NOACs For Atrial Fib Anticoagulation May Have Lower Risk of Kidney Side Effects

Atrial Fibrillation - Wikipedia image

Normal rhythm tracing (top) Atrial fibrillation (bottom) Wikipedia

Interview with:
Dr Xiaoxi Yao PhD
Assistant Professor
Researcher
Mayo Clinic

What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Lifelong oral anticoagulation, either with warfarin or a non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulant (NOAC), is indicated for stroke prevention in most patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). Emerging evidence suggests that NOACs may be associated with better renal outcomes than warfarin.

The study found renal function decline is common among patients with atrial fibrillation treated with oral anticoagulants. NOACs, particularly dabigatran and rivaroxaban, may be associated with lower risks of adverse renal outcomes than warfarin.

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People Who Regularly Eat Nuts Have Lower Risk of Heart Disease

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Nuts” by fdecomite is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Marta Guasch-Ferre, PhD
Research Fellow
Department of Nutrition. Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health
655 Huntington Ave, Building 2
Boston, Ma, 02115 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Although previous evidence has shown that frequent nut consumption is associated with reduced cardiovascular risk factors including dyslipidaemia, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome; as well as with lower risk of coronary heart disease (CHD); most of the previous prospective studies have focused on total nut consumption in relation to the risk of CVD. However, the associations between peanut butter and specific types of nuts, such as peanuts and walnuts, with major cardiovascular events, and specifically the relation with stroke were unclear. Of note, because the nutritional composition of peanuts and walnuts differs from other nuts, it was of particular interest to evaluate the health effects of specific types of nuts. Therefore, our main aim was to look at several types of nuts including total nut consumption, peanuts, walnuts, and tree nuts.

Briefly, in three large prospective cohorts with up to 32 years of follow-up, people who regularly eat nuts, including peanuts, walnuts and tree nuts, have a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease or coronary heart disease compared to people who never or almost never eat nuts. We found a consistent inverse association between total nut consumption and total cardiovascular disease (14% lower risk for those consuming nuts five or more times per week) and coronary heart disease (20% lower risk).

Also, after looking at individual nut consumption, eating walnuts one or more times per week was associated with a 19 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease and 21 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease. Participants who ate peanuts or tree nuts two or more times per week had a 15 percent and 23 percent, respectively, lower risk of coronary heart disease compared to those who never consumed nuts.

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Current Statin Guidelines May Miss Young Adults At Risk of Heart Attack

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Avinainder Singh, M.B.B.S. Research Fellow Cardiovascular Medicine Brigham & Women's Hospital Harvard Medical School Boston, MA

Dr. Singh

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.

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Regardless of Ejection Fraction, Hospitalization for Heart Failure Linked To Increased Risk of Death

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Kevin S. Shah, M.D. Cardiology Fellow, University of California, Los Angeles Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center

Dr. Shah

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.
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DASH Diet and Sodium Reduction Can Have Big Impact in Improving Blood Pressure

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Stephen P. Juraschek, MD, PhD Instructor of Medicine Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School

Dr. Juraschek

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.

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Any Detectable High-Sensitivity Cardiac Troponin T Level Associated With Adverse Outcomes

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.

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Cardiovascular Disease Not a Top Concern For Women or Their Physicians

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

C. Noel Bairey Merz, MD, FACC  Director, Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center Director, Linda Joy Pollin Women's Heart Health Program Director, Erika Glazer Family Foundation Women's Heart Disease Initiative Director, Preventive Cardiac Center  Professor of Medicine  Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Dr. Merz

C. Noel Bairey Merz, MD, FACC 
Director, Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center
Director, Linda Joy Pollin Women’s Heart Health Program
Director, Erika Glazer Family Foundation Women’s Heart Disease Initiative
Director, Preventive Cardiac Center
Professor of Medicine
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the number 1 killer of women in the U.S.A., yet few younger women personalize awareness. CVD campaigns focus little attention on physicians and their role assessing risk.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: Overall, 45% of women were unaware that CVD is the #1 killer of women, only 11% knew a woman who has died from it.  Overall, 45% of women reported it is common to cancel or postpone a physician appointment until losing weight. Cardiovascular disease was a top concern for only 39% of PCPs, after weight and breast health. A minority of physicians (22% of PCPs and 42% of cardiologists) felt well prepared to assess women’s CVD risk, and infrequently use guidelines.

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Anticoagulation With Bivalirudin vs Heparin for STEMI treated with PCI: Pros and Cons of Each

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Ion S. Jovin, MD, ScD Associate Professor of Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University Pauley Heart Center Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories and Site Director of the VCU Interventional Cardiology Fellowship Program at  McGuire V.A. Medical Center Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery/Cardiothoracic Surgery Yale University, New Haven, CT

Dr. Jovin


Dr. Ion S. Jovin, MD, ScD

Associate Professor of Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University Pauley Heart Center
Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories and
Site Director of the VCU Interventional Cardiology Fellowship Program at
McGuire V.A. Medical Center
Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery/Cardiothoracic Surgery
Yale University, New Haven, CT

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: There is still uncertainty regarding the best anticoagulant for patients with acute ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) who undergo primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and especially PCI done via radial (as opposed to femoral) access. Our study compared outcomes of patients with STEMI treated with PCI done via radial access in the NCDR database who received one of the two main anticoagulants: bivalirudin and heparin. There is a large degree of variation in the use of the two anticoagulants in PCI and in primary PCI both within the United States but also in the world.

We did not find a statistically significant difference between the outcomes of the two groups of patients, but we also found that a significant number of patients in both the heparin and in the bivalirudin group were also treated with additional medicines that inhibit platelet activation (glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors).

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60 Foot Walk Test Correlates With Heart Failure Symptoms

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Kristie Harris, M.S. Doctoral Candidate, Department of Psychology Psychology Trainee, OSUWMC Department of Psychiatry Columbus, OH 43210

Ms. Harris

Kristie Harris, M.S.
Doctoral Candidate, Department of Psychology
Psychology Trainee, OSUWMC Department of Psychiatry
Columbus, OH 43210

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: In patients with chronic diseases such as heart failure, treatment strategies and medical management often rely on clinician’s assessment of symptoms and impairments in functional status. The six-minute walk test (6MWT) is a validated and commonly-used measure for assessing functional status in this patient population and has the advantage of being self-paced and easily administered.

However, its clinical utility may be limited because it is time consuming, not suitable for patients with comorbidities that interfere with walking, and requires a long continuous hallway course. In this this study we report the development of an alternative measure of objective functional status, the sixty-foot walk test (60ftWT). For this task, patients are simply asked to walk four laps of 15 feet and the total time taken to walk the 60ft is recorded in seconds.

