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Category: Cardiology | Monthly Briefing

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April 2014 Briefing - Cardiology

Last Updated: May 01, 2014.

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Cardiology for April 2014. 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.

ALA: More Americans Breathing Unhealthy Air

WEDNESDAY, April 30, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly 148 million Americans live in regions where air pollution levels are a threat to their health, according to the American Lung Association's 2014 State of the Air report. The number of people found to be breathing unhealthy air is nearly 16 million more than in the 2013 report.

Health Highlights: April 30, 2014
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Limited Associations for Antiretroviral Tx, Birth Defects

WEDNESDAY, April 30, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- There is a specific association between in utero exposure to zidovudine and heart defects; however, most ART drugs are not linked to birth defects, according to a study published online April 29 in PLOS Medicine.

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Established Modifiable Factors Account for Half of Strokes

WEDNESDAY, April 30, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Established causal and modifiable factors, including hypertension and smoking, account for about half of all strokes, according to a study published online April 29 in PLOS Medicine.

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Lower Levels of Physical Capability Linked to Mortality

WEDNESDAY, April 30, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Lower levels of physical capability are associated with increased mortality, and daily activity is inversely associated with disability in those with or at risk of knee osteoarthritis, according to two studies published online April 29 in BMJ.

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Higher Dietary Fiber Intake Tied to Lower Mortality in MI Survivors

WEDNESDAY, April 30, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Greater dietary fiber intake, particularly cereal fiber, is associated with lower all-cause mortality among patients who have survived a myocardial infarction (MI), according to a study published online April 29 in BMJ.

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Aspirin Use Cuts CRC Risk With High 15-PGDH Expression

TUESDAY, April 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Regular aspirin use is associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer in association with high hydroxyprostaglandin dehydrogenase 15-(nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) (15-PGDH) expression, according to a study published in the April 23 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

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AHA Releases Statement on Fetal Cardiac Disease

MONDAY, April 28, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A writing group appointed by the American Heart Association has released a scientific statement regarding fetal cardiac care; the statement has been published online April 24 in Circulation.

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BMI Linked to Coronary Plaque in Asymptomatic Diabetes

MONDAY, April 28, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For asymptomatic patients with diabetes, body mass index (BMI) is directly related to coronary plaque, as measured by coronary computed tomography (CT) angiography, according to a study published online April 22 in Radiology.

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For Statin Users, Caloric, Fat Intake Up Since 1999 to 2000

FRIDAY, April 25, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For statin users, but not nonusers, caloric and fat intake increased significantly from 1999-2000 to 2009-2010, according to a study published online April 24 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Serum Marker Predicts Cardiovascular Events in Diabetes

FRIDAY, April 25, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Elevated levels of polyclonal serum immunoglobulin combined free light chains (cFLCs) may indicate adverse cardiovascular disease (CVD) outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes, according to research published online April 17 in Diabetes Care.

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Cannabis May Cause Heart Problems in Young Adults

FRIDAY, April 25, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Young adults who use cannabis may experience serious, sometimes fatal, cardiovascular complications, according to research published online April 23 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

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FDA Proposes E-Cigarette Regulations

THURSDAY, April 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is proposing long-awaited regulations governing the fast-growing electronic cigarette industry.

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Physician Groups Find Fault With Medicare Payment Data Release

THURSDAY, April 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Physician groups cite major problems associated with the release of Medicare payment data, according to an article published April 16 in Medical Economics.

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Irrational Health Beliefs Predict Adherence to Cardiac Rehab

THURSDAY, April 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Irrational health beliefs, but not depression, predict adherence to cardiac rehabilitation (CR), according to a study published in Health Psychology.

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Down Syndrome Kids Fare Better Than Others After Heart Repair

THURSDAY, April 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Children with Down syndrome, compared with those without this genetic condition, are more likely to survive to discharge following surgical repair of congenital heart disease, according to research published online April 22 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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Educational Changes Suggested for Patient-Centered Medicine

THURSDAY, April 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Changes in medical education and training are suggested to help new physicians address the needs of patients and their families, according to an ideas and opinions piece published in the April 22 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Frequency of Arrhythmia Up in Nocturnal Hypoglycemia

WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For insulin-treated patients with type 2 diabetes, nocturnal hypoglycemia is associated with increased frequency of arrhythmia, according to a study published in the May issue of Diabetes.

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Review: Sugar-Sweetened Drink Intake Tied to Elevated BP

WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) intake is associated with elevated blood pressure (BP), according to a review published in the May 1 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

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FDA Proposes Accelerated Medical Device Approval Plan

WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has proposed a new program that would provide expedited access to high-risk medical devices intended for patients with serious conditions whose medical needs are not met by current technology.

