Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Circulatory system


A modified version of the Joint British Societies (JBS3) ‘heart age’ tool was introduced online to broaden access to personalised risk assessment to the general population and encourage participation in the National Health Service (NHS) Health Check programme. This study reports on its early uptake and the profiles of those who used the self-assessment tool to determine their own cardiovascular risk.

Concepts: Health care, Heart, Blood vessel, Risk, Cardiovascular disease, Circulatory system, National Health Service, Risk assessment


Handgrip strength, a measure of muscular fitness, is associated with cardiovascular (CV) events and CV mortality but its association with cardiac structure and function is unknown. The goal of this study was to determine if handgrip strength is associated with changes in cardiac structure and function in UK adults.

Concepts: Blood, Heart, Cardiac muscle, Circulatory system


The American Heart Association defined target levels for 7 cardiovascular health (CVH) factors: smoking, body mass index, physical activity, diet, blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose. We hypothesized that a greater number of American Heart Association ideal CVH metrics would be associated with less decline in cognitive performance in our multiethnic population.

Concepts: Nutrition, Blood, Heart, Obesity, Cardiovascular disease, Body mass index, Circulatory system, Artery


The effect of menopausal hormone therapy (MHT)-previously known as hormone replacement therapy-on cardiovascular health remains unclear and controversial. This cross-sectional study examined the impact of MHT on left ventricular (LV) and left atrial (LA) structure and function, alterations in which are markers of subclinical cardiovascular disease, in a population-based cohort.

Concepts: Hormone replacement therapy, Medicine, Epidemiology, Blood, Heart, Cardiovascular disease, Menopause, Circulatory system


As vertebrate embryos develop to adulthood, their organs undergo marked changes in size and tissue architecture. The heart acquires muscle mass and matures structurally to fulfil increasing circulatory needs, a process that is incompletely understood. Here we used multicolour clonal analysis to define the contributions of individual cardiomyocytes as the zebrafish heart undergoes morphogenesis from a primitive embryonic structure into its complex adult form. We find that the single-cardiomyocyte-thick wall of the juvenile ventricle forms by lateral expansion of several dozen cardiomyocytes into muscle patches of variable sizes and shapes. As juvenile zebrafish mature into adults, this structure becomes fully enveloped by a new lineage of cortical muscle. Adult cortical muscle originates from a small number of cardiomyocytes–an average of approximately eight per animal–that display clonal dominance reminiscent of stem cell populations. Cortical cardiomyocytes initially emerge from internal myofibres that in rare events breach the juvenile ventricular wall, and then expand over the surface. Our results illuminate the dynamic proliferative behaviours that generate adult cardiac structure, revealing clonal dominance as a key mechanism that shapes a vertebrate organ.

Concepts: Blood, Heart, Structure, Muscle, Cardiac muscle, Organ, Circulatory system, Adult


The proportion of foreign-born US adults has almost tripled since 1970. However, less is known about the cardiovascular morbidity by birthplace among adults residing in the United States. This study’s objective was to compare the prevalence of coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke among US adults by birthplace.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Disease, Heart, United States, Heart disease, Poverty in the United States, U.S. state, Circulatory system


Several studies have correlated elevations in cardiac biomarkers of injury post marathon with transient and reversible right ventricular (RV) systolic dysfunction as assessed by both transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) and cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR). Whether or not permanent myocardial injury occurs due to repeated marathon running in the aging population remains controversial.

Concepts: Heart, Echocardiography, Muscle, Cardiac muscle, Circulatory system, Cardiovascular system, Running, Marathon


Neutrophils form the first line of host defense against infections that combat pathogens using two major mechanisms, the phagocytosis or the release of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs). The netosis (NET formation) exerts additional, unfavorable effects on the fitness of host cells and is also involved at the sites of lung infection, increasing the mucus viscosity and in the circulatory system where it can influence the intravascular clot formation. Although molecular mechanisms underlying the netosis are still incompletely understood, a role of NADPH oxidase that activates the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) during the initiation of NETs has been well documented. Since several commonly used drugs can affects the netosis, our current study was aimed to determine the effects of selected mucolytic, anti-inflammatory and cardiovascular drugs on NET formation, with a special emphasis on ROS production and NADPH oxidase activity. The treatment of neutrophils with N-acetylcysteine, ketoprofen and ethamsylate reduced the production of ROS by these cells in a dose-dependent manner. NET formation was also modulated by selected drugs. N-acetylcysteine inhibited the netosis but in the presence of H2O2 this neutrophil ability was restored, indicating that N-acetylcysteine may influence the NET formation by modulating ROS productivity. The administration of ethamsylate led to a significant reduction in NET formation and this effect was not restored by H2O2 or S. aureus, suggesting the unexpected additional side effects of this drug. Ketoprofen seemed to promote ROS-independent NET release, simultaneously inhibiting ROS production. The results, obtained in this study strongly suggest that the therapeutic strategies applied in many neutrophil-mediated diseases should take into account the NET-associated effects.

Concepts: Immune system, Oxygen, Blood, Heart, Reactive oxygen species, Circulatory system, Hydrogen peroxide


Copeptin is the C-terminal end of pre-provasopressin released equimolar to vasopressin into circulation and recently discussed as promising cardiovascular biomarker amendatory to established markers such as troponins. Vasopressin is a cytokine synthesized in the hypothalamus. A direct release of copeptin from the heart into the circulation is implied by data from a rat model showing a cardiac origin in hearts put under cardiovascular wall stress. Therefore, evaluation of a potential release of copeptin from the human heart in acute myocardial infarction (AMI) has been done.

Concepts: Blood, Myocardial infarction, Heart, Cardiac muscle, Organ, Circulatory system, Artery, Pulmonary vein


Loss of cardiomyocytes is a major cause of heart failure, and while the adult heart has a limited capacity for cardiomyogenesis, little is known about what regulates this ability or whether it can be effectively harnessed. Here we show that 8 weeks of running exercise increase birth of new cardiomyocytes in adult mice (~4.6-fold). New cardiomyocytes are identified based on incorporation of 15N-thymidine by multi-isotope imaging mass spectrometry (MIMS) and on being mononucleate/diploid. Furthermore, we demonstrate that exercise after myocardial infarction induces a robust cardiomyogenic response in an extended border zone of the infarcted area. Inhibition of miR-222, a microRNA increased by exercise in both animal models and humans, completely blocks the cardiomyogenic exercise response. These findings demonstrate that cardiomyogenesis can be activated by exercise in the normal and injured adult mouse heart and suggest that stimulation of endogenous cardiomyocyte generation could contribute to the benefits of exercise.

Concepts: Mass spectrometry, Myocardial infarction, Heart, Muscle, Cardiac muscle, Circulatory system, Mammal, Troponin