Heart(y) news, May 11

May 10, 2010 by  

I have compiled some heart(y) news for you last weekend, which unfortunately, couldn’t be posted due to the hassles of intercontinnetal travel. Here they are now….

Almost half of US adults have diabetes, hypertension, or hypercholesterolemia
Almost 50% of the American population are suffering from at least 1 of the following chronic conditions: hypertension, hypercholesterolemia or diabetes. According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 45% of individuals 20 years of age and older have hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, or diabetes. of these, 3% of adults had all three conditions and 13% had two conditions. hypertension and hypercholesterolemia were present in 9% of adults, and 3% of adults had high blood pressure and diabetes.

Court rejects Boston Scientific/Guidant plea deal
The US District Court in Minnesota did not accept the plea bargain deal between Boston Scientific and the US Department of Justice. The case involved Boston Scientific’s subsidiary Guidant and the failure of some of its implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) in 2005. According to heartwire, the plea agreement would have required Boston Scientific to pay a penalty of more than $296 million, which would be the largest criminal penalty ever imposed on a device manufacturer for violating the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

Obesity in America
These audiocasts from the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).news series Healthcare 411 cover topics from current US obesity rates and obesity-related healthcare costs as well as prevention and treatment.

New kid on the ARB block presented
Takeda Pharmaceuticals presented its  new angiotensin-receptor blocker (ARB) azilsartan medoxomil at the Society of Hypertension (ASH) 2010 Scientific Meeting in New York earlier this month. The ARB has been submitted for approval for the US market at the end of April.

According to Nancy Joseph-Ridge, M.D., general manager of Takeda’s Pharmaceutical Development Division:

“The NDA submission for azilsartan medoxomil is built upon a robust data package and is a significant milestone for Takeda. We are proud to build upon our global expertise in the cardiovascular therapeutic area with this filing, and believe this compound, once approved, will provide an important treatment option for hypertensive patients and the health care providers who manage them.”

Cleveland Clinic Health Chats for May

Planes, trains, and automobiles (or, ISHLT vs the volcano)
Nature does not give allowances for naybody, including doctors and scientists. Which is why the orgnaizers International Society for Heart & Lung Transplantation Conference last April had to face the fact that the European delegates couldn’t make it to the Chicago venue. But with technology and creativity, Europeans were still able present and participate through satellite sessions. One delegate who was on an trip to the North Pole did not know that the homeward bound trip would be more troublesome than the expedition itself. Dr Heather Ross of Toronto General Hospital summarized her trip home, just in time for the conference

“In all, from leaving the Pole, it was six days, seven countries, two ferries, the bus ride, the car drive, and six or seven separate flight bookings that I was bumped from” plus many other back up reservations.

Heart(y) News, April 3

April 4, 2010 by  

April 7 is World Health Day!

We’ll keep you posted of events planned for that day in the upcoming posts. In the meantime, here is your heart(y) news for this weekend. Apologies for the delay!

Controversial ezetimibe trial’s completion expected in June 2013
IMPROVE-IT is short for Improved Reduction of Outcomes: Vytorin Efficacy International Trial, which is a study testing the rather controversial anti-cholesterol drug Vytorin (ezetimibe). IMPROVE-IT is testing the efficacy and safety of ezetimibe as add-on to statin therapy and is expected to be finished in June 2013. An estimated 18,000 patients are expected to be enrolled in the trial by June 2010.

Boston Scientific Recall Under Investigation
The medical device manufacturer Boston Scientific is being investigated by the US Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in connection with the recent recall of implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs), according to the Wall Street Journal. The ICD recall was initiated in March when it was discovered that manufacturing changes implemented haven’t been approved by regulators.

UK NICE reverses decision on dronedarone for AF
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) in the UK decide to give dronedarone (Multaq) a go in the treatment of atrial fibrillation. A new draft guidance issued end of March “recommends limited use of the drug as a second-line treatment in patients with additional cardiovascular risk factors whose AF has not been controlled by first-line therapy (usually including beta blockers).” An earlier guidance did not recommend Multaq’s use of atrial fibrillation. The change is due to the fact that although NICE is not convinced that Multaq is more effective than other antiarrhythmic drugs, it has fewer long-term side effects that can impact quality of life.

