Secondary prevention medications after coronary artery bypass grafting and long-term survival: a population-based longitudinal study from the SWEDEHEART registry.

Abstract: To evaluate the long-term use of secondary prevention medications [statins, β-blockers, renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) inhibitors, and platelet inhibitors] after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) and the association between medication […]

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Comparison of Frequency of Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease Events Among Primary and Secondary Prevention Subgroups of the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial.

Abstract: The Pooled Cohort Equation (PCE) predicts 10-year risk of first-time atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) events and was incorporated in analyses of a primary and secondary prevention population in the […]

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Stroke and thromboembolism prevention in atrial fibrillation.

Abstract: Prevention of stroke and systemic thromboembolism remains the cornerstone for management of atrial fibrillation (AF) and flutter. Multiple risk assessment models for stroke and systemic thromboembolism are currently available. […]

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Prognostic Role of Late Gadolinium Enhancement in Patients With Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and Low-to-Intermediate Sudden Cardiac Death Risk Score.

Abstract: Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is the most life-threating complication of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Guidelines of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) suggest the implantation of an implantable cardioverter defibrillator in […]

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Usefulness of Coronary Artery Calcium to Identify Adults of Sufficiently High Risk for Atherothrombotic Cardiovascular Events to Consider Low-Dose Rivaroxaban Thromboprophylaxis (from MESA).

Abstract: Low-dose rivaroxaban was effective in secondary prevention of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) in the COMPASS trial. There is no established role, however, for oral anticoagulants in primary prevention. We […]

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Cardiovascular effect of discontinuing statins for primary prevention at the age of 75 years: a nationwide population-based cohort study in France.

The role of statin therapy in primary prevention of cardiovascular disease in persons older than 75?years remains a subject of debate with little evidence to support or exclude the benefit of this treatment. We assessed the effect of statin discontinuation on cardiovascular outcomes in previously adherent 75-year-olds treated for primary prevention.A population-based cohort study using French national healthcare databases was performed, studying all subjects who turned 75 in 2012-14, with no history of cardiovascular disease and with a statin medication possession ratio ?80% in each of the previous 2 years. Statin discontinuation was defined as three consecutive months without exposure. The outcome was hospital admission for cardiovascular event. The hazard ratio comparing statin discontinuation with continuation was estimated using a marginal structural model adjusting for both baseline and time-varying covariates (cardiovascular drug use, comorbidities, and frailty indicators). A total of 120 173 subjects were followed for an average of 2.4?years, of whom 17 204 (14.3%) discontinued statins and 5396 (4.5%) were admitted for a cardiovascular event. The adjusted hazard ratios for statin discontinuation were 1.33 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.18-1.50] (any cardiovascular event), 1.46 (95% CI 1.21-1.75) (coronary event), 1.26 (95% CI 1.05-1.51) (cerebrovascular event), and 1.02 (95% CI 0.74-1.40) (other vascular event).Statin discontinuation was associated with a 33% increased risk of admission for cardiovascular event in 75-year-old primary prevention patients. Future studies, including randomized studies, are needed to confirm these findings and support updating and clarification of guidelines on the use of statins for primary prevention in the elderly.

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Deactivation of Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator in Patients With Terminal Diagnoses.

Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) prevent sudden cardiac death. However, in patients with terminal illnesses, these devices may disrupt the dying process. This study was undertaken to review our current strategies surrounding device deactivation. A retrospective chart review was performed at Kingston Health Sciences Centre of patients with an ICD who died from 2015 to 2018. Data collected included patient demographics, clinical details surrounding device implantation, patient co-morbidities leading to deactivation, time to deactivation, physical place of deactivation, and device programming information. Ethics approval was obtained from the Queen’s University Health Sciences Research Ethics Board. A total of 49 patients were included for analysis. Mean age at the time of death was 77.5 years (range: 57 to 94 years) and 12.2% (6/49) were women. The indications for ICD implantation were primary prevention of sudden cardiac death in 69.4% (34/49) and secondary prevention in 30.6% (15/49). Deactivation as part of end-of-life care was performed in 32.7% of patients (16/49). Deactivations occurred in clinic in 6.1% (3/49) of patients, on hospital inpatient wards in 12.2% (6/49) of patients, and in critical care settings in 14.2% (7/49) of patients. The remaining 67.3% (33/49) of patients died with fully functioning devices in place. The most prevalent terminal diagnoses were metastatic cancer (22.4%) and end-stage congestive heart failure (20.4%). On average, patients had their devices deactivated 13 months (range: 0 to 62 months) after their terminal diagnosis was established. Once a patient was documented as Do Not Resuscitate (DNR), deactivation was discussed and carried out within a mean time of 38 days (range: 0 to 400 days). Seven patients had their device active for more than 1 month after being documented as DNR. Ten patients (20.4%) received ICD shocks after their terminal diagnosis, 9 received shocks in the month before death, and 2 received shocks after formal DNR orders were in place. Approximately one-third of patients with ICDs received deactivation of their cardioversion/defibrillation therapies as part of their end-of-life care plan. A relatively high proportion of patients (20%) received an ICD shock in the last month of life. In conclusion, addressing device programming needs, including deactivation of cardioversion/defibrillation therapies, should be considered in the context of a patient’s goals of care in every patient with an ICD who has a co-existing life-limiting diagnosis.

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Imaging residual inflammatory cardiovascular risk.

Targeting residual cardiovascular risk in primary and secondary prevention, would allow deployment of novel therapeutic agents, facilitating precision medicine. For example, lowering vascular inflammation is a promising strategy to reduce the residual inflammatory cardiovascular risk in patients already receiving optimal medical therapy, but prescribing novel anti-inflammatory treatments will be problematic due to the lack of specific companion diagnostic tests, to guide their targeted use in clinical practice. Currently available tests for the detection of coronary inflammation are either non-specific for the cardiovascular system (e.g. plasma biomarkers) or expensive and not readily available (e.g. hybrid positron emission tomography imaging). Recent technological advancements in coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) allow non-invasive detection of high-risk plaque features (positive remodelling, spotty calcification, low attenuation plaque, and napkin-ring sign) and help identify the vulnerable patient, but they provide only indirectly information about coronary inflammation. Perivascular fat attenuation index (FAI), a novel method for assessing coronary inflammation by analysing routine CCTA, captures changes in the perivascular adipose tissue composition driven by inflammatory signals coming from the inflamed coronary artery, by analysing the three-dimensional gradients of perivascular attenuation, followed by adjustments for technical, anatomical, and biological factors. By detecting vascular inflammation, perivascular FAI enhances cardiovascular risk discrimination which could aid more cost-effective deployment of novel therapeutic agents. In this article, we present the existing non-invasive modalities for the detection of coronary inflammation and provide a practical guide for their use in clinical practice.

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Unique cardiovascular risk in women.

Despite an overall reduction in cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality in the USA, the rate of coronary heart disease and CVD mortality is on the rise in younger women aged 35 to 54 years. This has been attributed to an increasing prevalence of CVD risk factors, which can portend disparate outcomes in women versus men. Women with diabetes and those who smoke have an excess relative risk of CVD when compared with their male counterparts. In addition to these discrepancies in traditional risk factors, a number of clinical conditions unique to women have been shown to increase CVD risks such as pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome, early menopause and autoimmune diseases. The majority of these sex-specific risk factors can be identified at an early age, allowing for aggressive risk factor modification through lifestyle changes and, in certain patients, medications. The recently published 2018 American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) hypercholesterolaemia and 2019 ACC/AHA primary prevention guidelines reflect this, citing pre-eclampsia, early menopause and autoimmune diseases as ‘risk enhancers’ that if present may favour initiation of statin therapy in borderline or intermediate risk patients. This comprehensive review addresses both traditional and unique risk factors of CVD in women, as well as sex-specific risk stratification and management options.

