ILARIS® (canakinumab) Not Cost Effective For Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Thomas S. G. Sehested MD Department of Cardiology Copenhagen University Hospital Gentofte

Dr. Sehested

Thomas S. G. Sehested MD
Department of Cardiology
Copenhagen University Hospital Gentofte

Jenny Bjerre, MD Department of Cardiology Copenhagen University Hospital Herlev and Gentofte Copenhagen, Denmark Department of Health Research and Policy Stanford University School of Medicine Stanford, California

Dr. Bjerre

 
Jenny Bjerre, MD
Department of Cardiology
Copenhagen University
Department of Health Research and Policy
Stanford University School of Medicine
Stanford, California
 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: n 2017, the results from the much-awaited Canakinumab Anti-inflammatory Thrombosis Outcome Study (CANTOS) trial were published, confirming the inflammatory hypothesis, i.e. that targeting inflammation can reduce cardiovascular disease. The trial tested the monoclonal antibody canakinumab in a population of post-myocardial infarction patients with elevated inflammation markers (hs-CRP). Canakinumab is currently used for rare diseases and carries an orphan drug price: the 150mg dose used in CANTOS costs approximately $73,000 per year.

Due to the high prevalence of cardiovascular disease, millions of patients could potentially be eligible for treatment with this high-priced anti-inflammatory drug. Therefore, we wanted to investigate the cost-effectiveness for canakinumab for secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease, using the reported results from CANTOS.

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Value of Postconditioning after Heart Attack May Be Seen only on Long Term Followup

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

JAY H. Traverse, MD, FACC, FAHA Director of Research, Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation Associate Professor of Medicine, Cardiovascular Division University of Minnesota School of Medicine

Dr. Traverse

JAY H. Traverse, MD, FACC, FAHA
Director of Research
Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation
Associate Professor of Medicine
Cardiovascular Division
University of Minnesota School of Medicine

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Reperfusion injury may contribute a significant amount to final infarct size in setting of ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI).

Several studies from Europe and Asia have suggested that modifying reperfusion with an angioplasty balloon of an occluded artery called postconditioning can reduce infarct size. However, not all studies show a benefit.

We hypothesized that patient selection of STEMI patients could contribute to these inconsistent findings so we performed the first postconditioning study in the US sponsored by the NIH using the strictest enrollment criteria of any study to minimize factors that influence infarct size (ischemic time, collaterals, pre-infarction angina, TIMI 0 flow) designed to maximize the benefit of postconditioning to see if it can actually reduce infarct size.

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Less Than Six Hours of Sleep May Raise Risk of Heart Disease

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

José M. Ordovás, PhD Director Nutrition and Genomics Professor Nutrition and Genetics            JM-USDA-HNRCA at Tufts University Boston, MA 02111

Dr. Ordovás

José M. Ordovás, PhD
Director Nutrition and Genomics
Professor Nutrition and Genetics
JM-USDA-HNRCA at Tufts University
Boston, MA 02111

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The current knowledge supports the notion that poor sleep is associated with cardiovascular risk factors such as obesity, hypertension, and diabetes. Besides, there is some proof that poor sleep might be related to the development of atherosclerosis; however, this evidence has been provided by studies including few participants and, in general, with sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea. Our research has used state-of-the-art imaging technology to measure plaque buildup in the arteries, and objective measures of sleep quantity and quality in about 4000 participants of the PESA CNIC- Santander Study. Moreover, this is the first study to look at the multiterritory development of plaques versus other studies that looked exclusively at the coronary arteries. Therefore, this combination provides stronger evidence than previous studies about the risk of poor sleep on the development of atherosclerosis.

