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Archive for the ‘Heart Failure (HF)’ Category


Artificial Intelligence and Cardiovascular Disease

Reporter and Curator: Dr. Sudipta Saha, Ph.D.

 

Cardiology is a vast field that focuses on a large number of diseases specifically dealing with the heart, the circulatory system, and its functions. As such, similar symptomatologies and diagnostic features may be present in an individual, making it difficult for a doctor to easily isolate the actual heart-related problem. Consequently, the use of artificial intelligence aims to relieve doctors from this hurdle and extend better quality to patients. Results of screening tests such as echocardiograms, MRIs, or CT scans have long been proposed to be analyzed using more advanced techniques in the field of technology. As such, while artificial intelligence is not yet widely-used in clinical practice, it is seen as the future of healthcare.

 

The continuous development of the technological sector has enabled the industry to merge with medicine in order to create new integrated, reliable, and efficient methods of providing quality health care. One of the ongoing trends in cardiology at present is the proposed utilization of artificial intelligence (AI) in augmenting and extending the effectiveness of the cardiologist. This is because AI or machine-learning would allow for an accurate measure of patient functioning and diagnosis from the beginning up to the end of the therapeutic process. In particular, the use of artificial intelligence in cardiology aims to focus on research and development, clinical practice, and population health. Created to be an all-in-one mechanism in cardiac healthcare, AI technologies incorporate complex algorithms in determining relevant steps needed for a successful diagnosis and treatment. The role of artificial intelligence specifically extends to the identification of novel drug therapies, disease stratification or statistics, continuous remote monitoring and diagnostics, integration of multi-omic data, and extension of physician effectivity and efficiency.

 

Artificial intelligence – specifically a branch of it called machine learning – is being used in medicine to help with diagnosis. Computers might, for example, be better at interpreting heart scans. Computers can be ‘trained’ to make these predictions. This is done by feeding the computer information from hundreds or thousands of patients, plus instructions (an algorithm) on how to use that information. This information is heart scans, genetic and other test results, and how long each patient survived. These scans are in exquisite detail and the computer may be able to spot differences that are beyond human perception. It can also combine information from many different tests to give as accurate a picture as possible. The computer starts to work out which factors affected the patients’ outlook, so it can make predictions about other patients.

 

In current medical practice, doctors will use risk scores to make treatment decisions for their cardiac patients. These are based on a series of variables like weight, age and lifestyle. However, they do not always have the desired levels of accuracy. A particular example of the use of artificial examination in cardiology is the experimental study on heart disease patients, published in 2017. The researchers utilized cardiac MRI-based algorithms coupled with a 3D systolic cardiac motion pattern to accurately predict the health outcomes of patients with pulmonary hypertension. The experiment proved to be successful, with the technology being able to pick-up 30,000 points within the heart activity of 250 patients. With the success of the aforementioned study, as well as the promise of other researches on artificial intelligence, cardiology is seemingly moving towards a more technological practice.

 

One study was conducted in Finland where researchers enrolled 950 patients complaining of chest pain, who underwent the centre’s usual scanning protocol to check for coronary artery disease. Their outcomes were tracked for six years following their initial scans, over the course of which 24 of the patients had heart attacks and 49 died from all causes. The patients first underwent a coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) scan, which yielded 58 pieces of data on the presence of coronary plaque, vessel narrowing and calcification. Patients whose scans were suggestive of disease underwent a positron emission tomography (PET) scan which produced 17 variables on blood flow. Ten clinical variables were also obtained from medical records including sex, age, smoking status and diabetes. These 85 variables were then entered into an artificial intelligence (AI) programme called LogitBoost. The AI repeatedly analysed the imaging variables, and was able to learn how the imaging data interacted and identify the patterns which preceded death and heart attack with over 90% accuracy. The predictive performance using the ten clinical variables alone was modest, with an accuracy of 90%. When PET scan data was added, accuracy increased to 92.5%. The predictive performance increased significantly when CCTA scan data was added to clinical and PET data, with accuracy of 95.4%.