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The Benefit of Prophylactic Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator Implantation in Asymptomatic Heart Failure Patients With a Reduced Ejection Fraction.

Recommendations for prophylactic implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) implantation in asymptomatic heart failure patients with a reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) differ between guidelines. Evidence on the risk of appropriate device therapy (ADT) and death in New York Heart Association (NYHA) class I patients is scarce. Aim of this study is to evaluate ADT and mortality in NYHA-I primary prevention ICD patients with a LVEF ?35%. A retrospective cohort was studied, including 572 patients with LVEF ?35% who received a prophylactic ICD with or without resynchronization therapy (CRT-D). To evaluate the incidence of ADT and mortality, NYHA-I was compared with NYHA-II-III using Cox regression analysis. During a follow-up of 4.1 ± 2.4 years, 33% of the NYHA-I patients received ADT compared with 20% of the NYHA-II-III patients (hazard ratio 1.5, 95% confidence interval 1.04 to 2.31, p?=?0.03). No differences in mortality were observed (hazard ratio 0.70, 95% confidence interval 0.49 to 1.07, p?=?0.10). Additional analyses showed no difference in time to ADT excluding CRT patients (ICD-NYHA-I patients vs ICD-NYHA-II-III patients, p?=?0.17) and comparing ischemic and nonischemic cardiomyopathy NYHA-I patients (p?=?0.13). Multivariable Cox regression analyses showed that NYHA class was the strongest independent predictor of ADT. In conclusion, primary prevention NYHA-I ICD patients showed a higher incidence of ADT compared with NYHA-II-III ICD patients. These results strongly suggest that primary prevention NYHA-I patients with a LVEF ?35% are likely to benefit from ICD therapy and should not be excluded from a potentially life-saving therapy.

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Meta-Regression to Identify Patients Deriving the Greatest Benefit from Dual Antiplatelet Therapy after Stroke or Transient Ischemic Attack Without Thrombolytic or Thrombectomy Treatment.

The patient’s profile drawing the greatest benefit from dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) after a noncardioembolic, ischemic cerebrovascular event is not well characterized. Aim of this metaregression analysis was to compare DAPT versus single antiplatelet therapy (SAPT) in patients with stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA). We searched randomized trials evaluating clinical outcome with aspirin plus a P2Y12 inhibitor versus SAPT in patients with noncardioembolic stroke or TIA. Primary end point was the incidence of recurrent stroke; safety outcome measure was major bleeding. Eleven trials were included in the analysis, enrolling 24,175 patients treated with DAPT (aspirin plus clopidogrel, n = 12,074) or SAPT (n?=?12,101) after a stroke or TIA event. In the DAPT group the rates of recurrent stroke were lower (7.1% vs 8.8% with SAPT; odds ratios [OR] 0.74, 95% confidence interval 0.62 to 0.88; p = 0.0007) and the incidence of major bleeding was twofold higher (OR 2.01, 1.35 to 3.01; p?=?0.0006). Metaregression indicated a positive correlation between prevention of recurrent stroke by DAPT and baseline stroke severity (p?=?0.019), baseline risk profile (p?=?0.0001), or prevalence of carotid atherosclerosis (p?=?0.040). DAPT was more effective when initiated ?7 days (OR 0.67, 0.58 to 0.77; p < 0.00001) and used for ?3 months (OR 0.66, 0.58 to 0.76; p < 0.00001) after the event. In conclusion, in patients with stroke or TIA, the highest benefit of DAPT was observed in patients with higher baseline risk profile, greater stroke severity, or concomitant carotid disease, and when DAPT was initiated early and given for ?3 months.

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Genetic variation at the coronary artery disease risk locus GUCY1A3 modifies cardiovascular disease prevention effects of aspirin.