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Considerable Sudden Death in Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

TUESDAY, April 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HC) without traditional risk factors and with no or mild symptoms have a considerable rate of sudden cardiac death, according to a study published in the May 1 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

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Lipid Genes Have Pleiotropic Impact on Glucose-Linked Traits

TUESDAY, April 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Genetic predisposition to dyslipidemia has a pleiotropic lowering effect on glucose-related traits, according to a study published online April 10 in Diabetes.

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Task Force Recommends Ways to Improve Price Transparency

MONDAY, April 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Price transparency frameworks, which provide price information presented in the context of other relevant information, should be developed to meet patients' needs, according to recommendations presented in a report from the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA).

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Primary Care Doctors Must Influence Lifestyle Changes

MONDAY, April 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Primary care physicians (PCPs) are increasingly called upon to manage circulatory and circulatory-related diseases among their patients, according to an article published April 10 in Medical Economics.

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Vegetarian Black Adventists Have Lower Cardiovascular Risk

MONDAY, April 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A vegetarian diet may reduce cardiovascular risk in black individuals, according to research published online March 17 in Public Health Nutrition.

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Review: Pregnancy Complications Up With Chronic HTN

MONDAY, April 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Women with chronic hypertension have increased risks of adverse pregnancy outcomes, according to a review and meta-analysis published online April 15 in BMJ.

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AMA Examines Economic Impact of Physicians

FRIDAY, April 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians who mainly engage in patient care contribute a total of $1.6 trillion in economic output, according to the American Medical Association (AMA)'s Economic Impact Study.

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Int'l Medical Education Standards Not Equivalent to U.K. Standards

FRIDAY, April 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- International medical graduates passing the Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) of the General Medical Council (GMC) have lower performance on MRCP(UK) (Membership of the Royal Colleges of Physicians) and MRCGP (Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners) and on annual review of competence progression (ARCP) examinations, according to two studies published online April 17 in BMJ.

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Reduced Salt Intake Likely Dropped BP Levels in England

FRIDAY, April 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The reduction of dietary salt intake between 2003 and 2011 was likely an important contributor to decreases in blood pressure (BP) in the population of England, according to research published online April 14 in BMJ Open.

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Standard Ultrasound Criteria Needed in Carotid Artery Stenosis

FRIDAY, April 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Standardization of the diagnostic criteria defining the degree of carotid artery stenosis is needed for carotid duplex ultrasonography, according to research published online April 15 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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White House: 8 Million People Signed Up for Health Insurance

FRIDAY, April 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Eight million Americans signed up for private health insurance during the just-concluded first enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act, the White House announced Thursday afternoon.

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One in 20 U.S. Adults a Victim of Diagnostic Errors

THURSDAY, April 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Diagnostic errors affect at least one in 20 U.S. adults, according to research published online April 17 in BMJ Quality & Safety.

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Collaborative Care Improves Mental Health in Cardiac Patients

THURSDAY, April 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A telephone-based intervention improves mental health-related quality of life in cardiac patients with depression and/or anxiety disorders, according to research published online April 14 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Patient-Clinician Relationship Impacts Health Care Outcomes

THURSDAY, April 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The patient-clinician relationship has a small but significant effect on health care outcomes, according to a study published online April 9 in PLOS ONE.

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Considerable Variation in CT Use in Ischemic Stroke

THURSDAY, April 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with ischemic stroke there is considerable variation in the rates of high-intensity computed tomography (CT) use, according to a study published online April 8 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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Educator Discusses Key Issues for Future Doctors to Consider

THURSDAY, April 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The key issues for future physicians are discussed in an article published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Diabetes-Related Complications Declined, 1990 to 2010

WEDNESDAY, April 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Rates of diabetes-related complications have declined substantially over the past two decades, according to a study published in the April 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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CDC: Regional Trends Seen for Complementary Health Services

WEDNESDAY, April 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Yoga and meditation are popular on the West Coast, Midwesterners often turn to chiropractors or osteopathic doctors, and nearly one in every five Americans use herbal supplements. These are among the findings of a new federal government report published in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's April edition of the National Center for Health Statistics Data Brief.

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Risk for Nonelective Thoracic Aortic Sx Up for Uninsured

WEDNESDAY, April 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Uninsured patients have an increased risk of nonelective thoracic aortic operations, and have increased risks of major morbidity or mortality, according to a study published online April 8 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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Continued Reliance on Windows XP May Threaten Data Security

WEDNESDAY, April 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians who use Windows XP in their practices may be affected by Microsoft's recent discontinuation of support for the program, according to an article published April 8 in Medical Economics.

