Women With Heart Disease More Likely to Have Baby Girls

Women with heart disease are more likely to give birth to female rather than male babies according to a new study recently presented at the World Congress of Cardiology. The study found that three-quarters of the 216 children born to 200 pregnant women with diagnosed heart disease were female.

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Congenital Heart Defects Could Have Their Origin During Very Early Pregnancy

The origins of congenital heart defects could be traced right back to the first stages of embryonic development — according to University of East Anglia (UEA) research.

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Major Genetic Discovery Explains 10 Percent of Aortic Valve Disease

Researchers at the Sainte-Justine University Hospital Center and University of Montreal have identified genetic origins in 10% of an important form of congenital heart diseases by studying the genetic variability within families. “This is more than the sum of the genes found to date in all previous studies, which explained only 1% of the disease, says Dr. Marc-Phillip Hitz, lead author of the study published in PLoS Genetics, under the direction of Dr. Gregor Andelfinger, pediatric cardiologist and principal investigator leading an international research team, who calls this study “a very important step towards a molecular catalog, which ultimately may explain the evolution of disease in individual patients and allow to influence the progression of the disease.”

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Finished Heart Switches Stem Cells Off

Transcription factor Ajuba regulates stem cell activity in the heart during embryonic development. It is not unusual for babies to be born with congenital heart defects. This is because the development of the heart in the embryo is a process which is not only extremely complex, but also error-prone. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research in Bad Nauheim have now identified a key molecule that plays a central role in regulating the function of stem cells in the heart. As a result, not only could congenital heart defects be avoided in future, but new ways of stimulating the regeneration of damaged hearts in adults may be opened up.

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