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…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, NEJM / 05.05.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kristian Kragholm, MD, PhD Departments of Cardiology and Epidemiology/Biostatistics, Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, DK MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: It is well known that early help from bystanders including cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) before arrival of the emergency medical services can increase chances of 30-day survival by three to four times compared to situations where no bystander resuscitation was initiated. The main and novel finding of our study is that bystander interventions, in addition to increasing survival, also lowers the risk of damage to the brain and nursing home admission in 30-day survivors during the first year following out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Kidney Disease, Surgical Research / 04.05.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nirat Beohar, MD Vice-Chief of Cardiology Director Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory Director Structural Heart Disease Program Director Interventional Cardiology Fellowship program Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory Columbia University Division of Cardiology, Mount Sinai Medical Center Miami Beach, Miami, FL 33140 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Nirat Beohar MD, Director of the Cardiovascular Catheterization Laboratory and Vice-Chief of Cardiology at the Columbia University Division of Cardiology at the Mount Sinai Medical Center and co-authors report the effect of trans-catheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) on subsequent renal function and outcomes in high-risk and inoperable patients presenting with baseline renal dysfunction (eGFR < 60 ml/min/1.73 m2). This was a sub-study of patients undergoing TAVR in the PARTNER 1 trial and continued access registry that was conducted in 25 centers in the United States and Canada. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Stem Cells / 04.05.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Megan M. Monsanto, B.S. Joint Doctoral Student Department of Cell and Molecular Biology San Diego State University & University of California San Diego MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In the field of cardiovascular research there is ongoing debate regarding the optimal cell population(s) to use for the treatment of patients with heart failure. A major reason being, the lack of understanding of the actions and synergism between distinct myocardial-derived stem cell populations. This prompted our group to establish a protocol to isolate multiple stem cell populations from a single human myocardial tissue sample that will allow for the discovery of new insights at the cellular level, with the ultimate goal being to achieve true myocardial regeneration upon injection back into the patient. (more…)
Author Interviews, Global Health, Heart Disease / 03.05.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hisham Dokainish, M.D., FRCPC, FASE, FACC Associate Professor of Medicine, McMaster University Principal Investigator, Population Health Research Insitute Director of Heart Failure Services, Director of Medical Diagnostic Units & Echocardiography, Hamilton Health Sciences Hamilton, ON, Canada MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Most data on mortality and prognostic factors in patients with heart failure come from North America and Europe, with little information from other regions of the world, particularly from low and middle income countries. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: We enrolled 5823 patients within 1 year (with 98% follow-up). Overall mortality was 16·5%: highest in Africa (34%) and India (23%), intermediate in southeast Asia (15%), and lowest in China (7%), South America (9%), and the Middle East (9%). These large regional differences in mortality persisted after multivariable adjustment for demographic, clinical, medication and socioeconomic variables. About half of the mortality risk was explained by multivariable modeling with these variables; however, the remainder was unexplained. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Surgical Research / 02.05.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. PJ Devereaux MD, PhD, FRCP(C) Director of the Division of Cardiolog Scientific Leader of the Anesthesiology, Perioperative Medicine and Surgical Research Group at the Population Health Research Institute Professor and University Scholar in the Departments of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact and Medicine McMaster University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Although the majority of patients undergoing noncardiac surgery benefit from surgery and do well, even when a small proportion of these patients have a serious complication it represents a major population issue. A recent publication in JAMA Cardiology established that >5 million Americans age ≥45 years undergo major in-patient noncardiac surgery annually, and 1.3% of these patients die in the hospital. This means 65,000 of these patients die, and cardiovascular causes are a dominant cause. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cleveland Clinic, Heart Disease, Kidney Disease / 01.05.