Treatment of heart diseases in Finland

Impetuous for change and treatment

Heart diseases are one of the most frequent national diseases in Finland. In the 1970s heart diseases were one of the highest recorded diseases of Finnish people. One reason for that was that Finnish culture included almost every risk factor for heart disease: people smoked a lot, food was salty and greasy and people were inactive. Something had to be done! 

A massive community-based intervention was executed by the National Institute of Health and Welfare, and Heart Federation of Finland. The ambition of the intervention was to change people’s way of life: switch hard fats to soft fats, eat plenty of vegetables, minimize the use of salt and stop smoking. Because of this intervention, many began to change their lifestyle with the intention of reducing coronary heart disease among the Finnish population. (Suomalainen 2016.)

This decades-long struggle with heart disease compelled Finnish doctors to develop new methods for treating heart disease. Therefore, new cures for heart disease are being explored and developed in Finland.

According to the Finnish Foundation of Cardiovascular Research, there are some ongoing innovative research projects in Finland:

ICEMAN atrial fibrillation

ICEMAN is looking for a form of atrial fibrillation. The goal of this research is to find the three most effective and safest methods of catheter blasting and to get more information on the regeneration of seizure atrial fibrillation.

Cardiac regenerative pharmacology

This purpose of this research project, led by the principal investigator professor Heikki Ruskoaho, is to try and develop therapeutic strategies for enhancing the endogenous regenerative potential of adult human myocardium and/or supply stem/progenitor cells to the injured tissue. The vision of the research is to enhance the regeneration of damaged myocardium by inducing new cardiac cells locally in the heart with innovative pharmaceuticals.

Epigenetherapy

This research project, led by Academy Professor Seppo Ylä-Herttuala, is focused on developing new gene and the protein-based approaches for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. This research project has discovered a completely new concept – “Epigenetherapy” where promoter-targeted shRNAs can upregulate endogenous gene expression.

To find out more about Cardiology and how we may help you, you can visit the Treatments section of our website.

Writer of the blog post:

Minna Nykopp, researcher at the University of  Jyväskylä (Education)

References:

Aaltonen, L. (2017). Research areas. Biomedicine.

https://tuhat.helsinki.fi/portal/en/persons/lauri-aaltonen(24109fbc-0ed1-4766-a1ea-c69d742fc93d).html

Ruskoaho, H.

https://tuhat.helsinki.fi/portal/en/persons/heikki-ruskoaho(92beb333-6079-470c-902e-88292dc6f670).html

Suomalainen, T. (2016). Ihmeitä sydämen hyväksi. Kotilääkäri 11.

https://seura.fi/hyvinvointi/terveys/sydantauti-voidaan-suomessa-hoitaa-entista-menestyksekkaammin/

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

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