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Carotid Artery Stenting vs Endarterectomy: Similar Efficacies, Different Safety Profiles

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Jay S. Giri, MD, MPH
Director, Peripheral Intervention
Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine
Penn Medicine

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: We analyzed data from 6,526 patients in the 5 most recent randomized trials comparing carotid artery stenting to carotid endarterectomy.  These procedures are performed to prevent long-term stroke in patients with severe narrowings of their carotid arteries.  We learned that the procedures are equally effective in preventing stroke over the long-term.  However, the procedures have quite different safety profiles, defined as adverse events that the patients experienced within 30 days of their procedure.

Carotid artery stenting was associated with a higher risk of stroke in the initial 30 days after the procedure.  Carotid endarterectomy was associated with greater risks of myocardial infarction (heart attack) and cranial nerve palsy, a variable condition that most often results in difficulty with swallowing or speaking, over this timeframe.

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Heart Rate Variability on Holter Monitor Linked To CHF

MedicalResearch.com Interview with
Phyllis K. Stein, PhD
Division of Hospital Medicine
Washington University School of Medicine
St. Louis, Missouri

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: This study was based on results from the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS) which was designed to be a prospective study of risk factors for cardiovascular disease and stroke in community-dwelling older adults. Of this cohort, about ¼ volunteered to have Holter recordings. They form the basis of our study. All participants were carefully followed and all outcomes fully adjudicated.

Thus, we were able to add the Holter findings to the existing Health ABC study and determine whether they added to a validated risk score.

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Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Can Exclude Clinically Relevant Coronary Artery Disease

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Pr. Juerg Schwitter MD Médecin Chef Cardiologie Directeur du Centre de la RM Cardiaque du CHUV Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois - CHUV Suisse

Pr. Schwitter

Pr. Juerg Schwitter MD
Médecin Chef Cardiologie
Directeur du Centre de la RM Cardiaque du CHUV
Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois – CHUV
Suisse 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Coronary artery disease (CAD) is still one of the leading causes of death in the industrialized world and as such, it is also an important cost driver in the health care systems of most countries. For the European Union, the estimated costs for CAD management were 60 billion Euros in 2009, of which approximately 20 billion Euros were attributed to direct health care costs (1). In 2015, the total costs of CAD management in the United States were estimated to be 47 billion dollars (2).

Substantial progress has been achieved regarding the treatment of CAD including drug treatment but also revascularizations procedures. There exists a large body of evidence demonstrating myocardial ischemia as one of the most important factors determining the patient’s prognosis and reduction of ischemia has been shown to improve outcome.

On the other hand, techniques to detect CAD, i.e. relevant myocardial ischemia, were insufficient in the past. Evaluation of myocardial perfusion by first-pass perfusion cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) is now closing this gap (3) and CMR is recommended by most international guidelines for the work-up of known or suspected CAD (4,5).

Still, a major issue was not clarified until now, i.e. “how much ischemia is required to trigger revascularization procedures”. Thus, this large study was undertaken to assess at which level of ischemia burden, patients can be safely deferred from revascularization and can be managed by risk factor treatment only. Of note, this crucial question was addressed in both, patients with suspected CAD but also in patients with known (and sometimes already advanced) CAD, thereby answering this question in the setting of daily clinical practice.

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Adaptive Servo-Ventilation Therapy Has Variable Effects in Heart Failure Patients

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Christopher M. O’Connor, MD FACC  CEO and Executive Director,  Inova Heart & Vascular Institute IHVI Administration Falls Church, Virginia 22042

Dr. Christopher O’Connor

Christopher M. O’Connor, MD FACC 
CEO and Executive Director,
Inova Heart & Vascular Institute
IHVI Administration
Falls Church, Virginia 22042

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Sleep apnea is a very common comorbidity of patients with heart failure (both reduced ejection fraction and preserved ejection fraction). Early evidence from observational and small studies suggested that treating sleep apnea with adaptive servo-ventilation (ASV) therapy may improve patient outcomes. There is minimal clinical evidence about identifying and treating sleep apnea in those who’ve been hospitalized with acute decompensated heart failure. The CAT-HF study was designed to help address this, with the primary endpoint being cardiovascular outcomes measured as a Global Rank Score that included survival free from cardiovascular hospitalization and change in functional capacity as measured by the six-minute walk distance. It was also planned to expand on the SERVE-HF study that was investigating the use of ASV therapy to treat central sleep apnea (CSA) in chronic stable heart failure patients with reduced ejection fraction patients (HFrEF).

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Association Between Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Aortic Stenosis

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Andrew T. Yan, MD
Terrence Donnelly Heart Centre
St Michael’s Hospital
University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The pathogenesis of aortic stenosis is complex and incompletely understood. Previous experimental data and epidemiologic studies (mostly cross-sectional) have demonstrated an association between conventional cardiovascular risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, and dyslipidemia, and aortic sclerosis or stenosis. However, there is a paucity of longitudinal data from large population studies. Therefore, we sought to examine the relationship between conventional cardiovascular risk factors and incident severe aortic stenosis during extended follow-up in a large unselected elderly population in Ontario, Canada.

In over 1 million individuals older than 65 who were followed for a median of 13 years, hypertension, diabetes and dyslipidemia were all significantly and independently associated with development of severe aortic stenosis requiring hospitalization or intervention. Furthermore, we observed a positive dose-response relationship between the number and duration of cardiac risk factors, and the risk of aortic stenosis. Together, these risk factors accounted for approximately one third of the incidence of severe aortic stenosis at a population level.

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Valvular Heart Disease: Edoxaban vs Warfarin in the ENGAGE AF-TIMI 48 Trial

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Raffaele De Caterina MD, PhD

Professor of Cardiology and Director of the University Cardiology Division
‘G d’Annunzio’ University in Chieti

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The widely used term “valvular atrial fibrillation” encompasses a variety of conditions in which atrial fibrillation and valvular heart disease coexist. Since most trials of the non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOACs) have variably excluded “valvular atrial fibrillation”, in more or less restrictive terms, there has been uncertainty whether NOACs can be used in such varied conditions. While atrial fibrillation in the presence of a mechanical valve or rheumatic mitral stenosis has to be a true contraindication (unfavorable data with one NOAC in the former setting; no data in the latter setting), patients with valvular diseases such as mitral insufficiency, aortic stenosis, aortic insufficiency, or with the presence of a bioprosthesis, have been variably included in the phase III trials of NOACs, but had not been extensively and conclusively studied before.

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Using Post-Resuscitation ECG To Predict Need For Brain CT

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Won Young Kim, MD Department of Emergency Medicine Ulsan University College of Medicine Asan Medical Center Seoul, Korea

Dr. Won Young Kim

Won Young Kim, MD
Department of Emergency Medicine
Ulsan University College of Medicine
Asan Medical Center
Seoul, Korea

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The current advanced cardiac life support guidelines recommended emergent percutaneous intervention for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) survivors with ST-segment elevation and suspected cardiac origin without ST-segment elevation. However, spontaneous subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is a well-known cause of cardiac arrest, and its electrocardiogram may mimic myocardial infarction or ischemia. The need and timing for brain computed tomography in non-traumatic OHCA remain controversial.