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Blood Clots Linked to Oral Hormone Replacement for Menopause Symptoms

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Yana Vinogradova, PhD Research Fellow Department of Primary Care School of Medicine University of Nottingham University Park, Nottingham

Dr. Vinogradova

Yana Vinogradova, PhD
Research Fellow
Department of Primary Care
School of Medicine
University of Nottingham
University Park, Nottingham

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  

Response: The study targeted middle age women going through menopause.  This is the stage of life when women naturally reach the end of their reproductive life and their hormones gradually decrease.  Some women experience unpleasant effects such as hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings, memory and concentration loss, headaches.  Quality of life may be severely affected.  Hormone replacement therapy uses a class of drugs, which, like all drugs, have side effects.   VTE is a serious side effect which can have a lethal outcome.

There are different preparations of hormones available for such women.  Some of them were extensively studied in a large American Trial Women’s Health Initiative and showed the risk of VTE to be twice as high for women who took them.  However, these well-studied drugs are mostly prescribed in America.  The more popular drugs in Europe and the UK have been much less studied, so it was unclear how they compared.  Continue reading

Heart Attacks and Stroke Cause Blows to Financial Health

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Allan Garland, MD,  MA  Professor of Medicine & Community Health Sciences Co-Head, Section of Critical Care Medicine University of Manitoba

Dr. Garland

Allan GarlandMD,  MA 
Professor of Medicine & Community
Health Sciences
Co-Head, Section of Critical Care Medicine
University of Manitoba

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Heart attacks, strokes and cardiac arrest are common acute health events.  Most studies of serious acute health events look at outcomes such as death and how long is spent in the hospital.  But for working age people, the ability to work and earn income are very important outcomes that have rarely been studied.

We set out to carefully measure, across Canada, how much heart attacks, strokes and cardiac arrests affect the ability of working age people to work and earn.

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What Price Would Make Alirocumab (Praluent) Cost Effective for Lipid Control?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dhruv S. Kazi, MD, MSc, MS Associate Directo Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Center for Outcomes Research Boston MA 02215 Associate Director Cardiac Critical Care Unit Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Dr. Kazi

Dhruv S. Kazi, MD, MSc, MS
Associate Director
Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Center for Outcomes Research
Boston MA 02215
Associate Director
Cardiac Critical Care Unit
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The ODYSSEY Outcomes trial found that addition of alirocumab to statin therapy reduces the incidence of a composite of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, and stroke among patients with a recent history of a myocardial infarction and elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.

We modeled the cost-effectiveness of alirocumab and found that, at the March 2018 price of the drug, it would not be cost-effective (either relative to statin alone or statin + ezetimibe) for this indication. We found that a large price-reduction would be required to meet the cost-effectiveness threshold of $100,000 per quality-adjusted life year. Shortly after the preliminary findings of this study were released, both manufacturers of PCSK9 inhibitors announced large price reductions in order to improve access to these drugs.

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Can New Heart Failure Patients Drink Alcohol?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

David L. Brown, MD, FACC Professor of Medicine Cardiovascular Division Washington University School of Medicine St. Louis, MO 63110

Dr. Brown

David L. Brown, MD, FACC
Professor of Medicine
Cardiovascular Division
Washington University School of Medicine
St. Louis, MO 63110

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: The genesis of this study was a patient asking me if he could continue to have a nightly cocktail or two after he was hospitalized with the new diagnosis of heart failure.

The main findings are that moderate drinking after the diagnosis of heart failure in older adults is probably safe and is associated with longer survival. These types of studies can not prove a causal relationship between alcohol consumption and survival. 

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No Evidence to Support the “Hispanic Paradox” of Cardiovascular Disease

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Fatima Rodriguez, MD, MPH, FACC Assistant Professor Cardiovascular Medicine Stanford University School of Medicine

Dr. Rodriguez

Fatima Rodriguez, MD, MPH, FACC
Assistant Professor
Cardiovascular Medicine
Stanford University School of Medicine

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: The “Hispanic Paradox” is an idea based on some epidemiological observations that Hispanics have lower disease prevalence and mortality (across a wide spectrum of disease states), despite adverse risk profiles and lower socioeconomic status than their non-Hispanic white counterparts.

