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J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis., Volume 6, Issue 3 (September 2019) – 9 articles

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Article
Arterial Structural and Functional Characteristics at End of Early Childhood and Beginning of Adulthood: Impact of Body Size Gain during Early, Intermediate, Late and Global Growth
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2019, 6(3), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcdd6030033 - 06 Sep 2019
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1234
Abstract
An association between nutritional characteristics in theearlylife stages and the state of the cardiovascular (CV) system in early childhood itself and/or at the beginning of adulthood has been postulated. It is still controversial whether changes in weight, height and/or body mass index (BMI) [...] Read more.
An association between nutritional characteristics in theearlylife stages and the state of the cardiovascular (CV) system in early childhood itself and/or at the beginning of adulthood has been postulated. It is still controversial whether changes in weight, height and/or body mass index (BMI) during childhood or adolescence are independently associated with hemodynamics and/or arterial properties in early childhood and adulthood. Aims: First, to evaluate and compare the strength of association between CVproperties (at 6 and 18 years (y)) and (a) anthropometric data at specific growth stages (e.g., birth, 6 y, 18 y) and (b) anthropometric changes during early (0–2 y), intermediate (0–6 y), late (6–18 y) and global (0–18 y) growth. Second, to determine whether the associations between CVproperties and growth-related body changes depend on size at birth and/or at the time of CVstudy. Third, to analyze the capacity of growth-related body size changes to explain hemodynamic and arterial properties in early childhood and adulthood before and after adjusting for exposure to CV risk factors. Anthropometric, hemodynamic (central, peripheral) and arterial parameters (structural, functional; elastic, transitional and muscular arteries) were assessed in two cohorts (children, n = 682; adolescents, n = 340). Data wereobtained and analyzed following identical protocols. Results: Body-size changes in infancy (0–2 y) and childhood (0–6 y) showed similar strength of association with CV properties at 6 y. Conversely, 0–6, 6-18 or 0–18 ychanges were not associated with CV parameters at 18 y. The association between CV properties at 6 yand body-size changes during growth showed: equal or greater strength than the observed for body-size at birth, and lower strength compared to that obtained for current z-BMI. Conversely, only z-BMI at 18 y showed associations with CV z-scores at 18 y. Body size at birth showed almost no association with CVproperties at 6 or 18 y. Conclusion: current z-BMI showed the greatest capacity to explain variations in CV properties at 6 and 18 y. Variations in some CV parameters were mainly explained by growth-related anthropometric changes and/or by their interaction with current z-BMI. Body size at birth showed almost no association with arterial properties at 6 or 18 y. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition, Genetics, and Cardiovascular Disease)
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Article
The Influence of Exercise Workload Progression Across 36 Sessions of Cardiac Rehabilitation on Functional Capacity
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2019, 6(3), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcdd6030032 - 06 Sep 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1243
Abstract
Defining time frames throughout cardiac rehabilitation (CR) to progress exercise workloads may lead to improve functional capacity outcomes. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of exercise progression on functional capacity among cardiac patients enrolled in CR. This was a [...] Read more.
Defining time frames throughout cardiac rehabilitation (CR) to progress exercise workloads may lead to improve functional capacity outcomes. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of exercise progression on functional capacity among cardiac patients enrolled in CR. This was a retrospective database analysis study. Extracted data included: Demographic, functional capacity (in METs), and exercise intensity during exercise sessions 2, 12, 24, and 36 of CR from 150 patients who completed a 36-session program. Progression of exercise was determined by calculating percent change in treadmill exercise workload within predefined time frames of CR. The time frames were percent change from exercise session 2 to 12 (“%ΔS2–S12), 12 to 24 (%ΔS12–S24), and 24 to 36 (%ΔS24–S36). A multiple linear regression model was developed to predict change in functional capacity (ΔMETs). A significant proportion (21%) of total variation in ΔMETs was predicted by %ΔS2–12, %ΔS12–24, %ΔS24–36, age, sex, and body mass index (BMI). Percent changes between sessions 12 to 24 (%ΔS12–24; β = 0.17, p = 0.03) and 24 to 36 (%ΔS24–36; β = 0.23, p < 0.01) were significant predictors. Progressing patients between sessions 12 to 24 and 24 to 36 predicted significant changes in functional capacity and reinforced the importance of exercise progression across all 36 sessions of CR. Full article
Article
Lipoprotein(a) Gene Polymorphism Increases a Risk Factor for Aortic Valve Calcification
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2019, 6(3), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcdd6030031 - 26 Aug 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1421
Abstract
Calcific aortic valve disease (CAVD) is a multifactorial condition. Both environmental and genetic factors play an important role in its etiology. CAVD exhibits a broad spectrum, varying from mild valve thickening to severe valve calcification and stenosis. Progression of the disease consists of [...] Read more.
