Cardiovascular Disease

Coronary artery disease is a severe condition of the coronary vessels, caused by atherosclerosis. It is the source of heart attack and sudden cardiac arrest and hence the most common cause of death worldwide. Major risk factors for coronary artery disease are age, diabetes mellitus, obesity, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, smoking and genetic factors. Research at the VIVIT focuses on the origin and the driving forces behind these risk factors and on their effect on existing coronary artery disease as well as their role in newly emerging cardiovascular complications. One of the VIVIT’s most important projects is centred around a cohort of approximately 1700 patients at the State Hospital Feldkirch (LKHF) who were referred to coronary angiography (examination of the coronary arteries via a catheter) in recent years, due to signs of compromised heart health, and invited for regular follow-ups. For each patient, a panel of clinical, anatomical, psychological and genetic parameters was recorded which characterise their risk profile as well as the state of progression of their coronary artery disease.
Like coronary artery disease, peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a consequence of atherosclerosis. It encompasses narrowing of the peripheral arteries causing reduced blood flow to the limbs. Affected people are inclined to take breaks while walking, which earned the disease its name “window shopper’s disease”. PAD and coronary artery disease share common risk factors. In collaboration with a university hospital in Switzerland, the Inselspital Bern, the VIVIT is intensely researching the factors involved in PAD.

Related publications

High plasma omentin predicts cardiovascular events independently from the presence and extent of angiographically determined atherosclerosis.

High plasma chemerin is associated with renal dysfunction and predictive for cardiovascular events - Insights from phenotype and genotype characterization.

Common single nucleotide polymorphisms at the NPC1L1 gene locus significantly predict cardiovascular risk in coronary patients.

Systemic inflammation is higher in peripheral artery disease than in stable coronary artery disease.

Current cholesterol guidelines and clinical reality: a comparison of two cohorts of coronary artery disease patients.

Is type 2 diabetes really a coronary heart disease risk equivalent?

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