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Another Diet Myth Exploded: Gradual Weight Loss No Better Than Rapid Weight Loss (15 Oct 2014)

Once again, a popular weight loss myth has been exploded. It has been widely believed that weight loss, which is nearly always difficult to maintain, is even less likely to be sustained if it’s the product of a rapid weight-loss regimen. This belief is even enshrined in current guidelines. Now a study published in The…

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Inappropriate Cardiac Stress Tests May Cost Half a Billion Dollars a Year (14 Oct 2014)

Inappropriate cardiac stress tests may cost the U.S. healthcare system as much as half a billion dollars each year, according to a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Joseph Ladapo and colleagues set out to analyze long-term trends in the use of cardiac stress testing in the U.S. Using data from national surveys, they…

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Medicare Reimbursement for Lung Cancer Screening Provokes Debate (13 Oct 2014)

Although 160,000 people in the U.S. die each year from lung cancer, accounting for more than a quarter of all cancer deaths, screening for lung cancer remains controversial. Based on results from the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) in 2011, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) issued a B recommendation in favor of low-dose…

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First Drug-Coated Balloon Approved by FDA for Leg Blockages (13 Oct 2014)

The FDA today announced that it had approved for use in the U.S. the first drug-coated angioplasty balloon catheter to re-open blocked arteries in the superficial femoral and popliteal arteries. The Lutonix 035 Drug Coated Balloon Percutaneous Transluminal Angioplasty Catheter (Lutonix DCB) is manufactured by CR Bard and has been available in Europe since 2012. “Peripheral artery disease can be quite serious….

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FDA Panel Gives Cautious Endorsement to Novel Boston Scientific Device (9 Oct 2014)

The FDA’s Circulatory System Devices advisory panel gave an extremely cautious endorsement on Wednesday to Boston Scientific’s Watchman device, a novel catheter-delivered left atrial appendage closure device for people with atrial fibrillation. They signaled that although they thought the device should be made available they also thought that there should be significant restrictions on its use. The panel wrestled…

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Nissen Urges Prompt Revision of Cardiovascular Guidelines (6 Oct 2014)

Sparked by a new study that once again finds serious flaws in the cardiovascular risk calculator at the heart of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association cardiovascular guidelines, Steve Nissen states that “the ACC and AHA should promptly revise the guidelines to address the criticisms offered by independent authorities.” The CV risk calculator is a…

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Genetic Analysis Fails to Support Vitamin D to Prevent Diabetes (30 Sep 2014)

A vitamin D pill can’t substitute for a healthy diet and sunshine, a new genetic study published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology suggests. In recent years many people have been seduced by observational studies that found low levels of vitamin D in people who developed type 2 diabetes. The new study instead suggests that the association…

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No Difference in Survival Found for Different Aortic Valve Prostheses (30 Sep 2014)

A new study published in JAMA suggests that younger patients who need aortic valve replacement (AVR) may now be more eligible to receive bioprosthetic valves. Each year about 50,000 people in the U.S. undergo AVR surgery. Older patients generally receive bioprosthetic valves because these valves are less prone to clotting and bleeding complications. Surgeons are often…

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American Heart Association: Pay More Attention to Radiation in Imaging Procedures (29 Sep 2014)

The American Heart Association is urging physicians to better understand the risks of radiation in cardiac imaging procedures. When ordering these procedures physicians should understand the appropriate use of each procedure, the radiation dose associated with the procedure, and the risks associated with that dose. Both the risks and benefits should be fully explained and discussed…

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ACC and AHA Release New Guideline for Non–ST-Elevation Acute Coronary Syndromes (23 Sep 2014)

A new guideline released today by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association reflects important changes in the last 7 years in the understanding of what is now known as non–ST-elevation acute coronary syndromes (NSTE-ACS). The previous 2007 guideline used different terminology and referred to the same patient population as “unstable angina…

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