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Category: Cardiology | Monthly Briefing

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February 2010 Briefing - Cardiology

Last Updated: March 01, 2010.

 

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

Routine Distal Protection in Angioplasty Assessed

FRIDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), the use of routine distal protection (DP) is associated with a higher rate of adverse cardiac events, according to research published in the March 2 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Peripheral Arterial Disease Location Impacts Prognosis

FRIDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- The general prognosis in patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is worse in those with proximal disease than those with more distal disease, according to research published in the March 2 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Arm Ischemia Reduces Damage After Heart Attack

FRIDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Intermittently blocking blood flow in the arm, known as remote conditioning, during the ambulance ride to the hospital (before stenting) reduces damage to the heart after a heart attack, possibly by activating protective mechanisms in the heart, according to a study in the Feb. 27 issue of The Lancet.

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Triple Combination Safely Improves Lipoprotein Parameters

FRIDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- The triple combination therapy of ezetimibe/simvastatin (E/S) plus niacin safely improves several lipoprotein parameters better than E/S alone, according to a study in the Feb. 15 American Journal of Cardiology.

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Score May Help Determine Death Risk in Heart Failure

FRIDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- A risk score that includes patient information available at discharge can identify the risk of mortality in individuals hospitalized with advanced decompensated heart failure, according to research published in the March 2 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Body Mass Index Predicts Adverse Cardiac Outcomes

FRIDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Obese and overweight patients who undergo percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) to receive drug-eluting stents, are at higher risk of adverse outcomes by one-year follow-up than normal weight patients, according to a study in the Feb. 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Aspirin Use in Vascular Disease Patients Assessed

THURSDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) -- About 70 percent of vascular disease patients take aspirin, mainly for secondary prevention. While some non-aspirin users take other antithrombotic agents, almost 15 percent of patients take no antithrombotic agent at all, according to research published in the Feb. 15 American Journal of Cardiology.

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Lasofoxifene Examined in Postmenopausal Women

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- The nonsteroidal selective estrogen-receptor modulator lasofoxifene may reduce the risk of fractures, stroke, estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer, and coronary heart disease in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. However, the drug significantly increases the risk of venous thromboembolic events, according to a study in the Feb. 25 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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School-Based, Compulsory Exercise Helps Youth Stay Fit

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- A school-based intervention that incorporates compulsory exercise sessions as well as physical education homework helps children become more active and fit and reduces adiposity, according to a study published Feb. 23 in BMJ.

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Awareness of Heart Disease Risk Still Lacking in Women

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Despite some gains in public awareness, almost half of all American women are unaware that heart disease is the leading cause of death in women, according to research published online Feb. 10 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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Platelet Function Tests Only Modestly Predict Outcomes

TUESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Three tests of platelet function can modestly predict outcomes such as death and stroke in patients taking clopidogrel (Plavix) and undergoing elective coronary stent implantation, but they do not identify patients at higher risk of bleeding, according to a study in the Feb. 24 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Physicians Working Fewer Hours for Lower Fees

TUESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians in the United States have been working fewer hours for lower fees in the past decade, according to research published in the Feb. 24 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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FDA Reviewing Safety of HIV Antiretroviral Combination

TUESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has alerted health care professionals and consumers that the HIV drug combination of saquinavir (Invirase) and ritonavir (Norvir) may increase the risk of potentially serious cardiac arrhythmias in a dose-dependent manner. This is an early communication from the FDA with ongoing review of the data.

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FDA Reviewing Avandia Cardiovascular Safety

TUESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has informed health care professionals that the organization is currently reviewing cardiovascular safety data associated with rosiglitazone (Avandia), a type 2 diabetes drug, from the Rosiglitazone Evaluated for Cardiovascular Outcomes and Regulation of Glycemia in Diabetes (RECORD) study as well as from other recently published safety analyses.

