SUNDAY, NOV. 8, 2015 NEWS TIPS

November 08, 2015 Categories: Scientific Conferences & Meetings

Tip Headlines:

  • Kids learn about healthy lifestyle in school-based garden program
  • New drug restores irregular heart rhythm more often and much faster
  • Just one energy drink may boost heart disease risk in young adults
  • High levels of exhaled carbon monoxide linked to increased stroke risk
  • Some long QT syndrome patients may benefit from ICDs before cardiac arrest occurs

NOTE: ALL TIMES ARE EASTERN. ALL TIPS ARE EMBARGOED UNTIL THE TIME OF PRESENTATION OR 4 P.M. ET EACH DAY, WHICHEVER COMES FIRST.

Embargo: 9 a.m. ET

Abstract 14214 (Hall A2, Poster S 2103)

Kids learn about healthy lifestyle in school-based garden program

Children learned to grow vegetables and the value of a healthy lifestyle in a school-based program tailored for their low-income, desert community, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2015.

The American Heart Association teamed up with Johns Hopkins University to implement the Teaching Gardens program among 177 4th and 5th grade students at two elementary schools in Clark County, Nevada. Not only did the children learn about the value of healthy nutrition and physical activity but the program also included parent workshops and a farmer’s market.

At the programs end, the children:

  • were more aware of and likely to eat the daily recommended amount of fruit and vegetables;

  • could easily identify at least three healthy snacks; and

  • were knowledgeable about daily recommended screen time and more likely to participate in physical activity.

Michelle Wong, Ph.D. Candidate; Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland;

Note: Actual presentation is 2 p.m. ET, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015.

 

Embargo: 3:45 p.m. ET

Abstract 165 (Room W312C)

New drug restores irregular heart rhythm more often and much faster

The multi-channel blocker vernakalant restored sinus rhythm more often and much faster than the widely used class III drug ibutilide in patients presenting to the emergency room with recent-onset atrial fibrillation (quivering or irregular heartbeat), according to a study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2015.

Vernakalant, like ibutilide, is a rapid-acting antiarrhythmic drug. Researchers compared the drugs’ effects by studying 100 patients with recent onset atrial fibrillation in a hospital emergency room. Forty-nine patients received up to two infusions of vernakalant; 51 received intravenous ibutilide.

Researchers found:

  • It took an average of 10 minutes to normalize heart rhythms with vernakalant, compared to 26 minutes with ibutilide.

  • Conversion success within 90 minutes was notably higher in the vernakalant group (69 percent) compared to those who received ibutilide (43 percent).

No serious treatment-related complications occurred in either group.

Alexander Spiel, M.D.; Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria;

 

Embargo: 4 p.m. ET

Abstract 116 (Room W207)

Just one energy drink may boost heart disease risk in young adults

Drinking one 16-ounce energy drink boosts blood pressure and stress hormone responses in young, healthy adults, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2015. These changes could conceivably trigger new cardiovascular events.

Researchers studied 25 healthy young adults with no known cardiovascular risk factors. Each drank one 16-ounce can of a commercially available energy drink or a sham drink in random order on two separate days. Researchers measured participants’ blood pressure and blood levels of norepinephrine before and 30 minutes after drink consumption. Norepinephrine is a “fight or flight” chemical that increases blood pressure and the heart’s ability to contract and it modulates heart rate and breathing in response to perceived stress.

Researchers found that in addition to increases in blood pressure after consuming the energy drink, participants’ norepinephrine levels increased more than twice as much when compared to those who drank the sham drink. Specifically, norepinephrine levels increased by almost 74 percent after the energy drink consumption, versus by 30 percent after the sham drink.

Researchers said their findings suggest increases in blood pressure and stress hormones could predispose otherwise healthy, young adults to increased cardiovascular risk.

Anna Svatikova M.D., Ph.D.; Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota;

Note: Actual presentation is 4:45 p.m. ET, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015.

 

Embargo: 4 p.m. ET

Abstract 199 (Room W202)

High levels of exhaled carbon monoxide linked to increased stroke risk

High levels of exhaled carbon monoxide (CO) was associated with a greater risk of future stroke and transient ischemic attack (TIA) among seemingly healthy adults, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2015.

Carbon monoxide is produced naturally by the human body as a signaling molecule. Because of carbon monoxide's role in the body, abnormalities in its metabolism have been linked to a variety of diseases, including neurodegenerations, high blood pressure, heart failure, and inflammation.

Past studies have linked high exhaled CO levels to an elevated heart disease risk. In this study, researchers from the Framingham Heart Study analyzed the association between exhaled CO and stroke risk in 3,313 adults who were free of stroke at the study’s start.

CO exhalation levels were measured in all participants and brain imaging scans were available in 1,982 participants. They found that the participants were more likely to have lower total brain volumes, higher white matter volumes and a greater prevalence of silent stroke if they were in the highest third of CO levels, compared to those in the lowest third.

When they followed the patients for an average of almost 13 years, they found:

  • Participants in the middle third of exhaled CO in the study population had a 67 percent increased stroke and TIA incidence compared to those in the lowest third.

  • Participants with the highest third of CO exhalation had a 97 percent increased stroke and TIA incidence, compared to those in the third with the lowest CO exhalation levels.

Researchers said more research is needed to explore why this association between CO exhalation levels and stroke exists.

Matthew G. Nayor, M.D.; Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston;

Note: Actual presentation is 6 p.m. ET, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015.

 

Embargo: 4 p.m. ET

Abstract 213 (Room W312C)

Some long QT syndrome patients may benefit from ICDs before cardiac arrest occurs

Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) can prevent life-threatening rhythms in patients with a hereditary heart rhythm disorder (Long QT Syndrome), including those who have not previously suffered cardiac arrest, according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2015.

ICDs are recommended to treat long QT syndrome in patients who have survived cardiac arrest. It isn’t clear, however, if ICDs could be a preventive tool.

Researchers followed 212 Long QT syndrome patients who had ICDs but had not experienced life-threatening events. They analyzed occurrences of life-saving electrical shocks to halt dangerous rhythms, then identified parameters that would help identify patients at high risk for sudden cardiac death.

During an average 9.2 years follow-up, 23 percent of the patients had shocks that terminated life-threatening heart rhythms, and 34 percent had unnecessary shocks.

Researchers found by using genetic information, ECG results and asking patients if they had ever lost consciousness while on beta blocker medication, doctors could better identify high-risk patients that should be treated with ICD implantation.

Patients who were not identified as high-risk could continue to be managed with medications and avoid unnecessary shocks and procedure-related complications, researchers said.

Yitschak Biton, M.D.; University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York;

Note: Actual presentation is 5:45 p.m. ET, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015.

Additional Resources:

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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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