The present study aimed at determining the role of the post-resuscitation ECG in patients with significant ST-segment changes on initial ECG to investigate the difference in post-resuscitation ECG characteristics between OHCA patients with SAH and those with suspected cardiac origin of OHCA.

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Metabolic Syndrome Severity Confers Greater Cardiovascular Risk

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Mark D. DeBoer, MD Associate Professor of Pediatrics Division of Pediatric Endocrinology University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA 22908

Dr. DeBoer

Mark D. DeBoer, MD
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Division of Pediatric Endocrinology
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22908

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Worldwide there remains a need for accurate prediction of cardiovascular disease. One such predictor is the metabolic syndrome, a cluster of individual risk factors including central obesity, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol, and high fasting glucose. Metabolic Syndrome is usually diagnosed using set criteria, where a person is diagnosed if he or she has abnormalities in at least 3 of the individual components. Using these criteria, someone with MetS (compared to without MetS) has a >50% greater chance of developing cardiovascular disease over the ensuing 10 years. The problem is that prior studies showed that having MetS did not increase risk above that seen for having the abnormalities in the individual risk factors themselves.

Our study used a continuous MetS severity score that we derived previously and assessed this score as a predictor of future cardiovascular disease in two large cohorts. We found that even when analyzed with abnormalities in the individual Metabolic Syndrome components, higher levels of the MetS severity score conferred higher risk for cardiovascular disease. This suggests the potential for following this score in individuals over time to identify those at higher risk for future cardiovascular disease.

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Health Lifestyle Could Cut Cardiovascular Disease 50% in Chinese

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Lu Qi, MD, PhD, FAHA HCA Regents Distinguished Chair and Professor Director, Tulane University Obesity Research Center Department of Epidemiology Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine New Orleans, LA 70112

Dr. Lu Qi

Lu Qi, MD, PhD, FAHA
HCA Regents Distinguished Chair and Professor
Director, Tulane University Obesity Research Center
Department of Epidemiology
Tulane University
School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
New Orleans, LA 70112 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Adherence to healthy lifestyle (high physical activity, less smoking, moderate alcohol consumption, healthy diet, and low adiposity) has been related to substantially reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases in large cohorts from the US and Europe, however, similar evidence in Asians such as Chinese is lacking.

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New Recording System Enables Identification of Complex Cardiac Arrhythmias

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Jay Millerhagen

Jay Millerhagen

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC): Clinical Electrophysiology (JACC CEP) publication entitled, “Novel Electrophysiology Recording System Enables Specific Visualization of the Purkinje Network and Other High-Frequency Signals” reports important findings obtained using BioSig Technologies’ PURE EP System during a series of pre-clinical studies conducted at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. These studies are part of a company-funded Advanced Research Program announced on March 28, 2016. The JACC CEP manuscript provides an excellent example of the PURE EP System’s ability to record challenging high frequency signals known as Purkinje potentials. These signals are of great interest to electrophysiologists when assessing arrhythmia syndromes dependent on the Purkinje network.

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Roles of Angiotensin Peptides and Recombinant Human ACE2 in Heart Failure

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Gavin Y Oudit, MD, PhD, FRCPC Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Alberta Clinician-Scientist, Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute Canada Research Chair in Heart Failure Division of Cardiology, 2C2 Walter Mackenzie Health Sciences Centre Edmonton, Alberta

Dr. Gavin Oudit

Gavin Y Oudit, MD, PhD, FRCPC
Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Alberta
Clinician-Scientist
Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute
Canada Research Chair in Heart Failure
Division of Cardiology
Edmonton, Alberta

Heart specialist Gavin Oudit and his research team discovered a molecule — angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2)—that works to restore balance to the pathways responsible for chronic and acute heart failure, including in hearts from patients with advanced heart failure who underwent heart transplants.

In developing the new drug, Oudit and his team discovered to an extent not seen before how the renin-angiotensin system (RAS), which regulates the body’s sodium balance, fluid volume, and blood pressure, is at play in both acute and chronic heart failure. In collaboration with Dr. Oudit, recombinant human ACE2 was made by Apeiron Biologics, purchased by GlaxoSmithKline, and has recently completed phase II clinical trial.

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The Phenotypic Spectrum of a Mutation Hotspot Responsible for the Short QT Syndrome

Dan Hu (Helen), MD. PhD. FAHA. FACC. FHRS. Research Scientist II, Associate Professor Clinical Consultant of Molecular Genetic Department SCRO Chair of Stem Cell Center Masonic Medical Research Laboratory Utica, NY 13501

Dr. Dan Hu


MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dan Hu (Helen), MD. PhD. FAHA. FACC. FHRS.

Research Scientist II, Associate Professor
Clinical Consultant of Molecular Genetic Department
SCRO Chair of Stem Cell Center
Masonic Medical Research Laboratory
Utica, NY 13501

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Short QT Syndrome (SQTS) is a rare genetic disease characterized by an abnormally short QT interval in subjects with structurally normal hearts. It is a recognized cause of cardiac rhythm disorders, including both atrial and ventricular arrhythmias, and sudden cardiac death (SCD). As an inherited channelopathy, the molecular basis for SQTS has been associated with mutations in 6 genes: KCNH2 (IKr, SQTS1), KCNQ1 (IKs, SQTS2), and KCNJ2 (IK1, SQTS3), which encode different potassium channels; CACNA1C, CACNB2b and CACNA2D1 (SQTS4-6), which encode the L-type calcium channel (ICa). This study sought to evaluate the phenotypic and functional expression of an apparent hotspot mutation associated with SQTS.

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SYNTAX Score Predicts Better Results With Bypass Surgery For Type II Diabetes

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Fumiaki Ikeno M.D. Program Director (U.S.) Japan Biodesign Stanford Biodesign Medical Director/Research Associate Experimental Interventional Laboratory Division of Cardiology Stanford University

Dr. Fumiaki Ikeno

Fumiaki Ikeno M.D.
Program Director (U.S.) Japan Biodesign
Stanford Biodesign
Medical Director/Research Associate
Experimental Interventional Laboratory
Division of Cardiology
Stanford University

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: We sought to determine whether the extent of coronary disease in terms of the number of lesions and their complexity in Type 2 Diabetes patients could predict major cardiovascular events, and hypothesized that revascularization would have greater effectiveness relative to medical therapy among patients with more number of lesions and higher complexity in coronary artery disease.

Coronary bypass surgery, catheter-based treatment, and medical therapy all had similar cardiovascular outcomes among patients with less complexity of coronary artery disease who had type 2 diabetes mellitus, stable ischemic heart disease, and no prior coronary revascularization. Among patients with mid or high complexity coronary artery disease, coronary revascularization with bypass surgery significantly reduced the rate of major cardiovascular events during 5 years of follow-up.