Efficacy of aspirin in primary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) may be influenced by a common allele in guanylate cyclase GUCY1A3, which has been shown to modify platelet function and increase CVD risk.We investigated whether homozygotes of the GUCY1A3 rs7692387 risk (G) allele benefited from aspirin in two long-term, randomized placebo-controlled trials of aspirin in primary CVD prevention: the Women’s Genome Health Study (WGHS, N?=?23 294) and a myocardial infarction (MI, N?=?550) and stroke (N?=?382) case-control set from the Physician’s Health Study (PHS, N?=?22 071). Bleeding risk was evaluated in the WGHS. In the placebo group of the WGHS, the GUCY1A3 risk (G) allele was confirmed to increase CVD risk [hazard ratio 1.38; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.08-1.78; P?=?0.01]. Random-effects meta-analysis of the WGHS and PHS revealed that aspirin reduced CVD events among risk allele homozygotes [G/G: odds ratio (OR) 0.79; 95% CI 0.65-0.97; P?=?0.03] but increased CVD events among non-risk allele carriers (e.g. G/A: OR 1.39; 95% CI 1.03-1.87; P?=?0.03) thus implying an interaction between genotype stratum and aspirin intake (Pinteraction?=?0.01). Bleeding associated with aspirin increased in all genotype groups, with higher risks in heterozygotes.In two randomized placebo-controlled trials in the setting of primary prevention, aspirin reduced the incidence of CVD events in individuals homozygous for the GUCY1A3 risk (G) allele, whereas heterozygote individuals had more events when taking aspirin.

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Alert-based computerized decision support for high-risk hospitalized patients with atrial fibrillation not prescribed anticoagulation: a randomized, controlled trial (AF-ALERT).

Despite widely available risk stratification tools, safe and effective anticoagulant options, and guideline recommendations, anticoagulation for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation (AF) is underprescribed. We created and evaluated an alert-based computerized decision support (CDS) strategy to increase anticoagulation prescription in hospitalized AF patients at high risk for stroke.We enrolled 458 patients (CHA2DS2-VASc score ?1) with AF who were not prescribed anticoagulant therapy and were hospitalized at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Patients were randomly allocated, according to Attending Physician of record, to intervention (alert-based CDS) vs. control (no notification). The primary efficacy outcome was the frequency of anticoagulant prescription. The CDS tool assigned 248 patients to the alert group and 210 to the control group. Patients in the alert group were more likely to be prescribed anticoagulation during the hospitalization (25.8% vs. 9.5%, P < 0.0001), at discharge (23.8% vs. 12.9%, P = 0.003), and at 90 days (27.7% vs. 17.1%, P = 0.007). The alert reduced the odds of a composite outcome of death, myocardial infarction (MI), cerebrovascular event, and systemic embolic event at 90 days [11.3% vs. 21.9%, P = 0.002; odds ratio (OR) 0.45; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.27-0.76]. The alert reduced the odds of MI at 90 days by 87% (1.2% vs. 8.6%, P = 0.0002; OR 0.13; 95% CI 0.04-0.45) and cerebrovascular events or systemic embolism at 90 days by 88% (0% vs. 2.4%, P = 0.02; OR 0.12; 95% CI 0.0-0.91).An alert-based CDS strategy increased anticoagulation in high-risk hospitalized AF patients and reduced major adverse cardiovascular events, including MI and stroke.NCT02339493.

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Development and validation of a ceramide- and phospholipid-based cardiovascular risk estimation score for coronary artery disease patients.

