 Feb 2018 21:07:31 GMTNew medicines to fight heart disease, updated guidelines for strokes and high blood pressure, and research into genome editing are among the top heart disease and stroke advances in 2017, according to the American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary health organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular disease and stroke.https://newsroom.heart.org/news/top-heart-disease-and-stroke-research-advances-of-2017Wed, 07 Feb 2018 20:51:00 GMT

Top heart disease and stroke research advances of 2017

AHA Heart News - Wed, 02/07/2018 - 15:11
DALLAS, Feb. 7, 2018 — New medicines to fight heart disease, updated guidelines for strokes and high blood pressure, and research into genome editing are among the top heart disease and stroke advances in 2017, according to the American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary health organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular disease and stroke.

The Association, one of the top funders of heart- and stroke-related research worldwide, has been compiling an annual top 10 list of major advances in heart disease and stroke science since 1996. Here, in no particular order, are the organization’s picks for leading research accomplishments published in 2017.

Advancing the treatment of strokes

Following publication in 2017 of the DAWN study in The New England Journal of Medicine showing benefits of mechanical clot removal for longer periods after a stroke starts, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association released new guidelines for treating acute ischemic stroke. The guidelines were released at the International Stroke Conference in January 2018 and included additional data from DEFUSE 3, also presented at the meeting.

The new guidelines, published in the journal Stroke, say the clot-removal treatment window may be increased from six hours to up to 24 hours for specific patients who have clots in large vessels in the brain. The guidelines also increase the number of patients who will have access to a clot-dissolving drug proven to lower the chances for disability. The guidelines reiterated the need for fast action when a person shows the symptoms of a stroke, the second-leading cause of death in the world and a leading cause of disability.

Fixing a gene mutation in human embryos

A study in Nature suggests genome editing could be used to correct disease-causing mutations in the heart muscle of human embryos. Researchers focused on the MYBPC3 gene – which provides instructions for making a protein found in heart muscle cells and causes a form of inherited hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – and used new approaches to allow safe and accurate correction of the abnormal gene.

While early, this research furthers the potential for genome editing to correct mutations that pass from parent to child.

New high blood pressure guidelines for teens and children

For children, “normal” blood pressure varies based on gender, age and height. So for years, doctors had to refer to sets of charts to calculate whether a child’s blood pressure was normal or high.

Last August, the American Academy of Pediatrics simplified the process by issuing updated guidelines for diagnosing, evaluating and treating children and adolescents with high blood pressure. The guidelines, published in Pediatrics, provide a short, easy-to-understand table that uses a child’s age and gender to determine whether blood pressure is elevated or not.

The AHA and American College of Cardiology released new guidelines for adults last November at the Association’s annual Scientific Sessions. The guidance, published in the American Heart Association’s journal, Hypertension, redefined what should be classified as high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. Experts looking at the newest data defined hypertension as a reading of 130 (for the top, or systolic, number) or 80 (for the bottom, or diastolic, number). In the past, hypertension was defined as 140/90.

The change means 46 percent of U.S. adults are identified as having high blood pressure, compared with 32 percent under the previous definition. Lifestyle changes alone, without the need for medication, are recommended for the majority of Americans with newly diagnosed high blood pressure, according to the guidelines.

Economic recession affects the cardiovascular health of African-American teens

Previous research has shown that low household income can adversely affect patients’ health, but a new study found the health of some African-American teenagers was particularly impacted five years following the Great Recession that lasted from 2007-2009.

The study, in the Journal of the American Heart Association, found that 16- and 17-year-olds in the rural U.S. Southeast whose families suffered a financial downturn after the recession showed higher rates of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of disorders that may include abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar and high cholesterol. The results suggest the need for secondary prevention efforts for teens, including lifestyle modification, during and after a large-scale economic decline.

A deeper understanding of heart health for those living in food deserts

Health researchers have focused a lot in recent years on so-called food deserts: low-income neighborhoods with low access to healthy food. But a new study found that it’s not so much the “desert” itself as it is low income in general that is linked to poor heart health.

The study, in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, studied food deserts in metro Atlanta and found people who live there have higher rates of cardiovascular risk factors such as oxidative stress, inflammation and arterial stiffness. However, researchers concluded these associations are mostly due to low income of the area and its residents rather than proximity to a grocery store – a finding which could impact the future use of public health resources in poor neighborhoods.

Cholesterol-lowering drug cuts risk of heart attacks and strokes

A study in The New England Journal of Medicine found that the new injectable cholesterol-lowering drug evolocumab can reduce heart attacks and strokes among high-risk patients. The FOURIER study – paid for by Amgen, which makes and sells the PCSK9 inhibitor evolocumab under the brand name Repatha – showed that the drug cut the risk of having a heart attack, stroke or dying from a cardiovascular cause by 20 percent when added to intensive statin therapy.

The study reported that Repatha lowered “bad” LDL cholesterol by about 60 percent, to a median of 30.

SGLT2 inhibitors may lower rates of death and heart failure for people with diabetes

A large international study in Circulation showed lower rates of death and heart failure for diabetes patients treated with the SGLT2 inhibitors canagliflozin, dapagliflozin or empagliflozin, compared with other glucose-lowering drugs. The CVD-REAL study – paid for by AstraZeneca, which markets dapagliflozin under the brand name Farxiga – looked at more than 300,000 patients with Type 2 diabetes in the U.S., the U.K., Denmark, Norway and Sweden. The results suggest SGLT2 inhibitors may benefit a broad population of patients with Type 2 diabetes.

Improved therapy for treating patients with peripheral artery disease

According to a study in The Lancet, combining low doses of the blood thinner rivaroxaban and aspirin is more effective than aspirin alone in preventing cardiovascular deaths, heart attacks, strokes and major amputations for people with peripheral artery disease, or PAD.

The 33-country COMPASS study looked at 7,470 patients with PAD, a narrowing of the peripheral arteries to the legs, arms, stomach and head. Although major bleeding increased with the combination therapy, fatal or critical organ bleeding did not. Researchers said the new approach is a major advance in treating patients with peripheral artery disease.

A new treatment for fighting inflammation and reducing cardiovascular events

Scientists have long believed that reducing inflammation may reduce the risk of heart disease. The CANTOS study published in The New England Journal of Medicine looked at more than 10,000 high-risk patients who previously had heart attacks and found that canakinumab, a monoclonal antibody that targets interleukin-1 beta and blocks inflammation, significantly lowered their rate of having or dying from a heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular cause. Although the drug did not reduce overall deaths from any cause and was associated with significant side effects, the principle underlying the use of a specific anti-inflammatory antibody is important.

