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Archives for May 2012

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Engage with independent insights, opinions, and analysis from an array of leaders in cardiology.
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Reality Check: Stem Cell Science According To Perez Hilton (31 May 2012)

John Ryan, MD

Celebrity Blogger Perez Hilton recently ran a news story about stem cell research with the headline: ”Scientists Convert Skin Cells Into Beating Heart Muscle!” According to the report, “the tissue could one day be used to treat” heart failure. Sites such as PerezHilton.com (which is among the top 150 most visited sites in the US), and Patientslikeme.com (with over a 150,000 patient members) reach a far wider audience than sites such as CardioExchange or even the highest impact factor journal. However, they can also provide excess optimism and oversimplify the data. In… Continue Reading

Avatar of Harlan M. Krumholz, MD, SM

Reality Check: Do Reporters Spin Trial Results? (30 May 2012)

Harlan M. Krumholz, MD, SM

Do reporters spin trial results – or do some reporters just not understand the science well enough to report results accurately? I was thumbing through Nature Reviews/Cardiology when I happened on this headline in the section on Research Highlights: Vorapaxar beneficial in setting of prior MI, but not in patients who have experienced stroke. This long headline caught my attention because I thought that TRA 2P-TIMI 50, the trial that is being reported, was positive at the cost of a substantially higher risk of bleeding. Vorapaxar is a novel antiplatelet… Continue Reading

Avatar of Richard Lehman, BM, BCh, MRCGP

Selections from Richard Lehman’s Literature Review: Week of May 28th (29 May 2012)

Richard Lehman, BM, BCh, MRCGP

This week’s topics include treating obstructive sleep apnea, using aspirin for VTE, and prothrombotics.

Avatar of Steven

More Evidence Against Tight Glycemic Control (29 May 2012)

Steven Coca, DO, MS

Along with tight blood pressure control and RAAS blockade, most nephrologists recommend tight glycemic control (i.e., HbA1C < 7) for patients with type 2 diabetes, with the goals of reducing incident CKD or CKD progression. Data from observational studies has shown that tight glycemic control is associated with less albuminuria. Thus, conventional wisdom has been that tight glycemic control will improve albuminuria, and a reduction in albuminuria, in turn, should lead to less CKD. However, definitive data on the true efficacy of this strategy was lacking. With the recent completion… Continue Reading

Avatar of Harlan M. Krumholz, MD, SM

The Next Phase in Outcomes Research: PCORI-Funded Projects (24 May 2012)

Harlan M. Krumholz, MD, SM

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute is distributing $120 million in research grants for comparative effectiveness studies. Learn about PCORI’s mission and the funding opportunities.

Avatar of Richard Lehman, BM, BCh, MRCGP

Selections from Richard Lehman’s Literature Review: Week of May 21st (21 May 2012)

Richard Lehman, BM, BCh, MRCGP

This week’s topics include warfarin vs. aspirin for stroke prevention in HF, CVD risks and azithromycin, coffee’s benefits, the old news that statins work, the question of HDL-C, abdominal aortic aneurysm, omega-3 fatty acid supplements, and Abbott’s methods for staying ahead with fenofibrate prescriptions.

Avatar of Harlan M. Krumholz, MD, SM

Standing Up for What You Believe: The Story Behind an Editorial (18 May 2012)

Harlan M. Krumholz, MD, SM

A request from “someone with influence” to cease discussion of a sensitive topic prompts an editorial encouraging younger colleagues to stand up for what they believe.

Avatar of Edward

Robert Hauser, ICD Watchdog, Offers Viewpoint On Riata Controversy At HRS (16 May 2012)

Edward J. Schloss, MD

The St. Jude Riata ICD lead controversy took center stage at last week’s Heart Rhythm Scientific Sessions in Boston, as previously reported here.  Near the end of the meeting a leading figure in the field, Dr. Robert Hauser, of the Minneapolis Heart Institute, summarized the current state of the Riata crisis and discussed its broader implications. Hauser has played key roles in the Riata and several other similar, highly disturbing cases, including those involving the Sprint Fidelis ICD leads and the Prizm 2 DR ICD device malfunction. In a troubling revelation… Continue Reading

Avatar of Richard Lehman, BM, BCh, MRCGP

Selections from Richard Lehman’s Literature Review: Week of May 14th (14 May 2012)

Richard Lehman, BM, BCh, MRCGP

This week Richard discusses studies of glucose, insulin, and potassium for MI, elective PCI with and without surgical standby, and varenicline and CV risk.

Avatar of Edward

HRS 2012: More Clarity on DOJ ICD Investigation, ‘Incidental PCIs’ Still Excluded (12 May 2012)

Edward J. Schloss, MD

Thursday morning at Heart Rhythm Scientific Sessions 2012, Suneet Mittal MD of Columbia University gave a detailed account of his group’s experience with a Department of Justice investigation of ICD implantation outside of NCD guidelines.  The talk served to amplify and clarify points made in his perspective in JACC written with Jonathan Steinberg MD, in March 2012. Not long after Al-Khatab and colleagues published their account of “non-evidence based” ICD implants in JAMA in January 2011, the US Department of Justice launched an investigation of numerous US hospitals looking for ICD implants outside NCD rules.  This action… Continue Reading