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Category: Cardiology | Monthly Briefing

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April 2010 Briefing - Cardiology

Last Updated: May 03, 2010.

 

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Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Cardiology for April 2010. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Many Obese Diabetes Patients Have Abnormal Stress Tests

FRIDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- More than 20 percent of overweight or obese individuals with type 2 diabetes may experience abnormal graded exercise test (GXT) results, with higher age being the most consistent predictor of abnormal results, according to research published in the April issue of Diabetes Care.

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Enzyme Linked to Coronary Heart Disease Risk

FRIDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- Lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2), an inflammatory enzyme expressed in atherosclerotic plaques, is associated with coronary heart disease risk to about the same extent as non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (non-HDL-C) or systolic blood pressure, according to an analysis published in the May 1 issue of The Lancet.

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IV Narcotics Safe in Acute Coronary Syndrome Patients

THURSDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- Use of intravenous narcotics (IVN) is common in different scenarios for patients with different types of acute coronary syndromes, and it does not appear to have an adverse effect on outcomes, according to research published in the April 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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ECE: Testosterone, ED Tied to Higher Cardiac Mortality Risk

WEDNESDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- Low testosterone levels in men with erectile dysfunction (ED) are associated with an increased risk of dying of cardiovascular disease, according to a study presented at the European Congress of Endocrinology, held from April 24 to 28 in Prague, Czech Republic. A study by the same researchers also presented at the meeting found that impaired penile blood flow is linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease in obese men with ED more than in leaner men with the condition.

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Excess Mortality in ACCORD Study Not Due to Low A1C

WEDNESDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- A post hoc analysis of mortality data from the Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes (ACCORD) study has determined that rapid glucose lowering and maintenance of lower A1C levels through intensive control -- as opposed to a standard strategy -- was not the cause of increased death rates in that arm of the study, according to research published in the May issue of Diabetes Care.

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FDA Warns of Faulty Parts in 14 Defibrillator Models

WEDNESDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning about external defibrillators manufactured by Cardiac Science Corp. that may malfunction when being used to rescue people in cardiac arrest.

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New Neuron Formation May Improve Outcomes After Stroke

WEDNESDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- The formation of new neurons may decrease the severity of stroke and improve motor function after a stroke, suggesting that drugs that promote neurogenesis in rodents -- such as antidepressants and mood stabilizers -- could benefit human stroke victims, according to a rodent study published online April 12 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Risk Factors for Physician Misconduct Identified

WEDNESDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- Doctors who are male, are from lower socioeconomic groups or had academic difficulties in medical school may be at increased risk of professional misconduct, according to a study published online April 27 in BMJ.

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ALA Report Finds Good, Bad News on Air Pollution

WEDNESDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- Despite reductions in particle and ozone pollution in recent years, unhealthy air remains a threat to about 58 percent of Americans, according to the American Lung Association's State of the Air 2010 report.

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Anabolic-Androgenic Steroid Use May Up Heart Failure Risk

TUESDAY, April 27 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term users of anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) may have more severe cardiac dysfunction than previously suspected, possibly putting them at higher risk of heart failure, according to research published online April 27 in Circulation: Heart Failure.

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Coronary Artery Calcium Helps Predict Risk of CHD Events

TUESDAY, April 27 (HealthDay News) -- Adding coronary artery calcium scores (CACS) to traditional risk factors for coronary heart disease (CHD) events significantly improves predictions of risk, and results in more individuals being placed in the highest and lowest risk categories, according to research published in the April 28 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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FDA Changes Medical Device Advisory Committee Process

TUESDAY, April 27 (HealthDay News) -- Because of the increasing number of medical device advisory panel meetings in recent years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is changing the way expert panels review and discuss information during public hearings on devices that are being reviewed for premarket approval.

