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Biomarkers: Don’t Believe the Hype (31 May 2011)

Watch out for hype when examining the biomarker literature, a new study published in JAMA suggests. John Ioannidis and Orestis Panagiotou first searched the literature and identified highly cited studies of biomarkers that included a relative risk calculation of effect size on a particular outcome. Most of the 35 studies reported cancer- or cardiovascular-related outcomes….

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NHLBI Stops the AIM-HIGH Trial of Niacin (26 May 2011)

The AIM-HIGH (Atherothrombosis Intervention in Metabolic Syndrome with Low HDL/High Triglycerides: Impact on Global Health) trial of niacin has been stopped early by the NHLBI. The trial was designed to test the addition of high-dose, extended-release niacin to statins in people at risk for CV events who had well-controlled LDL but low HDL and elevated…

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FDA Approves Xience Nano for Small Vessels (25 May 2011)

The FDA has approved the Xience Nano everolimus-eluting stent, Abbott has announced. The stent is based on the same platform as the popular Xience V stent, and can be used in vessels as small as 2.25 mm. The approval was based on results from the SPIRIT Small Vessel clinical trial. The rate of target lesion…

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Copeptin May Help Predict CV Death in Elderly HF Patients (24 May 2011)

The biomarker copeptin, which is a surrogate marker of vasopressin, may help predict the risk for death in elderly heart failure patients, according to a new study in JAMA. Urban Alehagen and colleagues followed 470 elderly HF patients from 1996 through 2009, during which time there were 226 deaths from any cause and 146 deaths…

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New-Onset AF Linked to Increase in Death and CV Events in Women (24 May 2011)

In the Women’s Health Study, which followed nearly 35,000 women for more than 15 years, mortality was significantly higher in the 1011 women who developed AF than in the women who did not, according to a report by David Conen and colleagues published in JAMA. Here are the incidence rates (per 1000 person-years of follow-up)…

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What Is the Impact of Screening Low-Risk Patients with CT Angiography? (23 May 2011)

In a study published online in Archives of Internal Medicine, John McEvoy and colleagues examine the impact of screening low-risk patients with coronary CT angiography (CCTA). They compared 1000 South Korean patients who underwent CCTA with 1000 matched controls. CCTA identified 215 people with coronary atherosclerosis. At 90 days and at 18 months, statins and…

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Eplerenone Found to Also Reduce AF in Heart Failure Patients (23 May 2011)

Results from EMPHASIS-HF (Eplerenone and Atrial Fibrillation in Patients with Systolic Heart Failure and Mild Symptoms) previously showed that adding the aldosterone antagonist eplerenone to standard therapy in patients with NYHA class II heart failure resulted in the reduction of the composite endpoint of death from cardiovascular causes or hospitalization for heart failure. Now, a…

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FDA Panel Delivers Mixed Verdict on Trilipix (Fenofibrate) (19 May 2011)

The FDA’s Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee delivered a mixed verdict on fenofibrate (Trilipix, Abbott). On the one hand, the panel agreed unanimously that the FDA should require Abbott to perform a large clinical trial in high-risk patients with elevated triglyceride levels and low HDL levels who nevertheless have achieved target LDL cholesterol levels…

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FDA Announces Details of Severe New Restrictions on Rosiglitazone (18 May 2011)

The FDA has announced the details of the updated REMS (risk evaluation and mitigation strategy) for rosiglitazone, the embattled and highly controversial diabetes drug. The new REMS will sharply restrict access to and distribution of drugs containing rosiglitazone (Avandia, Avandamet, Avandaryl). In order for physicians to prescribe and for patients to receive rosiglitazone, they will…

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New Technique Cuts Radiation Dose of MPI SPECT by Half (18 May 2011)

A new study raises the possibility that the radiation dose for MPI SPECT imaging can be reduced by half without sacrificing image quality, according to Dr. Nili Zafrir, who presented the results of the study this week at the International Conference of Non-Invasive Cardiovascular Imaging in Amsterdam. Recently, software has become available that can reduce…

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