Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Psychological Science / 11.02.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Geoffrey Tofler MBBS MB FRACP FACC Professor of Preventative Cardiology, University of Sydney Senior Staff Cardiologist, Royal North Shore Hospital New South Wales, Australia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Bereavement due to the death of a loved one is one of the most stressful experiences to which almost every human is exposed. Grief is an unavoidable and natural reaction to the loss.  While in most people the grief reaction gradually diminishes, an increased risk of heart attack or has been described in the early weeks and months following bereavement.   Although this increase in heart attacks is well recognised, until now there have not been any previous studies to provide guidance on how to safely reduce the risk. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Menopause, Race/Ethnic Diversity, University of Pittsburgh / 05.02.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Samar R. El Khoudary, M.D., M.P.H. Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Saad Samargandy, M.P.H. Ph.D. Student University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Research findings suggest that women experience adverse changes in multiple clinical measures of their cardiovascular health during the menopause transition period. We were interested in evaluating the timing of critical changes in arterial stiffness and investigating potential racial differences in how arterial stiffness progresses during the menopause transition. Arterial stiffness refers to the elasticity of arteries and it measures the rate at which blood flows through arteries. Stiffer arteries can lead to dysfunction in how well the heart pumps and moves blood, and damage to the heart, kidneys and other organs. We used a subset of data from SWAN Heart, an ancillary study that enrolled women from Pittsburgh and Chicago between 2001 and 2003 and included two examinations of early markers of cardiovascular health over time. Ultimately, 339 women were included in this study, 36% black and the rest white. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Science / 31.01.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Steven R. Houser, PhD, FAHA Senior Associate Dean, Research Vera J. Goodfriend Endowed Chair, Cardiovascular Research Chair and Professor, Physiology Director, Cardiovascular Research Center (CVRC) Professor, Medicine Deborah M EatonDeborah M Eaton  Doctorate Student / Research Assistant Temple University   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Heart failure (HF) with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) accounts for approximately 50% of cases of HF and to date clinical trials with HFpEF patients have failed to produce positive outcomes. Part of this is likely due to the lack of HFpEF animal models for preclinical testing. Our lab addressed this gap in knowledge by developing an animal model that mimics critical features of the human HFpEF phenotype. We performed an in-depth cardiopulmonary characterization highlighting that the model has characteristics of human disease. We then tested the effects of a pan-HDAC inhibitor, vorinostat/SAHA, in collaboration with Dr. Timothy McKinsey, who is an expert in HDAC inhibitors and recently published work1 that laid the foundation for this study.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Columbia, Heart Disease, JACC / 21.01.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ersilia DeFilippis, MD Second-year cardiology fellow Columbia University Irving Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Marijuana use has been increasing significantly and is the most commonly illicit drug used in the United States. In recent years, more states have been legalizing its use for both recreational and medicinal purposes. We have all seen news reports regarding the rise of vaping-related health hazards. Yet, data are limited regarding the cardiovascular effects of marijuana which is what drove us to explore this topic. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA / 15.01.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mandeep R. Mehra, MD, MSc, FRCP 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? Response: Left Ventricular assist devices meaningfully prolong survival in patients with heart failure who are no longer responsive to guideline-directed medications. The MOMENTUM 3 trial tested a new generation device, the HeartMate 3 pump, to a more commonly used pump, the HeartMate II device. This trial showed the superiority of the new heart pump and found that survival free of a disabling stroke or need to place a second pump is improved considerably. In this prespecified analysis of the trial, we compared patients who were considered as eligible for transplantation to those considered ineligible for heart transplantation. We showed that these categories are associated with similar superiority of the HeartMate 3 pump compared to the control pump despite the categorization into these discrete buckets. (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Heart Disease, JAMA, UCLA / 09.01.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Olujimi A. Ajijola, MD, PhD Neurocardiology Research Center of Excellence Cardiac Arrhythmia Center University of California, Los Angeles MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: It hadn’t been understood why some people with basic heart failure might live longer than others despite receiving the same medications and medical device therapy. Through this research we set out to determine whether a biomarker of the nervous system could help explain the difference. This study revealed a biomarker that can specifically predict which patients with “stable” heart failure have a higher risk of dying within one to three years. (more…)
