Award for work on hypertension

During the congress of the Sociedad Española de Cardiología (Spanish Cardiology Association), held recently in Barcelona, specialists from Navarre received the prize for the best paper presented, from amongst the hundreds presented. It involved research on hypertension undertaken jointly by scientists from the Navarre Health Service and two centres at the University of Navarra: the Centre for Applied Medical Research (CIMA) and the University Hospital.

The paper was entitled, “La cardiotrofina-1 plasmática es un marcador del desarrollo y la regresión de la hipertrofia ventricular izquierda en los pacientes hipertensos” (Plasma cardiotrophin-1 is a marker for the development and regression of left ventrical hypertrophy in patients with high blood pressure).

This line of research with cardiotrophin-1 was initiated in 2003 and already this year it has been published twice in the international Journal of Hypertension magazine and in presentations in two European congresses, Cardiology and Hypertension.

Cardiotrophin-1, from the heart to the blood

Cardiotrophin-1 is a protein present in the blood, when produced in excess in the heart when it is subject to overload. An example of this added force is the situation of increased blood pressure typical in patients with high blood pressure.

The study showed two things: The abnormal increase of the concentration of cardiotrophin-1 in the blood is associated with the exaggerated growth (hypertrophia) of the in patients with high blood pressure; and that in treated patients its drop coincided with reduction in a cardiac hypertrophy. Moreover, the findings suggest the measurement of this cardiotrophin-1 would be a simpler, more reliable and cheaper method than the currently available methods for detecting the presence of heart hypertrophy of the heart in patients with high blood pressure.

The researchers suggest 3 reasons for investigating if the heart of a high blood pressure patient is hypertrophied or not: because not all pharmaceutical drugs employed to treat high blood pressure reduce cardiac hypertrophy, because the presence of hypertrophy is associated with a worse global cardiovascular prognosis of the patient and because it is the gateway to the two main complications of the heart that the high blood pressure patient is exposed to: cardiac insufficiency and auricular fibrillation.

Finally, the importance of the health problem is underlined by the fact that, today, two thirds of patients with high blood pressure suffer from this cardiac pathology (in Spain almost 5.5 million out of the 8 million patients with high blood pressure).

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