Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Stem Cells / 26.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Annetine C. Gelijns, PhD Professor and System Chair Population Health Science and Policy Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Alan J Moskowitz, MD Professor of Population Health Science and Policy Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Where do these mesenchymal cells come from?  Response: Implantable LVADs significantly improve the survival and quality of life of advanced heart failure patients. However, these devices are associated with substantial adverse events, including infection and thromboembolic events. Moreover, whereas these devices improve myocardial function, few patients recover sufficient function to be explanted from their LVAD. These observations have focused attention on stem cells as a possible adjunctive therapy to further augment cardiac recovery. Mesenchymal precursor cells (MPCs), which are obtained from healthy donors and culture-expanded, have been shown in animal and early human studies to improve cardiac function. Using temporary weaning as a signal of cardiac recovery, we conducted an exploratory trial in the Cardiothoracic Surgical Trials Network (CTSN), which found that MPCs increased the probability of temporary weaning from full LVAD support compared to sham-control patients. Therefore, this signal of efficacy led the CTSN to design our current follow-up trial evaluating the efficacy and safety of a higher dose of MPCs in LVAD patients. (more…)
Author Interviews, Clots - Coagulation, Duke, Heart Disease, NEJM / 21.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Renato D. Lopes MD, MHS, PhD Professor of Medicine Division of Cardiology Duke University Medical Center Duke Clinical Research Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In patients with acute coronary syndromes (ACS), approximately 20% to 30% of those with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF) have concomitant coronary artery disease (CAD), and 5 to 10% of patients who undergo PCI have NVAF. These patients often receive both antiplatelet therapy and oral anticoagulants; and how best to combine these agents to minimize bleeding risk without compromising protection against thrombosis is an important unanswered question. Analysis of results for bleeding indicated no significant interaction between the two randomization factors permitting independent analysis of results for the two key comparisons. The first showed that apixaban was both non-inferior and significantly superior to VKA for the primary outcome with a 31% reduction in the relative risk for bleeding. Aspirin significantly increased the relative risk for bleeding versus placebo by 89%. Results for the composite of death and hospitalization showed that apixaban resulted in a relative risk reduction of 17%, primarily driven by a reduction in all cause hospitalization. There was no significant difference between results for aspirin versus placebo for this outcome. Analysis of the composite of death and ischemic events indicated no significant differences in results for apixaban versus VKA or aspirin versus placebo. (more…)
Author Interviews, Duke, Heart Disease, JAMA / 21.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Renato D. Lopes MD, MHS, PhD Professor of Medicine Division of Cardiology Duke University Medical Center Duke Clinical Research Institute Alexander C. Fanaroff, MD, MHS Division of Cardiology and Duke Clinical Research Institute Duke University, Durham, North Carolina MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: About ten years ago, a group of researchers examined the evidence supporting guideline recommendations in cardiology for the first time. Quite surprisingly, they found that only 11% of recommendations in American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) guidelines were supported by evidence from randomized controlled trials, the highest level of evidence. The researchers called for greater collaboration among investigators and funders in identifying key research questions, development of streamlined clinical trial methods, and expansion of funding for clinical research. Over the past 10 years, some of these steps have been taken, but it is unclear how the evidence supporting guideline recommendations has changed. We therefore analyzed the 51 current cardiovascular guideline documents -- 26 from the ACC/AHA and 25 from the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) -- including 6,329 recommendations. Overall, 8.5% of recommendations in ACC/AHA guidelines and 14.3% of recommendations in ESC guidelines were supported by evidence from randomized controlled trials. When looking specifically at guidelines that have been updated, we found no significant changes in the proportion of recommendations supported by evidence from randomized controlled trials. (more…)
Author Interviews, Erectile Dysfunction, Heart Disease / 20.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jagat Narula, MD, PhD Philip J. and Harriet L. Goodhart Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) Associate Dean for Global Health Director of the Cardiovascular Imaging Program Mount Sinai Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Atherosclerosis has been linked to causing erectile dysfunction (ED) in the majority of patients with this cardiovascular condition, but researchers have not had the means of demonstrating atherosclerosis in penile arteries until now.  This unique study uses advanced imaging to detect how strong the association actually is.  For the first time, researchers have used advanced imaging of penile arteries to show a link between atherosclerosis and erectile dysfunction (ED). (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JACC, Technology / 20.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Annapoorna Kini, MD Zena and Michael A Wiener Professor of Medicine Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory Mount Sinai Heart at Mount Sinai Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  
  • Expanding indication and use of Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) poses a unique problem of coronary access after valve implantation.
  • Troubleshooting tools and techniques have been published but are not available at the fingertips of the user at all the times.
  • We tried to address this unique problem with an innovative educational mobile application (app) called "TAVRcathAID".
(more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA / 19.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Carina Blomström-Lundqvist, MD Professor of Cardiology Department of Cardioloy Institution of Medical Science Uppsala, Sweden MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: While all previous trials comparing atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation and antiarrhythmic drugs to our best knowledge have evaluated the efficacy of these treatments in terms of atrial fibrillation (AF) recurrences (with an AF episode of 30 seconds duration as standard primary endpoint) we wanted to use quality of Life (QoL) - general health - as primary endpoint, since the indication for treatment is improving QoL. This was important since, despite the fact that the indication for treatment is to improve (QoL) and reduce symptom, all prior trials have used 30 seconds AF episodes as standard primary endpoint, which if occurred it would be defined as a failed treatment. We also wanted to assess effects on various clinical outcome events. We know from registries such as ORBIT AF registry that around 60 % of AF patients have symptoms resulting in repeated hospitalisation visits in at least 30-40% of patients annually, and that only around 5 % of the AF population are being referred for AF ablation. Previous trials have used intermittent 24 hours Holter recordings whioch does not give the true AF burden (% of time in AF). We therefore also wanted to assess and compare treatments effects on true AF burden by implanting an implantable cardiac monitor (ICM) which continuosly records the heart rhythm. We would then be able to prove that improvement in QoL was directly related to a reduction in AF burden and that treatment differences in QoL was related to a difference in reduction in AF burden. We also wanted to study an AF population in their early AF disease state so that we could offer atrial fibrillation ablation to a broader AF population before their atria have become remodelled and too damaged for a pulmonary vein isolation to be effective.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease / 19.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mandeep R. Mehra, MD, MSc, FRCP (London) The William Harvey Distinguished Chair in Advanced Cardiovascular Medicine Medical Director, Heart and Vascular Center Brigham and Women’s Hospital Executive Director Center for Advanced Heart Disease Brigham and Women’s Hospital Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The MOMENTUM 3 trial is the largest study of LVAD therapy in Advanced Heart Failure with over 1000 randomized patients followed to at least 2 years. This trial tested a novel fully magnetically levitated LVAD, the HeartMate 3 pump against a mechanical bearing containing LVAD, the HeartMate II pump in patients suffering from advanced heart failure (85% of whom were on continuous intravenous Inotropic therapy or IABP device at the time of randomization). While LVADs have improved survival for such patients, the morbidity has remained excessive due to serious complication as a result of problems with hemocompatibility. The principal concerns revolve around complications of pump thrombosis requiring surgical replacement, strokes and bleeding events, especially gastrointestinal bleeding. The trial has previously reported two interim analyses which suggested signals for superiority on pump replacement and even a decrease in ischemic stroke. This final full report concludes convincingly that all three domains of hemocompatibility related adverse events are reduced with the novel LVAD with near elimination of pump thrombosis, halving of strokes of any kind and any severity and a marked decrease in bleeding complications. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Infections, Opiods / 18.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Serena Day, MD Ohio State University  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The idea for this research came from my own observations of patients that I was caring for in the hospital first as an Internal Medicine Resident and now as a senior Cardiology Fellow. I did my residency here at Ohio State and noticed a marked increase in the number of patients with endocarditis that we were caring for just in my short time here as a trainee. Over 5 years, we saw an increase of 436% in intravenous drug use related endocarditis. How this disease is treated as changed as well. It used to be that if a patient was a good surgical candidate, we would offer a replacement valve. Now, we see that these patient's have such a high rate of recurrent intravenous drug use and reinfection of their heart valves that we now treat with antibiotics only rather than surgery. In many cases, the infection never goes away because we can't offer definitive therapy with surgery due to their high relapse and reinfection rates of nearly 50%. (more…)
Author Interviews, Clots - Coagulation, Heart Disease / 18.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Stavros V. Konstantinides, MD, PhD, FESC, FRCP(Glasg) Professor, Clinical Trials, and Medical Director Center for Thrombosis and Hemostasis (CTH) Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz Mainz, Germany MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Acute pulmonary embolism (PE) is the third most frequent acute cardiovascular syndrome. It encompasses a wide spectrum of clinical symptoms and severity, ranging from massive, immediately life-threatening PE with hemodynamic collapse to the low-risk, stable patient with very few symptoms. These latter patients with acute low-risk PE may qualify for early discharge from hospital (e.g., within 48 hours) and continuation of treatment at home. This is a very promising strategy, because it may not only increase patient satisfaction and quality of life, but also help to reduce hospital-related complications and costs. However, it needed to be clearly determined, and tested in a prospective management trial, who are the appropriate candidates for an effective and safe home treatment approach. To this date, trials suggesting favorable clinical outcomes with home treatment of PE are small and date back to the era of vitamin K antagonists. Direct oral anticoagulants permitting a single drug treatment of PE are more promising in this regard, as they may make an early transition from hospital to ambulatory care both safer and more convenient. The international Home Treatment of Pulmonary Embolism (HoT-PE) phase 4 management trial tested the efficacy and safety of early discharge and ambulatory anticoagulation treatment with the direct factor Xa inhibitor rivaroxaban in patients with acute low-risk PE. Patients were identified on the basis of
  • clinical criteria or PE severity, comorbidity, and contraindications; and
  • the absence of right heart failure or intracardiac thrombi on cardiac imaging. Early termination of the study was possible following the prespecified interim analysis, which was performed after recruitment and 3-month evaluation of 525 patients (50% of the planned trial population). At the interim analysis, the primary efficacy outcome of symptomatic recurrent venous thromboembolism or PE-related death occurred in only 3 (0.6%) patients (compared to an estimated 1.7% rate based on historical data). This rate was sufficiently low to reject the primary hypothesis as predefined in the statistical analysis plan. None of the recurrent events was nonfatal.Major bleeding occurred in 6 (1.2%) patients of the safety population. The study could therefore be terminated early for efficacy. 
(more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Inflammation, JACC, Lipids / 18.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. George Dangas MD PhD Professor of Medicine, Cardiology Mount Sinai Health System MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Widespread use of statins targeted to decrease levels of low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) below 70mg/dL are recommended by guidelines. However, residual cholesterol risk may only be one part of the residual risk equation. Indeed, Biological inflammation has long been known as a pathophysiological mechanism of atherosclerosis and the recent CANTOS trial opened new therapeutic perspective by demonstrating that inflammation modulation via selective interleukin-1β inhibition could result in improved diagnosis in patients with coronary artery disease. However, the prevalence and impact of a residual inflammatory biological syndrome in patients with controlled cholesterol risk is unclear. (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, BMJ, Heart Disease / 18.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Nick Curzen  BM(Hons) PhD FRCP Professor of Interventional Cardiology/Consultant Cardiologist University Hospital Southampton Southampton MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The commonest blood test now used to assess whether a patient has had a heart attack or not is called high sensitivity troponin (hs trop).  The test is supplied with an Upper Limit of Normal, which is based upon results from relatively healthy people.  When doctors take the hs trop, they then use this ULN to decide if the patient had has a heart attack. This study set out to see what the hs trop level is in a large number of patients attending the hospital for any reason, either inpatient or outpatient, in most of whom there was no clinical suspicion of heart attack at all.  We therefore took hs trop measurements on 20,000 consecutive patients attending our hospital and having a blood sample for any reason.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Heart Disease, Lipids, NEJM, Statins / 13.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Brian A Ference, MD, MPhil, MSc, FACC, FESC Professor and Director of Research in Translational Therapeutics Executive Director, Centre for Naturally Randomized Trials Strangeways Research Laboratory University of Cambridge Cambridge, UK MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Bempedoic acid is a novel therapy currently in development that lowers LDL-C by inhibiting ATP-citrate lyase, an enzyme in the same cholesterol biosynthesis pathway as HMG-CoA reductase (the target of stains).  However, whether lowering LDL-C by inhibiting ATP-citrate lyase will reduce the risk of cardiovascular events to the same extent as lowering LDL-C by inhibiting HMG-CoA reductase with a statin is unknown. We conducted a “naturally randomized trial” using Mendelian randomization in more than 650,000 participants who experienced more than 100,000 cardiovascular events to evaluate the potential clinical benefit of lowering LDL-C by inhibiting ATP-citrate lyase as compared to lowering LDL-C by inhibiting HMG-CoA reductase. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Imperial College, Lipids, NEJM, Statins / 13.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Kosh Ray, MB ChB, MD, MPhil Faculty of Medicine, School of Public Health Chair in Public Health (Clinical) Imperial College London MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Bempedoic acid is the first in class of a new therapy for lowering LDL cholesterol. This is the largest and longest study to date with this therapy and involved about 2200 pts with patients with either established cardiovascular disease or familial hypercholestrolaemia and in whom LDL was > 70mg/dl or 1.8 mmol/L despite maximally tolerated statins. %0% were on high intensity statins and the majority of the rest on moderate intensity. The aim was to show long term safety 1 year and efficacy at 24 weeks and at 1 year.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Heart Disease, Sleep Disorders / 07.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Manolis S Kallistratos MD, PhD, FESC,EHS Asklepeion General Hospital Greece  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Lifestyle changes represent the cornerstone of treatment of arterial hypertension. Alcohol and salt reduction may decrease blood pressure levels by 2 to 8 mmHg. In our study 60 minutes of midday sleep decrease 24 hours systolic blood pressure levels by up to 3 mmHg in well controlled hypertensives. That is an effect as potent as other well-established life style changes. The magnitude of blood pressure decrease might seem small, but a drop in blood pressure as small as 2 mmHg can reduce the risk of cardiovascular events by up to 10 percent.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Clots - Coagulation, Heart Disease, JAMA / 05.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Geoffrey Barnes, MD, MSc Assistant Professor Vascular and Cardiovascular Medicine University of Michigan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Both aspirin and warfarin are commonly used medications meant to prevent thrombotic complications, but might increase rates of bleeding complications. We used a multi-center anticoagulation collaborative to explore how often patients being treated with warfarin were also taking aspirin but without a clear indication. We found that more than one-third (37.5%) of warfarin-treated patients without a clear reason for aspirin therapy were receiving aspirin. And these patients on both warfarin and aspirin experienced higher rates of bleeding and emergency department visits for bleeding than the patients taking warfarin alone. There were no differences in the rate of thrombotic events between the patients taking warfarin alone or those taking warfarin plus aspirin.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Heart Disease, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 04.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Francis Alenghat, MD, PhD Assistant Professor of Medicine Section of Cardiology University of Chicago MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Psoriasis has been associated with higher rates of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), potentially due to higher-than-normal levels of systemic inflammation. Whether this association varies by race was unknown. Also, it was unclear whether patients with psoriasis have more frequent ASCVD because of higher rates of traditional cardiovascular risk factors (smoking, diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia) or because of components intrinsic to psoriasis itself. We found that, amongst a large population of patients with psoriasis, patients of both sexes and most ages had elevated ASCVD rates compared to those without psoriasis. Overall, African American patients with psoriasis had a 15% ASCVD prevalence, whereas it was 10% in white patients with psoriasis. Increased ASCVD associated with psoriasis occurred at earlier ages in African American patients compared to white patients. Traditional cardiovascular risk factors were common in patients with psoriasis and appeared to play a large role in the driving the higher rates of ASCVD in these patients, but even in patients with psoriasis but without any documented traditional risk factors, ASCVD rates were elevated compared to patients without psoriasis.