Stress from Traumatic Events Linked to Increased Risk of Heart Disease

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Huan Song Associated Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics Karolinska Institutet

Huan Song

Huan Song, PhD
Center of Public Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine,
University of Iceland, Reykjavík, Iceland
Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

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

Response: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) presents a group of diseases that are common and sometimes fatal in general population. The possible role of stress-related disorders in the development of CVD has been reported. However, the main body of the preceding evidence was derived from male samples (veterans or active-duty military personnel) focusing mainly on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or self-reported PTSD symptoms. Data on the role of stress-related disorders in CVD in women were, until now, limited. Although incomplete control for familial factors and co-occurring psychiatric disorder, as well as the sample size restriction, limit the solid inference on this association, especially for subtypes of CVD.

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Collagen Biomarker Associated With Atrial Fibrillation and Heart Failure Risk

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Susana Ravassa PhD

Program of Cardiovascular Diseases, CIMA
University of Navarra, and IdiSNA
Navarra Institute for Health Research
Pamplona, Spain 

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

Response: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is an evolving epidemic responsible for substantial morbidity, mortality and health-care expenditure. In particular, when AF and heart failure (HF) occur in combination, clinical evolution is particularly poor. Left atrial (LA) myocardial interstitial fibrosis (MIF) is the main structural lesion in AF and considered as the main factor responsible for the perpetuation of this pathology. In addition, it is known that MIF is associated with a lower effectiveness of the treatment of AF by pulmonary vein isolation with catheter ablation. Therefore, the identification of biomarkers related to MIF, as an affordable and minimally invasive approach, is of great interest to detect patients at risk of AF, as well as to monitor their response to the LA ablation therapy.

We had previously demonstrated that the deleterious impact of MIF in the heart is due to alterations in both the quality (i.e., extent of cross-linking among collagen fibrils and type of collagen fibers that determine their rigidity and resistance to degradation [collagen cross-linking or CCL]) and the quantity (i.e., extent of collagen fibers that occupy the myocardial tissue [collagen deposition or CD]) of fibrotic tissue. We have shown that certain circulating biomarkers related to collagen type I metabolism are associated with CCL and CD. On the one hand, the serum carboxy-terminal propeptide of procollagen type I (PICP), released during the conversion of procollagen type I into fibril-forming mature collagen type I, is directly correlated with myocardial CD.

On the other hand, the ratio of serum carboxy-terminal telopeptide of collagen type I to serum matrix metalloproteinase-1 (serum CITP:MMP-1 ratio) is inversely correlated with myocardial CCL, as the higher is the cross-linking among collagen type I fibrils the lower will be the cleavage of CITP by MMP-1 during the process of degradation of the fiber. Interestingly, we have previously reported that the combination of these biomarkers identifies patients with heart failure presenting with a complex pattern of MIF characterized by both increased CCL and CD (CCL+CD+) showing a higher risk of adverse clinical evolution as compared with heart failure  patients without this combination of biomarkers. As both increased CCL and CD have been found in the left atrial myocardium in patients with AF, we designed this investigation to explore whether the CCL+CD+ combination of biomarkers is associated with AF. Continue reading

Even Small Amounts of Red and Processed Meat Linked to Increase in Cardiovascular Mortality

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Saeed Mastour Alshahrani, MPH, PhDSchool of Public Health, Loma Linda University, California, USACollege of Applied Medical Sciences, King Khalid UniversityAbha, Saudi Arabia

Dr. Mastour Alshahrani

Saeed Mastour Alshahrani, MPH, PhD
School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, California, USA
College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Khalid University
Abha, Saudi Arabia 

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

Response: -The consumption of red and processed meat has been associated with risks of importance to public health including cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

Several studies have found that red and processed meat intake was associated with an increased risk of mortality. However, levels of meat intake in those studies were relatively high. It remains of interest whether even relatively low intake levels of red and processed meat might be associated with greater mortality, compared to zero intake.  Continue reading

Contact Allergic Reactions to Implanted Cardiac Devices

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Amber Reck Atwater, M.D.Dermatology Residency Program DirectorAssociate Professor of DermatologyDirector, Contact Dermatitis ClinicDuke Dermatology

Dr. Reck Atwater

Amber Reck Atwater, M.D.
Dermatology Residency Program Director
Associate Professor of Dermatology
Director, Contact Dermatitis Clinic
Duke Dermatology 

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

Response: We completed an evaluation of our Duke Dermatology patients who underwent patch testing for possible allergy to their cardiac devices – pacemakers and defibrillators.