Our study is unique in that it includes a Hispanic population with overall high educational attainment followed longitudinally. In contrast to prior work in this area, we found no evidence in support of the Hispanic paradox for estimated atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease risk, atherosclerotic disease (as measured by CAC), or overall mortality.

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Why Are Women Less Likely To Receive Bystander CPR?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Sarah Perman MD, M.S.C.E. Assistant professor of Emergency Medicine University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver 

Dr. Perman

Dr. Sarah Perman MD, M.S.C.E.
Assistant professor of Emergency Medicine
University of Colorado School of Medicine
Denver 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Women who suffer an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest have been observed to receive less bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (B-CPR) than men, and the potential reasons were largely unknown. We asked 54 people online to explain – with no word limit – why women might be less likely to get CPR when they collapse in public.

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Mediterranean Diet Linked to Lower Long-Term Cardiovascular Events in Women

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Samia Mora, MD, MHS Associate Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School Director, Center for Lipid Metabolomics Brigham and Women’s Hospital Boston, MA

Dr. Mora

Samia Mora, MD, MHS
Associate Professor of Medicine
Harvard Medical School
Director, Center for Lipid Metabolomics
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Boston, MA

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The Mediterranean diet is rich in plants (nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes) and olive oil, and includes moderate intake of fish, poultry, dairy, and eggs, and alcohol, and rare use of meats and sweets.The Mediterranean diet has been associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) events but the precise mechanisms through which Mediterranean diet intake may reduce long-term risk of CVD are not well understood. We aimed to investigate the biological mechanisms that may mediate this cardiovascular benefit.

Using a prospective study of 25,994 initially healthy women enrolled in the Women’s Health Study who were followed up to 12-years, we evaluated potential mediating effects of a panel of biomarkers (in total 40 biomarkers) that represent different CVD pathways and clinical factors.

Higher baseline intake of a Mediterranean-type diet was associated with approximately one quarter lower risk of CVD events during the 12 year follow up. For the MED-CVD risk reduction, biomarkers of inflammation, glucose-metabolism/insulin-resistance, and adiposity contributed most to explaining the association, with additional contributions from pathways related to blood pressure, lipids – in particular HDL or triglyceride-rich lipoprotein metabolism, and to a lesser extent LDL cholesterol, branched chain amino acids, and small molecule metabolites.  Continue reading

Heart Attacks Spike During Holiday Season – How Can You Minimize Your Risk?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Lowell H. Steen, Jr., M.D. Interventional Cardiologist Loyola University Medical Center

Dr. Steen

Dr. Lowell H. Steen, Jr., M.D.
Interventional Cardiologist
Loyola University Medical Center

Dr. Steen discusses how holiday treats & stress can increase the risk of heart attack.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main factors that are linked to an increase in heart related adverse events during the Christmas holiday season? Who is most at risk? 

Response: The increase in holiday season heart-related hospitalizations and deaths are due to a variety of behaviors such as putting off seeking medical help until after the holidays, overeating rich foods, strenuous travel, excessive alcohol consumption and stressful family interactions. These factors can all trigger heart issues.

Factors such as age, diabetes, high cholesterol and smoking all increase heart risk. Additionally, those with high blood pressure, which is a leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke, are exceptionally at risk and should celebrate the hectic holiday season with caution.  Continue reading

RAS Inhibitor Linked to Reduced Heart Failure and Mortality After TAVR

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Taku Inohara MD, PhD Duke Clinical Research Institute,  Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina Department of Cardiology  Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan

Dr. Inohara

Taku Inohara MD, PhD
Duke Clinical Research Institute,
Duke University Medical Center,
Durham, North Carolina
Department of Cardiology
Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) has been increasingly used for treating patients with severe aortic stenosis.

