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Category: Cardiology | Monthly Briefing

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April 2012 Briefing - Cardiology

Last Updated: May 01, 2012.

 

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Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Cardiology for April 2012. 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.

Electronic Reminders Up Meds Adherence in Short Term

MONDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- The use of electronic reminders (short message service [SMS] reminders, electronic reminder devices, or pagers) is associated with improved adherence to chronic medications in the short term, according to a review published online April 25 in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

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miRNAs Induce Fibroblasts to Reprogram to Cardiomyocytes

FRIDAY, April 27 (HealthDay News) -- Micro (mi)RNAs can induce cardiac fibroblasts to reprogram to cardiomyocyte-like cells, according to an experimental study published online April 26 in Circulation Research.

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Heart Surgery Safe for Compensated Cirrhosis Patients

THURSDAY, April 26 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with compensated cirrhosis, defined by a Child-Pugh (CP) score of <8, have no significant increase in postoperative mortality and morbidity following cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass, according to a study published in the May issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Warfarin Keeps Stroke Risk Low in Patients With A-Fib

WEDNESDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- Use of warfarin for stroke prevention in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (AF) is associated with a low risk of stroke or systemic embolism, according to a meta-analysis published in the April 23 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Mortality High for Cardiac Device Infective Endocarditis

TUESDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with infective endocarditis involving implanted cardiac devices experience high in-hospital and one-year mortality rates, particularly if there is valve involvement, according to a study published in the April 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Subclinical Hyperthyroidism Tied to Coronary Heart Disease

TUESDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- Subclinical hyperthyroidism is associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) morbidity and mortality; and treatment with levothyroxine for subclinical hypothyroidism is associated with fewer ischemic heart disease (IHD) events in patients aged 40 to 70 years, according to two studies published online April 23 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Angiotensin Receptor Blockers Reduce No-Reflow Post-PCI

MONDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI), pretreatment with angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) is linked with reduced incidence of the no-reflow phenomenon after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), according to a study published online April 10 in Cardiovascular Therapeutics.

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Fibroblasts Reprogrammed Into Functioning Heart Cells in Mice

FRIDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- Cells that normally form scar tissue after a heart attack can be reprogrammed into functional heart cells in mice, according to an experimental study published online April 18 in Nature.

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QRS Width on ECG Linked to Sudden Cardiac Arrest in CAD

FRIDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with coronary artery disease (CAD), QRS width on electrocardiogram and echocardiographic evidence of heart failure are associated with out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), regardless of whether they have a history of previous myocardial infarction (MI), according to a study published in the May 1 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

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Uric Acid Levels Predict Death in Acute Coronary Syndrome

FRIDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- Elevated uric acid levels are predictive of one-year mortality in patients with acute coronary syndrome, according to a study published in the May 1 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

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Pulmonary HTN Predicts Heart Failure After Acute MI

THURSDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a strong independent predictor of heart failure in patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI), according to a study published in the May 1 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

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Eating Low-Fat Dairy Linked to Reduced Stroke Risk

THURSDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- Eating low-fat dairy products is associated with a reduced risk of total stroke and cerebral infarctions, according to a study published online April 19 in Stroke.

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Long-Term Air Pollution Linked to Multiple Diseases

THURSDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term exposure to fine particulate matter in the air increases hospital admissions for respiratory diseases, cardiovascular diseases, stroke, and diabetes in the elderly considerably more than short-term exposure does, according to a study published online April 17 in PLoS One.

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Review Shows Gum Disease Does Not Cause Heart Disease

THURSDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- Periodontal disease (PD) and atherosclerotic vascular disease (ASVD) share common risk factors, but there is no evidence for a causal relationship between the two, nor evidence that treating PD prevents or alters the outcomes of ASVD, according to a scientific statement from the American Heart Association (AHA) published online April 18 in Circulation.

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Room for Improvement in Knowledge of ABC Levels, Goals

THURSDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- Many individuals with diabetes do not know their last hemoglobin A1C (A1C), blood pressure, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels (ABC levels), although the correlation between such knowledge and meeting targets for ABC control is unclear, according to a study published online April 12 in Diabetes Care.