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Heart Disease, JAMA, Stroke / 04.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sarah Parish, MSc, DPhil Professor of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology MRC Population Health Research Unit Nuffield Department of Population Health University of Oxford MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Acquiring reliable randomized evidence of the effects of cardiovascular interventions on cognitive decline is a priority. In this secondary analysis of 3 randomized intervention trials of cardiovascular event prevention, including 45 029 participants undergoing cognitive testing, we estimated the association of the avoidance of vascular events with differences in cognitive function in order to understand whether reports of non-significant results exclude worthwhile benefit.  (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Clots - Coagulation, Heart Disease / 27.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Vanessa Selak, MBChB, MPH, PhD, FAFPHM, FNZCPHM Senior Lecturer, Section of Epidemiology & Biostatistics School of Population Health Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences University of Auckland MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In order to determine the balance of benefits and harms of aspirin in primary prevention there’s a need to know an individual’s risk of CVD and their risk of a major bleed without aspirin. We have lots of equations that can be used to determine, among people considering aspirin for primary prevention, an individual’s risk of CVD, but few bleeding risk equations that can be used to determine their risk of a major bleed. We sought to develop a bleeding risk equation that can be used to determine the risk of a major bleed among people in whom aspirin is being considered for the primary prevention of CVD. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Heart Disease, Sleep Disorders / 16.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Cameron S. McAlpine, Ph.D. Banting Postdoctoral Fellow Center for Systems Biology Massachusetts General Hospital Harvard Medical School Boston, MA, 02114 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Cardiovascular disease is caused by the build up of white blood cells and fat in arteries. We have known for a long time that poor sleep is associated with an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. A number of human observational studies have found this correlation. However, the reasons for this correlation have been largely unknown. Our study, performed in mice, provides one possible explanation. We found that when we disturbed the sleep of mice they produced more inflammatory white blood cells. These cells caused larger lesions in their arteries and more advanced cardiovascular disease. We found that his phenomenon is controlled by a hormone produced in the brain that normally suppresses the production of white blood cells. When mice have their sleep disturbed this pathway breakdown causing the increased production of white blood cells. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Surgical Research / 15.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: JOÃO L. CAVALCANTE, MD, FASE, FACC, FSCCT, FSCMR Director, Cardiac MRI and Structural CT Labs Director, Cardiovascular Imaging Research Core Lab Minneapolis Heart Institute Abbott Northwestern Hospital Minneapolis, MN, 55407 MIHO FUKUI MD Division of Cardiovascular Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, Heart & Vascular Institute, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Minneapolis Heart Institute, Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Minneapolis, Minnesota MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Recent study by Généreux et al (1), using the Placement of Aortic Transcatheter Valves (PARTNER) 2A and 2B data, provided the first framework of a staging system for severe aortic stenosis (AS) that quantifies the extent of structural and functional cardiac change associated with AS and importantly its association with 1-year mortality in patients receiving either surgical or transcatheter AVR (TAVR):
  • Stage 0: No other cardiac damage;
  • Stage 1: LV damage as defined by presence of LV hypertrophy, severe LV diastolic, or LV systolic dysfunction;
  • Stage 2: Left atrium or mitral valve damage or dysfunction;
  • Stage 3: Pulmonary artery vasculature or tricuspid valve damage or dysfunction; and
  • Stage 4: right ventricular damage.
