Heart Attack Risk Jumps After Divorce

A new study shows that after a divorce people have an increased lifetime risk for heart attacks (myocardial infarction). Although previous studies have found that MIs occur more frequently in people who are divorced, this is the first study to prospectively examine the lifetime relationship between divorce and MI. In a paper published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, Duke…

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A Requiem for Routine Clot Removal During Heart Attacks

Using a stent to open a blocked coronary artery is the treatment of choice in the early period of a heart attack (myocardial infarction). A limitation is the risk of dislodging part of the clot, leading to new downstream blockages of smaller vessels. One strategy that has been under development for a long time is thrombectomy, in…

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AstraZeneca Drug ‘Approaching The Point Of Diminishing Returns’

After a heart attack (myocardial infarction or MI) patients remain at high risk for recurrent events. The precise role of blood thinning with dual antiplatelet therapy to lower this risk has been the subject of considerable disagreement.  Now a new study offers fresh evidence that one important strategy, prolonged dual antiplatelet therapy, can lower risk…

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AstraZeneca Drug Improves Outcomes After Heart Attacks

For the first time a very large trial has shown that dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) improves cardiovascular outcomes when given to patients one to three years after a heart attack. Because it has been shown previously to reduce the high risk of recurrent events for up to a year following a heart attack, DAPT is considered to be…

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Cardiology Drugs Of The Year: New, Old, And Not-So-Funny

New Drug Of The Year: LCZ696 from Novartis Old Drug of the Year: Ezetimibe Not-So-Funny Drug of the Year: Ivabradine … Click here to read the full post on Forbes.  …

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New Drug From Isis Breaks Important Ground But Unlikely To Dent The Market

The first important results with a new drug under development by Isis Pharmaceuticals may well have an enormous long term impact on our understanding of how blood flows through the body and how that same blood forms clots in response to damage and disease. But it appears unlikely that the new drug– an anticoagulant unlike anything…

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Counterintuitive Advice About Staying Alive After A Heart Attack

… An interventional cardiologist– the cardiologists who put in stents and usually treat heart attack patients in the first few hours– asked an electrophysiologist– the cardiologists who treat arrhythmias– whether wearable defibrillators should be used post-MI. Here’s what that electrophysiologist, Edward J. Schloss, the medical director of cardiac electrophysiology at Christ Hospital in Cincinnati, OH, replied….

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Fractional Flow Reserve Gains Support in Stable CAD and NSTEMI

In recent years interventional cardiologists have started to use a new catheter technique, called fractional flow reserve (FFR), in an attempt to assess which blocked vessels might benefit from a stent. Two studies presented at the European Society of Cardiology meeting in Barcelona offered new support for FFR, which has been slowly but surely gaining traction in the…

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US Department Of Justice Ends Investigation Of AstraZenca Trial

AstraZeneca announced today that the US Department of Justice has ended its investigation into alleged misconduct associated with the pivotal PLATO trial. The company said it had fully cooperated with the investigation, which began in October of 2013. … Click here to read the full post on Forbes.  …

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Clot Busters For Stroke Gain More Support

Although thrombolysis for ischemic stroke has been widely recognized as beneficial, its use has been limited because of concerns about its effects on patients treated after 3 hours, on older patients, and on patients with mild and with severe strokes. Now a new metaanalysis published in the Lancet offers evidence that the use of thrombolysis should be more…

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Controversial Trial Finds No Benefit For Expensive Medicines Company Drug

Although there is broad consensus in the medical community that primary PCI is the best treatment for heart attack patients when it can be delivered promptly, there is no agreement about the best accompanying drug regimen, which usually entails a combination of antiplatelet and antithrombotic drugs. The role of one antithrombotic, bivalirudin (Angiomax, The Medicines Company) has…

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ESC Hot Lines: First Real Data On Promising Novartis Heart Failure Drug

The first real details about the much-anticipated novel new heart failure drug from Novartis will kick off this year’s Hot Line sessions at the annual meeting of the European Society of Cardiology in Barcelona, Spain. The meeting runs from August 30 until September 3. As I have previously reported, the PARADIGM-HF trial was stopped because of a highly statistically significant reduction…

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Study Offers Reassurance About Newer Drug-Eluting Stents

Drug-eluting stents (DES) have been viewed as a great advance over earlier stents and balloon angioplasty because they result in many fewer cases of restenosis. But enthusiasm for the first generation of DES was somewhat curbed due to reports of late stent thrombosis (ST), a rare but very dangerous complication. Now findings from a large ongoing…

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In Emerging China Heart Attacks Skyrocket But Treatment Lags

Accompanying all the other changes in China over the past decade, admission to the hospital for heart attacks ST-elevation myocardial infarction, or STEMI) has soared, according to a paper published in the Lancet. Although the study finds that there have been some genuine improvements in treatment, the Chinese healthcare system still has a long way to go in…

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Strike 2 For Once Promising GSK ‘Stinkbomb’ Heart Drug

GSK said today that a large phase 3 trial of a once highly-promising drug had failed to meet its primary endpoint. Last year the company  announced that another phase 3 trial with the same drug had  failed. GSK said it would “further analyse the data and better understand the findings” but that, for now at least, it…

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Intensive Insulin Therapy Saves Lives– But Is The Finding Still Relevant?

A trial that started back in 1990 continues to demonstrate a significant mortality advantage for intensive insulin therapy in heart attack (MI) patients. But experts say the trial design is so outdated that the findings should have no influence on clinical practice today. During the years 1990 through 1993 the Swedish DIGAMI I (Diabetes Mellitus…

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FDA Approves Novel Merck Drug To Prevent Heart Attacks And Strokes

The FDA today approved vorapaxar (Zontivity), Merck’s once-troubled platelet receptor antagonist, to reduce the risk of myocardial infarction (heart attack), stroke, cardiovascular death, and revascularization procedures. The drug is approved for use in people with a history of MI or peripheral arterial disease. The approval represents an amazing turnaround for a drug that had experienced nearly…

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FDA Comes Out Against Aspirin To Prevent First Heart Attacks

In the latest development in a long-simmering debate, the FDA has announced that aspirin should not be marketed for the prevention of a first heart attack or stroke in people with no history of cardiovascular disease. The announcement follows FDA’s rejection on Friday of Bayer Healthcare’s decade-old  petition requesting approval of a primary prevention indication. [PDF of FDA rejection letter]…

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Another Failed HDL Therapy Trial

Despite robust epidemiological evidence suggesting that HDL has a strong protective effect against cardiovascular disease, there has been no good evidence showing that HDL-based therapies are beneficial. Large trials of drugs that raise HDL levels, including niacin and CETP-inhibitors, have failed to demonstrate improvements in outcome. Some observers gleaned hope from several small studies of…

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Stem Cell Therapy To Fix The Heart: A House Of Cards About To Fall?

For more than a decade cardiac stem cell therapy has attracted an enormous amount of attention, promise, and research dollars. Now an original and important new study published in BMJ finds that many of the most promising results in the field are illusory and that the potential benefits of stem cells to treat heart disease are probably far…

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New Study Lends Support For Alternative Heart Attack Treatment Strategy

It is generally agreed that the best treatment for heart attack patients is to immediately reperfuse the blocked artery with a stent. But many people live in areas where this strategy, known as primary PCI, is not available within the time frame when it produces the greatest benefit. Previous studies have found good short term…

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High-Sensitivity Troponin Test Could Identify Low Risk Chest Pain Patients In The ED

Approximately 15-20 million people in Europe and the United States go to the emergency department every year with chest pain. Many can be discharged early if they are not having an acute coronary syndrome. A large new single-center observational study, presented at the American College of Cardiology meeting in Washington, DC and published simultaneously in the Journal…

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FDA Once Again Rejects New Indication For Rivaroxaban

The third time wasn’t the charm. The FDA today turned turned down– for the third time– the supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) for rivaroxaban (Xarelto, Johnson & Johnson) for use in acute coronary syndrome patients to reduce MI, stroke or death. In addition, the FDA– for the second time– turned down the sNDA for rivaroxaban in…

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Surviving A Heart Attack: Location And Time Make A Big Difference

Two studies published this week offer fresh evidence that your life may depend on where and when you have a heart attack. 1. Heart attack patients in the United Kingdom are more likely to die than heart attack patients in Sweden, according to a study published in the Lancet. … 2. Heart attack patients are more likely to die…

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FDA Panel Once Again Rejects New Indication For Rivaroxaban

The FDA’s Cardiovascular and Renal Drugs Advisory Committee once again turned down the supplemental new drug application for an acute coronary syndrome indication for Johnson & Johnson’s Xarelto (rivaroxaban). The nearly unanimous vote (10-0, with 1 abstention) was in line with a highly negative review from FDA staff members. … Click here to read the full post on Forbes….

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