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August 2010 Briefing - Cardiology

Last Updated: September 01, 2010.

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

Blood Pressure-Lowering Diet May Reduce CHD Risk

TUESDAY, Aug. 31 (HealthDay News) -- In individuals with prehypertension or stage-1 hypertension, a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy, and low in fats and cholesterol appears to reduce the long-term risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), according to a study published online Aug. 31 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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Somatic Depression Symptoms Show Heart Risk Link

TUESDAY, Aug. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Somatic symptoms of depression appear to more strongly predict cardiovascular events than cognitive depressive symptoms in individuals with stable coronary heart disease (CHD), according to research published in the Sept. 7 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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AHA/ASA Stroke Program Likely Applicable Outside U.S.

MONDAY, Aug. 30 (HealthDay News) -- The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Get With the Guidelines-Stroke program (GWTG-Stroke) may be useful for assessing and improving the quality of stroke care and outcomes outside the United States, according to research published online Aug. 30 in Circulation.

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Black Race Independent Predictor of Stent Thrombosis

MONDAY, Aug. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Black race is a distinct risk factor for developing stent thrombosis (ST) after drug-eluting stent (DES) implantation, according to a study published online Aug. 30 in Circulation.

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P2Y12 Inhibitors Reduce Post-PCI Risk of Death

THURSDAY, Aug. 26 (HealthDay News) -- New P2Y12 inhibitors are associated with improved outcomes after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) compared with clopidogrel, and appear especially beneficial for ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) patients, according to research published online Aug. 25 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Post-Transplant Survival High in Cardiac Patient Subset

THURSDAY, Aug. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) who undergo heart transplants have comparable short-term survival and possibly better long-term survival than people who receive heart transplants for other reasons, according to research published online Aug. 24 in Circulation: Heart Failure.

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Physicians' Religious Views Linked to Care Decisions

THURSDAY, Aug. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Non-religious physicians are more likely than religious physicians to make decisions that could hasten the end of patients' lives, and are also more likely to discuss these types of decisions with patients, according to research published online Aug. 25 in the Journal of Medical Ethics.

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Transapical Aortic Valve Procedure Appears Promising

THURSDAY, Aug. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Transapical aortic valve implantation is associated with favorable outcomes and may be a reasonable choice for treating high-risk patients with severe valve stenosis, according to research published in the Aug. 31 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Improved Outcomes Seen With Drug-Eluting Stents

THURSDAY, Aug. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Drug-eluting stents (DES) in percutaneous coronary intervention are associated with improved long-term outcomes, with a benefit that continues for up to five years following the intervention, according to research published in the Sept. 1 issue of Catheterization & Cardiovascular Interventions.

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Statin Benefits Those With High hsCRP, Intermediate CVD Risk

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Rosuvastatin may reduce the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events in men and women with normal cholesterol but elevated high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) levels who are at intermediate risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to research published online Aug. 24 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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Diabetes Drugs Equal in Risk for Adverse Heart Events

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- The diabetes drugs rosiglitazone and pioglitazone (Avandia and Actos, respectively) appear to be evenly matched when it comes to the risk for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), acute heart failure (AHF), and mortality in patients taking the drugs, according to research published online Aug. 24 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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Elevated CRP Has Robust Link to Higher A-Fib Risk

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Higher levels of plasma C-reactive protein (CRP) are robustly associated with a higher risk of atrial fibrillation, but elevated levels don't necessarily increase the risk, according to research published in the Aug. 31 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Black Women With Lupus Develop CVD at Younger Age

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Black women with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) are hospitalized for cardiovascular disease (CVD) events and die from them at younger ages than female SLE patients of other races and ethnic groups, according to a study published online May 6, ahead of the print issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Elective IABP Insertion May Not Improve Post-PCI Outcome

TUESDAY, Aug. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Elective intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) insertion does not appear to improve outcomes after high-risk percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), according to a study in the Aug. 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Pericardial Fat Associated With Risk for Atrial Fibrillation

TUESDAY, Aug. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Subjects with higher volumes of pericardial fat are at increased risk for atrial fibrillation (AF) regardless of the presence of traditional risk factors, according to a study in the Aug. 31 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy Off-Label Use High

TUESDAY, Aug. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly 25 percent of individuals who receive cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) devices do not meet consensus guidelines for CRT device use, according to a study in the Aug. 31 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Antihypertensive Drugs Tied to Pressor Responses

MONDAY, Aug. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Commonly used antihypertensive drugs cause pressor responses fairly frequently, particularly in patients with low renin levels who receive β-blockers or angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, according to a study published online Aug. 19 in the American Journal of Hypertension.

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High A1C Tied to Heart Failure in Those Without Diabetes

MONDAY, Aug. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Among middle-aged people without diabetes, elevated hemoglobin A1C is associated with risk of later heart failure, indicating that chronic hyperglycemia even before diabetes development may be a risk factor for heart failure, according to research published in the August issue of Diabetes.