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CV Autonomic Neuropathy Risk for CVD Despite Albumin Status

WEDNESDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- Cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy (CAN) appears to affect the risk of cardiovascular disease even in type 1 diabetes patients with normal albumin excretion rates, according to a study published online April 12 in Diabetes.

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Medicare Coverage Gap Leads to Drug Discontinuation

WEDNESDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- Part D Medicare beneficiaries who do not have financial assistance during the coverage gap are at increased risk for cardiovascular drug discontinuation, according to research published online April 17 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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New Fibrate Use Ups Serum Creatinine Levels in Elderly

TUESDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- For elderly adults, new fibric acid derivative (fibrate) use is associated with an increase in serum creatinine levels, in hospitalizations for these levels, and in nephrologist consultations, according to a study published in the April 17 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Testosterone Ups Exercise Capacity in Heart Failure

TUESDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- Testosterone supplementation is associated with improved exercise capacity in patients with moderate-to-severe heart failure, according to a meta-analysis published online April 17 in Circulation: Heart Failure.

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ICD-9 Codes Underestimate Statin-Linked Rhabdomyolysis

TUESDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- Use of diagnostic codes, such as International Classification of Diseases -- Ninth Revision (ICD-9) codes, may result in misclassification of rare, adverse drug reactions (ADRs), including the risk of rhabdomyolysis from high-dose simvastatin, according to a research letter published in the April 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a theme issue on comparative effectiveness research.

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Long-Term Safety Shown for Biodegradable Stent

TUESDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term follow-up indicates that the fully biodegradable Igaki-Tamai stent is safe for coronary artery use in humans, according to a study published online April 16 in Circulation.

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Fast Food Salt Levels Vary Among Six Countries

MONDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- High salt content in pizza, fried chicken, and other products served by multinational food chains varies substantially across six countries, and even incremental reductions of the seasoning could have a big impact on improving the health of the population, according to a study published online April 16 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

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Liver Insulin Resistance Correlates With Cardiac Risk

MONDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- Liver insulin resistance (IR) may be a significant indicator of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk among men, and correlates more closely with risk factors than whole-body insulin sensitivity, according to a study published online April 5 in the Journal of Internal Medicine.

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Obesity Costs Are Higher Than Previous Estimates

FRIDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- Obesity accounts for nearly 21 percent of U.S. health care costs, much higher than previously estimated, according to a study published in the January issue of the Journal of Health Economics.

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TAVI Beneficial in Severe Aortic Stenosis

FRIDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- While all-cause mortality is high in low-flow, low-gradient aortic stenosis patients receiving transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI), surviving patients show significant improvements, according to a study published in the April issue of Catheterization & Cardiovascular Interventions.

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Risk of Sudden Cardiac Death Up for Black Patients With HTN

THURSDAY, April 12 (HealthDay News) -- Black patients with hypertension face a significantly increased risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD) compared with nonblack patients, even after adjusting for multiple confounding variables, according to a study published in the April issue of Heart Rhythm.

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Role of Omega-3 in Secondary Prevention of CVD Questioned

THURSDAY, April 12 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with a history of cardiovascular disease (CVD), evidence is lacking for a secondary preventive effect of omega-3 fatty acid supplements, according to a meta-analysis published online April 9 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Mentholated Cigarettes Linked to Increased Stroke Risk

THURSDAY, April 12 (HealthDay News) -- Mentholated cigarettes are associated with a significantly increased risk of stroke, particularly among women and non-African-American smokers, according to a letter published in the April 9 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Mobile Stroke Units Halve Time to Treatment

WEDNESDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- Diagnosis and treatment of stroke in patients at the scene of the emergency rather than at the hospital about halves the time to treatment, according to a study published online April 11 in The Lancet Neurology.

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Stroke Risk Much Higher If Sibling Has Had a Stroke

WEDNESDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- Having a sibling who has had a stroke significantly increases the familial stroke risk by at least 60 percent, according to a study published online April 10 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics.

