Healthy Habits Of Young Women Lead To Long-Term Health Benefits

It may seem obvious but a new study shows that young women with healthy habits are less likely as they age to get coronary heart disease or go on to develop cardiovascular risk factors like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes. Andrea Chomistek and colleagues analyzed data from more than 88,000 women participating in…

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FDA Approves New Medtronic Drug-Coated Balloon To Open Blocked Leg Arteries

Medtronic said today that it had received approval from the FDA to market its In.Pact Admiral drug-coated balloon (DCB) to treat peripheral artery disease (PAD) in the upper leg. The device is the second DCB to gain FDA approval. Last October the FDA approved CR Bard’s Lutonix DCB for a similar indication. … Click here to read the full post on Forbes.  …

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2014 Dubious Innovations In Cardiology

  Dubious Innovative Device: Renal Denervation Dubious Innovative Business Strategy: Health Diagnostics Laboratory Dubious Innovations In Leadership (Tie): The European Society of Cardiology and The Institute of Medicine Dubious Innovative Breakthrough Therapy That Never Actually Breaks Through Anything (repeat winner): Cardiac Stem Cell Therapy   Click here to read the full post on Forbes.    …

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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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Embattled Stem Cell Researchers Sue Harvard And Brigham And Women’s Hospital

Two embattled and highly controversial stem cell researchers are suing the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School for an ongoing investigation into their research. The investigation has already resulted in the retraction of one paper in Circulation and an expression of concern about another paper in the Lancet. The suit was filed by Piero Anversa, the highly prominent…

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New Devices May Bring Improved Treatment To Stroke Patients

A large new trial provides the first substantial evidence that new devices can improve the outcome of patients who have acute ischemic stroke. Earlier, less sophisticated versions of the devices had produced disappointing results in clinical trials. The previous trials may also have been hindered by long treatment delays and difficulties in recruiting suitable patients. The new…

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Continuing Medical Education Payments To Physicians Will Be Exposed To Sunshine

After a long and complicated struggle it now appears highly likely that industry will be required to disclose payments to physicians for continuing medical education (CME). This decision from CMS, which I am told by reliable sources is final, follows a long period in which CMS appeared to waver in its approach to incorporating CME into the…

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No Advantage For Low Glycemic Index Diet

In recent years the glycemic index (GI), a measure of a carbohydrate’s impact on blood sugar, has assumed a major role in discussions about diets and nutrition. Now a new study suggests that by itself, within the context of an otherwise healthy diet, GI may not be an important factor in improving cardiovascular risk. In…

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Get Rid of Sugar, Not Salt, Say Authors

Too much negative attention has been focused on salt and not enough on sugar, write two authors in Open Heart. Reviewing the extensive literature on salt and sugar, they write that the adverse effects of salt are less than the adverse effects of sugar. The evidence supporting efforts to reduce salt in the diet is not convincing…

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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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Women: Don’t Use Aspirin For Routine Prevention Of Heart Attacks, Stroke, And Cancer

Although once widely recommended, aspirin for the prevention of a first heart attack or stroke (primary prevention) has lost favor in recent years, as the large number of bleeding complications appeared to offset the reduction in cardiovascular events. But at the same time evidence has emerged demonstrating the long-term effect of aspirin in preventing colorectal cancer,…

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No, The Mediterranean Diet Won’t Help You Live Forever

A new study published today provides fresh evidence for the healthful effects of the Mediterranean Diet. It even suggests that people who follow the Mediterranean Diet may live longer than people on most other diets. And this is just the latest piece of good news about this diet to appear in the last few years. But I want to warn…

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Study Suggests Epinephrine for Cardiac Arrest May Be Harmful

Epinephrine has been a cornerstone of therapy during cardiac resuscitation after cardiac arrest because of its well-established ability to stimulate the heart and increase the probability of a return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC). In recent years, however, concerns have been raised that people treated with epinephrine may have worse neurological outcomes following their resuscitation. In a…

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FDA Approves New Noninvasive FFR Technology