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New Strategies Needed to Treat Hypertension

TUESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- New strategies are needed to combat hypertension, which affects nearly one-third of U.S. adults and accounts for about one in six adult deaths each year, according to the new report, A Population-Based Policy and Systems Change Approach to Prevent and Control Hypertension, released Feb. 22 by the Institute of Medicine.

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Medical Checklists Needed to Improve Care and Outcomes

MONDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- The checklists so common in aviation and many professions are underused in medicine and, if more widely adopted, would provide powerful tools to standardize care and improve patient outcomes, according to an article published Dec. 31 in Critical Care.

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Enoxaparin and Unfractionated Heparin Compared

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Enoxaparin used in percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) reduces the risk of adverse cardiac outcomes compared to standard therapy with unfractionated heparin (UFH), according to a study in the February issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Interventions.

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Contraceptive Shows No Effect on Cardiac Risk in PCOS

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Oral contraceptives containing the progestin drospirenone have no effect on markers of cardiovascular risk in lean and overweight women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), according to a study in the February issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Halting Anticoagulants Lowers Post-Ablation Stroke Risk

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who undergo atrial fibrillation ablation are less likely to have a stroke if they stop taking oral anticoagulants after a few months, according to a study in the Feb. 23 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Intensive Statin Therapy Cuts Recurrent Cardiac Events

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- For patients who have had a cardiovascular event, intensive statin therapy reduces the risk of recurrent events better than less-intensive therapy, according to a study in the Feb. 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Predictors of Atrial Fibrillation Progression Identified

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- A substantial percentage of patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (AF) progress to sustained AF within a year, which may be predicted by five factors known to affect atrial structural remodeling, according to a study in the Feb. 23 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Clinical Decision Rule Predicts High-Risk Syncope Patients

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- A clinical decision rule for use in patients with syncope has high sensitivity and negative predictive value, and, in combination with B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) measurement, may help identify those at high risk of serious outcomes and death, according to a study in the Feb. 23 Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Avosentan Reduces Protein Loss, Has Serious Side Effects

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- The endothelin antagonist avosentan reduces urinary protein loss in patients with type 2 diabetes and nephropathy, but substantially increases the risk of cardiovascular events, according to a study published online Feb. 18 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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Use of Drug-Eluting Stents in Multivessel Disease Examined

THURSDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Off-label use of drug-eluting stents has a similar or better safety profile as coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) and bare-metal stents in patients with multivessel disease after five years, with major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular event (MACCE) rates higher than CABG but lower than bare-metal stenting, according to a study published online Feb. 17 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Drug Combo Shows Benefits in Chronic Kidney Disease

THURSDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- In hypertensive patients with high cardiovascular risk, benazepril and amlodipine are better at reducing progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD) than benazepril with hydrochlorothiazide, according to research published online Feb. 18 in The Lancet.

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Happy People Less Likely to Develop Heart Disease

THURSDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- People who are happy and have a positive attitude are less likely to develop heart disease, according to a study published online Feb. 17 in the European Heart Journal.

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Initial Clopidogrel Response May Predict Final Response

THURSDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS), a slow clopidogrel response within the first hour after loading may identify those with a low response after 24 hours and high post-treatment platelet reactivity, according to a study in the Feb. 23 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Management of Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome Assessed

THURSDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- In the management of hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) in a child or fetus, most pediatric cardiologists and cardiac surgeons discuss a surgical intervention with parents, but only a few mention all of the available options, according to a study published online Feb. 15 in Pediatrics.

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Statins Linked to Slightly Increased Diabetes Risk

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Although statin therapy is associated with a slightly increased risk of diabetes, the risk is outweighed by a significantly decreased risk of coronary events, according to a review article published online Feb. 17 in The Lancet.

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Social Support Associated With Heart Attack Recovery

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Patients recovering from myocardial infarction who have low levels of social support (SS) are more likely to suffer from angina, be more depressed, and have poorer quality of life than patients with high levels of SS, according to a study published online Feb. 16 in Circulation: Quality and Outcomes.

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Updated Guideline Helps Identify Heart Risks in Women

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- The updated 2007 American Heart Association guideline for cardiovascular disease prevention in women identifies cardiovascular risk with accuracy similar to that of current Framingham risk categories. However, women were underrepresented in randomized clinical trials that led to creation of the guideline, according to two reports published online Feb. 16 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality Outcomes.

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New Monitor Detects, Quantifies Atrial Fibrillation

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Reveal XT -- the first implantable, leadless cardiac monitor with dedicated atrial fibrillation detection capabilities -- can accurately detect and quantify atrial fibrillation, according to a study published online Feb. 16 in Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology.

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Aspirin Use Linked to Fewer Breast Cancer Deaths

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Women with breast cancer who take aspirin several days a week have a lower risk of death or recurrence, according to a study published online Feb. 15 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Genetic Risk Scores Not Linked to Cardiovascular Disease

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Comprehensive literature-based genetic risk scores do not improve the prediction of cardiovascular risk among Caucasian women, according to research published in the Feb. 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Chronic Conditions Becoming More Common in Children

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Chronic health conditions have become increasingly more common in children in recent decades, according to research published in the Feb. 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Genomic Markers Linked to Heart Disease

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Single-nucleotide polymorphisms in chromosome 9p21 are associated with heart disease, particularly in younger people, according to research published in the Feb. 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Racial Disparities Seen in New York Surgical Patients

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- In New York City, minority patients are significantly less likely than Caucasians to use high-volume surgeons and hospitals when undergoing procedures with an established volume-mortality association, according to a study in the February issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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Superficial Venous Thrombosis May Herald Greater Risks

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Given that many patients with superficial venous thrombosis (SVT) also have deep venous thrombosis (DVT) at presentation, and a considerable number develop thromboembolic complications in following months, SVT may be more of a concern than previously thought, according to research published in the Feb. 16 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Outcomes Found to Be Poor in South Carolina Stroke Patients

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- In South Carolina, patients hospitalized for an initial stroke have an elevated short- and long-term risk of recurrent stroke, heart attack, vascular death, and all-cause death, according to a study in the Feb. 16 issue of Neurology.

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Cardiac Effects of Hormone Replacement Therapy Studied

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Hormone replacement therapy that includes estrogen plus progestin may not reduce the risk for coronary heart disease (CHD) during the first several years of treatment in women who started hormone therapy near menopause, according to research published in the Feb. 16 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Effect of Cigar, Pipe Smoke on Lung Function Assessed

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Cigar and pipe smoking have been linked with higher urine cotinine levels and airflow obstruction, even in those who have never smoked cigarettes, according to research published in the Feb. 16 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Gender Differences Seen in CABG Operative Mortality

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Women who undergo coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery have significantly higher operative mortality (OM) than men having the same surgery, according to a study in the Feb. 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Lifestyle Changes Found to Improve Endothelial Function

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Lifestyle changes such as a low-fat diet and regular exercise improve endothelial function and inflammatory markers of atherosclerosis in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD), according to a study published in the Feb. 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Physical Activity Surveillance Methods Need Improvement

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Relying on self-reported data to study disparities in physical activity can produce misleading information about population-wide trends, and surveillance should be revised to use more objective methods of data collection, according to research published online Feb. 10 in the American Journal of Public Health.

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2009 H1N1-Related Deaths and Hospitalizations Examined

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has provided updated estimates of the 2009 H1N1 cases, related hospitalizations and deaths, with approximately 57 million cases occurring between April 2009 and January 2010.

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Fenofibrate Linked to Lower Creatinine Clearance

FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term use of fenofibrate in type 2 diabetes is linked to lowered measures of renal function but has no effect on albumin excretion rate, according to research published in the February issue of Diabetes Care.

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Eating Walnuts May Improve Diabetic Endothelial Function

FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- A diet rich in walnuts helps type 2 diabetes patients improve endothelium-dependent vasodilatation, and may in turn reduce their overall cardiac risk, according to a study published in the February issue of Diabetes Care.