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ECG Abnormalities Add to Accuracy of CHD Risk Prediction

TUESDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Major and minor electrocardiographic (ECG) abnormalities are associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) events, particularly in elderly individuals, according to a study published in the April 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Death Risk Similar With High-Dose Losartan, Candesartan

TUESDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with heart failure, the use of high-dose losartan is not associated with an increased mortality risk compared with high-dose candesartan, according to a study published in the April 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Decision Aid for Chest Pain in ER Engages Patients

TUESDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Use of a decision aid, a visual patient education tool, helps chest pain patients become more engaged in their care and results in fewer admissions for observation and stress testing, without negatively impacting care outcomes, according to a study published online April 10 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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Economic, Health Indices Linked to Elevated Cholesterol

MONDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with a history of hyperlipidemia, country-level economic and health system indices impact global-level variation in elevated cholesterol, according to a study published online April 9 in Circulation.

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Infection May Be Trigger for Venous Thromboembolism

MONDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- Older adults recovering from an infection are at increased risk of being hospitalized for a venous thromboembolism (VTE), according to a study published online April 3 in Circulation.

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Statins Moderate Effect of Metformin on Prostate Cancer

MONDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- For men with type 2 diabetes treated with metformin, prostate cancer (PCa) incidence varies depending on statin use, with a significantly reduced risk for patients taking a combination of metformin and statins, according to a study published online March 28 in Diabetes Care.

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Reduction Noted in Heart Rate Variability During Hot Flashes

FRIDAY, April 6 (HealthDay News) -- Women experiencing hot flashes have a significant reduction in heart rate variability during the hot flash, suggesting a role for the autonomic nervous system, according to a study published in the April issue of Menopause.

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Physical Activity Predicts Functionality in Older Adults

FRIDAY, April 6 (HealthDay News) -- Physically active older adults experience significantly fewer functional limitations than more sedentary older adults, according to a study published online April 5 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Asbestos Exposure Linked to Cardiovascular Death

THURSDAY, April 5 (HealthDay News) -- Occupational exposure to asbestos is associated with a higher risk of dying of cardiovascular disease, according to a study published online April 2 in Occupational & Environmental Medicine.

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Exercise Training Improves Cardiac Parameters in Lupus

THURSDAY, April 5 (HealthDay News) -- For inactive patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), a three-month exercise training program is associated with improved chronotropic reserve and heart rate recovery, according to a study published online March 21 in Arthritis Care & Research.

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Medical Malpractice Claims Incur Substantial Defense Costs

WEDNESDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- Defense costs for medical malpractice claims vary among specialties and are higher for claims that result in indemnity payments, according to a letter published in the April 5 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Cancer Diagnosis Linked to Higher Immediate Suicide Risk

WEDNESDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- A recent cancer diagnosis is associated with a higher risk of suicide and death from cardiovascular causes, with the risk being highest in the weeks after diagnosis, according to a study published in the April 5 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Good Long-Term Outcomes for Drug-Eluting Stents

WEDNESDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- Meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials (RCTs) suggests that drug-eluting stents (DESs) significantly reduce repeat revascularizations, with no increase in stent thrombosis (ST), mortality, or recurrent myocardial infarction, but data from observational studies indicate an increased risk of ST with DES use, according to research published in the April 1 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

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Childhood Cancer Survivors at Risk for Cardiac Events

WEDNESDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- Childhood cancer survivors (CCSs) treated with anthracyclines and/or cardiac irradiation have a higher risk of developing symptomatic cardiac events (CEs) in the long term, according to a study published online April 2 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Guidelines Improve Outcomes in Nonshockable Cardiac Arrest

MONDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- Implementation of the latest American Heart Association (AHA) resuscitation guidelines, which eliminate "stacked" shocks and emphasize chest compressions, results in significantly improved outcomes for patients experiencing nonshockable out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA), according to a study published online April 2 in Circulation.

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Operator Sleep Deprivation Does Not Adversely Affect PCI

MONDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) performed in the middle of the night does not impact the same operator's ability to perform PCI the next day, according to a study published online March 30 in Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.

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