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mohamed Khayata, MD Internal Medicine Resident PGY-3 Cleveland Clinic Akron General Akron, Ohio MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Previous studies showed that patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) who had elevated creatinine and/or impaired creatinine clearance on presentation had higher short- and long-term mortality independent of other cardiovascular risk factors. We used the National Cardiovascular Database Registry to investigate the impact of creatinine levels at the time of presentation on the cardiovascular outcomes in patients who presented with STEMI. Our study showed that elevated creatinine levels correlated with higher incidence of atrial fibrillation, bleeding, heart failure, and cardiogenic shock during hospital stay after the percutaneous intervention. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Emergency Care, Heart Disease / 25.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Judith Poldervaart MD, PhD Assistant professor Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care University Medical Center Utrecht MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Since its development in 2008, interest in the HEART score is increasing and several research groups around the world have been publishing on the HEART score. After validation of any risk score for cardiac events, there is a concern about the safety when used in daily practice. We were able to show the HEART score is just as safe as the usual care currently used at EDs, which has not been shown yet in previous research. That we did not find a decrease in costs, is probably due to the hesitance of physicians to discharge low-risk patients from the ED without further testing. But extrapolation of the findings of a cost-effectiveness analysis (including nonadherence) suggests that HEART care could lead to annual savings of €40 million in the Netherlands. Hopefully, in time (and more publications of the HEART score now appearing almost weekly from all over the world) this effect on use of health care resources will become more apparent. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JACC / 25.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with Phyllis K. Stein, PhD Division of Hospital Medicine Washington University School of Medicine St. Louis, Missouri MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This study was based on results from the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS) which was designed to be a prospective study of risk factors for cardiovascular disease and stroke in community-dwelling older adults. Of this cohort, about ¼ volunteered to have Holter recordings. They form the basis of our study. All participants were carefully followed and all outcomes fully adjudicated. Thus, we were able to add the Holter findings to the existing Health ABC study and determine whether they added to a validated risk score. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Surgical Research / 20.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Emmanouil S. Brilakis, MD, PhD Director, Center for Advanced Coronary Interventions Minneapolis Heart Institute Minneapolis, Minnesota 55407 Adjunct Professor of Medicine University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at Dallas MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Calcification in the coronary arteries might hinder lesion crossing, equipment delivery and stent expansion and contribute to higher rates of in-stent restenosis, as well as stent thrombosis. In this project we sought to examine the impact of calcific deposits on the outcomes of chronic total occlusion (CTO) percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in a contemporary, multicenter registry. We analyzed the outcomes of 1,476 consecutive CTO PCIs performed in 1,453 patients between 2012 and 2016 at 11 US centers. Data collection was performed in a dedicated online database (PROGRESS CTO: Prospective Global Registry for the Study of Chronic Total Occlusion Intervention, Clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT02061436). (more…)
Author Interviews, Compliance, Heart Disease, JAMA / 20.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Robert Rosenson, MD Professor of Medicine and Cardiology Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai New York MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: High intensity statin therapy is underutilized in patients with acute coronary syndromes. In 2011, 27% of patients were discharged on a high intensity statin (Rosenson RS, et al. J Am Coll Cardiol). In this report, we investigate the factors associated with high adherence to high intensity statin. High adherence to high intensity statins was more common among patients who took high intensity statin prior to their hospitalization, had fewer comorbidities, received a low-income subsidy, attended cardiac rehabilitation and more visits with a cardiologist. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Heart Disease / 19.