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American Heart Association, Nov. 13-15

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The annual meeting of the American Heart Association was held virtually this year from Nov. 13 to 15 and attracted participants from around the world, including cardiovascular specialists, surgeons, and nurses as well as other health care professionals. The conference featured presentations focusing on the latest advances in cardiovascular medicine and surgery.

In one study, Krishna Aragam, M.D., of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues found that genetic analyses of biobank populations linked to medical records present a viable (and scalable) approach to uncover the population genetic determinants of dilated cardiomyopathy.

The authors reviewed cases of dilated cardiomyopathy by querying the electronic health record within the National Veterans Administration Healthcare System. Specifically, a genome-wide association analysis was conducted to link specific genetic variants to the disease. The authors combined the genetic variants linked to dilated cardiomyopathy to construct genetic risk scores highly predictive of incident dilated cardiomyopathy. The researchers identified several regions of the genome associated with the heart muscle disorder.

"The identification of genetic variants linked to dilated cardiomyopathy may provide insights into possible therapeutic targets for the disease," Aragam said. "In addition, the development of relevant genetic risk scores has the potential to help preempt and prevent dilated cardiomyopathy in the years to come."

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In a cross-sectional observational study, David Flomenbaum, of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, and colleagues found that greater adherence to Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI) or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) dietary plans is associated with healthier cardiac structure and systolic function in Hispanic/Latino adults.

The authors used unadjusted linear regression models to analyze associations between dietary adherence scores and echocardiographic measurements of cardiac structure and function. The findings suggested that diet quality, as measured by adherence to either the AHEI or the DASH eating plan, is associated with better systolic function in Hispanic/Latino adults as reflected by ejection fraction and global longitudinal strain on echocardiography, with diet quality showing a larger effect size on ejection fraction. Adherence to the DASH diet was also associated with decreased left ventricular mass.

"This is concordant with much currently accepted dietary advice. The American Heart Association recommends taking simple steps to develop healthy eating patterns. One aspect of this is balancing calorie intake with physical activity, but equally important is choosing the right foods to provide the best nutrients and variety from our diets," Flomenbaum said. "A healthy diet should emphasize food groups such as whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and legumes/nuts, while minimizing added sugars, red meat, and salt. Both of the diet plans we looked at take into account many of these components, and we see tangible differences in the hearts of those whose diets more closely align with these plans."

One author disclosed financial ties to Amgen.

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In a cross-sectional study, Natalie Keirns, of Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, and colleagues found that women with greater visceral adiposity report more internalization of weight stigma and self-devaluation based on weight compared with men carrying additional abdominal fat.

The authors collected visceral and total adiposity data measured via dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry from 70 study participants. Internalized weight stigma was measured via self-report. The researchers found that women with more fat around the midsection tended to devalue themselves based on weight. Meanwhile, for men, there was no relationship between visceral adiposity and internalized weight stigma. All relationships were observed after considering total body fat percentage.

"We don't know yet whether having more visceral fat might lead women to apply negative weight-based stereotypes to themselves, or if internalizing weight stigma could contribute to specific development of visceral adiposity," Keirns said. "We do know that weight stigma is stressful, stress leads to visceral adiposity development, and visceral adiposity is linked to cardiovascular disease. Internalizing weight stigma is harmful to women's mental and physical health -- we must reduce weight stigma in order to promote women's health and well-being."

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Shabatun Islam, M.D., of the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, and colleagues found that the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected low-socioeconomic and minority populations, and living in disadvantaged neighborhoods increases the risk for heart attack, stroke, or death among hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

For their analysis, the authors used the American Heart Association cardiovascular registry, which encompasses data from 107 hospitals nationwide and approximately 17,000 patients. The researchers found that on a population level, those from vulnerable neighborhoods experienced worse COVID-19 outcomes. Specifically, patients from vulnerable neighborhoods had higher rates of in-hospital death and worse cardiac outcomes, even after accounting for age, sex, race, and insurance status.

"Even when we accounted for clinical comorbidities and hospital presentation, these individuals continued to have worse outcomes, suggesting that something about the neighborhood they live in might impact hospital outcomes," Islam said.