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Stenosis Can Still Exist in Absence of Coronary Calcium

FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- In contradiction of professional guidelines, the absence of coronary calcification in blood vessels does not rule out the potential existence of stenosis, and should not be used to decide if revascularization is needed, according to a study in the Feb. 16 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Emotional Stress Can Trigger Acute Coronary Syndrome

FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Emotional stress, such as that experienced by a spectator at a major sporting event, can increase serum levels of inflammatory biochemicals that can trigger an acute coronary syndrome (ACS) event, according to a study in the Feb. 16 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Antiplatelet Therapy Approaches for PCI Evaluated

FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who receive a loading dose of clopidogrel just before percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) have similar ischemic and mortality outcomes to those who receive the antiplatelet therapy well in advance of the procedure (as recommended in professional guidelines), according to research published in the Feb. 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Mnemonic Device for Patient Decision-Making Assessed

FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Clinicians who must quickly assess a patient's capacity to make an emergency treatment decision can now fall back on a new mnemonic device, "CURVES," developed at Johns Hopkins University and reviewed in the February issue of Chest.

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Breast Arterial Calcium Not Found to Be Predictive of CAD

FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Breast arterial calcium (BAC) deposits that show up on mammograms are not a useful tool for predicting the odds of coronary artery disease in women who are at medium or high risk, according to a study published in the Feb. 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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BP Drugs, Retinal Vessel Diameter in Diabetes Studied

THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus who have normal blood pressure, neither angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors nor angiotensin-receptor blockers have an effect on retinal arteriole or venule diameter, according to a study in the February issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

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Gout Associated With Higher Heart Attack Risk in Women

THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Gout is associated with an increased risk of heart attack in women, as previously observed in men, although the risk is higher in women, according to a study published online Feb. 2 in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

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Study Finds Speckle Tracking Aids in Patient Selection

THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Radial dyssynchrony by speckle tracking may be useful in predicting response to cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) in patients with borderline QRS and wide QRS durations, according to research published in the February Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Imaging.

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Lactation May Protect Women Against Metabolic Syndrome

THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Longer duration of breast-feeding can help women, particularly those who developed gestational diabetes mellitus, by reducing their risk of developing the metabolic syndrome, according to a study in the February issue of Diabetes

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Benicar Approved for Kids With High Blood Pressure

THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Olmesartan medoxomil (Benicar), approved in 2002 to treat high blood pressure in adults, has been sanctioned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat the same condition in children aged 6 to 16, drug maker Daiichi Sankyo said Thursday.

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FDA: Automated External Defibrillators Recalled

THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Cardiac Science Corporation has announced the worldwide voluntary recall of a number of their automated external defibrillators (AEDs) due to the inability of these devices to deliver therapy during resuscitation, which can result in serious complications and death, according to a Feb. 9 safety alert issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Myocarditis Linked to Pandemic H1N1 Flu in Children

THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Several cases of fulminant myocarditis, a rare complication of viral infection, have been identified among children infected with H1N1 pandemic influenza during a one month period, according to the results of a retrospective chart review published online Feb. 10 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Dietary Supplement Suspected of Causing Selenium Poisoning

THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- A liquid dietary supplement that contained 200 times the labeled concentration of selenium caused a widespread outbreak of selenium poisoning affecting 201 people in 10 states, according to a study published in the Feb. 8 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Migraine Associated With Cardiovascular Events, Risk

THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Migraines -- both with and without aura -- are associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular events and risk factors for cardiovascular disease, according to research published online Feb. 10 in Neurology.

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Magnesium Found Beneficial for Postmenopausal Women

THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- In postmenopausal women, increased magnesium intake is associated with lower levels of some markers of systemic inflammation and endothelial dysfunction, according to a study in the February issue of Diabetes Care.

