health as it happens

Nature Outlook | Heart health -

Heart health

Research is revealing the causes of heart disease and what can be done to tackle the world’s biggest killer.

  • Herb Brody

Outlook | 9 Jun 2021 | Nature

A graphical guide to ischaemic heart disease

Globally, 9 million people die each year from ischaemic heart disease. Despite falling rates of heart disease, tackling it is still a stubborn challenge.

  • Benjamin Plackett

Outlook | 9 Jun 2021 | Nature

How a child’s heart health could be decided before birth

Lifestyle is a major contributor to heart disease in adults, but risk factors such as genetics and parent lifestyle can also have an effect.

  • Bianca Nogrady

Outlook | 9 Jun 2021 | Nature

Ranking the risk of heart disease

By accounting for the additive effect of multiple genetic variants, researchers can develop a system that improves their ability to identify the most vulnerable.

  • Michael Eisenstein

Outlook | 9 Jun 2021 | Nature

Inflammation in heart disease: do researchers know enough?

Anti-inflammatory therapies for cardiovascular disease are nearing the clinic. But whether scientists understand how inflammation contributes to fatty-deposit build-up well enough to target it effectively is open to debate.

  • Sarah DeWeerdt

Outlook | 9 Jun 2021 | Nature

Immune cells that remember inflammation could offer treatment targets for atherosclerosis

A type of immune-cell priming called trained immunity is helping researchers to understand the disease mechanisms behind the build up of fatty deposits in arteries.

  • Amanda B. Keener

Outlook | 9 Jun 2021 | Nature

Is there more to a healthy-heart diet than cholesterol?

A high-fat diet is thought to increase the risk of a heart attack. But some say that the long-held dogma of ‘bad’ cholesterol might be flawed.

  • Natalie Healey

Outlook | 9 Jun 2021 | Nature

COVID’s cardiac connection

Coronavirus infections might cause lasting harm to the heart, even in those who have never had symptoms.

  • Elie Dolgin

Outlook | 9 Jun 2021 | Nature

Cells or drugs? The race to regenerate the heart

Researchers are debating how to convince the heart to heal itself instead of laying down scar tissue after a heart attack.

  • Benjamin Plackett

Outlook | 9 Jun 2021 | Nature

Women’s heart health is not just about hormones

Heart-disease risk increases as women get older but explanations that centre on changes after menopause don’t tell the full story.

  • Jumana Saleh

Outlook | 9 Jun 2021 | Nature

Sponsor Feature | 9 Jun 2021

Developing a vaccine against atherosclerosis

The notion that atherosclerosis can be prevented or mitigated by vaccination is now moving towards clinical trials. This strategy is based on the existence of autoimmunity to LDL, the cholesterol-carrying particles that accumulate in arteries. In this Comment, we…
  • Göran K. Hansson
  • Jan Nilsson

Cardiovascular risks of climate change

Extreme heat events are now more frequent in many parts of the world as a result of climate change. The combined effects of heat, air pollution, individual age, and socioeconomic and health status are responsible for avoidable acute events of cardiovascular disease…
  • Annette Peters
  • Alexandra Schneider

Pulling at the heart: COVID-19, race/ethnicity and ongoing disparities

Social determinants of health in the African diaspora drive the lack of disease testing, increased prevalence of comorbid disease and reduced access to drugs, resulting in disproportionately higher COVID-19-related mortality among Black individuals than the rest of…
  • Peter Chin-Hong,
  • Kevin M. Alexander ⋯
  • The Association of Black Cardiologists

Genetic and functional insights into the fractal structure of the heart

A genome-wide association study shows that myocardial trabeculae are an important determinant of cardiac performance in the adult heart, identifies conserved pathways that regulate structural complexity and reveals the influence of trabeculae on the susceptibility to cardiovascular disease.

  • Hannah V. Meyer,
  • Timothy J. W. Dawes ⋯
  • Declan P. O’Regan

Article | 19 Aug 2020 | Nature

Lymphoangiocrine signals promote cardiac growth and repair

Lymphatic endothelium secretes factors needed for heart growth and repair such as RELN, which helps with heart regeneration and cardioprotection after myocardial infarction.

  • Xiaolei Liu,
  • Ester De la Cruz ⋯
  • Guillermo Oliver

Article | 9 Dec 2020 | Nature

Cardiologist-level arrhythmia detection and classification in ambulatory electrocardiograms using a deep neural network

Analysis of electrocardiograms using an end-to-end deep learning approach can detect and classify cardiac arrhythmia with high accuracy, similar to that of cardiologists.

  • Awni Y. Hannun,
  • Pranav Rajpurkar ⋯
  • Andrew Y. Ng

The effects of endurance exercise on the heart: panacea or poison?

Moderate exercise improves cardiovascular health and is associated with physiological cardiac adaptations; by contrast, the hearts of endurance athletes can undergo maladaptations, including myocardial fibrosis and arrhythmias. In this Review, Parry-Williams and…
  • Gemma Parry-Williams
  • Sanjay Sharma

Environmental determinants of cardiovascular disease: lessons learned from air pollution

A strong relationship exists between exposure to air pollution and cardiovascular events. In this Review, Rajagopalan and colleagues summarize the evidence supporting the detrimental effects of air pollution on cardiovascular health and describe the potential…
  • Sadeer G. Al-Kindi,
  • Robert D. Brook ⋯
  • Sanjay Rajagopalan

The gut microbiome modulates the protective association between a Mediterranean diet and cardiometabolic disease risk

The beneficial effects of a Mediterranean diet on cardiometabolic health are associated with specific changes in the gut microbiome, suggesting a personalized approach towards cardiometabolic disease prevention.

  • Dong D. Wang,
  • Long H. Nguyen ⋯
  • Curtis Huttenhower

Human heart-forming organoids recapitulate early heart and foregut development

Heart-forming organoids model early cardiac development.

  • Lika Drakhlis,
  • Santoshi Biswanath ⋯
  • Robert Zweigerdt

A perfusable, multifunctional epicardial device improves cardiac function and tissue repair

Implantation of a perfusable device into the epicardium enables delivery of therapeutic agents and infiltration of reparative cells into the heart, amplifying the therapeutic effects of FGF-23 in a rat model of myocardial infarction.

  • Shixing Huang,
  • Dong Lei ⋯
  • Xiaofeng Ye