From March 1, 2012 to September 15, 2017 we saw 11 patients with suspected allergy to their devices.  Concern for allergy, skin eruption, skin symptoms, and concern for infection were common. 73% of patients had erythema at their implant scars; pruritus and pain were also noted.  Six of our patients had relevant reactions, and the most common allergies were metals, silicone and rubber accelerators.  Continue reading

Hands-Only CPR Increases Bystander Participation and Survival After Cardiac Arrest

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Hands only CPR AHA image

Hands only CPR
AHA image

Gabriel Riva, Graduate Student
Department of Medicine, Solna (MedS),
Karolinka Institute

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

Response: During the last decade there has been a gradual adoption of compression-only CPR, as an option to conventional CPR with chest compressions and rescue breaths, in international CPR guidelines. The simplified technique is recommended for bystanders who are untrained and in “telephone assisted CPR”. One of the reasons was the assumption that more people would actually do CPR with the simplified technique.  We could in this nationwide study running over 3 guideline periods demonstrate a 6-fold higher proportion of patients receiving compression-only CPR and a concomitant almost doubled rate of CPR before emergency medical services arrival over time. This very large increase in simplified CPR was surprising to us, especially considering there has never been any public campaigns promoting compression-only CPR in Sweden and training still include compressions and ventilations.  Continue reading

Shorter Individuals at Greater Risk of Heart Disease

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Eirini MarouliWilliam Harvey Research InstituteBarts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, London

Eirini Marouli

Eirini Marouli
William Harvey Research Institute
Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, London

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

Response: Epidemiological studies suggest that shorter stature is associated with increased risk of coronary artery disease (CAD) or type 2 diabetes (T2D). It is not clear though whether these associations are causal or there are other factors mediating these effects. When randomized trials are inappropriate or impossible, we can use Mendelian Randomisation as a good alternative to study the causal relationship between a trait and a disease. Here, we examined over 800 places in the human genome known to be associated with adult height and evaluated how genetically predicted height can affect the risk of CAD or T2D. Furthermore, we evaluated the role of several risk factors including, cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, body mass index, fat percentage, socio-economic parameters including education and income as well as lung function. Lung function was assessed by spirometry measures including FEV1: forced expiratory volume in 1 second, FVC: forced vital capacity.

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Dietary Cholesterol from Eggs Linked to Cardiovascular and All-Cause Mortality

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Victor Wenze Zhong, Ph.D.Postdoctoral fellowDepartment of Preventive MedicineFeinberg School of MedicineNorthwestern University 680 N Lake Shore Dr, Suite 1400Chicago, IL 60611

Dr. Zhong

Victor Wenze Zhong, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral fellow
Department of Preventive Medicine
Feinberg School of Medicine
Northwestern University
Chicago, IL 60611 

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

Response: Dietary cholesterol is a common nutrient in human diet. Eggs, specially egg yolks, are the single richest source of dietary cholesterol among all commonly consumed foods. The associations between dietary cholesterol consumption and cardiovascular disease and mortality remain controversial despite decades of research. Eating less than 300 mg of dietary cholesterol per day was the guideline recommendation before 2015. However, the most recent 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans no longer include a daily consumption limit for dietary cholesterol and recommend weekly egg consumption as part of the healthy US-style eating pattern. Whether these recommendations are appropriate have been intensely debated.

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Exercise: A Non-Pharmaceutical “Drug” To Reduce Heart Disease in Breast Cancer Patients

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Christina M. Dieli-Conwright, PhD, MPH, FACSM, CSCSAssistant Professor of ResearchDirector, Integrative Center for Oncology Research in ExerciseDivision of Biokinesiology & Physical Therapy, Ostrow School of DentistryDepartment of Medicine, Keck School of MedicineUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos Angeles, CA 90033

Dr. Dieli-Conwright

Christina M. Dieli-Conwright, PhD, MPH, FACSM, CSCS
Assistant Professor of Research
Director, Integrative Center for Oncology Research in Exercise
Division of Biokinesiology & Physical Therapy, Ostrow School of Dentistry
Department of Medicine, Keck School of Medicine
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA 90033 

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

Response: This study was designed to assess the effects of an aerobic and resistance exercise on metabolic dysregulation in sedentary, obese breast cancer survivors, however we further examined the effects on cardiovascular disease risk measured by the Framingham Risk Score, reported here.

