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Changes in the structure and function of the heart due to atherosclerosis
Even in people without heart failure or a recent heart attack, there appears to be a connection between atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and changes in the structure and function of the heart.
In the current study by the research group led by Professor Dr. Vanessa Xanthakis of the Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) found that, even in people without heart failure and myocardial infarction, there appears to be a connection between calcium deposits in the coronary arteries and changes in the structure and function of the heart. The results of the study were published in the English language journal "PLOS ONE".
Over 2,600 people were examined for the study
For the current study, the relationship between calcification of the coronary arteries and echocardiographic measurements to quantify these changes in the heart was examined in 2,650 participants with an average age of 51 years (48 percent of whom were women).
Progress of coronary artery disease without symptoms?
Calcium buildup in the coronary arteries (also known as atherosclerosis) is a strong predictor of future coronary artery disease. Findings so far indicate that coronary artery disease interacts with the onset of cardiac muscle disease and progresses even when there are no symptoms. However, data on the relationship between coronary calcium in the coronary arteries and changes in the structure and function of the heart that can be determined using echocardiography have so far been lacking.
Atherosclerosis favors changes in the heart
The researchers found that higher levels of calcification were associated with higher values of the left ventricular mass index and aortic root diameter, which was associated with undesirable effects such as changes in the size, shape, structure and function of the heart.
Protect yourself with a healthy lifestyle
"We know that coronary artery disease progresses with heart muscle disease, but these results suggest that there may be a direct correlation between the calcium content in the coronary arteries and structural and functional changes in the heart, which underscores the need to lead a healthy lifestyle to prevent calcification of the arteries, ”reports study author Professor Dr. Vanessa Xanthakis of the Boston University School of Medicine in a press release.
More research is needed
The expert emphasizes that further studies are now necessary to clarify the pathophysiological basis of the observed associations and to assess whether calcium from the coronary arteries can be used to predict changes in the structure and function of the heart. (as)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
- Association Between Atherosclerosis and Changes in the Structure, Function of the Heart, Boston University School of Medicine (Published May 15, 2020), BUSM
- Cecilia Castro-Diehl, Rebecca J. Song, Gary F. Mitchell, David McManus, Susan Cheng et al .: Association of subclinical atherosclerosis with echocardiographic indices of cardiac remodeling: The Framingham Study, in PLOS ONE (published May 15, 2020), PLOS ONE