A Paper In The American Journal Of Cardiology About A Study That Was ‘Not Real’

New allegations about scientific misconduct have been raised about a cardiology group in a hospital in Italy. Some of the allegations come from a surprising source: Maria Grazia Modena, the former and highly prominent chief of cardiology at the hospital where the research was said to have been performed. The new allegations are the latest…

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Could Terrorists Have Hacked Dick Cheney’s ICD?

It happened in Homeland. Could it happen in real life? In a 60 Minutes segment scheduled for broadcast tomorrow, Dick Cheney says that his doctors turned off the wireless function of his implanted cardiac defibrillator (ICD) “in case a terrorist tried to send his heart a fatal shock,” according to the Associated Press. Years later, Cheney…

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Prevalence Of Cardiovascular Disease Likely To Increase Despite Gains In Treatment

It is the best of times and the worst of times in the battle against cardiovascular disease. On the one hand, mortality rates from cardiovascular disease in the US have dropped by more than half in the last 30 years, likely due in large part to improvements in treatment for elevated blood pressure and cholesterol…

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New Questions Raised About Italian Cardiologists Already Under Cloud Of Suspicion

(This story was updated on Friday, October 4 with a response from Dr. Modena.) New questions are being raised about the integrity and reliability of research published by a prominent Italian cardiologist and her colleagues. Last November, as previous reported here, Maria Grazia Modena, a former president of the Italian Society of Cardiology, and 8 other…

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Saying Sorry May Not Be Good Enough For Novartis

Novartis has issued a formal apology over misconduct relating to valsartan (Diovan) research in Japan, but that apology does not appear likely to satisfy the Japanese Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, which plans to fully investigate the company’s role in the scandal. If necessary, ministry officials are prepared to raid the company’s offices in Japan. A Novartis…

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Editor: “Close to 10% of the papers we receive show some sign of academic misconduct”

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Speedy Tour de France Racers Slower To Die

In recent years concerns have been raised about possible adverse cardiovascular effects of intense endurance exercise. Additional concerns have been  raised about sports where performance enhancing drugs are commonly used. However, a new study shows that despite these potential hazards, elite endurance athletes appear to live longer than their contemporaries.  Xavier Jouven, a triathlete and…

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Disappointing Results with Dabigatran for Mechanical Valves

Despite being more durable than bioprosthetic valves, mechanical heart valves are often not chosen because of the requirement for lifelong anticoagulant therapy. It has been hoped that the newer generation of oral anticoagulants might eventually replace warfarin, making anticoagulation more tolerable and better accepted, since these agents don’t require continuous monitoring and have much fewer…

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Positive Results for New Anticoagulant From Daiichi Sankyo

A new entrant in the growing oral anticoagulant field shows promise for the treatment of venous thromboembolism (VTE) and pulmonary embolism (PE). The drug, edoxaban, is a new, once-daily Factor Xa inhibitor with a rapid onset of action that is under development by Daiichi Sankyo. Results of the Hokusai-VTE trial were presented at the European Society of…

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Questions About President George W. Bush’s Stent

Former President George W. Bush received a stent today at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. Here is the statement from Bush’s office: During President George W. Bush’s annual physical examination at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas yesterday, a blockage was discovered in an artery in his heart. At the recommendation of his doctors, President Bush agreed to have a stent…

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Large NIH Trial Finds No Cardiovascular Benefits For Weight Loss And Exercise In Type 2 Diabetics

A large NIH-sponsored trial has found that an intensive lifestyle intervention was no better than standard care in reducing cardiovascular events in people with type 2 diabetes. The results of the Look AHEAD trial were presented today at the American Diabetes Association meeting and published simultaneously in the New England Journal of Medicine. 5,145 people with type 2 diabetes were randomized…

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Dramatic Increase in Use of Radial Artery Access for PCI in the U.S.

In the last six years interventional cardiologists have dramatically increased their use of radial access for PCI, according to a retrospective study published in Circulation. Using data from the CathPCI registry on more than 2.8 million procedures between January 2007 and September 2012, Dmitriy Feldman and colleagues found that radial access PCI increased 13-fold, from a negligible 1.2% at the beginning of the study…

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FDA Advisory Panel Backs Looser Restrictions On Avandia

After two days of deliberation an FDA advisory panel today recommended that the severe restrictions (REMS) placed on rosiglitazone (Avandia, GlaxoSmithKline) be modified. The vote constitutes a modest revival in fortune for the embattled drug and its maker after many years of controversy and bad news. Only 5 panel members voted to continue the current severe restrictions….