Owing to the advancement of TAVR technology, the mortality and heart failure (HF) readmission after TAVR is decreasing over time, but 4.3% experienced readmission due to HF and 23.7% died within 1 year after TAVR. Inhibition of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE-Is) or angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARBs) is known to improve clinical outcomes in patients with heart failure, but there remains unknown whether a RAS inhibitor is associated with a reduction in mortality and heart failure readmission after TAVR.

Using the STS/ACC TVT Registry, a nationwide TAVR Registry in the US, we analyzed 15896 propensity-matched patients who underwent TAVR and found that receiving a prescription for a RAS inhibitor at discharge, compared with no prescription, was associated with a reduced risk for mortality ( 12.5% vs 14.9%) and HF readmission (12.0% vs 13.8%).

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Marked Increase in Infected Heart Valves Due to Injected Opioids

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Asher Schranz, MD Division of Infectious Disease Department of Medicine UNC School of Medicine

Dr. Schranz

Asher Schranz, MD
Division of Infectious Disease
Department of Medicine
UNC School of Medicine

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The opioid crisis has led to several major infectious diseases concerns, including HIV and Hepatitis C.

Drug use-associated infective endocarditis (DUA-IE) is a less commonly discussed consequence of the opioid epidemic. DUA-IE is an infection of one or more heart valves that occurs from injecting drugs. It can be a severe, life-threatening infection and requires a long course of intravenous antibiotics as well as, in some cases, open heart surgery to replace an infected heart valve. Several studies over the past few years have shown that DUA-IE has been increasing.

Our study examined hospital discharges in North Carolina statewide from 2007 to 2017. We sought to update trends in DUA-IE and describe how much heart valve surgery was being performed for DUA-IE. We also aimed to report the demographics of persons who are undergoing heart valve surgery for DUA-IE and the charges, lengths of stay and outcomes of these hospitalizations.  Continue reading

Botox Injected During Coronary Surgery Reduced Atrial Fibrillation and Hospitalizations

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Jonathan S. Steinberg, MD Director, SMG Arrhythmia Center Summit Medical Group Professor of Medicine (adj) University of Rochester School of Medicine Core Professor of Cardiology and Internal Medicine Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall U Short Hills, NJ 07078

Dr. Steinberg

Jonathan S. Steinberg, MD
Director, SMG Arrhythmia Center
Summit Medical Group
Professor of Medicine (adj)
University of Rochester School of Medicine
Core Professor of Cardiology and Internal Medicine
Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall U
Short Hills, NJ 0707

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The autonomic nervous system activity plays an important role in the onset and perpetuation of atrial fibrillation, particularly for AF that follows cardiac surgery.

Botulinum toxin (BTX) is a potent inhibitor of neural transmission. In a randomized placebo-controlled study of 60 patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft surgery, patients who received intraoperative Botulinum toxin injections to the neural ganglia on the cardiac surface exhibited a sustained reduction in the incidence and overall burden of atrial fibrillation (AF) over 3 years of follow-up, accompanied by a reduction in need for hospitalization.

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Data Support National Guidelines for ARNI Therapy in Eligible Patients with Heart Failure with Reduced Ejection Fraction

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Pratyaksh K. Srivastava, MD
Division of General Internal Medicine, UCLA
Gregg C. Fonarow, MD
Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center
UCLA  Medical Center, Los Angeles
Associate Editor, JAMA Cardiology

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? 

Response: Angiotensin Receptor-Neprilysin Inhibitors represent a novel class of heart failure therapeutics that have been shown to significantly improve mortality among patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF).

In the Prospective Comparison of Angiotensin Receptor-Neprilysin Inhibitor (ARNI) with Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Inhibitor (ACEI) to Determine Impact on Global Mortality and Morbidity in Heart Failure (PARADIGM-HF) trial, sacubitril-valsartan was associated with a 20% relative risk reduction in the primary outcome of death from cardiovascular causes or first hospitalization for worsening heart failure over a median follow up of 27 months.

