This Week’s Top Cardiology News

top asco coverage

Here are the top stories covered by DocWire News this week in the Cardiology section. This edition includes bad news if you like red mean, but good news if you are OK to swap in some healthier proteins. Also, a short respiratory workout was linked with improved cognitive function, and also the perils of receiving a diabetes diagnosis before age 40.


Diets high in animal protein increases mortality risk, according to an analysis of the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The 2,641-participant study looked at dietary intakes and collected data on the disease deaths from the national disease register. The results suggested that higher intakes of total protein and animal protein were borderline significantly associated with increased mortality risk, and higher animal protein intake and higher meat intake were both associated with increased mortality.

A short inspiratory workout was associated with improved measures of brain function, according to new study results. Using inspiratory muscle training, researchers determined that the training may also help reduce the risk of a heart attack. The therapy involves breathing vigorously into a hand-held device (inspiratory muscle trainer), which provides resistance. Participants performed 30-minute low resistance training. With about half of the tests in their study completed, the researchers are reporting significant drops in blood pressure, and improved artery function in those performing the therapy, as well as better performance on cognitive and memory tests.

High-quality plant proteins swapped for red meat can be beneficial to heart health, according to a new study in Circulation. The meta-analysis included 36 studies and 1,803 participants. The analysis focused on randomized controlled trials examining the health effects of red meats relative to other foods. According to the study results, diets that included more high-quality plant proteins such as nuts, in place of red meat consumption, improved cholesterol, blood pressure, and apolipoprotein levels. “Asking ‘Is red meat good or bad?’ is useless,” one of the authors said. “It has to be ‘Compared to what?’ If you replace burgers with cookies or fries, you don’t get healthier. But if you replace red meat with healthy plant protein sources, like nuts and beans, you get a health benefit.”

A diabetes diagnosis before age of 40 was associated with poorer outcomes and increased risk for cardiovascular mortality, according to a new analysis in Circulation. Researchers for this paper looked at the Swedish National Diabetes Registry and included data from 318,083 individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus (along with more than 1.5 million matched controls) and followed their deaths from heart disease between 1998 and 2014. Those diagnosed with diabetes before age 40 had the highest risk of cardiovascular mortality, non-cardiovascular mortality, heart failure, and coronary heart disease.