The FDA said today that it had granted approval to a novel technology that noninvasively measures fractional flow reserve (FFR) using data obtained from a CT scan of the heart…. … Click here to read the full post on Forbes.  …

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European Review Confirms Increased Risk with Ivabradine

Following a review provoked by troubling findings that emerged from a large clinical trial, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is making several recommendations intended to lower the risk of heart problems linked to the heart-rate-lowering drug ivabradine. The drug is marketed by Servier in Europe under the brand names of Corlentor and Procoralan and is indicated for…

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Intent To Tweet And A Failure Of Communication

For more than 15 years I’ve been trying to figure out how physicians can get involved with social media without devolving into Beliebers. It’s not easy. I often joke that the job is a bit like being the social director on a cruise for people with Asperger’s. But here’s the twist: it’s easy to be the social director on a cruise for sorority sisters…

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US Proposal Would Greatly Expand Transparency Of Clinical Trials

The US Department of Health and Human Services today proposed new rules that would greatly expand the number of clinical trials that companies and researchers are required to report. … Click here to read the full post on Forbes.    …

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Losartan No Better Than Atenolol in Marfan’s Syndrome

Beta-blockers have been the standard treatment for people with Marfan’s syndrome, a rare inherited connective tissue disorder that affects about 1 in 5000 people. The goal of treatment is to prevent or slow down the dilation of the aorta and avoid aortic dissection, the main cause of death. In recent years, studies have raised the…

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HDL Raising Drugs Probably Won’t Work But This Might

A new study offers important new insights into the protective role of HDL cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol) against cardiovascular disease. Earlier studies with drugs that increase HDL levels, including niacin and CETP inhibitors, have not shown benefit. The new study suggests that simply increasing HDL levels isn’t the way to go. Instead, cholesterol efflux, the ability of HDL to…

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Large Japanese Trial Casts Further Doubt On Aspirin To Prevent A First Heart Attack

Although once quite popular, the use of aspirin to prevent a first heart attack has grown less popular in recent years as evidence has accumulated that the small benefits are outweighed by the increased risk of bleeding. Now a large trial from Japan has once again failed to provide any evidence to support the use…

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IMPROVE-IT Meets Endpoint And Demonstrates Real But Modest Clinical Benefit For Ezetimibe

Cannon

After all the waiting and all the controversy it turned out to be pretty simple. The IMPROVE-IT trial did what it set out to do and reached its primary endpoint. The benefit wasn’t very big or impressive but it will be enough to put to rest concerns that ezetimibe might have been an expensive placebo…

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Big Study Looks At Length of Drug Treatment After Stent Implantation

The advent of drug-eluting stents dramatically reduced the restenosis (reclogging) rate associated with bare-metal stents but prompted new concerns about the rare but potentially lethal complication of stent thrombosis (ST). Cardiologists have relied upon dual antiplatelet therapy to prevent ST but there has been considerable uncertainty and controversy about the ideal duration of therapy. The…

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At the American Heart Association Meeting You Really Can’t Escape The New Cholesterol Drugs

Amgen Door Hanger

There’s no escaping them. At the American Heart Association in Chicago going on right now Amgen and Sanofi/Regeneron, which are developing competing cholesterol lowering drugs known as PCSK9 inhibitors, have mounted a full scale attack to capture the eyeballs and the brains of cardiologists and any other innocent bystanders who happen to be at the…

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IMPROVE-IT Trial Paper Won’t Be Published Right Away In The New England Journal Of Medicine

The presentation of the eagerly awaited IMPROVE-IT trial, scheduled for Monday at the American Heart Association meeting, won’t be accompanied by a simultaneous publication in the New England Journal of Medicine. Although no one except for a small group of insiders knows for sure, this news may have important implications. … Click here to read the full post on Forbes.  …

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Newly Identified Mutations Act Like a Lifetime of Treatment with Ezetimibe

A very large genetic study published in the New England Journal of Medicine offers compelling evidence in support of a central role for LDL cholesterol in coronary heart disease. In a series of studies analyzing blood samples from nearly 100,000 people, Sekar Kathiresan and colleagues identified 15 rare mutations that block the activity of a single gene — called Niemann-Pick…

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