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Diastolic Dysfunction Linked to Mortality (28 Jun 2011)

A new study sheds light on the prognostic value of diastolic dysfunction (DD) in patients with normal systolic function. In a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, Carmel Halley and colleagues reviewed echocardiograms from 36,261 consecutive patients who were found to have normal systolic function. Nearly two thirds (65.2%) had some degree of…

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Asprin Dosage in U.S. May Explain Disparity in Ticagrelor Results in PLATO (27 Jun 2011)

Although the PLATO trial demonstrated the overall superiority of ticagrelor (Brilinta, AstraZeneca) to clopidogrel in more than 18,000 acute coronary syndrome patients worldwide, approval of the drug in the U.S. has been delayed because of ticagrelor’s lack of effect in the prespecified subgroup of patients from North America. Now, two analyses of the trial, presented…

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Limited Benefit Found for Early Aggressive Management of Diabetes (25 Jun 2011)

In the ADDITION-Europe trial, 3055 patients without diabetes were randomized to either routine care or screening followed by intensive treatment of multiple risk factors. The results were presented at the American Diabetes Association meeting and published online in the Lancet. After five years, cardiovascular risk factors — HbA1c, lipids, and blood pressure — were “slightly but significantly better in the…

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Diabetes Growth Termed a Rising Global Hazard (25 Jun 2011)

In 2008, some 347 million people in the world had diabetes, more than twice the 153 million in 1980, according to estimates contained in a report in the Lancet from the Global Burden of Metabolic Risk Factors of Chronic Diseases Collaborating Group. The paper appears in conjunction with the annual meeting of the American Diabetes Association. Throughout  the…

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FDA Recommends More-Conservative Dosing of ESAs (24 Jun 2011)

The FDA today said that it was recommending more-conservative dosing of ESAs (erythropoiesis-stimulating agents) in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). The possible beneficial effects of the drugs to decrease the need for transfusions in CKD patients should be weighed against the increased risk for cardiovascular events, the FDA said. ESA therapy should be given at…

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Apixaban (Eliquis) Meets Primary Endpoint in ARISTOTLE (22 Jun 2011)

Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb said that their new oral direct Factor Xa drug apixaban, which will be marketed under the brand name of Eliquis, had met the primary endpoint of the ARISTOTLE study. The Apixaban for the Prevention of Stroke in Subjects With Atrial Fibrillation (ARISTOTLE) study was designed to compare the factor Xa inhibitor apixaban…

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JAMA: Skeptical Perspectives on Consumer Cardiac Tests and Vitamin D (22 Jun 2011)

Two commentaries published in JAMA offer skeptical perspectives on the roles of direct-to-consumer (DTC) cardiac tests and vitamin D in cardiovascular health. In the first commentary, Kimberly Lovett and Bryan Liang write that DTC screening tests “likely pose more risk than benefit to patients,” and point out that for companies selling these tests there is no…

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Meta-Analysis Examines Risk of Diabetes Associated with Statins (21 Jun 2011)

Although the cardiovascular benefits of statin therapy are well-characterized, recent studies have raised concerns that intensive statin therapy increases the risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Now, a new meta-analysis published in JAMA provides a more precise estimate of the risk for diabetes associated with statin therapy and also weighs that risk against the cardiovascular…

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Study Finds Critical Delay in Most MI Patients Transferred for Primary PCI (21 Jun 2011)

MI patients who arrive at hospitals unable to perform primary PCI need to be promptly transferred to another hospital in order to receive the full benefits of reperfusion. Unfortunately, these patients often have prolonged door-to-balloon times. A key element in the delay is the time spent at the first hospital, referred to as the door-in…

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FDA: Varenicline (Chantix) May Increase Risk for CV Events (16 Jun 2011)

The FDA said that the anti-smoking drug varenicline (Chantix) may increase the risk for cardiovascular events in people who already have cardiovascular disease. The new information will be added to the drug’s label and Medication Guide for patients. The FDA does not recommend that people with cardiovascular disease stop taking varenicline, but it says that…

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