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Archive for January, 2012

SCIPIO: Stem cells improve ischaemic cardiomyopathy

29 Jan, 12 | by Alistair Lindsay

Ischaemic heart disease remains the leading cause of heart failure in the Western World, and its prevalence continues to rise. Despite marked advances in the treatment of heart failure, heart muscle death remains irreversible.  However, over the last decade the concept of the heart as a terminally differentiated organ has been refuted, and this has lead to an avalanche of research into potential mechanisms of stem cell myocardial regeneration. more…

ADHD medications and cardiovascular events

29 Jan, 12 | by Alistair Lindsay

Adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are often treated with stimulants such as mephyphenidates and amphetamines, and additionally with a newer non-stimulant agent, atomoxetine.  Placebo-controlled studies have shown that all of these drugs are capable of increasing systolic and diastolic blood pressure in addition to heart rate.  However, no clinical trial to date has been large enough to assess whether these physiological changes lead to an increase in cardiovascular events.  Therefore the aim of this study was to investigate whether the current use of medications used primarily to treat ADHD leads to an increase in the risk of myocardial infarction (MI), sudden cardiac death (SCD), or stroke in adults aged 25-64.  For the purposes of the study, indeterminate use was the first 89 days after end of current use, former use began at 90 days after end of current use and ended at 364 days after last current use, and remote use referred to more than 364 days since the end of the last days supply. more…

Long-term efficacy and safety of statins

29 Jan, 12 | by Alistair Lindsay

Alth0ugh an overwhelming amount of evidence now points towards the beneficial effects of statins, most of the large statin studies have only had 5-year follow-up and there have been observational studies that have suggested a long-term increased risk of particular types of cancer, and of other non-vascular morbidity and mortality. more…

Biodegradable polymer stent shows promise in LEADERS

29 Jan, 12 | by Alistair Lindsay

Drug eluting stents have reduced restenosis rates, and the need for further revascularisation after stenting, despite initial concerns over late stent thrombosis. This complication has been attributed to chronic inflammation and neoatherosclerosis induced by the durable polymers used in these stents. Biodegradable stents have been hypothesised to reduce this inflammatory burden, by degrading to leave a polymer/drug-free stent thereby removing the late risk of stent thrombosis. more…

Cardiac arrest in marathon runners investigated

29 Jan, 12 | by Alistair Lindsay

Despite the increasingly sedentary nature of society, one participation sport that is thriving is long-distance running with approximately 2 million people participating in marathon or half-marathons in the United States annually. Tragically, this increase in participants has led to an increase in reports of race-related cardiac arrests and in this study by Kim et al the incidence and outcomes of cardiac arrests associated with long-distance running were explored.   more…

Subclinical AF significantly increases stroke risk

29 Jan, 12 | by Alistair Lindsay

Approximately 25% of all strokes are of unknown cause, and it has long been hypothesised that short subclinical episodes of atrial fibrillation (AF) may be an important common etiologic factor.  While several studies have attempted to detect episodes of subclinical AF, most have been hampered by the infrequency of such episodes and the unlikelihood of picking them up even with monitoring over a period of days or weeks.  In the US around 400,000 pacemakers are inserted each year, many of which are able to detect and record episodes of rapid atrial rate, which correlate with electrocardiographically documented atrial fibrillation. In this study Healy et al. evaluated whether subclinical episodes of AF detected by these devices were associated with an increased risk of ischemic stroke. more…

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