Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, CT Scanning, Heart Disease, JACC, Statins / 14.01.2021 Interview with: Prasanna Venkataraman MBBS Thomas H. Marwick MBBS, PhD Baker Heart and Diabetes Research Institute Monash University, Melbourne Melbourne, Australia What is the background for this study?
  • Coronary artery calcium score (CAC) quantifies coronary calcium as determined by computed tomography and is a good surrogate marker for overall coronary plaque burden. It can help to reclassify patients at intermediate risk – many of whom are actually at low risk and can be reassured. Conversely, the finding of coronary calcium can also motivate patients (and their clinicians) to more aggressively control their cardiovascular risk factors. This is particularly problematic in those with a family history of premature coronary artery disease, where standard risk prediction tools are less accurate. However, CT CAC does not routinely attract third party payer support limiting its access and utilisation.
  • We screened 1084 participants who have a family history of premature coronary disease and a 10-year Pooled cohort Equation (PCE) cardiovascular risk >2% with CAC. We then assessed the cost-effectiveness of commencing statins in those with any coronary calcium compared to a strategy of no CAC testing and commencing statins if their PCE risk was ≥7.5% consistent with current guidelines.
Author Interviews, Coffee / 19.04.2019 Interview with: Eugene Chan, PhD Senior Lecturer in Marketing Monash Business School Monash University Australia and Sam Maglio PhD Associate Professor of Marketing Department of Management University of Toronto What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The physiological effects of coffee and caffeine consumption have been well-studied, but we were interested in the psychological effects. Especially in Western societies, there is a mental association between coffee and arousal – that coffee is an arousing beverage. This led us to ask, might this association itself produce the psychological “lift” without actually drinking beverages? We found that it does. Merely seeing pictures of coffee or thinking about coffee can increase arousal, heart rates, and make people more focused. The effects are not as strong as actually drinking coffee of course, but they are still noticeable. (more…)