- cholesterol

The FDA has approved alirocumab, an injectable cholesterol-lowering medication and the first commercially available proprotein convertase subtilisin kexin type 9 (PCSK9) inhibitor. Alirocumab (Praluent, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Sanofi Aventis) is approved as an adjunct to diet and statins to treat patients with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HeFH) or patients with clinical atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease who have not been able to lower their low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.

 - HeartDNA

New research is revealing the level at which radiation exposure received during CT scanning damages DNA.

 - brain sketch

A systematic review of randomized, controlled trials and prospective cohort studies found little evidence to suggest older adults experience long-term cognitive decline following cardiovascular procedures. However, better evidence is needed.

 - deal

St. Jude Medical agreed to acquire Thoratec for approximately $3.4 billion to expand its heart failure business. When the deal is finalized, Thoratec shareholders will receive $63.50 per share in cash, a 10 percent increase over Thoratec’s closing price the day before the announcement.

 - ambulance, EMS

A statewide intervention in North Carolina improved survival and led to an increased number of people receiving bystander and first-responder-initiated CPR and defibrillation following out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. The efforts were enacted after the American Heart Association issued a policy statement in 2010 asking for regional centers to care for patients who suffer from cardiac arrest.