Friday, August 31, 2012
Enlargement of heart, also known as cardiac hypertrophy, will reduce the size of chamber of the heart, including left and right ventricles. It is commonly caused by hypertension (high blood pressure) and heart attack.
In the event of cardiac hypertrophy, cardiac cells will be stretched and release Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF), which is a signal protein that helps protect cardiac function and keep cardiac cells alive. It is part of the system that restores the oxygen supply to tissues when blood circulation is inadequate.
Researchers from University of Hawaii at Manoa and University of Hawaii discovered a molecular pathway that might help reduce the damaging effects of cardiac hypertrophy. They have found that stretch of adult cardiac cells promotes release of VEGF through activation of the NFkB signaling pathway. The pathological effects of hypertrophy might be alleviated and the survival chances could be increased for patients who have had a heart attack or suffer hypertension if doctors could target at this molecular pathway.
Funded by the National Center for Research Resources (part of the National Institutes of Health), the study was published on December 13, 2011 in medical journal ‘PLoS ONE’.
As reported by The Burden of Heart Disease in Hawaii, more than 3,100 people in Hawaii die of cardiovascular disease every year, and as many as 70 percent of the adults in Hawaii have at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease, including diabetes, hypertension and obesity. According to Hawai'i State Department of Health, residents of Hawaii Island, Native Hawaiians, Filipinos, and the poor have higher risks for cardiovascular disease.
Of course, there are many ways that people could lower their risk for heart disease. These include lowering high blood pressure, reducing high bad cholesterol (LDL), staying away from cigarette smoking, engaging in adequate physical activity, managing diabetes, eating healthy diets and maintaining healthy weight.