News in brief: Sydney cardiologist is first to win thrombosis research medal; Vaccine myocarditis adverse events in context; Gardening helps cultivate good heart health;

Thursday, 7 Oct 2021

Sydney cardiologist is first to win thrombosis research medal

Research work into platelet science by Dr Sonali Gnanenthiran has led to her becoming the first cardiologist to be awarded the Thrombosis and Haemostasis Society of Australia and New Zealand (THANZ) Medal.

Dr Gnanenthiran works at Concord Hospital and was doing a PhD at the ANZAC Research Institute supervised by Professor Len Kritharides and Dr Vivien Chen. She received the honour from THANZ at a recent annual conference, based on her paper entitled: Identification of a distinct platelet phenotype in the elderly. ADP hypersenstivity co-exists with platelet protease-activated-receptor (PAR)-1 and PAR-4 mediated thrombin resistance.  

She was congratulated by the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSANZ), who said it was believed to be the first cardiologist to win this award.  The award winner receives the THANZ Medal, a solid silver medallion and a prize of A$2,000.

Vaccine myocarditis adverse events in context

COVID-19 vaccination with the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine (Pfizer) is associated with a more than three-fold (RR 3.24) elevated risk of myocarditis, with the highest risk among young men.

An Israeli study of 1,736,832 people >16 years of age, excluding health care workers and aged care residents, compared adverse events of interest in vaccinated and nonvaccinated groups over 21-day follow-ups after each dose.

Other potential adverse events associated with the vaccine included an excess risk of lymphadenopathy, herpes zoster infection and appendicitis.

However the study also found that SARS-CoV-2 infection itself was associated with an increased risk of myocarditis (RR 18.28), acute kidney injury (RR 14.83), PE (RR 12.14) and ICH (RR 6.89).

An editorial said that adverse events need to be considered in the context of the current state of the pandemic.

“Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines may be associated with myocarditis, but they can also prevent cases of myocarditis, acute kidney injury, arrhythmia, and thromboembolic disease,” it said.

“The benefit–risk balance should be reassessed, refined, and communicated as the disease burden changes, new variants and safety signals emerge, and vaccine effectiveness begins to wane.”

Read more in the article and the editorial in the NEJM

Gardening helps cultivate good heart health

“Vigorous” gardening could help reduce cardiometabolic risk (CMR) in older adults and women, according to an Australian study.

The cross-sectional study assessed vigorous-intensity gardening’s impact on CMR risk in 3,664 adults aged 34–94 years.

It found participants who vigorously gardened for ≥150 minutes/week had lower CMR score, waist circumference, diastolic blood pressure and triglycerides than those who did no vigorous gardening.

“Stratified analyses suggested that these associations were almost exclusively observed for older adults and women,” the authors wrote in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity.

“These findings suggest the public health potential of vigorous-intensity gardening in reducing CMR,” they concluded.


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