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European Review Confirms Increased Risk with Ivabradine (24 Nov 2014)

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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Encouraging Results for Two New Drugs for Hyperkalemia (21 Nov 2014)

Two new agents under development may help curb and prevent hyperkalemia, the common and serious side effect of drugs that inhibit the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS), which are the cornerstones of the treatment of chronic kidney disease and heart failure. In a phase 3 study, published online in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers first randomized…

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Encouraging Results For Two New Drugs For Hyperkalemia (21 Nov 2014)

Two new agents under development may help curb and prevent hyperkalemia, the common and serious side effect of drugs that inhibit the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS), which are the cornerstones of the treatment of chronic kidney disease and heart failure. … Click here to read the full post on Forbes.  

U.S. Proposal Would Greatly Expand Transparency of Clinical Trials (19 Nov 2014)

The U.S. 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. “Medical advances would not be possible without participants in clinical trials,” said NIH Director Francis Collins. “We owe it to every participant and the public at large…

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Losartan No Better Than Atenolol in Marfan’s Syndrome (18 Nov 2014)

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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Don’t Count the Numbers. HDL Function Looks Like the Key (18 Nov 2014)

A new study offers important evidence explaining the protective role of HDL cholesterol against cardiovascular disease. Previous studies with drugs that increase HDL levels, including niacin and CETP inhibitors, have not been found beneficial. The new study suggests that simply increasing HDL levels isn’t useful. Instead, cholesterol efflux, the ability of HDL to remove cholesterol from…

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Large Japanese Trial Casts Further Doubt on Aspirin for Primary Prevention (17 Nov 2014)

A large trial from Japan failed to provide any evidence to support the use of routine aspirin in high-risk elderly people to prevent a first cardiovascular event. The Japanese Primary Prevention Project (JPPP),  presented at the American Heart Association meeting in Chicago and published simultaneously in JAMA, enrolled patients between 60 and 85 years of age with hypertension, dyslipidemia,…

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IMPROVE-IT Meets Endpoint and Demonstrates Real But Modest Clinical Benefit for Ezetimibe (17 Nov 2014)

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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Prolonged Dual Antiplatelet Therapy Affirmed in DAPT (16 Nov 2014)

The advent of drug-eluting stents dramatically reduced the restenosis 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 Dual…

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Newly Identified Mutations Act Like a Lifetime of Treatment with Ezetimibe (12 Nov 2014)

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…

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