A new study of 6, 500 patients, published in the April 11 issue of JAMA, shows that losartan, a primary drug for hypertension, is not linked to a higher all-cause death or cardiovascular death, in comparison with ARB candesartan. Observational studies had indicated that losartan was likely to be linked to a higher mortality rate amongst patients with heart failure than other medications in the same class of drugs, such as angiotensin II receptor blockers [ARBs]. Henrik Svanstrom, M.Sc., of Statens Serum Institut in Copenhagen, Denmark, and his team decided to examine whether losartan is linked to a higher all-cause death rate in heart failure patients, as compared with candesartan. The team used data from 6, 479 patients from a nationwide Danish registry aged 45 years and older with first-time hospitalization for heart failure in 1998-2008 and cross-referenced individual-level information on hospital contacts with filled prescriptions and potential factors, which can affect outcomes.
In the April 16 issue of Circulation: Cardiovascular Interventions, a study conducted by researchers at Mayo Clinic, reveals that coronary stents are not harmful to patients with coronary artery disease, who are allergic to nickle or other metal components. Coronary stents are small tubes inserted into narrowed or weakened arteries in order to help improve blood flow to the heart. Rajiv Gulati, M.D., Ph.D., an interventional cardiologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., explains: "Most interventional cardiologists will, at some stage, have to decide whether to place a coronary stent in a patient with a history of skin allergy to one of metal components, most commonly nickel. Our study found no evidence of an increased risk of heart attack, death, or restenosis, which is a recurrent narrowing within a stent, in patients who reported themselves to be allergic to metal prior to implantation.
Heart failure patients who take testosterone supplements may find they breathe better and are able to do more exercise, researchers from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, reported in Circulation Heart Failure. The authors had gathered data on four randomized human studies of patients with moderate-to-severe chronic heart failure. They had been administered testosterone supplements by gel, patch or injection. The results of the four studies showed that participants who had been given testosterone supplements had a 50% higher score in a six-minute walking test, compared to those on placebo. The authors also found that 35% of patients on testosterone supplements had a 1 to 2 grade improvement in their condition, according to the New York Heart Association classification, versus just 9.
The Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS) is a prospective cohort study of 51, 529 US male health professionals. During the follow up of these men between 1986 to 2006, published in the European Heart Journal, 1, 818 men were confirmed with incident non-fatal myocardial infarction (MI) - a non fatal heart attack. Among heart attack survivors, 468 deaths were documented during up to 20 years of follow up. Repeated reports were obtained on alcohol consumption every four years. Average alcohol consumption was calculated prior to and then following the MI. The overall results show that, in comparison with no alcohol consumption, the pre-MI and the post-MI intakes of light (0.1-9.9 g/day of alcohol, or up to one small typical drink) and moderate (10.0-29.9 g/d, or up to about 2 Â to 3 drinks) amounts of alcohol were both associated with lower risk of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular morality among these men.
Leading Middle East Cardiologists Call For Adoption Of Rheumatic Heart Disease Screening And Prevention Programs
Patients with rheumatic heart disease (RHD) are being admitted to hospital too late to prevent the need for heart surgery, according to a new study carried out by doctors in Yemen and presented at the World Congress of Cardiology. RHD is a devastating consequence of repeated episodes of rheumatic fever. The disease progresses over time and if it is not caught in the early stages, patients develop heart valve damage and will ultimately need surgery to replace the damaged valve(s). A recent study in Yemen showed that 43 per cent (n=89/206) of patients admitted to hospital with RHD had rheumatic mitral stenosis - a narrowing of the opening of the heart's mitral value - and more than half were considered to have severe stenosis. Of those 87 patients followed, 53 per cent were recommended for percutaneous balloon mitral valvuloplasty (BMVP) - where the abnormally thickened mitral valve is dilated;