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High BP Plus Binge Drinking Tied to Increased Cardio Risk

FRIDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Korean males with grade 3 hypertension who engage in binge or heavy binge drinking are at substantially increased risk of cardiovascular mortality, even after adjusting for total alcohol consumption, according to a study published online Aug. 19 in Stroke.

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In Androgenetic Alopecia, Early Cardiac Screening Important

FRIDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with early-onset androgenetic alopecia (AGA) have higher risk for cardiovascular disease and should be screened early to determine the need for preventive treatment, according to a study in the September issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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Fatty Acids Beneficial for Metabolic Syndrome Patients

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Low-fat, high-complex carbohydrate diets are often recommended to lower risk for metabolic syndrome (MetS), but this regimen may raise blood lipids; the addition of long-chain (n-3) fatty acids may help alleviate this problem in MetS patients, according to research published online July 14 in the Journal of Nutrition.

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Antagonistic Traits Tied to More Arterial Thickening

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 18 (HealthDay News) -- People with low levels of agreeableness are at substantially increased risk for elevated intima-media thickness, and women who have antagonistic traits have carotid thickening that is similar to that of antagonistic men, according to an article published online Aug. 16 in Hypertension.

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Occluded Artery Not Uncommon in ACS Patients

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Occluded arteries and elevated cardiac biomarkers are not rare in acute coronary syndrome (ACS) patients with isolated anterior ST-segment depression, and these patients have worse clinical outcomes and are unlikely to undergo urgent angiography, according to research published in the August issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Interventions.

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System Delay Associated With Mortality in STEMI Patients

TUESDAY, Aug. 17 (HealthDay News) -- In ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) patients receiving primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), system delays are associated with mortality risk, according to research published in the Aug. 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Antibiotic Sponges Fail to Fend Off Infections

TUESDAY, Aug. 17 (HealthDay News) -- In cardiac surgery patients with diabetes and/or a high body mass index, the use of two gentamicin-collagen sponges does not reduce the sternal wound infection rate 90 days post-surgery compared with no intervention, according to a study published in the Aug. 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Moderate Chocolate Intake Tied to Lower Heart Failure Risk

TUESDAY, Aug. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Regular, moderate chocolate consumption is linked to a lower rate of heart failure hospitalization or death, but no protective association is seen in individuals consuming one or more servings of chocolate daily, according to a study published online Aug. 16 in Circulation: Heart Failure.

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FDA Proposes Withdrawal of Approval for Midodrine

TUESDAY, Aug. 17 (HealthDay News) -- In the absence of post-approval trials demonstrating the clinical benefits of midodrine hydrochloride (ProAmatine), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a proposal to withdraw approval of the drug.

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Sertraline May Not Be Effective for Depression in Heart Failure

TUESDAY, Aug. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Sertraline does not appear any better than placebo at improving depressive symptoms or cardiovascular status among patients with both heart failure and depression, according to research published in the Aug. 24 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Same-Day Discharge After PCI Safe for Some

TUESDAY, Aug. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Patients carefully selected for elective percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) may be able to safely return home the same day as the procedure, according to research published in the August issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Interventions.

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Red Meat Linked to Increased Risk of Coronary Heart Disease

TUESDAY, Aug. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Higher intakes of nuts, fish, and poultry are associated with a significantly lower risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), but high intake of red meat and high-fat dairy is significantly associated with an increased risk of CHD, according to research published online Aug. 16 in Circulation.

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FDA: 6 French Engage Introducer Devices Recalled

MONDAY, Aug. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has alerted health care providers of a class I recall of 6 French (6F) Engage Introducer devices, manufactured by St. Jude Medical, as affected devices have the potential to lead to a possibly fatal bleeding episode.

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Rimonabant Trial Stopped Early Due to Suicide Risk

FRIDAY, Aug. 13 (HealthDay News) -- A study evaluating the cardiovascular outcomes related to rimonabant, a weight loss drug, was discontinued due to concerns regarding the risk of suicide associated with the drug, according to a report in the Aug. 14 issue of The Lancet.

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Cholesterol Levels Vary Across the Menstrual Cycle

FRIDAY, Aug. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Serum lipid levels are associated with endogenous estrogen levels in menstruating women, and vary throughout the cycle, according to research published online June 9 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

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Clopidogrel Tailoring Beneficial in Acute Coronary Syndrome

THURSDAY, Aug. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Tailoring clopidogrel loading dose by platelet reactivity monitoring may overcome high on-treatment platelet reactivity (HTPR) in cytochrome (CYP) 2C19 2* carriers; this intervention may reduce risk of thrombosis after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), according to research published online Aug. 11 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Patients Prefer Tablet Over Chocolate for BP Control

THURSDAY, Aug. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Chocolate may be more effective than placebo at controlling blood pressure, but it seems patients would rather swallow a capsule than eat a chocolate bar, according to a letter published Aug. 10 in BMJ.

