Gut bacteria influence essential factors in the prevention of heart disease. B acteria in the gut play a role in changes in people’s weight, body fat and the amount of good cholesterol in their bodies. These are the results of research by a group of UMCG researchers led by geneticists Jingyuan Fu and Alexandra Zhernakova. They publish their findings in Circulation Research today. For the first time t he association between gut bacteria and blood lopids levels is shown; this represents an important step in the prevention of heart disease.
More intensive management of high blood pressure, below a commonly recommended blood pressure target, significantly reduces rates of cardiovascular disease, and lowers risk of death in a group of adults 50 years and older with high blood pressure. This is according to the initial results of a landmark clinical trial sponsored by the National Institutes of Health called the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT). The intervention in this trial, which carefully adjusts the amount or type of blood pressure medication to achieve a target systolic pressure of 120 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), reduced rates of cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and heart failure, as well as stroke, by almost a third and the risk of death by almost a quarter, as compared to the target systolic pressure of 140 mm Hg.