Being overweight may change young adults’ heart structure, function Being overweight may cause higher blood pressure and changes to the heart’s structure, even in young adults. Efforts to achieve or maintain a normal weight from a young age may help to prevent the development of heart disease later in life. The innovative study design used a new genetic analysis to assess if weight directly causes higher blood pressure and changes in heart’s structure.

Preventing dangerous episodes of low blood sugar with diabetes: Study provides next clue A new study reveals that a novel biomarker might give us new answers necessary to creating a diagnostic tool for hypoglycemia-associated autonomic failure, or HAAF. No objective diagnostic tool currently exists for this condition which, if left untreated, can lead to ever-worsening and possibly life-threatening episodes of dangerously low blood sugar.

Genetic basis of heart rhythms explored in large population study New information about the biology behind the heart’s electrical activity has been revealed in a major genome study with the largest sample size ever of a project of this type. These molecular mechanisms offer insights into cardiac electrical diseases and could suggest avenues of drug research for preventing and treating heart rhythm or conduction problems. Genes in 44 loci identified as associated with the PR interval on an EKG are overrepresented in cardiac disease processes, including heart block, sick sinus syndrome, and atrial fibrillation.

Fat production and burning are synchronized in livers of mice with obesity Mice fed a fattening diet develop new liver circadian rhythms that impact the way fat is accumulated and simultaneously burned. The team found that as liver fat production increases, surprisingly, so does the body’s ability to burn fat. These opposing physiological processes reach their peak activity each day around 5 p.m., illustrating an unexpected connection between overeating, circadian rhythms, and fat accumulation in the liver.

Diabetes drugs act as powerful curb for immune cells in controlling inflammation A common class of drugs used to treat diabetes has been found to exert a powerful check on macrophages by controlling the metabolic fuel they use to generate energy. Keeping macrophages from going overboard on the job may inhibit the onset of obesity and diabetes following tissue inflammation.

Feel lightheaded when standing up? You may have a greater risk of dementia People who feel faint, dizzy or lightheaded when standing up may be experiencing a sudden drop in blood pressure called orthostatic hypotension. Now a new study says middle-aged people who experience such a drop may have a greater risk of developing dementia or stroke decades later.