Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Diabetes, Heart Disease, JACC / 02.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_44844" align="alignleft" width="200"]Scott David Solomon, MD Director, Noninvasive Cardiology Professor, Harvard Medical School Brigham and Women's Hospital Dr. Solomon[/caption] Scott David Solomon, MD Director, Noninvasive Cardiology Professor, Harvard Medical School Brigham and Women's Hospital  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: The sodium glucose transport proteins are known to be important in regulating uptake of glucose. SGLT-1 is predominantly located in the gut and is responsible for uptake of glucose and galactose in the small intestine. Individuals born with severe mutations of this gene have severe malabsorption syndrome. We looked at genetic variants that lead to reduced function of the protein, but not complete loss of function, in a large cohort of individuals in the NIH funded Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study. We found that those with mutations in the gene had reduced glucose uptake, as measured by an oral glucose tolerance test, as well as less obesity, diabetes, heart failure and death.
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, University of Pittsburgh / 27.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_44873" align="alignleft" width="170"]Masashi Okubo, MD. Clinical Instructor of Emergency Medicine Research Fellow Department of Emergency Medicine University of Pittsburgh Dr. Okubo[/caption] Masashi OkuboMD. Clinical Instructor of Emergency Medicine Research Fellow Department of Emergency Medicine University of Pittsburgh MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) is a major public health problem, annually affecting over 350,000 individuals in the US with low survival rate, 11.4% among those who were treated by emergency medical services (EMS). Prior studies showed a 5-fold difference (3.0% to 16.3%)  in survival to hospital discharge between 10 study sites in North America (US and Canada) and 6.5-fold difference (3.4% to 22.0%) between 132 US counties after OHCA. However, it was unclear how much patient outcome after OHCA differ between EMS agencies which play a critical role in OHCA care. Among 43,656 adults treated for Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest by 112 EMS agencies in North America, we found that survival to hospital discharge differed from 0% to 28.9% between EMS agencies. There was a median difference of 56% in the odds of survival to hospital discharge for patients with similar characteristics between any 2 randomly selected EMS agencies, after adjusting for known measured sources of variability.
Author Interviews, BMJ, Heart Disease / 27.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_44867" align="alignleft" width="133"]Professor Prash Sanders Director, Centre for Heart Rhythm Disorders NHMRC Practitioner Fellow, Knapman-NHF Chair of Cardiology Research, University of Adelaide | SAHMRI Director, Cardiac Electrophysiology & Pacing, Royal Adelaide Hospital Prof. Sanders[/caption] Professor Prash Sanders Director, Centre for Heart Rhythm Disorders NHMRC Practitioner Fellow, Knapman-NHF Chair of Cardiology Research, University of Adelaide | SAHMRI Director, Cardiac Electrophysiology & Pacing, Royal Adelaide Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: CLINICALLY WE HAVE HAD SOME PATIENTS WHO HAVE SURVIVED SUDDEN DEATH EPISODES AND HAVE NOTED THAT THEY HAD MITRAL VALVE PROLAPSE. THIS STIMULATED US TO UNDERTAKE A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE.
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 22.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_44631" align="alignleft" width="200"]Eyal Cohen, MD, MSc, FRCP(C) Associate Scientist and Program Head (interim), Child Health Evaluative Sciences Research Institute, The Hospital for Sick Children Staff Physician, Division of Paediatric Medicine, The Hospital for Sick Children Professor, Paediatrics and Health Policy, Management & Evaluation The University of Toronto  Dr. Cohen[/caption] Eyal Cohen, MD, MSc, FRCP(C) Associate Scientist and Program Head (interim), Child Health Evaluative Sciences Research Institute, The Hospital for Sick Children Staff Physician, Division of Paediatric Medicine, The Hospital for Sick Children Professor, Paediatrics and Health Policy Management & Evaluation The University of Toronto MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Having a child with a major birth defect can be a life-changing and stressful event for the child's mother.  This stress may be associated with higher risk of premature cardiovascular disease. We found that mothers of infants born with a major birth defect had a 15% higher risk of premature cardiovascular disease that a comparison group of mothers.  The risk was more pronounced, rising to 37% among mothers who gave birth to a more severely affected infant (and infant born with major birth defects affecting more than one organ system). The risk was apparent even within the first 10 years after the birth of the child.