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Heart Disease, JAMA, Weight Research / 08.01.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ravi V. Shah, MD Cardiology Division, Department of Medicine Massachusetts General Hospital Boston, MA Venkatesh L. Murthy MD, PhD Division of Cardiovascular Medicine Department of Medicine and Frankel Cardiovascular Center University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We were interested in evaluating how added information like fitness assessed on a treadmill exercise test, physical activity questionnaires and genetic risk scores could inform patients and doctors’ understanding of how an individuals BMI might change over time. We used one of the latest and broadest polygenic risk scores. We investigated the CARDIA cohort, a study sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, who were young adults aged 18 to 30 and have been followed serially for 25 years. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness, Heart Disease, JACC / 08.01.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Charlotte Manisty PhD MRCP Senior Lecturer Consultant Cardiologist Barts Heart Centre and University College University College Hospitals, London MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The normal ageing process results in vascular stiffening which in turn contributes to adverse cardiovascular events including heart attacks and strokes.  We know that trained athletes have more compliant blood vessels than their peers, and previous small studies of supervised exercise training have shown that such interventions can reduce blood pressure. We aimed to assess the impact of unsupervised exercise training on cardiovascular physiology in novice runners preparing for a first-time marathon using advanced noninvasive imaging in order to better understand whether it is possible to ‘reverse’ vascular ageing. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 07.01.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Robert H. Schneider, MD, FACC Director, Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention Dean, College of Integrative Medicine Maharishi University of Management Fairfield, Iowa 52556 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Abnormal enlargement of heart, known as left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), is an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD). It doubles the risk for heart attacks, heart failure, arrhythmias, stroke, and mortality. African Americans have twice the rate of LVH compared to whites. This may partly explain the disproportionally high CVD death rates in blacks. Psychosocial stress contributes the development of LVH and CVD. African Americans are exposed to excess psychosocial stress imposed by socioeconomic disparities and racism. However, there is little known about the potential role of stress reduction in the prevention of LVH in the general population or African Americans in particular. Therefore, this study was conducted to assess if stress reduction with Transcendental Meditation could prevent left ventricular hypertrophy in African Americans and thereby help to prevent subsequent heart disease. (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews, Heart Disease, NEJM / 02.01.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Peter M Kistler MBBS, PhD, FRACP Head of Clinical Electrophysiology Research Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute Head of Electrophysiology at The Alfred hospital Professor of Medicine University of Melbourne. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There is a well known association between alcohol intake and atrial fibrillation form population based studies which demonstrate that for every 1 standard drink the incidence of AFib increases by 8%. This is the first randomised study to determine of alcohol reduction/abstinence leads to a reduction in AFib episodes and time to recurrence. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, NEJM / 28.12.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jean-Claude Tardif CM, MD, FRCPC, FCCS, FACC, FAHA, FESC, FCAHS Director, Montrel Heart Institute Research Center Professor of medicine Canada Research Chair in translational and personalized medicine University of Montreal endowed research chair in atherosclerosis Montreal Heart Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Inflammation appears to play an important role in atherosclerosis. Inhibition of interleukin-1ß by canakinumab reduced the rate of cardiovascular events by 15% CANTOS. In contrast, methotrexate did not affect cardiovascular outcomes or plasma markers of inflammation in CIRT. Colchicine is an inexpensive, orally administered, potent anti-inflammatory medication that has been used for centuries. Colchicine is currently indicated for the management of patients with gout, familial Mediterranean fever and pericarditis. In the LODOCO study, patients with stable coronary disease treated with colchicine 0.5 mg once daily experienced fewer cardiovascular events as compared with those not receiving colchicine. However, that study enrolled only 532 patients and was not placebo-controlled. Because acute coronary syndromes are associated with higher risks of recurrent events and exacerbated inflammation, we conducted the COLchicine Cardiovascular Outcomes Trial (COLCOT) in patients with a recent myocardial infarction to evaluate the effects of colchicine on cardiovascular outcomes and its long-term safety and tolerability. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Heart Disease / 23.12.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. PJ Devereaux MD, PhD, FRCP(C) Director of the Division of Cardiology Scientific Leader Anesthesiology, Perioperative Medicine, and Surgical Research Group Population Health Research Institute McMaster University  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There is an ethical obligation to provide patients with an accurate estimation of the potential benefits of surgery and the potential risks, to facilitate informed decision making about the appropriateness of surgery.  There are two common approaches to risk estimation. First, physicians commonly use clinical risk indices.  Based upon a patient’s clinical history (e.g., history of prior heart attack or stroke) an estimate of perioperative risk is determined.  Research demonstrates that these clinical risk indices have suboptimal risk discrimination capabilities, and they will underestimate risk in many patients. The second approach that has commonly been used is to have patients undergo an expensive and time consuming non-invasive cardiac test (e.g., stress nuclear cardiac study).  Although these non-invasive cardiac tests can enhance risk estimation in some patients who will have a perioperative cardiac event, these tests more commonly exaggerate risk in patients who will not have a complication. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease / 20.12.