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Patients Paying Much More for Specialty Drugs

TUESDAY, April 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Many Americans are paying less for prescription drugs, but some are having to deal with sharp rises in the cost of specialty medicines for rare or serious diseases, according to a new report.

Health Highlights: April 15, 2014

Six-Minute Walk Test Could Help Guide Heart Failure Treatment

TUESDAY, April 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Distance achieved in the six-minute walk test may be a practical measure of functional capacity that guides selection of therapy for patients with heart failure, according to research published online April 9 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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FDA Approves Expanded Indication for CRT Devices

MONDAY, April 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved an application from Medtronic for revised labeling for two cardiac resynchronization pacemakers (CRT-P) and eight cardiac resynchronization defibrillators (CRT-D). The approval expands the indication for use to patients with atrioventricular block and less severe heart failure, according to a press announcement issued by the FDA.

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Serum Potassium Levels Linked to Long-Term Mortality Post-MI

MONDAY, April 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI), serum potassium levels are associated with long-term mortality risk, according to a study published in the April 15 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

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New Health Secretary to Confront Health Care Reform Hurdles

MONDAY, April 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- With the resignation of U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Friday, the Affordable Care Act will get a fresh face. But turning around public perception of the controversial health care reform law in a politically charged mid-term election year poses an enormous challenge for the department's next leader, policy experts said.

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Sebelius Stepping Down As HHS Secretary

FRIDAY, April 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is stepping down from her position, after overseeing the troubled rollout of the Affordable Care Act that remains unpopular with some Americans and virtually all Republican lawmakers.

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Insomnia Linked to Increased Risk of Subsequent Stroke

FRIDAY, April 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Insomnia is associated with an increased risk of subsequent stroke, especially among younger adults, according to a study published online April 3 in Stroke.

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Benefits/Risks for Fibrinolytic Therapy in Intermediate-Risk PE

FRIDAY, April 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A single intravenous bolus of tenecteplase reduces early death and hemodynamic decompensation in normotensive patients with intermediate-risk pulmonary embolism, but increases the risk of major hemorrhage and stroke, according to a study published in the April 10 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Dietary Legume Intake May Cut LDL Cholesterol Levels

THURSDAY, April 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Dietary pulse (beans, chickpeas, lentils, and peas) intake seems to be associated with reductions in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis published online April 7 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

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NSAID Use Linked to Increased Risk of Atrial Fibrillation

THURSDAY, April 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- In elderly adults, current and recent non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use is associated with increased risk of atrial fibrillation, according to a study published online April 8 in BMJ Open.

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Prevalence of Childhood Obesity in U.S. Up From 1999

THURSDAY, April 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- From 1999, all classes of obesity have increased in children, although the rates in 2011 to 2012 were not significantly different from those in 2009 to 2010, according to a study published online April 7 in JAMA Pediatrics.

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Fewer Americans Overwhelmed by Medical Bills

WEDNESDAY, April 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- While millions of Americans still feel hamstrung by medical expenses, a new government report shows that some people are getting relief.

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Spironolactone Doesn't Improve Set of Outcomes in Diastolic CHF

WEDNESDAY, April 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Spironolactone did not significantly reduce a composite outcome end point in heart failure patients with a preserved ejection fraction, according to a study published in the April 10 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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More Justification Needed for Choosing Wisely Selections

WEDNESDAY, April 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Most services included in specialty medical societies' Top 5 lists for the Choosing Wisely campaign are based on evidence demonstrating equivalent but not superior benefit, with higher risk or higher costs compared to other options, according to a research letter published in the April 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Some Doctors Paid at Least $3 Million Each by Medicare

WEDNESDAY, April 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A small number of doctors received at least $3 million each in Medicare payments in 2012, for a total of nearly $1.5 billion, according to an analysis of Medicare claims data released Wednesday by the White House. In total, Medicare paid individual physicians nearly $64 billion in 2012. The median payment was just over $30,000, the Associated Press reported.

Health Highlights: April 9, 2014
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Lifestyle Intervention Provides Lasting Benefits in IGT

TUESDAY, April 8, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For adults with impaired glucose tolerance, a six-year lifestyle intervention program reduces cardiovascular and all-cause mortality, and diabetes, according to a study published online April 3 in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

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NCQA Updates Recognition Standards for Medical Homes

TUESDAY, April 8, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) has updated its guidelines for patient-centered medical homes, according to an article published March 27 in Medical Economics.