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Cangrelor With and Without Glycoprotein IIb/IIIa Inhibitors in Patients Undergoing PCI

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Deepak L. Bhatt, MD, MPH, FACC, FAHA, FSCAI, FESC Executive Director of Interventional Cardiovascular Programs, Brigham and Women’s Hospital Heart & Vascular Center Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School Boston, MA 02115

Dr. Deepak L. Bhatt

Deepak L. Bhatt, MD, MPH, FACC, FAHA, FSCAI, FESC
Executive Director of Interventional Cardiovascular Programs,
Brigham and Women’s Hospital Heart & Vascular Center
Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Boston, MA 02115

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Cangrelor is a potent, fast on, fast off, intravenous ADP receptor antagonist that is now available for use during PCI. Glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors are intravenous antiplatelet agents that work by a different mechanism. Doctors have asked whether there is any advantage to combining them or whether one class is preferable to the other during PCI.

We analyzed close to 25,000 patients from the CHAMPION trials. Cangrelor’s efficacy in reducing peri-procedural ischemic complications in patients undergoing PCI was present
irrespective of glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitor administration. However, glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitor use resulted in substantially higher bleeding rates, regardless of whether the patient was randomized to cangrelor or to clopidogrel.

Thus, in general, cangrelor and glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors should not routinely be combined. If an operator wishes to use a potent intravenous antiplatelet during PCI, cangrelor is similarly efficacious as glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors, but with less bleeding risk.

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Biomarker sST2 Predicts All-Cause and Cardiac Death in Heart Failure Patients

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Prof. Michele Emdin, MD, PhD, FESC Associate Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine Institute of Life Sciences Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna - Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies Director, Cardiology & Cardiovascular Medicine Division Fondazione Toscana Gabriele Monasterio per la Ricerca Medica e di Sanità Pubblica

Prof. Michele Emdin

Prof. Michele Emdin, MD, PhD, FESC
Associate Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine
Director, Cardiology & Cardiovascular Medicine Division
Fondazione Toscana Gabriele Monasterio
per la Ricerca Medica e di Sanità Pubblica
CNR-Regione Toscana with the collaboration of
Dr. Alberto Aimo, MD
Institute of Life Sciences
Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna – Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies
Pisa, Italy

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for these meta-analyses?

Response: Soluble suppression of tumorigenicity 2 (sST2) is a novel and promising biomarker of heart failure (HF). It has been extensively studied in both stable chronic (CHF) and acute HF (AHF), demonstrating substantial potential as a predictor of prognosis in both settings (Dieplinger et al., 2015).

An International Consensus Panel (Januzzi et al., 2015) and latest American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association (ACCF/AHA) guidelines (Yancy et al., 2013) support the use of sST2 assay for risk stratification in both CHF and AHF patients. By contrast, European Society of Cardiology guidelines do not provide specific recommendations on sST2 (Ponikowski et al., 2016). Because of ambiguity due to discordant conclusions and to the absence of a thorough revision of the literature and of rigorous meta-analyses of published studies up-to-date, we felt it worthwhile to carefully examine and meta-analyze evidence supporting measurement of sST2, in order to assess the prognostic role of this biomarker in CHF and AHF. Most of the groups originally publishing on the topic all over the world and representing the Gotha of clinical research on cardiovascular biomarker, accepted to directly contribute allowing the main Authors to achieve novel information by a guided statistical reappraisal, The final results furnish clinically significant support to the use of sST2 as a risk stratification tool either in the acute or in the chronic heart failure setting.

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More Than Moderate Alcohol Not Good For The Heart

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Gregory M Marcus, MD, MAS, FACC, FAHA, FHRS Director of Clinical Research Division of Cardiology Endowed Professor of Atrial Fibrillation Research University of California, San Francisco

Dr. Gregory M Marcus

Gregory M Marcus, MD, MAS, FACC, FAHA, FHRS
Director of Clinical Research
Division of Cardiology
Endowed Professor of Atrial Fibrillation Research
University of California, San Francisco

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Moderate alcohol consumption has previously been associated with a decreased risk of heart attack. However, as we have previously shown that individuals who believe alcohol to be good for the heart tend to drink more, there is a concern that these previous data might appear to justify excessive alcohol consumption.

In addition, previous research on the topic of alcohol consumption and heart disease has relied almost entirely on participant self-report, which is known to be particularly unreliable among heavy drinkers. Finally, previous research has sought to study relationships between alcohol and various types of heart disease, but there has not been an emphasis on individual-level characteristics that might influence these relationships.
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Patients Who Understand Their Medical Condition Less Likely To Opt For Aggressive Care

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Joseph A. Ladapo, MD, PhD David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA Department of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research Los Angeles, California

Dr. Joseph A. Ladapo

Joseph A. Ladapo, MD, PhD
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Department of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research
Los Angeles, California

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Four million stable patients in the US undergo testing for suspected ischemic heart disease (IHD) annually. There is substantial variation in how these patients are managed by physicians, and both clinical and economic factors have been used to explain this variation. However, it is unknown whether patients’ beliefs and preferences influence management decisions, and we aimed to answer this question. Based on interviews of 351 stable patients at Geisinger Health System newly referred for cardiac stress testing/coronary computed tomographic angiography (CTA) for suspected IHD, we found that patients with an accurate understanding of their initial test result were less likely to undergo follow-up tests/procedures if the initial test was negative and more likely to undergo follow-up tests/procedures if the initial test was positive.

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Annual Report of Transcatheter Valve Therapy Registry

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Frederick L. Grover, M. D. Professor, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery Past Chair, Department of Surgery  University of Colorado School of Medicine-Anschutz Medical Campus Aurora, CO Past President, Society of Thoracic Surgeons Vice Chair, Society of Thoracic Surgeons/American College of Cardiology Transcatheter Valve Therapy Registry

Dr. Frederick Grover

Frederick L. Grover, M. D.
Professor, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery
Past Chair, Department of Surgery
University of Colorado School of Medicine-Anschutz Medical Campus
Aurora, CO
Past President, Society of Thoracic Surgeons
Vice Chair, Society of Thoracic Surgeons/American College of Cardiology Transcatheter Valve Therapy Registry

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Following approval of the first transcatheter aortic heart valve late in 2011 the TVT-R was established and data entry was mandated by CMS for all patients who were undergoing transcatheter valve therapy.  Data is currently collected on transcatheter aortic valves (TAVR) from two companies, transcatheter mitral clip procedures (TMC), transcatheter mitral valve in valve or valve in ring procedures and aortic valve in valve procedures.  A report is published annually jointly in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) and the Annals of Thoracic Surgery (ATS).  This report contains data from the beginning of 2012 through December 31, 2015.  Peoperative risk factors, operative details and outcomes data are collected prior to procedures, during the hospitalization, 30 days post procedure and at one year and later data can be collected by linking to CMS administrative data.

