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Body System Checklist - Circulatory System Major functions of circulatory system Diagram that includes the major parts

ts - heart, artery, vein, capillary - and list the

function(s) of each.

Describe each of the components of blood- red blood cells, white blood cells,
platelets, & plasma.

Describe the path blood travels through your body. Explain how your body system works with other systems in the body. You will
need at least 3 examples.

Find 4 facts about your body system. You may list the facts as sentences or use
them to create trivia questions.

Even if you eat right and exercise regularly, chances are high that you'll still die of a heart attack or stroke. But thanks to new findings by researchers from Harvard and Baylor, the odds may finally shift in your favor. Two unrelated studies recently published online in The FASEB Journal describe findings on atherosclerosis that have the potential to save millions of lives. Both studies involved experiments in mice, but cover biological processes present in humans. In the first, scientists from Harvard explain how the absence of a single protein, called "ROCK1," profoundly reduces inflammation in the walls of blood vessels provoked by fatty deposits (atherosclerosis). In this study, scientists found that ROCK1 is necessary for immune cells, called macrophages, to "clean up" vascular walls when they come into contact with fatty deposits. Inflammation is a normal byproduct of the clean-up process and, when it goes unchecked, leads to clogging and hardening of the arteries. When ROCK1 is absent, macrophages no longer contributed to these fatty deposits and mice showed significantly less inflammation and atherosclerosis. This discovery could lead to new treatments, such as ROCK1 inhibitors, that could dampen the inflammatory response to fatty deposits and slow the progression of atherosclerosis, and in so doing, reduce the incidence of heart attacks and strokes. According to James Liao, MD, Director of Vascular Medicine Research, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and one of the report's co-authors, "the ultimate goal of the research is to prevent or slow atherosclerosis, and these findings provide a new target to do this." While the first study works to prevent inflammation by keeping cells of the immune system at bay, the second report focuses on the body's ability (or inability) to "cool down" inflammation after this clean-up machinery kicks into high gear. Separate researchers from Harvard, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Baylor looked at how we prevent inflammation from running amok. The scientists identified lipid mediators that the body uses to resolve inflammation once it has started. By targeting these lipid mediators and the mechanisms used to make them, scientists should be able to develop drugs that significantly reduce the inflammation that underlies much of atherosclerosis. "The specific chemical mediators that naturally cool down the inflammatory process identified in this study represent a new drug target for anti-atherosclerosis therapy," said Aksam Merched, PhD, Assistant Professor at Baylor College of Medicine and the first author of the study. "It's also noteworthy that aspirin stimulates the body to produce one class of these chemicals."

"Even if we delay the process by exercise and rabbit food, sooner or later our blood vessels rot," said Gerald Weissmann, MD, Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. "Now that we appreciate that atherosclerosis is inflammation gone awry, we can attack its root causes. Studies like these take us closer to delaying the inevitable, and help us understand the factors that provoke heart attacks and strokes." And as the first study aims to prevent atherosclerosis before the immune system kicks into gear and the second aims to prevent it after the immune system is activated, a third study appearing on the cover of the June 2008 print issue of The FASEB Journal discusses a new approach toward repairing the damage using artificial grafts that may heal into the natural arteries and blood vessels as time goes on. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the number one killer of Americans and a major cause of disability. About 29 percent of all U.S. deaths are from heart disease (approximately 700,000 a year). Stroke is the leading cause of disability in the United States and the third leading cause of death. By reducing the incidence of atherosclerosis, the risk of fatal heart attacks or strokes would decrease significantly.

The circulatory system is an organ system that passes nutrients (such as amino acids, electrolytes and lymph), gases, hormones, blood cells, etc. to and from cells in the body to help fight diseases and help stabilize body temperature and pH to maintain homeostasis. This system may be seen strictly as a blood distribution network, but some consider the circulatory system as composed of the cardiovascular system, which distributes blood, and the lymphatic system, which distributes lymph. While humans, as well as other vertebrates, have a closed cardiovascular system (meaning that the blood never leaves the network of arteries, veins and capillaries), some invertebrate groups have an open cardiovascular system. The most primitive animal phyla lack circulatory systems. The lymphatic system, on the other hand, is an open system. Two types of fluids move through the circulatory system: blood and lymph. The blood, heart, and blood vessels form the cardiovascular system. The lymph, lymph nodes, and lymph vessels form the lymphatic system. The cardiovascular system and the lymphatic system collectively make up the circulatory system.

The Circulatory System

The circulatory system is made up of the vessels and the muscles that help and control the flow of the blood around the body. This process is called circulation. The main parts of the system are the heart, arteries, capillaries and veins. As blood begins to circulate, it leaves the heart from the left ventricle and goes into the aorta. The aorta is the largest artery in the body. The blood leaving the aorta is full of oxygen. This is important for the cells in the brain and the body to do their work. The oxygen rich blood travels throughout the body in its system of arteries into the smallest arterioles. On its way back to the heart, the blood travels through a system of veins. As it reaches the lungs, the carbon dioxide (a waste product) is removed from the blood and replace with fresh oxygen that we have inhaled through the lungs.