Top 10 Choirs of the Most Powerful Voices Competition Selected
As part of the American Stroke Association’s Power to End  Stroke campaign, this online singing competition is aimed to educate people about stroke. You have the chance to cast your vote and choose your favorite out of the top 10 until April 6. The winning choirs will perform at the Power Awards Show in New York City on May 7. The association hosts the annual event to honor people who increase stroke awareness among African Americans. In addition, one of the two choirs will be chosen by EMI Gospel as a grand prize winner and will receive a professional coaching session from a national EMI Gospel artist.

Cleveland Clinic Health Chats

April 5: Reduce Your Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease with Dr. David Frid

April 13: Percutaneous Treatments for Valve Disease with Dr. Murat Tuzcu

April 21: Stress, Depression, and Heart Disease with Dr. Leopoldo Pozuelo

Photo credit: stock.xchng

Heart(y) news, January 29

January 29, 2010 by  

Some news updates on heart issues for you this on this cold and snowy weekend.

FDA Approves Left Ventricular Assist System for Severe Heart Failure Patients Device Provides Support for Those Who Are Not Acceptable Transplant Candidates
There have been several FDA approvals of medical devices. One such device, HeartMate II, was approved earlier this month. HeartMate II is a continuous-flow, left ventricular assist system as a support for severe heart failure patients who are not acceptable candidates for heart transplantation. It is indicated for patients for patients waiting for more complex procedures, including transplants. Here is how the device works:
Heart assist devices are surgically implanted mechanical pumps that help the heart’s ventricle pump blood to the rest of the body. HeartMate II consists of a small, lightweight blood pump implanted in a patient’s chest just below the heart. An electrical cable that powers the blood pump passes through the patient’s skin to an external controller worn around the patient’s waist.

Meridia (sibutramine hydrochloride): Follow-Up to an Early Communication about an Ongoing Safety Review
The US FDA has issued a communication regarding the safety of the weight loss drug Meridia (sibutramine hydrochloride). Recent evidence showed that the drug can increase the risk for cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke. The FDA is advising health professionals not the use Meridia in patients with a history of cardiovascular disease.

FDA Approves First Percutaneous Heart Valve
The US FDA also approved this month the Melody Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve and Ensemble Delivery System by Medtronic. The device is the first percutaneous heart valve which can be implanted through a catheter, or tube, in a leg vein and guided up to the heart. The big advantage of this device is that it is less invasive than an open-heart surgery and can in fact delay the need for a more invasive intervention. It is intended to replace conduits, surgical implants used to treat patients with ccongenital heart defects of the pulmonary valve.
According to Dr. Jeffrey Shuren, director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health:
“The FDA’s approval of Melody allows patients to undergo a much less invasive procedure to treat their heart conditionCongenital heart defects represent the number one birth defect worldwide and this approval represents a new, first-of-a-kind treatment option for some of those patients.”

Cleveland Clinic Health Chats
Several heart(y) topics are on at the Cleveland Clinic Health Chats this coming February:

Have a nice weekend!

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Heart(y) News, October 16

October 16, 2009 by  

worldnewsSome heart(y) news updates for you this weekend…

Free Spanish-language online video teaches Hands-OnlyTM CPR
From Sept 15 to Oct 15, the Latino community celebrated the Hispanic Heritage Month. In this occasion, the American Heart Association (AHA) encourages people to learn to life-saving skills. And to facilitate learning, a free, Spanish-language online video with instructions on administering Hands-Only CPR is available at handsonlycpr.eisenberginc.com/resources.html.
According to Dr, Ismael Nuno, M.D., cardiac surgeon and AHA spokesperson

“It is critical that Hispanics spread the word in their communities about watching the online video and learning CPR, because a person in cardiac arrest only has a few minutes to receive treatment before they die.”

AHA statement on Calorie Labeling and Food Choices: A First Look at the Effects on Low-Income People in New York City
An AHA statement summarizes the results of studies that evaluate whether calorie information on menus and food labels affect people’s eating habit in terms of food choices. The studies have so far given inconclusive results but more extensive evaluation is ongoing.

