New research published in the journal JACC: Heart Failure is suggesting that asthma sufferers may be more at risk of cardiovascular conditions, including heart attack, heart disease, and stroke. This is because these people who suffer from the condition “may also be at greater risk of left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH),” according to Medical News Today.
Characterized as a condition when the left ventricle of the heart is thickened and enlarged, many patients do not experience any symptoms, particularly during the early stages. However, when they do begin to occur, anything from shortness of breath, dizziness, pain in the chest, fatigue, and even fainting are telltale signs of LVH. Considering that high blood pressure is the most common cause of the problem as it puts strain on the heart, the same can be applied with asthma, as this too strains the heart.
To put this theory to the test, Dr. Lu Qi (of the Tulane University Obesity Research Center in New Orleans, LA and colleagues) examined 1118 adults who were part of the Bogalusa Heart Study. Each patient was required to fill out their history of asthma from childhood, and was then followed up for 10 years. A number of times during these follow ups, each patient’s left ventricular mass (LVM) was assessed using echocardiography.
The researchers found that when compared with adults who did not suffer from a history of asthma, those who did had considerably higher levels of LVM as and LVMI (left ventricular mass index). This consequently showed that there was a stronger link between higher blood pressure and those people who suffered from asthma.
The researchers had this to say on their findings;
“Our data suggests that aggressive lifestyle modifications or even pharmacological treatment may be applied to people with a history of asthma, especially those also affected by high blood pressure, to lower CV (cardiovascular) risk.”
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