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Category: Cardiology | Monthly Briefing

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April 2009 Briefing - Cardiology

Last Updated: May 01, 2009.

 

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Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Cardiology for April 2009. 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.

New Web-based Information Source to Support UK Clinicians

THURSDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- The United Kingdom's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has announced the launch of NHS Evidence, a Web-based evidence resource for clinicians, public health professionals of the National Health Service, and others involved in making patient care decisions. The announcement came in the April 30 issue of The Lancet.

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Thromboembolism Linked to Cytotoxic Cancer Treatment

THURSDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- Cisplatin may be more thrombogenic than oxaliplatin in patients with advanced gastroesophageal cancer, and thromboembolism may shorten patients' survival, according to research published online April 27 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Smoking, Hypertension Judged the Leading US Death Risks

THURSDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- Smoking and high blood pressure are the leading risk factors contributing to death in the United States, according to a study reported April 28 in PLOS Medicine.

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Abciximab, Small Molecules Linked to Similar Outcomes

THURSDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- Abciximab was associated with similar outcomes compared to the small molecules eptifibatide and tirofiban in patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) undergoing primary angioplasty, according to research published in the May 5 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Abstract
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Editorial

NEJM Commends New Conflict of Interest Proposal

THURSDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- A new proposal to control conflict of interest is notable for its breadth and variety of recommended solutions, according to a Perspective article published online April 29 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Aggressive Atorvastatin Use Cuts Detectable Inflammation

THURSDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- Aggressive use of atorvastatin therapy over a three-month period produces anti-inflammatory results that can be detected using ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxide (USPIO)-enhanced MRI, according to a study published online ahead of print April 29 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Critically Ill Patients May Often Be Vitamin D Deficient

WEDNESDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- High percentages of critically ill patients in intensive care may be vitamin D deficient, potentially worsening outcomes, according to an article published in the April 30 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Abstract
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FDA Requires OTC Pain Relievers to Display Warnings

WEDNESDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- Popular over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers and fever medications containing acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) will be required to display prominent warnings about the risks of liver damage and internal bleeding, under a new rule announced April 28 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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Consider Heart and Bones With Androgen-Deprivation Therapy

WEDNESDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- Androgen-deprivation therapy for men with prostate cancer carries significant risk for cardiovascular and bone-related side effects, as well as for diabetes, according to a review of the medical literature published online April 27 in the journal Cancer.

Abstract
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Pharmacist Involvement May Decrease Medication Errors

TUESDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- Adding a pharmacist to health care teams may significantly decrease patients' risk of adverse drug events and medication errors, according to a report published in the April 27 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. A second study indicates that an interdisciplinary medication reconciliation intervention can also reduce unintentional medication discrepancies with potential for harm.

Abstract - Murray
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Abstract - Schnipper
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Women Found to Have Less Access to Cardiologists

TUESDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- Women with coronary artery disease or congestive heart failure have less access to consultations with cardiologists compared with men, according to study findings published online April 27 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Abstract
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Glucose Control During Surgery Linked to Better Outcomes

TUESDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- Aggressive glycemic control during surgery reduces the risk of major cardiovascular events, researchers report in the May issue of Anesthesiology.

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Computed Tomography May Help Early Chest Pain Triage

TUESDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- Early use of coronary computed tomography angiography in the early triage of patients presenting with acute chest pain can play an important role in improving emergency department patient management, according to a study published in the May 5 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Abstract
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Editorial

Steep Copayments Increase Risk of Non-Adherence

TUESDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- In patients who are newly diagnosed with a chronic disease, higher out-of-pocket costs for medications are associated with an increased likelihood of non-treatment, according to a study published in the April 27 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Abstract
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Editorial

Fatty Fish Consumption Linked to Less Heart Failure

TUESDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- Although middle-aged and elderly men who have a moderate intake of fatty fish have lower incidence of heart failure than their counterparts who do not eat the food, the reduction is not statistically significant, and eating larger amounts confers less not more benefits, according to a study published online April 21 in the European Heart Journal.

Abstract
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Fewer Heart Attacks After Drop in Hormone Therapy Use

MONDAY, April 27 (HealthDay News) -- The drop in the use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in 2002 has resulted in a noticeable decrease in acute myocardial infarction among women aged 40 to 79 since then, according to a report released online March 23 in advance of publication in the journal Medical Care.