In our current study, we present long term (5-year) absolute risk reductions associated with the addition of angiotensin receptor-neprilysin inhibition to standard HFrEF background therapy using data from PARADIGM-HF. We utilize the number needed to treat (NNT) to quantify absolute risk reduction, and ultimately compare 5-year NNT values for sacubitril-valsartan to those of well-established HFrEF therapeutics for the outcome of all-cause mortality.

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Cardiology Articles Pertaining to Lifestyle and Nutrition Receive Most Media Attention

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Ravi B. Patel, MD Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Chicago, Illinois

Dr. Patel

Ravi B. Patel, MD
Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Chicago, Illinois

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The digital attention of scientific articles can be readily quantified using the Altmetric score. The Altmetric score is a weighted measure, incorporating a variety of media platforms.

We aimed to characterize the Top 10% of articles by Altmetric score among 4 major cardiovascular journals (Circulation, European Heart Journal, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, and JAMA Cardiology) in 2017.

Our primary findings were:

1) nearly half of the most disseminated articles were not original research investigations,

2) the most common article topic was nutrition/lifestyle, and

3) there was a weak but significant correlation between Altmetric scores and citation number.  Continue reading

Staged vs One-Time Multivessel Revascularization in Multivessel CAD

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Peter Hu MD Cleveland ClinicPeter T. Hu MD
Department of Cardiology
Cleveland Clinic

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Among patients with blockages in multiple coronary vessels, we studied predictors and outcomes of having a staged versus one-time multivessel percutaneous coronary intervention. By “staged” we mean performing coronary intervention only on one vessel, letting the patient recover, and fixing the other blockages at a later date. We know that multivessel coronary artery disease is very common – present in up to 2/3 of patients who require coronary interventions. Previous studies in patients with STEMI (ST-elevation myocardial infarction) suggested that staged multivessel PCI was associated with lower risk of death compared with one-time multivessel revascularization. Outside of STEMI patients, very little data exist in a broader group of patients who undergo coronary interventions to multiple vessels.

In our study, we found an association between doing a staged PCI and lower long-term mortality benefit compared with fixing multiple blockages at once. What was surprising was there seemed to be a correlation with the degree of benefit from staged PCI based on the symptoms and signs the patient presented with.

The association with improved outcomes was strongest in patients with STEMI, followed by those with NSTEMI, unstable angina, and stable angina, respectively. We also found that the decision to perform staged PCI was driven by patient and procedural characteristics, as well as other unmeasured site variation.  Continue reading

Comparison of the Evolut R™TAVR Valve with the Evolut PRO™

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Evolut TAVR PlatformDr. Shazia Afzal MD
University Hospital DüsseldorfMedical FacultyDivision of Cardiology, Pulmonology and Vascular Medicine, Düsseldorf, Germany

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Since its introduction in 2002, transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) emerged to an increasingly important interventional procedure in the field of structural heart disease. Widespread use in Europe, the USA and Canada lead to continuous technological development and improved patient’s safety, procedural success and clinical outcome.

In 08/2017 one of the market leaders introduced its latest generation valve model -the CoreValve Evolut PROTM– which was especially designed to mitigate paravalvular leakage after valve deployment. We conducted the first prospective study which directly compares the Evolut PROTM with its direct predecessor the Evolut RTM as a head-to-head analysis especially focusing on hemodynamic performance and clinical outcome in a real-world setting. To ensure comparability between groups, we performed propensity score matching with special interest in CT-derived data to guarantee equitable anatomical conditions.