 

Another study findings showed that applying artificial intelligence (AI) to the electrocardiogram (ECG) enables early detection of left ventricular dysfunction and can identify individuals at increased risk for its development in the future. Asymptomatic left ventricular dysfunction (ALVD) is characterised by the presence of a weak heart pump with a risk of overt heart failure. It is present in three to six percent of the general population and is associated with reduced quality of life and longevity. However, it is treatable when found. Currently, there is no inexpensive, noninvasive, painless screening tool for ALVD available for diagnostic use. When tested on an independent set of 52,870 patients, the network model yielded values for the area under the curve, sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of 0.93, 86.3 percent, 85.7 percent, and 85.7 percent, respectively. Furthermore, in patients without ventricular dysfunction, those with a positive AI screen were at four times the risk of developing future ventricular dysfunction compared with those with a negative screen.

 

In recent years, the analysis of big data database combined with computer deep learning has gradually played an important role in biomedical technology. For a large number of medical record data analysis, image analysis, single nucleotide polymorphism difference analysis, etc., all relevant research on the development and application of artificial intelligence can be observed extensively. For clinical indication, patients may receive a variety of cardiovascular routine examination and treatments, such as: cardiac ultrasound, multi-path ECG, cardiovascular and peripheral angiography, intravascular ultrasound and optical coherence tomography, electrical physiology, etc. By using artificial intelligence deep learning system, the investigators hope to not only improve the diagnostic rate and also gain more accurately predict the patient’s recovery, improve medical quality in the near future.

 

The primary issue about using artificial intelligence in cardiology, or in any field of medicine for that matter, is the ethical issues that it brings about. Physicians and healthcare professionals prior to their practice swear to the Hippocratic Oath—a promise to do their best for the welfare and betterment of their patients. Many physicians have argued that the use of artificial intelligence in medicine breaks the Hippocratic Oath since patients are technically left under the care of machines than of doctors. Furthermore, as machines may also malfunction, the safety of patients is also on the line at all times. As such, while medical practitioners see the promise of artificial technology, they are also heavily constricted about its use, safety, and appropriateness in medical practice.

 

Issues and challenges faced by technological innovations in cardiology are overpowered by current researches aiming to make artificial intelligence easily accessible and available for all. With that in mind, various projects are currently under study. For example, the use of wearable AI technology aims to develop a mechanism by which patients and doctors could easily access and monitor cardiac activity remotely. An ideal instrument for monitoring, wearable AI technology ensures real-time updates, monitoring, and evaluation. Another direction of cardiology in AI technology is the use of technology to record and validate empirical data to further analyze symptomatology, biomarkers, and treatment effectiveness. With AI technology, researchers in cardiology are aiming to simplify and expand the scope of knowledge on the field for better patient care and treatment outcomes.

 

References:

 

https://www.news-medical.net/health/Artificial-Intelligence-in-Cardiology.aspx

 

https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/heart-matters-magazine/research/artificial-intelligence

 

https://www.medicaldevice-network.com/news/heart-attack-artificial-intelligence/

 

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41569-019-0158-5

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5711980/

 

www.j-pcs.org/article.asp

http://www.onlinejacc.org/content/71/23/2668

http://www.scielo.br/pdf/ijcs/v30n3/2359-4802-ijcs-30-03-0187.pdf

 

https://www.escardio.org/The-ESC/Press-Office/Press-releases/How-artificial-intelligence-is-tackling-heart-disease-Find-out-at-ICNC-2019

 

https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03877614

 

https://www.europeanpharmaceuticalreview.com/news/82870/artificial-intelligence-ai-heart-disease/

 

https://www.frontiersin.org/research-topics/10067/current-and-future-role-of-artificial-intelligence-in-cardiac-imaging

 

https://www.news-medical.net/health/Artificial-Intelligence-in-Cardiology.aspx

 

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/05/190513104505.htm

 

