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To identify dietary patterns associated with subclinical atherosclerosis measured as coronary artery calcium (CAC).
Cross-sectional analysis of data from the Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Adult Health. Dietary data were assessed using a food frequency questionnaire, and a principal component factor analysis was used to derive the dietary patterns. Scree plot, eigenvalues >1, and interpretability were considered to retain the factors. CAC was measured using a computed tomography scanner and an electrocardiography-gated prospective calcium score examination, and was categorized into three groups based on the CAC score: 0, 1–100, and >100 Agatston units. Multinomial regression models were conducted for dietary patterns and CAC severity categories.
Brazil, São Paulo, 2008–2010.
Active and retired civil servants who lived in São Paulo and underwent a CAC exam were included (N = 4,025).
Around 10% of participants (294 men, 97 women) had a detectable CAC (>0), 6.5% (182 men, 73 women) had a CAC of 1–100, and 3.5% (110 men, 23 women) had a CAC > 100. Three dietary patterns were identified: convenience food, which was positively associated with atherosclerotic calcification; plant-based and dairy food, which showed no association with CAC; and the traditional Brazilian food pattern (rice, legumes, and meats), which was inversely associated with atherosclerotic calcification.
Our results showed that a dietary pattern consisting of traditional Brazilian foods could be important to reducing the risk of atherosclerotic calcification, and prevent future cardiovascular events, whereas a convenience dietary pattern was positively associated with this outcome.
Long-term (>1 year) single antiplatelet therapy with aspirin is effective in reducing the risk of any early recurrent stroke by about one-sixth compared with no antiplatelet therapy. Clopidogrel monotherapy is marginally but significantly more effective than aspirin in reducing major vascular events. Cilostazol is also more effective than aspirin in Asian patients, and its therapeutic efficacy may be augmented by the addition of probucol in patients with ischaemic stroke and high risk of cerebral haemorrhage. The safety and effectiveness of cilostazol in non-Asian patients is not known. Prasugrel monotherapy (3.75 mg daily) is not non-inferior to clopidogrel monotherapy among Japanese patients with non-cardioembolic ischaemic stroke. Dual antiplatelet therapy with aspirin and extended-release dipyridamole is more effective than aspirin monotherapy and equally effective as clopidogrel monotherapy in preventing recurrent stroke. Dual antiplatelet therapy with aspirin and clopidogrel is more effective than aspirin monotherapy in preventing recurrent ischaemic stroke and myocardial infarction in high vascular risk patients, but it also increases the risk of major bleeding which may offset its benefits. Dual antiplatelet therapy with cilostazol added to aspirin or clopidogrel is more effective, and as safe as, aspirin or clopidogrel monotherapy in Japanese patients with non-cardioembolic ischaemic stroke.
Although higher plasma cholesterol concentrations have not been reported to be associated with increased stroke risk, cholesterol lowering has been reported to decrease this risk. This decrease can be achieved with statins, which are well-tolerated, provided they are not given to patients with active liver or muscle diseases. Statin treatment in addition to a healthy lifestyle is recommended for the primary prevention of ischaemic stroke in patients with pre-existing coronary heart disease or other high-risk conditions such as diabetes and hypertension. Statins with intensive lipid-lowering effects are recommended for their positive influence on reducing the risks of stroke and cardiovascular events for patients with prior ischaemic stroke or TIA presumed to be of non-cardioembolic origin, even with an LDL-C level =100 mg/dL, with or without evidence of other clinical atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases. Despite the good safety profile of statins, further studies are clarify safety in patients with prior cerebral haemorrhage and if they may increase brain haemorrhage to a small degree. PCSK9 inhibitors are advised, as add-on therapy to statins, for patients with a high cardiac risk not able to achieve an optimal LDL-C level, though studies with longer follow-up are needed
