BMJ, Gender Differences / 25.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Crystal Lee BMedSc(Hons), MIPH, PhD, MBiostat Senior Research Fellow School of Psychology and Public Health La Trobe University Honorary Research Fellow The Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise & Eating Disorders The University of Sydney Adjunct Senior Research Fellow School of Public Health | Curtin University  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response:  Coronary heart disease (CHD) is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide. Primary care has been shown to play an important role in the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Yet, studies in Australia and elsewhere from as far back as two decades ago identified gaps in the management of CHD patients in primary care. We analysed records of 130,926 patients with a history of CHD from 438 general practices across Australia to determine whether sex disparities exist in the management of CHD according to current clinical guidelines. (more…)
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Heart Disease, Imperial College, JAMA / 12.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ben Cordon, PhD NIHR Post-doctoral Academic Clinical Fellow Specialist Registrar training in cardiology  James SWarePhD, MRCP  Reader in Genomic Medicine Group head within the Cardiovascular Genetics & Genomics Unit Imperial College London     MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: Non-ischaemic dilated cardiomyopathy is a common cause of heart failure and carries the risk of life-threatening ventricular arrhythmia. An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) can be life-saving in this condition. However, the decision to implant an ICD is not one that can be taken lightly - ICD insertion carries its own risks, such as infection or inappropriate shocks, and our ability to predict who will benefit from a device is currently far from perfect. Genetic sequencing is affordable and widely available and for DCM, like many diseases, it is hoped that genetic stratification may one day help deliver personalised management. In DCM, variants in the Lamin A/C gene for example are known to cause a phenotype with early and severe arrhythmias and, as a result, international guidelines advocate a lower threshold for ICD insertion in these patients. However, Lamin A/C is an infrequent cause of DCM. The commonest known genetic cause of DCM are protein-truncating variants in the gene encoding Titin (TTNtv), accounting for ~15% of DCM cases. We wanted to know if this group had a higher risk of arrhythmia than the general DCM population. Earlier work from our group on this topic found that patients with TTNtv-associated DCM were more likely to have a clinical history of arrhythmia (composite of atrial and ventricular arrhythmia, including NSVT), at the time of their initial DCM diagnosis. But it was unclear if this was driven by ventricular arrhythmia, atrial arrhythmia, or both or if it would translate into a long-term risk of potentially dangerous ventricular arrhythmia of the sort for which an ICD can be life-saving. In another study we analysed a larger cohort of ambulant DCM patients but did not find an increased risk of ventricular arrhythmia – but this was a relatively low-risk group, with comparatively mild symptoms (NHYA I/II heart failure) and moderately impaired LV function. As a result, the overall arrhythmic event rate was low, meaning that the power to detect differences between the TTNtv and non-TTNtv groups was reduced. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Heart Disease, JAMA, Medical Imaging / 17.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Quinn R Pack, MD Assistant Professor of Medicine University of Massachusetts Medical School - Baystate Adjunct Assistant Professor of Medicine Tufts University School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Because echocardiograms are non-invasive, very low risk, and nearly universally available, it is easy to over-use this technique.  In myocardial infarction, echo is also recommended in guidelines. However, in our lab, we frequently find echocardiograms that are ordered purely out of routine, without any thought as to the likelihood of finding an abnormality.   Prior studies also suggested that as many as 70% of echocardiograms provide no additional diagnostic value. When spread across the approximate 600,000 patients in the United States each year, this low diagnostic yield represents an opportunity to reduce costs by reducing echocardiograms.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Heart Disease, JAMA, University of Pennsylvania / 07.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sameed Khatana, MD, MPH Fellow, Cardiovascular Medicine, Perleman School of Medicine Associate Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics University of Pennsylvania  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: The Affordable Care Act (ACA) led to the largest increase in Medicaid coverage since the beginning of the program. However, a number of states decided not to expand eligibility. Studies of prior smaller expansions in Medicaid, such as in individual states, have suggested evidence of improved outcomes associated with Medicaid expansion. Additionally, studies of Medicaid expansion under the ACA of certain health measures such as access to preventive care and medication adherence have suggested some improvements as well. However, there have been no large, population-level studies to examine whether Medicaid expansion under the ACA led to changes in mortality rates. Given, a high burden of cardiovascular risk factors in the uninsured, we examined whether states that had expanded Medicaid had a change in cardiovascular mortality rates after expansion, compared to states that have not expanded Medicaid. (more…)