Heart Failure Risk Decreased By Healthy Lifestyle Habits

If you don't smoke, aren't overweight, get regular physical activity and eat vegetables, you can significantly reduce your risk for heart failure, according to research reported in Circulation: Heart Failure, an American Heart Association journal. In a new study, people who had one healthy lifestyle behavior decreased their heart failure risk, and each additional healthy behavior further decreased their risk. Heart failure affects about 5.7 million Americans. At age 40, a person's lifetime risk of developing heart failure is one in five. "Any steps you take to stay healthy can reduce your risk of heart failure," said Gang Hu, M.D., Ph.D., lead author of the study and director of the Chronic Disease Epidemiology Laboratory at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La. "Hypothetically, about half of new heart failure cases occurring in this population could have been prevented if everyone engaged in at least three healthy lifestyle behaviors." Previous research has shown an association between healthy lifestyle behaviors and lower risk of heart failure in men. The new study is the first to find a similar connection in women.

Researchers followed 18,346 men and 19,729 women from Finland who were 25 to 74 years old. During a median follow-up of 14.1 years, 638 men and 445 women developed heart failure. Participants were classified by BMI: normal weight (less than 25 kg/m2); overweight (25-29.9 kg/m2); and obese (greater than 30 kg/m2). After adjusting for heart failure risk factors, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and a pastheart attack, researchers found: Male smokers had an 86 percent higher risk for heart failure compared to neversmokers. Women smokers' risk increased to 109 percent. Being overweight increased heart failure risk by 15 percent in men and 21 percent in women compared to normal-weight people. The risk increased to 75 percent for obese men and 106 percent for obese women. Moderate physical activity reduced the risk of heart failure by 21 percent in men and 13 percent in women compared to a light physical activity level. High levels of physical activity lowered the risk even further: 33 percent in men and 36 percent in women. Eating vegetables three to six times per week decreased heart failure risk by 26 percent in men and 27 percent in women compared to those who ate vegetables less than once per week.

Furthermore, the more healthy lifestyle behaviors a person engaged in, the greater the decline in risk. Engaging in all four healthy lifestyle behaviors decreased the risk for heart failure by 70 percent in men and 81 percent in women, compared to 32 percent in men and 47 percent in women who engaged in only one healthy behavior. Many people remain unaware of the link between unhealthy lifestyle behaviors and heart failure risk, researchers said. Heart failure is a chronic, progressive condition in which the heart muscle is unable to pump enough blood through the heart to meet the body's needs for blood and oxygen. Basically, the heart can't keep up with its workload. "Healthcare workers should discuss healthy lifestyle habits with their patients and stress that they can do more," Hu said. The Finnish Academy and Special Research Funds of the Social Welfare and Health Board, City of Oulu funded the study.

Greater Risk Of Sudden Cardiac Arrest In Poorer Neighborhoods

Sudden cardiac arrest was higher among people living in poorer neighbourhoods in several US and Canadian cities, and the disparity was particularly evident among people under age 65, found a study in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). Sudden cardiac arrest accounts for up to 63% of deaths annually from cardiac diseases in the United States. Socioeconomic status is a predictor of many health-related conditions, including death and heart disease. This study examined a potential link between socioeconomic status and sudden cardiac arrest in more than one community. A team of researchers in the US and Canada looked at data on 9235 sudden cardiac arrests in seven cities: four in the US: Dallas, Texas; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Portland, Oregon; Seattle-King County, Washington; and three in Canada: Ottawa and Toronto, Ontario; and Vancouver, British Columbia. The researchers looked at people who had cardiac arrests at home, a nursing home or assisted-living facility. They used census tract data on household incomes for the location of cardiac arrests to determine socioeconomic status. "The incidence of sudden cardiac arrest was significantly higher in the neighbourhoods of lowest versus highest socioeconomic status in six of the seven metropolitan areas studied," writes Dr. Sumeet Chugh, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, with coauthors. Median household income was $50 000 to $63 000 US dollars, with income in the lowest socioeconomic group ranging from $30 000 to $41 000 and in the highest socioeconomic group from $72 000 to $97 000. In Pittsburgh, incomes were significantly lower ($21 000 and $54 000 respectively.) "At all seven sites, disparities in the incidence of sudden cardiac arrest across socioeconomic quartiles were greatest among people less than 65 years old. Compared with the incidence in the highest quartile, the incidence in the lowest quartile was two- to fourfold greater in the US sites, and up to threefold greater in the Canadian sites," they write. "As with all ages combined, disparities across socioeconomic quartiles among people younger than 65 were significant at all sites except Ottawa." Compared with the disparities among younger people, the disparities among people 65 and older were less pronounced in in the US cities and Toronto.