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@Cleveland Clinic – Serial measurements of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) post acute coronary syndrome (ACS) may help identify patients at higher risk for morbidity and mortality

 

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

 

Original Investigation
March 6, 2019

Association of Initial and Serial C-Reactive Protein Levels With Adverse Cardiovascular Events and Death After Acute Coronary Syndrome, A Secondary Analysis of the VISTA-16 Trial

Key Points

Question  Are initial and serial increases in high-sensitivity C-reactive protein levels after acute coronary syndrome in medically optimized patients associated with increased risk of a major cardiac event, cardiovascular death, and all-cause death?

Findings  In this secondary analysis of the VISTA-16 randomized clinical trial that included 5145 patients, baseline and longitudinal high-sensitivity C-reactive protein levels were independently associated with increased risk of a major adverse cardiac event, cardiovascular death, and all-cause death during the 16-week follow-up.

Meaning  Monitoring high-sensitivity C-reactive protein levels in patients after acute coronary syndrome may help better identify patients at greater risk for recurrent cardiovascular events or death.

Abstract

Importance  Higher baseline high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) levels after an acute coronary syndrome (ACS) are associated with adverse cardiovascular outcomes. The usefulness of serial hsCRP measurements for risk stratifying patients after ACS is not well characterized.

Objective  To assess whether longitudinal increases in hsCRP measurements during the 16 weeks after ACS are independently associated with a greater risk of a major adverse cardiac event (MACE), all-cause death, and cardiovascular death.

Results  Among 4257 patients in this study, 3141 (73.8%) were men and the mean age was 60.3 years (interquartile range [IQR], 53.5-67.8 years). The median 16-week low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level was 64.9 mg/dL (IQR, 50.3-82.3 mg/dL), and the median hsCRP level was 2.4 mg/L (IQR, 1.1-5.2 mg/L). On multivariable analysis, higher baseline hsCRP level (hazard ratio [HR], 1.36 [95% CI, 1.13-1.63]; P = .001) and higher longitudinal hsCRP level (HR, 1.15 [95% CI, 1.09-1.21]; P < .001) were independently associated with MACE. Similar significant and independent associations were shown between baseline and longitudinal hsCRP levels and cardiovascular death (baseline: HR, 1.61 per SD [95% CI, 1.07-2.41], P = .02; longitudinal: HR, 1.26 per SD [95% CI, 1.19-1.34], P < .001) and between baseline and longitudinal hsCRP levels and all-cause death (baseline: HR, 1.58 per SD [95% CI, 1.07-2.35], P = .02; longitudinal: HR, 1.25 per SD [95% CI, 1.18-1.32], P < .001).

Conclusions and Relevance  Initial and subsequent increases in hsCRP levels during 16 weeks after ACS were associated with a greater risk of the combined MACE end point, cardiovascular death, and all-cause death despite established background therapies. Serial measurements of hsCRP during clinical follow-up after ACS may help to identify patients at higher risk for mortality and morbidity.

SOURCE

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamacardiology/fullarticle/2725734

 

Inflammation’s role in residual risk

Residual risk of cardiovascular events or death remains high following ACS, despite coronary revascularization and optimal guideline-directed treatment with antiplatelet and LDL cholesterol-lowering agents. Inflammation is thought to drive this risk, but no effective treatment for such inflammation is commercially available. The secretory phospholipase A2 inhibitor varespladib was developed to meet this need, and it was evaluated in VISTA-16.

VISTA-16 was an international, multicenter clinical trial that randomized 5,145 patients in a double-blind manner to varespladib or placebo on a background of atorvastatin treatment within 96 hours of presentation with ACS. The trial was terminated early due to futility and likely harm from the drug, which was subsequently pulled from development.

Implications for practice

The association of increasing CRP levels with residual cardiovascular risk may prompt more intensive treatment to lower this risk. In particular, a secondary analysis showed that use of antiplatelet agents (clopidogrel, ticlopidine and prasugrel) was associated with stable or decreasing hsCRP levels.

