Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Heart Disease, JAMA / 15.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_38151" align="alignleft" width="166"]Blood pressure monitor reading 120/80 copyright American Heart Association Blood pressure monitor reading 120/80
copyright American Heart Association[/caption] Dr. Mattias Brunström Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine Umeå University,Sweden MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Current guidelines recommend a systolic blood pressure treatment target below 140 mm Hg for most people. Since the publication of SPRINT however, many have suggested guidelines should be changed, recommending further blood pressure lowering. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials comparing different blood pressure targets or antihypertensive treatment verus placebo. We separated primary preventive trials from secondary preventive trials, and stratified primary preventive trials by mean baseline systolic blood pressure. The analyses included 74 trials, with in total > 300 000 participants. Interestingly, we found that treatment effect was dependent on baseline systolic blood pressure in people without previous CVD. While primary preventive treatment reduced the risk of death and cardiovascular disease if systolic blood pressure was 140 mm Hg or higher, treatment effect was neutral if systolic blood pressure was below 140 mm Hg.
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Heart Disease, JAMA / 14.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_38279" align="alignleft" width="112"]Dr Andrew R. Chapman BHF Clinical Research Fellow University of Edinburgh Chancellors Building Edinburgh  Dr. Chapman[/caption] Dr Andrew R. Chapman BHF Clinical Research Fellow University of Edinburgh Chancellors Building Edinburgh  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: High-sensitivity cardiac troponin tests allow accurate measurement of cardiac troponin in the bloodstream. Currently, guidelines recommend we evaluate patients with suspected myocardial infarction using these tests, by looking for levels which are above the upper reference limit (99th centile). These troponin measurements are taken on arrival, and often repeated after admission to hospital up to six hours later. When levels are below this limit, the diagnosis of myocardial infarction is ruled out. However, using such a high limit in patients on arrival to hospital may not be safe, as lower risk stratification thresholds has been shown to reduce missed events,  and in these patients admission to hospital for repeat testing may not be necessary. However, there is no consensus as to the optimal threshold for use in practice. In a worldwide study of 23,000 patients from 9 countries, we have shown when high-sensitivity cardiac troponin I concentrations are below a risk stratification threshold of 5 ng/L at presentation, patients are at extremely low risk of myocardial infarction or cardiac death at 30 days, with fewer than 1 in 200 patients missed. Importantly, this threshold identifies almost 50% of all patients as low risk after a single blood test. As admission or observation of these patients is estimated to cost as much as $11 billion per year in the United States, this strategy has major potential to improve the efficiency of our practice.
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Heart Disease, JACC / 14.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_37118" align="alignleft" width="150"]Avinainder Singh, M.B.B.S. Research Fellow Cardiovascular Medicine Brigham & Women's Hospital Harvard Medical School Boston, MA Dr. Singh[/caption] Avinainder Singh, M.B.B.S. Research Fellow Cardiovascular Medicine Brigham & Women's Hospital Harvard Medical School Boston, MA  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Overall, the incidence of myocardial infarction (MI) in the US has declined. However, it has remained stable in adults <50 years of age. We evaluated the statin eligibility of a cohort of adults who had an MI at a young age using current guidelines - the 2013 ACC/AHA guidelines for cholesterol treatment and the 2016 USPSTF guidelines on use of statins for primary prevention. In, our study we found that only 49% of these young adults would have been eligible for statin therapy prior to their MI according the 2013 ACC/AHA guidelines, and only 29% would have been eligible according to the USPSTF guidelines, despite a high prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors. These numbers were even more striking for women where only 18% were eligible for statin therapy according to the USPSTF guidelines.
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Technology / 14.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_38223" align="alignleft" width="150"]Abdul Wase MD FACC FACP FHRS Clinical Professor of Medicine & Director, Cardiology Fellowship Program, Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, Director, Electrophysiology Laboratories Good Samaritan Hospital, Dayton, OH  Dr. Wase[/caption] Abdul Wase MD FACC FACP FHRS Clinical Professor of Medicine & Director, Cardiology Fellowship Program, Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, Director, Electrophysiology Laboratories Good Samaritan Hospital, Dayton, OH MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Implantable cardiac defibrillators (ICD) patients are subject to electromagnetic interferences (EMI) from outside electrical sources. TESLA electric vehicle has a large battery underneath the surface of vehicles, which may potentially interfere with the functioning of these devices. In the owner’s manual, TESLA warns that using mobile connector may impair the functioning of implantable pacemaker or a defibrillator.
