Guest Post: Children Should Have Their Cholesterol Checked

Editor’s Note: CardioBrief is pleased to publish this guest post written by Samuel Gidding, the head of the cardiology division at the Nemours Cardiac Center at A. I. DuPont Hospital for Children and a professor of pediatrics at Jefferson Medical College. CardioBrief invited Gidding, a member of the NHLBI panel that recommended universal lipid screening at ages 9-11…

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Guest Post: Is It The Right Time To Introduce Real Supervision Into Medical Practice?

Editor’s Note: Dr. Schloss, the medical director of cardiac electrophysiology at Christ Hospital in Cincinnati, OH, originally submitted the following post as a comment on my previous post in which I compared HCA to Barclays and JP Morgan. I’d be very eager to hear responses from other physicians about this subject. Is It The Right Time To…

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Reports From JUPITER And Taiwan: Benefits Of Statins Outweigh Risk Of Diabetes

Two new papers provide further evidence that statin usage is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, but both studies also find that the benefits of statins still outweigh the risks. In the first report, published in the Lancet, Paul Ridker and colleagues analyze data from the JUPITER trial, which compared rosuvastatin to placebo in…

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Survey Finds Significant Drop In Cholesterol Levels In Youths

New data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), published in JAMA, show significant and perhaps surprising  improvements over the last 20 years in the lipid profile of youths aged 6-19 years. Among the key lipid parameters measured by the survey from 1988-1994 to 2007-2010: Total cholesterol decreased from 165 mg/dL to 160 mg/dL (p<0.001) Prevalence of elevated…

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Hydrochlorothiazide and Nifedipine Linked To Increased Incidence Of Lip Cancer

The antihypertensive drugs hydrochlorothiazide and nifedipine have been linked to a significantly increased risk for lip cancer in a new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. The link is plausible, write the authors, since the drugs are known to be photosensitizing. Using a large cohort from the Kaiser Permanente system, researchers at Kaiser Permanente and Stanford…

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Industry PR Efforts Influence Debate On Cholesterol Screening Guidelines For Children

Note: This post is accompanied by a separate guest post by James Stein. What role should industry play in discussions about guidelines, especially when the debate about those guidelines includes allegations that industry may have influenced the final product of the guidelines? Should a public relations agency that represents a company with a product that…

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Guest Post– Universal Screening for Dyslipidemia In Children: A Debate With Equipoise, But Tarnished By Industry Influence

Editor’s Note: CardioBrief is pleased to publish this guest post written by James Stein, a professor of medicine at the University of Wisconsin and the director of preventive cardiology at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics. This post is accompanied by a separate post by Larry Husten. Universal Screening for Dyslipidemia in Children:  A Debate with…

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USPSTF Maintains Recommendation Against ECG Screening Of Asymptomatic Low-Risk Adults

The  US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has reaffirmed its 2004 recommendation against ECG screening for asymptomatic adults who are already at low risk for coronary heart disease (CHD). The Task Force also concluded that there was insufficient evidence to assess the risks and benefits of ECG screening in asymptomatic people at intermediate- or high-risk for…

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Authors Retract Article About Websites That Sell Statins Without Prescriptions

An article in Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety about websites that advertise statins to consumers has been retracted by the authors after one company mentioned in the article disputed the authors’ assertion that the company sold statins to patients who did not have a prescription. The news was reported on Retraction Watch. Here’s the notice: The following article…

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FDA Approves Vascepa, A New Fish Oil Pill From Amarin

The FDA has approved a new prescription formulation of fish oils for the treatment of very high levels of triglycerides. The news was  first reported by The Street reporter Adam Feuerstein. The drug will be sold under the brand name Vascepa. According to the company, it will be indicated as an adjunct to diet to reduce triglyceride…

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ESC Position Paper Advocates Population-Based Strategies To Reduce Cardiovascular Deaths

About half of all cardiovascular deaths could be prevented by implementing population-level changes, according to a position paper from the European Society of Cardiology published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. Torben Jørgensen and colleagues maintain that population-level interventions are much more effective than current strategies that seek to reduce individual risk. Population-based strategies include taxation,…

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Guest Post: The BMJ’s Amazing Shock and Awe Assault on Sport Drink Science

Editor’s Note: The following guest post by Yoni Freedhoff is reprinted with permission from his blog Weighty Matters. Dr. Freedhoff is an assistant professor at the University of Ottawa the and founder of Ottawa’s Bariatric Medical Institute. The BMJ‘s Amazing Shock and Awe Assault on Sport Drink Science by Yoni Freedhoff wow. Wow, WOw, WOW!…

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AHA And ADA Cautiously Endorse Non-Nutritive Sweeteners