Calcific aortic valve disease (CAVD) is a multifactorial condition. Both environmental and genetic factors play an important role in its etiology. CAVD exhibits a broad spectrum, varying from mild valve thickening to severe valve calcification and stenosis. Progression of the disease consists of chronic inflammation, lipoprotein deposition, and active leaflet calcification. It is a process similar to coronary artery disease. In this study, we investigated Lp(a) levels and gene polymorphisms associated with calcific aortic stenosis from blood samples after echocardiography in the evaluation of 75 patients diagnosed with CAVD and 77 controls. Blood tests were run in our laboratory to rule out certain risk factors before echocardiography examination. A significant association among smoking, elevated LDL level and creatinine, low albumin levels, Lp(a) level, rs10455872, and rs3798220 polymorphisms may be considered genetic risk factors for the development of calcific aortic stenosis. Full article
Communication
Skipping Breakfast and the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease and Death: A Systematic Review of Prospective Cohort Studies in Primary Prevention Settings
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2019, 6(3), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcdd6030030 - 22 Aug 2019
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2876
Abstract
Several studies have associated skipping (not having) breakfast with cardiometabolic risk factors such as obesity, high blood pressure, unfavorable lipid profiles, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. We examined the available evidence regarding the effect of skipping breakfast on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, as well [...] Read more.
Several studies have associated skipping (not having) breakfast with cardiometabolic risk factors such as obesity, high blood pressure, unfavorable lipid profiles, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. We examined the available evidence regarding the effect of skipping breakfast on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, as well as all-cause mortality. Medline, Embase, and Web of Science were searched from inception until May 2019 to identify prospective cohort studies that examined the association between skipping breakfast and the risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality and all-cause death. Electronic searches were supplemented by manual screening of the references of retrieved studies. Out of 456 citations identified, four studies (from Japan and the US) were included. The included studies involved a total of 199,634 adults (aged ≥40 years; 48.5% female) without known cardiovascular disease (CVD) at baseline followed over a median duration of 17.4 years. The pooled data suggested that people who regularly skipped breakfast were about 21% more likely (hazard ratio (HR) 1.21, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.08–1.35; I2 = 17.3%, p = 0.304) to experience incident CVD or die from it than people who regularly consumed breakfast. Also, the risk of all-cause death was 32% higher (HR 1.32, 95% CI 1.17–1.48; I2 = 7.6%, p = 0.339) in people who regularly skipped breakfast than in people who regularly consumed breakfast. However, the definition of skipping breakfast was heterogenous and adjustment for confounders varied significantly. Therefore, residual confounding could not be ruled out and caution is required in the interpretation of the findings. Hence, large prospective studies with a consistent definition of skipping breakfast, and conducted across different populations, are needed to provide more robust evidence of the health effects of skipping breakfast. Full article
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Review
Cardiac Fibroblasts and the Extracellular Matrix in Regenerative and Nonregenerative Hearts
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2019, 6(3), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcdd6030029 - 20 Aug 2019
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 2338
Abstract
During the postnatal period in mammals, the heart undergoes significant remodeling and cardiac cells progressively lose their embryonic characteristics. At the same time, notable changes in the extracellular matrix (ECM) composition occur with a reduction in the components considered facilitators of cellular proliferation, [...] Read more.
During the postnatal period in mammals, the heart undergoes significant remodeling and cardiac cells progressively lose their embryonic characteristics. At the same time, notable changes in the extracellular matrix (ECM) composition occur with a reduction in the components considered facilitators of cellular proliferation, including fibronectin and periostin, and an increase in collagen fiber organization. Not much is known about the postnatal cardiac fibroblast which is responsible for producing the majority of the ECM, but during the days after birth, mammalian hearts can regenerate after injury with only a transient scar formation. This phenomenon has also been described in adult urodeles and teleosts, but relatively little is known about their cardiac fibroblasts or ECM composition. Here, we review the pre-existing knowledge about cardiac fibroblasts and the ECM during the postnatal period in mammals as well as in regenerative environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cardiac Fibroblasts and Fibrosis)
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Review
Cardiac Fibroblast to Myofibroblast Phenotype Conversion—An Unexploited Therapeutic Target
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2019, 6(3), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcdd6030028 - 16 Aug 2019
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2060
Abstract
Fibrosis occurs when the synthesis of extracellular matrix outpaces its degradation, and over time can negatively impact tissue and organ function. In the case of cardiac fibrosis, contraction and relaxation of the heart can be impaired to the point of precipitating heart failure, [...] Read more.
