American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions is the premier global exchange of the latest advances in cardiovascular science for researchers and healthcare providers. Scientific Sessions is now a three-day-meeting to accommodate the busy schedules of researchers and healthcare providers. It will be held Saturday,  November 10 through Monday, November 12 in Chicago.

This page was created to help New York City reporters and members of the community keep up with the research, presentations and news that may impact this community.


Big, high-calorie meals after 6 p.m. may increase heart disease risk for Hispanics

A big evening dinner shouldn’t be on the menu. Eating the majority of a person’s daily calories in the evening may lead to an increased risk of developing prediabetes and high blood pressureamong Hispanic/Latino individuals, according to preliminary research to be presented in Chicago at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2018, a premier global exchange of the latest advances in cardiovascular science for researchers and clinicians.

Researchers analyzed the meal timing of 12,708 participants, ages 18 to 76, from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos and found that the participants consumed, on average, 35.7 percent of their daily calories after 6 p.m. More than half of the study participants (56.6 percent) reported consuming more than 30 percent of their food intake after 6 p.m.

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Chronic exposure to excess noise may increase risk for heart disease, stroke

Exposure to environmental noise appears to increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes by fueling the activity of a brain region involved in stress response. This response in turn promotes blood vessel inflammation, according to preliminary research to be presented in Chicago at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2018, a premier global exchange of the latest advances in cardiovascular science for researchers and clinicians.

The findings reveal that people with the highest levels of chronic noise exposure – such as highway and airport noise – had an increased risk of suffering cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and strokes, regardless of other risk factors known to increase cardiovascular risk.

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Violent crime raises blood pressure even among those living in safe areas

A spike in Chicago crime was associated with a relative increase in blood pressure among people who lived in safe neighborhoods, according to preliminary research to be presented in Chicago at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2018, a premier global exchange of the latest advances in cardiovascular science for researchers and clinicians.

A study of 53,402 adults revealed that in Chicago in 2015, a violent crime surge that included increased homicide, assault and robbery, was associated with a 9 percent higher odds of increased blood pressure among residents living in low-crime communities compared to those living in high-crime areas. The results suggest that the environment affects heart health, and that violent crime happening elsewhere can affect others living in a city, even if individuals are not directly exposed to crime.

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Complication of broken heart syndrome associated with both short- and long-term risk of death

When patients with broken heart syndrome survive a life-threatening complication that renders the heart suddenly unable to pump enough blood, they remain at greater risk of death for years afterwards, according to research to be presented in Chicago at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2018, a premier global exchange of the latest advances in cardiovascular science for researchers and clinicians. The study will also be simultaneously published in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation.

A global study reveals that when patients with broken heart syndrome survive a life-threatening complication called cardiogenic shock that renders the heart suddenly unable to pump enough blood, they remain at greater risk of death for years afterwards.

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Two novel studies explore why women receive less CPR from bystanders

Concerns about inappropriate contact or causing injury may help explain why bystanders are less likely to perform CPR on women – even “virtual” women –  than on men who collapse with cardiac arrest, according to two  studies presented at the American Heart Association’s Resuscitation Science Symposium 2018, an international conference highlighting the best in cardiovascular resuscitation research.

Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart’s electrical system malfunctions, often in the absence of any previous symptoms. In the United States, more than 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside hospitals each year. While the survival rate is less than 12 percent, CPR can double or triple a victim’s odds of surviving.

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Fewer cardiac arrest victims get bystander CPR in Latino neighborhoods

People who experience sudden cardiac arrest are less likely to receive CPR from bystanders and less likely to survive, when they collapse in neighborhoods with large Latino populations, according to a large, new study to be presented in Chicago at the American Heart Association’s Resuscitation Science Symposium 2018, an international conference highlighting the best in cardiovascular resuscitation research.

Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when the heart abruptly stops pumping blood due to an electrical malfunction. Almost 4 in 10 such cases are witnessed by a bystander who is not an emergency medical services provider, according to American Heart Association statistics.

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Black infants may have higher cardiac arrest rates 

A multi-year review of all pediatric emergency response records in Houston found that Black infants comprised a significantly larger proportion of cardiac arrests than expected, more than four times more cases than in non-Hispanic White children, according to preliminary research to be presented in Chicago at the American Heart Association’s Resuscitation Science Symposium 2018, an international conference highlighting the best in cardiovascular resuscitation research.

While Black children under the age of 18 represented 22 percent of the child population in Houston, they accounted for half of all pediatric cardiac arrests in the city. Hispanic children, who represented 42 percent of Houston’s child population, accounted for 35 percent of cardiac arrests and non-Hispanic White children accounted for 18 percent of the population, but only 12 percent of cardiac arrests.

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Abuse and neglect associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk for lesbian and bisexual women

Trauma, including abuse and neglect, is associated with higher cardiovascular disease risk for lesbian and bisexual women, according to preliminary research to be presented in Chicago at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2018, a premier global exchange of the latest advances in cardiovascular science for researchers and clinicians.

Sexual minority (lesbian and bisexual) women are more likely than heterosexual women to be stressed, use tobacco, binge drink and be obese. Why these cardiovascular risk factors occur more among sexual minority women isn’t clear, but some think abuse, neglect and other trauma plays a role.

Billy A. Caceres, Ph.D., R.N., Columbia University School of Nursing, New York, NY

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Lead, mercury exposure raises cholesterol levels

Higher levels of lead and other heavy metals detected in the blood was associated with increased levels of lower density lipoprotein (LDL – bad cholesterol) and total cholesterol, according to preliminary research to be presented in Chicago at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2018, a premier global exchange of the latest advances in cardiovascular science for researchers and clinicians.

Researchers reviewed information from NHANES 2009-2012, a national representative database which includes cholesterol levels and blood levels of heavy metals among U.S. adults. They found a notable difference between those with the least blood levels of heavy metal and those with the most, with LDL becoming progressively higher as lead levels increased.

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Overweight kids often left in the dark about their high blood pressure

Pediatricians generally don’t address elevated blood pressures in overweight children during well-child visits. When they do broach the subject, their communication is often unclear, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2018, a premier global exchange of the latest advances in cardiovascular science for researchers and clinicians.

Researchers analyzed 30 video- and audio-recorded well-child visits of 6- to 12-year-olds with overweight/obesity who had elevated blood pressures at the visit. Visits were recorded from 2013 to 2016. Eighty percent of the children had elevated blood pressures, and 20 percent had blood pressure readings at the recorded visit plus two or more past visits that were high enough to meet criteria for pediatric hypertension.

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Just one energy drink may hurt blood vessel function

Young, healthy adults experienced notably diminished blood vessel function soon after consuming one energy drink, according to preliminary research from a small study to be presented in Chicago at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2018, a premier global exchange of the latest advances in cardiovascular science for researchers and clinicians.

Energy drink consumption has been associated with many health problems, including conditions associated with the heart, nerves and stomach. Some believe cardiovascular side effects from energy drinks might be related to the drinks’ effects on endothelial, or blood vessel, function.

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PTSD linked to increased complications and death a year after cardiac arrest

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms may significantly increase cardiac arrest survivors’ risk of major cardiovascular events and death up to a year after the initial medical crisis, according to preliminary research to be presented in Chicago at the American Heart Association’s Resuscitation Science Symposium 2018 – an international conference highlighting the best in cardiovascular resuscitation research.

Sachin Agarwal, M.D., M.P.H. Columbia University Medical Center

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