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February 2012 Briefing - Cardiology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Cardiology for February 2012. 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.

Family Tree Clarifies Risk of Death Due to Arrhythmia

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 29 (HealthDay News) -- In six inherited arrhythmia syndromes, the Family Tree Mortality Ratio (FTMR) method is useful for identifying the age during which mortality risk becomes manifest in an untreated population, according to research published online Feb. 28 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics.

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Statin Users Less Likely to Suffer From Depression

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 29 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with coronary heart disease, use of statins is associated with reduced risk of having or developing depression, according to a study published online Feb. 21 in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

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Despite Benefits of Selenium, Supplements May Be Harmful

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 29 (HealthDay News) -- While selenium is necessary for good health, levels that are too high can be harmful, and people whose serum selenium levels are already at least 122 µ/L should not take supplements, according to a review published online Feb. 29 in The Lancet.

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BPA Exposure Possibly Linked to Future Heart Disease

TUESDAY, Feb. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Healthy people exposed to higher levels of the controversial chemical bisphenol A (BPA), found in plastics, may be more likely to develop heart disease, according to a study published online Feb. 21 in Circulation.

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FDA Approves Label Changes for Statins

TUESDAY, Feb. 28 (HealthDay News) -- The recommendation to remove routine monitoring of liver enzymes is among safety label changes recently approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration for statins, according to a Feb. 28 Drug Safety Communication issued by the agency.

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Fast Heart Rate Predictive of Cardiac Events in High-Risk HTN

TUESDAY, Feb. 28 (HealthDay News) -- A fast heart rate is a strong predictor of adverse cardiac events in patients with high-risk hypertension, according to a study published in the March 1 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

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A-Fib Increases Risk of Cognitive, Functional Decline

TUESDAY, Feb. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with atrial fibrillation are at an increased risk for both cognitive and functional decline, regardless of whether they have a stroke, according to research published online Feb. 27 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

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Combo of Diabetes, Depression Increases Post-MI Mortality

MONDAY, Feb. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Having both diabetes and depression significantly increases the risk of dying in the years following a heart attack, beyond the increased risk from either condition alone, according to a study published in the March issue of Diabetes Care.

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Body Clock Linked to Sudden Cardiac Death

FRIDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- A body clock-dependent protein is associated with variations in electrical stability in the heart, which may explain why people are at higher risk of sudden cardiac death in the morning, according to research published online Feb. 22 in Nature.

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Expression of Genes for Platelet Aggregation Up Post-CABG

FRIDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Following coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery, there is increased expression of genes involved in platelet aggregation, including cyclooxygenase-1 (COX1), glycoprotein (GP)IIb and GPIIIa, according to a study published online Feb. 13 in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

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Citrus Fruit Linked to Lower Risk of Ischemic Stroke

THURSDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Eating higher amounts of a compound (flavonoid) found in citrus fruits may lower the risk of stroke, according to a study published online Feb. 23 in Stroke.

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Aspirin and Clopidogrel Improve Claudication Distance

THURSDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with stable intermittent claudication due to peripheral arterial disease, low-dose aspirin appears to work as well as clopidogrel when given in conjunction with walking rehabilitation to improve initial claudication distance (ICD) and absolute claudication distance (ACD), according to research published in the February issue of the Journal of the American Heart Association: Cardiovascular and Cerebrovascular Disease.

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Elevated Homocysteine, Heart Disease Link Questioned

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Elevated homocysteine levels are not associated with a greater risk of coronary heart disease when considering unpublished data, suggesting publication bias, according to a study available online Feb. 21 in PLoS Medicine.

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Highest Diabetes Death Rates Seen in Trials Selecting for CKD

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- In type 2 diabetes patients selected for randomized controlled trials (RCTs), chronic kidney disease (CKD) is associated with the highest overall risk of mortality, according to a review published online Feb. 21 in the Journal of the American Heart Association: Cardiovascular and Cerebrovascular Disease.