We critically review potential involvement of trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) as a link between diet, the gut microbiota and CVD. Generated primarily from dietary choline and carnitine by gut bacteria and hepatic flavin-containing mono-oxygenase (FMO) activity, TMAO could promote cardiometabolic disease when chronically elevated. However, control of circulating TMAO is poorly understood, and diet, age, body mass, sex hormones, renal clearance, FMO3 expression and genetic background may explain as little as 25 % of TMAO variance. The basis of elevations with obesity, diabetes, atherosclerosis or CHD is similarly ill-defined, although gut microbiota profiles/remodelling appear critical. Elevated TMAO could promote CVD via inflammation, oxidative stress, scavenger receptor up-regulation, reverse cholesterol transport (RCT) inhibition, and cardiovascular dysfunction. However, concentrations influencing inflammation, scavenger receptors and RCT (≥100 µm) are only achieved in advanced heart failure or chronic kidney disease (CKD), and greatly exceed pathogenicity of <1–5 µm levels implied in some TMAO–CVD associations. There is also evidence that CVD risk is insensitive to TMAO variance beyond these levels in omnivores and vegetarians, and that major TMAO sources are cardioprotective. Assessing available evidence suggests that modest elevations in TMAO (≤10 µm) are a non-pathogenic consequence of diverse risk factors (ageing, obesity, dyslipidaemia, insulin resistance/diabetes, renal dysfunction), indirectly reflecting CVD risk without participating mechanistically. Nonetheless, TMAO may surpass a pathogenic threshold as a consequence of CVD/CKD, secondarily promoting disease progression. TMAO might thus reflect early CVD risk while providing a prognostic biomarker or secondary target in established disease, although mechanistic contributions to CVD await confirmation.
We have previously shown that higher intake of cruciferous vegetables is inversely associated with carotid artery intima-media thickness. To further test the hypothesis that an increased consumption of cruciferous vegetables is associated with reduced indicators of structural vascular disease in other areas of the vascular tree, we aimed to investigate the cross-sectional association between cruciferous vegetable intake and extensive calcification in the abdominal aorta. Dietary intake was assessed, using a FFQ, in 684 older women from the Calcium Intake Fracture Outcome Study. Cruciferous vegetables included cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli. Abdominal aortic calcification (AAC) was scored using the Kauppila AAC24 scale on dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry lateral spine images and was categorised as ‘not extensive’ (0–5) or ‘extensive’ (≥6). Mean age was 74·9 (sd 2·6) years, median cruciferous vegetable intake was 28·2 (interquartile range 15·0–44·7) g/d and 128/684 (18·7 %) women had extensive AAC scores. Those with higher intakes of cruciferous vegetables (>44·6 g/d) were associated with a 46 % lower odds of having extensive AAC in comparison with those with lower intakes (<15·0 g/d) after adjustment for lifestyle, dietary and CVD risk factors (ORQ4 v. Q1 0·54, 95 % CI 0·30, 0·97, P = 0·036). Total vegetable intake and each of the other vegetable types were not related to extensive AAC (P > 0·05 for all). This study strengthens the hypothesis that higher intake of cruciferous vegetables may protect against vascular calcification.
The use of statins in children, although not frequent, is recommended in specific clinical contexts, namely, familial hypercholesterolaemia, conditions carrying a moderate-high cardiovascular risk and sub-optimal cholesterol levels after implementation of lifestyle modifications. The aim of this study is to characterise children with dyslipidaemia managed with statins, followed at a tertiary referral centre in central Portugal.
Methods and results:
The authors carried out a retrospective and descriptive study made up of 66 patients (50% males, mean age of therapy onset 11.9 years) followed up at the Cardiovascular Clinic of a tertiary referral centre between January, 2012, and May, 2018. Clinical, analytical, and echocardiographic parameters were analysed. About 60.6% had clinical and/or molecular diagnosis of familial hypercholesterolaemia. On average, each patient had three cardiovascular risk factors, obesity (31%) being most prevalent, followed by arterial hypertension (14%). Statin therapy showed a statistically significant reduction in the lipid profile, particularly in the total cholesterol (23%) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (30%) levels, as well as in the carotid intima-media thickness (p = 0.015). Hepatic and muscle integrity markers were within normal range.