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Nutrition / 14.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Fresh Food” by Sonny Side Up! is licensed under CC BY 2.0   Dr. Kyla M Lara Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai       MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This was the first study to evaluate whether dietary patterns of black and white adults living in the United States were associated with developing heart failure. We’re hearing a lot in the news about specific diets like low-fat, high protein, low carb, and other diets that decrease cardiovascular risk. We would love it, as physicians, if we could prescribe a specific diet to limit cardiovascular risk in our patients. I’m really excited about our study because instead of examining patterns of what we already know are healthy, we looked at foods people were regularly consuming in the United States and developed dietary patterns from this. This study is similar to other work we have done with stroke and heart attack. We used data from the NIH funded REGARDS study, also known as the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke. More than 30,000 white and African-American adults were recruited from 2003-2007. From this group, we studied over 18,000 adults who successfully completed a dietary assessment called the Food Frequency Questionnaire. This was a really great group to study because people who live in this particular geographic area of the Southeastern United States, also known as the stroke belt, suffer from a higher risk of death from stroke. It’s extremely important for us to better understand the major risk factors that contribute to this and also cardiovascular disease. We used statistical techniques to derive 5 dietary patterns based on the types of foods participants tended to eat. • Convenience - Mexican and Chinese food, mixed dishes (both meat and bean) • Sweets - added fats, bread, chocolate, desserts, sweet breakfast foods • Southern - added fats, fried food, organ and processed meat, fatty milk • Alcohol/Salads - beer, wine, liquor, green leafy vegetables, salad dressings, nuts and seeds, coffee • Plant Based- fruit, vegetables, fruit juice, cereal, fish, poultry Each participant received a score for each pattern that reflected how closely their diet resembled that dietary pattern. This approach reflects the real world and how people eat. Over the 3135 days (8.6 years) of median follow up, 594 participants were hospitalized for incident HF. Greatest adherence to the plant-based dietary pattern during the study period was associated with a 28% risk reduction of developing heart failure.
Author Interviews, Geriatrics, Heart Disease, JACC, UCLA / 14.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_38248" align="alignleft" width="151"]Kevin S. Shah, M.D. Cardiology Fellow, University of California, Los Angeles Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center Dr. Shah[/caption] Kevin S. Shah, M.D. Cardiology Fellow, University of California, Los Angeles Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Heart failure (HF) is a chronic condition and progressive disease which is associated with a high-risk of hospitalization and death. One of the principle ways in which heart function is estimated is the use of ultrasound to calculate the ejection fraction of the heart, an estimate of the heart’s pump function. The ejection fraction can help predict how long patients will live and affects decision-making with regards to what medications may help their condition. A total of 39,982 patients from 254 hospitals who were admitted for Heart failure between 2005 and 2009 were included. They were followed over time to see if they were admitted to the hospital again or if they died during this period. We compared three subgroups within this large group of patients based on their estimated ejection fraction. Across subgroups, the 5-year risk of hospitalization and death was high when compared with the U.S. population. Furthermore, the survival for patients with a diagnosis of heart failure who have been hospitalized once for this condition have a similarly poor 5-year risk of death and re-hospitalization, regardless of their estimated ejection fraction.
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Heart Disease, JAMA / 13.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_38236" align="alignleft" width="150"]Ankur Gupta, MD, PhD Division of Cardiovascular Medicine Brigham and Women’s Hospital Heart & Vascular Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts Dr. Ankur Gupta[/caption] Ankur Gupta, MD, PhD Division of Cardiovascular Medicine Brigham and Women’s Hospital Heart & Vascular Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP), established under the Affordable Care Act, aimed to reduce readmissions from various medical conditions including heart failure - the leading cause of readmissions among Medicare beneficiaries. The program financially penalizes hospitals with high readmission rates. However, there have been concerns of unintended consequences especially on mortality due to this program. Using American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure (GWTG-HF) data linked to Medicare data, we found that the policy of reducing readmissions after heart failure hospitalizations was associated with reduction in 30-day and 1-year readmissions yet an increase in 30-day and 1-year mortality.
Author Interviews, Education, Heart Disease, Pediatrics / 13.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Young girl learning Hands-Only CPR at the American Heart Association Hands-Only CPR training kiosk at Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport. copyright American Heart Association 2017 Photos by Tommy Campbell PhotographyMimi Biswas M.D., MHSc University of California Riverside School of Medicine and Riverside Community Hospital  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This started as  My son's science project. He wanted to make a video game to teach CPR based on a science fair website. It grew to teaching the whole 6th grade using the AHA CPR training kit alone vs adding the video game or music, staying alive, to help with compression rate.  We found that a 12 year can easily learn the basic concepts of calling for help and starting hands only CPR and they can physically perform effective CPR at this age.
