Dominant Form of Heart Failure Caused by Metabolic-immune Interaction, Review  Article Suggests | DAIC

The dominant form of heart failure worldwide appears to be caused by a strong, bidirectional interaction between the body’s response to metabolic stress and the immune system, according to a review article written by UT Southwestern researchers and colleagues. The article, published in Nature Cardiovascular Research, argues for more research into this root cause to develop truly effective treatments.

“Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction affects millions of people around the globe, but we currently have little to offer these patients because the mechanisms behind it have been unknown.

It’s been called the single greatest unmet need in cardiovascular medicine,” said the article’s senior author Joseph Hill, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Internal Medicine and Molecular Biology and Chief of Cardiology at UT Southwestern. “We now have insight into this condition that we didn’t have even five years ago, observations that could lead to viable clinical targets.”

Dr. Hill explained that heart failure — the heart’s inability to effectively pump blood — comes in two broad types: heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF), in which the amount of blood that leaves the heart with each beat declines, and heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), in which the heart is unable to fill with blood to capacity. While HFrEF has long been the most common form, HFpEF — which is associated with obesity, diabetes, and other components of metabolic syndrome — has grown in prevalence over the last several decades and overtaken HFrEF as the most common form.

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