FOURIER Shows New Cholesterol Drugs Work, But Are They Worth It?

–Doctors and patients now must wrestle with a modestly effective but expensive drug. As it turns out the PCSK9 inhibitor saga ends not with a bang but a whimper. The results of the highly anticipated FOURIER trial show that the drugs work, though not as powerfully as many had hoped and expected. The question now…

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The Twitter Debate Over Cholesterol Screening In Kids

–Cardiologists discuss the screening controversy in 140 characters or less. My recent post on the debate over cholesterol screening in children provoked a fascinating discussion on Twitter, including comments from several highly knowledgeable experts and clinicians. The discussion started when James Stein, a preventive cardiologist at the University of Wisconsin), tweeted: Lipid screening in kids….

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Experts Disagree About Cholesterol Screening In Kids

(Updated) –Lack of evidence leads to major disagreement over guidelines. Once again the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has performed an invaluable— and almost certainly thankless— service. In a series of papers published in JAMA and Annals of Internal Medicine the USPSTF states unequivocally that there is no good high quality evidence to evaluate…

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ASGR1 Gene Tied to Heart Health

(Updated) –May have stronger impact than PCSK9 variants on disease risk A large new study from Iceland has identified variants in a gene that appear to have powerful cardioprotective effects, perhaps an first early step toward a novel therapy for heart disease prevention and treatment. The gene, ASGR1, was identified by the well known genetic…

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It’s Complicated! Large Genetic Study Of Coronary Disease Shows How Much We Don’t Know

We still have a very long way to go before we understand the genetic underpinnings of coronary artery disease, according to the largest and most comprehensive study in the field performed to date. In a series of tweets Sekar Kathiresan, a co-leader of the study, summarized the  meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies, which was published in Nature Genetics: Our…

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Large Genetic Studies May Help Unravel The Triglyceride Problem

The precise role of triglycerides in heart disease has been very difficult to determine. To help untangle the knotty problem two research groups studied large populations and identified rare variations in a gene (APOC3) that encodes for apolipoprotein C3, which is known to increase triglyceride levels. … The two studies have received a lot of…

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Survey Finds Significant Drop In Cholesterol Levels In Youths

New data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), published in JAMA, show significant and perhaps surprising  improvements over the last 20 years in the lipid profile of youths aged 6-19 years. Among the key lipid parameters measured by the survey from 1988-1994 to 2007-2010: Total cholesterol decreased from 165 mg/dL to 160 mg/dL (p<0.001) Prevalence of elevated…

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Guest Post– Universal Screening for Dyslipidemia In Children: A Debate With Equipoise, But Tarnished By Industry Influence

Editor’s Note: CardioBrief is pleased to publish this guest post written by James Stein, a professor of medicine at the University of Wisconsin and the director of preventive cardiology at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics. This post is accompanied by a separate post by Larry Husten. Universal Screening for Dyslipidemia in Children:  A Debate with…

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