Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Lipids, Metabolic Syndrome, UCSF / 12.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prakash Deedwania, MD, FACC,FAHA,FASH,FHFSA,FESC Professor of Medicine, UCSF School of Medicine, San Francisco MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This paper describes the findings form the FOURIER study, a very large study evaluating the efficacy of evolocumab, a PCSK9 inhibitor in patients with metabolic syndrome and preexisting atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) who were already being treated with statins. In this largest study of its kind of 27,000 patients we found that 60% of patients with ASCVD had metabolic syndrome. We also found that the presence of metabolic syndrome identified a higher risk of future cardiac & coronary events in these patients despite them receiving maximum tolerated doses of statin. Furthermore, study treatment with evolocumab was efficacious in reducing the increased risk during the median follow up of nearly 3 years . Unlike treatment with statins there was no risk of new-onset diabetes with evolocumab, which was generally well tolerated. What was interesting thatpatients without metabolic syndrome had much less benefit with PCSK9 inhibition. These findings suggest that the presence of metabolic syndrome can help the clinicians identify the ASCVD patients who are most likely to benefit from treatment with PCSK9 inhibitors. This will be of great help for the cost containment of therapeutic strategy as PCSK9 inhibitors as a class are still quite expensive drugs. (more…)
Author Interviews, Health Care Systems, Heart Disease, JAMA, Medicare / 24.02.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rishi KWadhera, MD Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In recent years, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has implemented nationally mandated value-based programs to incentivize hospitals to deliver higher quality care. The Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP), for example, has financially penalized hospitals over $2.5 billion to date for high 30-day readmission rates. In addition, the Value-Based Purchasing Program (VBP) rewards or penalizes hospitals based on their performance on multiple domains of care.  Both programs have focused on cardiovascular care. The evidence to date, however, suggests that these programs have not improved health outcomes, and there is growing concern that they may disproportionately penalize hospitals that care for sick and poor patients, rather than for poor quality care. (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Duke, Pediatrics / 22.01.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Yuichiro Yano MD Assistant Professor in Family Medicine and Community Health Duke University  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The blood pressure (BP) guideline in the US recommend using an “average” of multiple BP measurements over time for screening for and management of high BP in young adults. While it is well known that BP varies across visits, that “variability” (i.e., visit-to-visit blood pressure variability) is dismissed as a random fluctuation in the clinical setting. Little is known regarding the clinical relevance of visit-to-visit blood pressure variability over time in young adults. (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Duke, Heart Disease, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 14.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Yuichiro Yano MD Assistant Professor in Family Medicine and Community Health Duke University  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: African Americans are disproportionally affected by hypertension-related cardiovascular disease compared with other racial/ethnic groups in the United States and have higher blood pressure levels inside and outside the clinic than whites and Asians. However, little is known, among African Americans, regarding whether higher mean blood pressure measured outside of the clinic setting on 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring is associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease events, independent of blood pressure measured in the clinic setting. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Pediatrics / 14.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Juan Pablo Kaski MD(Res) FRCP FESC Director of the GOSH Centre for Inherited Cardiovascular Diseases Great Ormond Street Hospital, University College London Institute of Cardiovascular Science, London, UK  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you briefly explain what is meant by Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy?  Response: Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a genetic condition characterised by abnormal thickening of the muscle of the heart and can affect people of all ages. It is associated with an increased risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD) and, in the last few years, a clinical risk tool that estimates the 5-year risk of SCD in adults with HCM has been developed. However, there are no similar risk models in children, where risk stratification has traditionally been based on clinical risk factors extrapolated from the adult population. We have recently shown that this approach does not discriminate risk well in children, and so the aim of this study was to develop a new risk tool to provide an individualised risk of SCD in children with HCM.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Duke, Heart Disease, JAMA / 21.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Renato D. Lopes MD, MHS, PhD Professor of Medicine Division of Cardiology Duke University Medical Center Duke Clinical Research Institute Alexander C. Fanaroff, MD, MHS Division of Cardiology and Duke Clinical Research Institute Duke University, Durham, North Carolina MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: About ten years ago, a group of researchers examined the evidence supporting guideline recommendations in cardiology for the first time. Quite surprisingly, they found that only 11% of recommendations in American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) guidelines were supported by evidence from randomized controlled trials, the highest level of evidence. The researchers called for greater collaboration among investigators and funders in identifying key research questions, development of streamlined clinical trial methods, and expansion of funding for clinical research. Over the past 10 years, some of these steps have been taken, but it is unclear how the evidence supporting guideline recommendations has changed. We therefore analyzed the 51 current cardiovascular guideline documents -- 26 from the ACC/AHA and 25 from the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) -- including 6,329 recommendations. Overall, 8.5% of recommendations in ACC/AHA guidelines and 14.3% of recommendations in ESC guidelines were supported by evidence from randomized controlled trials. When looking specifically at guidelines that have been updated, we found no significant changes in the proportion of recommendations supported by evidence from randomized controlled trials. (more…)
Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness, Heart Disease, JAMA / 30.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Laura DeFina, MD President and Chief Executive Officer Chief Science Officer The Cooper Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Several studies suggest that endurance athletes may be at higher risk for asymptomatic hardening of the coronary arteries.  These studies, however, have been done on small numbers of endurance athletes (ie – marathon runners) and do not show whether this increase in hardening actually leads to increase in heart attacks or death of cardiovascular disease. In our population of 21,758 generally healthy individuals (average age 52 years) who presented for a preventive medicine examination, we were able to evaluate for the presence of hardening and cardiovascular events in individuals who exercised high volumes (≥3000 MET·minutes/week or comparable to running 6 miles/hour for an hour 5 days a week) versus those exercising less. (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA / 29.12.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David L. Brown, MD, FACC Professor of Medicine Cardiovascular Division Washington University School of Medicine St. Louis, MO 63110 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: The genesis of this study was a patient asking me if he could continue to have a nightly cocktail or two after he was hospitalized with the new diagnosis of heart failure. The main findings are that moderate drinking after the diagnosis of heart failure in older adults is probably safe and is associated with longer survival. These types of studies can not prove a causal relationship between alcohol consumption and survival.  (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…)