May 25, 2021Prof Gerard Flaherty, Director of Academic Affairs and Fellowship at the National Institute for Prevention and Cardiovascular Health (NIPC) has been announced as President-Elect of the International Society of Travel Medicine (ISTM). Prof Flaherty is the founder of...
May 21, 2021Did you know up to 30% of people with Atrial Fibrillation are asymptomatic? Early detection could allow for earlier management and avoid later complications. A major concern with Atrial Fibrillation is the potential to develop various heart-related complications such...
May 5, 2021Every year, millions of deaths are associated with consuming an unhealthy diet, including excessive sodium intake. However, these deaths are largely preventable. On May 5, the World Health Organization (WHO) will launch the “WHO Global Sodium Benchmarks for Different...
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Prof. J. William McEvoy – US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health
The Diastolic Blood Pressure J-Curve in Hypertension Management: Links and Risk for Cardiovascular Disease
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The treatment of hypertension has changed dramatically over the last century, with recent trials informing clinical guidelines that recommend aiming for lower blood pressure (BP) targets than ever before. However, a "J"- or "U-shaped curve" in the association between diastolic BP and cardiovascular events has been observed in epidemiological studies, suggesting that both high diastolic BPs and diastolic BPs below a certain nadir are associated with higher risk of...
Establishing target systolic and diastolic blood pressure in diabetic patients with hypertension: what do we need to consider?
INTRODUCTION: The optimum target for systolic and diastolic blood pressure remains divisive. In particular, the conflicting outcomes of the SPRINT and ACCORD trials have led to a divergence of guideline-recommended blood pressure targets for adults with diabetes.
Aspirin's antithrombotic effects have a long-established place in the prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD), and its traditional use as a core therapy for secondary prevention of CVD is well recognized. However, with the advent of newer antiplatelet agents and an increasing understanding of aspirin's bleeding risks, its role across the full spectrum of modern CVD prevention has become less certain. As a consequence, recent trials have begun investigating aspirin-free strategies in secondary...
Glycemic excursions and subclinical cardiac damage in adults with type 2 diabetes: Results from the ADVANCE Trial
We found that 1,5-anhydroglucitol-a marker of glucose excursions-was not independently associated with subclinical cardiac damage, nor with vascular outcomes, in the ADVANCE Trial. High-sensitivity cardiac troponin T and N-terminal pro-b-type natriuretic peptide provided better prognostic information regarding vascular risk in diabetes than 1,5-anhydroglucitol.
Aspirin for cardiovascular disease prevention among adults in the United States: Trends, prevalence, and participant characteristics associated with use
CONCLUSION: : Aspirin use has slightly declined over the last decade. A significant proportion of adults aged ≥70 years reported primary prevention aspirin use in 2019. Since current guidelines do not recommend primary prevention aspirin use among adults aged ≥70 years, such use should be discouraged.
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: There may be potential differences in CMS payments between men and women cardiologists, which appear to stem from gender differences in the number and types of charges submitted. The mechanisms behind these differences merit further research, both to understand why such gender differences exist and also to facilitate reductions in pay disparities.
Associations of High-Sensitivity Troponin and Natriuretic Peptide Levels With Outcomes After Intensive Blood Pressure Lowering: Findings From the SPRINT Randomized Clinical Trial
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Intensive SBP control led to large absolute differences in death and HF among patients with abnormal hscTnT and NTproBNP levels. These findings demonstrate that risk associated with elevation of these biomarkers is modifiable with intensive BP control. A prospective, randomized clinical trial is needed to evaluate whether these biomarkers may help guide selection of patients for intensive SBP lowering.
INTERASPIRE: an International Survey of Coronary Patients; Their Cardiometabolic, Renal and Biomarker Status; and the Quality of Preventive Care Delivered in All WHO Regions : In Partnership with the World Heart Federation, European Society of Cardiology, Asia Pacific Society of Cardiology, InterAmerican Society of Cardiology, and PanAfrican Society of Cardiology
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To describe the INTERASPIRE scientific protocol-an international survey of secondary prevention of coronary heart disease (CHD).