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Large Meta-Analysis Quantifies Risk Of NSAIDs And Coxibs

Findings from a very large meta-analysis of clinical trials of NSAIDs may now allow physicians to quantify the cardiovascular and gastrointestinal risks associated with these drugs. The results of the Coxib and traditional NSAID Trialists’ (CNT) Collaboration, employing data from more than 350,000 randomized patients, have now been published in the Lancet. Here are some of the key findings:…

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Bruise Control: Continued Warfarin Beats Heparin Bridging During Device Implantation

Many patients receiving an ICD or a pacemaker are already receiving oral anticoagulants. Current guidelines recommend replacement of the oral anticoagulant with the temporary use of heparin as a bridging strategy. Now a new study, BRUISE CONTROL (Bridge or Continue Coumadin for Device Surgery Randomized Controlled Trial), offers convincing evidence that this strategy is not…

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Longer Detection Time Helps Prevent Unnecessary ICD Shocks

Increasing the detection intervals in ICD programming can reduce the number of unnecessary or inappropriate shocks, according to results of the ADVANCE III study published in JAMA. A group of Italian investigators randomized 1,902 patients receiving an ICD to programming with either long- or standard-detection intervals. After 12 months of followup, patients in the long-detection…

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Metaanalysis Finds Same Day Discharge For Low Risk PCI May Be Feasible

Although elective PCI for most low risk patients is extremely safe, overnight observation is still standard practice in the US, largely due to the lack of evidence demonstrating that same-day discharge is safe. Now a new metaanalysis, published online in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, provides support for same-day discharge in carefully…

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Conflicting Results From Two Trials Of Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy

Two new trials have ended up reporting conflicting results regarding the expansion of the indication for cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) for patients without a wide QRS interval.  The positive results of the smaller trial seem likely to be undermined by the early stopping of the much larger trial. The first trial, NARROW-CRT, published in Circulation:…

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Actelion Executive To Head American College of Cardiology

Shalom “Shal” Jacobovitz will be the new chief executive officer of the American College of Cardiology, the ACC announced today. Jacobovitz is currently the president of the US division of Actelion Pharmaceuticals, best known for its pulmonary hypertension drugs. Click here to read the complete story on Forbes.  …

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Blood Sample Mismatch Leads ‘Anguished’ Authors To Retract Three Lipitor Papers

Three substudies of the influential TNT (Treating to New Targets) trial have been retracted after the sponsor of the trial, Pfizer, discovered that blood samples from the study had been matched to the wrong participants. The main results of TNT, published in 2005 in the New England Journal of Medicine, had a major impact on clinical practice and statin prescription patterns….

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New York Area Cardiologist Admits $19 Million Fraud

Jose Katz, a 68-year-old cardiologist with offices in New York and New Jersey, has pleaded guilty to charges that he committed health care fraud, the US Attorney for New Jersey announced yesterday. Katz admitted that he billed Medicare Part B, Medicaid, and numerous private insurers “for unnecessary tests and unnecessary procedures based on false diagnoses…

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Cuban History Offers Important Lessons For Global Health Today

A large new study from Cuba shows the impressive benefits that can be achieved with weight loss and increased exercise. Much more ominously, the same study shows the dangers associated with weight gain and less exercise. In the study, published in BMJ, researchers took advantage of a “natural” experiment that occurred in Cuba as a result of a…

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A Closer Look At A Case Of Duplicate Publication In JACC

The Journal of the American College of Cardiology has published a Notice of Duplication about a review article written by a respected European cardiology researcher who has played a central role in the development of fractional flow reserve (FFR). The brief statement from JACC provides few details and could lead to various interpretations, but a further investigation suggests that the story may…

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Quinidine Unavailable In Most Of The World

Quinidine– the only drug known to be effective in preventing lethal ventricular arrhythmias in people with several rare conditions, including Brugada syndrome, idiopathic ventricular fibrillation, and early repolarization syndrome– is no longer available in much of the world. In a study published online in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Sami Viskin and colleagues surveyed…

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Lifelong Statin Sentence Now Includes Furloughs

Although the benefits of statins are among the best documented in all of medicine, continuous lifelong statin therapy is not always easy to achieve in clinical practice. Now a new retrospective study suggests that although clinical events causing temporary cessation of statin therapy occur often, most of these patients are later able to resume statin…

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