Big Sugar Tips The Balance Of The Research Scale

It might seem obvious: people who drink sugar-sweetened beverages are more likely to gain weight or to be obese. Most research supports this intuitive finding. The big exception: when researchers receive support from the sugar and beverage industries they are much less likely to make the connection. Researchers in Germany and Spain conducted a systematic…

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TACT Principal Investigator Reflects On A Long And Contentious Journey

gervasio-lamas

In a fascinating and important blog post, Gervasio Lamas offers a deeply personal perspective on the long and contentious journey of the Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT), for which he was the principal investigator. Here are a few quotes from his post, but I can’t urge you strongly enough to read the entire post over…

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More Reasons Why Health Hype Stories Are Bad

In response to my post yesterday about why health stories should nearly always be received with caution, I received the following comment from a distinguished cardiovascular researcher: One lost point is the role of the investigators and media in hyping their research. Hazen (principal investigator of the first study) is a bright and thoughtful guy, but through…

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American Heart Association Lists Top 10 Research Advances

The AHA has published its annual list of the top 10 advances in heart disease and stroke research. It’s probably worth remarking that not a single item on the list is related to drug therapy. I haven’t gone back and checked past lists, but I would bet this hasn’t happened before. Here’s the list: Extended…

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Boehringer Ends Phase 2 Trial Of Dabigatran In Mechanical Valve Patients

Boehringer Ingelheim today announced that it had discontinued a phase 2 trial of its anticoagulant drug dabigatran (Pradaxa) in patients with mechanical heart valves. As reported here in October, the company had previously terminated one arm of the study after an interim review of the data by the trial’s Data Safety Monitoring Board The RE-ALIGN trial was an open-label,…

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L.A. Confidential: Preview Of AHA Scientific Sessions 2012

AHA 2012

The American Heart Association scientific sessions, which start next weekend in Los Angeles, will be bigger than ever, with 853 separate sessions– 111 more than last year– and 27 late-breaking clinical trials– 6 more than last year. Elliott Antman, chair of the scientific sessions program committee, provided a preview of some of the highlights of this…

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Research And Denial At St Jude Medical

Research and development is the cornerstone of medical progress, but sometimes R&D turns into its evil twin brother, research and denial. Yesterday I reported on the the RESPECT (Randomized Evaluation of Recurrent Stroke Comparing PFO Closure to Established Current Standard of Care Treatment) trial presented at the TCT meeting in Miami. The trial missed its primary…

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Danish Study Gives A Boost To Hormone Replacement Therapy Timing Hypothesis

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) suffered a sharp blow a decade ago when the Women’s Health Initiative failed to show any cardiovascular benefit in women taking HRT. Despite the setback, many researchers theorized that HRT might still be beneficial in women who start HRT close to menopause. Now a new study from Denmark published in BMJ lends…

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Many CHF Patients Not Receiving– Or Getting Benefits From– High Dose ACE Inhibitors And ARBs

Although current guidelines recommend that ACE inhibitors and angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARBs) be used in high doses in patients with congestive heart failure, many CHF patients currently receive lower than recommended doses of these drugs. In a research letter published online in Archives of Internal Medicine, investigators in Montreal analyzed data from 43,405 patients with a first…

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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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You Know Nothing, Dr. Snow: Why Medicine Can’t Be More Like Facebook

Medicine can never be like Facebook, despite what Matt Herper argues over at Forbes. Perhaps he was just trolling for hits on a day when everyone is thinking about the Facebook IPO, but Herper proposed, with apparently seriousness, that medicine needs to model itself on the tech world in order to match the kind of…

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