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AHA: High Sodium, Low Potassium Intake Linked to Higher CV Risk

MONDAY, Nov. 22, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Higher sodium and lower potassium intakes as measured in 24-hour urine samples are associated with higher cardiovascular risk, according to a study published online Nov. 13 in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2021, held virtually from Nov. 13 to 15.

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AHA: Oral Milvexian Promising for Prevention of VTE

FRIDAY, Nov. 19, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- For patients undergoing knee arthroplasty, factor XIa inhibition with oral milvexian reduced the risk for postoperative venous thromboembolism without an increased risk for bleeding compared with enoxaparin, according to a study published online Nov. 15 in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2021, held virtually from Nov. 13 to 15.

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AHA: Risk-Benefit of Mitral Valve Surgery Plus Tricuspid Annuloplasty Studied

FRIDAY, Nov. 19, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- For patients undergoing surgery for degenerative mitral regurgitation who have moderate or less-than-moderate tricuspid regurgitation, those who also undergo tricuspid annuloplasty are less likely to have progression to severe tricuspid regurgitation, but are more likely to require permanent pacemaker implantation, according to a study published online Nov. 13 in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2021, held virtually from Nov. 13 to 15.

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AHA: Risk for Heart Disease Up for Young Black Adults in the U.S.

FRIDAY, Nov. 19, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Young African American patients have had an increasing burden of cardiovascular disease risk factors and worsened in-hospital outcomes, though with improved survival odds, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2021, held virtually from Nov. 13 to 15.

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AHA: Women With Disabilities Have Poorer Diets, Face Food Insecurity

THURSDAY, Nov. 18, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Women of reproductive age with disabilities report lower diet quality, food security, and physical activity, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2021, held virtually from Nov. 13 to 15.

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AHA: Better Management of High Cholesterol Needed in Young Adults

THURSDAY, Nov. 18, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Many young adults with moderate or severe hypercholesterolemia do not achieve guideline-directed low-density lipoprotein cholesterol reduction, according to a research letter published online Nov. 15 in JAMA Cardiology to coincide with the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2021, held virtually from Nov. 13 to 15.

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AHA: Use of Cardiac Rehab Low in Adults With Heart Failure

MONDAY, Nov. 15, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Although cardiac rehabilitation rates increased after Medicare expansion of cardiac rehabilitation coverage to include heart failure with reduced ejection fraction, the rates of use are still low, according to a study presented at the AHA Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions 2021, held virtually on Nov. 15 in conjunction with the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2021.

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AHA: Sacubitril/Valsartan No More Beneficial for Chronic Advanced CHF

MONDAY, Nov. 15, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with chronic advanced heart failure with a reduced ejection fraction, sacubitril/valsartan shows no benefit over valsartan, according to a study published online Nov. 3 in JAMA Cardiology to coincide with the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2021, held virtually from Nov. 13 to 15.

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AHA: E-Cigarette Use Linked to Risk for Stroke at a Younger Age

TUESDAY, Nov. 9, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Electronic cigarette users have higher risk for earlier stroke onset compared with dual and traditional cigarette users, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2021, held virtually from Nov. 13 to 15.

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AHA: Type of Fat Consumed May Affect Risk for Stroke

TUESDAY, Nov. 9, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Higher intake of nondairy animal fat is associated with increased total risk of stroke, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2021, held virtually from Nov. 13 to 15.

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AHA: Outcomes of In-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Compared by Setting

MONDAY, Nov. 8, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- People who experience an in-hospital cardiac arrest in the cardiac catheterization lab are more likely to survive to discharge than those who experience an in-hospital cardiac arrest in the intensive care unit, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association Resuscitation Science Symposium 2021, to be held virtually from Nov. 12 to 14 as part of the annual meeting of the American Heart Association.

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AHA: Early Epinephrine Administration in OHCA Beneficial

MONDAY, Nov. 8, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Earlier epinephrine treatment during an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is associated with better recovery, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association Resuscitation Science Symposium 2021, to be held virtually from Nov. 12 to 14 as part of the annual meeting of the American Heart Association.

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