Catheter-based procedure extended for more patients with aortic stenosis

Aortic stenosis – a narrowing of the aortic valve opening – is a common and serious valve disease problem. For patients with severe aortic stenosis at high risk for surgical complications, a procedure called transcatheter aortic-valve replacement, or TAVR, that can be done through a catheter rather than with open-heart surgery, is already an accepted alternative.

The SURTAVI study in The New England Journal of Medicine looked at severe aortic stenosis patients at intermediate risk for complications from surgery and found TAVR to be a viable alternative for them as well.

Additional Resources:

  • Follow AHA/ASA news on Twitter @HeartNews
  • For updates and new science from the Circulation journal follow @CircAHA

###

The information is available via an American Heart Association News story. Media may leverage this content for linking, quoting and excerpting. Copyright is owned or held by American Heart Association and all rights are reserved, but permission is granted, at no cost and without need for further request, to link to, quote or excerpt from these stories in any medium anywhere as long as the text is not altered and proper attribution is made to American Heart Association News. Full terms of use and attribution language can be found here.

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: 214-706-1173

Carrie Thacker: 214-706-1665; carrie.thacker@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsWed, 07 Feb 2018 21:07:31 GMTNew medicines to fight heart disease, updated guidelines for strokes and high blood pressure, and research into genome editing are among the top heart disease and stroke advances in 2017, according to the American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary health organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular disease and stroke.https://newsroom.heart.org/news/top-heart-disease-and-stroke-research-advances-of-2017Wed, 07 Feb 2018 20:51:00 GMT

Severe pre-eclampsia often leads to undetected high blood pressure after pregnancy

AHA Stroke News - Mon, 02/05/2018 - 04:59
Study Highlights:

  • Hypertension commonly occurs in the year following pregnancy among women who had severe pre-eclampsia during pregnancy.
  • The lingering hypertension may go unnoticed because it often doesn’t present as classic high readings in the doctor’s office.
  • Offering post-pregnancy ambulatory blood pressure monitoring to all women who have severe pre-eclampsia may help detect those whose blood pressures might be high despite normal readings in doctors’ offices.

Embargoed 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Monday, February 5, 2018

DALLAS, Feb. 5, 2018 – Lingering hypertension is common and may go unnoticed among women who have severe pre-eclampsia during pregnancy, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Hypertension.

Pre-eclampsia, which is when a woman develops hypertension and elevated protein in the urine during pregnancy, occurs in three to five percent of pregnancies in the developed world. Recent studies have shown that women with pre-eclampsia are more likely than women with normal blood pressure during pregnancy to have high blood pressure post-pregnancy.

Women with severe pre-eclampsia can be seven times more susceptible to develop future cardiovascular disease compared to women with a normal blood pressure during pregnancy, according to study author Laura Benschop, M.D., a researcher in obstetrics and gynecology at Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

“The problem is high blood pressure after pregnancy often goes unnoticed because many of these women have normal blood pressure readings in the doctor’s office,” Benschop said. “We aimed to determine how common it is for women who have pre-eclampsia to have high blood pressure in the year after pregnancy, by looking at more than just their blood pressure readings in the doctor’s office.”

Benschop and colleagues studied 200 women who during their pregnancies were diagnosed with severe pre-eclampsia, defined by such criteria as a systolic blood pressure of 160 mmHg or higher and/or diastolic blood pressure of 110 mmHg or higher. They followed the women for one year after their pregnancies, monitoring blood pressure during the day and night and taking blood pressure readings in the clinic.

They found:

  • More than 41 percent of the women in the study had high blood pressure in the year after pregnancy.
  • The most common type of hypertension detected (17.5 percent) was masked hypertension, which is normal blood pressure in the doctor’s office, but high readings outside of the office; followed by sustained hypertension (14.5 percent); then, white coat hypertension (9.5 percent), which occurs when people have higher blood pressure readings at the doctor’s office than outside the clinic setting.
  • If the ambulatory readings hadn’t been taken and only in-clinic readings were used, doctors would have missed 56 percent of the women with high blood pressure.
  • Forty-six percent of the women studied had an insufficient decrease in blood pressure from daytime to nighttime, which is unhealthy.
  • Night-time hypertension, which increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and death, affected 42.5 percent of women in the study.

“Our findings suggest women who have high blood pressure during pregnancy should continue to monitor their blood pressure long after they’ve delivered their babies. It’s not only important to monitor blood pressure in the doctor’s office, but also at different times of the day and night, at home,” Benschop said. “We’ve shown here that high blood pressure comes in many forms after pregnancy. Women who know their numbers can take the proper steps to lower their blood pressure and avoid the health consequences of high blood pressure later in life.”

This study has limitations, including that the findings might not be applicable across races and income levels. The women in this study were predominately highly educated and Caucasian.

According to new hypertension treatment guidelines recently released by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Clinical Practice Guidelines, high blood pressure is now defined as readings of 130 mm Hg and higher for the systolic blood pressure measurement, or readings of 80 and higher for the diastolic measurement. That is a change from the old definition of 140/90 and higher, reflecting complications that can occur at those lower numbers.

Co-authors are Johannes J Duvekot, M.D., Ph.D.; Jorie Versmissen, M.D., Ph.D.; Valeska van Broekhoven, M.D.; Eric AP Steegers, M.D., Ph.D.; and Jeanine E Roeters van Lennep, M.D., Ph.D. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

This study did not receive outside funding.

Additional Resources:

###

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: 214-706-1173

Carrie Thacker: 214-706-1665; carrie.thacker@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

 

 

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsMon, 05 Feb 2018 10:00:04 GMTStudy Highlights: Hypertension commonly occurs in the year following pregnancy among women who had severe pre-eclampsia during pregnancy. The lingering hypertension may go unnoticed because it often doesn’t present as classic high readings in the doctor’s office. Offering post-pregnancy ambulatory blood pressure monitoring to all women who have severe pre-eclampsia may help detect those whose blood pressures might be high despite normal readings in doctors’ offices. https://newsroom.heart.org/news/severe-pre-eclampsia-often-leads-to-undetected-high-blood-pressure-after-pregnancyMon, 05 Feb 2018 10:00:00 GMT

Severe pre-eclampsia often leads to undetected high blood pressure after pregnancy

AHA Heart News - Mon, 02/05/2018 - 04:59
Study Highlights:

  • Hypertension commonly occurs in the year following pregnancy among women who had severe pre-eclampsia during pregnancy.
  • The lingering hypertension may go unnoticed because it often doesn’t present as classic high readings in the doctor’s office.
  • Offering post-pregnancy ambulatory blood pressure monitoring to all women who have severe pre-eclampsia may help detect those whose blood pressures might be high despite normal readings in doctors’ offices.

