Author Interviews, Heart Disease / 28.07.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Tom Marshall, MSc, PhD, MRGP, FFPH Professor of public health and primary care Institute of Applied Health Research University of Birmingham Birmingham UK  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: It is widely recognised that anticoagulants are underused in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) although they are effective in reducing risk of stroke. We investigated whether this could be explained by the fact that many AF patients have conditions which are considered relative contraindications to their use. We analysed electronic medical records from 645 general practices from 2004 to 2015 and included over 1 million patients with AF. We found that about 6% of AF patients had are relative contraindications such as recent history of major bleeding. In each of the 12 years, similar numbers of patients with and without contraindications were prescribed anticoagulants. (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, Heart Disease, JAMA, Lifestyle & Health, Primary Care, UCLA / 28.07.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Carol M. Mangione, MD, MSPH, FACP Barbara A. Levey, MD, and Gerald S. Levey, MD Endowed chair in medicine David Geffen School of Medicine University of California, Los Angeles Professor of public health at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Americans can experience several health benefits from consuming healthy foods and engaging in physical activity. The Task Force recommends that primary care professionals work together with their patients when making the decision to offer or refer adults who are not obese and do not have hypertension, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, or diabetes to behavior counseling to promote healthful diet and physical activity. Our focus was on the impact of a healthful diet and physical activity on cardiovascular risk because this condition is the leading cause of premature morbidity and mortality. The Task Force evaluates what the science tells us surrounding the potential benefits and harms of a particular preventive service. In this case, the Task Force found high quality evidence focusing on the impact a healthful diet and physical activity can have on a patient’s risk of cardiovascular disease. Relying on this evidence, the Task Force was able to conclude that there is a positive but small benefit of behavioral counseling to prevent cardiovascular disease. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, AstraZeneca, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Heart Disease, Merck, Pharmacology / 25.07.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alexander TurchinMD,MS Director of Quality in Diabetes Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School Brigham and Women's Hospital Boston, MA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Cardiovascular disease is the # 1 cause of death in the U.S. and worldwide. Statins are some of the most effective medications available for prevention of cardiovascular events. However, many patients stop statins, frequently because of adverse reactions. In our study we aimed to assess the risk-benefit balance of trying a statin again after experiencing an adverse reaction. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease / 24.07.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Abhishek Sharma MD and Division of Cardiovascular Medicine State University New York Downstate Medical Center Dr.Sahil Agarwal M.B.B.S., M.D. Division of Cardiology St. Luke's University Health Network Bethlehem, Pennsylvania MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  Response: Prior randomized control trials (RCTs) and meta-analysis of these trials which have attempted to compare differences in outcomes between strategies of short (S) (3-6 months) and longer (L) (12-30 months) durations of dual anti-platelet therapy (DAPT) after drug eluting stents (DES) implantation have reported conflicting results. In general, the events rates in these studies were small, affecting statistical power. To overcome this limitation, we conducted an updated meta-analysis to compare the efficacy and safety of strategies of S-DAPT versus L-DAPT strategy after DES implantation by restricting inclusion to randomized studies with follow-up durations of 24 months or longer. The current meta-analysis is the first to compare outcomes between S-DAPT and L-DAPT in a meta-analysis restricted to trials with patient follow-up of 24 months or longer. We found no significant difference in the rates of mortality or of stent thrombosis with S-DAPT or L-DAPT. S-DAPT was associated with significantly lower risk of major bleeding but slightly higher risk of future myocardial infarctions. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Heart Disease, JAMA, Pediatrics / 19.07.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Holly Gooding, MD, MSc Assistant Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics Harvard Medical School Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine Boston Children's Hospital Division of General Internal Medicine Brigham and Women's Hospital Boston, MA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Dr Stephanie Chiuve and colleagues at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health developed the Healthy Heart Score to predict the risk of heart disease in older adults based on lifestyle factors measured in middle age. We have known for some time that the precursor to heart disease – known as atherosclerosis – actually starts in childhood and adolescence. We calculated the Healthy Heart Score for young adults ages 18-30 years old and found it works in this age group as well. (more…)
