High Blood Sugar May Up Heart Attack Complications


Scientists find glucose causes strong contraction of blood vessels

High blood sugar levels can increase the risk of complications in heart attack patients, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that high blood sugar (glucose) causes stronger contraction of blood vessels and also identified a protein associated with this increased contraction. The findings could lead to new treatments to improve outcomes after heart attack or stroke, the study authors said.

A heart attack occurs when an artery that provides blood to the heart is blocked. High blood sugar at the time of a heart attack could make this blockage more severe by causing the artery to contract, resulting in a higher risk of complications, according to the research team at the University of Leicester in England.

“We have shown that the amount of sugar, or glucose, in the blood changes the behavior of blood vessels, making them contract more than normal. This could result in higher blood pressure, or could reduce the amount of blood that flows through vital organs,” Richard Rainbow, a lecturer in cardiovascular cell physiology, said in a university news release.

“This was an experimental lab study, which means that we can draw conclusions about cause and effect in a controlled environment,” he added.

“Here, we have identified a known signaling protein family, protein kinase C, is a key part of this enhanced contractile response, and have also shown in our experiments that we can restore the normal level of contractile response and reverse the effects on the heart, with inhibitors of these proteins,” Rainbow said.

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SOURCE: WebMD News from HealthDay
Robert Preidt