Linagliptin And Glimepiride Compared In Type Two Diabetes

Sulfonylureas are often added to metformin to improve glycemic control, but at the known risk of increasing hypoglycemia and weight gain. In a report published in the Lancet, more than 1,500 patients with type 2 diabetes taking metformin were randomized to the addition of either linagliptin, a dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor or the sulfonylurea glimepiride. After two years…

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Who Really Won Today? Two Views On Roberts And The Commerce Clause

I had planned to stay out of it. Like every other health care journalist I’ve been following today’s Supreme Court decision, but I have no special expertise in this area and I hadn’t planned  to write about it. But then I became interested in a slightly different angle of the story. An article in Slate…

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Good Science/Bad Science: Contrasting Papers On Dietary Compositon In JAMA And BMJ

Two studies published on Tuesday on dietary composition offer a striking contrast. One tackles the interesting question of whether different diets producing the same amount of weight loss might have different effects on energy expenditure. The investigators performed a rigorous, carefully designed experiment that advances our knowledge about diets and metabolism. The second tackled an…

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FDA Approves A New Weight Loss Drug, Breaking a 13 Year Drought

The FDA announced today that it had approved its first new weight loss drug in 13 years. Lorcaserin, which will be sold under the brand name of Belviq, is manufactured by Arena Pharmaceuticals and will be distributed in the US by Eisai. Lorcaserin is indicated for use in obese adults (BMI 30 or above) or…

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Are Statins Equally Effective In Women And In Men?

Jose Gutierrez and colleagues performed a sex-based meta-analysis, seeking to determine if statins yield a similar protective effect on both men and women in preventing recurrent cardiovascular events. In a paper published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, they report the results of their meta-analysis of 11 secondary prevention, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trials, which included 43, 193 patients…

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FDA Once Again Delays Approval Of Apixaban (Eliquis)

The FDA has once again delayed approval of apixaban (Eliquis), the much-anticipated oral anticoagulant. Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer announced today that it had received a a Complete Response Letter (CRL) to the New Drug Application (NDA) for the drug for the prevention of stroke and systemic embolism in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation. The two…

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Olmesartan Use Associated With GI Disorder That Mimics Celiac Disease

A gastroenterologist at the Mayo Clinic has uncovered a rare but potentially serious association between the angiotensin II receptor antagonist (ARB) olmesartan and severe gastrointestinal problems that resemble Celiac disease. The report has been published online in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. In the US, olmesartan is sold as Benicar and, in combination with other drugs, as…

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FDA Rejects ACS Indication for Rivaroxaban (Xarelto)

The FDA has issued a complete response letter to the supplemental new drug application (NDA) for the proposed indication of rivaroxaban (Xarelto, Johnson & Johnson) in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS). The action was expected, since last month the FDA’s Cardiovascular and Renal Drugs Advisory Committee voted against recommending the new indication, which was based on…

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Guest Post– Reality Check: The ORIGIN of Spin in a Randomized Trial

Editor’s Note: The following guest post is reprinted with permission from CardioExchange, the cardiology social media website published by the New England Journal of Medicine. Steven Coca is a nephrologist at the Yale School of Medicine.  Reality Check: The ORIGIN of Spin in a Randomized Trial by Steven Coca, DO, MS In the ORIGIN randomized trial, involving about 12,500 people…

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New Uses Found for a Traditional Walking Test

(Updated at bottom)— The 6-minute walk test (6MWT) can improve risk prediction in people with stable coronary disease, according to a new study published in Archives of Internal Medicine. The 6MWT may also be cost-effective and, in addition, may help physicians motivate their patients to exercise, suggest the authors. Alexis Beatty and colleagues performed a 6MWT and a…

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Is Chronic Kidney Disease A CHD Risk Equivalent?

A new study published in the Lancet provides new data about whether chronic kidney disease (CKD) should, like diabetes, be considered a coronary heart disease (CHD) risk equivalent. Marcello Tonelli and colleagues analyzed data from a population of 1.25 million people in Alberta, Canada. During a median followup of 4 years, 11,340 people were admitted to…

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The Grim Impact of Loneliness And Living Alone

Two new reports published in the Archives of Internal Medicine throw a spotlight on the grim effects of loneliness and living alone on health. As part of the Health and Retirement Study, 1604 people were followed for 6 years after answering a questionnaire about loneliness. Some 43% reported feeling lonely. Loneliness was associated with significantly increased risks for…

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Guest Post: Industry editorial makes outlandish claim about impact of medical devices

Editor’s Note: The following guest post by Gary Schwitzer is reprinted with permission from HealthNewsReview blog, an indispensable resource for tracking the best and worst of healthcare journalism. Industry editorial makes outlandish claim about impact of medical devices by Gary Schwitzer Minnesota is the home of several medical device makers.  So there’s been a lot of…

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FDA Advisory Panel Recommends Expanded Indication For Sapien Transcatheter Heart Valve

The FDA’s Circulatory System Devices Panel voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to recommend an expanded indication for the Edwards Sapien Transcatheter Heart Valve in patients with symptomatic severe aortic stenosis who have high operative risk. The device is currently approved for use only in patients who are not surgical candidates. The committee voted 10-2 that the Sapien device…

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Live Blog: FDA Advisory Panel For Edwards Sapien Transcatheter Heart Valve

Here’s my live-blog of the FDA’s meeting of the Circulatory System Devices Panel to consider the premarket approval (PMA) application for the Edwards Sapien Transcatheter Heart Valve for use in patients with symptomatic severe aortic stenosis who have high operative risk. As reported here earlier this week, FDA reviewers have raised a number of questions about the safety and…

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Single Case Report Casts New Doubts About St. Jude Durata ICD Leads

Editor’s Note: The following guest post is published with the permission of its author,  Edward J. Schloss, MD, (Twitter ID @EJSMD) the medical director of cardiac electrophysiology at Christ Hospital in Cincinnati, OH. As if on cue, just as the train pulled into the Nice-Ville station for this week’s Cardiostim 2012 meeting on the French Riviera, my…

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ACC Releases Appropriate Use Criteria For Noninvasive Peripheral Tests

The American College of Cardiology (ACC) has published appropriate use criteria (AUC) for peripheral vascular ultrasound and physiological testing. The criteria were developed in coordination with 10 other medical societies. “This is the first systematic and comprehensive evaluation looking at appropriate indications for vascular testing, such as ultrasound or functional testing,” said Emile Mohler III,…

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Basal Insulin And Omega-3 Fatty Acids Fail To Improve Outcomes In Diabetics And Prediabetics

A large new study has found no evidence of cardiovascular (CV) benefits for either basal insulin or omega-3 fatty acids in a population of people with diabetes or at risk for diabetes. Results of the ORIGIN (Outcome Reduction with Initial Glargine Intervention) study were presented on Monday at the annual meeting of the American Diabetes…

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FDA Reviewers Raise Questions About Sapien Heart Valve System

FDA reviewers have raised a number of questions about the safety and efficacy of the Sapien heart valve system. The review was published online ahead of Wednesday’s meeting of the Circulatory System Devices Panel meeting to evaluate the Sapien system for use in patients eligible but at high risk for aortic valve surgery. The Sapien system…

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Transient Glucose Regulation Helps Prevent Progression To Diabetes In Prediabetics

Prediabetics– people with impaired fasting glucose or impaired glucose tolerance– can reduce their high risk of progressing to diabetes if they achieve even a transient return to normal glucose regulation, according to results of the Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study (DPPOS), presented at the American Diabetes Association meeting and published simultaneously online in the Lancet. Leigh…

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Growing Popularity Of Dabigatran Leads To Increased Complications

Since its approval in the United States in October 2010 dabigatran (Pradaxa) has been prescribed 3.2 million times to more than 600,000 patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (AF), according to its manufacturer, Boehringer Ingelheim. The company also announced that, based on the pivotal RE-LY trial, the “Clinical Studies” section of the drug’s prescribing information now…

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Real World Bleeding Risk Of Aspirin In Primary Prevention Examined

A new study published in JAMA provides substantial new evidence about the real world effects of aspirin, including the risk of  bleeding, in a broad  population. The study also sheds important new light on the effects of aspirin in a diabetic population. Giorgia De Berardis and colleagues analyzed data from more than 4 million people in…

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Troponin T Test Helps Assess Risk Following Noncardiac Surgery

A new study in JAMA finds that postoperative Troponin T (TnT) tests can independently improve 30 day mortality risk assessment among patients who have had noncardiac surgery. The VISION (Vascular Events in Noncardiac Surgery Patients Cohort Evaluation) study investigators evaluated the prognostic power of postoperative fourth-generation TnT testing in 15,133 patients. Overall mortality at 30 days was…

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Subway Meals Get American Heart Association Endorsement

AHA meal check small

The American Heart Association (AHA) announced today that it had initiated a new program that it claims will help people choose healthy meals at restaurants. The Subway restaurant chain will be the first to display the Heart-Check Meal Certification logo next to certain selected meals. In a press release the AHA’s president, Gordon Tomaselli, said…

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Observational Study Finds Possible Long-Term Mortality Advantage for Rhythm Control Drugs In Atrial Fibrillation

Challenging a decade-old influential trial, a large observational study of patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) suggests that rhythm control drugs may outperform rate control drugs after 4 years. Raluca Ionescu-Ittu and colleagues analyzed data from 26,130 patients 66 years or older diagnosed with AF in Quebec, Canada. Patients were followed for a mean of 3.1 years and…

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