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Nearly Half of Adults Have at Least One Cardiac Risk Factor

TUESDAY, April 27 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly half of all U.S. adults have either high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or some combination of the three, according to a new report on the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999 to 2006, from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Interruptions Increase Medication Errors by Nurses

TUESDAY, April 27 (HealthDay News) -- Nurses who are interrupted in the process of preparing and administering medications are more likely to make an error, with error severity increasing with the number of interruptions, according to a study in the April 26 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Continuous Smoking Found to Accelerate Arterial Stiffening

TUESDAY, April 27 (HealthDay News) -- Continuous heavy smoking may speed up the age-associated progression of structural stiffening of large- to mid-sized arteries, and there is a dose-response relationship between consumption of cigarettes and accelerated arterial stiffening, according to a study in the May 4 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Financial Ties Negatively Affect Perceptions of Research Quality

TUESDAY, April 27 (HealthDay News) -- Disclosure of financial ties to industry influences patients', physicians', and research participants' beliefs about the quality of research evidence, according to a review published in the April 26 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Poor Health Behaviors Combo Has Major Effect on Mortality

MONDAY, April 26 (HealthDay News) -- The combined ill effects of several negative health behaviors -- ranging from suboptimal fruit and vegetable intake to smoking -- result in major increases in mortality, according to a study in the April 26 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Recall Issued for LIFEPAK 15 Monitor/Defibrillator

MONDAY, April 26 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has alerted health care professionals of a Class I recall of Physio-Control Inc.'s LIFEPAK 15 Monitor/Defibrillator, distributed between March 26 and December 15, 2009, as the device may have issues with powering on and off.

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Selecting High Risk Patients for Cardio Screening Cost-Effective

MONDAY, April 26 (HealthDay News) -- Using routine data for cardiovascular risk stratification before inviting high risk individuals to be screened may be just as effective, and less costly, for preventing cardiovascular disease than the U.K. government's recommended national strategy to screen everyone aged 40 to 74 for cardiovascular risk, according to research published April 25 in BMJ.

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Most Doctors Not Knowledgeable About Herbals

MONDAY, April 26 (HealthDay News) -- Most physicians are not knowledgeable about herbal medicines and believe the general public is poorly informed as well, according to the results of a survey published in the April issue of the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin.

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CRT-Induced Remodeling Occurs Up to Six Months After Procedure

FRIDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- Reverse remodeling associated with cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) tends to occur up to six months following the procedure in healthier patients, with benefits maintained, while remodeling tends to follow an unfavorable course in patients with adverse outcomes, according to research published in the April 27 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Exercise Linked to Long-Term Lipid Improvements in Men

THURSDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- Regular exercise has beneficial effects on lipid levels that persist for many years in middle-aged and older men, according to research published in the Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport.

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Gene-Expression Profiling for Rejection Monitoring Effective

THURSDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- The use of gene-expression profiling to monitor for rejection in cardiac transplant recipients at low risk of rejection may be just as effective and safe, with fewer biopsies performed, as routine endomyocardial biopsy monitoring, according to a study published online April 22 in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with a presentation at the annual meeting of the International Society for Heart & Lung Transplantation, held from April 21 to 24 in Chicago.

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Sirolimus- and Probucol-Eluting Stent Effective at Two Years

THURSDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- After two years of follow-up, a new-generation sirolimus- and probucol-eluting stent (Dual-DES) maintains an advantage over sirolimus-eluting stents (SES) and zotarolimus-eluting stents (ZES), though the safety profiles of the three types are similar, according to research published online April 21 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Delaying CABG Surgery Does Not Benefit NSTEMI Patients

THURSDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- Although most non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) patients undergo late coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery after arriving at a hospital, they do not have improved outcomes compared with patients who undergo early CABG, despite having higher-risk clinical characteristics, according to research published in the April issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Interventions.

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Taped Consult Boosts Patient Knowledge, Sense of Control

WEDNESDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- Audiotaping a cardiac surgery patient's pre-surgical consultation, and providing the patient with the tape to review, substantially increases his or her knowledge and sense of control, while reducing anxiety and depression, according to a study in the April issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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IOM: FDA Should Regulate Salt Content in Food

WEDNESDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- New federal standards are needed to regulate the amount of salt that food manufacturers, restaurants, and food service companies can add to their products, according to an Institute of Medicine report -- Strategies to Reduce Sodium Intake in the United States -- published April 21 by the National Academies Press.

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Delaying Clopidogrel After Stent Placement May Be Deadly

TUESDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- Many patients who have had a drug-eluting stent (DES) inserted delay filling a prescription for clopidogrel after discharge from the hospital, and, as a result, they face nearly double the risk of heart attack or death, according to research published online April 20 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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Added Sugars Linked to Measures of Dyslipidemia

TUESDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- Greater consumption of added sugars in foods is associated with cardiovascular risk factors including lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and higher triglyceride levels, according to research published in the April 21 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Rosuvastatin Reduces Cardio Events in Older People

TUESDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- Rosuvastatin may reduce the incidence of major cardiovascular events in apparently healthy older individuals without hyperlipidemia but with elevated high-sensitivity C-reactive protein levels, according to an analysis published in the April 20 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Switching Beta-Blockers Tied to Airway Function Changes

TUESDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- Switching between the nonselective beta-blocker carvedilol and the β1-selective beta-blockers metoprolol succinate and bisoprolol is well tolerated but leads to changes in airway function in patients with chronic heart failure, particularly those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to research published in the April 27 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Sinus Rhythm Maintenance May Be Ineffective Strategy

TUESDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with atrial fibrillation and congestive heart failure, a rhythm-control strategy or the presence of sinus rhythm is not associated with improved outcomes, according to a study published in the April 27 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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In Men With ED, Statins Linked to Hypogonadism

FRIDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- Observations of men with erectile dysfunction suggest that statin therapy may lead to overt primary hypogonadism, which should be considered when evaluating testosterone levels in these patients, according to research published in the April issue of the Journal of Sex Medicine.

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Chagas Disease Linked to Increased Risk of Stroke

FRIDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- Chagas disease -- which affects 18 million people worldwide -- is an independent risk factor for ischemic stroke. Although cardioembolism is the main cause, cryptogenic stroke and small vessel stroke also often occur in indeterminate Chagas disease and in patients with mild chronic heart disease related to Chagas disease, according to a review published in the May issue of The Lancet Neurology.

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Many Delay Seeking Care Following TIA, Minor Stroke

FRIDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- A substantial portion of individuals with a minor stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) don't seek medical care within 24 hours, and most do not correctly recognize the cause of their symptoms, according to research published online April 15 in Stroke.

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Cardiovascular Benefits Seen With Folate, B6 in Japanese

THURSDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) -- Among middle-aged and older Japanese, high dietary intake of folate and vitamin B6 is linked to lower risk of mortality from stroke, coronary heart disease, and heart failure, according to research published in the April 15 issue of Stroke.

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Niacin Superior to Ezetimibe in Decreasing CIMT

THURSDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with coronary heart disease (CHD) or CHD equivalent on stable statin monotherapy treated with the addition of extended-release niacin have significant decreases in carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) compared to those who had ezetimibe added to their stable statin treatment, according to a study published online April 14 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Proximal Endovascular Occlusion Found Safe for Stenting

THURSDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) -- Proximal endovascular occlusion (PEO) can be safely and effectively used during the placement of a carotid artery stent, according to a study in the April 20 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Magnetic Targeting May Be Beneficial in Heart Attack

WEDNESDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Magnetic targeting may enhance cell retention, functional benefit, and engraftment of cardiosphere-derived cells (CDCs) in myocardial infarction, according to an animal study published online April 8 in Circulation Research.

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Prostate Cancer Linked to Thromboembolism

WEDNESDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Prostate cancer patients -- especially those receiving endocrine therapy -- have an increased risk of thromboembolism, according to a study published online April 14 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Early Defibrillation Boosts Survival in Cardiac Arrest

WEDNESDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- People who have out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) and are resuscitated with an automatic external defibrillator (AED) prior to the arrival of emergency medical services (EMS) personnel have nearly twice the survival rate of those who don't get AED resuscitation, according to a study in the April 20 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Malpractice Fears May Lead to Unneeded Heart Tests

WEDNESDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Among cardiologists, variability in the propensity to test and treat partly contributes to regional variation in the utilization of general health and cardiology services, but the factor most closely associated with this propensity is fear of malpractice suits, according to a study published online April 13 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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Financial Worries, Lack of Insurance Tied to MI Care Delays

TUESDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who don't have insurance, or who have insurance but have financial concerns related to accessing care, are more likely to delay seeking emergency care for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), according to research published in the April 14 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Advanced Age Affects Mortality Risk After Device Implantation

TUESDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- In-hospital mortality is significantly higher for elderly patients who receive implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD) or cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) compared with younger patients, according to a study in the April 12 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Cotrimoxazole Tied to Bleeding in Older Patients on Warfarin

TUESDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- In older patients treated with warfarin, the use of cotrimoxazole is associated with a higher risk of upper gastrointestinal tract hemorrhage than other common antibiotics, according to research published in the April 12 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Valve-in-Valve Implantation Is Effective Option

TUESDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- Transcatheter valve-in-valve implantation is an effective option for the management of bioprosthetic valve failure, according to a study published online April 12 in Circulation.

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High Glycemic Load Linked to CHD Risk in Women

MONDAY, April 12 (HealthDay News) -- In women in an Italian cohort, high dietary glycemic load and carbohydrate intake from high glycemic index foods are associated with a higher overall risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), but this association is not seen in men, according to research published in the April 12 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Study Compares Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair Types

MONDAY, April 12 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with abdominal aortic aneurysm, endovascular repair is associated with significantly lower operative mortality than open surgical repair. In the long term, however, there are no significant differences in total mortality or aneurysm-related mortality, and endovascular repair is associated with complications resulting in higher costs, according to a study published online April 11 in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with a presentation at the Charing Cross International Symposium, held from April 10 to 13 in London.

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Tumor Suppressor Protein Linked to Atherosclerosis

FRIDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- In mice, deficiency of the tumor suppressor protein p19ARF encoded by the CDKN2A gene reduces macrophage and vascular smooth muscle cell apoptosis, and aggravates atherosclerosis, according to a study published online April 7 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Review Questions Use of Dronedarone for A-Fib

FRIDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- Dronedarone appears to have only modest antiarrhythmic efficacy, with questions remaining about its safety, suggesting that its role in atrial fibrillation should be as a second- or third-line agent in select patients, according to a review published in the April 13 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Yoga Benefits African-American Heart Failure Patients

FRIDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- When yoga is added to standard medical care for African-American heart failure patients, they experience benefits including improvements in cardiovascular endurance, quality of life, flexibility, and inflammatory markers, according to a study published in the April issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

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Even Mild Sleep Apnea May Raise Risk of Stroke in Men

FRIDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- While severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is linked with increased risk of stroke in men and women, men with even mild to moderate OSA may also be at increased risk, according to research published online March 25 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Ultrasound Findings Add to Heart Disease Risk Prediction

FRIDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- The addition of carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) and plaque presence, determined via carotid ultrasound, improves coronary heart disease risk prediction over traditional risk factors, according to a study in the April 13 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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First Generic Versions of Cozaar and Hyzaar Approved

THURSDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- The first generic versions of two drugs to treat high blood pressure, Cozaar (losartan potassium) and Hyzaar (losartan potassium and hydrochlorothiazide), have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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New PCI Risk Models Predict Risk of Early Mortality

THURSDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- A newly developed set of risk models can accurately predict early mortality risk after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), and can be used to guide research, clinical decisions and policy making, according to research published online March 31 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Drug-Eluting Stents Effective in Critical Leg Ischemia

THURSDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- Balloon expandable drug-eluting stents (DES) are effective and safe in preventing major amputation and relieving symptoms in patients with below-the-knee critical leg ischemia, according to a study published in the April 13 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Socioeconomic Position Affects Survival After Heart Surgery

WEDNESDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- In patients who undergo cardiac surgery, lower socioeconomic position -- but not race -- is associated with a significantly increased risk of mortality, according to a study published online April 6 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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Non-Vigorous Exercise Tied to Lower Stroke Risk in Women

WEDNESDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- In women, leisure-time physical activity -- particularly walking -- is associated with a lower risk of stroke, though vigorous physical activity is not related to stroke risk, according to a study published online April 6 in Stroke.

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TachoSil Sealant Patch Approved for Cardiovascular Surgery

MONDAY, April 5 (HealthDay News) -- The TachoSil sealant patch has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to prevent bleeding from small blood vessels in certain cardiovascular surgery cases, the agency said Monday.

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Hyperthyroidism Linked to Stroke Risk in Young Adults

FRIDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- Young adults with hyperthyroidism are at higher risk of suffering ischemic stroke than those in their age group without the condition, according to a study published online April 1 in Stroke.

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Atrial Fibrillation Linked to Increased Dementia Risk

FRIDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with atrial fibrillation -- especially those under 70 -- may have an increased risk of developing dementia, along with an increased risk of death after a dementia diagnosis, according to a study published in the April issue of Heart Rhythm.

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Niacin Found Most Effective in Raising HDL Cholesterol

THURSDAY, April 1 (HealthDay News) -- Lifestyle changes modestly increase high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels, but the most effective treatments are niacin derivatives, although newer treatments being examined are promising, according to a review in the March 30 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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