Our findings indicated that exercise, indeed, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease in this population.  Continue reading

Gene Transfer Improved Cardiac Function in Diabetic Mouse Model

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

H. Kirk Hammond, MDProfessor of Medicine at University of California, San DiegoBasic research scientist and cardiologistSan Diego Veterans' Affairs Healthcare System

Dr. Hammond

H. Kirk Hammond, MD
Professor of Medicine at University of California
San Diego
Basic research scientist and cardiologist
San Diego Veterans’ Affairs Healthcare System

Dr. Hammond is winner of the 2017 William S. Middleton Award – the highest research honor in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs 

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

Response: Worldwide, 9% of adults have diabetes, predominantly due to insulin resistance, known as Type 2 diabetes. It is associated with obesity and diets high in fat and carbohydrates. In this gene transfer study we showed that a single injection of a vector encoding a natural hormone (urocortin 2, Ucn2) increased glucose disposal and improved heart function in a model of diet-induced Type 2 diabetes in mice. 

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Cardiac Surgery: No Difference in Outcomes Between Inhaled and IV Anesthesia

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Giovanni LandoniIntensive Care and Anesthesia Unit Associate professorUniversità Vita-Salute San Raffaele

Dr. Landoni

Dr. Giovanni Landoni
Intensive Care and Anesthesia Unit
Associate professor
Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele 

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

Response: Patients undergoing cardiac surgery are still at risk for perioperative complications. Studies to improve clinical outcomes this setting are important. Inhaled anesthetics have pharmacological properties which reduce myocardial infarction size by 50% in laboratory and animal studies and which might decrease postoperative mortality according to aggregated published randomized data.

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Psoriasis: No Difference Found in Cardiovascular Risk Between Ustekinumab vs TNF Inhibitor Therapy

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Seoyoung C. Kim, MD, ScD, MSCEDirector, Program in Rheumatologic, Immunologic, and Musculoskeletal PharmacoEpidemiology Associate Professor of MedicineDivision of Pharmacoepidemiology & PharmacoeconomicsDivision of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Kim

Seoyoung C. Kim, MD, ScD, MSCE
Director, Program in Rheumatologic, Immunologic, and Musculoskeletal PharmacoEpidemiology
Associate Professor of Medicine
Division of Pharmacoepidemiology & Pharmacoeconomics
Division of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Harvard Medical School

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

Response: Given a high cardiovascular (CV) risk among patients with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, it is important to have more information with regard to potential effect of different treatment agents on CV risk.

As the number of treatment options for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis has been rising over the few decades, it is even more crucial to have high-quality evidence on comparative safety of different treatment options so physicians and patients can choose an agent based on the benefit-risk profile of each drug they are considering.

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Flu Linked to Marked Increase in Heart Failure Admissions

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Sonja Kytomaa MAResearch AssociateBrigham and Women’s Hospital

Sonja Kytomaa

Sonja Kytomaa MA
Research Associate
Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Scott D. Solomon, MDThe Edward D. Frohlich Distinguished ChairProfessor of MedicineHarvard Medical SchoolSenior PhysicianBrigham and Women’s HospitalInternational Associate Editor, European Heart Journal

Dr. Scott Solomon

Scott D. Solomon, MD
The Edward D. Frohlich Distinguished Chair
Professor of Medicine
Harvard Medical School
Senior Physician
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
International Associate Editor, European Heart Journal

 

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

Response: Influenza is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events, yet few studies have explored the temporal association between influenza activity and hospitalizations, especially due to heart failure (HF).

Our aim with this study was to explore the temporal association between influenza activity and hospitalizations for HF and myocardial infarction (MI) in the general population. We related the number of MI and HF hospitalizations by month, which were sampled from 4 US communities and adjudicated in the surveillance component of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study, to monthly influenza-like illness activity, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We found that a 5% increase in influenza activity was associated with a 24% increase in HF hospitalizations rates, while overall influenza was not significantly associated with MI hospitalizations. Influenza activity in the months before hospitalization was not associated with either outcome.