Firefighters with AEDs boost cardiac-arrest survival
Swedish researchers report that equipping emergency personnel such as firefighters with automated external defibrillators (AEDs) increase survival chances of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims. Although such a practice called the “dual-dispatch model” is already widely used in many countries, including the US, Sweden is still at the pilot study stage.
According to Dr Comilla Sasson of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (source: heartwire)

“This validates that what we’re doing already works, and its novel that this is being used internationally: people are seeing that this is a model that works and that saves lives. Ultimately decreasing the time that it takes an emergency responder to get to the scene should be of upmost importance to every city, and not every city in the US has first responders who have AEDs. So in that sense, this study does suggest that this really does make a difference to overall survival, and if your community doesn’t have this already, then this really reiterates that you should.”

Scripps starts routine genetic testing for clopidogrel responsiveness
It’s a first step towards individualized or customized health care. Scripps Health is offering patients genetic testing for responsiveness to the antiplatelet therapy drug clopidogrel. Some gene variants make some people in capable of converting the drug into its active metabolite, making the therapy useless.
According to Dr Paul Teirstein, head of interventional cardiology at Scripps Green Hospital and Scripps Clinic,

“Knowing a patient’s individualized risk has a tremendous impact on treatment decisions. The point is to do everything we can to give patients the best possible outcomes. This kind of genomic screening gives us critical information we need to help patients.”

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Heart(y) news and events, September 18

September 18, 2009 by  

Here are some heart-healthy events coming up.

September is Cholesterol Awareness Month

Now is the time to sit down and think about cholesterol – your cholesterol. Furthermore, you should do something about it. More than 65 million Americans have high blood cholesterol levels. Are you one of them? Cholesterol Awareness Month is a good time to

Go healthy Month

Go healthy month is a youth-powered initiative where more 1 million strong children and young share tips and ideas on how to stay fit and healthy.
Here are some tips:

  • Ride my bike to school
  • Be quick to pass up junk food
  • Play duck duck goose
  • Play ultimate Frisbee
  • Play outside
  • Eat breakfast everyday
  • Play active games
  • Get enough sleep
  • Why not add your own?

Go Red Watch Party

The Go Red TV special premiered last week and was featured on NBC’s Today Show. Why not organize a Go Red Watch party this weekend? Include family members and friends. Wear red and be sure to serve only healthy food! You download free discussion guides, talking point ideas and tip from the American Heart Association (AHA) site.

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Awareness Month

September is also the Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Awareness Month. PAD is the most common type of peripheral artery disease and can affect  the veins and arteries. It is also one of the most undiagnosed vascular disorder. People with PAD have a higher risk for stroke and heart attack. Risk factors for PAD are high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and smoking.
According to AHA:

The most common symptoms of PAD are cramping, pain or tiredness in the leg or hip muscles while walking or climbing stairs. Typically, this pain goes away with rest and returns when you walk again.

Alos check out the online health chat on PAD with Cleveland Clinic expert Dr. Heather Gornik:

Peripheral Arterial Disease, Tuesday, September 22 – 12 noon.

September 21 to 27 America on the Move Week

This is an event to inspire Americans to incorporate healthy activities into their daily routines. America On the Move Week with the YMCA is part of Activate America® — the YMCA’s response to the nation’s growing health crisis. Through Activate America, the YMCA is redefining itself and engaging communities across the country to provide better opportunities for people of all ages in their pursuit of health and well-being in spirit, mind and body.worldnews  During this weeklong-long event, YMCA’s all over the US will engage local communities in health-promoting activities for families, groups, or individuals. Check out your local YMCA for schedule of activities now.

CVD Newswatch, August 21

August 21, 2009 by  

worldnewsAfter a 3-week break, I am back to bring you the latest heart(y) news. I hope you are enjoying your summer. Happy reading!

CVD congress watch

European Society of Cardiology Congress 2009
Europe’s heart experts will be meeting next week for the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Barcelona, Spain on August 29 to September. I will be bringing you updates from the meeting. Stay tuned!