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Youth Cardiovascular Risk Factors Linked to Early Death

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Cardiovascular risk factors in childhood are associated with a higher rate of premature death from endogenous causes, according to research published in the Feb. 11 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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AHRQ: U.S. Adults Seeing Big Barriers to Specialty Care

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- In 2007, about one in 13 of U.S. adults reported that access to specialist care was a "big problem," according to a December report issued by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

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FDA Initiative Aims to Cut Medical Radiation Exposure

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has launched a new initiative that aims to reduce exposure to radiation from computed tomography (CT), nuclear medicine studies and fluoroscopy, the three procedures that are the main sources of medically-related radiation exposure.

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Active Bowel Disease May Increase Blood Clot Risk

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have a much greater risk of suffering a venous thromboembolism than people in the general population without the bowel condition, particularly during periods of active disease, according to a study published online Feb. 9 in The Lancet.

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Bedside Blood Test Found to Detect Anticoagulation Status

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- A new bedside blood test can be used to determine the sufficiency of anticoagulation in patients who are about to undergo catheterization or percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), according to a study in the Feb. 16 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Crestor Approval Expanded

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for Crestor (rosuvastatin) has been widened to include people who have no obvious symptoms of heart disease, Dow Jones reported.

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Gastric Banding Tested for Weight Loss in Obese Teens

TUESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- In a study of obese Australian adolescents, 84 percent who underwent laparoscopic gastric banding lost more than half their excess weight compared to just 12 percent in a lifestyle-intervention program, according to a study in the Feb. 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Executive Dysfunction With High BP May Help Predict Dementia

TUESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- In elderly adults, executive dysfunction -- but not memory dysfunction -- accompanied by hypertension may help predict progression to dementia and provide an opportunity to intervene, according to a study in the February issue of the Archives of Neurology.

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Age-Related Treatment and Outcomes in Stroke Examined

TUESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Older people who suffer ischemic stroke are more likely to die in the hospital than younger stroke victims, though disparities in care by age group have been reduced or eliminated in recent years, according to a study published online Feb. 8 in Circulation.

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Outcomes Improving in Asymptomatic Carotid Stenosis

TUESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with asymptomatic carotid stenosis (ACS), intensive medical therapy has significantly reduced microemboli on transcranial Doppler as well as cardiovascular events, according to a study in the February issue of the Archives of Neurology.

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Coronary Risk Information May Benefit High Risk Patients

MONDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Adults at moderate to high risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) may be more likely to seek treatment if they are given a quantitative estimate of their risk odds in the form of CHD risk information, but the population-wide effect of disseminating such information remains unclear, according to a review published in the Feb. 8 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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AHA/ACC Offer Guidance for Dangerous Arrhythmia

MONDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Hospitalized patients taking QT-prolonging drugs may be at risk for drug-induced long-QT syndrome (LQTS) and should be closely monitored by electrocardiogram (ECG) for the incidence of the serious arrhythmia known as torsade de pointes (TdP), according to a scientific statement from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology Foundation published online Feb. 8 in Circulation.

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Fewer States Preempting Local Smoke-Free Rules

MONDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Some progress has been made on the Healthy People 2010 goal of eliminating state laws which enable states to preempt local restrictions on smoke-free areas that are more stringent than state laws, according to an article published in the Feb. 5 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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H1N1 Vaccination Still Highly Recommended

MONDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Despite H1N1 virus levels stabilizing, transmission remains an issue and vaccination continues to be an effective option for prevention of this potentially serious condition, according to a Feb. 5 press briefing by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

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Many American Adults Do Not Get Recommended Vaccines

MONDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Although most parents ensure their children are vaccinated, adults often do not receive recommended vaccinations themselves, according to a new report, Adult Immunization: Shots to Save Lives.

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Physical Inactivity, Not Just Lack of Exercise, Harms Health

FRIDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Sedentary behavior and a lack of whole-body movement are independent predictors of increased mortality and increased incidence of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer, regardless of level of physical exercise, according to an article published online Feb. 4 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

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Coalition Launches Campaign to Limit Residents' Hours

FRIDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- To prevent medical errors caused by doctor fatigue, a coalition of public interest and patient safety groups is urging the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) to limit the amount of time residents must work without sleep to 16 hours and to increase resident supervision.