Abstract
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Ranolazine Shows Angina Benefits in Broader Group

FRIDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- Ranolazine may be effective in treating chronic angina, but does not appear to serve as a disease-modifying secondary preventive therapy, according to research published in the April 28 Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Abstract
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Having Health Insurance May Not Improve Mortality Risk

THURSDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- People without health insurance have about the same mortality rate as people with health insurance, according to an observational study published online April 21 in Health Services Research.

Abstract
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Parents Need More Education About Child's Cardiac Surgery

THURSDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- Parents of patients undergoing fast-track cardiac surgery need to be educated and informed more fully prior to surgery if they are to be more effectively involved in their child's care, according to a study published in the April issue of the AORN Journal.

Abstract
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Stretches Without Health Insurance More Common

WEDNESDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- Periods of uninsurance have become more common in recent decades, particularly among those with less education, according to research published in the April 23 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Gene Defect Found in Patients with Small-Vessel Disease

WEDNESDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- A gene defect has been identified in patients with a hereditary cerebral small-vessel disease, according to a study in the April 23 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Abstract
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Breastfeeding May Lower Women's Heart Disease Risks

WEDNESDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- Breastfeeding may be associated with a later decrease in risk of hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and cardiovascular disease during women's postmenopausal years, according to research published in the May issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Abstract
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Sirolimus-Eluting Stents Show Long-Term Effectiveness

WEDNESDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with simple and medium complexity native coronary lesions, treatment with sirolimus-eluting stents reduces the long-term risk of subsequent revascularization events compared to bare-metal stents without adversely affecting safety, according to a study published in the April 28 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Abstract
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Absorbable Metal Stents Degrade Within Months

WEDNESDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- Absorbable metal stents degrade within four months of implantation in patients with coronary artery disease but are associated with high restenosis rates, primarily due to early recoil, according to a study in the April issue of Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Interventions.

Abstract
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Continuity of Care Declining for Medicare Beneficiaries

TUESDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- Medicare beneficiaries in the hospital in 2006 were much less likely to be seen there by a familiar physician than those in the hospital a decade earlier, according to a study reported in the April 22/29 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Abstract
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Defibrillator Implant Success Varies by Specialty

TUESDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who receive an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) are more apt to get the most appropriate device and are less likely to suffer complications if an electrophysiologist performs the procedure, according to a study reported in the April 22/29 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Abstract
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Group Covers Cardiovascular Imaging Use in Myocarditis

TUESDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- The proper assessment of myocarditis using cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) is the subject of a white paper in the April 28 Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Abstract
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Prehospital Heart Attack Diagnosis Speeds Treatment

TUESDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- Independent regional networks in the United States that integrate a prehospital diagnosis of ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), by emergency medical personnel, with specialized receiving centers achieve the recommended door-to-balloon time in 86 percent of cases, according to a study in the April issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Interventions.

Abstract
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Pulmonary Vein Stenosis Can Follow Arrhythmia Treatment

TUESDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- Pulmonary vein stenosis can be a serious complication following ablation procedures for atrial fibrillation, which are becoming a more commonly used treatment, according to a review published in the April issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Interventions.

Abstract
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Psoriasis Associated With Higher Diabetes Risk

TUESDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with psoriasis are more likely to have diabetes and hypertension compared to their counterparts without the skin condition, according to a study published in the April issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

Abstract
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Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease Disparities Persist

TUESDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- Despite the fact that among patients with cardiovascular disease and diabetes there have been improvements in the control of blood pressure, glucose, and cholesterol levels since 1999, racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic differences persist, according to a study published in the April 21 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Revascularization Not Linked to Long-Term Benefit

FRIDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with high cardiac risk undergoing major vascular surgery, preoperative coronary revascularization was not associated with better long-term outcomes, according to research published April 1 in the American Journal of Cardiology.

Abstract
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Secondary Stroke Prevention Lower in Elderly Patients

FRIDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- In stroke survivors, secondary prevention is essential regardless of age, according to a study published online April 16 in BMJ.