“Monitoring not only lipids but also hsCRP after ACS may help us better identify patients at increased risk for recurrent cardiovascular events or death,” notes Dr. Puri. “High or increasing CRP levels could be an indication to optimize dual antiplatelet therapy post-ACS, along with high-intensity statin therapy (and possibly PCSK9 inhibitors) and antihypertensive therapy, in addition to instituting measures that are globally beneficial, such as dietary modifications and cardiac rehabilitation/exercise.”

SOURCE

https://consultqd.clevelandclinic.org/increasing-inflammation-correlates-with-residual-risk-after-acute-coronary-syndrome/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

 

Other related articles published in this Open Access Online Scientific Journal, include the following:

 

Biomarkers and risk factors for cardiovascular events, endothelial dysfunction, and thromboembolic complications

Larry H Bernstein, MD, FCAP, Curator

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2014/09/09/biomarkers-and-risk-factors-for-cardiovascular-events-endothelial-dysfunction-and-thromboembolic-complications/

 

A Concise Review of Cardiovascular Biomarkers of Hypertension

Curator: Larry H. Bernstein, MD, FCAP

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2016/04/25/a-concise-review-of-cardiovascular-biomarkers-of-hypertension/

 

Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS): Strategies in Anticoagulant Selection: Diagnostics Approaches – Genetic Testing Aids vs. Biomarkers (Troponin types and BNP)

Curator: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2018/03/13/acute-coronary-syndrome-acs-strategies-in-anticoagulant-selection-diagnostics-approaches-genetic-testing-aids-vs-biomarkers-troponin-types-and-bnp/

 

In Europe, BigData@Heart aim to improve patient outcomes and reduce societal burden of atrial fibrillation (AF), heart failure (HF) and acute coronary syndrome (ACS).

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2017/07/10/in-europe-bigdataheart-aim-to-improve-patient-outcomes-and-reduce-societal-burden-of-atrial-fibrillation-af-heart-failure-hf-and-acute-coronary-syndrome-acs/

 

Cardiovascular Diseases and Pharmacological Therapy: Curations by Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN, 2006 – 4/2018

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2014/04/17/cardiovascular-diseases-and-pharmacological-therapy-curations-by-aviva-lev-ari-phd-rn/

 

 

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Mitralign and Corvia, Tewksbury, Mass – Investment and Acquisition by Edwards Lifesciences

 

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

 

Edwards LifesciencesEdwards Lifesciences (NYSE:EW) said today that it made a pair of strategic bets on the structural heart space, paying $35 million for the right to acquire Corvia Medical and paying an unspecified amount for some of mitral valve repair device maker Mitralign‘s assets.

Tewksbury, Mass.-based Corvia is developing an interatrial shunt to treat heart failure by creating a small opening between the left and right atria to lower blood pressure in the left atrium and lungs. The device has CE Mark approval in the European Union and a pivotal U.S trial aimed at winning a nod from the FDA is under way, Edwards said.

“We are extremely pleased to have the support of the global leader in patient-focused innovations for structural heart disease as we continue to advance this novel treatment for heart failure,” Corvia president & CEO George Fazio said in prepared remarks. “We are proud of our accomplishments to date and look forward to completing the pivotal study with the support of our global clinical investigators.”

The Irvine, Calif.-based company also said it bought “certain” Mitralign assets, including intellectual property and associated clinical and regulatory experience. Mitralign, also based in Tewksbury, is developing an annuloplasty system for treating functional mitral and tricuspid regurgitation.

Edwards said the transactions are not expected to affect its financial outlook for 2019.

SOURCE

https://www.massdevice.com/edwards-lifesciences-gets-in-on-corvia-mitralign/?spMailingID=1958&puid=370787

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Changes in Levels of Sex Hormones and N-Terminal Pro–B-Type Natriuretic Peptide as Biomarker for Cardiovascular Diseases

Reporter and Curator: Dr. Sudipta Saha, Ph.D.