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Martin P. Than, MBBS Emergency Department, Christchurch Hospital and Dr John W Pickering, PhD Associate Professor Senior Research Fellow in Acute Care Emergency Care Foundation, Canterbury Medical Research Foundation, Canterbury District Health Board | Christchurch Hospital Research Associate Professor | Department of Medicine | University of Otago Christchurch New Zealand MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Patients being investigated for possible acute coronary syndrome comprise one of the largest groups of patients presenting to emergency rooms. Troponin assays have developed such that they can now measure with greater accuracy much lower concentrations of troponin. A large retrospective registry based study and a couple of smaller prospective studies suggested that patients with a very low concentrations of troponin T (below the current limit of detection of 5 ng/L) measured with Roche Diagnostic’s high-sensitivity troponin T (hsTnT) assay on presentation to the emergency department (ie single blood draw) are very unlikely to be having a myocardial infarction (MI). Our study gathers the current best evidence for using concentrations below the limit of detection in conjunction with no evidence of new ischaemia on ECG to safely risk stratify patients to a very low-risk group for MI and, therefore, potentially identify patients safe for early discharge. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JACC, Medical Imaging, MRI / 19.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Pr. Juerg Schwitter MD Médecin Chef Cardiologie Directeur du Centre de la RM Cardiaque du CHUV Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois - CHUV Suisse  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Coronary artery disease (CAD) is still one of the leading causes of death in the industrialized world and as such, it is also an important cost driver in the health care systems of most countries. For the European Union, the estimated costs for CAD management were 60 billion Euros in 2009, of which approximately 20 billion Euros were attributed to direct health care costs (1). In 2015, the total costs of CAD management in the United States were estimated to be 47 billion dollars (2). Substantial progress has been achieved regarding the treatment of CAD including drug treatment but also revascularizations procedures. There exists a large body of evidence demonstrating myocardial ischemia as one of the most important factors determining the patient’s prognosis and reduction of ischemia has been shown to improve outcome. On the other hand, techniques to detect CAD, i.e. relevant myocardial ischemia, were insufficient in the past. Evaluation of myocardial perfusion by first-pass perfusion cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) is now closing this gap (3) and CMR is recommended by most international guidelines for the work-up of known or suspected CAD (4,5). Still, a major issue was not clarified until now, i.e. “how much ischemia is required to trigger revascularization procedures”. Thus, this large study was undertaken to assess at which level of ischemia burden, patients can be safely deferred from revascularization and can be managed by risk factor treatment only. Of note, this crucial question was addressed in both, patients with suspected CAD but also in patients with known (and sometimes already advanced) CAD, thereby answering this question in the setting of daily clinical practice. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Inflammation, Nature / 18.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Borja Ibáñez MD Spanish National Centre for Cardiovascular Research Madrid MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Acute myocardial infarction (heart attack) is a severe condition responsible for thousands of deaths every year and with important long-term consequences for survivors. Best treatment for acute myocardial infarction is a rapid coronary reperfusion. Upon reperfusion, all inflammatory cells and mediators accumulated in the circulation during the infarction process, enter into the myocardium and causes an extra damage to the heart. Activated neutrophils play a critical role in this damage occurring upon reperfusion. The final size of infarction is the main determinant for mortality and long-term morbidity. The possibility of limiting the extent of infarcted tissue is of paramount importance. Betablockers have been used in patients for more than 4 decades, mainly to treat arrhythmias and high blood pressure. Recently the same group of investigators demonstrated that the very early administration (i.e. during ambulance transfer to the hospital) of the betablocker “metoprolol” was able to reduce the size of infarction in patients. The mechanism by which metoprolol was protective in patients suffering a myocardial infarction was unknown. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, HIV, JAMA, Vanderbilt / 18.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Matthew S Freiberg, MD, MSc Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine Vanderbilt Translational and Clinical Cardiovascular Research Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response:  HIV infected people are living longer and are at risk for cardiovascular diseases. While acute myocardial infarction has been studied and the increased risk of Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI) among HIV+ people compared to uninfected people is well documented, there are less data describing the risk of HIV and different types of heart failure, including reduced and preserved ejection fraction heart failure. Understanding more about the link between HIV and different types of HF is important because reduced and preserved ejection fraction heart failure differ with respect to underlying mechanism, treatment, and prognosis. Moreover, as cardiovascular care has improved, HIV infected people who experience an AMI are likely to survive but may live with a damaged heart. Understanding more about the link between HIV and heart failure may help providers and their patients prevent or reduce the impact of HF on the HIV community. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Stem Cells / 17.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jalees Rehman, MD Director of Research, Division of Cardiology Associate Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine Chicago, IL 60612 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Converting skin fibroblasts into regenerative blood vessel endothelial cells could be a valuable approach to repair diseased blood vessels in patients with cardiovascular disease and also to build new blood vessels in order to supply engineered tissues and organs. Using skin fibroblasts is very well suited for personalized therapies because they can be obtained from a skin biopsy in an outpatient setting. The biopsied skin sample is used to extract the skin fibroblasts, which are then expanded in cell culture dishes before they are converted to endothelial cells. This allows for the generation of tens or hundreds of millions of cells that will likely be needed for blood vessel repair and regeneration. By converting skin fibroblasts of a patient, we can generate personalized endothelial cells with the same genetic signature as the patient so that they are less likely to be rejected if implanted back into the same patient after the conversion. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease / 17.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Roberta Gottlieb, MD Director of Molecular Cardiobiology Professor of Medicine Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute Cedars-Sinai Los Angeles, California MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Most heart surgeries involve stopping the heart and relying upon a machine to oxygenate the blood and pump it to the rest of the body, a procedure called cardiopulmonary bypass. The heart is typically cooled, which further reduces metabolic demand. During this time, the heart is without a blood supply to provide oxygen and nutrients, but near the end of the procedure, the heart is re-started and blood flow is restored. This period of ischemia followed by reperfusion can injure the heart muscle, much like what happens during a myocardial infarction, or heart attack. It has been shown that the degree of injury at the time of surgery (measured by the release of cardiac enzymes) is associated with mortality at 30 days and risk of heart failure within 3 years. For that reason, it is important to understand the cellular and molecular events that occur in the heart muscle during cardiac surgery so that we can decrease ischemia/reperfusion injury. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Vitamin D / 13.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Robert Scragg, MBBS, PhD School of Population Health The University of Auckland Auckland New Zealand MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Interest in a possible role for vitamin D deficiency as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease was stimulated by studies showing a seasonal variation in cardiovascular disease, which is much higher in winter, when body levels of vitamin D are low, than in summer. Main findings are that bolus monthly doses of vitamin D supplementation do not prevent against cardiovascular disease, even in people with low levels of vitamin D. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Heart Disease, NEJM / 13.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Aidin Rawshani, MD, PhD student Sahlgrenska Academy University of Gothenburg MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Management of diabetes has improved in the past decades, studies have shown that mortality and cardiovascular disease among patients with diabetes has decreased, but these studies have not compared the trends among persons with type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes to those of the general population, where there have also been reductions in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. We observed marked reductions in incidence for cardiovascular disease and mortality among individuals with diabetes, however, similar trends were observed for the general population. We observed a 43% (HR 1.43, 95% CI 1.25–1.62) greater event rate reduction for cardiovascular disease among individuals with type 1 diabetes compared to matched controls. The reduction in the rate of fatal outcomes did not differ significantly between patients with type 1 diabetes and controls, whereas patients with type 2 diabetes had a 13% (HR 0.87, 95% CI 0.85–0.89) lesser event rate reduction compared with matched controls. There was a 27% (HR 1.27, 95% CI 1.22–1.32) greater event rate reduction for cardiovascular disease among individuals with type 2 diabetes, compared with matched controls. Nevertheless, there remains a substantial excess overall rate of all outcomes analysed among persons with type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes, as compared with the general population. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Lipids, Nutrition, Stroke, Yale / 13.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Eric J. Brandt, MD Yale University Cardiovascular Disease Fellow MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: From previous studies we know that industrial trans fatty acid (trans fat) consumption is linked to elevated risk for cardiovascular disease. Even small amounts of consumption can be deleterious to cardiovascular health. In New York state, there were 11 counties that restricted the use of trans fatty acids in eateries. We compared hospitalization for heart attacks and stroke from 2002 through 2013 in counties that did and did not have restrictions. Our study found that when comparing populations within New York state that restricted the use of trans fat, compared to those that did not, there was an associated additional decline beyond temporal trends for heart attacks and stroke events combined by 6.2%. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dental Research, Heart Disease / 13.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Bradley F. Bale, M.D. Texas Tech Health Science Center School of Nursing, Lubbock, Texas 1002 Montrose Drive Gallatin, TN 37066 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: It has been known for some time that periodontal disease is associated with higher risk for arterial disease.  It was shown decades ago that the germs in the mouth frequently seed into our blood stream with simple activities such as chewing and brushing our teeth.  During the last decade, it was discovered certain high risk periodontal pathogens are associated with various cardiovascular (CV) risk factors such as blood pressure, lipid levels, insulin resistance and endothelial dysfunction.  These studies elucidated that the CV risk stems from the bacteria involved in the periodontal disease and not the clinical signs such as pocket depth, bleeding of gums and loose teeth. The above knowledge demonstrated that high risk periodontal pathogens can adversely influence two of the three elements in the atherogenic triad.  Those factors are concentration of apoB and endothelial inflammation and dysfunction.  Then approximately two years ago it was published that the high risk pathogen Porphyromonas  gingivalis (P.g.) can enhance the third element.  This portion is the transformation of contractile smooth muscle cells (SMCs) in the medial layer of artery into migratory secretory SMCs.  These morphed cells enter the deep layer of the intima and enrich it with proteoglycans which are the ‘velcro’ that traps cholesterol particles in the arterial wall and initiates the formation of arterial disease.  At that point, there was solid evidence that the high risk pathogens boost every element in the triad to create atherosclerosis.  With that knowledge these pathogens must be considered a contributory cause of arterial disease.  When a condition is causal it demands diagnosis and management to reduce the disease risk. (more…)
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, Heart Disease, Thyroid Disease / 09.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Arjola Bano, MD, DSc PhD candidate Departments of Internal Medicine and Epidemiology Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Atherosclerosis is a chronic condition, characterized by the accumulation of lipids and fibrous elements in the arterial walls. It can progress insidiously from an asymptomatic narrowing of the arterial lumen (subclinical phase) to the clinical onset of vascular events (as coronary heart disease or stroke) and death. Despite advances in prevention and treatment, atherosclerotic diseases remain a leading cause of mortality worldwide. Therefore, identifying additional modifiable risk factors for atherosclerosis is of major importance. So far, the role of thyroid hormone on atherosclerosis remains unclear. Moreover, a comprehensive investigation exploring the link of thyroid function with the wide spectrum of atherosclerosis, including subclinical atherosclerosis, clinical atherosclerosis and atherosclerotic mortality, within the same population is lacking. Therefore, in a prospective study of 9231 middle-aged and elderly people, we explored the association of thyroid function with subclinical atherosclerosis (coronary artery calcification), atherosclerotic events (fatal and nonfatal coronary heart disease or stroke) and atherosclerotic mortality (death from coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular or other atherosclerotic disease). Higher free thyroxine (FT4) levels were associated with higher risk of subclinical atherosclerosis, atherosclerotic events and atherosclerotic mortality, independently of cardiovascular risk factors. The risk of atherosclerotic mortality increased with higher FT4 levels (HR; CI: 2.35; 1.61-3.41 per 1 ng/dl) and lower thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels (HR; CI: 0.92; 0.84-1.00 per 1 logTSH), with stronger estimates among participants with a history of atherosclerotic disease (HR; CI: 5.76; 2.79-11.89 for FT4 and 0.81; 0.69-0.95 for TSH). (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Mental Health Research / 04.