Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, Heart Disease, Pharmacology / 31.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ziyad Al-Aly, MD, FASN Assistant Professor of Medicine Director of the Clinical Epidemiology Center Chief of Research and Education Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care System Saint Louis  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: In 2017, we published a paper showing increased risk of death associated with Proton-pump inhibitors (PPI) use. Following the publication of that 2017 paper, several key stakeholders including patients, doctors, research scientists, medical media folks, mainstream media folks, and others asked us: what do these people die from? Did you study causes of death attributable to PPI use? In the study published today, we developed a causal inference framework to answer this question. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Supplements / 31.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Lu Qi, MD, PhD, FAHA MD, PhD, FAHA HCA Regents Distinguished Chair and Professor Director, Tulane University Obesity Research Center Department of Epidemiology Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine New Orleans, LA 70112 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There is evidence from previous experimental studies or cross-sectional analyses in humans linking glucosamine and a variety potentially protective effects such as improving lipids, inhibiting inflammation, and mimic a low-carb diet.   (more…)
Author Interviews, Clots - Coagulation, Duke, Genetic Research, Heart Disease, JAMA / 30.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Thomas J. Povsic, MD, PhD Interventional Cardiologist Duke Clinical Research Institute Duke University School of Medicine Durham, North Carolina  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  Response: The background for this study is that it is unknown how mandatory reporting of CYP2C19 metabolizer status affects how doctors treat patients or to what degree provision of this information would affect choice of a P2Y12 inhibitor within a clinical trial. As part of the GEMINI-ACS trial, all patients underwent CYP2C19 metabolizer testing.  This trial enrolled patients with a recent acute coronary syndrome and randomized them to aspirin or a low dose of rivaroxaban.  All patients were also to be treated with ticagrelor or clopidogrel, which was at the discretion of the investigator.  Investigators were given information regarding the CYP2C19 metabolizer status about a week after randomization.  Importantly prior to randomization, all investigators were asked how they expected to use this information, and then we followed what they actually did. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, NIH, Stroke / 27.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lenore J. Launer, PhD. Chief Neuroepidemiology Section Intramural Research Program National Institute on Aging MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The prevalence of cerebral infarction on MRI can be as high as 30% in community-based studies. These lesions detected on brain MRI, are often clinically silent, but are associated with impairments in cognitive and physical function and can increase the risk for clinical events. For a large number, the origin of these brain lesions is unknown. There is also a lack of population-based data on unrecognized myocardial infarction, which is associated with an increased for clinical coronary disease and mortality. Unrecognized MI was detected in 17% of participants using state-of-the-art cardia MRI, a more sensitive measure of the lesions, than the standard ECG. We investigated the contribution to these lesions of recognized and unrecognized myocardial infarction [MI] identified on cardiac MRI. We found both recognized and unrecognized myocardial infarction increased the risk for cerebral infarction, and that in particular unrecognized MI was associated with cerebral infarction of embolic origins of an unknown source. Given their prevalence, unrecognized MI may be an underestimated contributor to the risk for cerebral infarction in older persons.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Emory, Heart Disease, JAMA, Pediatrics, Sugar / 19.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jean A. Welsh, RN, MPH, PhD Departments of Epidemiology and Pediatrics Emory University Wellness Department, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Atlanta, Georgia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: As the evidence has accumulated regarding the health risks associated with sugar-sweetened beverages, I’ve wondered about fruit juices.  Though they have a kind of healthy halo, their main ingredients are the same as sugar-sweetened beverages, sugar and water.  We know that young children drink a lot of fruit juice, and I’ve wondered if older children and adults might switch to drinking more as concern grows about soft drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Pharmacology / 14.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sami Viskin MD Tel-Aviv Medical Cente Sackler School of Medicine Tel-Aviv University, Israel. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: There are >200 medications with reported QT-prolonging risk. The majority of these medications do not even have cardiac indications, yet cause unintended QT-prolongation because they block IKr potassium channels in myocardial cells. With so many drugs, of such varied composition, blocking the IKr channel, it is reasonable to assume that food compounds also have IKr-channel-blocker properties, raising the possibility that proarrhythmic food exists. We tested the effects of grapefruit on the QT interval with the rigorous methodology used by the pharmaceutical industry to test new medications before they are released to the market. (more…)