 

Considerable differences exist in the prevalence and manifestation of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (CVD) and heart failure (HF) between men and women. Premenopausal women have a lower risk of CVD and HF compared with men; however, this risk increases after menopause. Sex hormones, particularly androgens, are associated with CVD risk factors and events and have been postulated to mediate the observed sex differences in CVD.

 

B-type natriuretic peptides (BNPs) are secreted from cardiomyocytes in response to myocardial wall stress. BNP plays an important role in cardiovascular remodelling and volume homeostasis. It exerts numerous cardioprotective effects by promoting vasodilation, natriuresis, and ventricular relaxation and by antagonizing fibrosis and the effects of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. Although the physiological role of BNP is cardioprotective, pathologically elevated N-terminal pro–BNP (NT-proBNP) levels are used clinically to indicate left ventricular hypertrophy, dysfunction, and myocardial ischemia. Higher NT-proBNP levels among individuals free of clinical CVD are associated with an increased risk of incident CVD, HF, and cardiovascular mortality.

 

BNP and NT-proBNP levels are higher in women than men in the general population. Several studies have proposed the use of sex- and age-specific reference ranges for BNP and NT-proBNP levels, in which reference limits are higher for women and older individuals. The etiology behind this sex difference has not been fully elucidated, but prior studies have demonstrated an association between sex hormones and NT-proBNP levels. Recent studies measuring endogenous sex hormones have suggested that androgens may play a larger role in BNP regulation by inhibiting its production.

 

Data were collected from a large, multiethnic community-based cohort of individuals free of CVD and HF at baseline to analyze both the cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between sex hormones [total testosterone (T), bioavailable T, freeT, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), SHBG, and estradiol] and NT-proBNP, separately for women and men. It was found that a more androgenic pattern of sex hormones was independently associated with lower NT-proBNP levels in cross-sectional analyses in men and postmenopausal women.

 

This association may help explain sex differences in the distribution of NT-proBNP and may contribute to the NP deficiency in men relative to women. In longitudinal analyses, a more androgenic pattern of sex hormones was associated with a greater increase in NT-proBNP levels in both sexes, with a more robust association among women. This relationship may reflect a mechanism for the increased risk of CVD and HF seen in women after menopause.

 

Additional research is needed to further explore whether longitudinal changes in NT-proBNP levels seen in our study are correlated with longitudinal changes in sex hormones. The impact of menopause on changes in NT-proBNP levels over time should also be explored. Furthermore, future studies should aim to determine whether sex hormones directly play a role in biological pathways of BNP synthesis and clearance in a causal fashion. Lastly, the dual role of NTproBNP as both

  • a cardioprotective hormone and
  • a biomarker of CVD and HF, as well as
  • the role of sex hormones in delineating these processes,

should be further explored. This would provide a step toward improved clinical CVD risk stratification and prognostication based on

  • sex hormone and
  • NT-proBNP levels.

 

References:

 

https://www.medpagetoday.com/clinical-connection/cardio-endo/76480?xid=NL_CardioEndoConnection_2018-12-27

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30137406

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22064958

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24036936

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19854731

 

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Paraoxonase 2 (PON2) appears to play a cardioprotective role in both human and experimental heart failure: Cardiologist Wai Hong Wilson Tang, MD, Director of Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute’s Center for Clinical Genomics.

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

Enzyme Protects Heart Against Stress and Could Potentially Lead to New Heart Failure Treatments

https://consultqd.clevelandclinic.org/enzyme-protects-heart-against-stress-and-could-potentially-lead-to-new-heart-failure-treatments/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

Original Study:
 2018 Jun;121:117-126. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2018.04.583. Epub 2018 May 2.