Statins are safe and efficient in the management of children with hypercholesterolaemia. Our study showed that apart from its lipid-lowering properties, it also reduced significantly the carotid intima-media thickness and, implicitly, the cardiovascular risk of these patients.
Salusins have emerged as a new biomarker that reflects an increased inflammatory state, which is associated with cardiovascular risk. We investigated the predictive value and usefulness of salusins as an inflammatory biomarker in obese children. This prospective cohort study included 75 obese children and 101 healthy children (as a control group). Salusin-α, Salusin-β, and various cardiovascular parameters were assessed in both groups. Correlation analyses of Salusin-α and Salusin-β with body mass index standard deviation scores and inflammatory and cardiovascular markers were performed. The mean patient age was 11.9±2.4 years for the obese group and 12.5±2.1 years for the control group. The obese children had a significantly higher heart rate, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, epicardial adipose tissue thickness, and left ventricular mass than did the children in the control group. There was no significant correlation between Salusin-α and Salusin-β and body mass index; however, there was a negative correlation between Salusin- α and diastolic blood pressure (r = 0.277, p = 0.004). Overall, there was no significant difference in the Salusin-α and Salusin-β levels between obese and healthy children. However, a negative correlation was found between Salusin-α and diastolic blood pressure. Although this result suggests that Salusin-α might be an early marker of cardiovascular involvement in obese children, further studies are needed to demonstrate the predictive value of salusins.
This chapter is devoted to the macroscopic and microscopic appearance of myocardial ischaemia and includes discussion of regional myocardial infarction and of papillary muscle rupture. Coronary atherosclerosis can occur, albeit rarely, in the child, and this is discussed particularly in relation to hypercholesterolaemia. Antiphospholipid syndrome and haemolytic-uraemic syndrome are also discussed.
Vitamin B12 deficiency induces hyper-hyperhomocysteinemia by inhibiting intracellular methionine re-methylation. Hyper-hyperhomocysteinemia increases the risk of atherosclerosis. Asymmetric dimethylarginine is an endogenous inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase and its level elevates in cardiovascular diseases. In this study, we aimed to examine the relationship between asymmetric dimethylarginine and arterial stiffness and atherosclerosis in adolescents with vitamin B12 deficiency.
A total of 88 adolescents with age ranging between 11 and 17 years of age were enrolled for this study. Among them, 50 patients had vitamin B12 deficiency <130 pg/ml and 38 healthy controls had B12 >200 pg/ml. In all cases, the levels of asymmetric dimethylarginine were measured with high performance liquid chromatography method. The carotid artery intima media thickness and left ventricular mass index were measured using echocardiography. All these measurements of the study groups were compared.
Both plasma levels of asymmetric dimethylarginine and carotid artery intima media thickness were significantly higher in the vitamin B12 deficiency group than in the control group. Correlation analysis showed significant negative correlation of vitamin B12 with homocysteine, asymmetric dimethylarginine, and carotid artery intima media thickness (p<0.05).
Our results suggest that endothelial dysfunction starts in the early stage of adolescent vitamin B12 deficiency, and vitamin B12-deficient adolescents have increased circulating asymmetric dimethylarginine, showing that endothelial dysfunction and increased carotid artery intima media thickness be related to atherosclerosis.
The evidence linking low-carbohydrate diets (LCD) to CVD is controversial, and results from epidemiological studies are inconsistent. We aimed to assess the relationship between LCD patterns and coronary artery Ca (CAC) scores from computed tomography in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis cohort. Our sample included 5614 men and women free of clinical CVD at baseline (2000–2002), who had a FFQ, a baseline measure and ≥1 measure of CAC during follow-up. We excluded those with implausible energy intake or daily physical activity. The overall, animal-based and plant-based LCD scores were calculated based on intakes of macronutrients. Relative risk regression and robust regression models were used to examine the cross-sectional and longitudinal relationship between LCD score quintile and CAC outcomes, after adjustment for multiple cardiovascular risk factors. The mean age of participants was 63 years. The median intakes of total carbohydrate, fat and protein were 53·7, 30·5 and 15·6 % energy/d, respectively. Among 2892 participants with zero CAC scores at baseline, 264 developed positive scores during 2·4-year follow-up (11–59 months). Among those with positive scores at baseline, the median increase in CAC was 47 units over the course of follow-up. The overall, the animal-based and the plant-based LCD scores were not associated with CAC prevalence, incidence and progression. In conclusion, diets low in carbohydrate and high in fat and/or protein, regardless of the sources of protein and fat, were not associated with higher levels of CAC, a validated predictor of cardiovascular events, in this large multi-ethnic cohort.