Author Interviews, Clots - Coagulation, Duke, Genetic Research, Heart Disease, JAMA / 30.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Thomas J. Povsic, MD, PhD Interventional Cardiologist Duke Clinical Research Institute Duke University School of Medicine Durham, North Carolina  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  Response: The background for this study is that it is unknown how mandatory reporting of CYP2C19 metabolizer status affects how doctors treat patients or to what degree provision of this information would affect choice of a P2Y12 inhibitor within a clinical trial. As part of the GEMINI-ACS trial, all patients underwent CYP2C19 metabolizer testing.  This trial enrolled patients with a recent acute coronary syndrome and randomized them to aspirin or a low dose of rivaroxaban.  All patients were also to be treated with ticagrelor or clopidogrel, which was at the discretion of the investigator.  Investigators were given information regarding the CYP2C19 metabolizer status about a week after randomization.  Importantly prior to randomization, all investigators were asked how they expected to use this information, and then we followed what they actually did. (more…)
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Heart Disease, JAMA, Lipids / 25.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Florian Kronenberg, MD Division of Genetic Epidemiology Department of Medical Genetics, Molecular and Clinical Pharmacology Medical University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Lp(a) is one of the most prevalent lipoprotein risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Roughly 20% of the general Caucasian population have concentrations above 50 mg/dL and the 10% with the highest concentrations have a 2 to 3-fold increased risk for myocardial infarction. There is strong evidence from genetic studies that high Lp(a) concentrations are causally related to cardiovascular outcomes. Until recently there was no drug available which lowers Lp(a) without any effects on other lipoproteins. This has recently changed by the development of drugs that block the production of Lp(a) in an impressive way. These drugs have to be studied in randomized controlled trials whether they not only lower Lp(a) concentrations but also cardiovascular outcomes. For the planning of such studies it is crucial to estimate the amount of Lp(a) lowering required to show a clinical benefit. (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, Heart Disease, NEJM, Surgical Research / 27.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Giovanni Landoni Intensive Care and Anesthesia Unit Associate professor Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: Patients undergoing cardiac surgery are still at risk for perioperative complications. Studies to improve clinical outcomes this setting are important. Inhaled anesthetics have pharmacological properties which reduce myocardial infarction size by 50% in laboratory and animal studies and which might decrease postoperative mortality according to aggregated published randomized data. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JACC, Technology / 20.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Annapoorna Kini, MD Zena and Michael A Wiener Professor of Medicine Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory Mount Sinai Heart at Mount Sinai Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  
  • Expanding indication and use of Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) poses a unique problem of coronary access after valve implantation.
  • Troubleshooting tools and techniques have been published but are not available at the fingertips of the user at all the times.
  • We tried to address this unique problem with an innovative educational mobile application (app) called "TAVRcathAID".
(more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Heart Disease / 29.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Pratyaksh K. Srivastava, MD Division of General Internal Medicine, UCLA Gregg C. Fonarow, MD Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center UCLA  Medical Center, Los Angeles Associate Editor, JAMA Cardiology MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  Response: Angiotensin Receptor-Neprilysin Inhibitors represent a novel class of heart failure therapeutics that have been shown to significantly improve mortality among patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). In the Prospective Comparison of Angiotensin Receptor-Neprilysin Inhibitor (ARNI) with Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Inhibitor (ACEI) to Determine Impact on Global Mortality and Morbidity in Heart Failure (PARADIGM-HF) trial, sacubitril-valsartan was associated with a 20% relative risk reduction in the primary outcome of death from cardiovascular causes or first hospitalization for worsening heart failure over a median follow up of 27 months. In our current study, we present long term (5-year) absolute risk reductions associated with the addition of angiotensin receptor-neprilysin inhibition to standard HFrEF background therapy using data from PARADIGM-HF. We utilize the number needed to treat (NNT) to quantify absolute risk reduction, and ultimately compare 5-year NNT values for sacubitril-valsartan to those of well-established HFrEF therapeutics for the outcome of all-cause mortality. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Lifestyle & Health, Nutrition / 26.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ravi B. Patel, MD Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Chicago, Illinois MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The digital attention of scientific articles can be readily quantified using the Altmetric score. The Altmetric score is a weighted measure, incorporating a variety of media platforms. We aimed to characterize the Top 10% of articles by Altmetric score among 4 major cardiovascular journals (Circulation, European Heart Journal, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, and JAMA Cardiology) in 2017. Our primary findings were: 1) nearly half of the most disseminated articles were not original research investigations, 2) the most common article topic was nutrition/lifestyle, and 3) there was a weak but significant correlation between Altmetric scores and citation number.  (more…)