Embargoed 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Monday, February 5, 2018

DALLAS, Feb. 5, 2018 – Lingering hypertension is common and may go unnoticed among women who have severe pre-eclampsia during pregnancy, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Hypertension.

Pre-eclampsia, which is when a woman develops hypertension and elevated protein in the urine during pregnancy, occurs in three to five percent of pregnancies in the developed world. Recent studies have shown that women with pre-eclampsia are more likely than women with normal blood pressure during pregnancy to have high blood pressure post-pregnancy.

Women with severe pre-eclampsia can be seven times more susceptible to develop future cardiovascular disease compared to women with a normal blood pressure during pregnancy, according to study author Laura Benschop, M.D., a researcher in obstetrics and gynecology at Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

“The problem is high blood pressure after pregnancy often goes unnoticed because many of these women have normal blood pressure readings in the doctor’s office,” Benschop said. “We aimed to determine how common it is for women who have pre-eclampsia to have high blood pressure in the year after pregnancy, by looking at more than just their blood pressure readings in the doctor’s office.”

Benschop and colleagues studied 200 women who during their pregnancies were diagnosed with severe pre-eclampsia, defined by such criteria as a systolic blood pressure of 160 mmHg or higher and/or diastolic blood pressure of 110 mmHg or higher. They followed the women for one year after their pregnancies, monitoring blood pressure during the day and night and taking blood pressure readings in the clinic.

They found:

  • More than 41 percent of the women in the study had high blood pressure in the year after pregnancy.
  • The most common type of hypertension detected (17.5 percent) was masked hypertension, which is normal blood pressure in the doctor’s office, but high readings outside of the office; followed by sustained hypertension (14.5 percent); then, white coat hypertension (9.5 percent), which occurs when people have higher blood pressure readings at the doctor’s office than outside the clinic setting.
  • If the ambulatory readings hadn’t been taken and only in-clinic readings were used, doctors would have missed 56 percent of the women with high blood pressure.
  • Forty-six percent of the women studied had an insufficient decrease in blood pressure from daytime to nighttime, which is unhealthy.
  • Night-time hypertension, which increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and death, affected 42.5 percent of women in the study.

“Our findings suggest women who have high blood pressure during pregnancy should continue to monitor their blood pressure long after they’ve delivered their babies. It’s not only important to monitor blood pressure in the doctor’s office, but also at different times of the day and night, at home,” Benschop said. “We’ve shown here that high blood pressure comes in many forms after pregnancy. Women who know their numbers can take the proper steps to lower their blood pressure and avoid the health consequences of high blood pressure later in life.”

This study has limitations, including that the findings might not be applicable across races and income levels. The women in this study were predominately highly educated and Caucasian.

According to new hypertension treatment guidelines recently released by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Clinical Practice Guidelines, high blood pressure is now defined as readings of 130 mm Hg and higher for the systolic blood pressure measurement, or readings of 80 and higher for the diastolic measurement. That is a change from the old definition of 140/90 and higher, reflecting complications that can occur at those lower numbers.

Co-authors are Johannes J Duvekot, M.D., Ph.D.; Jorie Versmissen, M.D., Ph.D.; Valeska van Broekhoven, M.D.; Eric AP Steegers, M.D., Ph.D.; and Jeanine E Roeters van Lennep, M.D., Ph.D. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

This study did not receive outside funding.

Additional Resources:

###

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: 214-706-1173

Carrie Thacker: 214-706-1665; carrie.thacker@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

 

 

]]>Heart NewsStroke NewsMon, 05 Feb 2018 10:00:04 GMTStudy Highlights: Hypertension commonly occurs in the year following pregnancy among women who had severe pre-eclampsia during pregnancy. The lingering hypertension may go unnoticed because it often doesn’t present as classic high readings in the doctor’s office. Offering post-pregnancy ambulatory blood pressure monitoring to all women who have severe pre-eclampsia may help detect those whose blood pressures might be high despite normal readings in doctors’ offices. https://newsroom.heart.org/news/severe-pre-eclampsia-often-leads-to-undetected-high-blood-pressure-after-pregnancyMon, 05 Feb 2018 10:00:00 GMT

Breast cancer treatments may increase the risk of heart disease

AHA Heart News - Thu, 02/01/2018 - 04:40
Statement Highlights:

  • Some breast cancer therapies can damage the heart and healthcare providers should carefully monitor breast cancer treatment effects on the heart.
  • Breast cancer survivors, especially older women, are more likely to die from cardiovascular diseases such as heart failure rather than breast cancer.

Embargoed until 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Thurs., Feb. 1, 2018

DALLAS, Feb. 1, 2018 — Breast cancer patients may be at an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases including heart failure and may benefit from a treatment approach that weighs the benefits of specific therapies against potential damage to the heart, according to a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association published in its journal Circulation.

The statement is an overview of what we currently know about risk factors common to both heart disease and breast cancer, the potential heart damage from some breast cancer treatments, and suggested strategies to prevent or minimize the damage. Breast cancer survivors, especially older women over the age of 65, are more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than breast cancer, underscoring the importance of effectively managing heart disease risk factors during and following cancer treatment.

“Any patient who is going to undergo breast cancer treatment, whether they have heart disease at the beginning or not, should be aware of the potential effects of the treatments on their heart,” said Laxmi Mehta, M.D., chair of the writing group for the new scientific statement. “This should not deter or scare patients from undergoing breast cancer treatment, but should allow them to make informed decisions with their doctor on the best cancer treatment for them.” 

During cancer treatments, patients should pay attention not only to their breast health, but also to their general health, including their heart, said Dr. Mehta, who is director of the Women’s Cardiovascular Health Program and an associate professor of medicine at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.

For example, some cancer treatments, such as HER-2 targeted therapies, can cause weakening of the heart muscle, a condition known as heart failure. HER-2 is a specific type of breast cancer. In some cases, the reduction in heart function is temporary and cessation of the treatment and/or the addition of heart medicines can improve function. But in some breast cancer patients, heart failure can be permanent. Because of this, the early development of heart failure can signal a need to slow down and/or alter a patient’s breast cancer treatment because of the risk for worsening the condition or the development of permanent heart failure. 

