Heart(y) news, July 2



FDA reviews olmesartan safety record, cites CV deaths in trials
Here is another safety issue regarding angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs). Or at least one of them. Olmesartan (marketed in the US as Benicar by Daiichi Sankyo). Data from the two trials ROADMAP and ORIENT suggest that an excess of cardiovascular risk involved in the use of olmesartan in patients with diabetes. The US FDA is conducting a review of the data.

“FDA plans to review the primary data from the two trials and the total clinical-trial data on olmesartan. Also, the agency will evaluate additional ways to understand the findings from ROADMAP and ORIENT, in light of information supporting the use of ARBs and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors in certain patients at high risk for cardiovascular events.”

Use of oxygen in MI patients questioned by new Cochrane review
Patients suffering from acute myocardial infarction (heart attack) do not necessarily need inhaled oxygen, according to a recent Cochrane review. Because a heart attack is caused by lack of oxygen supply to the heart, it has always been thought that giving extra oxygen helps. However, this belief is now being questioned as the review revealed that there is no clinical evidence to support this practice.

“While it may seem like common sense, sometimes these things are not beneficial. Cardiology is littered with examples where an intervention has seemed like a good idea in theory, but when large trials are done it has turned out to be of no benefit or even harmful, like the prophylactic use of antiarrhythmics.”

Myocardial strain measured by echo detects cardiotoxicity of cancer drugs early
Chemotherapy comes with a lot of side effects. One of the side effects of breast cancer therapy is cardiac dysfunction. A recent study reports that the probability of this side effect to occur can be predicted by echocardiography (ECG) and biomarkers in the blood for heart disease. The results were presented at the American Society of Echocardiography 2010 Scientific Sessions last June 13, 2010 in San Diego, CA. The blood tests measured N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) and high-sensitivity cardiac troponin I (hsTnI), and the echocardiograms measured left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) as well as peak systolic myocardial radial and longitudinal strain.

Giving birth many times linked to increased risk of heart disease
The more children she delivers, the higher is a woman’s risk for heart disease. Parity – which is the number of times of delivery was measured in Palestinian women living in refugee camps. The results showed that “parity is linked to obesity, high blood triglyercide concentrations, and increased risk of metabolic syndrome. Any of these factors, alone or in combination, can in turn increase incidence of coronary heart diseases.”

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