In a newly released scientific statement the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association offer a cautious endorsement of the use of non-nutritive sweeteners in the diet. But the statement notes that the products are not “magic bullets” and that there is no strong evidence demonstrating beneficial effects of the products. Sugar in the…

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Linagliptin And Glimepiride Compared In Type Two Diabetes

Sulfonylureas are often added to metformin to improve glycemic control, but at the known risk of increasing hypoglycemia and weight gain. In a report published in the Lancet, more than 1,500 patients with type 2 diabetes taking metformin were randomized to the addition of either linagliptin, a dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor or the sulfonylurea glimepiride. After two years…

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Good Science/Bad Science: Contrasting Papers On Dietary Compositon In JAMA And BMJ

Two studies published on Tuesday on dietary composition offer a striking contrast. One tackles the interesting question of whether different diets producing the same amount of weight loss might have different effects on energy expenditure. The investigators performed a rigorous, carefully designed experiment that advances our knowledge about diets and metabolism. The second tackled an…

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FDA Approves A New Weight Loss Drug, Breaking a 13 Year Drought

The FDA announced today that it had approved its first new weight loss drug in 13 years. Lorcaserin, which will be sold under the brand name of Belviq, is manufactured by Arena Pharmaceuticals and will be distributed in the US by Eisai. Lorcaserin is indicated for use in obese adults (BMI 30 or above) or…

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Are Statins Equally Effective In Women And In Men?

Jose Gutierrez and colleagues performed a sex-based meta-analysis, seeking to determine if statins yield a similar protective effect on both men and women in preventing recurrent cardiovascular events. In a paper published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, they report the results of their meta-analysis of 11 secondary prevention, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trials, which included 43, 193 patients…

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Guest Post– Reality Check: The ORIGIN of Spin in a Randomized Trial

Editor’s Note: The following guest post is reprinted with permission from CardioExchange, the cardiology social media website published by the New England Journal of Medicine. Steven Coca is a nephrologist at the Yale School of Medicine.  Reality Check: The ORIGIN of Spin in a Randomized Trial by Steven Coca, DO, MS In the ORIGIN randomized trial, involving about 12,500 people…

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New Uses Found for a Traditional Walking Test

(Updated at bottom)— The 6-minute walk test (6MWT) can improve risk prediction in people with stable coronary disease, according to a new study published in Archives of Internal Medicine. The 6MWT may also be cost-effective and, in addition, may help physicians motivate their patients to exercise, suggest the authors. Alexis Beatty and colleagues performed a 6MWT and a…

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Is Chronic Kidney Disease A CHD Risk Equivalent?

A new study published in the Lancet provides new data about whether chronic kidney disease (CKD) should, like diabetes, be considered a coronary heart disease (CHD) risk equivalent. Marcello Tonelli and colleagues analyzed data from a population of 1.25 million people in Alberta, Canada. During a median followup of 4 years, 11,340 people were admitted to…

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The Grim Impact of Loneliness And Living Alone

Two new reports published in the Archives of Internal Medicine throw a spotlight on the grim effects of loneliness and living alone on health. As part of the Health and Retirement Study, 1604 people were followed for 6 years after answering a questionnaire about loneliness. Some 43% reported feeling lonely. Loneliness was associated with significantly increased risks for…

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Guest Post: Industry editorial makes outlandish claim about impact of medical devices

Editor’s Note: The following guest post by Gary Schwitzer is reprinted with permission from HealthNewsReview blog, an indispensable resource for tracking the best and worst of healthcare journalism. Industry editorial makes outlandish claim about impact of medical devices by Gary Schwitzer Minnesota is the home of several medical device makers.  So there’s been a lot of…

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Transient Glucose Regulation Helps Prevent Progression To Diabetes In Prediabetics

Prediabetics– people with impaired fasting glucose or impaired glucose tolerance– can reduce their high risk of progressing to diabetes if they achieve even a transient return to normal glucose regulation, according to results of the Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study (DPPOS), presented at the American Diabetes Association meeting and published simultaneously online in the Lancet. Leigh…

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Growing Popularity Of Dabigatran Leads To Increased Complications

Since its approval in the United States in October 2010 dabigatran (Pradaxa) has been prescribed 3.2 million times to more than 600,000 patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (AF), according to its manufacturer, Boehringer Ingelheim. The company also announced that, based on the pivotal RE-LY trial, the “Clinical Studies” section of the drug’s prescribing information now…

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Real World Bleeding Risk Of Aspirin In Primary Prevention Examined

A new study published in JAMA provides substantial new evidence about the real world effects of aspirin, including the risk of  bleeding, in a broad  population. The study also sheds important new light on the effects of aspirin in a diabetic population. Giorgia De Berardis and colleagues analyzed data from more than 4 million people in…

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