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Think green: Meta-analysis sees BP benefit in plant-based diets

A study published online Feb. 24 in JAMA Internal Medicine added yet more ammunition to the argument, “Eat your vegetables.” The meta-analysis found an association between vegetarian diets and lower blood pressure (BP) compared with omnivorous diets.

NICE backs lower-risk threshold for statin treatment

People with a 10 percent or greater chance of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) in 10 years should be treated with high-intensity statins, the U.K.’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommended in draft guidelines published Feb. 12. This is a change from the previous guideline that recommended treatment for people with a 20 percent or greater risk.

 

Million Hearts: Aching at the midpoint?

About midway in its five-year plan, the Million Hearts Initiative may have to pick up the pace if it hopes to achieve its goal for blood pressure control, based on a report released Feb. 14 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Lower-intensity statin combo may benefit high-risk patients

Patients who do not tolerate or respond to higher-intensity statins may benefit from lower-intensity statin therapy along with either bile acid sequestrants or ezetimibe, findings from a study published online Feb. 11 in Annals of Internal Medicine suggest.

Society to docs: Discuss testosterone therapy’s risk with patients

The Endocrine Society recommended that physicians discuss the potential of cardiovascular risks with middle-age and older patients who are considering testosterone therapy to treat symptoms of declining testosterone levels.

Intervention may improve post-ACS medication adherence

Adherence to medication regimens among patients discharged after acute coronary syndrome (ACS) improved through the use of a multifaceted intervention, a study published in the February issue of JAMA Internal Medicine found. However, blood pressure levels and levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol did not improve.

Heart societies hail CVS decision to end tobacco sales

Cardiovascular societies praised CVS Caremark’s decision to phase out sales of tobacco products at its stores over the next year.

Early BP changes may signal risk for CAC

Higher blood pressure trajectories among younger adults may place them at risk for coronary artery calcification (CAC) in middle age, according to a study published in the Feb. 5 issue of JAMA.

Sweet tooth may prove deadly to cardiovascular systems

Most Americans consume excess sugar, which may place them at increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease (CVD), a study published online Feb. 3 in JAMA Internal Medicine found.

Package flaws prompt Merck to recall Liptruzet

Less than a year after it received FDA approval for its combo cholesterol drug, Merck reported it was recalling tablets due to packaging defects.

Guidelines: Good, bad & unreimbursed

Various guidelines appear to be under the magnifying glass these days, with dissenters challenging the need to follow recommendations. This may be part of a healthy debate. But how about instances where cardiologists are penalized for following evidence-based recommendations?

Vorapaxar gets 10-1 thumbs up from FDA panel

The FDA’s Cardiovascular and Renal Drugs Advisory Committee voted 10-1 in favor of approval for the antiplatelet vorapaxar to reduce atherothrombotic events in patients with a history of MI.

Cholesterol guidelines: Try mixing old with new

A team of cardiologists at the Cleveland Clinic recommended a hybrid approach using previous and new guidelines for treating patients with high cholesterol levels who are at risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. They praised the simplicity of recently released guidelines but faulted their reliance on randomized clinical trial data and an untested risk calculator.

Evidence doesn't support higher SBP goal, panel members argue

Although the Eighth Joint National Committee recently recommended raising the systolic blood pressure (SBP) goal from 140 mm Hg to 150 in people 60 years of age and older without diabetes mellitus or chronic kidney disease, five members of the panel disagreed in a viewpoint published online Jan. 14 in Annals of Internal Medicine. They argued that there was not sufficient evidence to increase the target SBP.

DOJ subpoenas Aegerion over Juxtapid

Aegerion Pharmaceuticals confirmed that it is under a federal magnifying glass again. The company disclosed in a financial statement that it was subpoenaed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) over its cholesterol drug, lomitapide.

Leaching from packaging prompts recall

Novartis is recalling physician samples of medications used to treat hypertension and cholesterol because of contamination from a chemical used in packaging.

Cardiovascular disease burdens overshadow mortality improvement

While the number of deaths from cardiovascular disease declined over the past decade, the financial and quality of life burdens of heart disease and strokes remain significant, according to the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Heart Disease and Stroke Statistical Update 2014 published online Dec. 18 in Circulation.

Walking more means less cardiovascular risk

Individuals with impaired glucose tolerance and other risk factors for heart disease who exercise more can help walk off their chances of having a cardiovascular event, according to a study published online Dec. 20 in The Lancet.

Vitamins may not improve post-MI outcomes

Despite their common use, high doses of vitamins and minerals may not protect against cardiovascular events after a heart attack, a study published online Dec. 17 in Annals of Internal Medicine found. However, the study investigators noted that participant withdrawals and nonadherence may have skewed the data.

Short height may be risk factor for CHD

Shorter people may be at higher risk for coronary heart disease (CHD), according to a study published online Dec. 12 in Circulation – Cardiovascular Imaging. Researchers found an inverse relationship between height and levels of coronary artery calcium, a marker for CHD.