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American Heart Association 2008 Wrap-Up Report: Top Research Advances Include Studies That Influence Medical Care, Apply Science To 'Real World' Communities
Date:1/21/2009

cell, and that these progenitor cells can be derived from human embryonic stem cells. This is a critical observation for the process of building new hearts for those suffering from scarring or damage to their heart muscle.

Source: Nature, April 23, 2008; Nature.2008; 453: 524-28. www.nature.com.

Funding: No specific funding was listed for this study although several of the researchers are supported by the National Institutes of Health/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

10. Hypertension: who is too old to treat?

Treatment of hypertension in patients 80 years of age or older

It is well accepted that the effective treatment of high blood pressure is a very important factor in preventing cardiovascular complications such as stroke and heart failure. And while isolated systolic hypertension was a "normal" aspect of aging, we have also learned from the SHEP study of systolic hypertension in the elderly that control of this form of high blood pressure is also important. But questions remained about the very elderly, as they have usually been excluded from previous trials. This year, a critical piece of evidence was added, when the HYVET (Hypertension in the Very Elderly Trial) was completed. The results of this important trial provide evidence that effective antihypertensive treatment, even in persons 80 years old or older, is beneficial in reducing the risk of cardiovascular events, and thus extends the group in whom prevention must be pursued.

Sources: New England Journal of Medicine, May 1, 2008; N Engl J Med 2008; 358:1887-1898. www.nejm.org.

Funding: Supported by grants from the British Heart Foundation and the Institut de Recherches Internationales Servier.

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