CVD medical device watch

Heidelberg cardiac surgeons implant world’s first new DeBakey Heart Assist Device
Michael DeBakey may have move on to a better place but his legacy lives on. In July, cardiac surgeons at the Heidelberg University Hospital implanted the HeartAssist 5 ventricular assist device (VAD) for the very time. The heart pump is the modern version of the DeBakey VAD, developed by the renowned surgeon who passed away last year at the age of 99. The recipient was a 50-year old female with heart failure, who, for medical reasons cannot have a heart transplant. The implant will assist her heart permanently. The patient will be able to live a normal life at home.
The device is very small – it weighs only 92 g, and can completely replace the function of the heart’s left ventricle. It can be used for both adults and children. The pump can be also be used as a  “bridge-to-transplant” device that keeps a patient’s heart working while waiting for a matching donor heart.

CVD drug approval watch

FDA Approves New Cholesterol-Lowering Drug
The US FDA approved earlier this month the 4 mg dose of the anti-cholesterol drug pitavastatin (Livalo). Pitavastatin is indicated for patients with elevated or abnormal blood cholesterol levels which exercise and diet control. In order to be approved, a drug has to be proven to be better and safer that nay that is currently available on the market. Livalo was compared to three currently marketed statins in 5 clinical trials.

CVD drug safety watch

More data linking thiazolidinediones to fractures
More bad news about rosiglitazone (Avandia). Avandia belongs to the class of drugs called thiazolidinediones (TZDs), drugs which are used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. A study suggests that the use TZDs increases the risk for bone fractures. The study looked at 2 TZDs, rosiglitazone and pioglitazone, and found that TZD use is associated with a 28% increase in the risk of having peripheral fractures. The association seems to be stronger among pioglitazone users. In fact, the US FDA requested two years ago that a warning on fracture risk be added to the labeling of pioglitazone (Actos by Takeda). The study concludes: “There is insufficient clinical-trial evidence to show that treatment with TZDs provides clinical benefits beyond glycemic control, and in the absence of mitigating clinical benefits, mounting evidence of harm should discourage physicians from prescribing those drugs.”

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CVD News Watch, July 3

July 3, 2009 by  

worldnewsHappy 4th of July to all Americans!

CVD heart victim watch

Mainly medical unknowns regarding Michael Jackson’s apparent cardiac arrest
A week after his death, there is still little known about the cause of Michael Jackson’s cardiac arrest. Here are some theories:

  • Overdose of prescription medications. This is the most popular theory but without a toxicology report, this remains speculative.
  • Heart attack. This is highly unlikely since initial autopsy reports do not support this.
  • Complications from lupus. Jackson had lupus, an inflammatory disease that can also affect the heart and lead to a heart block.
  • Stress. Some experts suggest that Jackson may have been under too much stress. Jackson was about to start a major concert tour in two weeks and has been having major financial problems.

Jackson’s personal physician Dr. Conrad Murray has been questioned by the police to shed light on the mysterious circumstances of his death.

CVD drug approval watch

FDA Approves Multaq to Treat Heart Rhythm Disorder
The US FDA has approved dronedarone, marketed under the brand name Multaq. Multaq is a pharmacological agent to maintain normal heart rhythms in patients with arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter. However, the drug carries a black box warning in its label because it can cause life-threatening adverse reactions in patients with heart failure.

CVD tobacco watch

FDA Seeks Public Input on Tobacco Regulation
With its new power in regulating tobacco products as provided for by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, the US FDA is not seeking input from the general public and consumer on the implementation of its new role. The public is invited to share their views on a wide range of issues, from marketing to advertising, to marketing, which will all be posted online.

“We’re interested in receiving input from across the country as the FDA begins to implement this important new authority intended to reduce the enormous toll of suffering and death caused by tobacco products in the United States,” said Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg, Commissioner of Food and Drugs. “We look forward to the public’s response.”