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Heart Disease, JAMA, Lipids / 20.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_44601" align="alignleft" width="150"]Luca A. Lotta, MD, PhD Senior Clinical Investigator MRC Epidemiology Unit University of Cambridge Dr. Lotta[/caption] Luca A. Lotta, MD, PhD Senior Clinical Investigator MRC Epidemiology Unit University of Cambridge MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
  • Drugs that enhance the breakdown of circulating triglycerides by activating lipoprotein lipase (LPL) are in pre-clinical or early-clinical development.
  • It is not known if these drugs will reduce heart attacks or diabetes risk when added to the current first line therapies (statins and other cholesterol-lowering agents).
  • Studying this would require large randomised controlled trials, which are expensive (millions of GBPs) and time-consuming (years).
  • Human genetic data can be used to provide supportive evidence of whether this therapy is likely to be effective by “simulating” a randomised controlled trial.
  • Our study used naturally occurring genetic variants in the general population (study of ~400,000 people) to address this.
  • Individuals with naturally-lower cholesterol due to their genetic makeup were used as model for cholesterol-lowering therapies (eg. Statins).
  • Individuals with naturally-lower triglycerides due to genetic variants in the LPL gene were used as model for these new triglyceride-lowering therapies.
  • We studied the risk of heart attacks and type 2 diabetes in people in different groups.
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Dermatology, Heart Disease, JAMA, Vaccine Studies / 10.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_44374" align="alignleft" width="134"]Jeffrey Rapaport Dr. Rapaport[/caption] Dr. Jeffrey Rapaport MD, PA Emeritus head of Dermatology Teaneck's Holy Name Hospital. Dr. Rapaport discusess a case recently reported in JAMA: In 2016: A 97-year-old female patient was suffering from multiple squamous cell carcinomas varying from small to incredibly large in size on both of her legs. She was injected with the HPV vaccine commonly known as Gardasil, which is also used to treat warts and oral papilloma. She was first injected in her arm, and then after a period of six weeks, the vaccine was directly injected into her tumors. It was observed that this treatment eventually killed off almost all the tumors on her legs. According to recent press coverage, she is now looking forward to celebrating her 100th birthday in fall 2018. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?Is HPV thought be a trigger for some cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas? Response: The link between skin cancers and HPV vaccinations has normally been investigated in patients who have received organ transplants. Due to the immune-suppressant drugs these patients must take, it is incredibly common to find cases of skin cancer in patients who have undergone transplants. The relaxed immune system, which would normally eliminate cancers caused by the HPV virus, would open the floodgates for multiple skin tumors to emerge. In this case of the 97 year old, I would assume her immune system was healthy. There is, however, growing evidence that receiving multiple vaccines for the HPV virus is necessary even in patients with healthy immune systems. So, regardless of immune health, I believe we need to expand the frequency of the HPV vaccine, even beyond the current three-tiered system for women below 26 and men below 21.
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Heart Disease, Supplements / 09.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_44351" align="alignleft" width="146"]Pieter Cohen, M.D. Associate Professor of Medicine Cambridge Health Alliance Assistant Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School Dr. Cohen[/caption] Pieter Cohen, M.D. Associate Professor of Medicine Cambridge Health Alliance Assistant Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Dietary supplements lead to an estimated 23,000 emergency department visits each year in the United States (US), and weight loss and sports supplements contribute to a disproportionately large number of these emergency department visits. It is not known which ingredients in weight loss and sports supplements pose the greatest risk to consumers, but there are stimulants found in botanical remedies that might pose risks. In the current study, we investigated the presence and quantity of higenamine a stimulant found in botanicals and available in sports and weight loss supplements sold in the US.
Author Interviews, CDC, Heart Disease / 07.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Cardiovascular Disease” by Sharon Sinclair is licensed under CC BY 2.0Hilary K. Wall, MPH Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention CDC  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Despite decades-long reductions in cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality, CVD mortality rates have recently plateaued and even increased in some subgroups, and the prevalence of CVD risk factors remains high. Million Hearts 2022, a 5-year initiative with a goal of preventing one million heart attacks, strokes and other acute cardiovascular events by 2022, was launched in 2017 to address this burden. This report establishes a baseline for the CVD risk factors targeted for reduction by the initiative during 2017–2021 and highlights recent changes over time. These risk factors include: the “ABCS” of cardiovascular disease prevention: Aspirin when appropriate, Blood pressure control, Cholesterol management, and Smoking cessation; combustible tobacco product use; physical inactivity; and mean daily sodium intake.