Abbott, Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Heart Disease, JAMA / 20.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr John W Pickering, BSc(Hons), PhD, BA(Hons) Associate Professor , Senior Research Fellow in Acute Care Emergency Care Foundation, Canterbury Medical Research Foundation, Canterbury District Health Board |  Christchurch Hospital Research Associate Professor | Department of Medicine University of Otago Christchurch MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The assessment of patients with suspected myocardial infarction is one of the most common tasks in the emergency department. Most patients assessed (80 to 98% depending on the health system) are ultimate not diagnosed with an MI.   High-sensitivity troponin assays have been shown to have sufficient precision at low concentrations to allow very early rule-out of myocardial infarction. However, these are lab-based assays which typically result in a delay from blood sampling before the result is available and the physician is able to return to a patient to make a decision to release the patient or undertake further investigation. Point-of-care assays provide results much quicker, but have to-date not had the analytical characteristics that allow precise measurements at low concentrations. In this pilot study we demonstrated that a single measurement with a new point-of-care assay (TnI-Nx; Abbott Point of Care) which can measure low troponin concentrations, could safely be used to rule-out myocardial infarction a large proportion of patients (57%). The performance was at least comparable to the high-sensitivity troponin I assay, if not a little better (44%). (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Gender Differences, Geriatrics, Heart Disease / 25.07.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Quoc Dinh Nguyen, MD MA MPH Interniste-gériatre – Service de gériatrie Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal – CHUM MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Randomized trials are the best evidence basis we have to treat patients. It is known for more than 20 years that older adults and women are disproportionately excluded from randomized trials in cardiology diseases. As the current US population is fast aging, we examined whether this underrepresentation improved or worsened in the last 20 years in the most influential studies published between 1996 and 2015. The main finding is that the women and older adults continue to be underrepresented in cardiology trials. Overall, the mean age was 63 years and the percentage of women was 29%. For coronary heart disease, women comprise 54% of the US population in need of treatment, yet are only 27% of the trial population. For heart failure, the median age of older adults in the US population is 70 years whereas it is only 64 years in the trial population. Our results indicate that the gap has very slowly narrowed in the last 2 decades. However, based on current trends, reaching proportionate enrollment would require between 3 and 9 decades. This persistent lack of representation has significant impacts on the ability of clinicians to provide evidenced based care for these segments of the population. Physicians and other health care professionals are forced to extrapolate study results from younger and male-predominant populations. This is problematic since we know that older adults and women may react differently to medications and to interventions.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Duke, Education, Heart Disease, JAMA / 01.06.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Pamela S. Douglas, MD, MACC, FASE, FAHA Ursula Geller Professor of Research in Cardiovascular Disease Duke University School of Medicine Durham, NC 27715     MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: For any profession to succeed, it needs to attract top talent. We surveyed internal medicine residents to find out what they valued most in their professional development, how they perceived cardiology as field and how these two areas are associated with  their choosing a career in cardiology or another specialty. We found that trainees were seeking careers that had stable hours, were family friendly and female friendly, while they perceived cardiology to  have adverse work conditions, interfere with family life and to not be diverse. We were able to predict career choice with 89-97% accuracy from these responses; the predictors are mix of things that attract to cardiology and those that are deterrents. For men, the attractors outnumber the deterrents, for women its just the opposite. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JACC / 06.05.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Robin Nijveldt  MD PhD FESC Radboudumc, Department of Cardiology and VU University Medical Center Department of cardiology the Netherlands MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We know from previous studies that patients with unrecognized myocardial infarcts have worse prognosis than people without infarcts. It was currently unknown in how many patients presenting with a first acute myocardial infarction had previous unrecognized MI, and if so, if this is still a prognostic marker on long term follow-up. In this paper we studied 405 patients from 2 academic hospitals in the Netherlands, with an average follow-up duration of 6.8 years. We found that silent MI was present in 8.2% of patients presenting with first acute MI, and that silent MI is a strong and independent predictor for adverse long-term clinical outcome such as death (HR 3.69) or the composite end point of death, reinfarction, ischemic stroke, or CABG (HR 3.05). Additionally, it appears that ECG is of limited value to detect silent MI, since our study did not reveal an association with long-term clinical outcome. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JACC, Pediatrics, Surgical Research, UCSD / 04.01.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rakesh K. Singh MD, MS Department of Pediatrics, University of California–San Diego and Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego, California Steven E. Lipshultz MD Department of Pediatrics Wayne State University School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital of Michigan Detroit, Michigan  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a disease characterized by dilation and dysfunction of the left ventricle of the heart. While DCM is a relatively rare disease in children, nearly 40% of children with DCM require a heart transplant or die within 2 years of diagnosis. Heart transplantation has improved the outcomes of children with DCM over the last 3 decades, but is limited by donor heart availability. Newer therapies, including advanced ICU care and artificial heart machines, are now being used to treat children with DCM. This study published in the November 28, 2017 issue of the Journal of American College of Cardiology (JACC) sought to determine whether more children with DCM were surviving longer in the more recent era. Specifically, it investigated whether children with DCM were surviving longer without the need for heart transplantation. Rakesh Singh, MD is the first author and an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at UC San Diego/Rady Children’s Hospital, while the senior author is Steven Lipshultz, MD, Professor at Wayne State University School of Medicine/Detroit Medical Center’s Children’s Hospital of Michigan and Director of Children’s Research Center of Michigan. The Pediatric Cardiomyopathy Registry (PCMR) is a National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) sponsored registry from 98 pediatric centers in United States and Canada created to study the outcomes of children with various heart muscle disorders known as cardiomyopathies. For this study, outcomes of 1,199 children diagnosed with DCM from 1990-1999 were compared with 754 children diagnosed with DCM from 2000-2009. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Surgical Research / 04.01.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Edward L. Hannan, PhD, MS, MS, FACC Distinguished Professor and Associate Dean Emeritus University at Albany School of Public Health Rensselaer, NY 12144     MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We have done a lot of work on complete revascularization (CR) vs. incomplete revascularization (IR) already, and as a follow-up it seemed as if there may be different types of IR that are associated with even worse outcomes relative to CR and other IR. Incomplete revascularization is associated with worse outcomes if it involves multiple vessels, vessels with severe stenosis, or significant proximal left anterior descending artery vessel (PLAD) stenosis. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Technology / 29.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nenad Bursac PhD Professor of Biomedical Engineering Associate Professor of Medicine Duke University Durham, NC  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Every year about 1 million new people in US suffers from heart attack, resulting in death of hundreds of millions of cardiac muscle cells. This massive cell loss leads to gradual deterioration of heart function, which for many patients results in the occurrence of heart failure that ultimately will require heart transplant. Heart transplantation is complicated and expensive procedure and donor hearts are in short supply, rendering this disease to be not only highly prevalent but ultimately lethal. For almost 30 years, researchers have been exploring transplantation of stem cells into injured hearts as a means to replace dead cardiac muscle with new muscle cells that would yield improved heart function. However, injections of stem cells in the heart have so far met with limited clinical success and surgical implantation of pre-made heart muscle tissue in a form of a "cardiac patch" has been explored as an alternative strategy with a proven benefit of enhancing transplanted cell survival. Others and we have engineered cardiac tissue patches in a dish starting from human pluripotent stem cells, which have advantage of being able to become bona fide contracting cardiac muscle cells. So far, however, no one has been able to engineer a highly functional cardiac muscle patch of a size that is large enough to be used in human therapies for heart disease. (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, Heart Disease, Pediatrics / 13.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Young girl learning Hands-Only CPR at the American Heart Association Hands-Only CPR training kiosk at Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport. copyright American Heart Association 2017 Photos by Tommy Campbell PhotographyMimi Biswas M.D., MHSc University of California Riverside School of Medicine and Riverside Community Hospital  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This started as  My son's science project. He wanted to make a video game to teach CPR based on a science fair website. It grew to teaching the whole 6th grade using the AHA CPR training kit alone vs adding the video game or music, staying alive, to help with compression rate.  We found that a 12 year can easily learn the basic concepts of calling for help and starting hands only CPR and they can physically perform effective CPR at this age. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Mental Health Research / 07.