American Heart Association is Taking Notice of Our Work
Last week, the American Heart Association reported on some of the causes and treatments for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA). Although this remains as the 13th leading cause of death in the United States, there is some new information on it. Recent studies are showing that women are being diagnosed with AAA at an increasing rate, and the rate of AAA ruptures are being seem more often in women and in tobacco users.
The information presented to the American Heart Association was the same information that CMMRF has been speaking of for the last few years. The surgical repair of a rupturing AAA is a serious operation. If you are one of the 30% that make it to the hospital during a rupture, you still only have a 50% of making it out of the hospital. This is not meant to scare you, but to educate you on the severity of this disease process and why our donations to CMMRF are important.
Our funding is being used to prove that stem cells can slow the growth of an aneurysm, specifically by reducing the inflammation occurring in the aortic wall. The study has proved a decrease in inflammation and a balance between the pro-inflammatory cells and the anti-inflammatory cells. At the one year mark, it even showed a decrease in aneurysm size.
Besides having an unquenched curiosity in the science behind this, I have a more personal reason to pursue the future of stem cell treatment options for AAA. Last month, my 72 year old mother was diagnosed with a 5.7cm AAA. She is currently undergoing tests to see if she is healthy enough to survive the operation to repair it. This was an incidental finding without any signs or symptoms. Perhaps, in future years, our continued funding to CMMRF can reduce or even eliminate this health risk.
Brian Ragain, RN, NRP