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Modest Visceral Fat Gain Decreases Endothelial Function

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Even modest gains in visceral fat are associated with decreased endothelial function in healthy young adults, according to research published in the Aug. 17 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Patients, Doctors Often Have Communication Discrepancies

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Hospitalized patients and physicians may have differing beliefs regarding patients' knowledge and aspects of their care, suggesting a need for improved patient-physician communication, according to research published in the Aug. 9/23 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Consumer Drug Information Shows Areas of Concern

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Consumer medication information (CMI) accompanying prescription drugs dispensed at retail pharmacies is often subject to concerns about format, comprehensibility, and excessive length, according to research published in the Aug. 9/23 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Some Vena Cava Filters Prone to Fracture, Embolization

TUESDAY, Aug. 10 (HealthDay News) -- There is a high rate of fracture and embolization with potentially devastating sequelae associated with two types of Bard filters, according to research published online Aug. 9 in the Archives of Internal Medicine. In addition, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is recommending that physicians in care of patients with retrievable inferior vena cava filters consider removing the filters as soon as protection from pulmonary embolism is no longer necessary.

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Gene Variants Linked to Abnormal Lipids Identified

MONDAY, Aug. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Identification of 95 genetic variants implicated in lipoprotein metabolism may provide new targets for the prevention of coronary artery disease (CAD), according to research published in the Aug. 5 issue of Nature.

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Left Atrial Index Predicts Mitral Regurgitation Outcome

THURSDAY, Aug. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Left atrial volume indexed to body surface area (LA index) predicts mortality risk in patients with organic mitral regurgitation (MR), according to research published in the Aug. 10 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Stimulus for Myocardial Fibrosis Early Sign of Cardiomyopathy

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Elevated levels of serum C-terminal propeptide of type I procollagen (PICP) are indicative of increased myocardial collagen synthesis in sarcomere-mutation carriers without overt hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and often precede the development of left ventricular hypertrophy or fibrosis that is visible on imaging, according to a study in the Aug. 5 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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CD31+ Peripheral Blood Cells Promote Angiogenesis

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Peripheral blood (PB) cells which are positive for the endothelial marker CD31 promote angiogenesis in an ischemic animal model even without prior cell culture, according to research published in the Aug. 10 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Diabetes Drug Spurs Weight Loss, Better Cardiac Profile

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 4 (HealthDay News) -- In type 2 diabetes patients, treatment with a glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1) receptor agonist is associated with weight loss and an improved cardiovascular risk profile, according to research published in the August issue of Diabetes Care.

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U.S. Obesity Prevalence Among Adults Increased in 2009

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 4 (HealthDay News) -- In 2009, no U.S. state met the Healthy People 2010 adult obesity prevalence target of 15 percent, and the number of states with an obesity prevalence ≥30 increased from zero in 2000 to nine in 2009, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Vital Signs report published Aug. 3 in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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B Vitamins Do Not Prevent Vascular Events After Stroke

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Supplementation with folic acid, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 is safe but does not appear to reduce the incidence of major vascular events in patients who have experienced a recent stroke or transient ischemic attack, according to a study published online Aug. 4 in The Lancet Neurology.

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FDA: NeoProfen Recalled Due to Visible Particulate Matter

TUESDAY, Aug. 3 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has alerted health care professionals of a voluntary recall of two lots of Lundbeck Inc.'s ibuprofen lysine (NeoProfen) injection, as the product did not meet a visible particulate quality requirement.

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Autograft Aortic Root Replacement Beats Homograft

TUESDAY, Aug. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Autograft aortic root replacement (Ross procedure) in patients with aortic valve disease results in significantly improved clinical outcomes compared to homograft aortic root replacement, according to a study published online Aug. 3 in The Lancet.

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FDA: Nimodipine Should Never Be Administered Intravenously

TUESDAY, Aug. 3 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is reminding health care professionals that nimodipine should never be administered intravenously but only given by mouth or through a feeding or nasogastric tube, as intravenous administration may lead to cardiac arrest, severe decreases in blood pressure, other cardiac adverse events, or death.

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In-Lab Clopidogrel as Effective as Pre-Loading Before PCI

TUESDAY, Aug. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Giving clopidogrel after coronary angiography but before percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) appears to be as effective as pre-loading the drug four to eight hours before PCI, according to research published in the Aug. 10 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Industry-Funded Clinical Trials Yield More Positive Outcomes

TUESDAY, Aug. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Drug clinical trials supported by industry are more likely to produce favorable results than trials supported by government or nonprofit/nonfederal organizations, and they are less likely to be published within two years of the study being completed, according to research published in the Aug. 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Decreased Cardiac Function Linked to Faster Brain Aging

MONDAY, Aug. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Reductions in cardiac function, as measured by cardiac index, may be associated with accelerated aging of the brain, according to a study published online Aug. 2 in Circulation.

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