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Mesenchymal Stem Cells May Reduce Complications in Heart Failure Patients with LVAD

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Annetine C. Gelijns, PhDChair, Department of Population Health Science & PolicyEdmond A. Guggenheim Professor of Health PolicyCo-Director, InCHOIR

Dr. Gelijns

Annetine C. Gelijns, PhD
Professor and System Chair
Population Health Science and Policy
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Alan J Moskowitz, MDProfessor, Population Health Science and PolicyDepartment of Population Health Science & PolicyIcahn School of Medicine at Mount SinaiNew York, NY 10029-6574

Dr. Moskowitz


Alan J Moskowitz, MD

Professor of Population Health Science and Policy
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Where do these mesenchymal cells come from? 

Response: Implantable LVADs significantly improve the survival and quality of life of advanced heart failure patients. However, these devices are associated with substantial adverse events, including infection and thromboembolic events. Moreover, whereas these devices improve myocardial function, few patients recover sufficient function to be explanted from their LVAD. These observations have focused attention on stem cells as a possible adjunctive therapy to further augment cardiac recovery.

Mesenchymal precursor cells (MPCs), which are obtained from healthy donors and culture-expanded, have been shown in animal and early human studies to improve cardiac function. Using temporary weaning as a signal of cardiac recovery, we conducted an exploratory trial in the Cardiothoracic Surgical Trials Network (CTSN), which found that MPCs increased the probability of temporary weaning from full LVAD support compared to sham-control patients. Therefore, this signal of efficacy led the CTSN to design our current follow-up trial evaluating the efficacy and safety of a higher dose of MPCs in LVAD patients.

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Atrial Fibrillation: Antithrombotic Therapy after Acute Coronary Syndrome or PCI

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Renato D. Lopes MD, MHS, PhD Duke University Medical Center Duke Clinical Research Institute Durham, NC 27705

Dr. Renato Lopes

Renato D. Lopes MD, MHS, PhD
Professor of Medicine
Division of Cardiology
Duke University Medical Center
Duke Clinical Research Institute

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

Response: In patients with acute coronary syndromes (ACS), approximately 20% to 30% of those with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF) have concomitant coronary artery disease (CAD), and 5 to 10% of patients who undergo PCI have NVAF. These patients often receive both antiplatelet therapy and oral anticoagulants; and how best to combine these agents to minimize bleeding risk without compromising protection against thrombosis is an important unanswered question.

Analysis of results for bleeding indicated no significant interaction between the two randomization factors permitting independent analysis of results for the two key comparisons. The first showed that apixaban was both non-inferior and significantly superior to VKA for the primary outcome with a 31% reduction in the relative risk for bleeding. Aspirin significantly increased the relative risk for bleeding versus placebo by 89%.

Results for the composite of death and hospitalization showed that apixaban resulted in a relative risk reduction of 17%, primarily driven by a reduction in all cause hospitalization. There was no significant difference between results for aspirin versus placebo for this outcome.

Analysis of the composite of death and ischemic events indicated no significant differences in results for apixaban versus VKA or aspirin versus placebo.

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Most Cardiovascular Guidelines Not Supported By Randomized Clinical Trials

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Renato D. Lopes MD, MHS, PhD
Professor of Medicine
Division of Cardiology
Duke University Medical Center
Duke Clinical Research Institute

Alexander C. Fanaroff, MD, MHS
Division of Cardiology and Duke Clinical Research Institute
Duke University, Durham, North Carolina

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

Response: About ten years ago, a group of researchers examined the evidence supporting guideline recommendations in cardiology for the first time. Quite surprisingly, they found that only 11% of recommendations in American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) guidelines were supported by evidence from randomized controlled trials, the highest level of evidence. The researchers called for greater collaboration among investigators and funders in identifying key research questions, development of streamlined clinical trial methods, and expansion of funding for clinical research. Over the past 10 years, some of these steps have been taken, but it is unclear how the evidence supporting guideline recommendations has changed.

We therefore analyzed the 51 current cardiovascular guideline documents — 26 from the ACC/AHA and 25 from the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) — including 6,329 recommendations.

Overall, 8.5% of recommendations in ACC/AHA guidelines and 14.3% of recommendations in ESC guidelines were supported by evidence from randomized controlled trials. When looking specifically at guidelines that have been updated, we found no significant changes in the proportion of recommendations supported by evidence from randomized controlled trials.

