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Avatar of Larry Husten, PHD

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

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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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Avatar of Larry Husten, PHD

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

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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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Avatar of Benjamin Scirica, MD MPH

New Observations on Saxagliptin (15 Sep 2014)

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Benjamin Scirica, MD MPH

Benjamin Scirica discusses his study group’s new analysis of data from the SAVOR-TIMI 53 randomized, placebo-controlled trial of saxagliptin in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Avatar of Larry Husten, PHD

FDA Approves New Weight Loss Drug (11 Sep 2014)

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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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Avatar of Larry Husten, PHD

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

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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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Avatar of Larry Husten, PHD

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

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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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Avatar of Larry Husten, PHD

Preliminary Outcomes Results For PCSK9 Inhibitor (31 Aug 2014)

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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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Avatar of Larry Husten, PHD

Rise in Popularity of E-Cigarettes Sparks Concerns and Recommendations (25 Aug 2014)

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The recent dramatic rise in popularity of e-cigarettes threatens to reverse hard-fought progress in the war against smoking, according to a new policy statement from the American Heart Association. “E-cigarettes have caused a major shift in the tobacco-control landscape,” said the lead author of the statement, Aruni Bhatnagar, chair of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Louisville. But…

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Do Patients Really Have to Fast Before Lipid Testing? (19 Aug 2014)

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Sripal Bangalore, MD, MHA

Harlan Krumholz interviews Sripal Bangalore about his research group’s study of the prognostic value of non-fasting lipid panels.

Avatar of Larry Husten, PHD

An Expert’s Perspective: Why Salt Is Not Like Tobacco and Why Guidelines Are Tricky (18 Aug 2014)

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At the center of this week’s renewed debate on salt was Salim Yusuf, the longtime influential and occasionally controversial cardiology researcher and clinical trialist based at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. I spoke with Yusuf before the publication of the New England Journal of Medicine papers, which include his own two papers from the PURE study. Yusuf was troubled…

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