For this annual report we concentrated on touching on some of the highlights since the length of the manuscript is limited. We discussed the trends in TAVR, since this is the most common procedure performed, the last two years’ experience in mitral clips since a very detailed paper was published on this last year, and the mitral valve in valve and ring since the results for this procedure were impressively good.

In regard to TAVR, 418 sites perform this procedure and the number of cases in 2015 increased from 16,295 in 2014 to 24,808.  Very importantly, mortality and complications have been decreasing each year, probably related to improvements in the technology with smaller catheter and sheath sizes leading to less vascular complications, greater experience of those doing the procedures, a less sick group of patients going initially from those too ill to do an open operation on, to very high risk to high risk according to approval criteria.    The age of the patients however is most often in the 80s.

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Who Benefits from an Implantable Defibrillator?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Wayne C. Levy, MD Division of Cardiology University of Washington Seattle, Washington

Dr. Wayne Levy

Wayne C. Levy, MD
Division of Cardiology
University of Washington
Seattle, Washington

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: There is uncertainty how effective ICDs are outside of clinical trials in real world patients who are often older with more comorbidities. The recent DANISH ICD only reiterates provider and patient concerns regarding the effectiveness of an ICD, that may be life saving, but does not improve heart failure symptoms or reduce hospitalizations. Many patients die without ever having an ICD shock, so the ICD was not necessary for the patient.

We postulated that the effectiveness of an ICD is not driven by the absolute risk of sudden death (event rate/year) but rather the proportion of all deaths that are due to sudden death vs non sudden death. If a patient has a 3% annual risk of sudden death and this is decreased to 1% with an ICD (a 67% reduction in sudden death), the patient benefit will be much greater if the non sudden death rate is 1%/year than if it is 12%/year. In the first scenario the absolute mortality is decreased from 4% to 2% (a 50% reduction) whereas in the second patient, the mortality would be decreased from 15% to 13% (a 13% benefit).

We developed the Seattle Proportional Risk Model (SPRM) using 10 clinical variables that had a differential impact on the mode of death, sudden vs. non sudden, in ~10,000 patients with ~2,500 deaths. Sudden death was more common in younger patients, male, without diabetes mellitus, NYHA 1 or 2 vs. 3 or 4, lower EF, SBP closer to 140, normal sodium and creatinine, higher BMI, and digoxin use.

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Requiring Pacemaker Within 30 Days of TAVR Linked To Worse Prognosis

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Opeyemi O. Fadahunsi, MBBS, MPH
Department of Medicine
Reading Health System
West Reading, Pennsylvania

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is a minimally invasive approach to managing symptomatic severe aortic stenosis in patients who have a high surgical risk or are deemed to be inoperable. One of the most frequent complications is development of conduction abnormalities requiring permanent pacemaker placement. We compared clinical outcomes in patients requiring permanent pacemaker placement post-TAVR to those not requiring a pacemaker using a large US database called the STS/ACC TVT RegistryTM . We used real-world data of patients undergoing TAVR in the US at 229 sites between November 2011 and September 2014.

The frequency of pacemaker placement within 30 days post-TAVR was 6.7% (651 of 9,785 patients). Those who needed a pacemaker within 30 days post-TAVR had longer hospital and intensive care unit stays compared to those who did not. Furthermore, those who needed a pacemaker had a higher risk of death from any cause at one year compared to those who did not get a pacemaker.

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Increased Aortic Stiffness May Explain Elevated Hypertension Risk in African Americans

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Wanpen Vongpatanasin, M.D. Professor of Medicine Norman & Audrey Kaplan Chair in Hypertension Fredric L. Coe Professorship in Nephrolithiasis and Mineral Metabolism Research Director, Hypertension Section, Cardiology Division, UT Southwestern Medical Center Dallas, TX 75390-8586

Dr. Wanpen Vongpatanasin

Wanpen Vongpatanasin, M.D.
Professor of Medicine
Norman & Audrey Kaplan Chair in Hypertension
Fredric L. Coe Professorship in Nephrolithiasis and Mineral Metabolism Research
Director, Hypertension Section,
Cardiology Division,
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Dallas, TX 75390-8586

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Aortic stiffness is known to be associated with cardiovascular disease, including heart attack, stroke, and heart failure, possibly related to increase afterload to the left ventricle. Previous studies have not directly assessed proximal aortic function among ethnic minorities in the United States. We evaluated the multiethnic, population-based Dallas Heart Study participants (N=2544, 54.2% women, 49.7% Black) who underwent cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) at 1.5 Tesla. Aortic stiffness and characteristic impedance (Zc) were determined from aortic arch PWV and lumen area measurements. Linear regression was used to evaluate ethnic differences in proximal aortic wall stiffness using aortic arch PWV and Zc as dependent variables with and without adjustment for traditional cardiovascular risk factors.

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ECG and Echocardiography for Identification of Arrhythmic Events in Early ARVC

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Kristina H. Haugaa, MD, PhD, FESC
Ida Skrinde Leren MD, PhD
Department of Cardiology and
Center for Cardiological Innovation,
Oslo University Hospital, Rikshospitalet
Oslo, Norway

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) is an inheritable cardiomyopathy, predisposing to life-threatening arrhythmias. Ventricular arrhythmias are frequent in ARVC patients and importantly, arrhythmias may occur also before evident structural changes are seen, making risk stratification challenging. Additional tools are needed to detect early disease and to optimize medication and timing of implantation of a cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). We aimed to explore early markers of ARVC disease and their association with previous ventricular arrhythmias.

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Study Supports Feasibility of TAVI for High-Risk Aortic Regurgitation

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Anna Franzone, MD and
Prof.Thomas Pilgrim, MD
Department of Cardiology
Bern University Hospital
INSELSPITAL
Bern, Switzerland

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Surgical aortic valve replacement is the therapeutic standard for patients with pure native aortic regurgitation (AR). However, transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) is emerging as a novel treatment option for patients deemed inoperable or at high-risk for surgery because of advanced age and multiple comorbidities. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis including 237 patients with pure native AR undergoing TAVI across 13 studies. The primary study endpoint, all-cause mortality at 30-day, ranged from 0% up to 30% with a summary estimate rate of 7% . The occurrence of complications such as the need for a second valve implantation was relatively low as well as the rates of other endpoints (cerebrovascular events, major bleeding and vascular complications).

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Shorter Hospital Stays and Lower Costs for Rivaroxaban Compared With Warfarin for Venous Thrombosis Admissions

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Truven Health AnalyticsJay Margolis, PharmD
Sr. Research Scientist
Truven Health

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Vitamin K antagonists (VKAs), most commonly warfarin, had been the only orally available anticoagulants available for the last 60 or so years. While highly effective, use of these agents was often problematic due to their narrow therapeutic index, need for routine coagulation monitoring, and interactions with food and other drugs. Recently introduced new oral anticoagulants (NOACs), particularly rivaroxaban, had been shown in clinical trials to provide comparable efficacy to the VKAs without the need for routine coagulation monitoring. There have been few studies outside of clinical trials showing benefits that translate to real-world populations.