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Erectile Dysfunction: Advanced Imaging Demonstrates Link with Atherosclerosis

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Jagat Narula, MD, PhDPhilip J. and Harriet L. Goodhart Professor of Medicine (Cardiology)Associate Dean for Global HealthDirector of the Cardiovascular Imaging ProgramMount Sinai Medical Center

Dr. Narula

Jagat Narula, MD, PhD
Philip J. and Harriet L. Goodhart Professor of Medicine (Cardiology)
Associate Dean for Global Health
Director of the Cardiovascular Imaging Program
Mount Sinai Medical Center

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

Response: Atherosclerosis has been linked to causing erectile dysfunction (ED) in the majority of patients with this cardiovascular condition, but researchers have not had the means of demonstrating atherosclerosis in penile arteries until now.  This unique study uses advanced imaging to detect how strong the association actually is.  For the first time, researchers have used advanced imaging of penile arteries to show a link between atherosclerosis and erectile dysfunction (ED).

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TAVRcathAID Mobile App Facilitates Coronary Access Education After TAVR

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Annapoorna Kini, MDZena and Michael A Wiener Professor of MedicineDirector of the Cardiac Catheterization LaboratoryMount Sinai Heart at Mount Sinai Hospital

Dr. Kini

Annapoorna Kini, MD
Zena and Michael A Wiener Professor of Medicine
Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory
Mount Sinai Heart at Mount Sinai Hospital

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

  • Expanding indication and use of Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) poses a unique problem of coronary access after valve implantation.
  • Troubleshooting tools and techniques have been published but are not available at the fingertips of the user at all the times.
  • We tried to address this unique problem with an innovative educational mobile application (app) called “TAVRcathAID”.

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Atrial Fibrillation: Study Finds Quality of Life Better After Ablation vs Medication

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Carina Blomström-Lundqvist, MDProfessor of CardiologyDepartment of CardioloyInstitution of Medical ScienceUppsala, Sweden

Dr. Blomström-Lundqvist

Dr. Carina Blomström-Lundqvist, MD
Professor of Cardiology
Department of Cardioloy
Institution of Medical Science
Uppsala, Sweden

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

Response: While all previous trials comparing atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation and antiarrhythmic drugs to our best knowledge have evaluated the efficacy of these treatments in terms of atrial fibrillation (AF) recurrences (with an AF episode of 30 seconds duration as standard primary endpoint) we wanted to use quality of Life (QoL) – general health – as primary endpoint, since the indication for treatment is improving QoL.

This was important since, despite the fact that the indication for treatment is to improve (QoL) and reduce symptom, all prior trials have used 30 seconds AF episodes as standard primary endpoint, which if occurred it would be defined as a failed treatment.

We also wanted to assess effects on various clinical outcome events.

We know from registries such as ORBIT AF registry that around 60 % of AF patients have symptoms resulting in repeated hospitalisation visits in at least 30-40% of patients annually, and that only around 5 % of the AF population are being referred for AF ablation.

Previous trials have used intermittent 24 hours Holter recordings whioch does not give the true AF burden (% of time in AF). We therefore also wanted to assess and compare treatments effects on true AF burden by implanting an implantable cardiac monitor (ICM) which continuosly records the heart rhythm. We would then be able to prove that improvement in QoL was directly related to a reduction in AF burden and that treatment differences in QoL was related to a difference in reduction in AF burden.

We also wanted to study an AF population in their early AF disease state so that we could offer atrial fibrillation ablation to a broader AF population before their atria have become remodelled and too damaged for a pulmonary vein isolation to be effective. 

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New HeartMate 3 LAVD Reduces Risk of Strokes and Clots

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Mandeep R. Mehra, MD, MSc, FRCP (London)The William Harvey Distinguished Chair in Advanced Cardiovascular MedicineMedical Director, Heart and Vascular Center, Brigham and Women’s HospitalExecutive Director, Center for Advanced Heart DiseaseBrigham and Women’s HospitalProfessor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Mehra

Mandeep R. Mehra, MD, MSc, FRCP (London)
The William Harvey Distinguished Chair in Advanced Cardiovascular Medicine
Medical Director, Heart and Vascular Center
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Executive Director
Center for Advanced Heart Disease
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School 

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

Response: The MOMENTUM 3 trial is the largest study of LVAD therapy in Advanced Heart Failure with over 1000 randomized patients followed to at least 2 years. This trial tested a novel fully magnetically levitated LVAD, the HeartMate 3 pump against a mechanical bearing containing LVAD, the HeartMate II pump in patients suffering from advanced heart failure (85% of whom were on continuous intravenous Inotropic therapy or IABP device at the time of randomization). While LVADs have improved survival for such patients, the morbidity has remained excessive due to serious complication as a result of problems with hemocompatibility.