Hypertension guidelines and coronary artery calcification among South Asians: Results from MASALA and MESA
Untreated hypertension may contribute to increased atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) risk in South Asians (SA). We assessed HTN prevalence among untreated adults free of baseline ASCVD from the MASALA & MESA studies. The proportion of participants who received discordant recommendations regarding antihypertensive pharmacotherapy use by the 2017-ACC/AHA and JNC7 Guidelines across CAC score categories in each race/ethnic group was calculated. Compared with untreated MESA participants...
Assessment of Coronary Artery Calcium Scoring to Guide Statin Therapy Allocation According to Risk-Enhancing Factors: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: In this cross-sectional study, among participants with CAC scores of 0, the presence of risk-enhancing factors was generally not associated with an overall ASCVD risk that was higher than the recommended treatment threshold for the initiation of statin therapy. The use of CAC scoring was associated with significant improvements in the reclassification and discrimination of incident ASCVD. The results of this study support the utility of CAC scoring as an adjunct to...
CONCLUSIONS: In patients with 3-vessel and/or left main disease undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention or CABG, medication status at 5 years had a significant impact on 10-year mortality. Patients on OMT with guideline-recommended pharmacologic therapy at 5 years had a survival benefit. (Synergy Between PCI With Taxus and Cardiac Surgery: SYNTAX Extended Survival [SYNTAXES]; NCT03417050; Taxus Drug-Eluting Stent Versus Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery for the Treatment of Narrowed Arteries...
Interhospital and interindividual variability in secondary prevention: a comparison of outpatients with a history of chronic coronary syndrome versus outpatients with a history of acute coronary syndrome (the iASPIRE Study)
CONCLUSIONS: Despite international secondary prevention guidelines broadly recommending the same risk factor targets for all adults with CHD, we found marked differences in outpatient risk factor control and management on the basis of hospital location and index CHD presentation type (acute vs chronic). These findings highlight the need to reduce hospital-level and patient-level variability in preventive care to improve outcomes; a lesson that should inform CHD prevention programmes in Ireland...
SCORE2 risk prediction algorithms: new models to estimate 10-year risk of cardiovascular disease in Europe
CONCLUSION: SCORE2-a new algorithm derived, calibrated, and validated to predict 10-year risk of first-onset CVD in European populations-enhances the identification of individuals at higher risk of developing CVD across Europe.
Impact of Body Composition Indices on Ten-year Mortality After Revascularization of Complex Coronary Artery Disease (From the Syntax Extended Survival Trial)
Numerous studies have demonstrated a paradoxical association between higher baseline body mass index (BMI) and lower long-term mortality risk after coronary revascularization, known as the "obesity paradox", possibly relying on the single use of BMI. The current study is a post-hoc analysis of the SYNTAX Extended Survival (SYNTAXES) trial, which is the extended follow-up of the SYNTAX trial comparing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) versus coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) in patients...
Association Between Omega-3 Fatty Acid Levels and Risk for Incident Major Bleeding Events and Atrial Fibrillation: MESA
Background Randomized trials of pharmacologic strength omega-3 fatty acid (n3-FA)-based therapies suggest a dose-dependent cardiovascular benefit. Whether blood n3-FA levels also mediate safety signals observed in these trials, such as increased bleeding and atrial fibrillation (AF), remains uncertain. We hypothesized that higher baseline n3-FA levels would be associated with incident bleeding and AF events in MESA (Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis), which included a population free of...
A survey of general practitioners' knowledge and clinical practice in relation to valvular heart disease
INTRODUCTION: General practice has a key role in diagnosing patients with valvular heart disease (VHD) and referring them to appropriate services.
