American Heart Association 59th Annual Fall Conference, Sept. 21-24, 2005

American Heart Association 59th Annual Fall Conference and Scientific Sessions of the Council for High Blood Pressure

More than 600 researchers, physicians and other health care professionals attended the American Heart Association's 59th Annual Fall Conference and Scientific Sessions of the Council for High Blood Pressure Research in Washington, D.C. from Sept. 21-24. Major themes of the conference were the leading causes of hypertension and latest research on blood pressure, said conference chairman Robert M. Carey, M.D., the chairman of the council for high blood pressure research of the American Heart Association and the Harrison Distinguished Professor of Medicine at the University of Virginia.

"A lot of the meeting was concerned with research dealing with mechanisms in the kidney and also what's happening in blood vessels," Carey said. Among the key findings reported at the meeting was that the kidney is predominant in the generation of hypertension, Carey said.

"In addition, there was a resurgence of discussion about the nervous system in the control of hypertension," he said. This is important, because most treatment for hypertension is directed toward the inhibition of the renin-angiotensin system. "But inhibition of the sympathetic nervous system was also receiving a lot of attention at this meeting," Carey said.

In addition, there was discussion of the role of obesity in hypertension. "It is becoming increasingly apparent that obesity is the major defining clinical association with hypertension," Carey said. "Hormones that are overproduced in response to obesity lead to hypertension, by stimulating the sympathetic nervous system," he noted.

Other conference highlights included the role of lead exposure combined with hypertension to cause cognitive impairment; the use of electric baroreflex stimulation to control drug-resistant hypertension; the genetic cause of resistance to ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers; the role of the Y chromosome in hypertension; and that high dose NSAIDs increase hypertension in women.

Low Adiponectin Levels Linked to Metabolic Syndrome

TUESDAY, Sept. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Among white, high-risk patients, low levels of plasma adiponectin appear to be a sign of metabolic syndrome, according to study presented at the American Heart Association's annual high blood pressure research meeting in Washington, D.C.

Maurizio Cesari, M.D., of the University of Padova, Italy, and colleagues studied 400 non-diabetic hypertensive and normotensive patients. All the subjects were participants in the GENICA (Genetic and Environmental factors In Coronary Atherosclerosis) Study.

Abstract (P.57)

Lead, Hypertension Linked To Cognitive Decline

TUESDAY, Sept. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Early exposure to lead combined with hypertension in adulthood may result in cognitive impairment later in life, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association's annual high blood pressure research meeting in Washington, D.C.

Using data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Survey (NHANES III), Domenic Sica, M.D., a professor of medicine and pharmacology at Virginia Commonwealth University, and his colleagues found evidence of the link between early lead exposure, adult high blood pressure and diminishing cognitive abilities.

Abstract (P. 63)

Salt Sensitivity Increases in Postmenopausal Women

TUESDAY, Sept. 27 (HealthDay News) -- The lack of ovarian hormones may be responsible for an increase in salt sensitivity in postmenopausal women, according to the results of a study presented at the American Heart Association's annual high blood pressure research meeting, in Washington, D.C.

Ivonne Hernandez Schulman, M.D., from the Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and colleagues studied 40 normotensive, non-diabetic women who underwent hysterectomy and ovariectomy for reasons other than cancer.

Abstract (P.99)

Genes May Determine BP Medication Effect

TUESDAY, Sept. 27 (HealthDay News) -- A gene region located on chromosome 2 may influence the response to antihypertensive drugs, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association's annual high blood pressure research meeting in Washington, D.C.

Sandosh Padmanabhan, Ph.D., a specialist registrar at the British Heart Foundation in Glasgow, and colleagues collected data on 2,142 severely hypertensive white patients. Padmanabhan's team analyzed DNA samples and using genome-wide linkage analysis, they found a region on chromosome 2 that appears to be involved in causing high blood pressure in people who do not respond to ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers.

Abstract (P.36)

Y Chromosome Linked to Blood Pressure Regulation

TUESDAY, Sept. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Genes on the Y chromosome affect blood pressure in pre-pubertal boys, and the effect continues after puberty, at least in black males, according to the results of a new study presented at the American Heart Association's annual high blood pressure research meeting, in Washington, D.C.