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Heart Disease, JACC, Nutrition, Salt-Sodium / 13.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_38145" align="alignleft" width="120"]Stephen P. Juraschek, MD, PhD Instructor of Medicine Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School Dr. Juraschek[/caption] Stephen P. Juraschek, MD, PhD Instructor of Medicine Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The DASH-Sodium trial demonstrated that both the DASH diet and sodium restriction, individually and combined, lowered blood pressure in adults with pre-hypertension or stage 1 hypertension. Whether these effects varied by level of blood pressure prior to starting these interventions was unknown. In a secondary analysis of the original DASH diet it had been observed that the effects from DASH were greater among adults with higher blood pressure (systolic greater than or equal to 140 mm Hg) at baseline with the appearance of even greater effects among people with baseline systolic blood pressures above 150 mm Hg. However, this has never been shown. Furthermore, it was unknown whether sodium reduction followed a similar linear trend of greater effects among adults with more severely uncontrolled systolic blood pressure. In our study, we found that effects were indeed greater in adults with a baseline systolic blood pressure of 150 mm Hg or greater. Furthermore, the combined systolic blood pressure-lowering effect from both interventions was as high was 20 mm Hg. This is a magnitude comparable if not greater than medications for lowering blood pressure.
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Mental Health Research / 07.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Keun-Hwa Jung MD PhD Program in Neuroscience, Neuroscience Research Institute of SNUMRC College of Medicine Seoul National University First author: Dr. Woo-Jin Lee MD Department of Neurology Seoul National University Hospital Seoul, South Korea  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Cerebral white matter hyperintensity is a prevalent consequence of brain aging process and associated with various complications. One of the main mechanisms underlying the progression of white matter hyperintensity is chronic dysfunction of the glymphatic system which maintains metabolic homeostasis in brain. Glymphatic system is the route where the cerebrospinal fluid enters into the brain parenchyma and is cleared out with soluble wastes to the perivascular space of the cerebral small veins, peri-meningeal lymphatic vessels, deep cervical lymph nodes, and finally to the right atrium. Although the integrity of the glymphatic system is dependent on the adequate drainage of cerebral veins and lymphatics to the downstream chamber, the right atrium, the impact of hemodynamic changes in right-sided cardiac chambers on the development of white matter hyperintensity have not been elucidated.
Author Interviews, Heart Disease / 07.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_34397" align="alignleft" width="138"]Nayan Agarwal MD Intervention Cardiology Fellow, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL Dr. Agarwal[/caption] Nayan Agarwal MD Intervention Cardiology Fellow University of Florida, Gainesville, FL MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Optimal antiplatelet strategy post CABG remains controversial with guidelines still evolving. Though aspirin monotherapy is the therapy of choice, but some studies have suggested a benefit of dual antiplatelet (DAPT). Question also remains if choice of antiplatelet therapy strategy is influenced by clinical presentation (acute coronary syndrome [ACS] versus non ACS) or CABG technique ( off pump versus on pump). The current meta-analysis of 8 randomized control trials and 9 observational studies with a total of 11,135 patients demonstrated that at a mean follow up of 23 months, major adverse cardiac events (MACE) (10.3% versus 12.1%, RR 0.84, confidence interval (CI) 0.71-0.99); all-cause mortality (5.7% versus 7.0%, RR 0.67, CI 0.48-0.94) and graft occlusion (11.3% versus 14.2%, RR- 0.79, CI- 0.63- 0.98) were less with DAPT compared with aspirin monotherapy. There was no difference in myocardial infarction, stroke, or major bleeding between the 2 groups. Subgroup analysis demonstrated that benefit of DAPT was independent of clinical presentation (ACS versus non ACS) or CABG technique (off pump versus on pump).