CVD chemical watch

BPA causes arrhythmias
The notorious plastic component bisphenol A (BPA) is back on the headlines again. The Endocrine Society has recently released its Scientific Statement on endocrine-disrupting chemicals and BPA is on top of the list. In addition to its hormonal effects, scientist reported that BPA exposure causes irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias) in female (but not male) mice. The society vowed to press for new government regulations to “decrease human exposure to the many. endocrine-disrupting agents.”

CVD News Watch, June 26

June 26, 2009 by  

worldnews2Some sad and not-so-sad news this week…

CVD patient watch

Goodbye, Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson, King of Pop, was pronounced dead at the UCLA Medical Center on Thursday, June 25. He was reported to have suffered from cardiac arrest. The real cause of death is not known. Jackson was preparing for a comeback concert due to start next month. The 50-year old singer leaves behind  three children – sons Prince Michael 7, and Michael Joseph Jackson Jr., 12, and daughter Paris Michael Katherine, 11. Next week, I’ll tackle the topic “What can cause sudden cardiac arrest?”

CVD innovation watch

New low-cost, solar-powered BP device for developing countries
Italian scientists have been testing A new, low-cost, solar-powered blood-pressure-monitoring device. The Omron M1 Plus is meant for use in low-income countries and has been tested in urban and rural settings. Accoridng to Dr Michael Alderman of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY: “This is very exciting. There are a billion people with hypertension-soon to be a billion and a half. Most of those people are living in low-resource countries, where the ability to intervene is going to be dependent upon identifying patients, so this is a critical tool.”

CVD research watch

Heart study questions diabetes drugs
Why do some drugs that are effective against certain types of diseases lead to heart failure? Swiss researchers may have identified the molecular pathway that explains why the diabetes drugs thiazolidinediones (TZDs) increase the risk of heart failure. The most well-known and controversial TZD is Avandia (rosiglitazone). It seems that TZDs, activate PPAR-Y, a molecule that may play a key role in heart failure.

CVD web watch

CDC Introduces New Website to Help Employers Combat Obesity and Reduce Health-Related Costs
On Thursday, June 25, the CDC introduced LEANWorks!, a website to help employers and businesses address onesity in the workplace. LEAN stands for Leading Employees to Activity and Nutrition. The site privdes a wide range of resources including an obesity cost calculator and tips for setting up a workplace obesity prevention program. More on LeanWorks in Battling Obesity next week.

CVD drug watch

EMEA issues warning on possible clopidogrel-PPI interaction, but is there really a problem?

The European Medicines Agency (EMEA) issued a warning on possible interaction between clopidogrel and proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs). Clopidogrel (Plavix, Sanofi-Aventis/Bristol-Myers Squibb) is an anti-platelet agent indicated for the prevention of blood clots in cerebrovascular disorders. PPIs are indicated for stomach problems such as ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux, and dyspepsia. Since heartburn and stomach ulcers are common side effects of clopidogrel, many users of this drug also use PPI. Recent studies report that the two drugs may interact and interefere with the efficacy of clopidogrel.

CVD News Watch, June 12

June 12, 2009 by  

worldnewsSome heart(y) news from the Baleares island of Mallorca where I am spending a week with my family. There’s nothing like jogging on the beach to pep up your health! You should try it!

CVD drug approval watch

Abbott, AstraZeneca seek cholesterol pill approval

Two pharma companies, Abbott Laboratories and AstraZeneca PLC have joined forces to apply for the approval of a combo-pill containing two cholesterol drugs TriLipix and Crestor to the US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA). Abbott is the maker of TriLipix which belong to a class of drugs called fibrates that raise the levels of “good” HDL cholesterol and lower the levels of triglycerides. Crestor, manufactured by AstraZeneca is a statin that lowers “bad” LDL cholesterol and raises HDL.

The combi drug would be a strong therapyA against dyslipidemia, a disorder characterized by elevated bad cholesterol and triglycerides, and low good cholesterol levels. If approved, the drug would be called Certriad

Crestor was London-based AstraZeneca’s third best-selling product last year with sales of $3.6 billion. Trilipix was launched last December. The drug had sales of $253 million in the first quarter, when combined with a related treatment called Tricor.

