The top research advances in heart disease and stroke for 2007 include several new studies on genetics and stem cell research, along with studies that continue to debate the use of stents to clear coronary artery blockages.
The American Heart Association has been compiling a list of the top 10 major advances in heart disease and stroke research annually since 1996 and has come out with the list for 2007.
Daniel W. Jones, M.D., president of the American Heart Association mentioned some more milestones in 2007 that include a study that may change the way lives are saved using a new way to do cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
The top 10 advances in 2007 include:
1. Genome-wide association study of 14,000 cases of seven common diseases and 3,000 shared controls
It identified genes which may cause specific diseases and represent a powerful approach in identifying genes involved in common human diseases. This large-scale genome-wide association (GWA) study found consistent and replicable genetic markers of several complex diseases of adulthood, including atherosclerotic heart disease.
Source: Nature, June 7, 2007
2. Genomewide association analysis of coronary artery disease
This study included a joint analysis of two genomewide association studies of coronary artery disease. Results identified several genetic loci that, individually and in aggregate, significantly affect the risk of developing coronary artery disease.
Source: New England Journal of Medicine, Aug. 2, 2007
3. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation by bystanders with chest compression only (SOS-Kanto): an observational study
Results of this work indicated chest compression-only resuscitation by bystanders may be the preferable approach to resuscitation for adult patients with witnessed out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, especially those with apnea, shockable rhythm or short periods of untreated arrest.
Source: The Lancet, March 17, 2007
4. Implementation of a statewide system for coronary reperfusion
This study discovered that a statewide program focused on regional systems for quickly treating ST-elevation myocardial infarctions (STEMI - heart attacks in which the coronary artery is completely blocked) can significantly improve quality of care.
Source: Journal of the American Medical Association, Nov. 28, 2007; JAMA 2007. This study was also presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2007.
5. Long term effects of dietary sodium reduction on cardiovascular disease outcomes: observational follow-up of the trials of hypertension prevention (TOHP)
This is the first major trial to document that a reduced sodium intake lowers the risk of clinical cardiovascular disease outcomes, not just blood pressure.
Sources: British Medical Journal, April 20, 2007
6. Optimal medical therapy with or without PCI for stable coronary artery disease (COURAGE)
This study compared the initial management strategy of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) with intensive pharmacologic therapy and lifestyle intervention (optimal medical therapy) vs. optimal medical therapy alone in reducing the risk of cardiovascular events. It was concluded that, as an initial management strategy in patients with stable coronary artery disease, PCI did not reduce the risk of death, myocardial infarction or other major cardiovascular events when added to optimal medical therapy.
Source: New England Journal of Medicine, April 12, 2007
7. Generation of functional cardiomyocytes from adult mouse spermatogonial stem cells
This study analyzed the complex functional properties of cardiomyocytes (heart muscle cells) derived from maGSCs in vitro and the behavior of undifferentiated maGSCs in normal hearts of mice in vivo after transplantation. It was concluded that maGSCs provide a new source of distinct types of cardiomyocytes for basic research/potential therapeutic application.
Source: Circulation Research, June 8, 2007
8. HORIZONS: Harmonizing Outcomes with RevascularIZatiON and Stents
This large study examined the safety and effectiveness of anticoagulation medications and drug-eluting stents in patients experiencing a STEMI heart attack, in which the coronary artery is completely blocked, without significantly increasing the rate of death or recurrent heart attacks among these patients.
Source: Late-breaking trial at the Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics
9. Effectiveness and safety of drug-el uting stents in Ontario
This large Canadian study found that drug-eluting stents are effective in reducing the need for target-vessel coronary artery bypass in patients at the highest risk for re-narrowing of previously blocked arteries, without a significantly increased rate of death or heart attack.
Source: New England Journal of Medicine, Oct. 7, 2007
10. Underdiagnosis of Hypertension in Children and Adolescents
This study of more than 14,000 children found that hypertension and prehypertension were often undiagnosed in the pediatric population. Patient age, height, obesity-related diagnoses, and magnitude and frequency of abnormal blood pressure readings all increased the odds of hypertension.
Sources: Journal of the American Medical Association, Aug. 22, 2007