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, ENT, Heart Disease, JAMA / 03.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_44159" align="alignleft" width="155"]Henry E. Wang, MD, MS Professor and Vice Chair for Research University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston  Department of Emergency Medicine Houston, Texas  Dr. Wang[/caption] Henry E. Wang, MD, MS Professor and Vice Chair for Research University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Department of Emergency Medicine Houston, Texas MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: For over three decades, paramedics have performed endotracheal intubation (ETI) as the standard advanced airway management strategy in cardiac arrest. However, intubation is a difficult and error-prone intervention. Newer supraglottic airways such as the laryngeal tube (LT) offer easier insertion technique with comparable ventilation. However, intubation and laryngeal tubes have not been tested head-to-head in a randomized trial. Our study - the Pragmatic Airway Resuscitation Trial (PART) - tested intubation vs laryngeal tube for airway management in adult out-of-hospital cardiac arrests. The trial included 27 EMS agencies from the Birmingham, Dallas-Fort Worth, Milwaukee, Portland and Pittsburgh communities. The trial randomized a total of 3,004 adult cardiac arrests to airway management with ETI or LT. We found that compared with traditional ETI, LT was associated with almost 3% better survival. Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survival in the US is less than 10%, so the observed difference is important. 
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Surgical Research / 27.08.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_44187" align="alignleft" width="128"]Amine Mazine, MD, MSc Associate Editor, BMC Surgery PGY-4 Cardiac Surgery PhD Candidate, Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering McEwen Center for Regenerative Medicine Surgeon-Scientist Training Program  University of Toronto Dr. Mazine[/caption] Amine Mazine, MD, MSc Associate Editor, BMC Surgery PGY-4 Cardiac Surgery PhD Candidate, Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering McEwen Center for Regenerative Medicine Surgeon-Scientist Training Program University of Toronto MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: We performed this study to compare two methods of replacing a diseased aortic valve in young and middle-aged adults: using an artificial mechanical valve (mechanical aortic valve replacement) versus using the patient’s own pulmonary valve (Ross procedure). The study was a meta-analysis of existing literature that included more than 3,500 adult patients. It found that those who underwent the Ross procedure were 46 per cent less likely to experience death from any cause than patients who underwent mechanical aortic valve replacement. Patients in the Ross group were also less likely to suffer from a stroke or major bleeding, and had better quality of life. Patients who underwent the Ross procedure were more likely to need late reoperation, but this did not negatively impact their survival.
Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Heart Disease, Karolinski Institute / 27.08.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_44179" align="alignleft" width="128"]Robin Hofmann, MD PhD  Senior consultant cardiologist and researcher Department of clinical science and education Södersjukhuset, at Karolinska Institute Dr. Hofmann[/caption] Robin Hofmann, MD PhD Senior consultant cardiologist and researcher Department of clinical science and education Södersjukhuset, at Karolinska Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Oxygen has been used to treat patients suffering a heart attack for more than a century, despite the fact that such treatment has not had any scientifically proven effect on patients who have normal oxygen levels in their blood. Since the turn of the millennium, researchers worldwide have started to question whether oxygen therapy for heart attacks is ineffective – or may even be harmful.
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, NEJM, Surgical Research / 27.08.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jean François Obadia Adult Cardiovascular Surgery and Transplantation Louis Pradel HospitalJean François Obadia MD PhD Adult Cardiovascular Surgery and Transplantation Louis Pradel Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? -By definition a secondary MR concerns a normal valve or sub normal valve inside a dilated heart with poor LV function in a population of Heart failure patients. It is perfectly established today that secondary MR is a predictor of poor clinical outcomes of thissevere population. -Therefore,it has been proposed to treat those regurgitation either by surgery (mainly the downsizing anuloplasty) or by percutaneous technique like the mitraclipwhich has been used more and more frequently recently. -However, a beneficial effect on hardclinical outcomes has never been provedandwe still don’t know if those regurgitations need to be corrected or not, We still don’t Know if the regurgitation is the cause, the consequence or just a marker of poor prognosis. -In this context according to the guidelines, there is a low level of evidence to support those treatments, and Europe and US Guidelines call for prospective randomized studies in this severe population.​ And this excatly what we have done with MITRA-FR
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Infections, JAMA / 27.08.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_44113" align="alignleft" width="200"]Sheep tick - vector for Coxiella burnetii, the cause of the disease known as Q fever CDC image Sheep tick - vector for Coxiella burnetii, the cause of the disease known as Q fever CDC image[/caption] Pr. Didier Raoult Directeur de l'IHU Méditerranée-Infection Marseille  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This work represents the sum of data accumulated over several decades of studies on Q fever. Our reference center contacts each of the physicians in charge and ensures patient follow-up, which allows obtaining data, that is not comparable to those used automatically in databanks. Four people exclusively dedicated their time to manage these specific data on Q fever. The main data confirm the need to perform a cardiac ultrasound for all patients with Q fever and acute endocarditis (to detect valvulopathy) and to give a prophylactic treatment to avoid fixation on the heart in patients with valvulopathy. This work helps clarify the evolution of Q fever by eliminating the term of chronic Q fever, which is based on non-clinical elements, and defining persistent Q fever for which there is an identifiable focus of infection. Furthermore, this work makes it possible to recommend systematic detection of antiphospholipid antibodies in order to limit the risk of thrombosis and the risk of cardiac fixation.
