August 2006 Briefing - Cardiology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Cardiology for August 2006. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

New Diagnostic Model Predicts Coronary Artery Disease

THURSDAY, Aug. 31 (HealthDay News) -- In heart failure patients with left ventricular dysfunction, a new diagnostic model may provide an accurate baseline assessment of coronary artery disease and reduce the need for invasive tests, according to a study published in the August issue of the American Heart Journal.

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Drug Blocks New Colorectal Adenomas

THURSDAY, Aug. 31 (HealthDay News) -- The cyclooxygenase 2 inhibitor celecoxib significantly reduces the risk of developing new colorectal adenomas in patients at high risk, although there is an increased risk of cardiovascular events, according to two studies published in the Aug. 31 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Clinically Unrecognized Heart Attacks Common in the Elderly

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Scarring detected by magnetic resonance imaging shows that unrecognized heart attacks are surprisingly common among the elderly, researchers report in the Aug. 15 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Night-Eating Syndrome Complicates Diabetes Care

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 30 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with diabetes, night-eating syndrome may lead to adverse outcomes, according to a report published in the August issue of Diabetes Care.

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Type 2 Diabetics Benefit from Low-Fat Vegan Diet

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Although patients with type 2 diabetes benefit from either a low-fat vegan diet or the American Diabetes Association (ADA) diet, those who adopt a vegan diet may expect to see significantly better outcomes, according to a study published in the August issue of Diabetes Care.

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Heparin Antibodies Don't Affect Safety of Cardiac Catheterization

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Although a significant proportion of people undergoing cardiac catheterization develop anti-platelet factor 4 (PF4)/heparin antibodies as a result of small exposure during the catheterization procedure, antibody status does not correlated with thrombotic complications, according to study findings published in the August issue of the American Heart Journal.

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Statins May Adversely Interact with Clopidogrel

TUESDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News) -- In patients who undergo percutaneous coronary intervention and are prescribed clopidogrel, the concomitant use of CYP3A4 inhibitors, particularly atorvastatin, may be associated with a higher risk of adverse events. But the clinical significance of these possible drug interactions is unclear and warrants further study, according to the results of an observational study published in the August issue of the American Heart Journal.

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Triple Prediction Test May Rule Out Heart Attack

TUESDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News) -- In patients who present to emergency departments within three hours of the onset of chest pain, a triple prediction test of a non-diagnostic electrocardiogram, negative troponin and negative ischemia-modified albumin measured may rule out acute coronary syndromes and allow for early dispositions instead of prolonged evaluations, but is not yet recommended for routine practice, according to an article in the August issue of the American Heart Journal.

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Lower Cholesterol Absorption, Lower Heart Attack Risk

TUESDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Lower cholesterol absorption spells reduced heart attack risk for the elderly, researchers report in the Aug. 15 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Doctors' Judgment Validated in Treating Heart Disease

TUESDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Doctors really do know best when it comes to prescribing the most beneficial treatments for patients with coronary artery disease, according to research published online Aug. 29 by the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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CRT and AVJ Ablation Superior for Heart Failure Patients

TUESDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Heart failure patients who exhibited ventricular conduction and atrial fibrillation showed sustained improvement if treated with cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) and atrioventricular junction (AVJ) ablation, according to a report in the Aug. 15 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Pre-Meal Insulin Glulisine Beneficial for Type 1 Diabetics

TUESDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with type 1 diabetes, a new rapid-acting insulin analog -- insulin glulisine -- may provide better blood glucose control than regular human insulin when administered immediately before a meal, according to a study published in the August issue of Diabetes Care.

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Nephropathy Less Likely With Isosmolar Contrast Media

TUESDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Isosmolar contrast media iodixanol is associated with a significantly lower risk of contrast-induced nephropathy than low-osmolar contrast media, according to a study published in the Aug. 15 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Longer Work Hours Can Be a Risk Factor for Hypertension

TUESDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News -- Working for more than 51 hours a week increases the likelihood of self-reported hypertension by almost one-third compared with those who put in 11 to 39 hours per week, according to a study published online Aug. 28 in Hypertension.

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Guidelines for Teen Cholesterol Levels Refined

MONDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Guidelines for normal cholesterol levels for adolescents should take into account gender differences and natural fluctuations that occur through the growth process, according to a study published online Aug. 28 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Left Ventricular Mass Index Increases After Heart Attack

MONDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Left ventricular mass index often increases after a first ST-elevation acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and successful reperfusion, but it does not affect infarct size or short-term survival, according to a study published in the August issue of the American Heart Journal.

