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.
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.
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.”
Researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital have found, for the first time that young humans (infants, children and adolescents) are capable of generating new heart muscle cells. These findings refute the long-held belief that the human heart grows after birth exclusively by enlargement of existing cells, and raise the possibility that scientists could stimulate production of new cells to repair injured hearts.