Highlighted Articles - Atherosclerosis July 2015 Issue
27 July 2015
By Elvira Mambetisaeva, Sarah Leigh and Steve Humphries (Editor–in-Chief)
Special Section: CVD: impact of sex related difference
This month it our pleasure to publish a special issue on the “Impact of sex related difference in cardiovascular disease”, this special issue includes twelve research papers and is prefaced by commentaries from the group who edited the special issue (den Ruijter et al) and by Spence & Pilote who emphasize the correct usage of the terms “sex” and “gender” in biological research.
Abstracts for the 83rd EAS Congress, EAS 2015
are included in this issue of Atherosclerosis.
From their study examining the impact of retrograde shear rate on brachial and superficial femoral artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD) in 15 male subjects (≥68years), Schreuder et al were able to report that unlike younger subjects, retrograde shear rate was not associated with impaired endothelial function in this group. Thus suggesting that individuals with existing endothelial dysfunction are either less responsive or require a greater shear rate stimulus to alter endothelial function. In their invited commentary, Quinaglia et al put this work into context and remark that not only does this study explain some variability in the reliability of FMD as a prognostic tool, but also that it highlights how refinements in FMD methodology may be of diagnostic significance for the future.
Iwata et al retrospectively examined 104 consecutive patients with severe tricuspid aortic valve stenosis to assess the relationship between blood pressure and the presence of plaques. Their findings indicate that in patients with severe aortic stenosis day-by-day mean systolic blood pressure day-by-day systolic BP variability are associated with presence of complex plaques in the aortic arch. In their invited commentary Auer et al discuss the research data on relationship between aortic atherosclerosis, risk factors and vascular events. They argue that the study by Iwata et al does not prove a causal relationship between day-by-day BP variability and aortic atherosclerosis, or plaque progression or regression. A cross-sectional study cannot determine a causal relationship and repeated blood pressure monitoring should be utilised in order to understand the role of blood pressure variability in target organ damage and risk of cardiovascular events.
In order to estimate the prevalence of familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) de Backer et al collected data from coronary patients from 24 European countries in EUROASPIRE IV study. They showed that among the 7044 patients eligible for analysis, the prevalence of potential FH was 8.3% (7.5% in men and 11.1% in women). Watts et al in their invited commentary discuss the accuracy of this data taking into account the cross-sectional design of the EUROASPIRE-IV study and the fact that investigations employing genetic testing have found lower prevalence’s of FH. Such discrepancies may be caused by factors including the individual variability in response to statins and the role of polygenic hypercholesterolaemia in contributing to higher prevalences of FH. However, the Watts et al acknowledge that the EUROASPIRE-IV study is the largest reported to date and this unique data from European communities should be utilised to increase local, regional and country-specific awareness of FH.
Papers in this issue include: