REVERSE at 2 years: CRT may help prevent progression in early HF

Two-year results from the REVERSE trial help support the proposition that cardiac resynchronization therapy may be beneficial in patients with class 1 and 2 heart failure. The results, which were presented initially last March at the American College of Cardiology meeting, have been published online as an expedited paper in the Journal of the American…

Click here to continue reading…

Fish and heart failure: the one that got away

Although consumption of fish or fish oils is widely believed to protect against coronary disease, the role of fish in preventing heart failure has not been well studied. One previous observational study by Mozaffarian and colleagues found a beneficial effect. Now a new study from Europe has failed to confirm that finding….

Click here to continue reading…

Invitation to Readers: My Mighty Team

Dear CardioBrief Reader, I am pleased to invite you to become one of the first users of an innovative new website, My Mighty Team, that has just entered beta testing. MIGHTY is a completely free social networking site designed to help people achieve goals such as losing weight, quitting smoking, or exercising more, by using small,…

Click here to continue reading…

Home care for acute decompensated heart failure?

Each year in the US there are more than 1 million hospital admissions for acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF). Half of these patients are rehospitalized within 6 months of discharge. Now a small study from Italy raises the possibility that home treatment for these patients may be safe and might even reduce rehospitalizations….

Click here to continue reading…

FDA adds pancreatitis warning to Januvia label

The FDA has revised the prescribing information for Januvia (sitagliptin) and Janumet  (sitagliptin/metformin), adding information about reported cases of acute pancreatitis in 88 cases. The FDA recommends that doctors monitor patients  for acute pancreatitis after initiating sitagliptin or increasing the dose. Merck, which manufactures sitagliptin, released a statement saying it “believes these data do not…

Click here to continue reading…

Cholesterol prescriptions from Senators Schumer, Grassley, and Nelson

It’s only a very small moment within the enormous ongoing debate over health care reform, but a recent exchange in the US Senate over cholesterol remedies highlights the potential pitfalls when politicians talk about medicine. As reported by David Herzenhorn in the New York Times, New York’s Senator Charles Schumer “said his doctor had directed…

Click here to continue reading…

TCT: COGENT provides reassurance on use of PPIs with clopidogrel

PPIs don’t dampen the efficacy of clopidogrel, according to the results of COGENT, an important new randomized study presented at TCT by Deepak Bhatt. The study may finally put to rest the considerable concern this issue has raised in the past few years….

Click here to continue reading…

TCT: Ticagrelor again shows benefits in PLATO invasive substudy

New results from a subset of the PLATO trial show that ticagrelor was more effective than clopidogrel in preventing events in ACS patients undergoing an invasive strategy. Under development as Brilinta by AstraZeneca, ticagrelor is an oral, reversible antiplatelet drug with a rapid onset of action. The main results of PLATO in 18,624 ACS patients…

Click here to continue reading…

TCT: FAME extends its 15 minutes out to 2 years

FAME probably won’t live forever but it’s still going strong at 2 years. Long term results of the Fractional Flow Reserve (FFR) vs. Angiography in Multivessel Evaluation (FAME) trial were presented on Wednesday at TCT….

Click here to continue reading…

Gregg Stone no longer chairman of Cardiovascular Research Foundation

Updated—According to the website of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation, Gregg Stone is no longer the chairman of CRF. In addition, Stone is identified as the “immediate past chairman” of CRF in the press release for the SPIRIT IV trial issued by Abbott. As CardioBrief reported yesterday, Stone’s predecessor as chairman, and the founder of the CRF,…

Click here to continue reading…

TCT: Xience outperforms Taxus in SPIRIT IV, but no difference in diabetics

The Xience V outperformed the Taxus Express 2 in the SPIRIT IV Trial, but didn’t do any better or worse in the highly anticipated subset of diabetic patients. The results were presented at TCT 2009 during the Late Breaking Trials session on Wednesday by Gregg Stone. At one year, the trial’s primary endpoint– the rate…

Click here to continue reading…

Senators ask Columbia: did Martin Leon fail to disclose millions of dollars received from industry?

