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2010 Press Releases

For Immediate Release

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Sandra Sgambati                                Cynthia Valentino
201-894-3386                                     201.894.3486
Sandra.Sgambati@ehmc.com              Cynthia.Valentino@ehmc.com                             

Cardiologists Comment on Cardiac Protection with Red Wine molecule

February 26, 2010 – A major study presented at the National Institutes of Health today finds that the red wine molecule resveratrol (rez-vair-ah-trawl) may provide protection from a sudden lethal heart attack and dramatically limit heart damage. “These findings suggest that a re-evaluation of cardiology's current instruction regarding prevention of heart attacks may be in order,” said Dr. Nate Lebowitz, a cardiologist with the Advanced Cardiology Institute in Fort Lee, NJ and affiliated with Englewood Hospital and Medical Center. Dr. Lebowitz is currently conducting research to evaluate the effects of resveratrol on arterial age and cholesterol plaque deposition on arterial walls.

In a presentation at a National Institutes of Health symposium in Washington DC today, University of Connecticut researchers showed resveratrol limits damage caused by a heart attack, prevents sudden cardiac death in animals, and is "the best yet devised method of cardioprotection."  

 This phenomenon is called "cardiac pre-conditioning" because it works to activate antioxidant defenses in the heart prior to a heart attack via the release of a chemical called adenosine.

"This is a very exciting area for future research that we hope to participate in,” said Jacqueline Hollywood MD, also a cardiologist with the Advanced Cardiology Institute and affiliated with Englewood Hospital. “Being one of the few cardiology groups in the nation to have experience with this preventive agent, we are in a unique position to provide consultation to patients seeking answers to questions about the best ways to prevent fatal events."

Dr. Lebowitz shares that widespread aspirin therapy for prevention of heart attacks has, in his experience, a limited effect.  The greatest benefit of low-dose aspirin therapy is for women with a positive mutation of the apolipoprotein(a) gene (LPA gene) and patients with established vascular disease, with diminished results for others, he says. The mutation is present in about 3% of Caucasians and higher in other subgroups.  

A recent paper published in the American Journal of Medicine indicates the aspirin dosage recommended by the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association and the US Preventive Services Task Force (75-81 milligrams) appear to be far too low to produce a significant reduction in stroke or heart attack.  The Food & Drug Administration first approved aspirin for secondary prevention of a heart attack in 1988.  

Data shows that there will be ten times more patients who experience gastric bleeding from aspirin therapy than non-aspirin users, and no reduction in stroke or fatal heart attacks, when aspirin is taken in low doses.

James E. Dalen, MD, MPH, former dean of the University of Arizona College of Medicine, who wrote the review of aspirin therapy, says only one of seven human studies using 100 mg of aspirin show a decreased incidence of heart attack.  

Dr. Dalen says one conclusion is that the recommendation of aspirin for prevention of heart attack is incorrect because aspirin is ineffective.  Dr. Dalen says millions of people throughout the world are taking aspirin for prevention.  He asks: "Should they be told to discontinue aspirin?"  

The other conclusion is that the dose is ineffective and points to the US Physicians Health study where 325 mg of aspirin taken every other day (162 mg per day) reduced the relative risk of a heart attack by 44%.

Dr. Lebowitz says resveratrol appears to exhibit broader action than aspirin.  Resveratrol is documented to reduce clotting that may block blood circulation in coronary arteries, reduce homocysteine, an undesirable blood protein associated with cardiovascular disease, reduce markers of inflammation like C-reactive protein, regenerate vitamin E, as well as release adenosine, the molecule responsible for the "pre-conditioning" effect seen in animal experiments.

Howard Rothman, senior cardiologist at Advanced Cardiology Institute who is also affiliated with Englewood Hospital, warns resveratrol supplement users that the pre-conditioning effect of resveratrol is achieved at a dose ranging from 175-350 milligrams and higher doses may actually be counterproductive.  Dr. Rothman says only one branded resveratrol pill has been proven to produce the pre-conditioning effect, which their group has recommended for over a year now.  

Further information is provided at www.acicardio.com. To learn more about cardiology services available at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, visit www.englewoodhospital.com or bestheartdocs.com.


 
About Englewood Hospital and Medical Center
 
Englewood Hospital and Medical Center provides patients with the highest level of compassionate care through a broad range of state-of-the-art clinical programs and the most advanced treatments and diagnostic services. It is renowned for its bloodless medicine and surgery program, cardiac and vascular programs and its leadership in breast care, oncology and joint replacement services. Through its affiliation with the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and the Mount Sinai Consortium for Graduate Medical Education, this thriving, acute-care and community teaching hospital trains medical residents in a variety of disciplines, including surgery, pediatrics, podiatry, pathology and critical care medicine.  Englewood Hospital is home to a Vascular Fellowship Program that has trained a generation of world-class vascular surgeons.  Additionally, many members of the medical staff at Englewood Hospital serve as faculty members at Mount Sinai. Englewood Hospital has earned numerous accreditations from the Joint Commission and other organizations and is among the four percent of hospitals nationwide honored with the prestigious Magnet nursing award, a distinction that has been earned twice by its nursing staff.