Author Interviews, Boehringer Ingelheim, Heart Disease, JAMA / 18.07.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Javed Butler, MD, PhD Chief of the Cardiology Division Dr. Vincent Yang, Simons Chair in Internal Medicine Stony Brook University  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Persistent congestion is associated with worse outcomes in acute heart failure (AHF). Mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists at high doses may relieve congestion, overcome diuretic resistance, and mitigate the effects of adverse neurohormonal activation in AHF. We therefore studies high dose spironolactone in patients with AHF. Unfortunately all of our primary and secondary endpoints were not different between spironolactone and placebo arms. (more…)
Artificial Sweeteners, Author Interviews, CMAJ, Heart Disease, Weight Research / 17.07.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Meghan Azad PhD Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics & Child Health and Community Health Sciences, University of Manitoba; Associate Investigator, Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) Study Research Scientist, Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba; co-Lead, Population Health Pillar, Developmental Origins of Chronic Diseases in Children Network MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Consumption of artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, sucralose and stevia, is widespread and increasing.  Emerging data indicate that artificial, or non-nutritive, sweeteners may have negative effects on metabolism, gut bacteria and appetite, although the evidence is conflicting. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: We conducted a systematic review of 37 studies that collectively followed over 400,000 people for an average of 10 years. Only 7 of these studies were randomized clinical trials (the gold standard in clinical research), involving 1003 people followed for 6 months on average. The trials did not show a consistent effect of artificial sweeteners on weight loss, and the longer observational studies showed a link between consumption of artificial sweeteners and relatively higher risks of weight gain and obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and other health issues. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Heart Disease, JAMA / 11.07.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sacha Bhatia, MD, MBA, FRCPC Scientist, Women's College Research Institute Director, Women’s College Hospital Institute for Health System Solutions and Virtual Care Cardiologist, Women's College Hospital and University Health Network Canada MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The USPSTF recommends against screening with resting electrocardiography (ECG) for the prediction of coronary heart disease (CHD) events in asymptomatic adults at low risk for CHD events. We conducted a retrospective cohort study of the frequency of resting ECGs in low risk patients within 30 days of an annual health exam. We found that 21.5% of low risk patients in Ontario, Canada had a ECG, with significant variation among primary care physicians (1.8% to 76.1%). Moreover, low risk patients who had a ECG were five times more likely to receive another cardiac test or cardiology consultation than those that did not receive an ECG. At one year the rate of mortality, cardiac hospitalizations and revascularization was <0.5% in each group. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Surgical Research / 29.06.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Suzanne J. Baron, MD, MSc Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute School of Medicine University of Missouri, Kansas City MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) has emerged as a viable treatment option for patients with severe aortic stenosis in patients at high and intermediate surgical risk.  Prior studies have demonstrated that both TAVR and surgical AVR (SAVR) results in substantial quality of life benefit in patients at high surgical risk. Whether these results applied to an intermediate risk population was unknown and so we performed a prospective study alongside the PARTNER 2A trial to compare both short- and long-term health status outcomes in intermediate-risk patients with AS treated with either TAVR or SAVR.   The analysis included 1833 patients (950 TAVR, 833 SAVR), who were evaluated at 1 month, 1 year and 2 years post procedure.  By 1 month, quality of life had improved in both the TAVR and SAVR groups, although the gain was significantly greater in patients treated with TAVR via the transfemoral approach as opposed to patients treated with SAVR or with TAVR via the transthoracic approach (i.e. direct aortic access or transapical access).   At 1 and 2 years, both TAVR (via either approach) and SAVR were associated with similarly large, clinically meaningful improvements from baseline in both disease-specific and generic health status scales at 2 years. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JACC, Women's Heart Health / 27.06.