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Newly Eligible for Expanded Medicaid Are Healthier

MONDAY, April 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Persons newly eligible for expanded Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are not sicker than pre-ACA enrollees, according to research published online March 26 in Health Affairs.

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U-Shaped Association for Sodium Intake, Mortality

MONDAY, April 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Low and high sodium intake are associated with increased mortality, according to a meta-analysis published online March 20 in the American Journal of Hypertension.

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Early Elevation of Cardiac Risk Worsens Cognition in Midlife

MONDAY, April 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Higher levels of cumulative exposure to cardiovascular risk factors (CVRFs) from early to middle adulthood may worsen cognition in midlife, according to research published online March 31 in Circulation.

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Patients Select Fewer New Docs at Bottom of Tiered Ranking

MONDAY, April 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Patients are less likely to select a new physician ranked in the bottom of a tiered network, but often don't switch if their current physician is ranked at the bottom, according to research published online March 11 in Health Services Research.

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Calorie Restriction Aids Aging in Primates; Contradicts Earlier Data

FRIDAY, April 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Calorie restriction (CR) may provide aging-related benefits, including a reduction in all-cause mortality, according to an animal study published online April 1 in Nature Communications.

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AMA Provides Resources to Aid Physicians' Collections

FRIDAY, April 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The American Medical Association (AMA) has released resources to help doctors confront policy jumpers who may pose a financial risk to physicians during the Affordable Care Act's 90-day premium grace period, according to an article published March 25 in Medical Economics.

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Cardiorespiratory Fitness Impacts Later Cognitive Function

FRIDAY, April 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) is associated with better verbal memory and faster psychomotor speed 25 years later, according to a study published online April 2 in Neurology.

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Review: Bariatric Surgery Cuts Cardiovascular Disease, Death

THURSDAY, April 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Bariatric surgery is associated with reduced risk of mortality and cardiovascular events, including myocardial infarction and stroke, according to a review and meta-analysis published in the April 15 issue of the International Journal of Cardiology.

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Patient Safety Not Affected by Resident Hour Reforms

THURSDAY, April 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- In the year following 2011 work-hour reforms for residents there were no changes in patient safety outcomes when comparing patients treated by residents to those treated by hospitalists, according to a study published online Feb. 22 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

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Interarm BP Difference May Up Cardiac Risk in Diabetes

THURSDAY, April 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Interarm differences in systolic blood pressure (BP) in patients with diabetes may be associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, according to research published online on March 25 in Diabetes Care.

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Memory Impairment Prevalent in Elderly With Heart Failure

THURSDAY, April 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For older adults with chronic heart failure, memory impairment is common, with impairment correlating positively with heart failure severity, according to a study published in the April 1 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

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Half of Uninsured Don't Intend to Sign Up for Health Coverage

WEDNESDAY, April 2, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- About 50 percent of uninsured adults do not intend to sign up for coverage through the Affordable Care Act's health care exchanges, according to an article published March 26 in Medical Economics.

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Lack of Clear Evidence for Health Benefits of Vitamin D

WEDNESDAY, April 2, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Evidence is lacking for the associations between vitamin D and health outcomes, according to one review published April 1 in BMJ; however, lower levels of circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D correlate with increased mortality, according to another review also published April 1 in BMJ.

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Men With HIV May Face Higher Risk of Coronary Artery Disease

WEDNESDAY, April 2, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Men who are infected with HIV are at greater risk of coronary artery disease (CAD), according to research published in the April 1 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Seven+ Daily Portions of Fruit, Vegetables Cut Mortality

WEDNESDAY, April 2, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Fruit and vegetable consumption is associated with reduced mortality, with benefits seen for consumption of seven or more portions per day, according to a study published online March 31 in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

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ACEIs, Not ARBs, Reduce Cardiac Mortality in Diabetes

WEDNESDAY, April 2, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with diabetes mellitus (DM), angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs), but not angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs), reduce all-cause and cardiovascular (CV) mortality, according to research published online March 31 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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CMS: Medicare Beneficiaries Saved $3.9B on Meds in 2013

TUESDAY, April 1, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- In 2013, 4.3 million seniors and people with disabilities saved an estimated $3.9 billion on prescription drugs, an increase from the 2012 savings, according to a report published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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Nearly One-Third of Initial Prescriptions Remain Unfilled

TUESDAY, April 1, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A sizable number of patients fail to fill their initial drug prescriptions, according to research published in the April 1 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Adverse Cardiometabolic Profile With Postpartum Weight Gain

TUESDAY, April 1, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Women who do not lose weight between three and 12 months after pregnancy have an adverse cardiometabolic profile, according to a study published online March 25 in Diabetes Care.

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