Paraoxonase 2 prevents the development of heart failure.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Mitochondrial oxidation is a major source of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and mitochondrial dysfunction plays a central role in development of heart failure (HF). Paraoxonase 2 deficient (PON2-def) mitochondria are impaired in function. In this study, we tested whether PON2-def aggravates HF progression.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Using qPCR, immunoblotting and lactonase activity assay, we demonstrate that PON2 activity was significantly decreased in failing hearts despite increased PON2 expression. To determine the cardiac-specific function of PON2, we performed heart transplantations in which PON2-def and wild type (WT) donor hearts were implanted into WT recipient mice. Beating scores of the donor hearts, assessed at 4 weeks post-transplantation, were significantly decreased in PON2-def hearts when compared to WT donor hearts. By using a transverse aortic constriction (TAC) model, we found PON2 deficiency significantly exacerbated left ventricular remodeling and cardiac fibrosis post-TAC. We further demonstrated PON2 deficiency significantly enhanced ROS generation in heart tissues post-TAC. ROS generation was measured through dihydroethidium (DHE) using high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) with a fluorescent detector. By using neonatal cardiomyocytes treated with CoCl2 to mimic hypoxia, we found PON2 deficiency dramatically increased ROS generation in the cardiomyocytes upon CoCl2 treatment. In response to a short CoCl2 exposure, cell viability and succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) activity assessed by MTT assay were significantly diminished in PON2-def cardiomyocytes compared to those in WT cardiomyocytes. PON2-def cardiomyocytes also had lower baseline SDH activity. By using adult mouse cardiomyocytes and mitochondrial ToxGlo assay, we found impaired cellular ATP generation in PON2-def cells compared to that in WT cells, suggesting that PON2 is necessary for proper mitochondrial function.

CONCLUSION:

Our study suggests a cardioprotective role for PON2 in both experimental and human heart failure, which may be associated with the ability of PON2 to improve mitochondrial function and diminish ROS generation.

KEYWORDS:

Cardiomyopathy; Heart failure; Paraoxonase 2

PMID:
29729330
PMCID:
PMC5971153
 [Available on 2019-06-01]
DOI:
10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2018.04.583

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NHLBI decision to halt Heart Stem-Cell Study (CONCERT-HF trial) due to concerns about Anversa’s Animal Studies, not due to any Data generated by the Clinical trial itself, no compromised patient safety by trial

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

Doubts about Anversa’s work arose in the early 2000s after other researchers failed to replicate his findings and questioned whether cardiac stem cells existed2,3,4.

Paper of Former HMS Prof. Withdrawn, Clinical Trial Paused after Harvard Requests Retractions

https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2018/10/31/medical-school-paper-retracted/

NHLBI NEWS

Statement

Statement on NHLBI decision to pause the CONCERT-HF trial

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health, is pausing the CONCERT-HF trialexternal link, which involves patients with chronic heart failure. Recent calls for the retraction of journal articles in related fields of cell therapy research have raised concerns about the scientific foundations of this trial.  While none of the articles in question derive from the CONCERT-HF trial itself, the NHLBI convened CONCERT-HF’s Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) out of an abundance of caution to ensure the study continues to meet the highest standards for participant safety and scientific integrity. Informed by the DSMB recommendations of October 25, 2018, the NHLBI is pausing the trial. While the DSMB did not have any participant safety concerns, this pause enables the DSMB to complete its review.

The safety of all clinical trial participants is paramount to NHLBI. NHLBI will honor its commitment to CONCERT-HF participants and continue the follow-up protocol during this pause for all participants who have already been treated in the study. Participants are being notified of the status of the trial and how to request additional information.

The CONCERT-HF trial seeks to determine whether c-kit+ cells, either alone or in combination with mesenchymal stem cells derived from the bone marrow, are safe and benefit patients with chronic heart failure, who have very limited treatment options. Despite significant medical and surgical advances, patients with heart failure continue to experience a low quality of life and about half of them will die within five years of receiving a diagnosis.

