Insulin-like growth factors and their potential role in cardiac epigenetics
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Cardiovascular disease (CVD) constitutes a major public health threat worldwide, accounting for 17.3 million deaths annually. Heart disease and stroke account for the majority of healthcare costs in the developed world. While much has been accomplished in understanding the pathophysiology, molecular biology and genetics underlying the diagnosis and treatment of CVD, we know less about the role of epigenetics and their molecular determinants. The impact of environmental changes and epigenetics in CVD is now emerging as critically important in understanding the origin of disease and the development of new therapeutic approaches to prevention and treatment. This review focuses on the emerging role of epigenetics mediated by insulin like-growth factors-I and -II in major CVDs such as heart failure, cardiac hypertrophy and diabetes.