Author Interviews, CT Scanning, Heart Disease, NEJM / 25.08.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_44122" align="alignleft" width="150"]Prof David Newby FRSE FMedSci Personal Chair - BHF John Wheatley Chair of Cardiology University of Edinburgh Prof. Newby[/caption] Prof David Newby FRSE FMedSci Personal Chair - BHF John Wheatley Chair of Cardiology University of Edinburgh MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There are many tests that can try and determine whether a patient has heart disease. All are imperfect and do not directly see if the heart arteries are diseased. This study used a CT heart scan to see if there was any heart disease in patients who presented to the outpatient clinic with chest pains that could be due to coronary heart disease. The doctor use the scan result to decide whether they had heart disease and how to manage the patient. The study has found that if you use a CT heart scan then you are less likely to have a heart attack in the future. In the first year, you may require treatment with an angiogram and heart surgery (stent or heart bypass) but after the first year, you are less likely to need these treatments because the disease has already been treated promptly.
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, Heart Disease, Women's Heart Health / 23.08.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_44096" align="alignleft" width="142"]Brad N. Greenwood PhD Associate Professor Information & Decision Sciences Carlson School of Management University of Minnesota–Twin Cities, Minneapolis MN  Dr. Greenwood[/caption] Brad N. Greenwood PhD Associate Professor Information & Decision Sciences Carlson School of Management University of Minnesota–Twin Cities, Minneapolis MN MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There has been growing work in medicine which suggests both that a) women are more skilled physicians across a variety of ailments and b) women are particularly challenging heart attack patients (for a variety of reasons ranging from delays in seeking treatment to atypical presentation). When you coupled this with the deep literatures in economics, sociology, and political science which suggests that advocatees experience better outcomes when they share traits with their advocates, it seemed plausible that there might be differences in outcomes. The key finding is that gender concordance matters most for female patients:  female patients are about 0.7-1.2% more likely to die if treated by a male doctor, relative to a female doctor.  This number seems small.  But, if the survival rate among the female heart attack patients treated by male doctor was the same as the survival rate among female heart attack patients treated by female doctors, about 1,500-3,000 fewer of the female heart attack patients in our sample would have passed away. Our sample covers the state of Florida from 1991-2010.  Florida is about 10% of the US population.
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, CMAJ, Heart Disease / 20.08.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_43913" align="alignleft" width="137"]Peter Kavsak, PhD, FCACB, FAACC, FCCS Professor, Pathology and Molecular Medicine McMaster University  Prof.. Kavsak[/caption] Peter Kavsak, PhD, FCACB, FAACC, FCCS Professor, Pathology and Molecular Medicine McMaster University  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: For patients who present to the hospital with symptoms suggestive of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) the preferred blood test to help physicians in making a diagnosis is cardiac troponin. Recent studies have demonstrated that a very low or undetectable cardiac troponin level when measured with the newest generation of blood tests (i.e., the high-sensitivity cardiac troponin tests) in this population may rule-out myocardial infarction (MI or a heart attack) on the initial blood sample collected in the emergency department, thus enabling a faster decision and foregoing the need for subsequent serial measurements of cardiac troponin over several hours as recommended by the guidelines. The problem with this approach, however, is that using high-sensitivity cardiac troponin alone to do this has not reliably been demonstrated to achieve a sensitivity >99% for detecting MI, which is the estimate that most physicians in this setting consider as safe for discharge. Our study goal was to compare the diagnostic performance of a simple laboratory algorithm using common blood tests (i.e., a clinical chemistry score (CCS) consisting of glucose, estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), and either high-sensitivity cardiac troponin I or T) to high-sensitivity cardiac troponin alone for predicting MI or death within the first month following the initial blood work.
