Arecently published in the journal Nature Communications talks about how iron drives the formation of fatty tissue in the heart and leads to chronic heart failure.
The researchers studied animal models for more than six months. They discovered that lowering iron levels also decreased the amount of fat in the heart muscle, leading them to conclude that iron is the primary catalyst for the deposition of fatty tissue in the heart.
Rohan Dharmakumar, PhD, Indiana University School of Medicine
“Using noninvasive imaging, histology, and molecular biology techniques, and various other technologies, we have shown that iron from red blood cells is what drives this process,” Rohan Dharma Kumar, the study's principal investigator said. “When we removed the iron, we reduced the amount of fat in the heart muscle. This finding establishes a pathway for clinical investigations to remedy or mitigate the effects associated with iron in hemorrhagic myocardial infarction patients” he added.
“For the first time, we have identified a root cause of chronic heart failure following a heart attack,” Dharma Kumar said.
Dharma Kumar’s team is currently testing iron chelation therapy to do exactly that in a just-launched clinical trial.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 17.9 million people die from cardiovascular diseases every year, which is the leading cause of mortality worldwide.
An unhealthy lifestyle, smoking, and a high-fat diet are a few major factors that contribute to heart disease.
What causes heart failure?
Heart failure is a chronic, progressive condition brought on by the heart muscle's inability to pump enough blood to meet the body's needs for blood and oxygen, due to various reasons.
According to the study, persistent heart failure develops in about 50% of myocardial infarction or heart attack victims. After reperfusion, or reopening of the arteries, these individuals who had survived the heart attack eventually pass away from persistent heart failure within five years.
It emphasizes how more than 300,000 deaths each year in the US are caused by heart failure, which has become more common in recent years.
“While advances across populations have made survival after a heart attack possible for most, too many survivors suffer long-term complications like heart failure,” said Subha Raman, MD, who is physician director of the Cardiovascular Institute. “Dr. Dharma Kumar’s breakthrough science illuminates who is at risk and why, and points to an effective way to prevent these complications.”
How can you keep your heart healthy?
Apart from medical factors, you can follow a healthy lifestyle to prevent not just heart disease but any kind of health issues.
To prevent yourself from heart disease you can take the following measures:
Avoid consumption of junk food.
Eat healthy food. Increase the intake of fresh fruits and vegetables instead of processed and packaged food.
Do regular exercise or yoga.
Avoid secondhand smoke and quit smoking
Keep your cholesterol and blood pressure under control
Have a proper sleeping schedule