Fibrosis occurs when the synthesis of extracellular matrix outpaces its degradation, and over time can negatively impact tissue and organ function. In the case of cardiac fibrosis, contraction and relaxation of the heart can be impaired to the point of precipitating heart failure, while at the same time fibrosis can result in arrhythmias due to altered electrical properties of the myocardium. The critical event in the evolution of cardiac fibrosis is the phenotype conversion of cardiac fibroblasts to their overly-active counterparts, myofibroblasts: cells demarked by their expression of novel markers such as periostin, by their gain of contractile activity, and by their pronounced and prolonged increase in the production of extracellular matrix components such as collagens. The phenotype change is dramatic, and can be triggered by many stimuli, including mechanical force, inflammatory cytokines, and growth factors. This review will explore fibroblast to myofibroblast transition mechanisms and will consider the therapeutic potential of targeting this process as a means to arrest or even reverse cardiac fibrosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cardiac Fibroblasts and Fibrosis)
Review
Cardiac Fibroblast p38 MAPK: A Critical Regulator of Myocardial Remodeling
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2019, 6(3), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcdd6030027 - 07 Aug 2019
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 3716
Abstract
The cardiac fibroblast is a remarkably versatile cell type that coordinates inflammatory, fibrotic and hypertrophic responses in the heart through a complex array of intracellular and intercellular signaling mechanisms. One important signaling node that has been identified involves p38 MAPK; a family of [...] Read more.
The cardiac fibroblast is a remarkably versatile cell type that coordinates inflammatory, fibrotic and hypertrophic responses in the heart through a complex array of intracellular and intercellular signaling mechanisms. One important signaling node that has been identified involves p38 MAPK; a family of kinases activated in response to stress and inflammatory stimuli that modulates multiple aspects of cardiac fibroblast function, including inflammatory responses, myofibroblast differentiation, extracellular matrix turnover and the paracrine induction of cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. This review explores the emerging importance of the p38 MAPK pathway in cardiac fibroblasts, describes the molecular mechanisms by which it regulates the expression of key genes, and highlights its potential as a therapeutic target for reducing adverse myocardial remodeling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cardiac Fibroblasts and Fibrosis)
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Review
Vulnerable Plaque, Characteristics, Detection, and Potential Therapies
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2019, 6(3), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcdd6030026 - 27 Jul 2019
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 2677
Abstract
Plaque development and rupture are hallmarks of atherosclerotic vascular disease. Despite current therapeutic developments, there is an unmet necessity in the prevention of atherosclerotic vascular disease. It remains a challenge to determine at an early stage if atherosclerotic plaque will become unstable and [...] Read more.
Plaque development and rupture are hallmarks of atherosclerotic vascular disease. Despite current therapeutic developments, there is an unmet necessity in the prevention of atherosclerotic vascular disease. It remains a challenge to determine at an early stage if atherosclerotic plaque will become unstable and vulnerable. The arrival of molecular imaging is receiving more attention, considering it allows for a better understanding of the biology of human plaque and vulnerabilities. Various plaque therapies with common goals have been tested in high-risk patients with cardiovascular disease. In this work, the process of plaque instability, along with current technologies for sensing and predicting high-risk plaques, is debated. Updates on potential novel therapeutic approaches are also summarized. Full article
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Article
Development and Psychometric Evaluation of the Cardiac Rehabilitation Adherence Tool (CRAT)
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2019, 6(3), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcdd6030025 - 09 Jul 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1562
Abstract
Patients with cardiac diseases can achieve the greatest benefit from cardiac rehabilitation through modification of their unhealthy behaviors. This study aimed to develop and examine the psychometric properties of the Cardiac Rehabilitation Adherence Tool (CRAT), which was designed to assess patients’ adherence to [...] Read more.
Patients with cardiac diseases can achieve the greatest benefit from cardiac rehabilitation through modification of their unhealthy behaviors. This study aimed to develop and examine the psychometric properties of the Cardiac Rehabilitation Adherence Tool (CRAT), which was designed to assess patients’ adherence to cardiac rehabilitation. In this instrument development study, the items of the CRAT were extracted through a comprehensive literature review. The CRAT was assessed in terms of validity and reliability. Exploratory factor analysis was conducted to assess its construct validity, which led to the development of a tool containing 57 items and five dimensions including “acceptance of the rehabilitation center”, “being interested in health”, “feeling a need”, “personal control over the situation”, and “encouragement and advice.” These five factors accounted for 45.23% of the observed variance. The Cronbach’s alpha was 0.935. The test-retest method supported the stability of the instrument (r = 0.95). Health care professionals can use the CRAT to examine factors influencing the patient’s decision to leave cardiac rehabilitation and design strategies for improving their adherence to the rehabilitation program. Full article
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