CVD drug and medical safety watch

Recalls and safety alerts from the US FDA

CVD clinical trial watch

Avandia on the RECORD: No “overall” CV risk increase, but trial remains controversial
The story about Avandia (rosiglitazone) is not yet over. The diabetes drug does not increase cardiovascular risk, according to the RECORD (Rosiglitazone Evaluated for Cardiac Outcomes and Regulation of Glycemia in Diabetes) trial. However, sceptics remain sceptical and the drug remains controversial. Avandia is a product of GlaxoSmithKline. “Although our evidence is insufficient to rule out a small increased risk of myocardial infarction caused by rosiglitazone when compared with other glucose-lowering agents, rosiglitazone does not increase overall cardiovascular morbidity or mortality.”

CVD Newswatch, March 27

March 27, 2009 by  

worldnews1Heart(y) news round up for you on this Friday morning.

CVD legislation news

Texas lawmakers once again mull controversial bill based on SHAPE cardiac-screening proposal
The Heart Attack Prevention Bill has been presented in the Texas legislature earlier this month. The bill mandates “private insurance companies to cover the cost of cardiac screening in people at intermediate risk of a cardiac event.” The bill is very similar to “the controversial Screening for Heart Attack Prevention and Education (SHAPE) task-force recommendations calling for blanket screening for subclinical atherosclerosis” that was rejected last year. The author of the two bills is representative René O Oliveira who just had CABG surgery.

CVD drug news

FDA postmarketing surveillance data show no cancer risk with ezetimibe
Good news for manufacturers of cholesterol-lowering drug Zetia (ezetimibe). US FDA postmarketing surveillance data indicate that ezetimibe use is not associated with cancer risk. This is true whether ezetimibe is used alone or in combination with Vytorin (simvastatin). The two drugs are produced by Merck/Schering-Plough.

CVD population news

Heart Failure Before Age 50 Substantially More Common in Blacks
NIH News reports that as many as 1 in 100 African American adults develop heart failure before the age of 50. This is 20 times higher than the rate reported in whites. The disease is linked it untreated risk factors such as high blood pressure, chronic kidney disease, and obesity that started 10 to 20 years earlier. These are the findings of the observational study Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study (CARDIA) and will bepublished in the March 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

CVD guidelines news

New Guidelines on Interpretation and Reporting of CCTA
New guidelines for the interpretation and reporting of coronary computed tomographic angiography (CCTA) studies will be published in the March/April 2009 issue of the Journal of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography. The guidelines were developed by the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography (SCCT).

CVD clinical trial news.

CAPTIVATE published: Trial stopped early, and pactimibe development discontinued based on IVUS results
CAPTIVATE stands for Carotid Atherosclerosis Progression Trial Investigating Vascular ACAT Inhibition Treatment Effects. The 2-year trial was discontinued after 15 months when the drug pactimibe did not show any benefit or effect on thickness on maximum carotid intima-media thickness (IMT). The results of the trial have now been published Journal of the American Medical Association.

CVD innovation news

Brain surgery on Monday, home on Tuesday
A new, less invasive form of surgery can now repair life-threatening aneurysms of the brain. A new generation of neurologists use catheter technology to “repair aneurysms, open clogged arteries, extract blood clots and repair blood vessel malformations in the brain.” The catheter, a thin tube, is inserted in an artery in the patient’s leg and guided up to the brain. The technique is less invasive and presents less risks that conventional brain surgery which involves opening the skull.

Photo credit: stock.xchng

CVD News Watch March 13

March 13, 2009 by  


Today is Friday the 13th. No need to worry, no need to be nervous.  We have lots of good heart news for you today. Have a nice weekend.

CVD pharma watch

Merck To Acquire Partner Schering-Plough
After the Pfizer-Wyeth deal last month, another pharma merger/acquisition is in the making. Merck & Co will pay $41 billion to acquire Schering-Plough. In doing so, Merck will be able to “diversify its portfolio, bolster its position in emerging markets, and increase its ability to discover and develop biopharmaceuticals.”

