Cardio Round-up: Black Heart Transplant Recipients Face Higher Mortality; and More

A new study in Circulation: Heart Failure suggests that young black adults have a higher risk of dying following a heart transplant compared with white patients. Researchers assessed data on nearly 23,000 adult heart transplant recipients. They reported that young black heart transplant recipients were more than twice as likely to die within one year of a transplant than white patients. “The high risk associated with Black race is not specifically due to race itself; it is a marker of systemic racism and inequities that have resulted in significant health care disparities,” the authors added.

For those who like walnuts, there’s some good news: machine learning models have been able to tease out some of the metabolite components associated with the consumption of walnuts—particularly those associated with risk reductions in cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. More than 1,800 participants from the PREDIMED study cohorts were included in the analysis. The authors identified 19 metabolites associated with walnut consumption, including purines, lipids, acylcarnitines, and amino acids. “With data-driven technologies, we are able to enhance our understanding of the relationship between diet and disease and take a personalized approach to nutrition which will lead to better prevention and management of various health conditions,” said the study’s lead author in a press release.

A recent analysis from the United Kingdom suggests that cancer, not vascular disease, is the biggest killer of patients with diabetes. The researchers for the analysis credit improvements in risk factor management such as smoking and blood pressure with the decrease in heart disease and stroke (the decreases were even greater among patients with diabetes).

On a related note, but different study, cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death worldwide. An analysis published in Circulation showed about 18.6 million deaths attributed to CVD globally in 2019 (an increase of 17.1% from 2010). The crude prevalence of CVD around the world was about 532.2 million cases (a 26.6% increase from 2010). “We’ll need to watch and address these trends as the full ramifications will likely be felt for many years to come,” the authors wrote.