Healthwatch: Heart disease

Dr. Nancy Babbitt says, ' Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and scientists and medical researchers have made an important discovery regarding heart disease. Mutated stem cells in the bone marrow of thousands of patients has been discovered and this seems to increase a patients risk of having a heart attack or stroke by 54% the mutated stem cells are called CHIP Clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential. We know that many adults who have heart attacks have no significant cardiac risk factors like high cholesterol, high LDL, or hypertension and CHIP may explain why. A leading research cardiologist at the Harvard School of medicine Dr. Peter Libby feels that this is one of the most important discoveries since the development of statins to reduce heart attacks. The CHIP mutations in the stem cells are acquired and not inherited. So now research is going to be focusing on what environmental or external factors trigger these mutations so then we can figure out how to help patients reduce their risk of heart attack if they are a carrier of these mutated genes in the stem cells. There is no current standardized test for patients at this point.So the focus for heart attack prevention at this point should be on healthy diet, regular exercise, smoking and stress reduction. This is Dr. Nancy Babbitt from Creekside Medical Clinic