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'Major' Venous-to-Arterial Circulation Shunts Pose Risk

FRIDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- 'Major' venous-to-arterial circulation shunts are linked to ischemic stroke, but not myocardial infarction, in young adults, according to a study in the Aug. 15 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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New Neurons Near Brain's Stroke-Damaged Areas

THURSDAY, Aug. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have found that newborn-like neurons are present in regions surrounding stroke-damaged areas in human brain biopsies, according to a report in the Aug. 21 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition. Harnessing the process which causes new neuron growth may provide a potential therapeutic strategy for post-ischemic recovery.

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Inflammatory Markers Linked to Metabolic Syndrome

THURSDAY, Aug. 24 (HealthDay News) -- In patients newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, markers of inflammation and fibrinolysis associated with cardiovascular morbidity are strongly associated with the number of components of metabolic syndrome, according to a study published in the August issue of Diabetes.

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Mortality Linked to BMI in Two National Cohort Studies

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Two trials, one involving more than 500,000 Americans and the other over one million Koreans, suggest that even modest amounts of excess weight in middle age is associated with a higher risk of mortality. Results of both studies are published in the Aug. 24 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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TGFBR1 and 2 Mutations Cause Aggressive Vascular Disease

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Mutations in the transforming growth factor beta receptors 1 and 2 (TGFBR1 and TGFBR2), associated with the recently described autosomal dominant disease Loeys-Dietz syndrome, can cause aggressive and widespread vascular disease, according to a report in the Aug. 24 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Researchers Create Risk Model for Chagas Disease Deaths

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Investigators have developed and tested a simple model to predict the risk of death from Chagas heart disease, which currently affects more than one million Latin Americans, according to a report in the Aug. 24 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Catastrophic Antiphospholipid Syndrome Mortality Assessed

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Stroke, cerebral hemorrhage and encephalopathy are major causes of death in patients with catastrophic antiphospholipid syndrome (CAPS), and the risk of death increases in those with systemic lupus erythematosus, according to a study published in the August issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Lifestyle Benefits Seen From Sinus Rhythm Restoration

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 23 (HealthDay News) -- While restoration and maintenance of sinus rhythm may not confer survival benefits in patients with persistent atrial fibrillation, it does improve exercise performance and quality of life, according to a study published in the Aug. 15 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Two Anti-Clotting Regimens Have Similar Effectiveness

TUESDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with acute venous thromboembolism, fixed-dose subcutaneous unfractionated heparin is as effective and safe as subcutaneous low-molecular-weight heparin, but is far less costly, according to a study in the Aug. 23/30 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Air, Car, Bus or Train Travel Linked to Thrombosis Risk

TUESDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Long trips by air, car, bus or train are associated with a two-fold increase in the risk of developing deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) in the following weeks, according to a study in the August issue of PLoS Medicine.

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Ethnic Differences Observed in Stroke Recurrence

TUESDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Mexican-Americans who experience a first ischemic stroke have a higher risk of stroke recurrence than their non-Hispanic white counterparts, according to a study published online Aug. 22 in the Annals of Neurology.

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Guidelines on Sudden Cardiac Death Prevention Released

TUESDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- The American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association, and the European Society of Cardiology, in collaboration with the European Heart Rhythm Association and the Heart Rhythm Society have released the 2006 Guidelines on Management of Patients with Ventricular Arrhythmias and the Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Death.

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Insulin Resistance at 13 May Predict Future Heart Risk

TUESDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Reducing insulin resistance in teens, along with their weight, may be necessary to decrease their risk of cardiovascular disease, according to the results of a study published online Aug. 21 in Hypertension.

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Angina Care Can Top $1 Million During a Woman's Lifetime

MONDAY, Aug. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Angina may be the greatest driver of women's cardiovascular health care costs, and non-obstructive coronary artery disease is no exception, according to results from the National Institutes of Health-National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute-sponsored Women's Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation, published online Aug. 21 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Vascular Disease Uncommon in Supercentenarians

MONDAY, Aug. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Supercentenarians do not often have vascular disease, or if they do, it develops very late in their already long lives, according to a study published in the August issue of the Journal of the American Geriatric Society.