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alessandro Paoletti Perini, MD, PhD and Valentina Kutyifa MD, PhD University of Rochester Medical Center Heart Research Follow-Up Program Rochester, New York, 14642 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The present study is a pre-specified sub-study of the Multicenter Automatic Defibrillator Implantation Trial – Reduce Inappropriate Therapy (MADIT-RIT), which was published on the New England Journal of Medicine in 2012. The main trial showed that innovative ICD programming was associated with reduction in inappropriate ICD therapy and mortality. In the present investigation we focused on the detrimental effects that ICD firings, either appropriate or inappropriate, may have on patients’ psychological well-being. We observed that multiple appropriate and inappropriate shocks are associated with increased levels of ICD-related anxiety, a specific kind of psychological disorder which affects patients implanted with an ICD. Multiple appropriate ATP were also proved associated with higher anxiety, although not as much as shocks. On the other hand, we did not find a significant association with anxiety for multiple inappropriate ATP. (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Heart Disease / 31.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Szilard Voros, MD, FACC, FSCCT, FAHA CEO of Global Genomics Group  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Atherosclerotic coronary artery disease (ASCAD) is the leading cause of death and morbidity in the United States and worldwide, despite relatively successful medical therapies such as statins, like Zocor or Lipitor. A significant majority of patients with ASCAD present with sudden cardiac arrest, and the clinical evaluation of those patients who present with chest pain to their physicians is very inefficient. Based on current clinical guidelines, patients who present to their physician with complaints of new onset chest pain or its equivalent, such as exertional dyspnea should be assessed for the probability of the presence of significant ASCAD based on simple clinical predictors. Approximately 60% of such patients have an intermediate probability, and they are typically referred for initial non-invasive evaluation, such as a stress test with cardiac imaging, or for some other type of non-invasive test. Strikingly, no more that 5% of such stress tests performed in the United States are actually positive, and even when patients with positive stress test are taken for invasive coronary angiography, no more than 40% have significant ASCAD. A blood test that could serve as first step, as a “gatekeeper”, to non-invasive evaluation, would be highly desirable. Global Genomics Group, or G3, has performed one of the largest, unbiased, mass-spectrometry-based discovery studies in over 1,000 patients who underwent detailed cardiac CT to assess the presence or absence of ASCAD, by measuring over 1,000 metabolites from the blood. Using sophisticated bioinformatics tools, the researchers identified 8 important metabolites that were significantly abnormal in patients with ASCAD, and generated a biomarker signature for the detection of ASCAD based on those analytes, called “knowPLAQUETM”. The biomarker signature was generated in approximately 800 subjects, and was validated in an independent set of approximately 400 subjects, showing an area under the curve (“AUC”) of 0.82 for the diagnosis of Atherosclerotic coronary artery disease. This biomarker signature can be adapted relatively easily on commercial mass spectrometry platforms, and the researchers anticipate that this signature may be available for physicians to use by 2018. In addition to its diagnostic power, this biomarker signature also has uncovered important biological insights for the development of ASCAD, which can be leveraged for therapeutic purposes. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Insomnia / 31.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Qiao He Master’s degree student China Medical University Shenyang, China MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Sleep is an important factor for biological recovery functions, but in modern society, more and more people have complained having sleep problems like insomnia, one of the main sleep disorders. It is reported that approximately one-third of the German general population has been suffering from insomnia symptoms. In decades, many researchers have found associations between insomnia and bad health outcomes. Insomnia seems to be a big health issue. However, the results from previous studies regarding the association of insomnia and cardiovascular or cerebrovascular events were inconsistent. Therefore, we conducted this study. (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Heart Disease, JAMA / 30.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Stefan Kiechl, MD and Karin Willeit, MD Department of Neurology Medical University Innsbruck Innsbruck, Austria  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia and a major contributor to thromboembolic stroke and population morbidity and mortality. Aside from well-established risk factors such as age, heart failure, and hypertension, inflammation has been suggested to play a significant role in the pathogenesis of AF. This is evidenced by histologic studies that found marked inflammatory infiltrates in atrial biopsies of AF patients and by epidemiological studies demonstrating an association of circulatory inflammation markers with incident AF. Of note, an increased endocardial expression of vascular intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1), a mediator of leukocyte trafficking, during rapid atrial pacing was demonstrated which was shown to contribute to an inflammatory and prothrombotic environment within atrial tissue. Because it is still unclear whether inflammation related to AF is primarily a systemic or localized phenomenon, we sought to examine the association of 13 baseline inflammation markers with incident atrial fibrillation in the prospective population-based Bruneck Study and to replicate key findings in a second cohort, the SAPHIR Study. (more…)