The trend for higher cardiac arrests increased as median income dropped and was particularly noticeable among people under 65 years of age and stronger in the US cities than in the Canadian cities. The authors state that the exact reasons for US-Canadian differences need further investigation, but data from other studies indicate that one possible explanation is Canadians' access to universal health care; which may mean they have had preventive care for cardiac issues, compared with Americans who may not seek care because of cost, particularly those younger than 65 and not yet eligible for Medicare. "Our results showing a younger mean age of sudden cardiac arrest in the United States may be consistent with more poorly controlled cardiovascular disease," state the authors. They conclude that population-level interventions for people in low income neighbourhoods and better access to preventive health care may help to address these disparities. In a related commentary*, Dr. Heikki Huikuri, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oulu, Finland, writes "this study should inform the decisions of politicians and managers of health care systems as they institute health care reforms, recognizing that sudden cardiac arrest is the single most common cause of death in western societies."

Drinking Pattern Linked To Alcohol's Effect On Heart Health

For the first time, new research shows that patterns of alcohol consumption - a drink or two every night, or several cocktails on Friday and Saturday nights only - may be more important in determining alcohol's influence on heart health than the total amount consumed. In the journal Atherosclerosis, scientists found that daily moderate drinking - the equivalent of two drinks per day, seven days a week - decreased atherosclerosis in mice, while binge drinking - the equivalent of seven drinks a day, two days a week - increased development of the disease. Atherosclerosis, or the hardening and narrowing of arteries, is a serious condition that can lead to a heart attack or stroke. While population studies support an association between alcohol and cardiovascular disease, they've relied on self-reported data, which is not always accurate or reliable. According to study authors, this is the first study to provide concrete evidence linking drinking patterns to the development of vascular disease, and the nearly 15 percent of Americans who binge drink - as estimated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - should take note. "People need to consider not only how much alcohol they drink, but the way in which they

are drinking it," said lead study author John Cullen, Ph.D., research associate professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Rochester Medical Center. "Research shows that people have yet to be convinced of the dangers of binge drinking to their health; we're hoping our work changes that." Scientists don't yet understand how moderate alcohol consumption benefits cardiovascular health or how heavy drinking episodes hurt it. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines binge or "at-risk" drinking as consuming more than four drinks on any day for men, and more than three drinks on any day for women. Understanding how much alcohol is in a "standard" drink is also critical, something the institute is promoting through its new "Rethinking Drinking" campaign. Health care professionals also need to be aware that drinking style matters and should address the issue when discussing alcohol consumption with patients, especially those who are at higher risk of atherosclerosis or who have suffered a heart attack in the past, added Cullen. "This evidence is very interesting because it supports a pattern of drinking that is emerging in clinical studies as both safe and seemingly most protective against heart disease frequent consumption of limited amounts of alcohol. This certainly backs up widespread clinical guidelines that limit drinking to one drink daily for non-pregnant women and two drinks daily for men," said Kenneth Mukamal, M.D., M.P.H., Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School who studies the role of dietary and lifestyle factors, particularly alcohol consumption, on the incidence of cardiovascular and neurovascular disease. In the study, mice in the "daily-moderate" group were fed ethanol equivalent to two drinks every day of the week, mice in the "weekend-binge" group were fed approximately seven drinks on two days of the week and mice in the control group were fed a non-alcoholic cornstarch mix. All mice were put on an atherogenic diet, which Cullen equates to a highfat Western diet - think fried food every day - to encourage the development of atherosclerosis, which forms when fatty deposits or plaque collect on the inner walls of the arteries, causing them to narrow. Levels of LDL or "bad" cholesterol plummeted 40 percent in the daily-moderate drinking mice, but rose 20 percent in the weekend-binge drinking mice, compared to the no-alcohol controls. High levels of bad cholesterol increase the risk of heart disease, and past studies show that every 10 percent increase in LDL results in a 20 percent increase in atherosclerosis risk.

Surprisingly, levels of HDL or "good" cholesterol went up in both the moderate and binge drinking groups, which Cullen speculates is an acute or short-term effect. The volume of plaque, as well as the accumulation of immune cells that promote inflammation and consequently contribute to the narrowing of arteries, decreased in the moderate mice compared to no-alcohol mice. The opposite occured in the binge-drinking mice: Plaque volume and the number of inflammatory immune cells grew. Another unexpected yet noteworthy finding was that the binge drinking mice gained significantly more weight than the moderate and control mice. Though all mice started at approximately the same weight and consumed similar amounts of food over the course of the study, the binge mice gained more than three times as much weight as the moderate mice and about twice as much weight as the control mice. Building on this study, Cullen is investigating genes that are turned on or off following moderate and binge drinking episodes to determine if they influence outcomes. The research was supported in part by the Founders Affiliate of the American Heart Association, which supports research exploring new ideas to combat cardiovascular disease. Founders Affiliate research committee chair Lucy Liaw, Ph.D. said these first-time findings could have far-reaching public health implications. "The discoveries of Dr. Cullen's group show that binge drinkers may have increased risk of developing atherosclerosis and experiencing weight gain. Because obesity is also a risk factor for disease, binge drinking may have a strong negative impact on cardiovascular health," said Liaw, who is also a member of the AHA national research committee. The study was also funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism at the National Institutes of Health. In addition to Cullen, Weimin Liu, M.D., Ph.D., Eileen Redmond, Ph.D. and David Morrow, Ph.D. from the Medical Center contributed to the research.