Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JACC / 12.06.2019 Interview with:

J.L. Mehta, MD, PhD

Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Physiology and Biophysics

Stebbins Chair in Cardiology

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System

Little Rock, AR 72205 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Aspirin is commonly used for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease events in a variety of subjects around the world. Recent studies, however, show that routine use of aspirin without assessment of risk for cardiovascular disease events may not be appropriate, and may even be harmful.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, Heart Disease, Nutrition / 05.12.2018 Interview with: Dr. Lowell H. Steen, Jr., M.D. Interventional Cardiologist Loyola University Medical Center Dr. Steen discusses how holiday treats & stress can increase the risk of heart attack. What are the main factors that are linked to an increase in heart related adverse events during the Christmas holiday season? Who is most at risk?  Response: The increase in holiday season heart-related hospitalizations and deaths are due to a variety of behaviors such as putting off seeking medical help until after the holidays, overeating rich foods, strenuous travel, excessive alcohol consumption and stressful family interactions. These factors can all trigger heart issues. Factors such as age, diabetes, high cholesterol and smoking all increase heart risk. Additionally, those with high blood pressure, which is a leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke, are exceptionally at risk and should celebrate the hectic holiday season with caution.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cost of Health Care, Heart Disease, Medicare / 15.03.2018 Interview with: Dr. Rishi K. Wadhera MD Clinical Fellow in Medicine Brigham and Women's Hospital What is the background for this study?   Response: The Hospital Value Based Purchasing program, in which over 3,000 hospitals participate, is a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) pay-for-performance program that links hospital fee per service reimbursement to performance, through measures like 30-day mortality rates after an acute myocardial infarction (a heart attack), and other measures such as average spending for an episode of care for Medicare beneficiaries. Hospitals that perform poorly on these measures are financially penalized by CMS. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Lipids, Nutrition, Stroke, Yale / 13.04.2017 Interview with: Eric J. Brandt, MD Yale University Cardiovascular Disease Fellow What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: From previous studies we know that industrial trans fatty acid (trans fat) consumption is linked to elevated risk for cardiovascular disease. Even small amounts of consumption can be deleterious to cardiovascular health. In New York state, there were 11 counties that restricted the use of trans fatty acids in eateries. We compared hospitalization for heart attacks and stroke from 2002 through 2013 in counties that did and did not have restrictions. Our study found that when comparing populations within New York state that restricted the use of trans fat, compared to those that did not, there was an associated additional decline beyond temporal trends for heart attacks and stroke events combined by 6.2%. (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, Gender Differences, Heart Disease / 14.02.2017 Interview with: Nathalie Auger MD MSc FRCPC Montréal, Québec What is the background for this study? Response: Snow shoveling is a challenging cardiovascular activity. Some studies suggest a link between snowfall and myocardial infarction, but use aggregate data which are limited. We used health data for individuals in the province of Quebec, Canada to analyze the association between snowfall and likelihood of hospital admission or death due to myocardial infarction. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Heart Disease / 16.11.2016 Interview with: Anand M. Irimpen MD Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine Tulane University Medical Center New Orleans, LA What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We did this study to look at the incidence of heart attacks post Katrina. There had been no long-term data on patients having heart attacks post major disaster and hence we decided to investigate this issue. The main findings are that there is a three-fold increase in heart attacks post Katrina compared to pre - Katrina. There was a higher incidence of hypertension, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia and smoking in the post-Katrina group compared to the pre-Katrina group. (more…)
Author Interviews, General Medicine, Heart Disease, JACC, Karolinski Institute / 23.09.2014

Agneta Åkesson Associate professor, senior lecturer  Photo by Anna Persson                                                                   Nutritional Epidemiology IMM Institute of Environmental Medicine Karolinska Institutet Stockholm, Interview with Agneta Åkesson Associate professor, senior lecturer                                                  Nutritional Epidemiology IMM Institute of Environmental Medicine Karolinska Institutet Stockholm, Sweden Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Åkesson: Our study indicates that a healthy diet together with low-risk lifestyle practices such as being physically active, not smoking and having a moderate alcohol consumption, and with the absence of abdominal adiposity may prevent the vast majority of myocardial infarctions in men. (more…)
Gender Differences, Heart Disease / 04.06.2014

Luke Kim, M.D., FACC, FSCAI Assistant Professor of Medicine Interventional Cardiac and Endovascular Laboratory  Greenberg Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine Weill Cornell Medical College/The New York Presbyterian Interview with: Luke Kim, M.D., FACC, FSCAI Assistant Professor of Medicine Interventional Cardiac and Endovascular Laboratory Greenberg Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine Weill Cornell Medical College/The New York Presbyterian Hospital MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of this study? Dr. Kim: The main findings of the study include:
  1. From 2007-2011, there was no significant change in the rate of acute MI in both male and female cohorts in U.S. . Although there was a decline in the rate of ST-elevation (STEMI) in those ≥55 years old, the rate remains steady in patients < 55 years old, especially in the female cohort after 2009.
  2. Female patients <55 years old with MI were sicker at baseline than the male counterparts with more likelihood of having diabetes, hypertension, chronic renal insufficiency, peripheral vascular disease, congestive heart failure and obesity.
  3. Female patients were more likely to present with non– STEMI vs. STEMI and more likely to develop shock complicating their MIs.
  4. Female patients are less likely to undergo coronary artery revascularization including percutaneous coronary intervention and coronary artery bypass surgery.
  5. Unadjusted risk of death was higher in female vs male (5.2% vs. 3.7%, p<0.001) along with higher incidence of stroke (0.5% vs. 0.3%, p<0.001), bleeding (4.9% vs. 3.0%, p<0.001), vascular complication (0.6% vs. 0.4%, p<0.001) and ARF (11.6% vs. 9.6%, p<0.001). After adjustment, death (OR 1.10 CI 1.04-1.17), stroke (OR 1.31 CI 1.10-1.55), bleeding (OR 1.30 CI 1.22-1.37), and vascular complications (OR 1.33 CI 1.15-1.55) were all significantly higher for female cohort.
Baylor College of Medicine Houston, Heart Disease, Testosterone / 27.05.2014

Robert S. Tan MD, MBA, Interview with: Robert S. Tan MD, MBA, AGSF Clinical Director & Chief Geriatrics, Michael DeBakey VAMC Director, Opal Medical, LLC Clinical Professor of Family & Community Medicine, UTHSC-Houston Associate Professor of Medicine (Geriatrics), Baylor College Medicine Medicalresearch: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Tan: Our findings¹ are similar to that of an early study by Shores et al ² and other studies on endogenous testosterone that found testosterone lowered mortality. In the analysis of 39,937 patients at the Low T Centers up to 5 years, the rate ratios of new MI and strokes on testosterone as compared to general community based data sets (3,4) was 0.12 (C.I. 0.08-0.18, p<0.0001) and 0.05 (C.I 0.02-0.13, p<0.0001) respectively. Thus, there appears to be a lower risk of heart attacks and strokes with patients on testosterone. While the compared population sets are not identical or real controls; our study does suggest that rates of MI and strokes in real life practice with testosterone treated patients are even lower than the general population registries (which may include older patients). (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Medical Imaging / 30.09.2013

Dr. Afshin Farzaneh-Far, M.D. University of Illinois at Interview with: Dr. Afshin Farzaneh-Far, M.D. University of Illinois at Chicago What are the main findings of the study? Answer: Traditionally SPECT MPI has been performed with adenosine which has a significant body of published prognostic data. Regadenoson is a selective A2A receptor agonist and is now the stress agent most widely used in the United States. Unlike adenosine, regadenoson is given as a bolus rather than as an infusion, simplifying the testing protocol and is better-tolerated. However, despite increasing use of regadenoson, there is very limited data on risk prediction using this agent. This study showed that the ability of SPECT MPI to predict heart attacks and death is the same for the new stress agent Regadenoson as it is for the old agent Adenosine. (more…)