A cohort study and meta-analysis of isolated diastolic hypertension: searching for a threshold to guide treatment
CONCLUSION: The lack of consistent excess in CAC or CVD suggests that emphasis on healthy lifestyle rather than drug therapy is sufficient among the millions of middle-aged or older adults who now meet the 2017 ACC/AHA criteria for IDH, though they require follow-up for incident systolic hypertension. These findings may not extrapolate to adults younger than 40 years, motivating further study in this age group.
Comparison of the Relation of Carotid Intima-Media Thickness With Incident Heart Failure With Reduced Versus Preserved Ejection Fraction (from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis [MESA])
Increased carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) is associated with heart failure (HF) in previous studies, but it is not known whether the association of cIMT differs between HF with reduced (HFrEF) versus preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). We studied 6699 participants (mean age 62 ± 10 years, 47% male, and 38% white) from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) with baseline cIMT measurements. We classified HF events as HFrEF (EF <50%) or HFpEF (EF ≥ 50%) at the time of diagnosis....
Higher Prevalence of Concurrent Thrombocytopenia in Patients Receiving Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit
CONCLUSION: Safe delivery of dialysis care in the ICU is paramount and creating awareness of potential risks such as concurrent TCP in patients receiving CRRT should be part of this care.
Ten-year all-cause mortality according to smoking status in patients with severe coronary artery disease undergoing surgical or percutaneous revascularization
CONCLUSION: Current smokers had a higher adjusted risk of 10-year all-cause mortality, whereas former smokers did not. The treatment effect of CABG vs. PCI did not differ significantly according to smoking status.
CONCLUSIONS: Elevated NT-proBNP is independently associated with CVD and mortality across SBP, DBP, and PP categories and helps identify subjects at the highest risk. Participants with stage 1 hypertension but elevated NT-proBNP had greater cardiovascular risk compared with those with stage 2 SBP but lower NT-proBNP. Future studies are needed to evaluate use of biomarker-based strategies for CVD risk assessment to assist with initiation or intensification of BP treatment.
CONCLUSIONS: Three of 4 phases of UNGD activity were associated with hospitalization for HF in a large sample of patients with HF in an area of active UNGD, with similar findings by HFrEF versus HFpEF status. Older patients with HF seem particularly vulnerable to adverse health impacts from UNGD activity.
Linear and Nonlinear Mendelian Randomization Analyses of the Association Between Diastolic Blood Pressure and Cardiovascular Events: The J-Curve Revisited
CONCLUSIONS: In this analysis of the genetic effect of DBP, we found no evidence for a nonlinear J- or U-shaped relationship between DBP and adverse CVD outcomes; including MI.
Association of Normal Systolic Blood Pressure Level With Cardiovascular Disease in the Absence of Risk Factors
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Beginning at an SBP level as low as 90 mm Hg, there appears to be a stepwise increase in the presence of coronary artery calcium and the risk of incident ASCVD with increasing SBP levels. These results highlight the importance of primordial prevention for SBP level increase and other traditional ASCVD risk factors, which generally seem to have similar trajectories of graded increase in risk within values traditionally considered to be normal.
Lifelong Aspirin for All in the Secondary Prevention of Chronic Coronary Syndrome: Still Sacrosanct or Is Reappraisal Warranted?
Four decades have passed since the first trial suggesting the efficacy of aspirin in the secondary prevention of myocardial infarction. Further trials, collectively summarized by the Antithrombotic Trialists' Collaboration, solidified the historical role of aspirin in secondary prevention. Although the benefit of aspirin in the immediate phase after a myocardial infarction remains incontrovertible, a number of emerging lines of evidence, discussed in this narrative review, raise some uncertainty...
CONCLUSIONS: Smoking is independently associated with significantly increased oxidative stress as measured by GGT level. This association demonstrates effect modification by NAFLD status, suggesting that smoking may intensify CV risk in individuals with NAFLD.
