Cardiovascular Journal of Africa
The Cardiovascular Journal of Africa is a Peer-reviewed journal. We cover all areas of cardiovascular scientific researches, Case Reports, Surveys, Industry News and Commentaries. The Journal is the official mouthpiece of the Pan-African Society of Cardiology (PASCAR). It has been in publication since 1990 and its main aim is to provide a window for original research from the African continent. A full electronic record is available since its initiation (www.cvja.co.za). The journal is listed and/or indexed in almost all the major databases, namely, PubMed (2001); PubMed CENTRAL (2012), SciSearch SCI, Scopus, Sabinet. This Journal is the only specialist, widely indexed Cardiology Journal on the African continent.
This journal continues Cardiovascular Journal of South Africa
Clinics Cardive Publishing
|Coverage||Vol 18 Issue 3 May/Jun 2007 - current|
The annual European Society of Cardiology (ESC) meeting was held at the Nuova Fiera di Roma with over 32 000 delegates from 126 countries in attendance.
The meeting commenced with an outstanding address on the heart and art by a British cardiac surgeon, who demonstrated the amazing discoveries in cardiac anatomy and function made by Leonardo da Vinci over 500 years ago, and the awarding of the ESC gold medal to Dr Bernard Gersh of the Mayo Clinic, whose foundational training in cardiology took place at Groote Schuur Hospital.
Four new ESC guidelines addressing atrial fibrillation (AF), heart failure, cardiovascular (CV) disease prevention and dyslipidaemia, as well as a position paper on cardio-oncology, were released during the meeting. The full texts of these documents are available to all at https://www.escardio.org/Guidelines/Clinical-Practice-Guidelines.
The meeting planners placed particular emphasis on the 'heart team' approach and included a large number of 'heart hub' presentations. The latter were delivered 'in the round' and provided a more informal, more easily accessible presentation format, which improved interaction between presenters and the audience.
The following are my impressions of the presentations I attended over the five days of the meeting.
Cortisol:brain-derived neurotrophic factor ratio associated with silent ischaemia in a black male cohort : the SA BPA study : cardiovascular topics
Aim: Emotional distress has been associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) in Africans. Cortisol and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), as markers of emotional distress, increase cardiometabolic risk. We therefore aimed to investigate associations between cardiometabolic risk markers and the cortisol-to-BDNF ratio (cortisol:BDNF).
Methods: A cross-sectional study included a bi-ethnic gender cohort (n = 406) aged 44.7 ± 9.52 years. Ambulatory blood pressure (ABPM), ECG, fasting serum cortisol and BDNF levels and cardiometabolic risk markers were obtained.
Results: Africans had increased incidence of hyperglycaemia and 24-hour silent ischaemic events, and elevated 24-hour blood pressure (BP) and cortisol:BDNF ratios compared to Caucasians. Forward stepwise linear regression analysis underscored a similar trend with associations between hyperglycaemia, 24-hour BP [Adj R2 0.21-0.29; β 0.23 (0.1-0.4); p = 0.01], silent ischaemia [Adj R2 0.22; β 0.40 (0.2-0.6); p < 0.01] and cortisol:BDNF levels in Africans, mostly in the men.
Conclusion: Attenuated cortisol levels in this group may be indicative of emotional distress and if chronic, drive the cortisol:BDNF ratio to desensitise BDNF. Desensitised cortisol:BDNF may sustain cardiometabolic risk and induce neurodegeneration in African men via silent ischaemia. Compensatory increases in blood pressure to increase perfusion and maintain homeostasis may increase coronary artery disease risk.
The differential effects of FTY720 on functional recovery and infarct size following myocardial ischaemia/reperfusion : cardiovascular topics
Aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of the sphingosine analogue, FTY720 (Fingolimod), on the outcomes of myocardial ischaemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury.
Methods: Two concentrations of FTY720 (1 or 2.5 μM) were administered either prior to (PreFTY), or following (PostFTY) 20 minutes' global (GI) or 35 minutes' regional ischaemia (RI) in the isolated, perfused, working rat heart. Functional recovery during reperfusion was assessed following both models of ischaemia, while infarct size (IFS) was determined following RI.