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: C. Noel Bairey Merz, MD, FACC  Director, Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center Director, Linda Joy Pollin Women's Heart Health Program Director, Erika Glazer Family Foundation Women's Heart Disease Initiative Director, Preventive Cardiac Center Professor of Medicine Cedars-Sinai Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the number 1 killer of women in the U.S.A., yet few younger women personalize awareness. CVD campaigns focus little attention on physicians and their role assessing risk. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: Overall, 45% of women were unaware that CVD is the #1 killer of women, only 11% knew a woman who has died from it.  Overall, 45% of women reported it is common to cancel or postpone a physician appointment until losing weight. Cardiovascular disease was a top concern for only 39% of PCPs, after weight and breast health. A minority of physicians (22% of PCPs and 42% of cardiologists) felt well prepared to assess women’s CVD risk, and infrequently use guidelines. (more…)
Author Interviews, Emergency Care, Heart Disease, JAMA, Stanford / 27.06.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alexander Sandhu, MD MS Cardiology Fellow Stanford University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Millions of patients present to the emergency department with chest pain but most do not have lab or EKG findings that indicate the patient is having a heart attack. In patients without signs of a heart attack, stress testing is frequently used to determine the need for further workup and treatment. However, there is limited evidence regarding the benefit of stress testing in these patients. We evaluated how cardiac testing - stress testing and coronary angiography - in these low-risk patients was associated with clinical outcomes. We used a statistical approach that took advantage of the fact that testing is more available on weekdays than weekends. We found that testing was associated with more angiography and revascularization (coronary stenting or coronary artery bypass surgery) but was not associated with a reduction in future heart attacks. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Stroke / 15.06.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gregory Y. H. Lip, MD Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine University of Birmingham Adjunct Professor of Cardiovascular Sciences, Thrombosis Research Unit, Aalborg University, Denmark National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Senior Investigator. Visiting Professor of Haemostasis Thrombosis & Vascular Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham, UK Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences City Hospital Birmingham England UK MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The randomized clinical trials comparing non-Vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOACs) vs warfarin largely focused on recruitment of high risk atrial fibrillation(AF) patients with >2 stroke risk factors, with only the trials testing dabigatran or apixaban including a minority of patients with 1 stroke risk factor. Despite this, regulatory approvals of all NOACs have been for stroke prevention in AF patients with ≥1 stroke risk factors. No difference between NOACs compared to warfarin in risk of ischemic stroke/systemic embolism, was seen but for ‘any bleeding’, this was lower for apixaban and dabigatran compared to warfarin. (more…)
Author Interviews, Duke, Heart Disease / 15.06.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Daniel J. Friedman, MD Duke University Hospital Duke Clinical Research Institute Durham, NC MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Although primary prevention ICDs have saved countless lives among patients with heart failure and a reduced ejection fraction, the use of primary prevention ICDs in patients with more advanced heart failure [defined by New York Heart Association Class (NYHA)] is controversial. Specifically, there are conflicting data from the pivotal primary prevention ICD trials regarding whether primary prevention ICDs reduce all-cause mortality among patients with a severely reduced ejection fraction (≤35%) and NYHA III heart failure. We performed a patient level meta-analysis using data from 4 pivotal primary prevention ICD trials (MADIT-I, MADIT-II, SCD-HeFT, and DEFINITE) to assess whether primary prevention ICD efficacy varied by NYHA class (II vs. III). Overall, the ICD reduced all-cause mortality among the overall population of patients (NYHA II and III). We subsequently assessed ICD efficacy after stratification by NYHA class. Among NYHA II patients, the ICD significantly reduced all-cause mortality by reducing sudden cardiac death. Although NYHA III patients randomized to an ICD experienced a significantly lower rate of sudden cardiac death, this did not translate into a reduction in all-cause mortality, due to competing causes of non-sudden death (which an ICD cannot treat). Based on relatively wide confidence intervals associated with the estimate for ICD effect in NYHA III patients, there appears to be substantial heterogeneity in outcomes among these patients. This suggests that many NYHA III patients can benefit from a primary prevention ICD, but further study is necessary to determine which NYHA III patients are poised to benefit. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Heart Disease / 14.06.