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Shiwani Mahajan, MBBS Postdoctoral Associate Yale/YNHH Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation (CORE) New Haven, CT 06510  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Although the mortality rates among patients hospitalized for myocardial infarction (MI) have seen a decreasing trend, patients with MI continue to have a delayed presentation to the hospital and a large number of them die before reaching the hospital. One critical aspect of lowering mortality associated with MI is ensuring timely access to lifesaving emergency cardiac care, for which prompt recognition of symptoms of a MI and appropriate rapid emergency response are crucial. As such, in this study, we used nationally representative data to estimate awareness of 5 common symptoms of a MI (including chest pain or discomfort; shortness of breath; pain or discomfort in arms or shoulders; feeling weak or lightheaded; and jaw or neck or back pain), and the appropriate response to a MI (i.e. calling emergency medical services), among adults in the US. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Surgical Research / 21.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Chayakrit Krittanawong, MD Section of Cardiology Baylor College of Medicine Houston, TX MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Transcatheter Aortic valve Implantation (TAVI) has emerged as equally effective alternative to surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR) to treat severe aortic stenosis (AS) in all risk groups. In particular, less is known about the heart failure (HF) patients who undergo TAVI. Whether certain subtypes of HF respond differently after TAVI remains a mystery. In this study, we sought to assess and compare the incidence and predictors of in-hospital mortality among patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFREF) versus heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFPEF). (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease / 20.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Matthew Budoff MD Professor of Medicine, UCLA Endowed Chair of Preventive Cardiology Lundquist Institute Torrance, CA 90502 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We present the nine-month interim analysis results from the EVAPORATE mechanistic study of Icosapent Ethyl, after benefits were seen with the REDUCE-IT Trial, demonstrating 25% event reduction. This trial was a serial multi-detector computed tomographic (MDCT) study to look at plaque progression between icosapent ethyl (4 gm/day) and matching placebo.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Prostate Cancer / 20.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jeffrey L. Anderson, MD FAHA FACC MACP Distinguished Research Physician Professor of Medicine with Tenure University of Utah School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Omega-3 supplements are widely used for cardiovascular prevention. However, a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (105:1132, 2013) reported as an incidental finding in a plasma bank study that the risk of prostate cancer increased with increasing levels of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and trended to increase with eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Heart Disease, Stroke / 17.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rupak Desai, MBBS Research Fellow, Division of Cardiology Atlanta VA Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Amidst legalization of therapeutic and recreational use of marijuana/cannabis in the United States, cerebrovascular effects of marijuana use remain largely unknown, especially among young adults. We examined the association between cannabis use (18–44 years) among young adults and stroke events. The study analyzed pooled data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (2016–2017)—a nationally representative cross-sectional survey collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Overall, 13.6% of total 43,860 young adults (18-44 years) reported using cannabis recently (in the last month), with 63.3% of them being men. Compared with nonusers, marijuana users were often younger, non-Hispanic white or black, and with some college education. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Heart Disease / 05.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rachel E. Climie PhD INSERM U970, Paris Cardiovascular Research Center (PARCC) Integrative Epidemiology of Cardiovascular Disease Team, University de Paris, Paris, France.  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: It is well known that physical activity (PA) is beneficial for cardiovascular health. However, little consideration is given as to whether different domains of PA have differing associations with health outcomes. Indeed, recent work has shown that high amounts of PA at work are associated with increased risk of early death, however the underlying mechanisms are unknown. In this study, we explored the relationship between physical activity at work, during leisure time and as structured sport with baroreflex sensitivity. We distinguished between the mechanical (dependent on the stiffness of the arterial wall) and neural (nerve impulses sent by the receptors on the walls of the artery) components of the baroreflex. Importantly, baroreflex sensitivity is crucial for short- term blood pressure control and reduced baroreflex function is related to higher risk of cardiac mortality and sudden death.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 30.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michelle Morse, MD, MPH Founding Co-Director, EqualHealth Soros Equality Fellow Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School Co-Founder, Social Medicine Consortium  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
  • Response: Frontline clinicians have a unique vantage point to identify and characterize inequities in care. This study was inspired by internal medicine residents’ first-hand clinical experiences of black and Latinx patients who were frequently admitted to the general medicine service, as opposed to the cardiology service, with an ultimate diagnosis of HF.
  • Research has shown that structural inequities are pervasive throughout healthcare delivery systems and across many services, within both the inpatient and outpatient arenas. We hope other institutions and clinicians will be equally committed to addressing inequities in their own contexts, systems, and care settings and that patients will identify opportunities for self-advocacy in their care.