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Medtronic Stent Approved to Treat Coronary Artery Disease

TUESDAY, Feb. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Medtronic's Resolute Integrity Drug-Eluting Stent (DES) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for people with coronary artery disease (CAD), the Minneapolis-based company said in a news release.

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Women With MI More Likely to Present Without Chest Pain

TUESDAY, Feb. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Women suffering a myocardial infarction (MI) are more likely than men of the same age to present without chest pain and have higher in-hospital mortality, according to a study published in the Feb. 22 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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External Cooling Improves Outcomes in Septic Shock

TUESDAY, Feb. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Use of external cooling to achieve fever control is safe for sedated patients in septic shock, and decreases vasopressor requirements and early mortality, according to a study published online Feb. 17 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Alcohol Dependence Significant Problem for U.S. Surgeons

TUESDAY, Feb. 21 (HealthDay News) -- A considerable number of U.S. surgeons have alcohol abuse and dependence, which is more likely in those who have recently reported major errors, are burned out, and are depressed, according to a study published in the February issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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Nicotine Replacement Therapy Linked With Infantile Colic

MONDAY, Feb. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Maternal smoking or use of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) during pregnancy is associated with increased risk of infantile colic in offspring, according to a study published online Feb. 20 in Pediatrics.

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High Uric Acid Level Predictive of Adverse Cardiac Events

FRIDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- A high serum uric acid level is an independent predictor of in-hospital and long-term adverse cardiac events in patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) undergoing primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), according to research published in the Feb. 15 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

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Pregnancy Complications Tied to CVD Later in Life

FRIDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Pregnancy-related complications, including hypertensive disorders and diabetes, may identify women at increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) later in life, according to a study published online Feb. 17 in Circulation.

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Study Evaluates Clinical Value of Stroke Biomarkers

FRIDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- While 136 different stroke biomarkers have been identified, the clinical value of these biomarkers remains unclear, according to a study published online Feb. 9 in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

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Smoking Bans Lead to Less, Not More, Smoking at Home

THURSDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Smoke-free legislation leads to less smoking in smokers' homes, not more, according to research published online Feb. 13 in Tobacco Control.

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TTN Mutation Detection Aids Cardiomyopathy Diagnosis

THURSDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Adding sequencing approaches that detect genetic mutations in the TTN gene, which codes for the sarcomere protein titin, would enable earlier diagnosis and improved treatment for patients with dilated cardiomyopathy, according to a study published in the Feb. 16 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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AHA: Knowledge Gap Identified for Peripheral Artery Disease

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- The American Heart Association (AHA) has updated their guidelines for the management of peripheral artery disease (PAD), specifically in women; the updated guidelines were published online Feb. 15 in Circulation.

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Anti-apoA-1 Ups Cardiovascular Risk Prediction in RA

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Adding the biomarker anti-apolipoprotein A-1 IgG (anti-apoA-1) to the 10-year Framingham cardiovascular risk score (FRS) significantly improves prediction of cardiovascular events in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, according to a study published online Feb. 2 in Arthritis Care & Research.

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Vitamin D Doesn't Improve Cardiac Measures in CKD Patients

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with chronic kidney disease who are treated with the active vitamin D compound, paricalcitol, for 48 weeks do not show improvement in left ventricular mass or certain measures of diastolic dysfunction, compared with patients who received placebo, according to a study published in the Feb. 15 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Active Time Improves Youth Cardiometabolic Measures

TUESDAY, Feb. 14 (HealthDay News) -- The more time children spend engaged in moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA), the better their cardiometabolic risk factors, including measures of cholesterol, blood pressure, and waist size, regardless of the amount of time spent sedentary, according to a study published in the Feb. 15 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Air Pollutant Exposure Tied to Increased Heart Attack Risk

TUESDAY, Feb. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Short-term exposure to all major air pollutants, except for ozone, is significantly associated with an increased risk of heart attack, according to a study published in the Feb. 15 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Mediterranean Diet Linked to Healthier Brain Matter

TUESDAY, Feb. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Consumption of a Mediterranean-style diet (MeDi) is linked to a reduced burden of white matter hyperintensity volume (WMHV), a marker of small vessel brain damage, according to a study published in the February issue of the Archives of Neurology.