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Nicola Adderley BA, MSci (Cantab), MA, MPhil, PhD Institute of Applied Health Research Research Fellow University of Birmingham MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained cardiac arrhythmia and a major global public health problem. It is associated with a five-fold increase in risk of stroke. There are three types of AF – paroxysmal, persistent or permanent. In paroxysmal AF, episodes come and go, and usually stop without any treatment. With persistent AF episodes can last for periods of more than seven days and are treated with medication or a medical procedure called cardioversion. In permanent AF, the irregular heartbeat is present all the time and cardioversion has failed to restore a normal heart rhythm. All patients with AF, including paroxysmal AF, are at an increased risk of stroke. UK guidelines recommend anticoagulant treatment, such as the blood-thinning drug warfarin, for patients with all types of AF in order to reduce the risk of stroke. Our study aimed to determine whether patients with paroxysmal AF are less likely to be treated with anticoagulants than patients with persistent or permanent AF and to investigate trends in treatment between 2000 and 2015. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Karolinski Institute, Technology / 14.06.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “drones” by Andrew Turner is licensed under CC BY 2.0Andreas Claesson, RN, Paramedic PhD Centre for resuscitation science Karolinska institute Stockholm, Sweden. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Survival from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is low, the technology is existing. When implementing this kind of system with a drone equipped with an AED, defibrillation may occur at an early stage and before EMS arrival mainly in rural areas. (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, Heart Disease, JAMA, Social Issues / 14.06.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Yasuhiko Kubota, MD, MPH Visiting Scholar Division of Epidemiology and Community Health School of Public Health University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Educational inequality is one of the most important socioeconomic factors contributing to cardiovascular disease. Since education is usually completed by young adulthood, educational inequality may affect risk of cardiovascular disease early in the life course. We thought it would be useful to calculate the lifetime risk of cardiovascular disease according to educational levels in order to increase public awareness of the importance of education. Thus, our aim was to evaluate the association of educational attainment with cardiovascular disease risk by estimating the lifetime risks of cardiovascular disease using a US. biracial cohort. Furthermore, we also assessed how other important socioeconomic factors were related to the association of educational attainment with lifetime risk of cardiovascular disease. (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Heart Disease, Lipids / 12.06.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Amane Harada, PhD Senior Researcher Central Research Laboratories, Sysmex Corporation Kobe, Japan Ryuji Toh, MD, PhD Associate Professor Division of Evidence-based Laboratory Medicine Kobe University Graduate School of MedicineRyuji Toh, MD, PhD Associate Professor Division of Evidence-based Laboratory Medicine Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine Kobe, Japan  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: High-density lipoprotein (HDL) exhibits a variety of anti-atherogenic functions including anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative functions as well as promoting reverse cholesterol transport. However, it has been reported that HDL may lose its anti-atherogenic properties and become “dysfunctional” HDL under pathological conditions. Recent studies have demonstrated that cholesterol efflux capacity of HDL is a better predictor of CVD than HDL-C, suggesting that not only the quantity, but also the quality of HDL may significantly modulate and predict the progression of cardiovascular disease. However, the conventional procedure for efflux capacity assay requires radiolabeling and cells, and the procedures are time consuming. Therefore, its clinical application is impractical. To solve those problems, we have recently developed a new assay system to evaluate the capacity of HDL to accept cholesterol, named “uptake capacity”. (more…)
Author Interviews, Boehringer Ingelheim, Cost of Health Care, Heart Disease / 12.06.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sabine Luik, M.D. Senior vice president, Medicine & Regulatory Affairs Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This study is the first real-world, matched head-to-head study comparing all cause healthcare costs and healthcare resource utilization (HCRU) among novel oral anticoagulants (NOACs). The study analyzed claims data from 70,898 newly-diagnosed NVAF patients who were newly treated with Pradaxa, rivaroxaban or apixaban. The analysis found that Pradaxa was associated with lower all-cause costs and HCRU compared to rivaroxaban. Compared to apixaban, Pradaxa was associated with similar all-cause costs and hospitalizations, but higher all-cause outpatient and pharmacy HCRU. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Social Issues / 09.06.