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Thomas Medical Announces Recall of Safesheath Product

FRIDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Thomas Medical Products Inc. have notified health care professionals of a recall of certain lots of the Safesheath Coronary Sinus Guide Hemostatic Introducer System with Infusion Sideport.

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Diabetes Patients, Doctors May Have Different Health Priorities

FRIDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- While diabetes patients with comorbidities and their primary care providers are usually in concordance over what their health priorities are, concordance tends to be lower among the least healthy patients and those with non-health competing demands, according to a study published online Feb. 2 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

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Health Care Spending Makes Record Leap in GDP Share

THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- A growth in health spending in 2009, coupled with a sagging economy, created the largest one-year jump in health care's share of the nation's gross domestic product since 1960, according to an article published online Feb. 4 in Health Affairs.

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No Rebound Seen in Platelet Aggregation After Clopidogrel

THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- There was no rebound in platelet aggregation (PA) observed in cardiovascular patients who stopped taking clopidogrel abruptly or tapered off the medication gradually after the prescribed course of treatment, according to a study in the Feb. 9 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Diversity Growth Incremental in the Medical Professions

THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- One hundred years after the Flexner Report recommended closing five of the seven African-American medical schools then extant, African-Americans and other minorities remain grossly underrepresented in the medical professions, according to an article in the February issue of Academic Medicine.

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The Lancet Retracts Study Linking MMR Vaccine, Autism

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- On Feb. 2, The Lancet retracted a controversial 1998 study that linked the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine to autism and gastrointestinal problems.

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Clinicians Need to Be Aware of Patient Use of Herbal Products

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Health care professionals need to be aware of their patients' use of herbal remedies, which can adversely interact with many common cardiovascular medications, according to a review in the Feb. 9 Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Computed Tomography Shows Advantage in Heart Disease

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Computed tomography (CT) appears to hold an advantage over magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for ruling out coronary artery disease, according to research published in the Feb. 2 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Significance of Proteinuria Levels in Kidney Failure Studied

TUESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- At a given level of estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), individuals with higher levels of proteinuria face greater risks of mortality, myocardial infarction, and progression to kidney failure, according to research published in the Feb. 3 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Anticoagulation and Risk of VTE Studied in Suspected DVT

TUESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with suspected lower extremity deep vein thrombosis (DVT), those with a negative whole-leg compression ultrasound (CUS) and no anticoagulation therapy are at low risk of venous thromboembolism, according to a meta-analysis reported in the Feb. 3 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Antidepressant May Aid Post-Stroke Cognitive Recovery

TUESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Stroke patients who receive the antidepressant escitalopram within three months of their stroke show improvement in cognitive functioning as compared to those receiving either placebo or Problem Solving Therapy, according to a study in the February issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Cognitive Test May Predict Brain Infarction in Elderly Men

TUESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- In elderly men, impaired performance on a cognitive test is an independent predictor of brain infarction, according to a study published in the Feb. 2 issue of Neurology.

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Androgen Deprivation Therapy and Cardiac Risk Link Assessed

TUESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- The use of androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) to treat prostate cancer may be associated with cardiovascular risk, according to an article published online Feb. 1 in Circulation.

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Extended Use of Nicotine Patch Linked to Benefits

TUESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- The use of transdermal nicotine patches for an extended duration, compared to the standard eight-week therapy, may improve the chances of smoking abstinence, according to research published in the Feb. 2 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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President Proposes $911 Billion Budget for HHS

TUESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- As part of his 2011 budget proposal, President Barack Obama has proposed $911 billion for the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Department, according to a Feb. 1 announcement by the secretary of HHS, Kathleen Sebelius.

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Study Doesn't Support Drug for Pericardial Effusion

TUESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with pericardial effusion following heart surgery, the use of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac doesn't reduce the size of the effusions or lower the risk of late cardiac tamponade, according to research published in the Feb. 2 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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