News tips for Tuesday, November 9, 2004

tions, clinicians should be alert to parents' perspective to identify potential "psychosocial morbidity" in children with heart disease.

3 p.m. Abstract 1153 Experimental vaccination reduces artery plaque growth in mice. In a study in the Netherlands, a vaccination that included interleukin (IL-12) brought "significant reduction" in artery plaque buildup in mice. IL-12 is a white-cell protein thought to play a key role in development of atherosclerosis. When vaccinated, LDL receptor-deficient mice formed antibodies to interleukin 12. The injections blocked biological action by IL-12, and reduced its signaling response by 90 percent. Two weeks after final vaccinations, injected animals had a 68 percent reduction in the rate of plaque formation on carotid artery walls, compared to control mice. There was also less vessel wall thickening and a 57 percent decrease in artery narrowing (stenosis). Thus IL-12 vaccine blockade may become "a promising strategy for the treatment of atherosclerosis," the scientists said.

4:30 p.m. Abstract 3775 Women's coffee drinking may reduce insulin secretion marker in blood. Regular coffee consumption is associated with reduced risk of diabetes and possibly hypertension and cardiovascular disease, but the mechanism is not clear. Researchers found an inverse association between women's coffee drinking and levels of C-peptide in the blood. C-peptide is a component of insulin, which helps glucose (blood sugar) enter cells and provides the energy cells need to function properly. High levels indicate insulin resistance (the body's inability to use insulin efficiently) a major factor in the development of type 2 diabetes. Researchers examined the records of 2,112 women participating in the Nurses' Health Study. They compared the women's self-reported consumption of caffeinated coffee, decaffeinated coffee, and total caffeine in 1984, 1986, and 1990 to the levels of C-peptide in frozen blood

Contact: Carole Bullock
American Heart Association

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