Fadi J. Charchar, Ph.D., of the University of Glasgow, Scotland, and colleagues collected DNA from 105 black and 156 white boys. Charchar's team found that boys with the HindIII(-) gene on the Y chromosome had the growth spurt earlier than boys with the HindIII(+) polymorphism. Furthermore, boys with the HindIII(-) gene had longer growth spurts, an average of 4.9 years compared with an average of 4.5 years for boys with the HindIII(+) allele.

Abstract (P.17)

Antihypertensives May Cut Inflammation in Diabetics

MONDAY, Sept. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Hypertensive patients with type 2 diabetes have elevated blood-levels of inflammatory markers, but antihypertensive treatment can reduce signs of inflammation, Canadian researchers reported at the American Heart Association's annual high blood pressure research meeting in Washington, D.C.

Rhian M. Touyz, M.D., Ph.D., from the Ottawa Health Research Institute, and colleagues randomly assigned 28 hypertensive patients with type 2 diabetes to treatment with valsartan (80-160 mg) or atenolol (50-100 mg) once daily, in addition to previous therapy.

Abstract (LB9;P.110)

Acetaminophen, NSAIDs Linked to Hypertension

MONDAY, Sept. 26 (HealthDay News) -- High daily doses of acetaminophen and NSAIDs may increase the risk of hypertension in women, Harvard researchers reported at the American Heart Association's annual high blood pressure research meeting, in Washington, D.C.

John P. Forman, M.D., and colleagues from Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, collected data on 1,903 women, 51 to 77 years of age, who participated in the Nurses' Health Study I, as well as 3,220 women, 34 to 53 years of age, who participated in the Nurses' Health Study II. Among these women, the researchers analyzed self-reported hypertension and average daily dose of acetaminophen, NSAIDs and aspirin.

Abstract (P188; P.99)

Marital Harmony Can Keep BP Low, Despite Job Stress

MONDAY, Sept. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Men and women with hypertension have a better chance of keeping their blood pressure under control if they have a happy marriage, even in the face of job stress, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association's annual high blood pressure research meeting in Washington, D.C.

Sheldon Tobe, M.D., from the University of Toronto, and colleagues collected data on 216 hypertensive and normotensive men and women who were not taking medication. The subjects were employed and living with a significant other. During the one-year course of the study, the researchers measured ambulatory blood pressure. In addition, job satisfaction and marital cohesion were measured by the Job Content Questionnaire and the Dyadic Adjustment Scale.

More Information (P.80)

Baroreflex Therapy Effective in Resistant Hypertension

MONDAY, Sept. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Electrically activating the carotid baroreflex may be an effective way to lower blood pressure in hypertensive patients resistant to other therapy, according to a report presented at the American Heart Association's Annual High Blood Pressure Research meeting, in Washington, D.C. Ten percent of all hypertensive patients are resistant to existing therapies with three or more antihypertensive medications.

To treat these patients, Domenic Sica, M.D., a professor of medicine and pharmacology at Virginia Commonwealth University, and colleagues used a Baroreflex Hypertension Therapy (BHT) device, which includes an implantable pulse generator, carotid sinus leads and an external programmer. The leads have electrical contacts that are surgically positioned on the carotid sinus and conduct energy from the pulse generator to the left and right carotid sinus. The device produces signals that are interpreted as a rise in blood pressure. In response, the brain modulates autonomic nervous activity thus lowering blood pressure.

Abstract (P.59)

Arterial Stiffness Linked to Cognitive Impairment

MONDAY, Sept. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Cognitive function in the elderly can be predicted by arterial stiffness as measured by the pulse wave velocity, suggesting that preventing atherosclerosis may be important in preserving normal cognitive function, according to a report presented at the American Heart Association's annual high blood pressure research meeting, in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Masayo Fukuhara, from Kyushu Dental College, Kitakyushu, Japan, and colleagues measured blood pressure, brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity and cognitive function in 203 men and women who were 85 years old.

Abstract (P180; P.97)

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