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Heart Disease, Lancet / 12.08.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_43831" align="alignleft" width="200"]Dr Araz Rawshani, PhD Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine Institute of Medicine University of Gothenburg Gothenburg, Sweden Dr. Rawshani[/caption] Dr Araz Rawshani, PhD Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine Institute of Medicine University of Gothenburg Gothenburg, Sweden MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  Response: Patients with type 2 diabetes have 2 to 4 times greater risk for death and cardiovascular events compared to the general population. There are several randomized trails that encourage a range of interventions that target traditional and modifiable risk factors, such as elevated levels for glycated hemoglobin, blood pressure and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol to reduce the risk for complications of type 2 diabetes. However, there are few randomized trails that have investigated the effects of multifactorial risk factor intervention in reducing the risk for death and cardiovascular events, as compared to patients that are treated with usual care. We set out to investigate the extent to which the excess risk associated with type 2 diabetes may be mitigated or potentially eliminated by means of evidence-based treatment and multifactorial risk factor modification. In addition, we estimated the relative importance between various risk factors and the incremental risk of death and cardiovascular events associated with diabetes. Furthermore, we investigated the association between glycated hemoglobin, systolic blood pressure and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) within evidence based target ranges and the abovementioned outcomes.
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA / 10.08.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_43824" align="alignleft" width="143"]Seth Landefeld, M.D.  Dr. Landefeld is chairman of the department of medicine and the Spencer chair in medical science leadership at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Medicine. Dr. Landefeld also serves on the board of directors of the American Board of Internal Medicine, the UAB Health System, and the University of Alabama Health Services Foundation Dr. Landefeld[/caption] Seth Landefeld, M.D.  Dr. Landefeld is chairman of the department of medicine and the Spencer chair in medical science leadership at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Medicine. Dr. Landefeld also serves on the board of directors of the American Board of Internal Medicine, the UAB Health System, and the University of Alabama Health Services Foundation. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you briefly explain what is meant by atrial fibrillation and whom it primarily affects? Response: Atrial fibrillation—or AF—is an irregular heartbeat. AF affects nearly 3 million Americans and is a leading cause of stroke. Older age and obesity increase the risk of AF, and the condition also occurs more in men than in women. With an aging society and the growing prevalence of obesity in the U.S., this was an important topic for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force to review. The Task Force looked at the latest research to see if screening for atrial fibrillation using electrocardiography—or ECG, which is a test that records the activity of someone’s heart—to supplement traditional care is an effective way to diagnose AF and prevent stroke. We found that more research is needed to determine if screening with ECG can help to identify AF and prevent stroke in adults who are 65 and older and do not have signs or symptoms of the disease. 
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Heart Disease, JACC / 09.08.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_43632" align="alignleft" width="200"]John D Horowitz, MBBS, PhD. Director of Cardiology/Clinical Pharmacology Queen Elizabeth Hospital University of Adelaide Australia Dr. Horowitz[/caption] John D Horowitz, MBBS, PhD. Director of Cardiology/Clinical Pharmacology Queen Elizabeth Hospital University of Adelaide Australia  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response:  Atrial fibrillation (AF) describes intermittent or permanent episodes of irregular pulse, due to rapid electrical activity within the atria (filling chambers) of the heart. During AF, the atria quiver, rather than contract, and the response of the ventricles is often rapid, resulting in palpitations and an increased risk of development of heart failure. AF may occur at any age, but is most common in ageing patients (typically over 75 years). The primary importance of AF is that it markedly increases the risk of thrombus formation in the atrium, with the resultant problem that these thrombi may dislodge (embolise), and commonly block arteries in the brain, causing strokes. Hence patients with AF are usually treated with anticoagulants. Although AF often occurs in patients with prior damage to their hearts and atrial distension, there has been evidence for about the past 8 years that AF also is caused, at least in part, by inflammatory changes: two components have been identified as possible causes for this inflammation: lack of nitric oxide (NO) effect[ NO is  an anti-inflammatory chemical formed by all tissues in the body],  and excess activity of the pro-inflammatory enzyme myeloperoxidase (MPO).  High concentrations of ADMA, which inhibits NO formation, may result from effects of MPO on tissues. SDMA, which is closely related to ADMA, also exerts pro-inflammatory effects and tends to suppress NO formation. The currently reported study began with the design of the ARISTOTLE trial, an investigation of the (then) novel anticoagulant apixaban as an alternative to warfarin therapy, as a means of preventing strokes in patients with AF. It was elected to perform a substudy to investigate the potential role of ADMA and SDMA as modulators of risk in patients with atrial fibrillation. This substudy, performed in just over 5000 patients from the ARISTOTLE trial, essentially asked two questions: (1) There are several indices of stroke risk in patients with atrial fibrillation, such as the CHADS2 score. These all rely on patient characteristics (eg age, presence of diabetes) rather than chemical changes. We postulated that there would be a direct relationship between clinically based risk scores and ADMA/SDMA concentrations. (2) More ambitiously, we postulated that ADMA and SDMA concentrations would represent INDEPENDENT risk markers for major adverse effects in atrial fibrillation patients on anticoagulant treatment, namely stroke, major bleeding and risk of mortality.  ADMA/SDMA concentrations were determined in Adelaide, Australia, while statistical analyses were performed in Uppsala, Sweden.