Results: FTY720 at 1 μM exerted no effect on functional recovery, while 2.5 μM significantly impaired aortic output (AO) recovery when administered prior to GI (% recovery: control: 33.88 ± 6.12% vs PreFTY: 0%, n = 6-10; p < 0.001), as well as before and after RI (% recovery: control: 27.86 ± 13.22% vs PreFTY: 0.62%; p < 0.05; and PostFTY: 2.08%; p = 0.0585, n = 6). FTY720 at 1 μM administered during reperfusion reduced IFS [% of area at risk (AAR): control: 39.89 ± 3.93% vs PostFTY: 26.56 ± 4.32%, n = 6-8; p < 0.05), while 2.5 μM FTY720 reduced IFS irrespective of the time of administration (% of AAR: control: 39.89 ± 3.93% vs PreFTY: 29.97 ± 1.03%; and PostFTY: 30.45 ± 2.16%, n = 6; p < 0.05).
Conclusion: FTY720 exerted divergent outcomes on function and tissue survival depending on the concentration administered, as well as the timing of administration.
Determinants of change in body weight and body fat distribution over 5.5 years in a sample of free-living black South African women : cardiovascular topics
Objective: To identify socio-demographic and lifestyle determinants of weight gain in a sample of premenopasual black South African (SA) women.
Methods: Changes in body composition (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, computerised tomography), socio-economic status (SES) and behavioural/lifestyle factors were measured in 64 black SA women at baseline (27 ± 8 years) and after 5.5 years.
Results: A lower body mass index (BMI) and nulliparity, together with access to sanitation, were significant determinants of weight gain and change in body fat distribution over 5.5 years. In addition, younger women increased their body weight more than their older counterparts, but this association was not independent of other determinants.
Conclusion: Further research is required to examine the effect of changing SES, as well as the full impact of childbearing on weight gain over time in younger women with lower BMIs. This information will suggest areas for possible intervention to prevent long-term weight gain in these women.
Uncontrolled hypertension among patients managed in primary healthcare facilities in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo : cardiovascular topics
Background: Uncontrolled hypertension remains an important issue in daily clinical practice worldwide. Although the majority of patients are treated in primary care, most of the data on blood pressure control originate from population-based studies or secondary healthcare.
Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the frequency of uncontrolled hypertension and associated risk factors among hypertensive patients followed at primary care facilities in Kinshasa, the capital city of Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Methods: A sample of 298 hypertensive patients seen at primary healthcare facilities, 90 men and 208 women, aged ≥18 years, were consecutively included in this cross-sectional study. The majority (66%) was receiving monotherapy, and diuretics (43%) were the most used drugs. According to 2007 European Society of Hypertension/European Society of Cardiology hypertension guidelines, uncontrolled hypertension was defined as blood pressure ≥140/90 or ≥130/80 mmHg (diabetes or chronic kidney disease). Logistic regression analysis was used to identify the determinants of uncontrolled hypertension.
Results: Uncontrolled hypertension was observed in 231 patients (77.5%), 72 men and 159 women. Uncontrolled systolic blood pressure (SBP) was more frequent than uncontrolled diastolic blood pressure (DBP) and increased significantly with advancing age (p = 0.002). The proportion of uncontrolled SBP and DBP was significantly higher in patients with renal failure (p = 0.01) and those with high (p = 0.03) to very high (p= 0.02) absolute cardiovascular risk. The metabolic syndrome (OR 2.40; 95% CI 1.01-5.74; p = 0.04) emerged as the main risk factor associated with uncontrolled hypertension.
Conclusion: Uncontrolled hypertension was common in this case series and was associated with factors related to lifestyle and diet, which interact with blood pressure control.
Epidemiology and patterns of hypertension in semi-urban communities, south-western Nigeria : cardiovascular topics
Objective: To determine the prevalence and subtypes of hypertension among semi-urban residents in south-western Nigeria.
Methods: All adults aged 18 years or older in 10 semi-urban communities were recruited for the study. The blood pressure (BP) reading taken with a validated electronic BP monitor after at least 10 minutes of rest was used in the analysis. Hypertension was defined as BP ≥ 140/90 mmHg.
Results: Seven hundred and fifty subjects with a mean age of 61.7 ± 18.2 years participated in the study. The prevalence of hypertension was 55.5%. Stage 2 hypertension was the most common, present among 225 (54.1%) of the participants with hypertension, and 191 (45.9%) had stage 1 hypertension. Of those with hypertension, systolic-diastolic hypertension (SDH) was present among 198/416 (47.6%), while isolated systolic hypertension (ISH) and isolated diastolic hypertension (IDH) were present among 181/416 (43.6%) and 37/416 (8.9%), respectively. The prevalence of hypertension increased significantly with age.
Conclusion: The prevalence of hypertension was high in these semi-urban communities. Hence, increased awareness and integrating hypertension care into primary healthcare and other community health services in these areas may prove beneficial in ameliorating its adverse effects.