Isolated Diastolic Hypertension in the UK Biobank: Comparison of ACC/AHA and ESC/NICE Guideline Definitions
The 2017 American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association guideline defines hypertension as a blood pressure ≥130/80 mm Hg, whereas the 2018 European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and 2019 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines use a ≥140/90 mm Hg threshold. Our objective was to study the associations between isolated diastolic hypertension (IDH), diagnosed using these 2 blood pressure thresholds, and cardiovascular disease (CVD) in a large cohort of UK...
CONCLUSIONS: Galectin-3 and hs-CRP were independently associated with incident PAD in the general population, supporting the involvement of fibrosis and inflammation in the pathophysiology of PAD.
CONCLUSIONS: This study provides lipid reference values for clinical biochemistry laboratories and clinicians working in Ireland. It is informative for public health initiatives wishing to target dyslipidaemia as a modifiable risk for cardiovascular disease and for investigators researching geographical and temporal variances in lipid parameters.
Background Circulating galectin-3 levels provide prognostic information in patients with established heart failure (HF), but the associations between galectin-3 levels and other incident cardiovascular events in asymptomatic individuals at midlife and when remeasured ≈15 years later are largely uncharacterized. Methods and Results Using multivariable Cox proportional hazards models, we identified associations between plasma galectin-3 levels (hazard ratio [HR] per 1 SD increase in natural log...
Association of hypertension and antihypertensive treatment with COVID-19 mortality: a retrospective observational study
CONCLUSION: While hypertension and the discontinuation of antihypertensive treatment are suspected to be related to increased risk of mortality, in this retrospective observational analysis, we did not detect any harm of RAAS inhibitors in patients infected with COVID-19. However, the results should be considered as exploratory and interpreted cautiously.
Comparison of Transatlantic Approaches to Lipid Management: The AHA/ACC/Multisociety Guidelines vs the ESC/EAS Guidelines
The 2018 American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology/Multisociety (AHA/ACC) guidelines and the 2019 European Society of Cardiology/European Atherosclerosis Society (ESC/EAS) guidelines on lipid management were published less than a year apart. Both guidelines focus on reducing cardiovascular risk, but they follow different approaches in terms of methods of risk estimation, definitions of at-risk groups, and treatment goals to achieve this common underlying objective. Both recommend...
Role of Coronary Artery and Thoracic Aortic Calcium as Risk Modifiers to Guide Antihypertensive Therapy in Stage 1 Hypertension (From the Multiethnic Study of Atherosclerosis)
The 2017 American blood pressure (BP) guidelines recommended a personalized risk-based approach to treatment in stage 1 hypertension. We sought to establish the utility of coronary artery or thoracic aortic calcium (CAC or TAC) as additional risk modifiers in this setting. We included 1859 Multiethnic Study of Atherosclerosis participants with stage 1 hypertension. We compared adjusted HR for the composite outcome of incident atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease or heart failure across...
Coronary Artery Calcium for Personalized Allocation of Aspirin in Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in 2019: The MESA Study (Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis)
CONCLUSIONS: CAC may be superior to the pooled cohort equations to inform the allocation of aspirin in primary prevention. Implementation of current 2019 American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association guideline recommendations together with the use of CAC for further risk assessment may result in a more personalized, safer allocation of aspirin in primary prevention. Confirmation of these findings in experimental settings is needed.
Association of Isolated Diastolic Hypertension as Defined by the 2017 ACC/AHA Blood Pressure Guideline With Incident Cardiovascular Outcomes
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: In this analysis of US adults, the estimated prevalence of IDH was more common when defined by the 2017 ACC/AHA BP guideline compared with the JNC7 guideline. However, IDH was not significantly associated with increased risk for cardiovascular outcomes.
The association of coronary artery calcium score and mortality risk among smokers: The coronary artery calcium consortium
CONCLUSIONS: Qualitative and quantitative CAC scores can prognosticate risk of all-cause, CVD, CHD, and cancer mortality beyond traditional risk factors among all smokers as well as those eligible for lung cancer screening.