Author Interviews, Coffee, Heart Disease, Nutrition / 13.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Elina Hypponen Professor in Nutritional and Genetic Epidemiology Director: Australian Centre for Precision Health  Australian Centre for Precision Health| University of South Australia Cancer Research Institute | South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In Randomised controlled trials caffeine, which is a key constituent of coffee, has been shown to increase blood pressure. There is also some past evidence to suggest that higher coffee consumption may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, but only in individuals who are slow caffeine metabolisers. We used information from about 350,000 individuals from the UK, to look at the association between patterns of  habitual of coffee consumption and the subsequent risk of cardiovascular disease. As we also know that people are genetically different with respect to their ability to metabolise caffeine, a further aim for our study was to look at whether those people who are able to metabolise caffeine effectively, may also be more resistant to possible cardiovascular effects of coffee, compared to those who metabolise caffeine more slowly.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Johns Hopkins, Pulmonary Disease / 07.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Robert A. Wise, M.D. Professor of Medicine Pulmonary and Critical Care Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Baltimore, MD MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There has been a lingering controversy about the safety of long-acting anti-muscarinic agents (LAMA) as maintenance treatment for COPD in patients who have increased cardiovascular risk.  This study enrolled participants with COPD who also had increased cardiovascular risk or known cardiovascular disease.  Participants were randomly treated with either aclidinium bromide (Tudorza Pressair) or placebo. Over 3 years of follow up there was no increased risk of adverse cardiovascular events.  Moreover, the medication had a significant benefit in terms of reducing exacerbations and COPD hospitalizations. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Women's Heart Health / 29.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Lu Qi MD PhD Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine Tulane University New Orleans, LA 70112 Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School Boston, MA 02115 Yoriko Heianza RD, PhD Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University New Orleans, LA  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Growing data suggest that antibiotic exposure is associated with a long-lasting alteration in gut microbiota, and may be related to subsequent cardiovascular disease (CVD). We investigated associations of duration of antibiotic use in different phases of adulthood (young, middle and late adulthood) with the CVD incidence among women at usual risk. This new analysis from the Nurses’ Health Study shows that women who take antibiotics for long periods, especially during more recent adulthood (such as  in middle- and late adulthood) had a higher risk of CVD in later life.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, Heart Disease, JAMA, Toxin Research / 29.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Monica Lind, PhD, Professor, Environmental toxicologist Occupational and Environmental Medicine Uppsala University Hospital Visiting adress: Dag Hammarskjölds väg 60 Uppsala Sweden MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Previous studies in workers exposed to very high levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have suggested hazardous health effects. However, circulating PCB levels are detected in almost all indivuduals in industrialized countries, but the health effects of moderately elevated levels as seen in the general population are not well established. We investigated levels of PCBs in around 1,000 individuals, all aged 70 years, randomly chosen from the City of Uppsala, Sweden. (more…)
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Heart Disease, JAMA, Lipids / 25.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Florian Kronenberg, MD Division of Genetic Epidemiology Department of Medical Genetics, Molecular and Clinical Pharmacology Medical University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Lp(a) is one of the most prevalent lipoprotein risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Roughly 20% of the general Caucasian population have concentrations above 50 mg/dL and the 10% with the highest concentrations have a 2 to 3-fold increased risk for myocardial infarction. There is strong evidence from genetic studies that high Lp(a) concentrations are causally related to cardiovascular outcomes. Until recently there was no drug available which lowers Lp(a) without any effects on other lipoproteins. This has recently changed by the development of drugs that block the production of Lp(a) in an impressive way. These drugs have to be studied in randomized controlled trials whether they not only lower Lp(a) concentrations but also cardiovascular outcomes. For the planning of such studies it is crucial to estimate the amount of Lp(a) lowering required to show a clinical benefit. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Heart Disease, Red Meat / 22.