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Keun-Hwa Jung MD PhD Program in Neuroscience, Neuroscience Research Institute of SNUMRC College of Medicine Seoul National University First author: Dr. Woo-Jin Lee MD Department of Neurology Seoul National University Hospital Seoul, South Korea  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Cerebral white matter hyperintensity is a prevalent consequence of brain aging process and associated with various complications. One of the main mechanisms underlying the progression of white matter hyperintensity is chronic dysfunction of the glymphatic system which maintains metabolic homeostasis in brain. Glymphatic system is the route where the cerebrospinal fluid enters into the brain parenchyma and is cleared out with soluble wastes to the perivascular space of the cerebral small veins, peri-meningeal lymphatic vessels, deep cervical lymph nodes, and finally to the right atrium. Although the integrity of the glymphatic system is dependent on the adequate drainage of cerebral veins and lymphatics to the downstream chamber, the right atrium, the impact of hemodynamic changes in right-sided cardiac chambers on the development of white matter hyperintensity have not been elucidated. (more…)
Abuse and Neglect, Circadian Rhythm, Heart Disease, Lancet, Surgical Research / 03.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof David Montaigne MD Faculté de Médecine de Lille H Warembourg Lille, France MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: It is well known for many decades that cardiovascular diseases exhibit a diurnal variation with for instance higher incidence of myocardial infarction in the early morning as opposed to the evening. Although studies on circadian gene knock-out and mutant mice argue for a biorhythm in myocardial ischemia-reperfusion tolerance, whether a biorhythm in the myocardial tolerance to ischemia, exists in humans was unclear because of conflicting reports in the context of myocardial infarction. We demonstrated for the first time in humans that the myocardial tolerance to ischemia-reperfusion is different along the day, in line with rodent experiments performed in the early 2010s. We demonstrated that this biorhythm is clinically meaningful and that it can be targeted as a cardioprotective strategy. In this topic, Rever-alpha is of specific interest. It belongs at the same time to circadian genes and nuclear receptor families: being a nuclear receptor, it is a feasible pharmacological target, conversely to other circadian genes. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA / 25.10.2017

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

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Martin Holzmann PhD Department of Medicine Functional Area of Emergency Medicine, Karolinska University Hospital, Huddinge Stockholm, Sweden MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There has been a few studies in the general population that indicate that subjects with detectable and elevated high-sensitivity troponin T (hs-cTnT) levels have an increased risk of death and cardiovascular disease. However, in clinical practice troponins are not used for anything else than to rule in or rule out myocardial infarction in the emergency department. In addition, in a previous publication we have shown that patients with persistently elevated troponin levels are rarely investigated or followed-up to exclude heart disease. Therefore, we wanted to investigate how the association between different levels of hs-cTnT are associated with outcomes in patients with chest pain but no MI or other acute reasons for having an acutely elevated troponin level. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Radiology / 17.10.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Maria Grazia Andreassi, PhD Director, Genetics Research Unit CNR Institute of Clinical Physiology, Pisa- Italy MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In recent years, there has been a growing concern about the health risks for contemporary interventional cardiologists who have a high and unprecedented levels of occupational ionizing radiation (IR) exposure. Because dysregulation of microRNAs (miRNAs) have been shown in many human diseases, we investigated the differential expression of miRNAs in the plasma of interventional cardiologists professionally exposed to IR and unexposed controls. In this study, our microarray analysis with 2,006 miRNAs and subsequent validation identified brain-specific miR-134 as one of the miRNAs that is highly dysregulated in the response to ionizing radiation exposure, supporting the notion that the brain damage is one of the main potential long-term risks of unprotected head irradiation in interventional cardiologists, with possible long-lasting cognitive consequences. Indeed, miR-134 was first identified as a brain-specific miRNA, which is involved in synapse development and directly implicated in learning and memory. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Emergency Care, Heart Disease / 06.09.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sandra L. Jackson, PhD National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Chamblee GA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: People who have atrial fibrillation are at increased risk for having a heart attack or stroke. While we know that the percentage of the population with atrial fibrillation is increasing in the US, there is no national surveillance system to track the burden of emergency department visits, hospitalizations and deaths related to atrial fibrillation across all ages and health insurance provider types. This study combined data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project and the National Vital Statistics System to provide national estimates for atrial fibrillation-related healthcare service use and deaths from 2006-2014. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease / 24.07.