Highlighted Articles - Atherosclerosis June 2015 Issue
27 June 2015
By Elvira Mambetisaeva, Sarah Leigh and Steve Humphries (Editor–in-Chief)
The effect of second hand smoke (SHS) exposure on carotid artery intima-media thickness in non-smoking adults was examined in an article by Chen et al. They were able to show that not only was SHS associated with increased carotid artery intima-media thickness, but that this effect was most pronounced in those who had been exposed to SHS in childhood. In his invited commentary entitled “How to save six million people per year”, Stefan Agewall brings together evidence from Chen et al and others to call for a ban on smoking by 2030. He quotes evidence which demonstrates that smoke free legislation has already resulted in reduced rates of acute myocardial infarction incidence and mortality.
The study by Stoekenbroek et al examines the association between mean daily insulin exposure and the risk of a cardiovascular disease (CVD) using a large population-based database. Their findings suggest that high-dose insulin therapy adversely affects CVD risk. The authors point out that due to the observational nature of the study, these results should be interpreted with caution. In their invited commentary, Bittencourt & Abrahao Hajjar provide evidence for the successful treatment of types 1 and 2 diabetes using exogenous insulin, but also note that it may have negative effects on other metabolic parameters such as weight gain.
In their review Zheng et al summarise the effect of histone deacetylases (HDACs) on the development of atherosclerosis. HDACs are a family of enzymes that lead to the deacetylation of lysine residues on histone and non-histone protein, which can regulate the expression of multiple genes associated with atherosclerosis. The authors show that HDACs may regulate and thus effect various steps in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis.
Currently the treatment of atherosclerosis mainly focuses on targeting abnormal lipid levels and less on inflammation. The review Novel anti-inflammatory therapies for the treatment of atherosclerosis by Khan et al. attempts to highlight pharamacotherapies which target components of traditional and emerging inflammatory pathways involved in atherosclerosis. These include therapies that inhibit IL-1ß, IL-6, TNF-a, P-selectin and 5-lypoxygenase. The review also summarises evidence for therapies that promote atheroprotective immunity.
Papers in this issue include: