Acetylcholine: A chemical produced normally by nerve endings to transmit an impulse from one nerve cell to the next. In addition, this chemical will dilate arteries by stimulating the release of certain chemicals from the normal endothelium.
Adenocarcinoma: Adeno is a prefix that refers to glandular or secretory epithelial cells that are found in many organs of the body (e.g., lung, bowel, pancreas, prostate). An adenocarcinoma is a cancer that mainly involves such glandular cells.
Adipose: Fat beneath the skin.
Ancel Keys: Dr. Ancel Keys first convincingly linked dietary fat with blood cholesterol. This discovery spurred the American Heart Association to assume a leading role in urging Americans to change their eating habits.
Antemortem: Before death.
Antibody:See comment under Cellular immune response.
Antioxidant: A substance that suppresses chemical reactions characterized by the loss of an electron (a particle in an atom carrying negative charge). Oxidation reactions can seriously interfere with cellular chemistry.
Antiproliferative and Differentiating: Forces that reduce the rate of multiplication and division of cells, and lead them to express all the features of mature cells in that particular tissue.
Arrhythmia: Each heartbeat is stimulated in a regular pattern by a natural pacemaker within the heart called the sinus node. A variety of abnormalities, either of the sinus node or other parts of the heart, can produce irregular, very rapid, or very slow heart beats, all of which are called arrhythmias.
Baseline Data: That information gathered at the beginning of a cohort study against which later disease experience will be compared.
Bias: A technical term for playing favorites in choosing individuals for the study or in assessing their exposure or disease status. Selection bias can occur when not everyone eligible to be in a study can be selected, and when those selected are different in some way from those excluded. Recall bias occurs when the individual's ability to report past experiences may be af-