The scientific basis of CONCERT-HF is supported by a body of evidence in several preclinical models in a number of studies in a variety of laboratories and was reviewed by a Protocol Review Committee (PRC) independent of the trial. The cell therapies that CONCERT-HF is testing are under an investigational new drug (IND) designation which is overseen by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The cells are produced by an accredited laboratory independent of the clinical sites. In addition, as part of standard oversight of clinical trials, the DSMB routinely reviews and monitors CONCERT-HF to ensure participant safety and that the study continues to ask compelling scientific questions with implications for patient care.

The DSMB’s review will be conducted as expeditiously as possible and will inform NHLBI’s future actions that will ensure the highest standards of participant safety and scientific integrity.

SOURCE

https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/news/2018/statement-nhlbi-decision-pause-concert-hf-trial

References

  1. Quaini, F. et al. N. Engl. J. Med. 346, 5–15 (2002).
  1. Murry, C. E. et al. Nature 428, 664–668 (2004).
  1. Balsam, L. B. Nature 428, 668–673 (2004).
  1. Nygren, J. M. et al. Nature Med. 10, 494–501 (2004).

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Live 2:30-4:30 PM  Mediterranean Diet and Lifestyle: A Symposium on Diet and Human Health:  October 19, 2018

Reporter: Stephen J. Williams, Ph.D.

 

2:30 Mediterranean Diet, Intangible Heritage and Sustainable Tourism?

Prof. Fabio Parasecoli, PhD.

 

 

Nutrition and Food Department, New York University

We focus on more of the cultural aspects and the relevance of this diet to tourism in Italy where there is a high rate of unemployment.  The diet is interesting from a touristic standpoint as the diet have the perspective of the different ingredients inherent in Italy.  The mediterranean diet food pyramid totally different than US.  How do we explain to consumers these medical concepts; for example in China, Germany they are using different ways to explain the benefits of this diet.

A Cultural Formation

  • a way of life, for tourism there is the way of life people want to adopt (easiest way to do this is go to the Mediterranean and learn the lifestyle)
  • so for example Olive Garden for marketing purposes sent a few chefs for half a day training so the image of learning to cook in the mediterranean diet style can be very powerful communicative tool
  • 2003 UNESCO Convention for Safeguarding the Culturing Heritage: protecting landscapes but then decided to protect other intangible heritage like oral, language, oral traditions like transmitting recipes, social and festive events (how do we cook how do we grow tomatoes, wheat etc)
  • UNESCO: promoted France Gastronomic, Mediterranean Diet, and traditional Mexican Cuisine (Mayan)
  • defined Greece, Italy, Morroco then included Cyprus Crotia and Portugal in the Mediterranean diet
  • has it been used for promotion: no UNESCO did not use this since does not safeguard the culture
  • (gastrodiplomacy); like Korea and kimchie; included in the list of cultural cuisine but can create tourist bubbles as you tourism places like hotels don’t always use; for reasons of economy or safety or accessibility , local food
  • Centrality of Territorio:  food consumed from tourist should come from the area

Sustainable Tourism: a form of tourism where have the intention to get to know the place;

have to think in three ways

  1. environmental
  2. social
  3. cultural

how do we make a circular economy so no waste; for example certain companies using food waste to make other products

Tourism clusters made of many groups; he is working on a way to jump start these networks in Nigeria;

Sustainable Food Supply Chain Tourism can be used as way to engage people and promote the diet

Question: are there regions where people are not adopting the diet because of taste, preferences

Yes there is always a problem with accessibility, affordability, trade issues and regional acceptance. For instance in Australia a big push back against the Mediterranean diet.  Medical professionals need to work with communication experts and media experts in developing ways to communicate the benefits since “no one wants to be preached at” and “as economies get richer people want to be more modern and try new things”

In Nigeria we are working with many different industries like transportation, engineers, the IT industry and chefs to build a scalable model

 

3.00 Italy as a Case Study: Increasing Students’ Level of Awareness of the Historical, Cultural, Political and Culinary Significance of Food