In our study using real-world data from a large sample of geographically and demographically diverse US hospitals, patients hospitalized for incident venous thromboembolisms (VTE) initiating oral anticoagulant treatment with rivaroxaban had significantly shorter hospital stays and lower hospitalization costs compared with warfarin-treated patients.

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Lower Salt Intake Linked To Decreased Blood Pressure, Heart Disease and Mortality

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Nancy Cook ScD Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School Professor in the Department of Epidemiology Harvard T.H. Chan School Public Health Brigham & Women’s Hospital Division of Preventive Medicine Boston, MA 0221

Dr. Nancy Cook

Nancy Cook ScD
Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Professor in the Department of Epidemiology
Harvard T.H. Chan School Public Health
Brigham & Women’s Hospital Division of Preventive Medicine
Boston, MA 02215

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The association of sodium intake with later mortality has been controversial. While there is a well-accepted effect on blood pressure, the effects of sodium on later cardiovascular disease, and particularly mortality, have been subject to dispute. While the adverse effects of high sodium are now widely accepted, effects at lower levels of sodium intake are less clear. Some recent studies have found a J-shaped relationship, with increased disease rates among those consuming lower levels of sodium, contrary to the effects on blood pressure.

In contrast, we found a direct linear relationship of usual intake of sodium with later mortality over 20 years of follow-up. Those with the lowest sodium intake experienced the lowest mortality. Our measure of intake was based on the average over 1-3 years of several measures of 24hr urine sodium excretion, the gold standard of sodium measurement. This is much more precise than measurements based on a single 24hr sodium excretion or especially on a spot urine sample, which is used in many publications that found the J-shaped curve. Our data were assessed in a healthy cohort of men and women without hypertension or cardiovascular disease, so had less potential bias due to these factors. We thus believe that our results showing the lowest mortality among those consuming the lowest levels of sodium are more accurate.

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Detecting Underlying Cardiovascular Disease in Young Competitive Athletes

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. James McKinney MD MSc FRCP(C)
Division of Cardiology
University of British Columbia

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is the leading medical cause of death in young athletes. Sporting activity may predispose athletes with underlying cardiovascular conditions to develop life threatening ventricular arrhythmias during physical exercise. Despite being a relatively rare event, the death of a young healthy person is a tragic event that is difficult to comprehend. The prevalence of an underlying cardiovascular disorder in young athletes that predisposes to SCD is approximately 0.3%.

Sudden cardiac death is often the first clinical manifestation of an underlying cardiovascular condition; up to 80% of athletes are previously asymptomatic. Pre-participation screening is the systematic practice of medically evaluating athletes for the purpose of identifying (or raising suspicion of) abnormalities that could provoke sudden death. There is agreement amongst sporting and medical bodies that athletes should undergo some form of pre-participation screening. An Achilles’ heel of screening is the significant number of false-positive screens that require subsequent costly secondary testing to rule out disease. Prevention of sudden cardiac death among athletes is a common goal, however the optimal strategy for its achievement is uncertain.

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52 Genes Linked To Size of Heart Identified

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Prof. dr. P. van der Harst
Interventional Cardiologist
Scientific Director Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory
University Medical Center Groningen
Groningen The Netherlands

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The electrocardiogram harbors important clues for the development and progression of heart diseases. We studied the voltages of the QRS-complex, a measure of cardiac hypertrophy which is associated with heart failure and various cardiomyopathies. We carried out a genome-wide association study (GWAS) and identified 52 regions in the genome that were associated with one or more QRS characteristics. 32 of these were novel. In these 52 regions we found 67 candidate genes that are might play a role in the adequate function of the human heart and the development of heart disease.

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Large fluctuations in blood pressure associated with higher risk of heart disease and kidney failure

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Elvira Gosmanova MD Department of Nephrology University of Tennessee Health Science Center Memphis TN, 38163

Dr. Elvira Gosmanova

Elvira Gosmanova MD
Department of Nephrology
University of Tennessee Health Science Center
Memphis TN, 38163

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: It has been long known that elevated blood pressure is a risk factor for numerous adverse health-related outcomes. However, the majority of individuals do not have blood pressure in a constant range.

In contrary, blood pressure measured in the same individual tends to fluctuate over time. Moreover, some individuals have more blood pressure fluctuation, as compared with others. The impact of fluctuation in blood pressure is still poorly understood. Smaller studies suggested that increased fluctuation in blood pressure may be associated with hazardous health outcomes. However, large scale studies were still lacking. Therefore, we conducted a study involving close to 3 million US veterans to investigate the association of increased visit-to-visit variability of systolic blood pressure (which was our measure of fluctuation of blood pressure over time) and all-cause mortality, and incident coronary heart disease, stroke, and end-stage renal disease.

We found that there was strong and graded increase in the risk of all the above outcomes with increasing visit-to-visit variability of systolic blood pressure.

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No Evidence of Worse STEMI Outcomes During Off-Hours

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Senthil Selvaraj, MD, MA and Deepak L. Bhatt, MD, MPH
Brigham and Women’s Hospital Heart & Vascular Center and
Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: There has been significant controversy in the effect of off-hours presentation in ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). Off-hours presentation has been associated with longer treatment time, an independent predictor of worse outcomes in STEMI, though a number of other studies have shown no difference as well. Moreover, little data has been generated from clinical trials, which has the advantage of comprehensive and adjudicated outcomes.

In our analysis of nearly 2,000 STEMI patients from the CHAMPION PHOENIX study (a randomized, controlled trial of cangrelor in percutaneous coronary intervention), we found that off-hours presentation was not associated with worse efficacy or safety outcomes at 48 hours or 30 days. More specifically, outcomes not typically reported in registry data, such as ischemia-driven revascularization and stent thrombosis, were not significantly different between the groups. Interestingly, treatment times were actually faster in the “off-hours” group as well.

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Fewer Overall New Cardiovascular Drugs, But More Biologics Researched

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Aaron S. Kesselheim, M.D., J.D., M.P.H. Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School Director, Program On Regulation, Therapeutics, And Law (PORTAL) Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics Brigham and Women's Hospital Boston MA 02120

Dr. Aaron Kesselheim

Aaron S. Kesselheim, M.D., J.D., M.P.H.
Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School
Director, Program On Regulation, Therapeutics, And Law (PORTAL)
Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Boston MA 02120

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: It has been previously reported that the number of new cardiovascular drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has declined in recent years. So we sought to empirically assess trends in the development of new cardiovascular therapeutics.

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Current Allocation System for Heart Transplantation Might Disfavor Adults with Congenital Heart Disease.