The principal concerns revolve around complications of pump thrombosis requiring surgical replacement, strokes and bleeding events, especially gastrointestinal bleeding. The trial has previously reported two interim analyses which suggested signals for superiority on pump replacement and even a decrease in ischemic stroke.

This final full report concludes convincingly that all three domains of hemocompatibility related adverse events are reduced with the novel LVAD with near elimination of pump thrombosis, halving of strokes of any kind and any severity and a marked decrease in bleeding complications.

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Opioid Crisis Linked To Rapid Increase in Chronically Infected Heart Valves

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Serena Day, MDOhio State University.

Dr. Serena Day

Serena Day, MD
Ohio State University 

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

Response: The idea for this research came from my own observations of patients that I was caring for in the hospital first as an Internal Medicine Resident and now as a senior Cardiology Fellow. I did my residency here at Ohio State and noticed a marked increase in the number of patients with endocarditis that we were caring for just in my short time here as a trainee.

Over 5 years, we saw an increase of 436% in intravenous drug use related endocarditis. How this disease is treated as changed as well. It used to be that if a patient was a good surgical candidate, we would offer a replacement valve. Now, we see that these patient’s have such a high rate of recurrent intravenous drug use and reinfection of their heart valves that we now treat with antibiotics only rather than surgery. In many cases, the infection never goes away because we can’t offer definitive therapy with surgery due to their high relapse and reinfection rates of nearly 50%.
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Home Treatment of Patients with Low-Risk Pulmonary Embolism

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Stavros V. Konstantinides, MD, PhD, FESC, FRCP(Glasg)

Professor, Clinical Trials, and Medical Director
Center for Thrombosis and Hemostasis (CTH)
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
Mainz, Germany

Stavros V. Konstantinides, MD, PhD, FESC, FRCP(Glasg)Professor, Clinical Trials, and Medical DirectorCenter for Thrombosis and Hemostasis (CTH)Johannes Gutenberg University MainzMainz, Germany

Dr. Konstantinides

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

Response: Acute pulmonary embolism (PE) is the third most frequent acute cardiovascular syndrome. It encompasses a wide spectrum of clinical symptoms and severity, ranging from massive, immediately life-threatening PE with hemodynamic collapse to the low-risk, stable patient with very few symptoms. These latter patients with acute low-risk PE may qualify for early discharge from hospital (e.g., within 48 hours) and continuation of treatment at home. This is a very promising strategy, because it may not only increase patient satisfaction and quality of life, but also help to reduce hospital-related complications and costs. However, it needed to be clearly determined, and tested in a prospective management trial, who are the appropriate candidates for an effective and safe home treatment approach. To this date, trials suggesting favorable clinical outcomes with home treatment of PE are small and date back to the era of vitamin K antagonists. Direct oral anticoagulants permitting a single drug treatment of PE are more promising in this regard, as they may make an early transition from hospital to ambulatory care both safer and more convenient.

The international Home Treatment of Pulmonary Embolism (HoT-PE) phase 4 management trial tested the efficacy and safety of early discharge and ambulatory anticoagulation treatment with the direct factor Xa inhibitor rivaroxaban in patients with acute low-risk PE. Patients were identified on the basis of

  • clinical criteria or PE severity, comorbidity, and contraindications; and
  • the absence of right heart failure or intracardiac thrombi on cardiac imaging. Early termination of the study was possible following the prespecified interim analysis, which was performed after recruitment and 3-month evaluation of 525 patients (50% of the planned trial population). At the interim analysis, the primary efficacy outcome of symptomatic recurrent venous thromboembolism or PE-related death occurred in only 3 (0.6%) patients (compared to an estimated 1.7% rate based on historical data). This rate was sufficiently low to reject the primary hypothesis as predefined in the statistical analysis plan. None of the recurrent events was nonfatal.Major bleeding occurred in 6 (1.2%) patients of the safety population. The study could therefore be terminated early for efficacy. 