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Cardiac Stem Cell Infusion After Myocardial Infarction Safe

TUESDAY, Feb. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Intracoronary infusion of cardiosphere-derived cells (CDCs) after myocardial infarction (MI) is safe and improves cardiac function, according to a phase 1 study published online Feb. 14 in The Lancet.

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New Staging System IDs cSCC Risk in Transplant Patients

TUESDAY, Feb. 14 (HealthDay News) -- The newly updated seventh edition American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) staging system accurately predicts the risk of recurrence of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) in high-risk heart and lung transplant recipients, according to a study published online Jan. 30 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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Supplements Don't Prevent Cancer in Cardiac Patients

TUESDAY, Feb. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Daily supplementation with B vitamins and/or omega-3 fatty acids is not associated with improved cancer outcomes for survivors of cardiovascular disease, according to a study published online Feb. 13 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Lipid Genetics Linked to Type 2 Diabetes Risk

MONDAY, Feb. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals who are genetically predisposed to have low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol or high levels of triglycerides have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to a study published online Feb. 7 in Diabetes.

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Four-Factor Model Predicts Post-Heart Transplant Mortality

MONDAY, Feb. 13 (HealthDay News) -- A risk-prediction tool using four factors at the time of transplant can help predict post-transplant mortality for children undergoing heart transplantation, according to a study published online Feb. 2 in the American Journal of Transplantation.

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Coronary Artery Disease Linked to Risk of Prostate Cancer

MONDAY, Feb. 13 (HealthDay News) -- A significant correlation between coronary artery disease (CAD) and prostate cancer (PCa) has been found among men participating in a prostate drug trial, according to research published online Feb. 7 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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Guidelines for VTE Prophylaxis in Nonsurgical Patients Issued

THURSDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- New evidence-based clinical practice guidelines have been issued for the prophylaxis of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in nonsurgical patients; the guidelines have been published in a supplement to the February issue of CHEST.

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Human Y Chromosome Linked to Coronary Artery Disease Risk

THURSDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Human Y chromosome lineage is associated with coronary artery disease risk, according to a study published online Feb. 9 in The Lancet.

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Fen-Phen Derivative Likely Caused >1,000 Deaths in France

THURSDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Benfluorex (Mediator), a fenfluramine-derivative drug used in France for the treatment of high cholesterol in overweight patients with diabetes, is likely to have been responsible for thousands of hospitalizations and deaths over a 30-year period, according to a study published online Feb. 9 in Pharmacoepidemiology & Drug Safety.

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About One-Third of U.S. Adults Receive Advice to Exercise

THURSDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. adults were more likely to receive advice to exercise or participate in physical activity in 2010 than in 2000, but such advice is currently only received by approximately one-third of all adults, according to a February data brief issued by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

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Heart Failure Tied to Increased Osteoporotic Fracture Risk

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Adults with heart failure have an increased risk of major osteoporotic fractures, independent of traditional risk factors and bone mineral density (BMD), according to a study published online Jan. 18 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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Change in Fitness or Fatness Impacts Cardio Risk Factors

MONDAY, Feb. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Maintaining or improving fitness and preventing fat gain are both associated with a lower likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors in healthy adults, according to a study published in the Feb. 14 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Direct to Consumer Statin Web Sites of Poor Quality

THURSDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Most Web sites advertising statins directly to consumers contain poor levels of information relevant to safe use of the medicine and side effects, according to a study published online Feb. 2 in Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety.

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Heart Failure Linked to Loss of Cerebral Gray Matter

THURSDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Heart failure is associated with loss of gray matter (GM) in the brain and worse cognitive function, according to a study published online Jan. 31 in the European Heart Journal.

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