(more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JACC / 13.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Srikanth Yandrapalli, MD Chief Resident in Internal Medicine at New York Medical College at Westchester Medical Center Program  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Risk factors play an important role in the development of and progression of coronary heart disease, thus necessitating strategies to address the leading modifiable risk factors to reduce the burden of coronary heart disease. Data are lacking regarding therecent temporal trends in the prevalence of these risk factors during a first AMI in US young adults. In our study, we report that among young adults in the US with a first acute myocardial infarction, the prevalence rates of major modifiable risk factors were very high with over 90% of patients having at least 1 such risk factor. Significant sex and racial disparities were observed. Sex differences in the rates of certain  risk factors were clearly evident with males having higher rates of smoking, dyslipidemia, and drug abuse, whereas females had higher rates metabolic risk factors like diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and obesity. Sex differences in the rates of certain risk factors narrowed with increasing age and over time. Blacks had higher rates of hypertension, obesity, and drug abuse, Whites had higher rates of smoking, Hispanics had higher rates of diabetes mellitus and patients of Asian/Pacific Islander race had higher rates of dyslipidemia. Prevalence rates progressively increased between 2005 and 2015 except for dyslipidemia for which a decreasing trend was noted more recently. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness, Heart Disease, Karolinski Institute, Weight Research / 13.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Pontus Henriksson | PhD and Registered Dietitian Postdoctoral Researcher | SFO-V Fellow Department of Biosciences and Nutrition Karolinska Institutet  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: In many countries, disability pensions are granted to working-aged persons who are likely to never work full-time again because of a chronic disease or injury diagnosed by a physician. In addition to serving as an important indicator of chronic disease, disability pensions are associated with high societal costs. Hence, we examined whether cardiorespiratory fitness and obesity (two potentially modifiable factors) were associated with disability pension later in life. Our main findings were that low physical fitness and/or obesity during adolescence, were strongly associated with disability pension later in life due to a wide range of diseases and causes.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, OBGYNE / 07.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Dino A. Giussani PhD ScD FRCOG Professor of Developmental Cardiovascular Physiology & Medicine Department of Physiology Development & Neuroscience University of Cambridge Director of Studies in Medicine College Lectureship in Medicine '1958' Gonville & Caius College UK MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Heart disease kills 1 in 3 people worldwide.  When we hear about heart disease, the first thing we think of is a gene-environent interaction.  That is to say, how our genes interact with traditional lifestyle factors, such as smoking, obesity and/or a sedentary lifestyle to promote an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.  However,  it has also become established that the gene-environment interaction early in life may be just as, if not more, important in ‘programming’ future heart health and heart disease. That is to say, how the quality of the intrauterine environment in which we develop may also shape our future heart risk.  Evidence from human sibling-pair studies suggests that these relationships are causal, that they occur independently of genotype and that they are significantly influenced by the quality of the intrauterine environment during pregnancy.  For instance, bariatric surgery to decrease the weight of obese women reduced the risk of obesity, insulin resistance and raised blood pressure in children born after surgery compared to those born before. Therefore, these studies highlight a disproportionate risk of disease in offspring born from the same mother but under different in utero conditions, providing strong evidence in humans that the environment experienced during this critical period of development directly influences long-term cardiovascular health. One of the most common outcomes of complicated pregnancy in humans is chronic fetal hypoxia, as can occur during placental insufficiency or preeclampsia. The main findings of our study show that prenatal hypoxia can programme future heart disease in the offspring and that maternal treatment with the antioxidant vitamin C can be protective (see paper attached). (more…)
Author Interviews, Beth Israel Deaconess, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Frailty, Heart Disease, Surgical Research / 05.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dae Hyun Kim, MD, MPH, ScD Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research, Hebrew SeniorLife Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital Division of Gerontology, Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The number of older adults undergoing aortic valve replacement is increasing.  Since these patients are at high risk for complications and functional decline due to preexisting multimorbidity and frailty, the latest guideline (Otto et al. J Am Coll Cardiol 2017;69:1313–46) emphasizes shared decision-making based on patient-centered outcomes.  Despite this recommendation, we witness many decision-making processes are cardio-centric—mainly informed by expected benefit in terms of cardiac-specific measures.  Many patients are not adequately informed about what their daily life would be like after the procedure. In this single-center prospective cohort study, we examined functional status trajectories via assessments of global functional status at 1, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months in 246 patients who underwent transcatheter and surgical aortic valve replacement.  We identified 5 clinically meaningful functional trajectories, ranging from high baseline function-early complete recovery to low baseline function-large and persistent decline.  We were able to predict most likely trajectory as well as best possible and worse possible trajectories using the preoperative frailty index.  Delirium and postoperative complications were also strongly associated with undesirable functional trajectories.  (more…)