CVD patient watch

Philip Poole-Wilson dies unexpectedly
The well-known British cardiologist Dr Philip Poole-Wilson collapsed on his way to work on March 4. He was an expert on heart failure and coronary heart disease. Poole-Wilson has just recently retired but served as an honorary consultant at Imperial College London. The cause of death is suspected to be myocardial infarction (heart attack).

CVD research watch

Obama overturns stem-cell ban
Good news for stem cell research advocates. President Barack Obama overturned rules limiting research using human embryonic stem cells in the US. The limiting rules were in place for almost 8 years during the administration of ex-President George W. Bush and led to American researchers lagging behind in this field compared to their European counterparts.

CVD regulatory watch

FDA Approves Cardiac Adhesion Barrier for Pediatric Use
The regulatory body US FDA approved the cardiac adhesion barrier Repel-CV earlier last week for pediatric use. Repel-CV is a synthetic film barrier inserted over the heart just before a surgeon closes the chest following an open-heart procedure. During the early healing stages, the temporary, absorbable barrier helps reduce the severity of post-surgical adhesions.

CVD alternative medicine watch

Alternative and Complementary Medicine Should Have Role in New Era of Health Care Reform
While universal health care advocates and stem cell researchers were pretty upbeat about the current trends set by the new US administration, advocates of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) are hoping that they won’t be left behind when the winds of change come. According to a recent editorial in the January issue of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine “new momentum for health care reform, which at its core should encompass universal coverage along with evidence-based methods of prevention, chiropractic, and CAM.”

CVD consumer watch

Attorney General Announces Baby Bottle Makers Agree To Stop Using BPA; Calls For Legislative Ban
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal of the state of Connecticut announced last week a “major public health victory” when all six major manufacturers of baby bottles have voluntarily agreed to stop using bisphenol A (BPA) in their manufacturing process. As you may recall last year, BPA was found to leach out of plastic bottles and was linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and neurological disorders.

Photo credit: stock.xchng

CVD newswatch, February 20

February 20, 2009 by  

A cold but sunny Friday in my neck of the woods. A perfect day to go for a walk and enjoy the sun and the fresh air. Don’t forget to dress up warmly. And here’s your heart news for this weekend…

CVD drug news

Estimation of the Warfarin Dose with Clinical and Pharmacogenetic Data
Warfarin is the most commonly prescribed anticoagulant. It is not only used to treat people with blood clotting disorders but in preventing thrombosis and embolism that can lead to heart attacks and stroke. It has been observed that warfarin dosing is influenced by genetic variations among patients. The International Warfarin Pharmacogenetics Consortium has developed a method “for estimating the appropriate warfarin dose that is based on both clinical and genetic data from a broad population base.” The results are now published in the February 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

CVD regulators news

Meeting of the Cardiovascular and Renal Drugs Advisory Committee
The US FDA Advisory Committee on Cardiovascular and Renal Drugs will meet on March 28, 2009 to discuss the new drug application of dronedarone 400 milligrams oral tablets “for the proposed indication in patients with a history of, or current atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter, for the reduction of the risk of cardiovascular hospitalization or death.” The application has been submitted by Sanofi-Aventis.

CVD fundraising drive news

9th Annual Radiothon February 19 to 21 2009
The Children’s Miracle Network and radio stations all over the US team up to bring stories of pediatric patients and to raise funds for children’s hospitals affiliated with CMN.

Sacramento Radiothon is the most moving and compelling radio you will ever hear. For 36 hours – three days and nights, local radio stations break from their usual format so that families of patients at UC Davis Children’s Hospital can tell their stories of inspiration, hope and healing.”

CVD healthcare news

Health Habits of Adults Aged 18-29 Highlighted in Report on Nation′s Health
The 32nd annual report of the CDC’s National Center for Statistics is now out. The report is entitled Health, United States: 2008 and includes data from many sources including government agencies and the private sector.

This year’s report specially feature adults aged 18 to 29 years old because this is “a group making many life choices including decisions about education, marriage, childbearing, and health behaviors such as tobacco and alcohol use, which will affect both their future economic and health status.” The report cites the health challenges faced by this group to nclude obesity, high injury rates, and lack of insurance coverage.


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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.