People with better functioning special stem cells called endothelial cells will develop less heart disease than others, even if both groups have multiple risk factors for heart disease. This is according to a new and groundbreaking Israeli study in the field of heart diseases, which is being published these days by Asuta Hospital in Ashdod.
Dr. Einat Shaked and Prof. Eli Lev from the cardiology department at the hospital checked who are those people who suffer from multiple risk factors for heart disease (diabetes, smoking, obesity, excess cholesterol) and yet will not develop heart disease, compared to other people with a similar profile of background diseases Because they will suffer from heart diseases.
The question that was at the center of the research is whether there is a factor that “protects” those lucky people from developing heart disease. As part of the study, the researchers located 25 patients with multiple cardiovascular risk factors who underwent a CT scan of the heart’s arteries and were found to have completely normal arteries. Then they compared them with patients with a similar profile, suffering from proven heart disease. At the same time, another series of tests was carried out to discover and find differences between the groups.
The findings revealed an interesting phenomenon to the researchers: as mentioned, patients who do not develop heart disease have a better function of endothelial stem cells – special cells found in the blood that are of great importance in renewing and repairing the walls of blood vessels in response to damage, compared to patients with existing heart disease, in whom the function of those cells hurt. In addition, the researchers found that these cells have longer telomeres – a measure of a longer lifespan of the cell.
Dr. Einat Shaked, editor of the study: “We have found potential biological mechanisms capable of protecting us from the development of heart diseases. This is the first study of its kind and of great importance for understanding the various differences in society, between those who suffer from heart disease and those who do not, even though we would apparently expect the patient to harm them as well. I believe that the research will contribute to a deeper understanding of the process called atherosclerosis, which will allow us in the future to provide better treatment for the disease and even prevent it.”