Several studies have suggested that higher carotenoid levels may be beneficial for atherosclerosis patients, but few studies have examined this relationship in the Chinese population. This cross-sectional study examined the association between the levels of carotenoids in diet and serum and carotid intima–media thickness (IMT) in Chinese adults aged 50–75 years in Guangzhou, China. Dietary intake was assessed using a FFQ. HPLC was used to assay the serum concentrations of α-carotene, β-carotene, lutein+zeaxanthin, β-cryptoxanthin and lycopene. The IMT at the common carotid artery (CCA) and bifurcation of the carotid artery was measured by B-mode ultrasound. A total of 3707 and 2947 participants were included in the analyses of dietary and serum carotenoids. After adjustment for demographic, socio-economic and lifestyle factors, all the serum carotenoids levels except lycopene were found to be inversely associated with the IMT at the CCA and bifurcation (Ptrend<0·001 to 0·013) in both men and women. The absolute mean differences in the IMT between the subjects in the extreme quartiles of serum carotenoid levels were 0·034 mm (α-carotene), 0·037 mm (β-carotene), 0·032 mm (lutein+zeaxanthin), 0·030 mm (β-cryptoxanthin), 0·015 mm (lycopene) and 0·035 mm (total carotenoids) at the CCA; the corresponding values were 0·025, 0·053 0·043, 0·050, 0·011 and 0·042 mm at the bifurcation. The favourable associations were also observed between dietary carotenoids (except lycopene) and the CCA IMT. In conclusion, elevated carotenoid levels in diet and serum are associated with lower carotid IMT values (particular at the CCA) in Chinese adults.
The relationship between hypertension and epistaxis is controversial and poorly understood. The present research investigated atherosclerosis as a potential risk factor in hypertensive patients with epistaxis.
A prospective study of 141 hypertensive patients with epistaxis was conducted. The laboratory tests included full blood count, lipid profile and coagulation profile. All patients underwent funduscopic examination of the eye and were classified in terms of four retinopathy grades.
There were strong positive correlations between the number of nosebleeds and retinopathy grade and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level. There were weak correlations between the number of nosebleeds and blood pressure readings and triglycerides levels. Patients with grade III retinopathy, suggesting atherosclerosis, suffered from more frequent nosebleeds than other patients.
Atherosclerosis is one of the potential risk factors in hypertensive patients with epistaxis. This may have an impact on treatment choices.
Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide, and the atherosclerotic process begins in childhood. Prevention or containment of risk factors that accelerate atherosclerosis can delay the development of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Although current recommendations are to periodically screen for commonly prevailing risk factors for atherosclerosis in children, a single test that could quantify the cumulative effect of all risk factors on the vasculature, thus assessing arterial health, would be helpful in further stratifying risk. Measurement of pulse wave velocity and assessment of augmentation index – measures of arterial stiffness – are easy-to-use, non-invasive methods of examining arterial health. Various studies have assessed pulse wave velocity and augmentation index in children with commonly occurring conditions including obesity, hypertension, insulin resistance, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidaemia, physical inactivity, chronic kidney disease, CHD and acquired heart diseases, and in children who were born premature or small for gestational age. This article summarises pulse wave velocity and augmentation index assessments and the effects of commonly prevailing chronic conditions on arterial health in children. In addition, currently available reference values for pulse wave velocity and augmentation index in healthy children are included. Further research to establish widely applicable normative values and the effect of lifestyle and pharmacological interventions on arterial health in children is needed.