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Heart Disease, JAMA, Lipids / 03.08.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_43627" align="alignleft" width="200"]Marc S. Sabatine, MD, MPH  Chairman | TIMI Study Group  Lewis Dexter, MD, Distinguished Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine Brigham and Women's Hospital  Professor of Medicine | Harvard Medical School Dr. Marc Sabatine[/caption] Marc S. Sabatine, MD, MPH Chairman | TIMI Study Group Lewis Dexter, MD, Distinguished Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine 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: Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) is a well-established risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The initial statin trials studied patients with high levels of LDL-C, and showed a benefit by lowering LDL-C. We and others did studies in patients with so-called “average” levels of LDL-C (120-130 mg/dL), and also showed clinical benefit with lowering.
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JACC / 02.08.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_43684" align="alignleft" width="156"] Dr. Greene[/caption] Stephen J. Greene, MD Fellow, Division of Cardiology Duke University Medical Center Durham, NC, USA [caption id="attachment_43683" align="alignleft" width="200"]Stephen J. Greene, MD Fellow, Division of Cardiology Duke University Medical Center Durham, NC, USA Dr. Fonarow[/caption] Gregg C. Fonarow, MD, FACC, FAHA, FHFSA Eliot Corday Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and Science UCLA   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Heart failure is a very common medical condition impacting roughly 6 million men and women in the United States, and associated with impaired quality of life, frequent hospitalizations, and high rates of death. There are over 300,000 deaths each year in the US among patients with heart failure. Half of heart failure patients have heart failure because of a weak heart muscle where the heart cannot eject a normal amount of blood with each heartbeat, a term called “reduced ejection fraction.” Fortunately, there are multiple medications proven in large clinical trials to make people with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction live longer and feel better. We also have target doses for these medications, which are the doses used in the trials where the medication proved its benefit. These medications and the target doses are strongly recommended in professional guidelines to improve patient outcomes. To make sure patients have the best outcomes possible, it is important that we work to get patients on these proven medications if at all possible. Unfortunately, prior research has suggested that many patients eligible for these medications in regular outpatient practice do not receive them. Most of this research is several years old, and there have been a lot of efforts to improve the quality of heart failure care in the meantime. In our study, we wanted to see if there have been improvements in the use and dosing of proven heart failure medications in modern-day practice. We also wanted to determine which patient factors were associated with not receiving a medication, or receiving the medication at a below target dose.
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Metabolic Syndrome / 26.07.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_43496" align="alignleft" width="200"]Maude Wagner, PhD Student Biostatistics Team Lifelong Exposures, Health and Aging Team Bordeaux Population Health Research Center Inserm Univ. Bordeaux Maude Wagner[/caption] Maude Wagner, PhD Student Biostatistics Team Lifelong Exposures, Health and Aging Team Bordeaux Population Health Research Center Inserm Univ. Bordeaux MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Many studies haves shown associations between cardiometabolic health and dementia in midlife, but associations later in life remain inconclusive. This study aimed to model concurrently and to compare the trajectories of major cardiometabolic risk factors in the 14 years before diagnosis among cases of dementia and controls. This study showed that demented persons presented a BMI decline and lower blood pressure (specifically systolic blood pressure) several years before dementia diagnosis that might be a consequence of underlying disease. In contrast, cases presented consistently higher blood glucose levels up to 14 years before dementia suggesting that high glycemia is a strong risk factor for dementia.
