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New Performance Measures for Peripheral Artery Disease Issued (30 Nov 2010)

Performance measures to improve the diagnosis and treatment of peripheral artery disease (PAD) in adults have been published for the first time. The document was produced by the ACC, the AHA, and several other medical organizations. Here are a few key details of the performance measures: Measuring the ankle brachial index (ABI) is an easy…

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Study Finds No Link Between Cancer and Antihypertensives, Except for ARB-ACE Inhibitor Combo (29 Nov 2010)

A new meta-analysis has found no evidence of a large cancer risk for most common antihypertensive agents, but did find strong evidence, largely based on one trial, for at least a 10% increase in cancer risk with the rarely used angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitor and angiotensin-receptor blocker (ARB) combination. In a paper in the Lancet Oncology,…

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Greek Study Offers Reassurance About Statin Usage in Patients with Abnormal Liver Tests (23 Nov 2010)

In the GREACE (Greek Atorvastatin and Coronary Heart Disease Evaluation) study, 1600 patients with coronary heart disease were randomized to atorvastatin or usual care; of these, 437 had moderately abnormal liver tests at baseline, suggesting non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). In a post-hoc analysis of this subset of patients, published in the Lancet, the GREACE…

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SHARP Shows Benefit for Vytorin in Chronic Kidney Disease (20 Nov 2010)

The long-awaited SHARP study has turned up positive results for Vytorin (ezetimibe and simvastatin) in a population of patients with chronic kidney disease. Results of SHARP (Study of Heart and Renal Protection) were presented on Saturday at the American Society of Nephrology meeting in Denver and were scheduled to be posted online on the trial’s website. SHARP…

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Darvon and Darvocet Withdrawn from U.S. Market (19 Nov 2010)

The FDA announced today that Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals had agreed to withdraw Darvon and Darvocet from the U.S. market. The drugs contain the opioid propoxyphene, which the FDA said “puts patients at risk of potentially serious or even fatal heart rhythm abnormalities.” The FDA said it had asked generic manufacturers of propoxyphene to withdraw their products…

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APPRAISE-2 Apixaban in ACS Study Discontinued Due to Increased Bleeding (18 Nov 2010)

Bristol-Myers Squibb announced on Thursday evening the discontinuation of APPRAISE-2, the phase 3 trial comparing apixaban to placebo in patients with acute coronary syndrome. The decision was based on a recommendation from the data monitoring committee based on “a clinically important increase in bleeding among patients randomized to apixaban,” according to the company press release….

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Anacetrapib: “Knock-Your-Socks-Off Effect on HDL and a Jaw-Dropping Effect on LDL” (17 Nov 2010)

Following the failure of torcetrapib in 2006, the future of cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) inhibitors appeared quite troubled. Now, with the results of  DEFINE (Determining the Efficacy and Tolerability of CETP Inhibition with Anacetrapib), presented at the AHA in Chicago and published online in the New England Journal of Medicine, the future for this novel…

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GRAVITAS: No Benefit for Clopidogrel Dosing Based on Platelet Function Test (16 Nov 2010)

The GRAVITAS (Gauging Responsiveness With A VerifyNow Assay ─ Impact on Thrombosis and Safety) trial enrolled 2214 patients with high residual platelet reactivity, as assessed by the VerifyNow P2Y12 Test measured 12 to 24 hours after the procedure. (The manufacturer of the test, Accumetrics, sponsored the trial.) Patients in the trial were randomized to either high-dose clopidogrel…

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Omega-3s Fail to Show Benefits in Atrial Fibrillation (15 Nov 2010)

In sharp contrast to earlier studies suggesting a positive effect, a large study of high-dose prescription omega-3 fatty acids found no evidence of benefit in treating atrial fibrillation. The trial, called the Efficacy and Safety of Prescription Omega-3 Acid Ethyl Esters (P-OM3) for the Prevention of Recurrent Symptomatic Atrial Fibrillation, included 663 patients with AF (542…

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ROCKET AF Hits Chicago (15 Nov 2010)

ROCKET AF hit the AHA on Monday morning. Results of ROCKET AF (Stroke Prevention Using the Oral Direct Factor Xa Inhibitor Rivaroxaban Compared With Warfarin in Patients with Nonvalvular Atrial Fibrillation) had been the topic of intense speculation and interest. The trial showed that the experimental factor Xa inhibitor rivaroxaban was as effective as warfarin…

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