Updated– Senators Herb Kohl and Charles Grassley have once again raised the issue of potentially undisclosed conflicts of interest involving Martin Leon and the Cardiovascular Research Foundation he founded. The senators’ letter coincided with TCT 2009, the group’s well-known annual meeting for interventional cardiologists, which is now taking place in San Francisco. The senators’ letter…

Click here to continue reading…

ACC/AHA publish new performance measures to prevent CV disease

The ACC and the AHA have produced a joint scientific statment containing 13 key aspects of cardiovascular disease prevention. The statement is published simultaneously in Circulation and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The performance measures translate existing guidelines, or principles important to disease prevention, into practical steps for healthcare providers, said Rita…

Click here to continue reading…

Flu vaccine may prevent flu-triggered MIs

The flu vaccine may help prevent MIs triggered by the flu, according to a new study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases. Charlotte Warren-Gash and colleagues conducted a systematic review of 39 studies examining the association of influenza and MI or cardiovascular death….

Click here to continue reading…

Wall Street analyst calls prasugrel launch “muted”

It may be too soon for reliable predictions, but one Wall Street analyst sees signs of weakness in Lilly’s launch of Effient (prasugrel). Seamus Fernandez, a Leerink Swann analyst, wrote in a research note that the number of new prescriptions for prasugrel were below the numbers observed during a similar period in successful new drug launches…

Click here to continue reading…

Sharp drop in MIs after smoking bans, meta-analysis finds

Heart attack rates drop quickly once communities adopt smoking bans, according to a meta-analysis appearing in Circulation. James M. Lightwood and colleagues analyzed 13 studies and concluded that heart attack rates dropped 17% in the year following the smoking ban. By three years the decline had reached 36%….

Click here to continue reading…

Company and Wall Street disagree over trial results of diet drug lorcaserin

If you only read the press release issued by Arena Pharmaceuticals you would think the results of BLOSSOM, the highly anticipated phase 3 trial of the diet drug locaserin, were overwhelmingly positive. But Wall Street has a different view of the trial and drove the stock price of the company down more than 10%. Update:…

Click here to continue reading…

UK study: high risk associated with 10-15 year cut in life expectancy

50-year-old men who smoked and had hypertension and hypercholesterolemia had a dramatic 10 year reduction in their life expectancy, according to a report in BMJ on long term followup of 19,000 men enrolled in the Whitehall Study. Even worse, men in the study with risk factor scores in the top 5% had a 15 year…

Click here to continue reading…

NEJM writers make case for soda tax

Recently the proposal to tax sugar-sweetened beverages has gained significant traction. A powerful argument for the tax from a group of prominent experts appears online as a Health Policy Report in the New England Journal of Medicine….

Click here to continue reading…

Senate investigation uncovers huge expenditures for Vytorin CME

As part of its investigation into continuing medical education (CME), the Senate Special Committee on Aging has uncovered extensive records of the vast sums of money spent by Merck/Schering Plough on CME programs for Vytorin from 2004 through 2007. The document, which was first reported by Jared A. Favole on Dow Jones newswires, provide a fascinating…

Click here to continue reading…

Study sheds light on stroke following cardiac surgery

Stroke following cardiac surgery occurs in about 2% of cases but does not necessarily occur  more frequently in patients with significant carotid stenosis, according to a single center study appearing in the Archives of Neurology. Yuebing Li and colleagues followed 4335 patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting, aortic valve replacement, or both at Lehigh Valley Hospital…

Click here to continue reading…

ICDs in women? A new meta-analysis sparks criticism

A new meta-analysis finds that ICDs are not associated with a mortality benefit in women. The study, by Ghanbari and colleagues, appears in the Archives of Internal Medicine. 934 women and 3,810 men were randomized in the 5 trials included in the meta-analysis. For men, the trials, both individually and in the combined analysis, resulted in…

Click here to continue reading…

Everybody in the (risk) pool! Survey finds frightening increase in CV risk

Fewer and fewer Americans are at low risk for cardiovascular disease, according to an important and frightening new report on long term trends from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) of adults 25-74 years of age. In the most recent survey (1999-2004) only about 8% of US adults had a low risk profile, despite…

Click here to continue reading…

Endothelin-receptor blocker darusentan effective in resistant hypertension

The endothelin-receptor antagonist darusentan appears effective in lowering blood pressure in patients with resistant hypertension who have not been able to reach goal despite taking three or more antihypertensive drugs….

Click here to continue reading…

Editor insists prasugrel ghostwriter go public

You don’t need a medium or a seance to find a ghost. All it takes is a sharp-eyed editor. According to a Reuters story by Brendan Borrell, the editor of the Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy,  Frederic Curtiss, insisted that a reluctant medical writer be listed as an author on a prasugrel article. The article, “Pharmacy Benefit Spending Poised…

Click here to continue reading…