Over the past few decades, remarkable progress has been achieved in terms of understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms of atherosclerotic vascular calcification and the important role of matrix vesicles in initiating and propagating pathologic tissue mineralization has been widely recognized. Despite these recent advances, however, no definitive data are currently available regarding the texture and composition of the minerals that grow in the vessel wall during the course of the disease. Using different electron microscopy imaging and analysis, we demonstrate that vascular cells can produce and secrete more than one type of matrix vesicles which act as sites for initial mineral deposition independently of their structural features. Our results reveal that apatite formation in the atherosclerotic lesions of the human aorta occur through the deposition of amorphous calcium phosphate that matures over time, transforms into crystalline hydroxyapatite, and radiates towards the lumen of the vesicles, finally forming the calcified spherules. Elemental and mineralogical analyses also demonstrate that the presence of mature and stable amorphous calcium phosphate deposits in the affected tissues is linked to the incorporation of magnesium, which probably delay the conversion to the crystalline phase. Though more rarely, the presence of calcium oxalate crystals has been also documented.
High blood pressure is a risk factor for atherosclerosis in adults, but whether the same is true in children and young people is not known. This is important to guide management of high blood pressure in children and young people. We aimed to investigate the association in children and young people between blood pressure and carotid intima-media thickness, a non-invasive marker of atherosclerosis, through a systematic review. Studies were retrieved from MEDLINE and EMBASE. Articles were eligible for inclusion if they included at least one measurement of blood pressure and at least one measurement of ultrasound-derived carotid intima-media thickness, both measured during childhood (0–19 years), and a measure of effect size or correlation between the two measurements. A total of 3748 studies were identified in the initial search, of which 28 studies were included in this review. The results were mixed, but the largest and highest-quality studies suggested an independent positive association between blood pressure and carotid intima-media thickness in children and young people, even after adjustment for other cardiovascular risk factors. There was no indication of a clear threshold level for the effect of blood pressure on carotid intima-media thickness, hence there are insufficient data to support a pharmacological treatment threshold for the treatment of high blood pressure in children and young people to prevent future cardiovascular disease. The studies included varied widely in terms of quality and design, and it was not possible to combine the data in a meta-analysis. There is likely to be an independent association between blood pressure and carotid intima-media thickness in childhood, but it is not clear at what point this should be treated.
Nutrition during pregnancy can impact on the susceptibility of the offspring to CVD. Postnatal consumption of trans-fatty acids (TFA), associated with partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (PHVO), increases the risk of atherosclerosis, whereas evidence for those TFA associated with ruminant-derived dairy products and meat remain equivocal. In this study, we investigate the impact of maternal consumption of dietary PHVO (P) and ruminant milk fat (R) on the development of atherosclerosis in their offspring, using the transgenic apoE*3 Leiden mouse. Dams were fed either chow (C) or one of three high-fat diets: a diet reflecting the SFA content of a ‘Western’ diet (W) or one enriched with either P or R. Diets were fed during either pregnancy alone or pregnancy and lactation. Weaned offspring were then transferred to an atherogenic diet for 12 weeks. Atherosclerosis was assessed as lipid staining in cross-sections of the aorta. There was a significant effect of maternal diet during pregnancy on development of atherosclerosis (P=0·013) in the offspring with those born of mothers fed R or P during pregnancy displaying smaller lesions that those fed C or W. This was not associated with changes in total or lipoprotein cholesterol. Continuing to feed P during lactation increased atherosclerosis compared with that seen in offspring of dams fed P only during pregnancy (P<0·001). No such effect was seen in those from mothers fed R (P=0·596) or W (P=901). We conclude that dietary TFA have differing effects on cardiovascular risk at different stages of the lifecycle.
The aim of this study was to analyse whether changes in physical activity and body fatness are related to modifications in cardiovascular risk factors among adolescents.
Material and methods
A sample of 89 healthy adolescents was recruited for this study. We assessed habitual physical activity, body fat percentage, arterial thickness, blood sample, and biological maturation. Multivariate models were used to analyse the relationships between independent and dependent variables.