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Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness, Heart Disease, Hip Fractures, JAMA, Menopause / 28.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jean Wactawski-Wende PhD Dean, SUNY Distinguished Professor Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health School of Public Health and Health Professions University of Buffalo MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: This study included data from the Women’s Health Initiative, a prospective study of postmenopausal women from across the United States. We assessed physical activity in 77,206 women over an average of 14 years of follow-up. Approximately 1/3 of these women (average age 63.4 years) had at least one fracture occur. Higher physical activity levels were associated with  lower risk of hip and total fracture. Even levels of activity that were moderate, including regular walking and doing household chores, were beneficial.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Pharmaceutical Companies, Pulmonary Disease / 21.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Olivier Sitbon, MD, PhD Université Paris–Sud  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? How does this treatment competition differ from other treatments for PAH?  Response:  Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a complex, progressive and potentially fatal disease with no cure. Over the past decades, advances in understanding the pathophysiology of PAH have led to major prognostic improvement and developments of new treatment guidelines and therapies. Current treatment guidelines recommend initial combination therapy for these patients to target multiple PAH-associated pathways in parallel. OPTIMA was a prospective, multicenter, single-arm, open-label, Phase IV trial designed to evaluate the efficacy, safety and tolerability of initial oral combination therapy with macitentan and tadalafil in patients with newly diagnosed PAH. Treatment with macitentan 10 mg once-daily and tadalafil 20 mg once-daily was initiated on the same day. After 8±3 days, tadalafil dose was increased to 40 mg once-daily. Safety and tolerability findings were consistent with previous clinical trials that supported the approval and use of macitentan 10 mg once-daily. Efficacy outcomes were assessed at Week 16 and safety continued to be monitored until study closure. The results from the OPTIMA analysis suggest that initial treatment with macitentan in combination with tadalafil is associated with hemodynamic improvement in newly diagnosed patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Heart Disease, Infections / 13.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hean Teik Humphrey Ko PhD candidate School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences Faculty of Health Sciences, Curtin University Perth, Western Australia, Australia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Bacterial skin infections consume precious healthcare resources because such infections are common and may sometimes be severe. Statins are relatively affordable and extensively prescribed worldwide to prevent cardiovascular diseases. Additionally, the safety/adverse effects of statins have been well documented. Staphylococcus aureus is a major cause of bacterial skin infections, and statins have been separately reported to exert antibacterial effects against S. aureus, as well as reduce the risk of S. aureus related blood infections. As such, it seemed plausible that statins may prove beneficial in S. aureus related skin infections. However, statins may also induce new-onset diabetes mellitus, a condition which in turn, is a risk factor for skin infections. Therefore, in order to determine if statins could potentially serve as a novel therapeutic agent for skin infections to reduce healthcare costs, this study was conducted to examine the interrelationships between statins, diabetes, and skin infections.  (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Pediatrics / 06.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Jiabi Qin, MD, PhD Xiangya School of Public Health Central South University Changsha, China  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Congenital heart defects (CHDs), defined as a gross structural abnormality of the heart or intrathoracic great vessels occurring in embryonic period and affected nearly 1% of lives births, is the most common of all congenital defects and remains a major cause of mortality and morbidity in fancy and childhood. With a worldwide prevalence of CHDs now estimated to be 1.35 million newborns with CHDs every year, the number of CHDs is steadily increasing, representing a major global health burden. The association between maternal alcohol exposure and the risk of congenital heart defects (CHDs) has been explored, but little is known about the association between paternal alcohol exposure and the risk of CHDs. Furthermore, subsequent studies regarding the association between alcohol exposure and the risk of congenital heart defects have not yield consistent results. Therefore, given the inconsistency of existing literatures and insufficient evidence of primary studies, further an update meta-analysis based on the new and previously is evidently required. Especially, to our knowledge, any meta-analysis between paternal alcohol exposure and the risk of CHDs have not been conducted.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, Heart Disease, Technology / 02.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Tiffany G. Munzer, MD Department of Pediatrics University of Michigan Medical School Ann Arbor  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There’s been such a rise in the prevalence of tablet devices and the recommendation for families of young children has been to engage in media together because children learn the most from screens when they’re shared with an adult. However, little is known about how toddlers and adults might behave and interact using a tablet. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, NEJM / 02.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Jean-Baptiste Lascarrou  Médecine Intensive Réanimation CHU de Nantes Nantes   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Ancillary study of TTM1 trial & meta-analyses of nonrandomized studies have provided conflicting data on moderate therapeutic hypothermia, or targeted temperature management, at 33°C in patients successfully resuscitated after nonshockable cardiac arrest. Nevertheless, the latest recommendations issued by the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation and by the European Resuscitation Council recommend moderate therapeutic hypothermia. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, CMAJ, Dermatology, Heart Disease / 30.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hyon K. Choi, MD, DrPH Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School Director, Gout and Crystal Arthropathy Center Director, Clinical Epidemiology and Health Outcomes Division of Rheumatology, Allergy, and Immunology Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Allopurinol is a very common and generally safe medication prescribed to lower serum urate levels, most commonly to patients with gout. However, it can be associated with very rare but serious cutaneous adverse events which includes Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis. Prior studies have demonstrated several risk factors for these types of cutaneous adverse events, including presence of chronic kidney disease, older age, female sex, higher initial dose of allopurinol, and the HLA-B*5801 allele, which is more commonly found in Asians and Black patients. A prior study in Taiwan suggested that heart disease (ischemic heart disease and heart failure) may also be associated with an increased risk of hospitalizations for these cutaneous adverse reactions related to allopurinol. Thus, our goal was to investigate this association using a general population cohort from Canada. Using Population Data BC, we found that heart disease was in fact independently associated with an increased risk of hospitalization for these cutaneous adverse reactions. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, Heart Disease, Stroke / 26.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Zara Berg, Ph.D Fort Peck Community College Poplar, Montana MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This study is part of the cohort that consist of the Honolulu Heart Program (HHP) and what later became the Honolulu-Asia Aging study. HHP study cardiovascular research starting in the 1960’s, which is equivalent to the Framingham Study. This study was used to establish the epidemiology parameters for cardiovascular diseases and is one of the longest longitudinal (34 years of follow-up) study on cardiovascular diseases and other diseases that effect the elderly. The participants were all Japanese that fought in WWII which is a sample size of 8,006 participants. In additional, there is multiple studies based on this cohort for the last fifty plus years, ranging from occupational exposure, cancer, neurological diseases, and cardiovascular diseases.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Pediatrics, Smoking, UCSF / 23.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gregory M Marcus, MD, MAS Professor of Medicine in Residence Endowed Professor in Atrial Fibrillation Research University of California, San Francisco Associate Chief of Cardiology for Research, UCSF Health University of California, San Francisco MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Smoking remains the most common preventable cause of death and disability. We previously found evidence that tobacco smoke exposure in the young may lead to atrial fibrillation, the most common heart rhythm disturbance, later in life. Here we leveraged the multi-generational nature of the Framingham Heart Study to demonstrate that parental smoking was a risk factor for offspring atrial fibrillation. At least some of this relationship was explained by a greater propensity to smoke in offspring of smoking parents. These findings demonstrate a potentially new harmful effect of smoking pertinent to the most vulnerable population, our children. It also demonstrates how parental behaviors can have meaningful adverse consequences to their children decades later. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, NEJM, Vanderbilt / 18.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Daniel Muñoz, M.D, M.P.A Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology Medical Director for Quality, Vanderbilt Heart & Vascular Institute Medical Director, Cardiovascular ICU Vanderbilt University Medical Center Nashville, Tennessee MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Despite advances in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease, it remains the number one global killer of both men and women. Patients face a variety of barriers to getting the care need, including cost and complexity of medication regimens. Innovative strategies are needed to improve the delivery of preventive care, especially when it comes to socio-economically vulnerable individuals. The polypill, a fixed-dose combination of 3 blood pressure lowering medications and a cholesterol lowering medication, may be a strategy for improving cardiovascular disease prevention. We enrolled 303 patients at a community health center in Mobile, Alabama. Half of the patients were assigned to take a daily polypill, while the other half received their usual medical care. Participants underwent a standard medical exam, blood pressure measurement, and blood cholesterol testing during their initial visit, a 2-month visit, and a 12-month visit. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
  • Participants in the polypill group experienced a greater reduction in both systolic blood pressure and LDL cholesterol level, as compared with participants in the usual care group. These differences translate to an approximate 25% reduction in the risk of experiencing a cardiovascular event.
  • At 12 months, adherence to the polypill regimen, as assessed based on pill counts, was 86%.
  • The vast majority of our study participants were African-American (96%), with three quarters reporting an annual income below $15,000.
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AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Lipids / 17.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Samuel S. Gidding, MD FH Foundation Pasadena, CA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Patients with familial hypercholesterolemia are at high risk for atherosclerotic heart disease but little is known about intensification of treatment and event rates in lipid specialty care in the United States. We examined data on 1900 patients, enrolled in the CASCADE FH Registry,sponsored by the Familial Hypercholesterolemia Foundation, to determine if cholesterol lowering therapy increased to improve getting patients to a lower LDL cholesterol and to look at incident cardiac events in tow groups, those with prior heart disease and those without. (more…)