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, NEJM, UCLA / 05.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_37907" align="alignleft" width="100"]Bruno Péault PhD Professor and Chair, Vascular Regeneration Center For Cardiovascular Science MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine Scientific Director, BHF Laboratories The University of Edinburgh and Professor, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA Orthopaedic Hospital Research Center University of California at Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA 90095-7358 Dr. Péault[/caption] Bruno Péault PhD Professor and Chair, Vascular Regeneration Center For Cardiovascular Science MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine Scientific Director, BHF Laboratories The University of Edinburgh and Professor, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA Orthopaedic Hospital Research Center University of California at Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA 90095-7358 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Kidney, lung, liver, muscle, heart are among the many organs which can be severely affected by fibrosis, a natural scarring process whereby healthy tissues are replaced by a fibrous non-functional substitute. For instance, the billions of cardiac muscle cells that die after a heart infarct, consequently to blood supply interruption, are replaced by a fibrotic scar that cannot contract, reducing the capacity of the heart to pump blood, and leading often to heart failure. There is currently no efficient treatment of fibrotic scars, the basic cellular component of which is the myofibroblast, a cell of unremarkable appearance and unclear origin. The transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) molecule triggers fibrosis development after being activated, via the extra-cellular matrix, by αv integrins, which are adhesion molecules present at the surface of the target cells. To gain further insight into the cells that drive fibrosis in the heart and skeletal muscle, and explore ways to control this deleterious process, mice were used in which cells expressing the β receptor for PDGF (platelet derived growth factor) have been genetically tagged with a green fluorescent protein, a system previously used by Prof. Neil Henderson to trace fibrosis in the diseased liver (cells naturally expressing PDGFRβ are, in their vast majority, perivascular cells surrounding small blood vessels, as well as some interstitial fibroblasts). Skeletal muscle was injured by a small incision or with a targeted injection of cardiotoxin, a snake venom compound that locally kills myofibers, while the heart was damaged by prolonged infusion of angiotensin II. In both settings, progression of fibrosis was followed over time and contribution of green fluorescent cells – i.e. those expressing PDGFRβ – was assessed.
Abuse and Neglect, Circadian Rhythm, Heart Disease, Lancet, Surgical Research / 03.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof David Montaigne MD Faculté de Médecine de Lille H Warembourg Lille, France MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: It is well known for many decades that cardiovascular diseases exhibit a diurnal variation with for instance higher incidence of myocardial infarction in the early morning as opposed to the evening. Although studies on circadian gene knock-out and mutant mice argue for a biorhythm in myocardial ischemia-reperfusion tolerance, whether a biorhythm in the myocardial tolerance to ischemia, exists in humans was unclear because of conflicting reports in the context of myocardial infarction. We demonstrated for the first time in humans that the myocardial tolerance to ischemia-reperfusion is different along the day, in line with rodent experiments performed in the early 2010s. We demonstrated that this biorhythm is clinically meaningful and that it can be targeted as a cardioprotective strategy. In this topic, Rever-alpha is of specific interest. It belongs at the same time to circadian genes and nuclear receptor families: being a nuclear receptor, it is a feasible pharmacological target, conversely to other circadian genes.
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Pulmonary Disease, Vanderbilt / 27.10.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_37714" align="alignleft" width="112"]Dr. Evan L. Brittain, MD Assistant Professor of Medicine Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Dr. Brittain[/caption] Dr. Evan L. Brittain, MD Assistant Professor of Medicine Vanderbilt University School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The purpose of this study was to determine whether pulmonary pressure values below the diagnostic threshold for pulmonary hypertension (25mmHg) are associated with an increased risk of mortality. We studied over 4,000 consecutive individuals referred for right heart catheterization, the “gold-standard” procedure for measuring pulmonary pressure. We found that borderline levels of mean pulmonary pressure (19-24mmHg) were common, representing 18% of all patients referred for this procedure. Borderline mean pulmonary pressure values were also associated with 31% increase in mortality after accounting for many other clinical factors. Finally, we found that most of the patients with borderline pulmonary hypertension who underwent repeat catheterization often progressed to overt pulmonary hypertension. This study suggests that patients with borderline pulmonary hypertension should be considered an at-risk group.
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA / 27.10.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_37742" align="alignleft" width="200"]Elad Asher, M.D, M.H.A Interventional Cardiologist, Director Intensive Cardiac Care Unit Deputy Director Heart Institute Assuta Ashdod Medical Cent Dr. Asher[/caption] Elad Asher, M.D, M.H.A Interventional Cardiologist, Director Intensive Cardiac Care Unit Deputy Director Heart Institute Assuta Ashdod Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Dual antiplatelet therapy represents the standard care for treating ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) patients. Given the higher risk of peri-procedural thrombotic events in patients undergoing primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PPCI), there is a need to achieve inhibition of platelet aggregation (IPA) more promptly. Although chewing ticagrelor has been shown to be more efficient for IPA in stable coronary disease and in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS)/non-ST elevation myocardial infarction (NSETMI), there are no studies that have specifically assessed the efficacy and safety of chewing ticagrelor in STEMI patients. Therefore, the aim of our study was to investigate whether chewing ticagrelor (180mg) loading dose is associated with more favorable platelet inhibitory effects compared with the conventional way of swallowing whole tablets loading dose in STEMI patients undergoing PPCI.
Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Heart Disease / 26.10.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_37734" align="alignleft" width="200"]Dr. Leif Friberg MD, PhD Associate professor in cardiology Karolinska Institute Friberg Resarch Stockholm, Sweden  Dr. Leif Friberg[/caption] Dr. Leif Friberg MD, PhD Associate professor in cardiology Karolinska Institute Friberg Resarch Stockholm, Sweden  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: I have been doing research on atrial fibrillation and stroke risk for many years and knew that the very common heart arrhythmia is associated with a 40% increased risk of dementia. Considering that that 12-15% of 75 years olds have this arrhythmia, and even more at higher ages, the problem is significant to say the least. The mechanism behind stroke in atrial fibrillation is that blood clots are formed in the heart. When these are dislodged they travel with the blood stream and may get stuck in the narrow vessels of the brain where they stop blood flow causing brain infarction or stroke. Oral anticoagulant drugs like warfarin or the newer so called NOAC (new oral anticoagulant) drugs are highly efficient in preventing formation of these large blood clots and offer at least 70% risk reduction. Now, blood clots come in different sizes. There are also microscopic clots that do not cause symptoms of stroke but all the same eat away at the brain at a slow but steady pace. Imaging studies shows this after only a few months or even weeks of atrial fibrillation. Our hypothesis was therefore: If anticoagulants are so effective in protecting against large clots, will they not help against the small ones too?
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Thyroid, UCSF / 26.10.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Christine Baumgartner MD Inselspital Universitätsspital Bern Bern, Switzerland Research Fellow, Division of Hospital Medicine UCSF MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Overt and subclinical hyperthyroidism increase the risk of atrial fibrillation, but it is unclear whether subclinical hypothyroidism, which is known to increase cardiovascular events, or thyroid function in the normal range are also associated with incident atrial fibrillation. Given the high prevalence of atrial fibrillation and its associated morbidity and mortality, identifying potentially modifiable risk factors is important. Therefore, we aimed to assess the risk of atrial fibrillation in individuals with subclinical hypothyroidism or variations of thyroid function within the normal range. Our main findings are that higher free thyroxine levels are associated with an increased risk of atrial fibrillation in euthyroid individuals, but thyroid-stimulating hormone levels within the euthyroid or subclinical hypothyroid range was not related to atrial fibrillation risk.
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA / 25.10.2017

[caption id="attachment_37719" align="alignleft" width="150"]Hawkins C. Gay, MD, MPH Resident Physician, Internal Medicine Feinberg School of Medicine Northwestern University  Dr. Gay[/caption] MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hawkins C. Gay, MD, MPH Resident Physician, Internal Medicine Feinberg School of Medicine Northwestern University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The National Academy of Medicine and other leading institutions have highlighted clinical trial data sharing as an important initiative for enhancing trust in the clinical research enterprise. More recently, the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors stipulated that manuscripts published in their journals must clearly state plans for data sharing in the trial’s registration, and the National Institutes of Health now requires a data sharing plan as part of new grant applications. Many clinical trialists rightly debate the costs and time required to curate their data into a format that is usable by third part data analysts. Similarly, there has been debate about the most efficient platforms from which to distribute this data, and different models exist, including governmental (NIH BioLINCC), commercial (ClinicalStudyDataRequest.com), and academic (Yale Open Access Data Project [YODA]) platforms. Our study sought to explore these questions by conducting a reproduction analysis of the Thermocool Smarttouch Catheter for Treatment of Symptomatic Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation (SMART-AF) trial (NCT01385202), which is the only cardiovascular clinical trial available through the YODA platform. Reproduction analyses represent a fundamental approach for and outcome from data sharing but are uncommonly performed even though results change more than one-quarter of the time in reproduction analyses. SMART-AF was a multicenter, single-arm trial evaluating the effectiveness and safety of an irrigated, contact force-sensing catheter for ablation of drug refractory, symptomatic paroxysmal atrial fibrillation in 172 participants recruited from 21 sites between June 2011 and December 2011. The time from our initial proposal submission to YODA and the final analysis completion was 11 months. Freedom from atrial arrhythmias at 12 months post-procedure was similar compared with the primary study report (74.0%; 95% CI, 66.0-82.0 vs 76.4%; 95% CI, 68.7-84.1). The reproduction analysis success rate was higher than the primary study report (65.8%; 95% CI 56.5-74.2 vs 75.6%; 95% CI, 67.2-82.5). Adverse events were minimal and similar between the two analyses. We could not reproduce all analyses that were conducted in the primary study report; specifically, the analyses relating to contact force range and regression models. The primary reason for non-reproducibility was missing or un-locatable data in the analyzable dataset.