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Even with Controlled LDL-Cholesterol, PCI Stent Patients Have Residual Inflammatory Risk

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. George Dangas MD PhDProfessor of Medicine, CardiologyMount Sinai Health System

Dr. Dangas

Dr. George Dangas MD PhD
Professor of Medicine, Cardiology
Mount Sinai Health System

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

Response: Widespread use of statins targeted to decrease levels of low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) below 70mg/dL are recommended by guidelines. However, residual cholesterol risk may only be one part of the residual risk equation. Indeed, Biological inflammation has long been known as a pathophysiological mechanism of atherosclerosis and the recent CANTOS trial opened new therapeutic perspective by demonstrating that inflammation modulation via selective interleukin-1β inhibition could result in improved diagnosis in patients with coronary artery disease.

However, the prevalence and impact of a residual inflammatory biological syndrome in patients with controlled cholesterol risk is unclear. Continue reading

Do Elevated Troponins Always Indicate a Heart Attack?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Prof. Nick Curzen  BM(Hons) PhD FRCPProfessor of Interventional Cardiology/Consultant CardiologistUniversity Hospital SouthamptonSouthampton

Prof. Curzen

Prof. Nick Curzen  BM(Hons) PhD FRCP
Professor of Interventional Cardiology/Consultant Cardiologist
University Hospital Southampton
Southampton

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

Response: The commonest blood test now used to assess whether a patient has had a heart attack or not is called high sensitivity troponin (hs trop).  The test is supplied with an Upper Limit of Normal, which is based upon results from relatively healthy people.  When doctors take the hs trop, they then use this ULN to decide if the patient had has a heart attack.

This study set out to see what the hs trop level is in a large number of patients attending the hospital for any reason, either inpatient or outpatient, in most of whom there was no clinical suspicion of heart attack at all.  We therefore took hs trop measurements on 20,000 consecutive patients attending our hospital and having a blood sample for any reason.  Continue reading

Genetic Evidence Suggests New LDL-C Lowering Drug May Decrease Cardiovascular Events and Have Additive Effect with Statins

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Brian A Ference, MD, MPhil, MSc, FACC, FESCProfessor and Director of Research in Translational TherapeuticsExecutive Director, Centre for Naturally Randomized TrialsStrangeways Research LaboratoryUniversity of CambridgeCambridge, UK

Dr. Ference

Brian A Ference, MD, MPhil, MSc, FACC, FESC
Professor and Director of Research in Translational Therapeutics
Executive Director, Centre for Naturally Randomized Trials
Strangeways Research Laboratory
University of Cambridge
Cambridge, UK

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

Response: Bempedoic acid is a novel therapy currently in development that lowers LDL-C by inhibiting ATP-citrate lyase, an enzyme in the same cholesterol biosynthesis pathway as HMG-CoA reductase (the target of stains).  However, whether lowering LDL-C by inhibiting ATP-citrate lyase will reduce the risk of cardiovascular events to the same extent as lowering LDL-C by inhibiting HMG-CoA reductase with a statin is unknown.

We conducted a “naturally randomized trial” using Mendelian randomization in more than 650,000 participants who experienced more than 100,000 cardiovascular events to evaluate the potential clinical benefit of lowering LDL-C by inhibiting ATP-citrate lyase as compared to lowering LDL-C by inhibiting HMG-CoA reductase.

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Bempedoic Acid Lowers LDL When Statins Alone Aren’t Enough

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Prof. Kosh Ray, MB ChB, MD, MPhil Faculty of Medicine, School of Public HealthChair in Public Health (Clinical)Imperial College London

Dr. Ray

Prof. Kosh Ray, MB ChB, MD, MPhil
Faculty of Medicine, School of Public Health
Chair in Public Health (Clinical)
Imperial College London

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

Response: Bempedoic acid is the first in class of a new therapy for lowering LDL cholesterol. This is the largest and longest study to date with this therapy and involved about 2200 pts with patients with either established cardiovascular disease or familial hypercholestrolaemia and in whom LDL was > 70mg/dl or 1.8 mmol/L despite maximally tolerated statins. %0% were on high intensity statins and the majority of the rest on moderate intensity.

The aim was to show long term safety 1 year and efficacy at 24 weeks and at 1 year.  Continue reading

Short Naps May Aid in Blood Pressure Control

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr Manolis S Kallistratos MD, PhD, FESC,EHSAsklepeion General HospitalGreece

Dr. Kallistratos

Dr Manolis S Kallistratos MD, PhD, FESC,EHS
Asklepeion General Hospital
Greece 

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

Response: Lifestyle changes represent the cornerstone of treatment of arterial hypertension. Alcohol and salt reduction may decrease blood pressure levels by 2 to 8 mmHg.