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Statins Lower Lipids Better in Summer Than Winter

FRIDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- Statins more effectively lower cholesterol in the summer than in the winter, a fact that may need to be considered by clinicians prescribing the medications to patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS), according to a study in the April 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

Abstract
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Statins May Prevent Stroke, Another Drug Improves Outcome

FRIDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- Statins may help prevent stroke among high-risk patients, but when stroke occurs, controlling the patient's post-stroke body temperature may help improve the outcome, according to separate studies reported in the May issue of The Lancet Neurology.

Abstract - Amarenco
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Abstract - Hertog
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Elderly May Be Shortchanged in Stroke Care

FRIDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- Current stroke care practices shortchange the elderly, who undergo fewer diagnostic investigations than their younger counterparts, and who also receive less advice on how to modify their lifestyles in order to prevent stroke recurrence, according to a study published in the March issue of the Postgraduate Medical Journal.

Abstract
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Depression Boosts Heart Failure Risk After Heart Disease

THURSDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with coronary artery disease who are depressed are more likely to have heart failure, even if they take antidepressants, according to a study in the April 21 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Abstract
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Anemia Spikes Coronary Death Risk in Blacks

THURSDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- Black patients with anemia are at higher risk of dying after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) than their non-anemic cohorts, researchers report in the April 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

Abstract
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Slow Infusion Coronary Magnetic Resonance Imaging Effective

THURSDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- Whole-heart coronary magnetic resonance angiography (CMRA) at 3.0-T, which has a higher signal-to-noise ratio, accurately identifies and rules out coronary artery disease, according to the results of a study published online April 15 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Valsartan Not Linked to Fewer Atrial Fibrillation Recurrences

WEDNESDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) -- The use of valsartan was not associated with a decrease in recurrences of atrial fibrillation in patients with underlying cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or left atrial enlargement, according to research published in the April 16 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Abstract
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Genetic Link Seen in Ischemic, Atherothrombotic Strokes

WEDNESDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) -- A locus on chromosome 12p13 may be linked to an increased risk of stroke, according to research published online April 15 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Outcomes Similar for Off-Label and On-Label Stent Use

WEDNESDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) -- On-label and off-label uses of bare-metal and drug-eluting stents are associated with similar rates of heart attack and death across the range of clinical indications, researchers report in the April 21 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Abstract
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Intervention May Improve Cholesterol Management

WEDNESDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) -- Cholesterol management in primary care practices may be improved by a multifaceted intervention that includes guideline dissemination, academic detailing audit and feedback, and provision of a personal digital assistant to provide Framingham risk scores and National Cholesterol Education Program Third Adult Treatment Panel (ATP III) recommended treatment, according to a study published in the April 13 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Abstract
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Imaging Method Predicts Coronary Artery Disease

WEDNESDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) -- Coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) is effective in predicting cardiac events in patients with suspected coronary artery disease, according to a study in the April issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Imaging.

Abstract
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Prospective Imaging Shows Benefits in Infarct Assessment

WEDNESDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) -- In a pig model, prospective electrocardiogram-gated delayed contrast-enhanced multidetector computed tomography (ECG-gated DCE-MDCT) myocardial imaging can accurately assess the myocardium after myocardial infarction with a lower radiation dose than retrospective ECG-gated DCE-MDCT, according to research published in the April issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Imaging.

Abstract
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Editorial

Heart Screening of Diabetics May Not Improve Outcomes

TUESDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Screening type 2 diabetes patients for asymptomatic coronary artery disease does not significantly reduce the number of heart attacks or improve outcomes compared to unscreened patients, according to a study in the April 15 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Abstract
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Researchers Describe Epidemiology of Heart Failure

TUESDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Among older Americans, heart failure is a common condition that disproportionately affects blacks. But many cases could be prevented if risk factors were modified, according to a study published in the April 13 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Abstract
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Low Risk of Thromboembolism Found in Podiatric Surgery

MONDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- Venous thromboembolism presents a low risk in podiatric surgery, but practitioners should consider prophylactic treatment if the patient has at least two risk factors, according to a study reported in the April issue of the journal Chest.

Abstract
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Pain Requires Meticulous Attention in Intensive Care Units

MONDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- In intensive care units, the evaluation and management of pain is a significant clinical challenge, according to two Contemporary Reviews in Critical Care Medicine published in the April issue of the journal Chest.