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Ayodele Odutayo MD MSc DPhil(pending) Centre For Statistics in Medicine, University of Oxford Resident Physician (PGY1), Post-Doctoral Fellow, Applied Health Research Centre St. Michael’s Hospital, University of Toronto   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Previously published studies have reported increasing gaps in life expectancy among adults belonging to different socioeconomic strata and suggested that much of this gap was mediated through behavioural and metabolic risk factors. In this study, we found that from 1999-2014, there was an increasing gap in the control of cardiovascular risk factors between high income adults compared to adults with incomes at or below the poverty line. The proportion of adults at high cardiovascular risk (predicted risk of a cardiovascular event ≥20%), the mean systolic blood pressure and the percentage of current smokers decreased for high income adults but did not change for adults with incomes at or below the poverty line. Notably, the income disparity in these cardiovascular risk factors was not wholly explained by access to health insurance or educational attainment. Trends in the percentage of adults with diabetes and the average total cholesterol level did not vary by income. (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews, Heart Disease / 26.05.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Jinhui Zhao PhD Scientist, Centre for Addictions Research of BC University of Victoria MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response:  There are now many studies questioning the validity of the theory that moderate alcohol consumption protects against heart disease. We provided an up to date and comprehensive review of the evidence from ‘cohort’ studies i.e. those that assess health risk behaviours of people then follow them up for a number of years to see what characteristics predict death from a particular condition. We wished to test the theory that the appearance of health benefits in relation to heart disease is due to biases that accumulate and become more severe when cohorts are recruited at older ages (e.g. over 55 years). We found evidence to support this hypothesis. Moderate drinkers recruited before 55 years of age did not show any evidence of reduced risk of heart disease even when followed up into old age. Moderate drinkers from the older cohorts, however, did appear to have significant benefits – a finding we attribute to selection biases that accumulate across the life-course. Several published meta-analyses showed inconsistent findings about how alcohol consumption affects the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). Most systematic reviews find associations between low-volume alcohol consumption and reduced CHD risk, while some also find increased CHD risk for higher levels of consumption (Maclure 1993, Corrao, Rubbiati et al. 2000, Corrao, Bagnardi et al. 2004, Ronksley, Brien et al. 2011, Roerecke and Rehm 2012). More recent evidence has accumulated to suggest that the case for cardio-protection may be less straightforward. The association of alcohol consumption with CHD may be confounded or modified by other factors such as age and sex and / or biased by those factors which have not been investigated or controlled for in these previously published studies. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Testosterone / 24.05.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rajat S. Barua, MD; PhD; FACC; FSCAI Associate Professor of Medicine (Cardiology), University of Kansas School of Medicine Director, Cardiovascular Research, Dept. of Cardiology, Kansas City VA Medical Center Director, Interventional Cardiology & Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory Kansas City VA Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Atrial fibrillation is the most common cardiac arrhythmia worldwide, with significant morbidity, mortality and financial burden. Atrial fibrillation is known to increase with age and is higher in men than in women. Although the underlying mechanisms of this sex difference are still unclear, one preclinical and several small clinical studies have suggested that testosterone deficiency may play a role in the development of atrial fibrillation. To date, no studies have investigated the effect of testosterone-level normalization on incidence of new atrial fibrillation in men after testosterone replacement therapy. In this study, we investigated the incidence of atrial fibrillation in hypogonadal men with documented low testosterone levels. We compared the incidence of atrial fibrillation among patients who did not receive any testosterone replacement therapy, those who received testosterone replacement therapy that resulted in normalization of total testosterone, and those who received testosterone replacement therapy but that did not result in normal total testosterone levels. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dental Research, Heart Disease, Infections, Mayo Clinic / 24.05.