Some small studies suggest that administering common chemotherapy agents in new ways may reduce heart disease risks. Doxorubicin is a chemotherapy drug used in breast cancer therapy that can lead to the damage of heart cells. Studies have shown that when doxorubicin is administered slowly, rather than all at once, patients may have a lower risk of heart failure.

In addition, a drug called dexrazoxane that could reduce cell damage has recently been approved for patients with metastatic breast cancer who receive high doses of doxorubicin. More studies will need to be done to confirm whether the results of the smaller studies are seen in larger groups of patients. 

Other treatments, such as radiation, can affect the heart arteries and cause the development of coronary artery disease or blockages. Some breast cancer treatment agents, such as anthracyclines, can result in abnormal heart rhythms that in some patients are benign but in others can lead to life-threatening heart rhythms. And, some treatments -- like antimetabolites -- can cause spasm of the heart arteries, which can cause chest pain symptoms but could lead to heart attacks as well.

Heart disease and breast cancer share a number of risk factors, including advanced age, poor diet, family history, physical inactivity and tobacco use. The fact that these diseases share some risk factors suggests that there are lifestyle choices, primarily diet and exercise, that could help decrease the risks of developing both diseases. Healthcare providers should monitor a woman’s heart health before, during and after breast cancer treatment.

Adherence to a number of ideal heart health behaviors or factors from the American Heart Association’s’ Life’s Simple 7 is associated with a trend towards a lower incidence of breast cancer. Life’s Simple 7 includes being physically active, achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight, eating a healthy diet, avoiding tobacco, maintaining healthy levels of blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar.

“Fortunately, with the advances in breast cancer treatment, there has been a growing number of survivors. However, during and after the treatment of breast cancer, having optimal control of heart disease risk factors is important, because older breast cancer survivors are more likely to die of heart disease than breast cancer,” Dr. Mehta said. “And that's why Life's Simple 7 is important for all patients with and without breast cancer.”

Although there are an estimated 47.8 million women in the U.S. who are living with cardiovascular diseases and approximately 3 million breast cancer survivors, many people regard breast cancer as the primary threat to women’s health. It is important to recognize the overlap of heart disease and breast cancer as both entities impact survival.

Co-authors are Karol E. Watson, M.D., Ph.D., Vice-Chair; Ana Barac, M.D., Ph.D.; Theresa M. Beckie, Ph.D.; Vera Bittner, M.D., M.S.P.H.; Salvador Cruz-Flores, M.D., M.P.H.; Susan F. Dent, M.D.; Lavanya Kondapalli, M.D.; Bonnie Ky, M.D.; Tochukwu Okwuosa, D.O.; Ileana L. Piña, M.D., M.P.H., FAHA; and Annabelle S. Volgman, M.D.; on behalf of the American Heart Association Cardiovascular Disease in Women and Special Populations Committee of the Council on Clinical Cardiology; Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing; and Council on Quality of Care and Outcomes Research. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

Additional Resources:

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The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association receives funding mostly from individuals. Foundations and corporations donate as well, and fund specific programs and events. Strict policies are enforced to prevent these relationships from influencing the association’s science content. Financial information for the American Heart Association, including a list of contributions from pharmaceutical and device manufacturers and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke –  the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries: 214-706-1173

Darcy Spitz: 212-878-5940; Darcy.Spitz@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

]]>Heart NewsScientific Statements/GuidelinesThu, 01 Feb 2018 10:00:09 GMTStatement Highlights: Some breast cancer therapies can damage the heart and healthcare providers should carefully monitor breast cancer treatment effects on the heart. Breast cancer survivors, especially older women, are more likely to die from cardiovascular diseases such as heart failure rather than breast cancer.https://newsroom.heart.org/news/breast-cancer-treatments-may-increase-the-risk-of-heart-diseaseThu, 01 Feb 2018 10:00:00 GMT

More than 100 million Americans have high blood pressure, AHA says

AHA Stroke News - Wed, 01/31/2018 - 13:01
DALLAS, Jan. 31, 2018 — The number of Americans at risk for heart attacks and strokes just got a lot higher. An estimated 103 million U.S. adults have high blood pressure, according to new statistics from the American Heart Association. That’s nearly half of all adults in the United States.

“With the aging of the population and increased life expectancy, the prevalence of high blood pressure is expected to continue to increase,” said epidemiologist Dr. Paul Muntner, co-chair of the group that wrote the AHA’s Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2018 Update, published Wednesday in Circulation. Read more from AHA News

 American Heart Association News covers heart disease, stroke and related health issues. Not all views expressed in American Heart Association News stories reflect the official position of the American Heart Association.  Copyright is owned or held by the American Heart Association, Inc., and all rights are reserved. Permission is granted, at no cost and without need for further request, to link to, quote, excerpt or reprint from these stories in any medium as long as no text is altered and proper attribution is made to the American Heart Association News. See full terms of use.  

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The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association receives funding mostly from individuals. Foundations and corporations donate as well, and fund specific programs and events. Strict policies are enforced to prevent these relationships from influencing the Association's science content. Financial information for the American Heart Association, including a list of contributions from pharmaceutical companies and device manufacturers, is available at http://www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Media Inquiries:  For American Heart Association News stories on Heart.org, please contact editor@heart.org.

For other media inquiries: please call 214-706-1173

Public Inquiries: (800)-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

Life is why we fund scientific breakthroughs that save and improve lives.

]]>Media AlertsHeart NewsStroke NewsWed, 31 Jan 2018 18:01:18 GMTDALLAS, Jan. 31, 2018 — The number of Americans at risk for heart attacks and strokes just got a lot higher. An estimated 103 million U.S. adults have high blood pressure, according to new statistics from the American Heart Association. That’s nearly...https://newsroom.heart.org/news/more-than-100-million-americans-have-high-blood-pressure-aha-saysWed, 31 Jan 2018 18:00:00 GMT

More than 100 million Americans have high blood pressure, AHA says

AHA Heart News - Wed, 01/31/2018 - 13:01
DALLAS, Jan. 31, 2018 — The number of Americans at risk for heart attacks and strokes just got a lot higher. An estimated 103 million U.S. adults have high blood pressure, according to new statistics from the American Heart Association. That’s nearly half of all adults in the United States.