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Heart Disease, JACC, Karolinski Institute / 25.10.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Martin Holzmann PhD Department of Medicine Functional Area of Emergency Medicine, Karolinska University Hospital, Huddinge Stockholm, Sweden MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There has been a few studies in the general population that indicate that subjects with detectable and elevated high-sensitivity troponin T (hs-cTnT) levels have an increased risk of death and cardiovascular disease. However, in clinical practice troponins are not used for anything else than to rule in or rule out myocardial infarction in the emergency department. In addition, in a previous publication we have shown that patients with persistently elevated troponin levels are rarely investigated or followed-up to exclude heart disease. Therefore, we wanted to investigate how the association between different levels of hs-cTnT are associated with outcomes in patients with chest pain but no MI or other acute reasons for having an acutely elevated troponin level.
Author Interviews, Heart Disease / 22.10.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_37661" align="alignleft" width="138"]Parveen K. Garg, MD, MPH Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine Keck Hospital of USC  Dr. Garg[/caption] Parveen K. Garg, MD, MPH Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine Keck Hospital of USC  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Atrial fibrillation is the most commonly presenting cardiac arrhythmia in clinical practice, affecting over 2 million people in the United States. This arrhythmia accounts for up to 15% of all strokes and annual costs for AF treatment are estimated at over 6.5 billion dollars. Despite the growing public health challenge that AF poses, effective prevention strategies are lacking. In 2010, the American Heart Association identified metrics of ideal cardiovascular health known as Life’s Simple 7 to target for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. We wanted to determine whether adherence to these health metrics helps prevent atrial fibrillation as well. Therefore, we examined the association between the Life’s Simple 7 (LS7) and incident atrial fibrillation in the REasons for Geographic And Ethnic Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study. We found that individuals in this study with optimal cardiovascular health (high adherence to LS7 metrics) had an over 30% lower risk of developing atrial fibrillation compared to those with inadequate cardiovascular health (low adherence to LS7 metrics). We also observed that even minor improvements in adherence to the LS7 (increase in total score by 1-point) were associated with a 5% lower risk of atrial fibrillation.
Author Interviews, Heart Disease / 20.10.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_37652" align="alignleft" width="157"]Deepika Laddu PhD Assistant Professor Department of Physical Therapy College of Applied Health Sciences The University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago, IL 60612 Dr. Laddu[/caption] Deepika Laddu PhD Assistant Professor Department of Physical Therapy College of Applied Health Sciences The University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago, IL 60612  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Recent findings in population-based cohort studies on cumulative exercise dose have caused some controversy and debate showing U-shaped trends of association between physical activity and disease risk. Our objective was to better understand this association between physical activity and cardiovascular disease risk from young adulthood to middle age. Given that engagement in physical activity is a continuously evolving behavior throughout life, this study looked at the physical activity trajectories of 3,175 black and white participants in the multicenter, community-based, longitudinal cohort CARDIA study who reported physical activity patterns over 25 years (from 1985 through 2011), and assessed the presence of coronary artery calcification, or CAC, among participants. Unique to this study is the evaluation of long-term exercise patterns from young adulthood into middle age in CARDIA participants. Based on the trajectories (or patterns of change) of physical activity over 25 years, participants were categorized into three distinct trajectory groups: trajectory group one was defined as exercising below the national guidelines (less than 150 minutes a week), group two as meeting the national guidelines for exercise (150 minutes a week), and group three as exercising three-times the national guidelines (more than 450 minutes a week).
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Heart Disease, PLoS / 19.10.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_37609" align="alignleft" width="200"]Professor Kazem Rahimi, FRCP MD DM MSc FES Deputy Director, The George Institute for Global Health UK Associate Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Oxford Honorary Consultant Cardiologist, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust Dr. Rahimi[/caption] Professor Kazem Rahimi, FRCP MD DM MSc FES Deputy Director, The George Institute for Global Health UK Associate Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Oxford Honorary Consultant Cardiologist, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Mitral regurgitation, the most common heart valve disorder in high-income countries, has until now been considered a degenerative disorder, which results from damage over time due to ‘wear and tear’. As a result, the focus of medical practitioners has been on treating the disorder – by repairing or replacing the valve – rather than preventing it. This is partly because there has been a lack of large-scale, longitudinal studies investigating the effect of risk factors on the condition. We set out to analyse data on 5.5 million patients in the UK over 10 years. Our findings show, for the first time, that elevated blood pressure is an important risk factor for mitral regurgitation. Consistent with prior evidence on blood pressure associations with other cardiovascular disease - such as stroke and heart attacks – we found an association with mitral regurgitation that is continuous across the whole spectrum of blood pressure. More specifically, every 20 mmHg higher baseline systolic blood pressure is associated with a 26% increased risk of mitral regurgitation, with no threshold below or above which this relationship is not true. The association we found was only partially mediated by conditions that are established causes of secondary mitral regurgitation, which suggests that high blood pressure has a direct and independent effect on valve degeneration.