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Daniel C. DeSimone, M.D. Infectious Diseases Fellowship, Year 2 Mayo Clinic MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: For over 50 years, the American Heart Association (AHA) has recommended antibiotics to be given to patients with certain cardiac conditions prior to invasive dental procedures (dental cleanings, extractions, root canals) with the hope to prevent infective endocarditis--a potentially deadly infection of the heart valves. Prevention of this infection was preferred to treatment of an established infection due to its high morbidity and mortality rates. However, in 2007, experts found that there was very little, if any, evidence that showed antibiotics prophylaxis prevented infective endocarditis prior to invasive dental procedures. Given this, the AHA revised its guidelines, significant reducing the number of patients where antibiotic prophylaxis would be given--as routine daily activities such as chewing food, tooth brushing, and flossing were much more likely to cause infective endocarditis than a single dental procedure. For over 50 years, patients with cardiac conditions that placed them at "moderate risk" and/or "high risk" were to receive antibiotics prior to dental procedures. In 2007, the "moderate risk" group were to no longer receive antibiotic prophylaxis. This is a significantly large proportion of patients--approximately 90% of all patients who would have received antibiotic prophylaxis. Given the drastic changes made in 2007, there was concern among the medical and dental communities about whether we were leaving patients "unprotected" and at risk for infective endocarditis. Thankfully, several population based studies from our group and others across the United States have not shown an increase in the rate of infective endocarditis. However, the question remained, "Are providers following the 2007 AHA guidelines?" and "Are patients still receiving antibiotics prior to dental procedures when its no longer indicated by the guidelines?". This was the main focus of our paper. We were able to go into the local dental offices and at the same time, have full access to their medical records. Every dental visit between 2005 and 2015 at their dental office was reviewed; the type of dental visit, whether they received antibiotic prophylaxis or not. In addition, we could confirm their cardiac conditions that would place them at "moderate risk" or "high risk" compared to the general population. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JACC / 21.05.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Ion S. Jovin, MD, ScD Associate Professor of Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University Pauley Heart Center Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories and Site Director of the VCU Interventional Cardiology Fellowship Program at McGuire V.A. Medical Center Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery/Cardiothoracic Surgery Yale University, New Haven, CT MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There is still uncertainty regarding the best anticoagulant for patients with acute ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) who undergo primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and especially PCI done via radial (as opposed to femoral) access. Our study compared outcomes of patients with STEMI treated with PCI done via radial access in the NCDR database who received one of the two main anticoagulants: bivalirudin and heparin. There is a large degree of variation in the use of the two anticoagulants in PCI and in primary PCI both within the United States but also in the world. We did not find a statistically significant difference between the outcomes of the two groups of patients, but we also found that a significant number of patients in both the heparin and in the bivalirudin group were also treated with additional medicines that inhibit platelet activation (glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors). (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA / 21.05.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Gregory Roth MD MPH Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation University of Washington, Seattle MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: My colleagues and I at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, evaluated and analyzed mortality rates from cardiovascular diseases (CVD) on the county level from throughout the United States. We obtained the data from: The National Center for Health Statistics and population counts from the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Center for Health Statistics, and the Human Mortality Database. This data ranged from 1980 through 2014. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JACC / 20.05.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kristie Harris, M.S. Doctoral Candidate, Department of Psychology Psychology Trainee, OSUWMC Department of Psychiatry Columbus, OH 43210 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In patients with chronic diseases such as heart failure, treatment strategies and medical management often rely on clinician’s assessment of symptoms and impairments in functional status. The six-minute walk test (6MWT) is a validated and commonly-used measure for assessing functional status in this patient population and has the advantage of being self-paced and easily administered. However, its clinical utility may be limited because it is time consuming, not suitable for patients with comorbidities that interfere with walking, and requires a long continuous hallway course. In this this study we report the development of an alternative measure of objective functional status, the sixty-foot walk test (60ftWT). For this task, patients are simply asked to walk four laps of 15 feet and the total time taken to walk the 60ft is recorded in seconds. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Heart Disease / 17.05.