FYI from the NHLBI Index
September 2006: Vol. 7, Issue 2
In the News
News from Capitol Hill
The House and Senate Committees on Appropriations have approved bills that would fund the NHLBI in fiscal year 2007. Consistent with the Presidentˇ¦s request, H.R. 5647 would provide $2,901,012,000 for the NHLBI. The Senate version (S. 3708) includes $2,924,299,000 for the NHLBI, an increase of 0.09 percent over the $2,921,757,000 that the NHLBI received for fiscal year 2006. The next step of the appropriations process entails convening a conference committee to reconcile the two versions of the bill. Both chambers must then approve the revised bill before it can be forwarded to the President to be signed into law.
House Report 109-515 and Senate Report 109-287 mention numerous diseases and conditions of interest to the NHLBI, including alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, bleeding disorders, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), congenital and acquired heart disease, Cooleyˇ¦s anemia, cystic fibrosis, Diamond-Blackfan anemia, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia, juvenile diabetes, lymphangioleiomyomatosis, lymphatic diseases, Marfan syndrome, neurofibromatosis, pulmonary fibrosis, pulmonary hypertension, sleep disorders, temporomandibular joint disorders, thrombophilia, and tuberous sclerosis complex. NIH efforts to prevent unhealthy weight gain and obesity also are addressed.
National Peripheral Arterial Disease Awareness Week
On August 3, Senators expressed their support of National Peripheral Arterial Disease Awareness Week with the passage of S. Res. 556. National Peripheral Arterial Disease Awareness Week is scheduled for September 18-22, 2006.
Home Oxygen Patient Protection Act of 2006
On June 20 and 27, Dr. Vlady Rozenbaum of COPD-ALERT visited Capitol Hill to provide a patient perspective on the Home Oxygen Patient Protection Act of 2006 (H.R. 5513). The bill, which was referred to the House Committees on Energy and Commerce and on Ways and Means on May 25, would provide Medicare coverage for long-term rental of oxygen equipment.
Recent Advances from the NHLBI
Trans Fat Promotes Risky Weight Gain
Researchers using an animal model have learned that consumption of trans fat causes an excess accumulation of abdominal fatˇXnow considered a major risk factor for diabetes and cardiovascular diseaseˇXwhen compared with monounsaturated fat. Trans fat is found in foods that are fried in or made with partially hydrogenated oils, while monounsaturated fats are found in products such as olive oil.
NHLBI-supported investigators set out to determine the role played by dietary trans fat in body fat accumulation and weight gain. They fed one of two controlled diets to monkeys. Both diets contained the same number of calories and derived 35 percent of their calories from fat. In one diet, however, about one-fourth of the total fat calories were from trans fat and the remainder were from monounsaturated fat. This diet was chosen to approximate the percentage of trans fat consumed by people who eat a lot of fried foods or snack foods. The second diet contained no trans fat, only monounsaturated fat.
The monkeys that got the trans fat diet had a 7 percent weight increase compared with slightly less than 2 percent weight gain for those that received the diet containing only monounsaturated fat. Additionally, the trans fat diet monkeys deposited 30 percent more fat in their abdomen, some of which was redistributed from other parts of their bodies.
If additional research indicates that humans have similar results in response to trans fat, this study emphasizes the need to reduce the amount of dietary trans fat in order to avert accumulation of abdominal fat and the subsequent increased risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
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