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[ admin ] [ 24-10-2016 ]

In the month of November 2016, Science Café has once again astonishes us with its brilliance by expanding the horizons of our minds, simultaneously broaden the outlook on life and its possibilities. Life simply does not exist without the beatings of our heart, which concurrently brought us all together to discuss the theme of the conference that was disease that affects our precious heart, in other words, cardiovascular disease.

Professor Chim C. Lang, an esteemed Professor of Cardiology from the University of Dundee, gave a knowledgeable talk entitled “Diabetes and Heart Failure: Can I help, Sweetheart?”. Diabetes and heart failure commonly co-exist, a lethal combination. He emphasized that patients with diabetes are more prone to get heart failure, whilst those diabetic patients who has incidental heart failure, their 5-year survival rate dramatically plunges to 12.5% from 80% to those free from heart failure. He further explains that diabetic cardiomyopathy is the disturbance in cardiac metabolism, abnormal intracellular signaling and calcium handling, neurohormal activation as well as advanced glycation end products. Insulin resistance and heart failure is a vicious cycle. Insulin resistance itself is not enough to cause dilated cardiomyopathy rather it is more likely to create an environment in which the addition of another stressor (e.g., pressure/volume overload, drugs/toxins, tachycardia) is poorly tolerated and enough to “tip the balance” in favor of developing a cardiomyopathy. Under these circumstances, the body’s compensatory mechanisms (up-regulation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, catecholamines, and vasopressin) are maladaptive and can further worsen the cardiomyopathy. Treatment of heart failure is still a conundrum. Sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors are a new class of diabetic medications provides promising effects. It is a protein in humans that facilitates glucose reabsorption in the kidney. SGLT2 inhibitors block the reabsorption of glucose in the kidney, increase glucose excretion, and lower blood glucose levels. This leads to weight loss, improved insulin sensitivity, Diuresis (decrease pre-load), and lowers blood pressure (decrease afterload).

This was then followed up by Dr. Ahmad Syadi Mahmood Zuhdi, who was apparently Prof Chim’s wife elective student 11 years ago. He is now a Cardiology Lecturer in the Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya. His talk was entitled “Coronary Artery Disease in Malaysia: What We Know from the National Cardiovascular Disease Registry (NCVD)”. He started off by stating that the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2011 showed that cardiovascular disease is the number one “killer” in Malaysia contributing to 25.4% of the total mortality rate in Malaysian hospitals in 2010. The NCVD is sponsored by the Ministry of Health Malaysia and cosponsored by National Heart Association of Malaysia (NHAM). Its objectives are to describe the natural history of Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS) and Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI), determining the effectiveness of treatments for ACS and PCI, to monitor safety and harm of products and services used in the treatment of ACS and PCI and finally evaluating access to and quality of treatment services for ACS and PCI. He elaborated on the overview on Malaysia’s current situation and how we are different. For heart disease, Malaysian patients have high prevalence of CV risk factors in particular hypertension, diabetes and dyslipidaemia. For cardiovascular disease, the in-hospital mortality following ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) is high at 10.6% while for Non- ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (NSTEMI) the in-hospital mortality is 7.6%. Advanced age, female gender, higher TIMI risk score and Killip class identified as predictors of mortality for STEMI.

In the end, everyone acknowledge the fact that it is crucial to take care of our heart and to stay healthy, one of the way is by being active, exercising, and eating healthy.

“An Apple a Day, Keeps the Doctors Away”

Contact information:

Professor Chim C. Lang, c.c.lang@dundee.ac.uk

Dr. Ahmad Syadi Mahmood Zuhdi, ahmadsyadi@ummc.edu.my

Department of Medicine website:



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Join us for next month's Science Café: 13th December, 1-2 pm, Bilik Serbaguna
Theme: Perioperative Medicine and Intensive Care Research

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15 November 2016: Science Cafe full report

Science Cafe Dr.Syadi

Diabetes and Heart Failure.:Can I help, sweetheart?

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