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Elsayed Z. Soliman MD, MSc, MS, FAHA, FACC Director, Epidemiological Cardiology Research Center (EPICARE) Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Prevention Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Cardiology Section Wake Forest School of Medicine Medical Center Blvd, Winston Salem, NC 27157 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We already know that left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH, which is the most common complication of high blood pressure, is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). We also know that successful management of high blood pressure (BP) leads to regression of LVH and improved CVD outcomes in patients with hypertension. However, it is unknown whether intensive BP lowering beyond that recommended would reduce the risk of LVH in patients with hypertension, and whether reducing the risk of LVH explains the reported CVD benefits of intensive BP lowering in this population. Therefore, we examined the differential impact of intensive BP lowering (target systolic BP (SBP). (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Baylor College of Medicine Houston, Heart Disease, Lipids / 13.05.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Julia M. Akeroyd, MPH Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness, and Safety (IQuESt) Michael E. DeBakey Veteran Affairs Medical Center Salim S Virani, MBBS, Ph.D. Baylor College of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In the recently published Further Cardiovascular Outcomes Research with PCSK9 Inhibition in Subjects with Elevated Risk (FOURIER) trial, treatment with evolocumab resulted in a 15% relative (1.5% absolute) risk reduction of major cardiovascular events in patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) at a median follow-up of 2.2 years. Given the high cost of evolocumab, there is a need to identify what proportion of ASCVD patients would qualify for evolocumab based on FOURIER entry criteria and how eligibility would change if maximal doses of evidence-based lipid lowering therapies were required. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Heart Disease, Pain Research, Pharmacology / 10.05.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michèle Bally, BPharm, MSc, PhD Epidemiologist, Department of Pharmacy, CHUM Researcher, Health Innovation and Evaluation Hub, CRCHUM MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The objective of this study was to better understand the risk of heart attack associated with using oral prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs (ibuprofen, diclofenac, celecoxib, and naproxen) the way people usually do to treat pain and inflammation in real life circumstances. A lot of people take medication, but they do not understand that some can be more harmful than beneficial, especially with consistent use. Unfortunately, something like a heart attack can happen anywhere. You could be at work and show signs of an attack. If this does happen, hopefully you have someone who is first aid trained to at least help you deal with these symptoms, until you get to the hospital. This is why having someone who knows that they are doing is beneficial in any environment. If it wasn't for companies like Coast2Coast in Ottawa, the chances of someone who was suffering from a heart attack may not have made it to the hospital if it wasn't for the assistance of someone who was first aid trained. In clinical trials, NSAIDs were typically taken on a continuous basis in high standardized doses, as assigned by the trial protocol. However, the dosages and the treatment durations studied in trials may not represent the reality of many patients who use NSAIDs in low or varying doses, use these drugs on and off, or switch between NSAID medications. We were particularly interested in determining the onset of the risk, that is how soon does the risk of heart attack start increasing? Also, we wanted to investigate the effect of dose and duration of treatment. To do this, we studied the use of a low or high dose level of NSAIDs over certain set periods of time, including taking these medications only for 1 to 7 days. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Surgical Research / 05.05.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nayan Agarwal MD Intervention Cardiology Fellow, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Long term anticoagulation is indicated in patients with mechanical heart valves, prior thromboembolic events, atrial fibrillation etc, to prevent recurrent thrombo-embolic episodes. About 20-30% of these patients also have concomitant ischemic heart disease requiring percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Post PCI, patients require treatment with dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) with aspirin and a P2Y12 inhibitor (clopidogrel, prasugrel, ticagrelor) to prevent stent thrombosis. Thus, these patients may end up needing triple antithrombotic therapy with oral anticoagulant (OAC) and DAPT, which increases the bleeding risk. Both American College of Cardiology(ACC) and European Society of Cardiology (ESC), currently recommend triple therapy in these patients. Recently new evidence has emerged that such patients can be managed with dual therapy of a single antiplatelet (SAPT) and OAC. Hence, we decided to do a systematic review of these studies to evaluate safety and efficacy of dual therapy of SAPT and OAC against triple therapy of DAPT and OAC. (more…)