Author Interviews, General Medicine, Heart Disease, Science, Weight Research / 04.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Vitor Engrácia Valenti, PhD Professor São Paulo State University Marília MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Autonomic modulation and cardiorespiratory variables are influenced by numerous factors. Abdominal fat tissue is a relevant variables related to metabolic and cardiovascular disorders, including diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia and hypertension, which are associated to increased risk of morbidity and mortality. We evaluated cardiorespiratory variables and autonomic nervous system before and during recovery from exercise in healthy physically active men divided according to with waist-stature ratio (WSR): G1 – between 0.40 and 0.449 (N = 19), and G2 – between 0.45 and 0.49. This metholodigcal procedure is able to provide important information regarding the risk for developing cardiovascular disease in the future. Our main findings indicated that healthy physically active men with waist-stature ratio values close to the risk limit (between 0.449 and 0.5) presented slower return of autonomic and cardiorespiratory variables to baseline values after moderate exercise. It suggests that this group present an elevated probability of developing cardiovascular disease in the future compared to the groups with lower values of waist-stature ratio. (more…)
Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness, Heart Disease, JAMA / 30.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Laura DeFina, MD President and Chief Executive Officer Chief Science Officer The Cooper Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Several studies suggest that endurance athletes may be at higher risk for asymptomatic hardening of the coronary arteries.  These studies, however, have been done on small numbers of endurance athletes (ie – marathon runners) and do not show whether this increase in hardening actually leads to increase in heart attacks or death of cardiovascular disease. In our population of 21,758 generally healthy individuals (average age 52 years) who presented for a preventive medicine examination, we were able to evaluate for the presence of hardening and cardiovascular events in individuals who exercised high volumes (≥3000 MET·minutes/week or comparable to running 6 miles/hour for an hour 5 days a week) versus those exercising less. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Thyroid Disease, Vanderbilt / 27.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joe-Elie Salem, MD, PhD Associate Professor - MCU-PH, Sorbonne Université - INSERM - CIC, Clinical Pharmacology, Cardio-oncology, APHP, La Pitié-Salpêtrière, Paris, France Adjunct Associate Professor, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Cardio-oncology Clinical Pharmacology, Nashville, TN MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: A study by researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center has strengthened the link between thyroid function and atrial fibrillation (AF), an irregular heart rhythm that increases the risk of stroke and other heart-related complications. They phenome-wide association study scanned the medical records of more than 37,000 people for an association between genetically determined variation in thyroid stimulating hormone levels (a measure of thyroid function) and AF risk. Previous observational studies have found that subclinical hyperthyroidism, an overactive thyroid which does not meet the clinical threshold for diagnosis or treatment, nevertheless can increase the risk of atrial fibrillation.  But whether to treat subclinical hypo- or hyperthyroidism to reduce AF risk remains a matter of debate in the medical community.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Heart Disease, Inflammation, JAMA, Stanford / 17.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Thomas S. G. Sehested MD Department of Cardiology Copenhagen University Hospital Gentofte   Jenny Bjerre, MD Department of Cardiology Copenhagen University Department of Health Research and Policy Stanford University School of Medicine Stanford, California   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: n 2017, the results from the much-awaited Canakinumab Anti-inflammatory Thrombosis Outcome Study (CANTOS) trial were published, confirming the inflammatory hypothesis, i.e. that targeting inflammation can reduce cardiovascular disease. The trial tested the monoclonal antibody canakinumab in a population of post-myocardial infarction patients with elevated inflammation markers (hs-CRP). Canakinumab is currently used for rare diseases and carries an orphan drug price: the 150mg dose used in CANTOS costs approximately $73,000 per year. Due to the high prevalence of cardiovascular disease, millions of patients could potentially be eligible for treatment with this high-priced anti-inflammatory drug. Therefore, we wanted to investigate the cost-effectiveness for canakinumab for secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease, using the reported results from CANTOS. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Heart Disease / 16.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: JAY H. Traverse, MD, FACC, FAHA Director of Research Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation Associate Professor of Medicine Cardiovascular Division University of Minnesota School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Reperfusion injury may contribute a significant amount to final infarct size in setting of ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). Several studies from Europe and Asia have suggested that modifying reperfusion with an angioplasty balloon of an occluded artery called postconditioning can reduce infarct size. However, not all studies show a benefit. We hypothesized that patient selection of STEMI patients could contribute to these inconsistent findings so we performed the first postconditioning study in the US sponsored by the NIH using the strictest enrollment criteria of any study to minimize factors that influence infarct size (ischemic time, collaterals, pre-infarction angina, TIMI 0 flow) designed to maximize the benefit of postconditioning to see if it can actually reduce infarct size. (more…)