Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Heart Disease, JACC, Race/Ethnic Diversity, UT Southwestern / 13.11.2016 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 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JACC, Medical Imaging / 29.10.2016 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 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JACC, Surgical Research / 28.10.2016 Interview with: Anna Franzone, MD and Prof.Thomas Pilgrim, MD Department of Cardiology Bern University Hospital INSELSPITAL Bern, Switzerland 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). (more…)
Author Interviews, Clots - Coagulation, Heart Disease, JACC, Thromboembolism / 27.10.2016 Interview with: Truven Health AnalyticsJay Margolis, PharmD Sr. Research Scientist Truven Health 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Heart Disease, JACC, Salt-Sodium / 06.10.2016 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 02215 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness, Heart Disease, JACC, Pediatrics / 03.10.2016 Interview with: Dr. James McKinney MD MSc FRCP(C) Division of Cardiology University of British Columbia 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Heart Disease, JACC / 20.09.2016 Interview with: Prof. dr. P. van der Harst Interventional Cardiologist Scientific Director Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory University Medical Center Groningen Groningen The Netherlands 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Heart Disease, JACC, Kidney Disease / 19.09.2016 Interview with: Elvira Gosmanova MD Department of Nephrology University of Tennessee Health Science Center Memphis TN, 38163 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Heart Disease, JACC, Outcomes & Safety, Surgical Research / 04.09.2016 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 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Heart Disease, JACC, Pharmacology / 31.08.2016 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 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Heart Disease, JACC, Transplantation / 30.08.2016 Interview with: Dr. Laith Alshawabkeh MD ‎Senior Fellow Brigham & Women's and Boston Childrens Hospitals / Harvard Medical School 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). (more…)
Author Interviews, Clots - Coagulation, Heart Disease, JACC, Surgical Research / 30.08.2016 Interview with: Gennaro Giustino MD Resident Physician - Department of Medicine The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness, Heart Disease, JACC / 19.08.2016 Interview with: Antonio Pelliccia, MD, FESC Chief of Cardiology Institute of Sport Medicine and Science Rome 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. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JACC / 17.08.2016 Interview with: Dr Janice Atkins Research Fellow Epidemiology and Public Health University of Exeter Medical School RD&E Hospital Wonford Barrack Road, Exeter 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JACC / 16.08.2016 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 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Clots - Coagulation, Diabetes, Heart Disease, JACC / 12.08.2016 Interview with: Raffaele Piccolo, MD Department of Cardiology Bern University Hospital University of Bern Bern, Switzerland 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JACC, Stroke, Surgical Research / 12.08.2016 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 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JACC / 08.08.2016 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 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Columbia, Heart Disease, JACC / 27.07.2016 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 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Hospital Readmissions, JACC, NYU, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 12.07.2016 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 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JACC, Surgical Research / 23.06.2016 Interview with: Dr. Stefan Toggweiler, MD Heart Center, Luzerner Kantonsspital Lucerne, Switzerland 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JACC, UCSD / 22.06.2016 Interview with: Jonathan Hsu, MD, MAS, FACC, FAHA, FHRS Assistant Professor Cardiac Electrophysiology, Division of Cardiology University of California, San Diego (UCSD) What is the background for this study? Response: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia worldwide and imparts significant stroke risk. In patients with AF determined to be at intermediate to high risk for thromboembolism, anticoagulation with warfarin (a vitamin K antagonist) or the newer non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants clearly reduces morbidity and mortality compared to aspirin. We sought to evaluate practice patterns of cardiovascular specialists in the United states to determine how often AF patients at risk for stroke are prescribed aspirin over oral anticoagulation, and predictors of this practice. (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Heart Disease, JACC / 14.06.2016 Interview with: Duk-Woo Park, MD, PhD Division of Cardiology, Asan Medical Center University of Ulsan College of Medicine and National Evidence-based Healthcare Collaborating Agency Seoul, Republic of Korea What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Currently, less restrictive blood pressure (BP) target by the 2014 hypertension guidelines (JNC-8) and more intensive BP target of the SPRINT is now conflicting, which causes uncertainty and confusion among clinicians. In our study, the proportion of persons who would meet the SPRINT BP goals is substantially less than those who would meet the 2014 guideline blood pressure goals. There is a positive association between the risk of major cardiovascular events and increasing levels of BP control status under different 2014 guideline and SPRINT criteria. Our study reconfirmed the findings of the SPRINT trials in real-world population. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JACC, Kidney Disease / 15.05.2016 Interview with: Ambarish Pandey, MD Cardiology Fellow, PGY5 University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Dallas, Texas What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Pandey: Previous studies have reported an underutilization of guideline based heart failure therapies among patients with heart failure (HF) and end-stage renal diseases. However, it is not known if the proportional use of these evidence-based medical therapies and associated clinical outcomes among these patients has changed over time. In this study, we observed a significant increase in adherence to heart failure process of care measures over time among dialysis patients with no significant change in clinical outcomes over time. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JACC, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 09.05.2016 Interview with: Alan S. Go, MD, chief of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Conditions Research at the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research Jamal S. Rana, MD, PhD, cardiologist at Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center and adjunct investigator with the Division of Research What is the background for this study? Response: In 2013, the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association published the Pooled Cohort risk equation for estimating the likelihood of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease events. However, the equation was developed from several groups of enrolled volunteers primarily conducted in the 1990s with limited ethnic diversity and age range, so its accuracy may vary in current community-based populations. To determine whether the risk equation might be improved by being recalibrated in “real world” clinical care, we examined a large, multi-ethnic, community-based population of Kaiser Permanente members in Northern California whose cholesterol levels and other clinical measures could theoretically trigger a discussion about whether to consider starting cholesterol-lowering therapy based on estimated risk using the ACC/AHA Pooled Cohort tool. The study followed a population of 307,591 men and women aged 40 to 75 years old, including non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks, Asian, Pacific Islanders and Hispanics, from 2008 through 2013 and had complete five-year follow-up. The study population did not include patients with diabetes, prior atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease or prior use of lipid-lowering therapy such as statins, as the application of this risk tool is meant for primary prevention of heart disease and stroke. (more…)
Author Interviews, Compliance, Heart Disease, JACC / 05.05.2016 Interview with: Dr. Kevin Curl, MD Sidney Kimmel Medical College Jefferson University What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Curl: If left untreated, half of coronary bypass vein grafts will become occluded within 10 years of surgery.  We reviewed the health records of over 350 patients who had a previous coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) a minimum of three years prior.  Our goal was to identify the long-term trends with medication adherence in this high risk population, namely aspirin and statin medications.  The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association recommend both statins and aspirin medications unless they are unsafe for the individual patient. The mean age of the study population was 69 years, most patients had previously undergone "triple bypass" with 3 grafts, and the mean time from surgery was 11 years.  We found that only 52 percent of patients were taking both aspirin and a statin medication. In addition, patients not taking a statin had higher (22 percent) low-density lipid or “bad” cholesterol. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, Heart Disease, JACC, Women's Heart Health / 15.04.2016 Interview with: Dr. Neha J. Pagidipati Duke Clinical Research Institute Duke University School of Medicine Durham, North Carolina Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Pagidipati: Women and men experience coronary artery disease differently, and a great deal of literature has shown that these differences extend to the diagnostic performance of various noninvasive testing modalities. However, little is known about the sex-specific prognostic value of computed tomographic angiography (CTA) and functional stress testing. We used data from the recent PROMISE trial to address this question. The PROMISE trial enrolled 10,003 patients (53% women) with stable symptoms suggestive of coronary artery disease to a diagnostic strategy of CTA vs stress testing, and found no differences in outcomes overall or by sex. We found that in women, a CTA is less likely to be positive, but when it is positive, it appears to have greater predictive value for a future cardiovascular event (all cause death, myocardial infarction, or unstable angina hospitalization) than stress testing. In men, a stress test is less likely to be positive, and though stress testing trended towards being more predictive of future events, there was no statistically significant difference in the prognostic value of either test type. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JACC / 14.04.2016 Interview with: Vincent Roolvink, MD Isala hospital, Department of Cardiology Zwolle, The Netherlands Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Roolvink: The goal of the trial was to assess the safety and efficacy of early administration of intravenous (IV) metoprolol in patients presenting with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) and scheduled for primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). (more…)
Author Interviews, Baylor College of Medicine Houston, Heart Disease, JACC / 07.04.2016 Interview with: Dr. William Frank Peacock MD, FACEP Baylor College of Medicine, Houston What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Peacock: ​Patients with atrial fibrillation get strokes but can take anticoagulation which is very effective at preventing strokes. Patients on anticoagulation bleed, to the point that a very few die. The higher the CHADSVASC score, the more likely you are to have a stroke.​ ​Also the more likely ​you are to bleed. But the risk of stroke ALWAYS exceeds the risk of bleeding. We studied diabetics with atrial fibrillation as a subset, because diabetes is significant predictor for both stroke and bleeding and we wanted to determine if our understanding of the risks and benefits were maintained in real world trial. What we found was the risk of a fatal major bleed for a diabetic with atrial fibrillation who was taking rivaroxaban was 0.09/100 patient years of treatment. We know that the risk of having a stroke in a patient with a CHADS score of 2 is about 3% per year (that is 3/100 patients will stroke). Put in a similar denominator as our study, failing to treat an Afib diabetic will results 300 strokes for every 100 patient years, which compares to the effect of treatment, which will significantly prevent stroke, at the cost of 0.1 major bleed fatality per 100 patient years. Even if the effect of treatment was as low as 50% (which it is not), that is still preventing 150 strokes. 0.1 dead, to prevent 150 strokes seems like easy math to me.  ​ (more…)