UVA Researchers Could Reduce Heart Disease

By: Marcus Washington
By: Marcus Washington

September 27, 2005

It's a dangerous mixture of pre-diabetes and heart disease and UVA researchers find a treatment that potentially could reduce heart disease in those living with the Metabolic Syndrome.

"It's kind of like a silent disorder where people have a great risk of heart disease and diabetes and don't even know it, said Dr. Jerry Nadler, M.D., head researcher of the study.

Metabolic Syndrome is a combination of three things: the naturally produced insulin in your body not performing the way it should, blood pressure reaching high levels, but not as high as diabetics and being overweight.

"They're all kind of rolled in together. This heart disease starts even before diabetes is diagnosed," explained Dr. Nadler.

The findings dealing with Metabolic Syndrome were recently published in the American Journal of Physiciology. The study gave clues to why people with metabolic syndrome are at higher risk of heart disease.

"We believe some of these genes that cause damage to the blood vessel are overactive even before diabetes is diagnosed, said Dr. Nadler.

Researchers are experimenting with the use of the drug Lisofylline. In the study, researchers took two blood vessels and cleared them both. Within 30 days, the vessel that was treated with Lisofylline, inflammation was considerably less than the vessel that was not treated at all. The untreated vessel was damaged, possibly causing heart disease.

"In this study all we can say is it offers promise, perhaps, to help heart disease," said Dr. Nadler.

Although this study was administered on the rats, Dr. Nadler and his team are hoping the information can be applied to help people living with Metabolic Syndrome.

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