“With the aging of the population and increased life expectancy, the prevalence of high blood pressure is expected to continue to increase,” said epidemiologist Dr. Paul Muntner, co-chair of the group that wrote the AHA’s Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2018 Update, published Wednesday in Circulation. Read more from AHA News

 American Heart Association News covers heart disease, stroke and related health issues. Not all views expressed in American Heart Association News stories reflect the official position of the American Heart Association.  Copyright is owned or held by the American Heart Association, Inc., and all rights are reserved. Permission is granted, at no cost and without need for further request, to link to, quote, excerpt or reprint from these stories in any medium as long as no text is altered and proper attribution is made to the American Heart Association News. See full terms of use.  

###

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association receives funding mostly from individuals. Foundations and corporations donate as well, and fund specific programs and events. Strict policies are enforced to prevent these relationships from influencing the Association's science content. Financial information for the American Heart Association, including a list of contributions from pharmaceutical companies and device manufacturers, is available at http://www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Media Inquiries:  For American Heart Association News stories on Heart.org, please contact editor@heart.org.

For other media inquiries: please call 214-706-1173

Public Inquiries: (800)-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

Life is why we fund scientific breakthroughs that save and improve lives.

]]>Media AlertsHeart NewsStroke NewsWed, 31 Jan 2018 18:01:18 GMTDALLAS, Jan. 31, 2018 — The number of Americans at risk for heart attacks and strokes just got a lot higher. An estimated 103 million U.S. adults have high blood pressure, according to new statistics from the American Heart Association. That’s nearly...https://newsroom.heart.org/news/more-than-100-million-americans-have-high-blood-pressure-aha-saysWed, 31 Jan 2018 18:00:00 GMT

Guideline adherence, not patient volume, may be better hospital heart failure metric

AHA Heart News - Mon, 01/29/2018 - 04:48
Study Highlights:

  • In evaluating the quality of inpatient heart failure care, patients and policy makers should consider how well a hospital meets clinical care guidelines. Hospitals that treat more heart failure patients tend to follow heart failure guidelines more closely.
  • However, death and hospital readmission rates can be just as good at hospitals with small numbers of heart failure patients whose treatment adheres to guideline recommendations.

Embargoed until 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Monday, Jan. 29, 2018

DALLAS, Jan. 29, 2018 — In evaluating the quality of care given to those hospitalized with heart failure, adherence to clinical guidelines may be a better measure of quality than the number of heart failure patients a hospital admits, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation.

Patients with heart failure are unable to pump enough blood and oxygen to their bodies to remain healthy. According to the American Heart Association’s 2017 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistical Update, 6.5 million Americans suffer from this chronic condition—and that number is growing.

“There is a feeling that hospitals that perform more procedures or treat more patients for a certain condition are likely to have better outcomes,” said lead study author Dharam Kumbhani, M.D. S.M, assistant professor of medicine and a cardiologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. “But what we have found in this study, and others we have conducted, is that patients at hospitals with established processes of care fare better.”

Researchers studied the medical records of 125,595 patients, age 65 and older, with heart failure who were treated at 342 hospitals participating in the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines®─Heart Failure program from 2005, when the program launched, through 2014. The goal of the program is to improve in-hospital care through adherence to the latest scientific treatment guidelines. Yearly admissions to a participating hospital ranged from 5 to 457 heart failure patients.

The study found:

  • Hospitals with a higher volume of heart failure patients were more likely to adhere to “heart failure process measures,” including appropriate testing, drug therapies and smoking cessation counseling.
  • Higher heart-failure-volume hospitals were much more likely to place or prescribe upon discharge cardiac resynchronization therapy devices and implantable cardioverter defibrillators, which are medical devices that improve heart function by restoring a normal heart beat.
  • There was no difference in in-hospital mortality, readmissions to the hospital or mortality 30 days after discharge between large-volume and small-volume hospitals when the hospitals closely followed the guidelines.
  • However, there was a slight decrease in hospital readmission and mortality 6 months after discharge between large-volume and small-volume hospitals when hospitals closely followed the guidelines.

Researchers adjusted their findings for a range of other medical conditions and demographic differences that may have biased results, including other cardiovascular and non-cardiovascular conditions, age, race, laboratory and clinical findings, prior medication and procedures performed during the initial hospitalization.

“Going to a high-volume medical center for heart failure doesn’t guarantee that you’ll have the best outcomes,” Kumbhani said. “Identifying the hospitals that provide the best care is more complicated than that, and patients and health policy makers should recognize that smaller-volume hospitals can deliver outstanding care.” Many of these hospitals are located in rural areas, where patients may not have access to a hospital that treats large numbers of heart failure patients.

He added that hospitals meeting the American Heart Association’s heart failure guidelines are recognized publicly for their achievements.

Study limitations include the fact that hospitals’ participation in the heart failure guidelines program is voluntary, so results may not be generalizable to all hospitals.

Co-authors are Gregg C. Fonarow, M.D.; Paul A. Heidenreich, M.D., M.P.H.; Phillip J. Schulte, Ph.D.; Di Lu, M.S.; Adrian Hernandez, M.D., M.P.H.; Clyde Yancy, M.D.; and Deepak L. Bhatt, M.D., M.P.H. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

There was not external funding of this study.

Additional Resources:

  • After Jan. 29 EMBARGO DATE, view the manuscript online.
  • Follow AHA/ASA news on Twitter @HeartNews
  • For updates and new science from the Circulation journal follow @CircAHA

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Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Spokesperson Perspective: 214-706-1173

Carrie Thacker: 214-706-1665; carrie.thacker@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

 

]]>Heart NewsMon, 29 Jan 2018 10:00:04 GMTStudy Highlights: In evaluating the quality of inpatient heart failure care, patients and policy makers should consider how well a hospital meets clinical care guidelines. Hospitals that treat more heart failure patients tend to follow heart failure guidelines more closely. However, death and hospital readmission rates can be just as good at hospitals with small numbers of heart failure patients whose treatment adheres to guideline recommendations. https://newsroom.heart.org/news/guideline-adherence-not-patient-volume-may-be-better-hospital-heart-failure-metricMon, 29 Jan 2018 10:00:00 GMT

Stress and diet associated with brain bleeds in sub-Saharan Africa

AHA Stroke News - Fri, 01/26/2018 - 11:18
Embargoed until 8:45 a.m. Pacific Time 11:45 a.m. Eastern Time, Friday, Jan. 26, 2018

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 26, 2018 — Stress may double the risk of brain bleeds related to high blood pressure, while consuming green leafy vegetables is strongly protective, according to the largest study of stroke in sub-Saharan Africa, presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2018, a world premier meeting dedicated to the science and treatment of cerebrovascular disease for researchers and clinicians.

Intracerebral hemorrhage – bleeding within the brain – takes a high toll on working-age people in Nigeria and Ghana, with high blood pressure accounting for more than 90 percent of this often-lethal type of stroke.

In a new report from the Stroke Investigative Research and Educational Network, researchers studied 682 patients (average age 53.7 years) at 15 sites in Nigeria and Ghana who experienced brain bleeds. Bleeding strokes accounted for 32.2 percent of all strokes in the study (a much higher percentage than in the United States). Of the bleeding strokes, 93.9 percent were determined to be related to high blood pressure, 7.2 percent to structural abnormalities such as a bulging weak area of a blood vessel, and much smaller percentages to other medical conditions or medication use.

Comparing patients with high blood pressure-related brain bleeds to similar people in the same communities without stroke, the researchers found that the risks were:

  • 2.33 times as high in people with diabetes;
  • 2.22 times as high in people who reported more stress at home and work;
  • 1.69 times as high in people with abnormal cholesterol levels;
  • 10.01 times as high in tobacco smokers; and
  • 64 percent lower in people who reported eating more green, leafy vegetables.

Researchers say reducing stress and increasing green leafy vegetable consumption may be a novel way to reduce the rates of brain bleeds.

National Institutes of Health (NINDS, NHGRI and NIH Common fund) funded the study under the H3Africa initiative.

Mayowa Owolabi, Sc.M, Dr.M, FAAN, Center for Genomic and Precision Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

Presentation location: Room 502B

Additional Resources:

Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

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About the American Stroke Association

The American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from stroke — the No. 2 cause of death in the world and a leading cause of serious disability. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat stroke. The Dallas-based association officially launched in 1998 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit StrokeAssociation.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA Spokesperson Perspective:

AHA News Media in Dallas: 214-706-1173

AHA News Media Office, Jan. 24-26, 2018 at the Los Angeles Convention Center: 213-743-6262

For Public Inquiries: 800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

 

]]>Scientific Conferences & MeetingsStroke NewsFri, 26 Jan 2018 16:46:04 GMTLOS ANGELES, Jan. 26, 2018 — Stress may double the risk of brain bleeds related to high blood pressure, while consuming green leafy vegetables is strongly...https://newsroom.heart.org/news/stress-and-diet-associated-with-brain-bleeds-in-sub-saharan-africaFri, 26 Jan 2018 16:45:00 GMT

Cancer patients less likely to receive clot-busting drugs after stroke

AHA Stroke News - Fri, 01/26/2018 - 10:14
Embargoed until 8:12 a.m. Pacific Time 11:12 a.m. Eastern Time, Friday, Jan. 26, 2018

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 26, 2018 — When a stroke occurs in patients with cancer, they are one-third less likely to receive standard clot-busting medication as patients without a malignancy, according to preliminary research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2018, a world premier meeting dedicated to the science and treatment of cerebrovascular disease for researchers and clinicians.

Cancer patients frequently have strokes, which can occur due to traditional risk factors or from risks associated with cancer (such as blood that clots more easily) or its treatment. Over time, the use of both clot-dissolving drugs and procedures that mechanically remove clots following stroke have increased. The current study sought to determine whether these approaches increased as much in stroke patients with cancer (excluding those with brain cancer).

In a national sample, the researchers found:

  • The use of clot-busting medication rose from 0.01 percent in 1998 to 4.23 percent in 2013 in cancer patients with stroke, but its use remains about one-third lower than in patients without cancer.
  • The use of newer procedures to mechanically remove clots rose from 0.05 percent in 2006 to 1.07 percent in 2013 in cancer patients with stroke, and is similar to its use in patients without cancer.

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke funded the study.

Babak B. Navi, M.D., Weill Cornell Medicine, New York City.

Presentation location: Room 515A

Additional Resources:

Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

###

About the American Stroke Association

The American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from stroke — the No. 2 cause of death in the world and a leading cause of serious disability. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat stroke. The Dallas-based association officially launched in 1998 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit StrokeAssociation.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA Spokesperson Perspective:

AHA News Media in Dallas: 214-706-1173

AHA News Media Office, Jan. 24-26, 2018 at the Los Angeles Convention Center: 213-743-6262

For Public Inquiries: 800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

 

]]>Scientific Conferences & MeetingsStroke NewsFri, 26 Jan 2018 16:12:03 GMTLOS ANGELES, Jan. 26, 2018 — When a stroke occurs in patients with cancer, they are one-third less likely to receive standard clot-busting medication as patients...https://newsroom.heart.org/news/cancer-patients-less-likely-to-receive-clot-busting-drugs-after-strokeFri, 26 Jan 2018 16:12:00 GMT

Simple test speeds recognition of posterior stroke

AHA Stroke News - Thu, 01/25/2018 - 17:32
Embargoed until 3 p.m. Pacific Time 6 p.m. Eastern Time, Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 25, 2018 — A simple finger-to-nose test by medical professionals almost doubled the recognition of possible stroke involving the circulation at the back of the brain, according to preliminary research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2018, a world premier meeting dedicated to the science and treatment of cerebrovascular disease for researchers and clinicians.

Posterior strokes represent up to a quarter of all stroke admissions to the hospital, but there are often delays in diagnosis because the patients may not have the typical stroke signs included in screening tools used by emergency medical technicians (EMTs).

In a new study, researchers compared the recognition of posterior strokes between EMTs who received standard training in stroke screening with EMTs who received standard training plus in-person training in the “finger-to-nose test.” In this simple coordination test the patient alternates touching their own nose and the examiner’s finger. Performance can be impaired in posterior stroke.

The researchers found:

  • After training including the finger-to-nose test, EMTs recognized 12 of 16 (75 percent) posterior strokes, compared with 9 of 26 (38 percent) in the 12 months prior to training.

  • After routine training (not including the finger-to-nose test), EMTs recognized 13 of 28 (46 percent) posterior strokes, compared with 10 of 36 (28 percent) in the 12 months prior to training, an improvement that was not statistically significant.

The Midwest Affiliate of the American Heart Association (American Heart Association Mentored Clinical & Population Research Award) funded the study.

John A. Oostema, M.D., Michigan State University, College of Human Medicine, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Note: Scientific presentation is 5:15 p.m. PT, Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018.

Presentation location: Hall H

Additional Resources:

Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

###

About the American Stroke Association

The American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from stroke — the No. 2 cause of death in the world and a leading cause of serious disability. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat stroke. The Dallas-based association officially launched in 1998 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit StrokeAssociation.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA Spokesperson Perspective:

AHA News Media in Dallas: 214-706-1173

AHA News Media Office, Jan. 24-26, 2018 at the Los Angeles Convention Center: 213-743-6262

For Public Inquiries: 800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

 

]]>Scientific Conferences & MeetingsStroke NewsThu, 25 Jan 2018 23:00:06 GMTLOS ANGELES, Jan. 25, 2018 — A simple finger-to-nose test by medical professionals almost doubled the recognition of possible stroke involving the circulation at the back...https://newsroom.heart.org/news/simple-test-speeds-recognition-of-posterior-strokeThu, 25 Jan 2018 23:00:00 GMT

Asian-American ethnicity associated with severe stroke, worse outcomes

AHA Stroke News - Thu, 01/25/2018 - 17:32
Study Highlights:

  • Asian-American race was more associated with severe ischemic strokes and worse outcomes than being whites.
  • Asian-Americans tend to receive clot busting stroke treatment less frequently than whites.   

Embargoed until 3 p.m. Pacific Time / 6 p.m. Eastern Time Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 25, 2018 — Asian Americans were more likely to experience a severe ischemic stroke and have worse outcomes than whites, according to preliminary research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2018, a world premier meeting dedicated to the science and treatment of cerebrovascular disease for researchers and clinicians.

Little is known about stroke care and trends over time in Asian Americans. This study is the largest analysis of clinical and functional outcomes for Asian-American acute ischemic stroke patients. Researchers reviewed the clinical and functional outcomes of more than 1.77 million ischemic stroke patients (3.6 percent Asian American and 96.4 percent white).

“Asian Americans may have a distinctive pathophysiologic profile of ischemic stroke than whites,” said Sarah Song, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., study author and assistant professor of cerebrovascular disease in the Department of Neurology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois. “Regardless, this study highlights the need for more focused research, improved stroke prevention and possibly different treatment strategies for Asian Americans.”

In the large analysis, researchers also found that compared to whites, being Asian-American was associated with:

  • poorer functional recovery;
  • receiving the clot-busting drug tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) less frequently, which can improve the chances of recovering from a stroke; and
  • more serious and bleeding complications with tPA, despite receiving it quickly.

One good point the findings revealed, she said, is that stroke care for both Asian Americans and whites seems to have improved over time. “Looking from 2004 to 2016, our study shows that overall, patients with acute ischemic stroke are recovering more, and they are receiving more IV tPA, with less complications and better post-stroke care. This likely has to do with an overall improvement in stroke quality and highly effective stroke systems of care. However, Asian Americans and whites had nuanced differences over time; for example, only whites had a decrease in trend in stroke severity, while Asian Americans had a greater increase in timely IV tPA administration.”

Researchers used clinical characteristics, treatment patterns and outcomes from acute ischemic stroke admissions for Asian-American and white patients from 2004 through 2016 from 2,171 hospitals participating in Get With The Guidelines-Stroke – the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association in-hospital program that focuses on improving stroke care by promoting consistent adherence to the latest scientific treatment guidelines.

Limited attention has been given to stroke and stroke care in Asian-American minorities, due to barriers in care, education and research. In addition, Song said, “Even among Asian Americans, the various minority populations differ in so many ways. Vietnamese people are not the same as Korean, who are not the same as Japanese or South Asian groups. Aside from differences in language, differences in stroke risk factors, diet and lifestyle, and other cultural factors, make compiling all Asian-American groups into one single group problematic.”

Putting all the groups together makes it difficult to pull out meaning for each group, which she considers a limitation of this study. “But I do think this is a very good first step,” Song said. “This information gives us the urgency and the credibility to do more research in Asian Americans, who have historically been understudied in the stroke and cardiovascular literature.”

Co-authors are Li Liang, Ph.D.; Gregg Fonarow, M.D.; Eric E. Smith, M.D., MPH; Deepak Bhatt, M.D., MPH; Roland Matsouaka, Ph,D.; Ying Xian, M.D., Ph.D.; Lee Schwamm, M.D. and Jeffrey Saver, M.D.  Author disclosures are on the abstract.

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get with the Guidelines-Stroke database provided the data for the study.

Note: Scientific presentation is 5:15 p.m. PT, Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018.

Presentation location: Hall H

Additional Resources:

Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

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About the American Stroke Association

The American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from stroke — the No. 2 cause of death in the world and a leading cause of serious disability. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat stroke. The Dallas-based association officially launched in 1998 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit StrokeAssociation.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA Spokesperson Perspective:

AHA News Media in Dallas: 214-706-1173

AHA News Media Office, Jan. 24-26, 2018 at the Los Angeles Convention Center: 213-743-6262

For Public Inquiries: 800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

]]>Scientific Conferences & MeetingsStroke NewsThu, 25 Jan 2018 23:00:06 GMTStudy Highlights: Asian-American race was more associated with severe ischemic strokes and worse outcomes than being whites. Asian-Americans tend to receive clot busting stroke treatment less frequently than whites.   Embargoed until 3...https://newsroom.heart.org/news/asian-american-ethnicity-associated-with-severe-stroke-worse-outcomesThu, 25 Jan 2018 23:00:00 GMT

Too few with stroke of the eye are treated to reduce future stroke

AHA Stroke News - Thu, 01/25/2018 - 17:32
Study Highlights:

  • Only one-third of 5,600 patients with retinal infarction, or stroke in the eye, underwent basic stroke work-up, and fewer than one in 10 were seen by a neurologist.
  • One in 100 of the retinal infarction patients studied experienced another stroke within 90 days of their retinal infarction.

Embargoed until 3 p.m. Pacific Time/6 p.m. Eastern Time, Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018

This news release is featured in an embargoed media briefing at 3 p.m. PT Wed., Jan. 24, 2018

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 25, 2018 — Too few patients with retinal infarction, or loss of blood flow in the eye, are evaluated for stroke risk or seen by a neurologist, putting them at increased risk for another stroke, according to preliminary research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2018, a world premier meeting dedicated to the science and treatment of cerebrovascular disease for researchers and clinicians.

The study showed that 1 in 100 patients in the study experienced an ischemic stroke within 90 days of a retinal infarction. In addition, among 5,688 individuals with retinal infarction, only one-third underwent basic testing, and fewer than one in 10 were seen by a neurologist. Within 90 days of symptoms, only 34 percent received cervical carotid imaging tests; 28.6 percent received heart-rhythm testing; 23.3 percent received echocardiography; and 8.4 percent were evaluated by a neurologist.