Author Interviews, Clots - Coagulation, Heart Disease, Thromboembolism / 29.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Paul Burton, MD, PhD, FACC Vice President, Medical Affairs Janssen MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Venous thromboembolism (VTE), which includes deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE), affects more than 900,000 Americans each year; one-third of these occurrences are fatal. Once a person experiences a VTE, they are at risk of having another occurrence. Guidelines currently recommend anticoagulant therapy with a non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulant (NOAC), like XARELTO® (rivaroxaban), for three months or longer. Once anticoagulant therapy is stopped, up to 10 percent of people will experience a recurrence during the first year and up to 20 percent within three years. In people who decide to stop anticoagulant therapy, guidelines currently suggest using aspirin for long-term prevention of recurrent VTE rather than no aspirin at all. The Phase 3 EINSTEIN CHOICE study was designed to compare the efficacy and safety of XARELTO® to aspirin for continued VTE management in people who experienced an initial VTE. The study met its primary endpoint, finding both XARELTO® doses (10 mg or 20 mg once daily) to be superior to aspirin 100 mg once daily in preventing recurrent VTE, with no significant impact on safety. Specifically, XARELTO® 10 mg reduced the risk of recurrent VTE by 74 percent and XARELTO® 20 mg by 66 percent. Rates of major bleeding were comparable and low across all treatment groups. These results were presented at the American College of Cardiology's 64th Annual Scientific Session (ACC.17) during a Joint ACC/Journal of American Medical Association Late-Breaking Clinical Trials session and published simultaneously in The New England Journal of Medicine. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Osteoporosis / 27.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Wallis CY Lau BSc Centre for Safe Medication Practice and Research Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacy Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine The University of Hong Kong MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Warfarin is a vitamin K antagonist (VKA) oral anticoagulant used for stroke prevention in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF), a common heart rhythm disorder. It works by interfering with vitamin K-dependent reactions in the process of blood clot formation. As these reactions also play a role in bone mineralization, there is concern that warfarin use may be linked with osteoporotic fracture. Despite the concerns for fracture risk, warfarin had been an inevitable treatment choice for over 50 years as there were no other alternatives available. Dabigatran is the first non-VKA oral anticoagulant (NOAC) approved for use in patients with NVAF. Recently, an animal study reported that use of dabigatran is associated with a better bone safety profile compared to warfarin in rats, suggesting a potential for a lower risk of osteoporotic fractures over warfarin. However, the actual risk of osteoporotic fractures with dabigatran use in human remains unclear. Therefore, we conducted a population-based cohort study to compare the risk of osteoporotic fractures in patients with NVAF treated with dabigatran and warfarin. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JACC, Sleep Disorders / 24.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Christopher M. O’Connor, MD FACC  CEO and Executive Director, Inova Heart & Vascular Institute IHVI Administration Falls Church, Virginia 22042 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Sleep apnea is a very common comorbidity of patients with heart failure (both reduced ejection fraction and preserved ejection fraction). Early evidence from observational and small studies suggested that treating sleep apnea with adaptive servo-ventilation (ASV) therapy may improve patient outcomes. There is minimal clinical evidence about identifying and treating sleep apnea in those who’ve been hospitalized with acute decompensated heart failure. The CAT-HF study was designed to help address this, with the primary endpoint being cardiovascular outcomes measured as a Global Rank Score that included survival free from cardiovascular hospitalization and change in functional capacity as measured by the six-minute walk distance. It was also planned to expand on the SERVE-HF study that was investigating the use of ASV therapy to treat central sleep apnea (CSA) in chronic stable heart failure patients with reduced ejection fraction patients (HFrEF). (more…)