Prof. Lisa Sasson

Nutrition and Food Department, New York University

Started a program at NYU to understand food  from a nutritionist and historical point of view as a cultural heritage in Italy, but when students came back students mentioned it changed their food shopping habits

they described diet as wine, pasta, and olive oil

Artisional Production:  understanding the taste and flavor; she wanted them to learn about the food culture and educate their tastes

Food Memories: how we pass on recipes and food aromas, food tastes.  The students were experienced food in a unique way for the first time, experiencing what cheese, quality oil other foods when fresh tastes like.  Artisional foods may be expensive but need only a little of it because the tastes and flavors are so potent due to the phytochemicals

Within six months students:

  1. increased consumption of weekly wine consumption with meals
  2. increased consuming satisfying meals
  3. increased time consuming meals

In the womb the fetus is actually acquiring sense of taste (amniotic fluid changes with mother diet; can detect flavor chemicals)

Student Perceptions after a study Abroad Program

  • eating foods local and seasonal
  • replacing butter with quality olive oil
  • using herbs
  • very little sugar
  • unsweetened beverages
  • limiting red meats
  • fish a couple of times a week
  • dairy in moderation
  • no processed foods

Eating and Dining for Americans is a Challenge:  The students ate well and satisfying meals but ate alot but did not gain weight

3:30 Italian Migration and Global Diaspora

Dr. Vincenzo Milione, PhD

Director of Demographics Studies, Calandra Institute, City University of New York

for a PDF of this presentation please click heresbarro handout.

Dr. Millione used the U.S. Census Bureau Data to estimate the growth of the Italian diaspora descendants in host countries in the Americas and to determine the mixed global ancestry of Italian descendants.

  • Italian emigration to the US happened in two waves
  1.            Wave 1: early 1900 peaking between 1901 and 1911 (turn of century)
  2.            Wave 2: 1951-1971 (post WWII)

This pattern was similar between North and South America although South American had first Italian immigration; in 1860 we got rid of slavery so many jobs not filled new orleans

Developing a mathematical model of Italian diaspora: the model is centered on the host country population dynamics but descendants are separated into first generation and multi generation

Model dependent on:

  • birth and death rates
  • first generation population growth
  • multi generational population growth
  • emigration from host country over time

He was able to calculate an indices he termed Year of Italianization Change (YIC): the year the growth of the multi generation supercedes the first generation immigrant population 

Country Year of Italianlization Change (YIC)
Brazil 1911
Uruguay 1915
Argentina 1918
USA 1936
Venezuela 1963
Canada 1968
Australia 1988

 

note: as a result there is an increasing loss of language and traditional customs with host country cultural adaptation among the native born descendants

In addition, over the last 20 years Italian-American population growth demonstrates that Italian-American self-identity in the United States has increased.  The census data identified two ancestries of the respondent.  In mixed ancestry Italian-American respondents to the extent they identify Italian first demonstrating the strong Italian-American identity.

The foreign born Italian Americans mirror the immigration pattern of Italian immigration from Italy until 1980 where more Italian Americans self identify as foreign born in other countries and not in Italy

Summary

  • over 5 million Italians have emigrated from Italy from 1980 to present
  • most went to North and South America but many went to other global countries
  • the Italian immigration to the different countries in the Americas varies over the period of mass emigration when the growth of multi generational Italian descendants is greater then first generation Italians (Year of Italianization Change) goes from 1911 in Brazil to 1988 in Australia
  • Immigrants to the USA was not just from Italy but from almost all nations globally over all geographical continents
  • Italina immigrants descendants greatly grew after 1930 with appreciable increase with other ethnicities such that 61% of Italian Americans are mixed ancestry in 2014: to date mixed ancestry represents 98% of Italian Americans
  • younger italian americans more likely to have mixed ancestry with Central and South America, Asian and African ethnicities

over time during immigration eating habits has changed but more research is needed if and how the italian recipes and diet has changed as well

 

4:15 Conclusions

Prof. Antonio Giordano, MD, PhD.

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