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Get a Grip: Global Study Finds Grip Strength Is a Simple and Powerful Predictor Of Death (13 May 2015)

A large global study finds that grip strength is a simple, powerful, and broadly applicable test that can help predict the risk of death and cardiovascular disease. The new findings from the Prospective Urban-Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study were based on data from nearly 140,000 adults in 17 countries. The study participants had their grip strength…

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Diet Drug Study Crashes and Burns in the Wake of Leaked Results (12 May 2015)

The ill-fated Light trial, which was supposed to examine the cardiovascular outcomes of the weight loss drug Contrave, a combination of naltrexone and bupropion marketed by Orexigen and Takeda, came to a spectacular halt today. The action was probably inevitable given the extreme controversy generated earlier this year when it became known that Orexigen had widely disseminated results from an early…

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Prominent Harvard Cardiologist Moves to Google X to Head Large Study (11 May 2015)

Here’s a clear sign of the ascending role of digital/precision/personalized medicine: a prominent cardiologist has left a top academic and clinical position in Boston to run a large, innovative study in Silicon Valley. Jessica Mega was widely perceived as a rising star at Harvard Medical School and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She has now joined Google X, Google’s research arm,…

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Advocates Say Precision Medicine Could Lead to Enormous Benefits (7 May 2015)

Personalized and precision medicine (PPM) could deliver hundreds of billions of dollars worth of improved health in the next 50 years in the United States, writes Victor Dzau, the new president of the Institute of Medicine, and coauthors in a Viewpoint published in the Lancet. The authors used a health simulation model to estimate the effect…

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Increased Mortality Risk Found With Digoxin (4 May 2015)

For more than 200 years physicians have been trying to figure out how and when to use digoxin. Although it has a narrow therapeutic window and potentially dangerous interactions with other drugs, it is endorsed by current guidelines and widely given to patients with heart failure (HF) and atrial fibrillation (AF). However, there have been no…

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More Evidence Linking Sugared Drinks to Diabetes (30 Apr 2015)

A new study uncovers some potentially important new details about the association between sugared drinks and diabetes. In a paper published in Diabetologia, researchers in the U.K. report on more than 10 years of followup of more than 25,000 adults. During the course of the study 847 participants went on to develop diabetes. Instead of relying on…

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Cardiovascular Outcomes with Sitagliptin: No Better or Worse Than Conventional Care (28 Apr 2015)

Late Monday afternoon, Merck released the top line results of TECOS, the cardiovascular outcomes trial with its diabetes drug sitagliptin (Januvia).  The company said that the trial “achieved its primary endpoint of non-inferiority for the composite cardiovascular (CV) endpoint.” Merck announced only one additional detail: “Among secondary endpoints,” they reported, “there was no increase in hospitalization for heart…

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No Advantage to Adding Inferior Vena Cava Filters to Anticoagulation (28 Apr 2015)

Despite a lack of supporting evidence  many patients with acute venous thromboembolism (VTE) receive inferior vena cava filters to prevent pulmonary embolism (PE). Now a new study published in JAMA offers no evidence of benefit for the use of these devices in a high-risk population already receiving anticoagulant drugs. A group of French physicians randomized nearly…

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More Preliminary Signs That PCSK9 Inhibitors May Improve Outcomes (27 Apr 2015)

A new analysis of available data from early trials with PCSK9 inhibitors adds to the growing evidence showing that this much-anticipated new class of drugs dramatically lowers LDL cholesterol and offers additional preliminary evidence showing that they are safe and may confer a mortality benefit. But, the authors and other outside experts warn, the outcome…

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Cangrelor Finally Gets Nod From FDA Advisory Panel (16 Apr 2015)

On Wednesday the FDA’s Cardiovascular and Renal Drugs Advisory Committee voted 9-2-1 to recommend approval of cangrelor during PCI to reduce the risk of periprocedural thrombotic events such as MI, stent thrombosis, and ischemia driven revascularization. The news follows a decade of efforts to develop the drug — a potent, fast-acting, and reversible  antiplatelet agent. After the failure of…

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