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Abhishek Sharma MD and Division of Cardiovascular Medicine State University New York Downstate Medical Center Dr.Sahil Agarwal M.B.B.S., M.D. Division of Cardiology St. Luke's University Health Network Bethlehem, Pennsylvania MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  Response: Prior randomized control trials (RCTs) and meta-analysis of these trials which have attempted to compare differences in outcomes between strategies of short (S) (3-6 months) and longer (L) (12-30 months) durations of dual anti-platelet therapy (DAPT) after drug eluting stents (DES) implantation have reported conflicting results. In general, the events rates in these studies were small, affecting statistical power. To overcome this limitation, we conducted an updated meta-analysis to compare the efficacy and safety of strategies of S-DAPT versus L-DAPT strategy after DES implantation by restricting inclusion to randomized studies with follow-up durations of 24 months or longer. The current meta-analysis is the first to compare outcomes between S-DAPT and L-DAPT in a meta-analysis restricted to trials with patient follow-up of 24 months or longer. We found no significant difference in the rates of mortality or of stent thrombosis with S-DAPT or L-DAPT. S-DAPT was associated with significantly lower risk of major bleeding but slightly higher risk of future myocardial infarctions. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Heart Disease, JAMA / 11.07.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sacha Bhatia, MD, MBA, FRCPC Scientist, Women's College Research Institute Director, Women’s College Hospital Institute for Health System Solutions and Virtual Care Cardiologist, Women's College Hospital and University Health Network Canada MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The USPSTF recommends against screening with resting electrocardiography (ECG) for the prediction of coronary heart disease (CHD) events in asymptomatic adults at low risk for CHD events. We conducted a retrospective cohort study of the frequency of resting ECGs in low risk patients within 30 days of an annual health exam. We found that 21.5% of low risk patients in Ontario, Canada had a ECG, with significant variation among primary care physicians (1.8% to 76.1%). Moreover, low risk patients who had a ECG were five times more likely to receive another cardiac test or cardiology consultation than those that did not receive an ECG. At one year the rate of mortality, cardiac hospitalizations and revascularization was <0.5% in each group. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Surgical Research / 02.05.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. PJ Devereaux MD, PhD, FRCP(C) Director of the Division of Cardiolog Scientific Leader of the Anesthesiology, Perioperative Medicine and Surgical Research Group at the Population Health Research Institute Professor and University Scholar in the Departments of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact and Medicine McMaster University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Although the majority of patients undergoing noncardiac surgery benefit from surgery and do well, even when a small proportion of these patients have a serious complication it represents a major population issue. A recent publication in JAMA Cardiology established that >5 million Americans age ≥45 years undergo major in-patient noncardiac surgery annually, and 1.3% of these patients die in the hospital. This means 65,000 of these patients die, and cardiovascular causes are a dominant cause. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Stem Cells / 17.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jalees Rehman, MD Director of Research, Division of Cardiology Associate Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine Chicago, IL 60612 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Converting skin fibroblasts into regenerative blood vessel endothelial cells could be a valuable approach to repair diseased blood vessels in patients with cardiovascular disease and also to build new blood vessels in order to supply engineered tissues and organs. Using skin fibroblasts is very well suited for personalized therapies because they can be obtained from a skin biopsy in an outpatient setting. The biopsied skin sample is used to extract the skin fibroblasts, which are then expanded in cell culture dishes before they are converted to endothelial cells. This allows for the generation of tens or hundreds of millions of cells that will likely be needed for blood vessel repair and regeneration. By converting skin fibroblasts of a patient, we can generate personalized endothelial cells with the same genetic signature as the patient so that they are less likely to be rejected if implanted back into the same patient after the conversion. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Imperial College, Medical Imaging, Surgical Research / 19.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Justin Davies PhD Senior Reserch Fellow and Hononary Consultant Cardiologist National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We know from the FAME study that compared to angiography alone, FFR guided revascularization improves long-term clinical outcomes for our patients. Despite this, adoption of FFR into everyday clinical practice remains stubbornly low. One major factor for this is the need for adenosine (or other potent vasodilator medications) in order to perform an FFR measurement. Adenosine is expensive, unpleasant for the patient, time consuming and even potentially harmful. iFR is a newer coronary physiology index that does not require adenosine for its measurement. In the prospective, multi center, blinded DEFINE FLAIR study, 2492 patients were randomly assigned to either FFR guided revascularisation or iFR guided revascularization and followed up for a period of 1 year. (more…)