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Gender Differences, Geriatrics, Heart Disease / 25.07.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_43489" align="alignleft" width="200"]Quoc Dinh Nguyen, MD MA MPH Interniste-gériatre – Service de gériatrie Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal – CHUM Dr. Nguyen[/caption] Quoc Dinh Nguyen, MD MA MPH Interniste-gériatre – Service de gériatrie Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal – CHUM MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Randomized trials are the best evidence basis we have to treat patients. It is known for more than 20 years that older adults and women are disproportionately excluded from randomized trials in cardiology diseases. As the current US population is fast aging, we examined whether this underrepresentation improved or worsened in the last 20 years in the most influential studies published between 1996 and 2015. The main finding is that the women and older adults continue to be underrepresented in cardiology trials. Overall, the mean age was 63 years and the percentage of women was 29%. For coronary heart disease, women comprise 54% of the US population in need of treatment, yet are only 27% of the trial population. For heart failure, the median age of older adults in the US population is 70 years whereas it is only 64 years in the trial population. Our results indicate that the gap has very slowly narrowed in the last 2 decades. However, based on current trends, reaching proportionate enrollment would require between 3 and 9 decades. This persistent lack of representation has significant impacts on the ability of clinicians to provide evidenced based care for these segments of the population. Physicians and other health care professionals are forced to extrapolate study results from younger and male-predominant populations. This is problematic since we know that older adults and women may react differently to medications and to interventions. 
Author Interviews, Frailty, Heart Disease / 23.07.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_43412" align="alignleft" width="138"]Rakesh Arora MD Department of Surgery, Max Rady College of Medicine University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada Cardiac Sciences Program St Boniface Hospital Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada Dr. Rakesh Arora[/caption] Rakesh Arora MD PhD Department of Surgery, Max Rady College of Medicine University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada Cardiac Sciences Program St Boniface Hospital Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: It is increasingly understood that patients with heart disease are getting older and sicker. In Canada, over 5.7 million people are estimated to be aged over 65 years and as a result a greater number of older adults often complex other health issues are now require cardiac procedures.  This places some patients, particular those who are more frail at a higher vulnerability to poorer postoperative outcomes and a complicated recovery process after cardiac surgery.  In addition, such patients experience a reduced quality of life as a result of loss of the ability to independently perform activities of daily living (i.e. as cooking, cleaning, bathing activities, toileting etc). During the preoperative waiting period, the cardiac symptoms and anxiety induces inactivity that in turn compounds the physical and mental deconditioning. In order to improve the functional capacity and enhance postoperative recovery, prehabilitation (“prehab”), a component of the Enhanced Recovery Protocols (ERPs), may be of particular importance. Prehabilitation (a.k.a. “prehab”) has been described as a preoperative cardiac rehabilitation intervention, a combination of exercise training, education, and social support, affecting patients’ physical and psychological readiness for surgery with the overarching goal to reduce postoperative complications and hospital length of stay as well as ideally improving the transition from the hospital to the community.  
Author Interviews, CMAJ, Heart Disease, Lifestyle & Health, Stroke / 23.07.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_43236" align="alignleft" width="159"]Dr. Doug Manuel MD, MSc, FRCPC Professor and Senior Scientist Ottawa Hospital Research Institute | L’Institut de Recherche de l’Hôpital d’Ottawa Department of Family Medicine, University of Ottawa Départment de Médicine Familiale Université d’Ottawa  Dr. Manuel[/caption] Dr. Doug Manuel MD, MSc, FRCPC Professor and Senior Scientist Ottawa Hospital Research Institute | L’Institut de Recherche de l’Hôpital d’Ottawa Department of Family Medicine, University of Ottawa Départment de Médicine Familiale Université d’Ottawa  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: A lot of people are interested in healthy living, but often we don't have that discussion in the doctor's office," says Dr. Manuel, who is also a professor at the University of Ottawa. "Doctors will check your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, but they don't necessarily ask about lifestyle factors that could put you at risk of a heart attack and stroke. We hope this tool can help people — and their care team — with better information about healthy living and options for reducing their risk of heart attack and stroke." "What sets this cardiovascular risk calculator apart is that it looks at healthy living, and it is better calibrated to the Canadian population," says Dr. Doug Manuel, lead author, senior scientist at The Ottawa Hospital and a senior core scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES).” 