Since both valves are on the market but sold at different prices the pivotal question is whether the Evolut PROTM reaches its target. In a highly budget restricted health care system with limited refunding cost-effectiveness evolves to a substantial discussion point in daily clinical practice. Our results may not be marketing friendly but we think of relevance for the interventional community.  Continue reading

Obesity Strongly Related to Coronary Artery Disease and Diabetes

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
"Obesity runs rampant in Indiana." by Steve Baker is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0Haris Riaz MD
(Cardiology Fellow
Haitham Ahmed MD, MPH , Preventive Cardiologist,
Cleveland Clinic, Ohio

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Elevated cholesterol (specially low density lipoprotein) has been causally linked to the development of coronary artery disease whereas the causal relationship between obesity and cardiovascular disease has remained controversial. This is important because of increasing epidemic of obesity and metabolic syndrome. Mendelian randomization studies provide one way of determining a causal association where we can look at the outcomes of individuals stratified by the presence or absence of a particular allele. Since these alleles are randomly distributed in the population of interest, this is “nature’s randomized trial” in that the particular allele is naturally distributed and hence minimal risk of bias.

In other words, lets say that I hypothesize that a particular gene “A” is linked with coronary artery disease. If the given gene is indeed causally linked with coronary artery disease, patients with activation of that gene should have significantly greater risk of developing coronary artery disease.

Based on these principles, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of the available evidence and found that the risk of developing coronary artery disease and diabetes is significantly increased with obesity. Although hypothesis generating, we think that these findings may suggest a causal association between obesity and cardiovascular disease.  Continue reading

Cost-effectiveness of Humanitarian Pediatric Cardiac Surgery

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Marcelo G. Cardarelli, MD A member of Inova Medical Group

Dr. Cardarelli

Marcelo G. Cardarelli, MD
Inova Children’s Hospita
Fairfax, Falls Church, Virginia

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Global Humanitarian Medical efforts consume a large amount of resources (nearly $38B in 2016) and donors (Countries, International organizations, WHO, Individuals) make the decisions as to where their funds should be allocated based on cost-effectiveness studies. Most resources go to prevent/treat infectious diseases, sanitation efforts and maternal/child care issues. An insignificant amount of resources is directed to satisfy the surgical needs of the populations in low and middle income countries (LMICs).

The idea behind our project was to find out if it was cost-effective to perform a tertiary surgical specialty (pediatric cardiac surgery) in this context and the answer (at $171 per DALY averted) was an overwhelming yes!

But most importantly, we believe, as many others do, that judging the cost/effectiveness of an intervention in order to decide resources allocation is valid for diseases that can be prevented, but not relevant when it comes to surgical problems that are not preventable.

Instead, we propose the use of another measure of effectiveness, what we call “The Humanitarian Footprint”.

The Humanitarian Footprint represents the long term benefits, as measured by changes in the life expectancy, extra years of schooling and potential lifetime earnings of patients treated surgically during humanitarian interventions.

To our surprise and based on the results, the effects on society of at least this particular surgical intervention were greater than we expected. We suspect this measure can be used in many other surgical humanitarian interventions as well.  Continue reading

Study Finds Medicare Readmissions Penalties Have Not Increased Mortality from Heart Failure

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Teryl K. Nuckols, MD Vice Chair, Clinical Research Director, Division of General Internal Medicine Cedars Sinai Los Angeles, California

Dr. Nuckols

Teryl K. Nuckols, MD
Vice Chair, Clinical Research
Director, Division of General Internal Medicine
Cedars Sinai
Los Angeles, California

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The Medicare Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP) penalizes hospitals with increased 30-day readmission rates among seniors admitted with heart failure (HF).  Heart failure readmission rates declined markedly following the implementation of this policy. Two facts have raised concerns about whether the HRRP might have also inadvertently increased 30-day heart failure mortality rates.

First, before the policy was implemented, hospitals with higher heart failure readmission rates had lower 30-day HF mortality rates, suggesting that readmissions are often necessary and beneficial in this population. Second, 30-day HF mortality rose nationally after the HRRP was implemented, and the timing of the increase has suggested a possible link to the policy.

Are hospitals turning patients away, putting them at risk of death, or is the increase in heart failure mortality just a coincidence? To answer this question, we compared trends in 30-day HF mortality rates between penalized hospitals and non-penalized hospitals because 30-day HF readmissions declined much more at hospitals subject to penalties under this policy.

