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Consensus Document Provides Roadmap to Uptake of TAVR in U.S. (31 Jan 2012)

Following the recent FDA approval of transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), the ACC, AATS, SCAI, and STS — in conjunction with several other medical organizations — have released a critical consensus document to guide use of the new landmark procedure. “We have tried to collate the evidence into a coherent road map for judicious use, rational…

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Robert Harrington Leaving Duke for Stanford University (31 Jan 2012)

Robert Harrington will be leaving his position as the director of the Duke Clinical Research Institute, a position he has held since 2006, to become the new chair of the department of medicine at Stanford University. Harrington was also the Richard S. Stack MD Distinguished Professor at Duke University School of Medicine. The news was publicly…

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Appropriate Use Criteria for Revascularization Updated (31 Jan 2012)

The ACC, AHA, and other organizations have released updated appropriate use criteria for coronary revascularization. The 2012 Appropriate Use Criteria for Coronary Revascularization Focused Update incorporates data from the SYNTAX trial on the indications for PCI and CABG in patients with symptomatic, multivessel disease, as well as data from the CathPCI registry. Here are some of the…

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Very Large Observational Study Finds Significant Mortality Advantage for CABG Over PCI in High-Risk Patients (30 Jan 2012)

Although PCI has a small, early mortality benefit compared to CABG in high-risk patients, after the first year a striking survival advantage for CABG develops, according to results of the ASCERT study, presented on Monday at the annual meeting of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS). Fred Edwards presented the high-risk subset of ASCERT (ACCF-STS Database…

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NHLBI Launches Two Large Cardiac Arrest Treatment Trials (26 Jan 2012)

The NHLBI today announced the launch of two large clinical trials evaluating treatments for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. The Continuous Chest Compressions (CCC) trial will randomize 23,600 people with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest to either standard CPR or continuous chest compressions, both delivered by paramedics or fire fighters. In recent years, studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine,  JAMA, and the Lancet have provided…

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Big Drop in MI Incidence and Fatality in England (26 Jan 2012)

Since 2002, the incidence of acute MI in England has dropped by one-half and the case fatality rate by one-third, according to a new study published in BMJ. The overall decline in deaths from MI is about equally due to improvements in the prevention of MI and the treatment of MI. Kate Smolina and colleagues analyzed data…

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Huge Study Finds Risk Factors Do In Fact Predict Risk (25 Jan 2012)

An enormous new meta-analysis confirms the important role that risk factors play over a lifetime in the development of cardiovascular disease. In a paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Jarett Berry and colleagues report on the meta-analysis from the Cardiovascular Lifetime Risk Pooling Project, which contains data from 18 epidemiological studies including more than one-quarter million…

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FDA Rejects Proposed Chronic Kidney Disease Indication for Vytorin (25 Jan 2012)

The FDA rejected a new indication for Merck’s Vytorin and Zetia (ezetimibe plus simvastatin and ezetimibe alone) in chronic kidney disease patients. As a consolation prize, however, the agency approved a new label for Vytorin that will incorporate the results of SHARP (Study of Heart and Renal Protection), which found that the drug combination reduced the incidence…

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Whistleblower Lawsuit Filed Against 5 Cardiologists in Pennsylvania (24 Jan 2012)

The U.S. government has joined a cardiologist in a whistleblower lawsuit against Hamot Medical Center  in western Pennsylvania  and a group of cardiologists with whom he once practiced, Ed Palattella reports in the Erie Times-News. Cardiologist Tullio Emanuele, who now practices in Kentucky, has accused five former colleagues — members of Medicor Associates Inc. and its affiliate, Flagship…

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Black Tea Found to Lower Blood Pressure (24 Jan 2012)

A new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine provides the best evidence yet that drinking black tea can lower blood pressure. Jonathan M. Hodgson and colleagues randomized 95 regular tea drinkers to 3 cups per day of either black tea (containing 429 mg of polyphenols and 96 mg of caffeine) or placebo. At 3 and…

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