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BMI Does Not Accurately Forecast Heart Disease Death

FRIDAY, Aug. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Body mass index does not dependably forecast heart disease mortality, most likely because it cannot differentiate between muscle mass and fat, researchers report in the Aug. 19 issue of The Lancet.

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All Forms of Tobacco Raise Myocardial Infarction Risk

FRIDAY, Aug. 18 (HealthDay News) -- All forms of tobacco consumption, not just smoking, substantially raise the risk of myocardial infarction, according to the results of a global study published in the Aug. 19 issue of The Lancet.

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FDA Approves New Indication for Plavix

FRIDAY, Aug. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted approval for clopidogrel bisulfate (Plavix), manufactured by Sanofi Aventis, to be used to treat patients with acute ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) who will not undergo angioplasty.

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Cystatin C Predicts Adverse Outcomes in Elderly

FRIDAY, Aug. 18 (HealthDay News) -- A marker of kidney function, cystatin C, predicts the risk of death, cardiovascular disease and chronic kidney disease better than creatinine in the elderly, according to a report in the Aug. 15 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Chinese Women At Risk from Husbands' Smoking

FRIDAY, Aug. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Chinese women are often exposed to secondhand smoke, primarily from their husbands, which increases their risk of death from lung cancer and cardiovascular disease, according to the results of a study published in the Aug. 19 issue of BMJ.

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Daptomycin a Safe Alternative for S. Aureus Bacteremia

THURSDAY, Aug. 17 (HealthDay News) -- The cyclic lipopeptide antibiotic daptomycin appears to be as effective as standard therapy for Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia complicated by right-sided endocarditis, according to a report in the Aug. 17 New England Journal of Medicine.

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Socioeconomic Status Linked to Late-Life Disability

THURSDAY, Aug. 17 (HealthDay News) -- While the link between extreme poverty and poor health has long been recognized, a new report in the Aug. 17 New England Journal of Medicine extends the socioeconomic disparity to functional limitation and disability later in life.

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Smoking Cessation Drug Has Gone Unnoticed in West

THURSDAY, Aug. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Nicotine receptor agonist cytisine, a drug that has been used for the past 40 years in Eastern Europe as an aid to smoking cessation, has been largely ignored by the English-language journals, according to a review and meta-analysis in the Aug. 14/28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Varenicline Tartrate Helps Smokers Kick the Habit

THURSDAY, Aug. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Varenicline tartrate (Chantix) can help smokers kick the habit, according to two studies in the Aug. 14/28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved varenicline in May 2006.

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Defib Implant May Not Benefit Renal Failure Patients

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Implantable cardioverter defibrillator therapy may not benefit high-risk cardiac patients with advanced renal dysfunction, according to a retrospective analysis published in the Aug. 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Trastuzumab May Cause Cardiac Toxicity

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 16 (HealthDay News) -- In women with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer, trastuzumab can cause cardiac toxicity, which can be reversed with beta-blockers and ACE inhibitors. Additional trastuzumab treatment can be considered after recovery of cardiac function, according to a study published online Aug. 14 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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An 18-Hole Round of Golf Equals 10,000 Steps

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Playing an 18-hole round of golf may help people meet the recommendation that they accumulate 10,000 steps each day as part of a general physical activity plan, according to a study published in the August issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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Investigators Reconstruct Pre-Rupture Plaque Profile

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Investigators have used intravascular imaging to reconstruct what a pre-rupture atherosclerotic plaque may look like and found that most ruptures occur in larger arteries at sites with significant disease, according to a report published Aug. 15 in the American Journal of Cardiology.

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No Cardiovascular Risk Seen in Younger Pot Smokers

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 16 (HealthDay News) -- In young adults, marijuana use is not independently associated with increased body mass index and other cardiovascular risk factors. But it is strongly associated with other unhealthy behaviors, according to a study published in the Aug. 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Obesity Not Linked to Myocardial Infarction Outcome

TUESDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- There is no significant association between obesity and in-hospital outcomes in myocardial infarction patients, but those who experience a heart attack and are morbidly obese tend to be younger than those of normal weight, according to a report in the Aug. 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Combination Treatment for Ischemic Stroke Promising

TUESDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- The first clinical trial testing the ability of argatroban to augment the benefit of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) after ischemic stroke has shown preliminary promising results, according to a report in the August issue of Archives of Neurology.