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Radiology / 17.10.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_37543" align="alignleft" width="200"]Dr. Maria Grazia Andreassi Dr. Andreassi[/caption] Dr. Maria Grazia Andreassi, PhD Director, Genetics Research Unit CNR Institute of Clinical Physiology, Pisa- Italy MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In recent years, there has been a growing concern about the health risks for contemporary interventional cardiologists who have a high and unprecedented levels of occupational ionizing radiation (IR) exposure. Because dysregulation of microRNAs (miRNAs) have been shown in many human diseases, we investigated the differential expression of miRNAs in the plasma of interventional cardiologists professionally exposed to IR and unexposed controls. In this study, our microarray analysis with 2,006 miRNAs and subsequent validation identified brain-specific miR-134 as one of the miRNAs that is highly dysregulated in the response to ionizing radiation exposure, supporting the notion that the brain damage is one of the main potential long-term risks of unprotected head irradiation in interventional cardiologists, with possible long-lasting cognitive consequences. Indeed, miR-134 was first identified as a brain-specific miRNA, which is involved in synapse development and directly implicated in learning and memory.
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Heart Disease, JAMA, OBGYNE / 17.10.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_35407" align="alignleft" width="125"]Cuilin Zhang MD, PhD Senior Investigator, Epidemiology Branch Division of Intramural Population Health Research NICHD/National Institutes of Health Bethesda, MD 20817  Dr. Zhang[/caption] Cuilin Zhang MD, PhD Senior Investigator Epidemiology Branch Division of Intramural Population Health Research NICHD/National Institutes of Health. Bethesda, MD 20817 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Gestational diabetes (GDM) is a common pregnancy complication. The American Heart Association identifies gestational diabetes as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD) in women, based on consistent evidence for the relationships between gestational diabetes and subsequent hypertension, dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes, vascular dysfunction and atherosclerosis. Also, previous studies identify GDM as a risk factor for intermediate markers of CVD risk; however, few are prospective, evaluate hard cardiovascular disease end points, or account for shared risk factors including body weight and lifestyle.
Annals Thoracic Surgery, Author Interviews, Gender Differences, Heart Disease, Surgical Research, Women's Heart Health / 06.10.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_37407" align="alignleft" width="125"]Habib Jabagi B.Sc., M.Sc., M.D. Department of Surgery University of Ottawa , Ottawa Dr.  Jabagi[/caption] Habib Jabagi B.Sc., M.Sc., M.D. Department of Surgery University of Ottawa , Ottawa MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings Response: Women with coronary artery disease (CAD) are at a significant disadvantage compared to men, as they do not consistently receive the same intensive treatment. For example, when surgery is done in men, it is more common to use arteries, as opposed to saphenous veins from the leg to complete the bypass graft. Arteries, such as the left internal thoracic artery, appear to have much better long-term patency than veins, which translates into improved outcomes. The motivation for this study was to see if our centre, which has embraced the use of arteries quite aggressively, has suffered the same gender disparities with respect to the use of multiple arterial revascularization strategies in coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG).
Author Interviews, BMJ, Gender Differences, Heart Disease / 02.10.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Min Zhao PhD student Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, Clinical Epidemiology University Medical Center Utrech MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Heart disease is still one of leading causes of deaths and disability worldwide. Management of modifiable risk factors, including both medical treatment target and healthy lifestyle, reduce the chance of new heart attack among those who survived a previous heart attack (so-called secondary prevention). Previous studies have demonstrated that the secondary prevention of heart disease is poorer among women than men. However, most studies were performed in Western populations. We aimed to assess whether sex differences exist on risk factor management and to investigate geographic variations of any such sex differences. Our study is a large-scale international clinical audit performed during routine clinic visit. We recruited over 10,000 patients who had survived a previous heart attack from 11 countries in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Emergency Care, Heart Disease / 02.10.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alexis Cournoyer MD Université de Montréal Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal Institut de Cardiologie de Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada.  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Out-of-hospital advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) is frequently provided to patients suffering from cardiac arrest.  This was shown to improve rates of return of spontaneous circulation, but there was no good evidence that it improved any patient-oriented outcomes.  Given the progress of post-resuscitation care, it was important to reassess if ACLS improved survival in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.  Also, with the advent of extracorporeal resuscitation, a promising technique that needs to be performed relatively early in the course of the resuscitation and which seems to improve patients' outcome, we wanted to evaluate if prolonged prehospital resuscitation with ACLS was effective in extracorporeal resuscitation candidates. In this study, we observed, as was noted in previous study, that prehospital advanced cardiac life support  did not provide a benefit to patients regarding survival to discharge, but increased the rate of prehospital return of spontaneous circulation.  It also prolonged the delay before hospital arrival of around 15 minutes.  In the patients eligible for extracorporeal resuscitation, we observed the same findings.