Abstract - Puntillo
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Abstract - Erstad
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Financial Rewards for Healthy Behavior Can Be Effective

FRIDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Although paying people to engage in healthy behaviors or successfully tackle unhealthy ones can be effective, it may carry unintended consequences, according to an editorial published online April 9 in BMJ.

Editorial

Cardiac Outcomes of Sleep Apnea Studied in Rats

THURSDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- The endothelin system, a potent vasoconstrictor and promoter of vascular growth, plays a major role in the cardiovascular consequences of obstructive sleep apnea in a rat model of the condition, researchers report in the April 14 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Abstract
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Editorial

Smoking May Increase Effectiveness of Heart Drug

THURSDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- Smoking at least half a pack of cigarettes a day increases the effectiveness of clopidogrel in patients who have had a heart attack, according to the results of a study published in the April 14 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Abstract
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Abdominal Obesity Predicts Death in Kidney Failure

THURSDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- Measures of abdominal obesity such as waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio are associated with a higher risk of death in patients with end-stage renal disease, according to a report in the April 14 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Abstract
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Reduced Tube Voltage Linked to Less Radiation Exposure

THURSDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- Lower tube voltage was linked to reduced radiation exposure in patients undergoing coronary dual-source computed tomography (CT) angiography, according to research published in the April issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

Abstract
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Brown Fat Present and Active in Adults

WEDNESDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- Brown adipose tissue, whose function in small mammals is to maintain body temperature, is present in adult humans and becomes more active after mild cold exposure, suggesting that it could be targeted to modulate energy expenditure, according to three studies published in the April 9 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Abstract - van Marken Lichtenbelt
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Abstract - Cypess
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Abstract - Virtanen
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Editorial

Tax on Sugared Drinks Can Help Tackle Obesity Epidemic

WEDNESDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- A penny-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages would result in a more than 10 percent reduction in consumption, and as such would be a significant contributor to the fight against obesity in America, according to an article published online April 8 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Even Modest Diet and Exercise Can Improve Teen Health

WEDNESDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- Even modest improvements in nutrition and exercise can improve physical parameters in overweight teenagers and reduce type 2 diabetes risk, according to a report in the April issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Abstract
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Body Fat, Heart Failure Association Declines With Age

WEDNESDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- Overall and abdominal fat were linked to hospitalization or death due to heart failure in middle aged and older individuals, though the association lessened with age, according to research published online April 7 in Circulation: Heart Failure.

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Socioeconomic Status a Risk Factor in Child Heart Transplant

WEDNESDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- Children from lower socioeconomic groups are at greater risk for graft failure following a heart transplant than children from higher socioeconomic groups, according to a study published online April 7 in Circulation: Heart Failure.

Abstract
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Exercise Modestly Benefits Patients With Heart Failure

TUESDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with heart failure have modest reductions in mortality and hospitalization, as well as improvements in self-reported health status, after implementation of an aerobic exercise program, according to two studies published in the April 8 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Abstract - O'Connor
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Abstract - Flynn
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New Cerebrovascular Intervention Statement Issued

TUESDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- In response to the rapid pace of technological development in the field of intracranial endovascular cerebrovascular interventions, the American Heart Association has released guidelines on performance of such procedures to treat a range of cerebrovascular disorders. The indications were laid out in a statement published online April 6 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Abstract
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Combination Pharmacotherapy Helps Ill Smokers Quit

TUESDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- Smokers with medical conditions are significantly more likely to become abstinent with flexibly dosed triple combination pharmacotherapy than with standard-duration nicotine patch therapy. In addition, smokers on pharmacotherapy who are intensively managed may be more likely to quit, according to two studies published in the April 7 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Abstract - Steinberg
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Abstract - Ellerbeck
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LDL Cholesterol Subfraction Testing of Limited Value

TUESDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- Measures of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) subfractions -- such as small dense LDL particles, medium LDL particles or large LDL particles -- do not add incremental benefit to traditional risk factor assessment for cardiovascular disease, according to a report published in the April 7 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Abstract
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Cognitive Behavior Therapy Combats Post-Surgery Blues

TUESDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who develop depression after undergoing coronary artery bypass graft surgery can be successfully treated with cognitive behavior therapy, according to an article published in the April issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

Abstract
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Cholesterol Level Linked to Death After Coronary Intervention

TUESDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- Low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol were associated with higher one-year mortality in patients following percutaneous coronary intervention, according to research published in the April 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

Abstract
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Bleeding Linked to Cardiovascular Events After PCI

MONDAY, April 6 (HealthDay News) -- Bleeding complications associated with percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) may raise the risk of adverse outcomes in patients, according to research published in the April 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

Abstract
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Men With Heart Disease Less Likely to Find Full-Time Work

MONDAY, April 6 (HealthDay News) -- Males who have had surgery for congenital heart disease are more likely than males in the general population to find a part-time job or minor employment than a full-time job, according to a study published online February 5 in Congenital Heart Disease.

Abstract
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Cardiac Cells Renew Throughout Life in Humans

FRIDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- Cardiac muscle cells continue to renew after birth and throughout life in humans, according to a study in the April 3 issue of Science. In a related study in the April 3 issue of Cell Stem Cell, inhibition of DPP-IV combined with treatment with granulocyte colony stimulating factor increases the recruitment of stem cells to the heart, increases the formation of new blood vessels, and improves survival and cardiac function in mice surgically induced to have a myocardial infarction.

Abstract - Bergmann
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Abstract - Zaruba
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Catheter-Based Therapies May Benefit Stroke Patients

FRIDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- In some patients who aren't candidates for intravenous thrombolysis, catheter-based therapy (CBT) provides an optional treatment for acute ischemic stroke, according to research published in the April 1 issue of Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.

Abstract
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Grapefruit Breakfast Shares Blame in Leg Thrombosis

FRIDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- A defective gene, a long car ride, a daily contraceptive dose and grapefruit for breakfast added up to a limb-threatening medical emergency for a woman in a case reported in the April 4 issue of The Lancet.

Abstract
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Social Deprivation Impairs Cardiac Surgery Prognosis

FRIDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- Potentially modifiable risk factors that are associated with social deprivation -- such as smoking, extremely high or low body mass index, and diabetes -- adversely affect the outcome of cardiac surgery, according to a report published online April 2 in BMJ.

Abstract
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Timing of Adverse Outcomes After Stenting Identified

THURSDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with unprotected left main coronary artery (ULMCA) stenosis are at highest risk of death or heart attack from one to six months after stenting if they are taking dual antiplatelet therapy and within three months of stopping clopidogrel treatment, with the highest risk being during the first month after stenting, according to a study in the April 7 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Abstract
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Cardiac Imaging Identifies Edema Early After Ischemia

THURSDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- T2-weighted cardiac imaging can identify edema early after myocardial ischemia in dogs before irreversible injury has occurred, according to a study in the April 7 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Abstract
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Editorial

Three Popular Diets Studied for Effects on Lipid Profile

THURSDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- The maintenance phases of the South Beach and Ornish diets reduce levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, whereas levels are increased by the maintenance phase of the Atkins diet, according to research published in the April issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

Abstract
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Biomarker Predicts Outcomes in Pulmonary Hypertension

THURSDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- High blood levels of a marker of inflammation and tissue damage, C-reactive protein (CRP), are associated with disease severity and survival in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), according to a report in the April 7 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Abstract
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Electronic Prescribing Online-Learning Tools Launched

THURSDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. physicians will be able to better evaluate electronic prescribing systems thanks to a new online learning center on ePrescribing launched April 1 by the American Medical Association.

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Changes Needed in New-Drug Evaluation Process

WEDNESDAY, April 1 (HealthDay News) -- The evaluation process for new drugs is overdue for an overhaul, which could provide benefits for the public and the pharmaceutical industry, according to a point-counterpoint commentary published online March 31 in BMJ.

Abstract - Garattini
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Abstract - Tremblay
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New Health Program Leads to Questions in the UK

WEDNESDAY, April 1 (HealthDay News) -- A new British program to improve patient choices and competition in the health care marketplace may lead to excess capacity in some areas and instability in others, according to a commentary published online March 31 in BMJ.

Abstract
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