The findings illustrate the importance of expediting stroke evaluation testing for those who have experienced a retinal infarction, and for increased awareness and understanding about retinal infarctions and how they may signal future strokes. Retinal infarction may provide an opportunity in preventing stroke, explained lead study author Alexander Merkler, M.D., a neurologist at Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York.

“Our research tells us that we need to do a better job at evaluating patients with retinal infarction and making sure they receive the same standard of care tests that someone with a stroke in the brain would have,” said Merkler. “We need to work more closely with ophthalmologists to ensure patients with stroke of the eye get the appropriate tests and treatments in a timely manner.”

The findings are based on Medicare ophthalmology claims from between 2009 and 2015. Retinal infarction is a form of ischemic stroke in the eye. Symptoms can include blurred vision or vision loss, and tissue damage to the eye itself. Risk factors associated with stroke in the brain, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and atrial fibrillation, are also associated with retinal infarction.

Stroke is the fifth-leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for one in every 20 deaths, but less is known about retinal infarction, which may go undetected and under-treated. Merkler plans to study the connections between retinal infarction and stroke using brain magnetic resonance imaging tests to see what’s happening.

Co-authors are Gina Gialdini, M.D.; Ajay Gupta, M.D.; and Hooman Kamel, M.D. Author disclosures are on the abstract.

Note: Scientific presentation is 5:30 p.m. Pacific Time, Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018.

Presentation location: Hall H

Additional Resources:

Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

###

About the American Stroke Association

The American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from stroke — the No. 2 cause of death in the world and a leading cause of serious disability. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat stroke. The Dallas-based association officially launched in 1998 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit StrokeAssociation.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA Spokesperson Perspective:

AHA News Media in Dallas: 214-706-1173

AHA News Media Office, Jan. 23-26, 2018 at the Los Angeles Convention Center: 213-743-6262

For Public Inquiries: 800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

]]>Scientific Conferences & MeetingsStroke NewsThu, 25 Jan 2018 23:00:06 GMTStudy Highlights: Only one-third of 5,600 patients with retinal infarction, or stroke in the eye, underwent basic stroke work-up, and fewer than one in 10 were seen by a neurologist. One in 100 of the retinal infarction patients studied experienced...https://newsroom.heart.org/news/too-few-with-stroke-of-the-eye-are-treated-to-reduce-future-strokeThu, 25 Jan 2018 23:00:00 GMT

Working before and after stroke is good for brain health

AHA Stroke News - Thu, 01/25/2018 - 17:32
Study Highlights:

  • Working-age adults who suffer stroke are likely to have healthier brains, sharper minds and less risk of depression and death two years after stroke if they worked prior to stroke, versus being unemployed.
  • Those who work after stroke also seem to benefit with better long-term cognitive status than those who don’t.

Embargoed until 3 p.m. Pacific Time/6 p.m. Eastern Time, Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018

This news release is featured in an embargoed media briefing at 3 p.m. PT Wed., Jan. 24, 2018

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 25, 2018 — Adult stroke patients who are employed prior to and after suffering strokes are more likely than unemployed adults to have healthier minds two years post stroke, according to preliminary research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2018, a world premier meeting dedicated to the science and treatment of cerebrovascular disease for researchers and clinicians.

“Studies have shown stroke greatly increases dementia risk, and occupational status might influence how stroke survivors fare years after having a stroke,” said study author Einor Ben Assayag, Ph.D., senior researcher in the neurology department at Tel-Aviv Sorasky Medical Center, Tel-Aviv, Israel. “We looked at how occupational status, brain health and cognitive decline might be interrelated after stroke.”

Ben Assayag and colleagues studied 252 working-age adult stroke survivors from the TABASCO study. They analyzed brain health early on after stroke, as well as cognitive changes, at one year and two years after stroke. “A novel aspect of this study was we also studied the association of inflammation with occupational status and cognitive changes after stroke,” she said.

They found:

  • People who were unemployed before stroke were more than three times (320 percent) more likely than those who were employed to develop cognitive decline within two years from the initial stroke.

  • In addition to having lower cognitive results post-stroke, those who were unemployed before stroke were more likely to have worse neurological deficit, higher depression scores and more elevated inflammation.

  • Adults who weren’t working before having a stroke were more likely to have unhealthy brain changes defined as reduced cortical thickness and white matter volume on imaging studies.

  • Those who were unemployed prior to stroke were more likely to have type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.

  • During the two years of the study, 4.4 percent of participants died and 8.9 percent developed cognitive decline.

  • Returning to work after stroke was associated with lower cognitive decline risk.

“The message here is ‘keep on working,’” Ben Assayag said. “Rates of death and cognitive decline were higher among the unemployed people we studied. In fact, being unemployed was by itself a risk factor for cognitive decline and death.”

A limitation of the study is that it included only mild stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) patients, and not people with more severe strokes.

Co-authors are Hen Hallevi, M.D.; Jeremy Molad, M.D.; Amos Korczyn, M.D., M.Sc.; Efrat Kliper, Ph.D.; Ludmila Shopin, M.D.; Eitan Auriel, M.D., M.Sc.; Shani Shenhar-Tsarfaty, Ph.D.; Victoria Volfson, M.Sc.; and Natan M. Bornstein, M.D. Author disclosures are on the abstract.

The American Federation for Aging Research and U.S.-Israel Bi-National Science Foundation funded the study.

Note: Scientific presentation is 5:50 p.m. Pacific Time, Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018.

Presentation location: Hall H

Additional Resources:

  • Available downloadable video interviews with ASA expert and the study researcher, B-roll, animation and images related to this news release are on the right column of the release link
  • Stroke Prevention and Brain Health  
  • For more news at AHA International Stroke Conference 2018, follow us on Twitter @HeartNews  #ISC18.

Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

###

About the American Stroke Association

The American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from stroke — the No. 2 cause of death in the world and a leading cause of serious disability. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat stroke. The Dallas-based association officially launched in 1998 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit StrokeAssociation.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA Spokesperson Perspective:

AHA News Media in Dallas: 214-706-1173

AHA News Media Office, Jan. 23-26, 2018 at the Los Angeles Convention Center: 213-743-6262

For Public Inquiries: 800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

 

]]>Scientific Conferences & MeetingsStroke NewsThu, 25 Jan 2018 23:00:04 GMTStudy Highlights: Working-age adults who suffer stroke are likely to have healthier brains, sharper minds and less risk of depression and death two years after stroke if they worked prior to stroke, versus being unemployed. Those who work after...https://newsroom.heart.org/news/working-before-and-after-stroke-is-good-for-brain-healthThu, 25 Jan 2018 23:00:00 GMT

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