Apologies for failing to bring you the news round up last Friday. Taht was due to technical problems coupled with public holidays. But I’m happy to bring you once again the latest heart and stroke new this weekend. Happy reading.
CVD medical innovation watch
FDA approves first imaging agent to enhance scans of blood flow
The UD FSA has just approved the first contrast imaging agent to be used with magnetic resonance angiography, or MRA. MRA is a non-invasive imaging diagnostic tool that looks at the blood vessels to check for vascular diseases including atherosclerosis. It used to be performed with the use of contrast agents. The newly approved agent Vasovist (gadofosveset trisodium) “provides clinicians with a much clearer scan of blood vessels, compared to MRA without contrast, even in vessels that are difficult to scan because they twist and turn in the body.”
CVD lifestyle watch
Smoke-free Policy Leads to Dramatic, Sustained Drop in Heart Attack Hospitalizations in Pueblo, Colorado
Heart attack rate is down in Pueblo. Colorado. This is due to a municipal ordinance that made public places as well as workplaces smoke-free since July 2003. The 41% decrease was sustained even after 3 years. This is one of the first studies to show that the cardiovascular benefits of a smoke-free environment is sustainable in the long-term. This latest study, which covers three years after the Pueblo smoke-free law′s effective date, suggests that the initial reduction in heart attack hospitalizations observed after a smoke-free law takes effect is sustained over an extended period. Smoke-free laws likely reduce heart attack hospitalizations both by reducing secondhand smoke exposure among non-smokers and by reducing smoking, with the first factor making the larger contribution.
CVD healthcare watch
HCUP facts and figures, 2006; statistics on hospital-based care in the United States
57.9 billion dollars – that’s how much it had cost American hospitals for treatment of common cardiovascular diseases in 2006. This health expenditure is 40% more than in 1997. Most common treatments are heart attack victim treatments and opening clogged arteries.
CVD research watch
New DEcIDE Studies Evaluate Use of βeta-Blockers
Two studies funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) DEcIDE program of investigate the use of beta blocker drugs in the elderls. DEcIDE stands for Developing Evidence to Inform Decisions about Effectiveness. The first study compared the beta blockers atenolol, metoprolol tartrate, and carvedilol in the treatment of patients with heart failure. The second study compared the 1-year survival rates of four betablockers (carvedilol, metoprolol succinate, and bisoprolol fumarate) that had been previously used for heart failure treatment vs those that have not been tested for the said condition.
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