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Laith Alshawabkeh MD ‎Senior Fellow Brigham & Women's and Boston Childrens Hospitals / Harvard Medical School

Dr. Laith Alshawabkeh

Dr. Laith Alshawabkeh MD
‎Senior Fellow
Brigham & Women’s and Boston Childrens Hospitals / Harvard Medical School

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: As the number of adults living with congenital heart disease continues to increase, there is paucity of evidence on the trajectories and patterns of their comorbidities. In all, heart failure is the leading cause of death in this group of patients. Unfortunately, landmark trials and advances in medical therapy which promoted increase survival in patients with the usual heart failure (non-congenital) has not been translated into those with congenital heart disease. Heart transplantation remains one of the (if not the only) sustainable option for many patients with congenital heart disease at the end stage of heart failure. Recent studies have shown that adults with congenital heart disease who underwent transplantation experienced higher risk of postoperative mortality compared to their non-congenital counterparts; however, patients with congenital heart disease who survived the first year post-transplantation enjoyed significantly better long-term survival, indicating that with careful selection those patients might benefit tremendously from transplantation. Much less is known about the outcome of these patients while they are waiting for an organ. As such, this study sought to examine the outcomes of patients with congenital heart disease while listed for heart transplantation and to investigate correlates of adverse outcomes (mortality and delisting due to clinical worsening).

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Complex Stent Procedures May Require Longer Period of Antiplatelet Therapies

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Gennaro Giustino MD Resident Physician - Department of Medicine The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Dr. Gennaro Giustino

Gennaro Giustino MD
Resident Physician – Department of Medicine
The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: A period of dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) is required after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) with drug-eluting stents (DES). The pathophysiological rationale for DAPT after DES-PCI is predicated on the need to prevent stent-related thrombotic complications while vascular healing and platform endothelialization are ongoing, a process that seems to last between 1 and 6 months with new-generation DES. Whether to extend DAPT after this mandatory period in order to provide a broader atherothrombotic risk protection (for stent-related and non-stent-related atherothrombotic events) is currently a matter of debate. Current guidelines recommend at least 6 months of DAPT after PCI in patients with stable coronary artery disease (CAD) and at least 12 months of DAPT in patients presenting with acute coronary syndrome (ACS). While, several risk scores have been developed to guide clinical decision making for DAPT intensity and duration (namely the DAPT score and the PARIS risk scores) little attention has been payed so far to PCI complexity and the extent of CAD to guide duration of DAPT. In fact irrespective of clinical presentation, patients undergoing more complex PCI procedure (likely due to greater coronary atherosclerotic burden) may remain at greater risk for ischemic events and therefore may benefit of prolonged, or more intense, DAPT.

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Right Ventricular Changes in Olympic Athletes Described

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Antonio Pelliccia, MD, FESC Chief of Cardiology Institute of Sport Medicine and Science Rome

Dr. Antonio Pelliccia

Antonio Pelliccia, MD, FESC
Chief of Cardiology
Institute of Sport Medicine and Science
Rome

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The awareness of the relevant role of arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) as cause of athletic field events and the refined Task Force (TF) criteria for the diagnosis of the disease have prompted a large scientific interest and triggered a vast scientific literature on this issue.
Indeed, the recent observations by Heidbuchel and La Gerche based on data from a selected group of ultra-endurance athletes, suggesting that strenuous, chronic endurance exercise may ultimately cause, per se, RV dysfunction have further stimulated the need to define the characteristics and limits of training-induced RV remodelling.

At present, however, no studies have assessed the characteristic of physiologic right ventricular remodelling as derived from a large population of highly-trained athletes, including a sizeable number of women and comprising a broad spectrum of summer and winter Olympic sport disciplines.

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Long-Lived Parents Linked To Longer Life For Middle Aged Adults

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr Janice Atkins Research Fellow Epidemiology and Public Health University of Exeter Medical School RD&E Hospital Wonford Barrack Road, Exeter

Dr. Janice Atkins

Dr Janice Atkins
Research Fellow
Epidemiology and Public Health
University of Exeter Medical School
RD&E Hospital Wonford
Barrack Road, Exeter

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: We have previously shown that having longer-lived parents increases your likelihood of living longer, and family history of heart attacks is already used by physicians to identify patients at increased risk of disease. However, it has been unclear how the health advantages of having longer lived parents is transferred to their middle-aged offspring.

Our study of nearly 200,000 UK volunteers aged 55-73 at baseline, and followed for 8 years using health records data, found that having longer-lived parents reduced the risk of morbidity and mortality in the participants. We found that for each parent that lived beyond 70 years of age the participants had 20% less chance of dying from heart disease. To illustrate this, in a group of 1,000 people whose father’s died at 70 and followed for 10 years, on average 50 would die from heart disease. When compared to a group whose father’s died at 80, on average only 40 would die from heart disease over the same 10-year period. Similar trends were seen in the mother’s.

The relationship between parental age at death and survival and health in their offspring is complex, with many factors playing a role. Shared environment and lifestyle choices play a large role, including smoking habits, high alcohol consumption, low physical activity and obesity; but even accounting for these factors parents lifespan was still predictive in their offspring. The biggest genetics effects on lifespan in our studies affected the participant’s blood pressure, their cholesterol levels, their Body Mass Index, and their likelihood to be addicted to tobacco. These are all factors that affect risk of heart disease, so is consistent with the lower rates of heart disease in the offspring.

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One-in-Five Cardiac Arrests Occur Near Inaccessible Defibrillators

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Timothy C. Y. Chan, PhD Canada Research Chair in Novel Optimization and Analytics in Health Associate Professor, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Director, Centre for Healthcare Engineering Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering | University of Toronto Toronto Ontario

Dr. Timothy Chan

Timothy C. Y. Chan, PhD
Canada Research Chair in Novel Optimization and Analytics in Health
Associate Professor, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Director, Centre for Healthcare Engineering
Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering
Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering | University of Toronto
Toronto Ontario

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The immediate access to and use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) can increase the likelihood of survival from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). Currently, guidelines for AED deployment focus only on spatial factors, such as where to place AEDs with respect to cardiac arrest risk, and assume that the buildings housing the AEDs are open and accessible 24 hours a day. However, this is not the case in reality.

AED accessibility by time of day has largely been overlooked despite the fact that cardiac arrest incidence and survival vary by time of day and day of week. In this study we performed two main analyses, using data from Toronto, Canada.

First, we determined the impact of accessibility on cardiac arrest coverage. That is, we determined what fraction of OHCAs occurred near a registered AED, but when that AED was unavailable based on the hours of operation of the building.

Second, we developed a novel optimization model that identifies locations to place AEDs that maximize the number of out-of-hospital cardiac arrestswith an accessible AED nearby. We compared this approach to one where AEDs were placed guided by only spatial information.

