Arteries of heart disease sufferers age prematurely

Cambridge: Heart disease suffers have advanced deterioration of their arteries, according to scientists at Cambridge University.

In early stages of heart disease arteries will be between five and 15 years older than a person’s real age. But in advanced cases they will be more than 40 years older.

Professor Martin Bennett, British Heart Foundation professor of cardiovascular sciences, whose research group at Cambridge University led the research, said that a combination of high blood pressure, smoking and high cholesterol aged the arteries prematurely.

The study published in the journal Circulation Research, used discarded human tissue from heart bypass and transplant patients to examine artery cell ageing.

Prof Bennett’s team, which collaborated with surgeons and pathologists from Papworth Hospital, near Cambridge, found the smooth muscle cells of diseased blood vessels showed evidence of ‘ accelerated’ damage.