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Lipids, Menopause, University of Pennsylvania, Women's Heart Health / 19.07.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_36295" align="alignleft" width="160"]Samar R. El Khoudary, PhD, MPH, BPharm, FAHA Associate Professor, Epidemiology PITT Public Health Epidemiology Data Center University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA 15260  Dr. El Khoudary[/caption] Samar R. El Khoudary, Ph.D., M.P.H. BPharm, FAHA Associate Professor Department of Epidemiology University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The background for this study is based on the current measurements used to determine cardiovascular disease risk in postmenopausal women. Higher levels of HDL “good cholesterol” as measured by the widely available clinical test, HDL-Cholesterol, may not always be indicative of a lower risk of cardiovascular disease in postmenopausal women. HDL is a family of particles found in the blood that vary in sizes, cholesterol contents and function. HDL particles can become dysfunctional under certain conditions such as chronic inflammation. HDL has traditionally been measured as the total cholesterol carried by the HDL particles, known as HDL cholesterol. HDL cholesterol, however, does not necessarily reflect the overall concentration, the uneven distribution, or the content and function of HDL particles. We looked at 1,138 women aged 45 through 84 enrolled across the U.S. in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA), a medical research study sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). MESA began in 1999 and is still following participants today. We assessed two specific measurements of HDL: the number and size of the HDL particles and total cholesterol carried by HDL particles. Our study also looked at how age when women transitioned into post menopause, and the amount of time since transitioning, may impact the expected cardio-protective associations of HDL measures. Our study points out that the traditional measure of the good cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, fails to portray an accurate depiction of heart disease risk for postmenopausal women. We reported a harmful association between higher HDL cholesterol and atherosclerosis risk that was most evident in women with older age at menopause and who were greater than, or equal to, 10 years into post menopause. In contrast to HDL cholesterol, a higher concentration of total HDL particles was associated with lower risk of atherosclerosis. Additionally, having a high number of small HDL particles was found beneficial for postmenopausal women. These findings persist irrespective of age and how long it has been since women became postmenopausal. On the other hand, large HDL particles are linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease close to menopause. Women are subject to a variety of physiological changes in their sex hormones, lipids, body fat deposition and vascular health as they transition through menopause. We are hypothesizing that the decrease of estrogen, a cardio-protective sex hormone, along with other metabolic changes, can trigger chronic inflammation over time, which may alter the quality of HDL particles. Future studies should test this hypothesis. The study findings indicate that measuring size and number of HDL particles can better reflect the well-known cardio-protective features of the good cholesterol in postmenopausal women.
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, PAD, Stroke / 19.07.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_42708" align="alignleft" width="143"]Dr. Michael Barry MD Director of the Informed Medical Decisions Program Health Decision Sciences Center at Massachusetts General Hospital Physician at Massachusetts General Hospit Professor of Medicine,Harvard Medical School Dr. Barry[/caption] Dr. Michael Barry MD Director of the Informed Medical Decisions Program Health Decision Sciences Center at Massachusetts General Hospital Physician at Massachusetts General Hospit Professor of Medicine,Harvard Medical School  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Peripheral artery disease—which is known as PAD—is a disease that reduces blood flow to a person’s limbs, especially the legs. PAD can cause leg and foot pain when resting or walking, wounds to not heal properly, and loss of limbs. Additionally, people with PAD are more likely to experience a cardiovascular disease event, such as heart attack and stroke. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force looked at the latest research to see if screening people without signs or symptoms of PAD using the ankle brachial index (ABI) can prevent heart attack, stroke, or other adverse health effects. We found that more research is needed to determine if screening with ABI can help to identify PAD and/or prevent heart attack or stroke in people without signs or symptoms. Additionally, in a separate recommendation statement, we looked into the effectiveness of what we call nontraditional risk factors for assessing a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease. Clinicians typically check someone’s risk for cardiovascular disease using traditional risk factors, such as age, race, and smoking status. The Task Force looked at the current evidence to see if three additional, nontraditional risk factors can help prevent heart disease or stroke. The nontraditional factors considered were ABI measurements, an elevated amount of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) in the blood, and an elevated amount of calcium in the coronary arteries (CAC score). In this recommendation, we also found that there is insufficient evidence to recommend for or against using nontraditional risk factors in addition to those normally used to assess cardiovascular disease risk in people without signs or symptoms.