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September 21, 2016 : The International Business Times

Smoking can permanently damage DNA in a way that contributes to the development of smoking-related illnesses, according to a new study. The findings could reveal an individual’s smoking history and help identify potential targets for therapy, the researchers note.  Their study is published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics, a publication of the American Heart Association. It was funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. 

September 20, 2016 : Time magazine

A new study indicates that wearable fitness trackers don’t seem to help people lose more weight in comparison to dieters who are not using the devices.  The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, was funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. 

September 14, 2016 : Live Science

A new study indicates that drinking alcohol, even in moderate amounts, can increase the size of the heart’s left atrium (one of the two upper chambers of the heart).  When the left atrium is enlarged, a person is at higher risk for developing a type of irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation, which can increase the risk for stroke and other problems  The study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association , was funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute as well as the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. 

September 12, 2016 : Medical News Today

Researchers are reporting the discovery of 31 new gene regions that are associated with blood pressure.  The large-scale study greatly increases the catalog of human genes linked to hypertension and may provide new targets for the treatment of the disease, the researchers say.  The study, published in Nature Genetics, was partly funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

September 5, 2016 : Nature Cell Biology

Researchers studying how fibronectin, a glycoprotein, affects artery inflammation discovered a mechanism that influences this inflammatory process. The work, supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, appears in Nature Cell Biology, could offer a new treatment target for atherosclerosis.

September 5, 2016 : Nature Medicine

Researchers using scanning technology – combined positron emission and computed tomography – identified patients with pulmonary abnormalities that suggest they may progress to a more active stage of tuberculosis. The findings, based on work supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, may help identify biomarkers that can predict the progression of tuberculosis.

August 31, 2016 : Science Daily

Researchers are reporting that developing blood cells are caught in tug-of-war between competing gene regulatory networks before finally becoming specific cell types. In a study conducted in mice, the researchers showed that as multiple genetic signals fire on and off, developing blood cells are pulled back and forth in fluctuating states before finally deciding what type of blood cell to become. These mixed-lineage cells can develop into a variety of blood cell types, including red blood cells, the researchers suggest. The study could eventually provide insights into the developmental miscues that cause disease, they say. The study, published in Nature, was partly funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

August 31, 2016 : JACC Cardiovascular Imaging

Researchers from National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the NIH Clinical Center found evidence of myocarditis in a male patient being treated for contracting the ebola virus. Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was used to measure heart function of the patient, and the finding was reported in a Letter to the Editor.

August 24, 2016 : The Journal of Nutrition

Researchers are reporting new evidence that consumption of processed meat— such as sausage, hot dogs, lunch meat, and canned meat— may shorten telomeres and raise a person’s risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions. Telomeres are the ends of our chromosomes and function to protect them from damage. Over time, telomeres shorten, and this shortening has been linked with increased disease risk. By contrast, the same study found that consumption of unprocessed red meat—such as hamburger, steak, pork, and lamb—was not associated with telomere shortening.  Findings are based on the self-reported dietary habits of 2,846 American Indians from the Strong Heart Study, the largest epidemiological study of this group.  The study, published in The Journal of Nutrition, was partly funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

August 24, 2016 : News Medical

Researchers, led by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s Nehal Mehta, found that the prevalence of moderate to severe coronary calcification was the same for patients who have psoriasis and type 2 diabetes. The prevalence of coronary calcification was about five times higher for these two groups when compared to healthy patients. The findings appear in JAMA Dermatology.

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