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Cheaper Generic Statins Beat Brand-Name Statins in Adherence and Outcomes (15 Sep 2014)

A large observational study finds that people who received a prescription for a generic statin were more likely to take their pills than people who received a prescription for a brand-name statin. This increased adherence appeared to lead to a small but significant improvement in outcomes. In a paper published in Annals of Internal Medicine, Joshua…

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No Endorsement for Routine ECG Screening of Young People (15 Sep 2014)

In a new scientific statement the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology do not recommend the routine initial use of ECGs to screen young people for underlying congenital or genetic heart disease. More aggressive screening for heart disease in young people is often advocated in response to pressure resulting from the rare…

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FDA Approves New Weight Loss Drug (11 Sep 2014)

The FDA announced today that it had approved Contrave, the long-awaited and much-disputed weight loss drug.  Contrave is a combination of two drugs already approved for other indications: naltrexone hydrochloride, which is used to combat alcohol and opioid dependence, and bupropion, which is used to treat depression and seasonal affective disorder and as an aid to smoking cessation treatment….

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FDA Advisory Panel Offers Cautious Support for Polypill (10 Sep 2014)

The controversial polypill took one step closer to reaching the U.S. market after receiving a mostly positive reception from the FDA’s Cardiovascular and Renal Drugs Advisory Committee on Wednesday. The idea for the polypill– which in this case would be composed of aspirin, a statin, and one or more blood pressure drugs– has been kicking around for…

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Lower Rate of Microvascular Complications in Statin Users Who Develop Diabetes (9 Sep 2014)

In recent years, the medical community has become increasingly aware that taking statins can result in slightly higher glucose levels, and this can lead to a diagnosis of diabetes in a small but statistically significant number of people. But it has been unclear whether the diagnosis of diabetes in people taking statins also places them…

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Low-Carb Diet Linked to Greater Weight Loss Than Low-Fat Diet (2 Sep 2014)

A low-carbohydrate diet is associated with greater weight reduction than a low-fat diet among obese adults, according to an Annals of Internal Medicine study. Roughly 150 obese adults who were otherwise healthy were randomized to eat either a low-fat (<30% fat) or low-carbohydrate (<40 g/day of digestible carbohydrates) diet. Participants were provided diet-specific handbooks with…

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Fractional Flow Reserve Gains Support in Stable CAD and NSTEMI (2 Sep 2014)

Two studies presented at the European Society of Cardiology meeting in Barcelona offered fresh support for fractional flow reserve (FFR), which has been slowly but surely gaining traction in the interventional cardiology community. FFR in Patients with Stable CAD Bernard De Bruyne presented 2-year results from the FAME 2 (Fractional flow reserve versus Angiography for…

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New Support For Complete Revascularization During Primary PCI (1 Sep 2014)

Until recently, MI patients receiving emergency PCI would only have the culprit artery opened. Complete revascularization of non-infarct-related arteries was performed later. The conventional wisdom was that revascularization of non-infarct-related arteries could be dangerous. That wisdom began to change last year with the PRAMI trial, which found no evidence of harm and a suggestion of benefit in…

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Preliminary Outcomes Results For PCSK9 Inhibitor (31 Aug 2014)

Amid a slew of new data demonstrating yet again that PCSK9 inhibitors lower LDL cholesterol—drastically and in a wide variety of different patient populations—data from one trial offers the first suggestion that the drugs may in fact improve cardiovascular outcomes. But the analysis, the authors cautioned, is a post-hoc analysis of a trial neither designed nor…

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SIGNIFY Trial Provokes Sound and Fury Over Controversial Drug (31 Aug 2014)

The already controversial drug ivabradine just got a little more controversial. The drug, which is marketed by Servier under the brand names of Corlentor and Procoralan, is available in Europe and elsewhere and is used for the treatment of heart failure and stable angina. The drug is not available in the U.S., but it is under development by Amgen for a…

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