In our study 60 minutes of midday sleep decrease 24 hours systolic blood pressure levels by up to 3 mmHg in well controlled hypertensives. That is an effect as potent as other well-established life style changes.

The magnitude of blood pressure decrease might seem small, but a drop in blood pressure as small as 2 mmHg can reduce the risk of cardiovascular events by up to 10 percent.  Continue reading

Many Patients Taking Warfarin Plus Aspirin Without Clear Indication

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Geoffrey Barnes, MD, MScAssistant ProfessorVascular and Cardiovascular MedicineUniversity of Michigan

Dr. Barnes

Geoffrey Barnes, MD, MSc
Assistant Professor
Vascular and Cardiovascular Medicine
University of Michigan

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

Response: Both aspirin and warfarin are commonly used medications meant to prevent thrombotic complications, but might increase rates of bleeding complications.

We used a multi-center anticoagulation collaborative to explore how often patients being treated with warfarin were also taking aspirin but without a clear indication. We found that more than one-third (37.5%) of warfarin-treated patients without a clear reason for aspirin therapy were receiving aspirin. And these patients on both warfarin and aspirin experienced higher rates of bleeding and emergency department visits for bleeding than the patients taking warfarin alone. There were no differences in the rate of thrombotic events between the patients taking warfarin alone or those taking warfarin plus aspirin.  Continue reading

African American Patients with Psoriasis at Even Greater Risk of Atherosclerotic Heart Disease

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Francis Alenghat, MD, PhD Assistant Professor of Medicine Section of Cardiology University of Chicago

Dr. Alenghat

Francis Alenghat, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Section of Cardiology
University of Chicago

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

Response: Psoriasis has been associated with higher rates of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), potentially due to higher-than-normal levels of systemic inflammation. Whether this association varies by race was unknown. Also, it was unclear whether patients with psoriasis have more frequent ASCVD because of higher rates of traditional cardiovascular risk factors (smoking, diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia) or because of components intrinsic to psoriasis itself.

We found that, amongst a large population of patients with psoriasis, patients of both sexes and most ages had elevated ASCVD rates compared to those without psoriasis. Overall, African American patients with psoriasis had a 15% ASCVD prevalence, whereas it was 10% in white patients with psoriasis. Increased ASCVD associated with psoriasis occurred at earlier ages in African American patients compared to white patients.

Traditional cardiovascular risk factors were common in patients with psoriasis and appeared to play a large role in the driving the higher rates of ASCVD in these patients, but even in patients with psoriasis but without any documented traditional risk factors, ASCVD rates were elevated compared to patients without psoriasis.  Continue reading

How Does a Stroke Affect Cognitive Function?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Sarah Parish, MSc, DPhil Professor of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology MRC Population Health Research Unit Nuffield Department of Population Health University of Oxford

Dr. Parish

Sarah Parish, MSc, DPhil
Professor of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology
MRC Population Health Research Unit
Nuffield Department of Population Health
University of Oxford

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

Response: Acquiring reliable randomized evidence of the effects of cardiovascular interventions on cognitive decline is a priority. In this secondary analysis of 3 randomized intervention trials of cardiovascular event prevention, including 45 029 participants undergoing cognitive testing, we estimated the association of the avoidance of vascular events with differences in cognitive function in order to understand whether reports of non-significant results exclude worthwhile benefit.  Continue reading

Equation Predicts Bleeding Risk of Aspirin for Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr Vanessa Selak, MBChB, MPH, PhD, FAFPHM, FNZCPHMSenior Lecturer, Section of Epidemiology & BiostatisticsSchool of Population Health, Faculty of Medical and Health SciencesUniversity of Auckland

Dr. Selak

Dr Vanessa Selak, MBChB, MPH, PhD, FAFPHM, FNZCPHM
Senior Lecturer, Section of Epidemiology & Biostatistics
School of Population Health
Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences
University of Auckland

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

Response: In order to determine the balance of benefits and harms of aspirin in primary prevention there’s a need to know an individual’s risk of CVD and their risk of a major bleed without aspirin.

We have lots of equations that can be used to determine, among people considering aspirin for primary prevention, an individual’s risk of CVD, but few bleeding risk equations that can be used to determine their risk of a major bleed.

We sought to develop a bleeding risk equation that can be used to determine the risk of a major bleed among people in whom aspirin is being considered for the primary prevention of CVD. Continue reading