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.

Abstract: 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 […]

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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).

Abstract: 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 […]

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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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