Author Interviews, Baylor College of Medicine Houston, Cost of Health Care, Heart Disease, JAMA / 03.07.2013 Interview with Salim S. Virani, MD, PhDHealth Policy and Quality Program, Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center Health Services Research and Development Center of Excellence, and Section of Health Services Research, Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Section of Cardiovascular Research, Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, and Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, Methodist DeBakey Heart and Vascular Center, Houston, What are the main findings of the study?Dr. Virani: The main findings of the study are that despite having cholesterol levels at goal (LDL cholesterol <100 mg/dL), about one-third of patients (9200 out of 27947) with coronary heart disease had repeat cholesterol testing in 11 months from their last lipid panel. As expected, no intervention was performed as a response to these lipid panels. Collectively, 12686 additional lipid panels were performed in these patients. Among 13,114 patients who met the optional treatment target of LDL-C<70 mg/dL, repeat lipid testing was performed in 8,177 (62.3% of those with LDL-C<70) during 11 months of follow-up.Patients with a history of diabetes mellitus (odds ratio [OR], 1.16; 95% CI, 1.10-1.22), a history of hypertension (OR, 1.21; 95%CI, 1.13-1.30), higher illness burden (OR, 1.39; 95%CI, 1.23-1.57), and more frequent primary care visits (OR, 1.32; 95%CI, 1.25-1.39) were more likely to undergo repeat testing, whereas patients receiving care at a teaching facility (OR, 0.74; 95%CI, 0.69-0.80) or from a physician provider (OR, 0.93; 95%CI, 0.88-0.98) and those with a medication possession ratio of 0.8 or higher (OR, 0.75; 95%CI, 0.71-0.80) were less likely to undergo repeat testing. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Yale / 25.06.2013

Dr. Kumar Dharmarajan MD MBA Yale School of Medicine Center for Outcomes Research & Evaluation (CORE)Contraindicated Initiation of β-Blocker Therapy in Patients Hospitalized for Heart Interview with Dr. Kumar Dharmarajan MD MBA

Yale School of Medicine Center for Outcomes Research & Evaluation (CORE)Contraindicated Initiation of β-Blocker Therapy in Patients Hospitalized for Heart Failure What are the main findings of the study?We found that among a large contemporary cohort of heart failure hospitalizations, beta blockers are frequently started in patients with markers of clinical instability such as residence in an intensive care unit (ICU), volume overload requiring intravenous diuresis, and poor cardiac output requiring intravenous inotropes. Approximately 40% of patients in whom a beta blocker is started has at least one of these three potential contraindications to treatment.This finding is concerning, as recent performance measures for heart failure recommend that a beta blocker be started during hospitalization for heart failure among patients with left ventricular systolic dysfunction. However, these performance measures also state that persons in whom a beta blocker is started "should not be hospitalized in an ICU, should have no or minimal evidence of fluid overload or volume depletion, and should not have required recent treatment with an intravenous positive inotropic agent."Moving forward, we are concerned that the unselective application of the new performance measure may lead to the further use of beta blocker therapy in patients at higher risk for adverse consequences of therapy. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Lifestyle & Health / 04.06.2013 eInterview with: Haitham Ahmed, MD, MPHThe Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease Johns Hopkins What were the main findings of the study?Dr. Ahmed: Everyone knows that healthy lifestyle habits are major factors that protect you from heart disease. What we don’t know is which habits are most important, and how exactly these habits prevent disease progression along the causal biological pathway over years and years. So we followed 6,200 men and women of various ethnic backgrounds from 6 university locations across the US. We looked at their eating habits, exercise, weight, and smoking history. We did CT scans on them at the start of the study and then a few years later (mean 3 years) and found that healthier people had lower calcium deposition in their coronaries. We then kept following them and found that these same healthy people had a trend towards less cardiovascular events. We then kept following them further and found that these same healthy people died less, by an 80% lower rate, compared to people that were unhealthy, which was incredible. So what we took away from this is that you have enormous power in changing your risk of atherosclerosis, heart disease, and death by changing your lifestyle behaviors.(more…)
Heart Disease / 03.05.2013 eInterview with: Dugald Seely ND, MSc, FABNO Founder & Executive Director; Ottawa Integrative Cancer Centre Director; Research & Clinical Epidemiology; Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine Affiliate Investigator; Ottawa Hospital Research Institute 29 Bayswater Ave Ottawa, ON, K1Y 2E5 What are the main findings of the study?Answer:A significant and measurable reduction in risk of developing cardiovascular disease when naturopathic care is provided alongside conventional care. This is evidenced by a 17% reduction in prevalence of metabolic syndrome and over 3% reduction in the 10-year Framingham cardiovascular risk profile for patients receiving care from a regulated naturopathic doctor in addition to community based care with a general practitioner. (more…)
Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness, Heart Disease, JAMA, Smoking, Tobacco Research / 16.04.2013 Author Interview with Dr. Koon Teo, MB, PhDPopulation Health Research Institute, Hamilton Health Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, What are the main findings of the study?Dr. Teo: In this study we examined the prevalence of smoking cessation or avoidance, eating a healthy diet and undertaking regular physical activities in nearly 8000 individuals who had previously experienced a coronary heart disease event or stroke, on average 5 years after their events. The individuals were recruited from over 600 communities in 17 countries with varying incomes and economic development. We found that although these healthy lifestyle activities could reduce the risk of further heart or stroke events, about one fifth of individuals continued to smoke, only one third undertook regular leisure or work related physical activities and about two fifths ate a healthy diet. (more…)