Distinct ceramide lipids have been shown to predict the risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) events, especially cardiovascular death. As phospholipids have also been linked with CVD risk, we investigated whether the combination of ceramides with phosphatidylcholines (PCs) would be synergistic in the prediction of CVD events in patients with atherosclerotic coronary heart disease in three independent cohort studies.Ceramides and PCs were analysed using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) in three studies: WECAC (The Western Norway Coronary Angiography Cohort) (N?=?3789), LIPID (Long-Term Intervention with Pravastatin in Ischaemic Disease) trial (N?=?5991), and KAROLA (Langzeiterfolge der KARdiOLogischen Anschlussheilbehandlung) (N?=?1023). A simple risk score, based on the ceramides and PCs showing the best prognostic features, was developed in the WECAC study and validated in the two other cohorts. This score was highly significant in predicting CVD mortality [multiadjusted hazard ratios (HRs; 95% confidence interval) per standard deviation were 1.44 (1.28-1.63) in WECAC, 1.47 (1.34-1.61) in the LIPID trial, and 1.69 (1.31-2.17) in KAROLA]. In addition, a combination of the risk score with high-sensitivity troponin T increased the HRs to 1.63 (1.44-1.85) and 2.04 (1.57-2.64) in WECAC and KAROLA cohorts, respectively. The C-statistics in WECAC for the risk score combined with sex and age was 0.76 for CVD death. The ceramide-phospholipid risk score showed comparable and synergistic predictive performance with previously published CVD risk models for secondary prevention.A simple ceramide- and phospholipid-based risk score can efficiently predict residual CVD event risk in patients with coronary artery disease.

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Future risk of cardiovascular disease risk factors and events in women after a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy.

Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP), such as gestational hypertension and pre-eclampsia, affect up to 10% of all pregnancies. These women have on average a twofold higher risk to develop cardiovascular disease (CVD) later in life as compared with women with normotensive pregnancies. This increased risk might result from an underlying predisposition to CVD, HDP itself or a combination of both. After pregnancy women with HDP show an increased risk of classical cardiovascular risk factors including chronic hypertension, renal dysfunction, dyslipidemia, diabetes and subclinical atherosclerosis. The prevalence and onset of cardiovascular risk factors depends on the severity of the HDP and the coexistence of other pregnancy complications. At present, guidelines addressing postpartum cardiovascular risk assessment for women with HDP show a wide variation in their recommendations. This makes cardiovascular follow-up of women with a previous HDP confusing and non-coherent. Some guidelines advise to initiate cardiovascular follow-up (blood pressure, weight and lifestyle assessment) 6-8?weeks after pregnancy, whereas others recommend to start 6-12 months after pregnancy. Concurrent blood pressure monitoring, lipid and glucose assessment is recommended to be repeated annually to every 5?years until the age of 50 years when women will qualify for cardiovascular risk assessment according to all international cardiovascular prevention guidelines.

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Hot topics and trends in cardiovascular research.

Comprehensive data on research undertaken in cardiovascular medicine can inform the scientific community and can support policy building. We used the publication output from 2004 to 2013 and the 2014 references to these documents, to identify research topics and trends in the field of cardiovascular disease.Text fragments were extracted from the titles and abstracts of 478 000 publications using natural language processing. Through machine-learning algorithms, these text fragments combined to identify specific topics across all publications. A second method, which included cross-references, assigned each publication document to a specific cluster. Experts named the topics and document clusters based on various outputs from these semi-automatic methods. We identified and labelled 175 cardiovascular topics and 20 large document clusters, with concordance between the approaches. Overarching, strongly growing topics in clinical and population sciences are evidence-based guidance for treatment, research on outcomes, prognosis, and risk factors. ‘Hot’ topics include novel treatments in valve disease and in coronary artery disease, and imaging. Basic research decreases its share over time but sees substantial growth of research on stem cells and tissue engineering, as well as in translational research. Inflammation, biomarkers, metabolic syndrome, obesity, and lipids are hot topics across population, clinical and basic research, supporting integration across the cardiovascular field.Growth in clinical and population research emphasizes improving patient outcomes through novel treatments, risk stratification, and prevention. Translation and innovation redefine basic research in cardiovascular disease. Medical need, funding and publishing policies, and scientific opportunities are potential drivers for these evolutions.

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