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Doctors' Views on Disclosure of Errors Varies Widely

TUESDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- There is a wide variation across the medical profession when it comes to disclosing medical errors to patients, with the visibility of the error and medical specialty both playing a role, according to two studies in the August 14/28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Nurse-Led Counseling Cuts Heart Failure Hospitalizations

TUESDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- A nurse-led disease management program for patients with ambulatory congestive heart failure may improve functioning and decrease hospitalizations, according to a study conducted in an ethnically diverse community and reported in the Aug. 15 Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Cup of Coffee Associated with Myocardial Infarction Risk

TUESDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of having a myocardial infarction within one hour of consuming coffee is greater in patients with coronary heart disease risk factors, a sedentary lifestyle or who consume one cup of coffee or less per day compared to other patients, according to a report published online Aug. 15 in Epidemiology.

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AHA Issues Statement on Physical Activity in Schools

MONDAY, Aug. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Schools must take the lead in promoting adequate physical activity for children during the school day, according to a scientific statement published online Aug. 14 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Fetal Pulmonary Artery Diameter Predicts Morbidity

MONDAY, Aug. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Antenatal pulmonary artery diameter measurements may be useful as predictors of respiratory morbidity in infants with congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH), according to a study in the August issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Congenital Heart Block Linked to Maternal Antibodies

FRIDAY, Aug. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Congenital heart block is caused by maternal antibodies that interfere with the clearance of dead and dying fetal cardiocytes that eventually leads to excessive scarring and inflammation, according to a report published online Aug. 10 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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'Funnel Chest' Surgery Improves Heart Function

FRIDAY, Aug. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Contrary to suggestions that the repair of the pectus excavatum -- or "funnel chest" -- should be considered cosmetic surgery that results in minimal physiologic improvement, the procedure significantly improves cardiovascular function, according to a report in the August issue of Chest.

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ACE Inhibitors May Help Atherosclerosis Patients

FRIDAY, Aug. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, used to treat patients with heart failure or left ventricular systolic dysfunction (LVSD), may benefit patients with atherosclerosis, according to a study published in the Aug. 12 issue of The Lancet.

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CPR Knowledge is Lacking in Seriously Ill Patients

THURSDAY, Aug. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Seriously ill hospitalized patients lack information about cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and more than one-third of them do not wish to discuss end-of-life preferences with their physician, according to study results published in the August issue of Chest.

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Fewer Ischemic Strokes for Those Taking Atorvastatin

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Daily atorvastatin can reduce the incidence of stroke and cardiovascular events in recent stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) patients, according to results from the Stroke Prevention by Aggressive Reduction in Cholesterol Levels (SPARCL) trial published in the Aug. 10 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Defibrillator Safety Alerts Happen Frequently

TUESDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Automated external defibrillators, or AEDs, are frequently the target of U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisories, and the frequency may increase as use of the devices becomes more widespread, according to a study in the Aug. 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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High-Fat Meals Cut Protective Effects of HDL Cholesterol

TUESDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Just one meal high in saturated fat can reduce the protective anti-inflammatory effects of high-density lipoprotein and impair endothelial function, according to a report published online Aug. 7 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. This single meal could possibly influence the atherogenic process, the authors report.

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Heart Patients Should Be Tested for Chronic Kidney Disease

MONDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- All patients with or at risk for cardiovascular disease should be given a simple blood or urine test that can detect chronic kidney disease, according to an advisory from the American Heart Association and the National Kidney Foundation published online Aug. 7 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Female Life Scientists Less Likely to Hold Patents

FRIDAY, Aug. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Female life-science faculty members patent their work at about 40 percent of the rate of their male counterparts, but the gender gap is improving, according to a study published in the Aug. 4 edition of Science.

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Criteria Can Help Determine If Resuscitation Should Stop

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 2 (HealthDay News) -- A clinical prediction rule for the termination of resuscitation can help emergency medical technicians to decide when to stop basic life support resuscitative efforts in patients with an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, according to a study published in the Aug. 3 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Racial Disparities Seen in U.S. Medical Insurance Coverage

TUESDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Among working-age adults in the United States, Hispanics and blacks are more likely than whites to have gaps in their insurance coverage, not receive necessary care and face medical debt, according to a report published Aug. 1 by The Commonwealth Fund.

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Higher Blood Pressure Seen in Kidney Donors

TUESDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Kidney donors may experience a higher blood pressure increase in the five to 10 years following donation than would be expected with normal aging, according to a meta-analysis published in the Aug. 1 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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