We found that of the OHCAs occurring within 100 m of an AED, approximately 21% occur when the AED is inaccessible. Nearby AEDs were inaccessible for 8.6% of OHCAs during the day (8 a.m. – 3:59 p.m.), 28.6% in the evening (4 – 11:59 p.m.) and 48.4% at night (midnight –7:59 a.m.). When applying our optimization model to determine new AED locations, we achieved a 25.3% relative increase in the number of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests that occur near an accessible AED over the spatial-only approach. The relative increase was 10.9% during the day, 38.0% in the evening, and 122.5% at night.

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Intracoronary Antiplatelet Abciximab Bolus May Improve Outcomes of Primary PCI in STEMI patients with Diabetes

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Raffaele Piccolo, MD
Department of Cardiology
Bern University Hospital
University of Bern
Bern, Switzerland

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Over the past two decades, the prevalence of diabetes mellitus has doubled in Western countries and future projections are even worse by showing a 55% increase by 2035 when approximately 592 million of people are expected to live with diabetes all over the world.

Acute myocardial infarction still represents the most common diabetes-related complication and its occurrence is associated with a higher risk of mortality. Timely recanalization of the occluded coronary vessel with primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) represents the therapy of choice for acute ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI).

Our study investigated whether the direct application of an intracoronary bolus of abciximab, which is an antiplatelet drug blocking the glycoprotein IIb/III a receptor, at the time of primary PCI improves the outcomes at 1-year follow-up compared with the standard intravenous route. The study was in individual patient-level pooled analysis of 3 randomized trials including 2,470 patients, of whom 473 (19%) had diabetes.

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New Onset Atrial Fibrillation Strongest Predictor of Stroke After TAVR

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Josep Rodés-Cabau, MD Director, Catheterization and Interventional Laboratories Quebec Heart and Lung Institute Professor, Faculty of Medicine, Laval University Quebec City, Quebec, Canada

Dr. Josep Rodés-Cabau

Josep Rodés-Cabau, MD
Director, Catheterization and Interventional Laboratories
Quebec Heart and Lung Institute
Professor, Faculty of Medicine, Laval University
Quebec City, Quebec, Canada

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is increasingly used in patients with severe aortic stenosis deemed at prohibitive or high surgical risk. Recently, a randomized trial demonstrated the non-inferiority of TAVR compared to surgical aortic valve replacement in intermediate risk patients for the outcome of death and disabling stroke at 2 years. Therefore, TAVR indications are likely to expand to younger and lower risk patients in the near future.

While the short-term (30-day) cerebrovascular event (CVE) rate post-TAVR has decreased over time, it remains the most dreadful complication of TAVR, and still occurs in 2% to 3% of patients. A few dedicated studies identified numerous predictors of CVE which mainly differ from one study to another. However, identifying the risk factors of CVE is of paramount relevance in clinical practice to implement preventive strategies, either instrumental (embolic protection devices) or pharmacological in high-risk patients. Thus, we performed a systematic review and meta-analysis using random-effect models to provide pooled estimates of sixteen (8 patient-related and 8 procedural-related) clinically-relevant predictors of CVE within 30 days post TAVR.

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Newly Diagnosed Brugada Syndrome Have a Different Prognosis

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Ruben Casado-Arroyo, MD, PhD
Heart Rhythm Management Center
Cardiovascular Division, UZ Brussel–Vrije Universiteit Brussel,
Cardiology Department, Arrhythmia Section
Erasmus Hospital, Université Libre de Bruxelles
Brussels, Belgium

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The objective of this study is to evaluate the evolution of the
presentation of Brugada Syndrome (BrS) during the last 30 years. Only
the first diagnosed patient of each family was included. The database
was divided in two periods (early and latter group) in relation to the
consensus conference of 2002.

Aborted sudden death as the first manifestation of the disease
occurred most frequently in the earlier period 12.1% versus 4.6% of
the latter group. Inducibility (induction of ventricular fibrillation)
during programmed electrical stimulation was achieved in 34.4%
(earlier) and 19.2% (latter) of patients, respectively. A spontaneous
type 1 electrocardiogram pattern that is a coved type ST elevation
with at least 2 mm (0.2 mV) J-point elevation a gradually descending
ST segment followed by a negative T-wave was presented at diagnosis
50.3% (earlier) versus 26.2% (latter patients). Early group patients
had a higher probability of a recurrent arrhythmia (sudden cardiac
death or ventricular arrhythmias) during follow-up (19%) than those
of the latter group (5%). All these difference were significative.

Overall, the predictors of recurrent arrhythmias were previous sudden
cardiac death and inducibility. In the latter period, only previous
sudden cardiac death was a predictor of arrhythmic events.

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Coronary Artery Disease Testing Underutilized in Heart Failure Patients

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Ajay J. Kirtane, MD, SM, FACC, FSCAI Associate Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center Chief Academic Officer, Center for Interventional Vascular Therapy Director, NYP/Columbia Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories New York, NY 10032

Dr. Ajay Kirtane

Ajay J. Kirtane, MD, SM, FACC, FSCAI
Associate Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center
Chief Academic Officer, Center for Interventional Vascular Therapy
Director, NYP/Columbia Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories
New York, NY  10032

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Patients with inpatient heart failure are a higher-risk patient population who can benefit from the identification and treatment of coronary artery disease. We sought to identify how frequently these patients in fact underwent testing for coronary artery disease.

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Black Heart Failure Patients Have More Readmissions and Lower Mortality Than Whites

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Matthew Durstenfeld MD
Department of Medicine
Saul Blecker, MD, MHS
Department of Population Health and Department of Medicine
New York University School of Medicine
NYU Langone Medical Center
New York, New York

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Racial and ethnic disparities continue to be a problem in cardiovascular disease outcomes. In heart failure, minority patients have more readmissions despite lower mortality after hospitalization for heart failure. Some authors have attributed these racial differences to differences in access to care, although this has never been proven.

Our study examined patients hospitalized within the municipal hospital system in New York City to see whether racial and ethnic disparities in readmissions and mortality were present among a diverse population with similar access to care. We found that black and Asian patients had lower one-year mortality than white patients; concurrently black and Hispanic patients had higher rates of readmission. These disparities persisted even after accounting for demographic and clinical differences among racial and ethnic groups.
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Patients With a Normal EKG after TAVI Rarely Require a New Pacemaker

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Stefan Toggweiler, MD
Heart Center, Luzerner Kantonsspital
Lucerne, Switzerland

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is increasingly used for the treatment of aortic stenosis in inoperable and high-risk patients. It is well known that TAVR is associated with acute and delayed occurrence of conduction disorders. Namely, delayed high-degree atrioventrcular block is a feared complication. Thus, patients are usually monitored by telemetry for a few days, but there is currently no consensus on the duration of telemetry. In this study, we evaluated how the postprocedural ECG determines the need for permanent pacemaker implantation in patients undergoing TAVR.

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