- heart, cardiology, cardiac

The incidence of heart failure dropped steeply over a decade in a population-based study, and while hospitalization rates remained steady over time, causes shifted from cardiovascular to noncardiovascular.

 - American Heart Association

Older adults with congenital heart disease (CHD) should be physically active and should control heart disease risk factors such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and smoking, according to an American Heart Association (AHA) scientific statement released on April 20.

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Since the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in March 2010, projected federal healthcare spending has decreased each year as factors such as a weak economy, high deductible health plans and reduced provider payment rates have led to historically low rates of spending growth. Researchers from the Urban Institute released a report online on April 8 that examined the changing forecasts.

 - Courtroom

A cardiologist accused in a murder-for-hire scheme entered a plea of not guilty on April 15. The police filed charges, which included allegations of illegal prescriptions, arson, weapons stashed behind a sliding bookcase and a plot to murder a fellow cardiologist, after they searched his home in Sand Points, N.Y.

 - Levi Watkins

Levi Watkins Jr., MD, a pioneering cardiac surgeon known for both clinical and civil rights achievements, died April 11 of complications from a stroke. He was 70 years old.