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Marta Guasch-Ferre, PhD Research Scientist, Dept of Nutrition Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health Instructor of Medicine, Channing Division of Network Medicin Harvard Medical School Boston, MA, 02115   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Previous findings from randomized controlled trials evaluating the effects of red meat on cardiovascular disease risk factors have been inconsistent. But our new study, which makes specific comparisons between diets high in red meat versus diets high in other types of foods, shows that substituting red meat with high-quality protein sources lead to more favorable changes in cardiovascular risk factors. That is, to properly understand the health effects of red meat, it’s important to pay attention to the comparison diet. People do not simply eat more or less meat – it will almost always be in substitution with other foods.  (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Clots - Coagulation, Heart Disease, Stroke / 19.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Martine Jandrot-Perrus MD, PhD. Emeritus Research Professor Inserm University Paris Diderot Acticor Biotech Hôpital Bichat France  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Blood platelets are key actors in thrombosis a leading cause of global mortality estimated to account for 1 in 4 death worldwide in 2010. Thrombosis is associated with cardiovascular diseases (myocardial infarction, stroke, lower limb ischemia, venous thromboembolism), and with numerous pathologies such as cancer, infections or inflammatory diseases. Currently available antiplatelet drugs are the cornerstone of therapy for patients with acute coronary syndromes. However, these drugs all carry an inherent risk of bleeding that restricts their use in sensitive populations and when arterial thrombosis occurs in the cerebral territory. At present the only acute treatment option available for ischemic stroke consists in revascularization by thrombolysis, and/or mechanical thrombectomy. But the number of patients eligible to these treatments is low (» 15% of all patients) and the success rate does not exceed 50%. The responsibility of platelets in the failure for thrombolysis / thrombectomy to restore vascular patency is strongly suspected. There is thus a clear medical need for new antiplatelet drugs with an improved safety profile. We set out to develop ACT017, a novel, first in class, therapeutic antibody to platelet glycoprotein VI with potent and selective antiplatelet effects. The interest of GPVI resides in the fact that it's a receptor involved in the development of occlusive thrombi but that it is not strictly required for physiological hemostasis. (more…)
Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness, Gender Differences, Heart Disease, JAMA, Johns Hopkins, Women's Heart Health / 14.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Erin D. Michos, MD, MHS, FACC, FAHA, FASE Associate Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology Associate Director of Preventive Cardiology Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Victor Okunrintemi, MD, MPH Department of Internal Medicine East Carolina University Greenville, North Carolina  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: Women are less physically active than men on average, and the lack of regular physical activity has been associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease and poorer health outcomes. Although recommendations encouraging regular physical activity has been in place for decades, we do not know how much of these recommendations are met, particularly among high risk women with established cardiovascular disease for secondary prevention. This study was therefore designed with the aim of describing the 10-year trends for the proportion of women with cardiovascular disease who do not meet these recommend physical activity levels, overall and by key sociodemographic groups, and the associated cost implications. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Heart Disease, Karolinski Institute / 11.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JACC / 10.04.2019

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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Nutrition, Red Meat / 04.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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.  (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, Dermatology, Heart Disease, JAMA / 03.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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.  (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Karolinski Institute / 02.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Genetic Research, Heart Disease, Nature / 02.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Lipids / 02.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Exercise - Fitness, Heart Disease, JAMA, UCLA / 29.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Heart Disease, UCSD / 28.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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.  (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, Heart Disease, NEJM, Surgical Research / 27.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Dermatology, Heart Disease, JAMA / 27.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Flu - Influenza, Heart Disease, JAMA / 27.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sonja Kytomaa MA Research Associate Brigham and Women’s Hospital 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Stem Cells / 26.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Annetine C. Gelijns, PhD Professor and System Chair Population Health Science and Policy Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Clots - Coagulation, Duke, Heart Disease, NEJM / 21.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Duke, Heart Disease, JAMA / 21.03.2019

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. (more…)