Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fat Hormone Linked To Death From Potentially Deadly Blood Infection

Date:
October 27, 2009
Source:
St. Michael's Hospital
Summary:
A new Canadian study has found that lower-than-normal levels of a naturally-occurring fat hormone may increase the risk of death from sepsis -- an overwhelming infection of the blood which claims thousands of lives each year.

A new Canadian study has found that lower-than-normal levels of a naturally-occurring fat hormone may increase the risk of death from sepsis -- an overwhelming infection of the blood which claims thousands of lives each year.

Related Articles


The study by researchers at St. Michael's Hospital and the University of Toronto focused on adiponectin, a hormone secreted by visceral fat surrounding the abdominal organs. The findings were presented this week at the 2009 Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons held in Chicago.

Using an animal model designed to mimic what occurs in people with low levels of adiponectin, the scientists observed that:

o Mice with low levels of the hormone were at much greater risk of dying from a blood infection. o Sepsis could be prevented if the animals were given additional adiponectin.

The risk of dying from sepsis after surgery is known to be two-and-a-half to three times higher in people with "metabolic syndrome" -- a combination of factors including abdominal obesity, high blood fat composition, high blood pressure, diabetes, and high inflammatory and blood clot indicators. People with these conditions tend to have lower levels of adiponectin which may prime them to greater sepsis related complications.

"We hypothesized that low adiponectin levels might predispose such individuals to develop sepsis and sepsis-related problems," says Dr. Subodh Verma, a cardiac surgeon at St. Michael's Hospital and associate professor of surgery at the University of Toronto who holds the Canada Research Chair in Atherosclerosis. "This initial hypothesis was borne out by our latest research."

Dr. Verma and his colleagues believe the implications of their study are two-fold: first, low adiponectin levels may help predict which patients are vulnerable to sepsis-related inflammation and are at a greater risk of dying from sepsis; second, treatment strategies or approaches that cause an increase in adiponectin levels may lower a person's risk of death from severe sepsis.

Any discovery that might help predict or prevent sepsis-related death would be welcome, Dr. Verma adds, particularly since in certain parts of North America, 40 to 50 percent of the population has the major risk factors of metabolic syndrome. "We need treatments that are going to be effective and hopefully, reduce mortality rates in this high-risk population," he says.

Dr. Verma and his colleagues are hoping to be the first group to conduct studies of adiponectin in humans. They are currently seeking approval to mount a small clinical trial where a purified form of adiponectin will be given to patients in the early stages of sepsis. If the treatment is found to be safe, a larger trial may follow, says Dr. Verma.

About sepsis

Sepsis is a term used to describe the presence of bacteria (bacteremia) or other infectious organisms or their toxins in the blood (septicemia) or in other body tissues. Infection spreads throughout the body and can lead to organ failure.

Sepsis and sepsis-related mortality are serious potential complications following major surgery. Based on U.S. data it is estimated that there are 75,000 cases of sepsis in Canada annually, with a mortality rate of approximately 30 percent.

Worldwide, sepsis kills at least 1,400 people every day. It is especially deadly in the critically ill and those with weakened immune systems. Severe sepsis ranks among the top 10 causes of death in the United States, and is a leading cause of death among patients admitted to intensive care units.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by St. Michael's Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

St. Michael's Hospital. "Fat Hormone Linked To Death From Potentially Deadly Blood Infection." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091023163356.htm>.
St. Michael's Hospital. (2009, October 27). Fat Hormone Linked To Death From Potentially Deadly Blood Infection. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091023163356.htm
St. Michael's Hospital. "Fat Hormone Linked To Death From Potentially Deadly Blood Infection." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091023163356.htm (accessed October 26, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

AFP (Oct. 25, 2014) — An American nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas has been declared free of the virus and will leave the hospital. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Toxin-Packed Stem Cells Used To Kill Cancer

Toxin-Packed Stem Cells Used To Kill Cancer

Newsy (Oct. 25, 2014) — A Harvard University Research Team created genetically engineered stem cells that are able to kill cancer cells, while leaving other cells unharmed. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins