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Heart stiffening can have a genetic origin! An additional risk factor to consider. Evidence from an EUMASCARA study.
Tuesday, Sep 30, 2014
"Heritability and other determinants of left ventricular diastolic function in the family-based population study"
Authors: Kloch-Badelek M, Knez J, Tikhonoff V, Thijs L, Sakiewicz W, Ryabikov A, Stolarz-Skrzypek K, Jin Y, Malyutina S, Casiglia E, Narkiewicz K, Czarnecka D, Kawecka-Jaszcz K, Staessen JA, Kuznetsova T; European Project On Genes in Hypertension (EPOGH) Investigators.
J Hypertens. 2014 Sep;32(9):1854-61.

Remodelling of the heart is one of the adverse consequences of high blood pressure and other cardiovascular risk factors. Research has traditionally focussed on the ability of the heart to eject blood ("pump function"). However one of the earliest changes to heart is the increased stiffening of the heart walls and reduced filling of the chambers during the relaxation phase of the heart cycle. In this paper the KU Leuven group provide evidence that there are genetic components to the ability of the heart to relax. Such factors would provide an additional risk factor for development of heart disease, probably independent of high blood pressure and other risk factors. The paper provides a basis for further research to identify the exact genetic factors involved in the filling of the heart.