Physical activity (mean difference: 429.4 steps [95% confidence interval=−427 to 1286]) and body fatness (mean difference: −0.7% [95% confidence interval=−1.6–0.2]) remained stable during the study period. Independent of changes in physical activity, for each percentage increase in body fatness, femoral intima-media thickness increased by 0.007 mm (β=0.007 [95% confidence interval=0.001–0.013]). Longitudinal relationships were found for high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (β=−0.477 mg/dl [95% confidence interval=−0.805 to −0.149]) and triacylglycerol (β=2.329 mg/dl [95% confidence interval=0.275–4.384]).
Changes in body fatness are more important than the amount of physical activity on cardiovascular and metabolic risks.
The theory, in brief outline here, implicating deficiency of Cu in the aetiology and pathophysiology of IHD explains more attributes of the disease than any other theory. This theory satisfies several of Hill’s criteria of a half-century ago for deducing association between an environmental feature and presence of an illness. Most important is the temporal association between the rise of IHD and the decrease in dietary Cu since the 1930s along with a parallel increase in the supplementation of pregnant women with Fe, a Cu antagonist. There are more than eighty anatomical, chemical and physiological similarities between animals deficient in Cu and individuals with IHD. Few of these similarities have been produced by other dietary manipulations because feeding cholesterol induces Cu deficiency in animals. The most recent of these to be identified is decreased serum dehydroepiandrosterone. Some concomitant aspects of Cu metabolism and utilisation have been identified in other theories about heart disease: fetal programming, homocysteine, and Fe overload.
There has been increasing interest in second harmonic generation (SHG) imaging approaches for the investigation of atherosclerosis due to the deep penetration and three-dimensional sectioning capabilities of the nonlinear optical microscope. Atherosclerosis involves remodeling or alteration of the collagenous framework in affected vessels. The disease is often characterized by excessive collagen deposition and altered collagen organization. SHG has the capability to accurately characterize collagen structure, which is an essential component in understanding atherosclerotic lesion development and progression. As a structure-based imaging modality, SHG is most impactful in atherosclerosis evaluation in conjunction with other, chemically specific nonlinear optics (NLO) techniques to identify additional components of the lesion. These include the use of coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering and two-photon excitation fluorescence for studying atherosclerosis burden, and application of stimulated Raman scattering to image cholesterol crystals. However, very few NLO studies have attempted to quantitate differences in control versus atherosclerotic states or to correlate the application to clinical situations. This review highlights the potential of SHG imaging to directly and indirectly describe atherosclerosis as a pathological condition.
The effect of oxidised fatty acids on atherosclerosis progression is controversial. Thus, our objective was to evaluate the effect of long-term consumption of weakly oxidised PUFA from flaxseed oil on oxidative stress biomarkers of LDL-receptor(−/−) mice. To test our hypothesis, mice were separated into three groups. The first group received a high-fat diet containing fresh flaxseed oil (CONT−), the second was fed the same diet prepared using heated flaxseed oil (OXID), and the third group received the same diet containing fresh flaxseed oil and had diabetes induced by streptozotocin (CONT+). Oxidative stress, aortic parameters and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease were assessed. After 3 months, plasma lipid profile, glucose levels, body weight, energy intake and dietary intake did not differ among groups. Likewise, oxidative stress, plasma malondialdehyde (MDA), hepatic MDA expressed as nmol/mg portion (ptn) and antioxidant enzymes did not differ among the groups. Hepatic linoleic acid, α-linolenic acid, arachidonic acid and EPA acid declined in the OXID and CONT+ groups. Aortic wall thickness, lumen and diameter increased only in the OXID group. OXID and CONT+ groups exhibited higher concentrations of MDA, expressed as μmol/mg ptn per %PUFA, when compared with the CONT− group. Our results suggest that ingestion of oxidised flaxseed oil increases hepatic MDA concentration and is potentially pro-atherogenic. In addition, the mean MDA value observed in all groups was similar to those reported in other studies that used xenobiotics as oxidative stress inducers. Thus, the diet applied in this study represents an interesting model for further research involving antioxidants.