Author Interviews, Columbia, Heart Disease, Orthopedics / 28.09.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_37221" align="alignleft" width="125"]Dr. Mathew Maurer, Medical Director The Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Center NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center. Dr. Maurer[/caption] Dr. Mathew Maurer, Medical Director The Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Center NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Transthryretin cardiac amyloidosis (TTR-CA) is an underdiagnosed type of cardiomyopathy in which TTR (transthyretin, also known as prealbumin), a protein that forms amyloid fibrils, deposits in the heart. The deposits cause thickening of the ventricular wall and diastolic as well as systolic dysfunction. It is usually discovered around age 75 and presents more commonly in men than in women. With advances in non-invasive diagnostic modalities and growing awareness, TTR-CA is being diagnosed increasingly more frequently. Additionally, there are several emerging treatments that are under active investigation. Most of these therapies prevent disease progression and don’t address the amyloid already deposited in the heart. Accordingly, it is imperative that we diagnose TTR-CA before patients develop significant amyloid heart disease. However, this presents a great challenge since there are few known clinical predictors that might alert even the most astute physician that a patient is at such risk. With identification of predictors that may appropriately raise the index of clinical suspicion, clinicians may begin to pick up more subtle (and perhaps not yet clinically significant) forms of TTR-CA and initiate treatment before significant damage occurs. The few known clinical predictors of TTR-CA include bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome and lumbar spinal stenosis, and numerous studies found TTR on biopsies and autopsies of other musculoskeletal sites, particularly in hip and knee joints. (Just last week, and also discussed here on MedicalResearch.com, biceps tendon rupture was also shown to occur more frequently in TTR-CA!) We suspected that patients who ultimately develop TTR-CA may first develop clinically significant hip and knee disease, enough to even warrant a hip (THA) or knee (TKA) replacement.
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Heart Disease, JAMA, Orthopedics / 22.09.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_37118" align="alignleft" width="125"]Avinainder Singh, M.B.B.S. Research Fellow Cardiovascular Medicine Brigham & Women's Hospital Harvard Medical School Boston, MA Dr. Singh[/caption] Avinainder Singh, M.B.B.S. Research Fellow Cardiovascular Medicine Brigham & Women's Hospital Harvard Medical School Boston, MA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Amyloidosis due to aberrant folding of proteins. These misfolded proteins can deposit in various parts of the body and lead to organ dysfunction. The two most common types of amyloidosis affecting the heart include transthyretin and light chain amyloidosis. Transthyretin is a protein produced by the liver which supports the transport of thyroxine and retinol. Wild-type transthyretin amyloidosis (ATTRwt, previously known as senile amyloidosis) occurs due to deposition of misfolded fibrils derived from transthyretin and primarily affects elderly men. Once considered a rare disease, it is now reported to be responsible for nearly 13% of heart failure with preserved ejected fraction and increased wall thickness. Rupture of the biceps tendon is a rare occurrence in the general population (<1 per 1000). We noticed a ruptured biceps tendon in several patients with wild-type transthyretin amyloidosis and performed this study to further evaluate this finding in a group of patients with wild-type transthyretin amyloidosis and in a control group of age-matched patients with non-amyloid heart failure.
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Heart Disease, Technology / 20.09.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_37046" align="alignleft" width="120"]MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Muthiah Vaduganathan, MD, MPH Brigham and Women’s Hospital Heart &  Vascular Center and Harvard Medical School Boston, Massachusetts Dr. Vaduganathan[/caption] Muthiah Vaduganathan, MD, MPH Brigham and Women’s Hospital Heart & Vascular Center and Harvard Medical School Boston, Massachusetts MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The CardioMEMS™ HF System (Abbott, Sylmar, CA) is a commercially-available, wireless hemodynamic monitor that can be permanently implanted in the pulmonary artery (PA) to permit real-time, remote monitoring of PA pressures to enhance clinical decision-making in patients with heart failure (HF). Based on a favorable safety profile and the results of the CHAMPION trial, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the device in May 2014. Since FDA approval, the device is being implanted in older patients with greater comorbidities compared with those enrolled in CHAMPION. Limited safety data are available after market introduction in this higher-risk pool.