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Racial and Gender Disparities in CABG Surgery After First Heart Attack

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Srikanth Yandrapalli New York Medical College NYMC · Cardiology

Dr. Yandrapalli

Dr. Srikanth Yandrapalli
New York Medical College
NYMC · Cardiology

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Selection of coronary artery bypass grafting over percutaneous coronary intervention during an acute myocardial infarction is influenced by the extent of coronary artery disease and patient comorbidities. Prior studies have shown sex and racial differences in coronary artery diseaseburden.

We sought to identify if there are any sex and racial differences in the utilization of  coronary artery bypass grafting over percutaneous coronary intervention during a revascularized first  acute myocardial infarction in the US.

We found that males had a higher coronary artery bypass grafting rate than women, and compared to Whites, Blacks had lower coronary artery bypass grafting rate and Asians had higher coronary artery bypass grafting at the time of a first myocardial infarction.

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Disparities Remain But Blacks Experience Greatest All-Cause Mortality Reductions

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Katie Hastings MPH Stanford Medicine 

Kate Hastings

Katie Hastings MPH
Stanford University School of Medicine
Stanford, California

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Heart disease has been the leading cause of death since the early 1900s, but recent data has suggested cancer will surpass heart disease in the upcoming decades. To date, this is the first study to examine the transition from heart disease to cancer mortality as the leading cause of death by U.S. county and sociodemographic characteristics using national mortality records from 2003 to 2015.

Our main findings are:

  • Epidemiologic transition is occurring earlier in high compared to low income U.S. counties, and occurs earlier for Asian Americans, Hispanics, and NHWs compared to blacks and American Indians/Alaska Natives.
  • Data may suggest that this shift arises from larger reductions in heart disease than cancer mortality over the study period, particularly in the highest income counties.
  • Continued disparities in heart disease and cancer mortality between blacks and other racial/ethnic groups, even in the highest income quintiles. While blacks continue to have the highest overall mortality than any other group, we do show this population experienced the greatest overall improvements in mortality (i.e. mortality rate reductions over time) for all-cause, heart disease, and cancer compared to all other racial/ethnic groups (except for heart disease in Hispanics). 

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Spring Daylight Savings Time Linked to More AFib Admissions

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
sunset copyright American Heart AssociationJay Chudow, M.D.

Montefiore Medical Center
Bronx, New York

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

  • Others found associations between daylight saving time transitions and sleep duration, sleep quality, workplace injuries and traffic accidents. Regarding cardiovascular health, studies in Europe and the United States have found an increased incidence of acute myocardial infarction and ischemic stroke in the days following daylight saving time transitions.
  • Our study found a significant increase in admissions for atrial fibrillation following the daylight saving time spring transition compared to the yearly average (average of 3.13 vs 2.56 admissions per day over the Monday to Thursday period). No significant difference was found following the autumn transition.
  • These findings add atrial fibrillation as a known condition associated with daylight saving time transitions. It adds to the knowledge base of negative health consequences of daylight saving time. 

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Should Patients with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Ride Roller Coasters?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Nikolaos Papoutsidakis, M.D., Ph.D. Associate Research Scientist, Yale University School of Medicine New Haven, CT 

Dr. Papoutsidakis

Nikolaos Papoutsidakis, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Research Scientist,
Yale University School of Medicine
New Haven, CT 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: Lifestyle education is a significant part of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy management. HCM patients, who frequently have to abstain from intense athletics, often ask if such restrictions extend to thrill-seeking activities they previously enjoyed, such as rollercoaster rides. Werealized there is very little data on this topic, which prompted us to set up this study.

We found that for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy patients who elected to participate in thrill-seeking activities, adverse events (defined as losing consciousness or experiencing a shock from an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator) were rare. We also asked patients (participating and non participating) about advice received from their physician on this topic. We found that, probably due to the lack of data, physicians often avoid providing advice or provide conflicting advice regarding participation in thrill seeking activities.  Continue reading