Treatment with Statins, RAAS Inhibitors and Platelet Inhibitors After CABG is Essential, While the Use of Beta-blockers is Questionable: Swedish Study Secondary prevention medications after coronary artery bypass grafting and long-term survival: a population-based longitudinal study from the SWEDEHEART registry

In a recent study published in the European Heart Journal, Erik Björklund et al. found that the secondary prevention medications, such as statins and renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) inhibitors, and platelet inhibitors used after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) are essential while the use of B-blockers had no association with survival and is questionable.

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TWILIGHT Trial: Single Anti-Platelet Therapy (SAPT) Using Ticagrelor Reduces Bleeding Risk And Preserves Ischemia Prevention Post-PCI Following 3 months of dual anti-platelet therapy (DAPT) post-PCI, continuation of anti-ischemic pharmacotherapy with ticagrelor alone safer than extended DAPT

A randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial which enrolled 7119 high risk  patients with coronary artery disease who had undergone recent percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) has shown that, after 3 months of dual anti-platelet therapy (DAPT) using a P2Y12 receptor blocker (ticagrelor) and aspirin, continuing secondary prevention with a single anti-platelet therapy (SAPT) with ticagrelor alone reduces bleeding as compared to extended DAPT.

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Positive Correlation Found Between Combined Life-time Exposure of Decreased LDL-C and Low Systolic BP in Lowering the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease Mendelian randomization analyses involving approximately half a million participants reveals the association of lifelong genetic exposure to lower levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and lower systolic blood pressure with lower cardiovascular risk

A recent study by Brian A. Ference et al. based on a UK Biobank study, published in JAMA, has shown that life-time exposure to decreased low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels and low systolic blood pressure (SBP) leads to a decreased lifetime risk of cardiovascular disease. Nonetheless, these findings do not constitute the quantified benefit of treating these risk factors in decreasing the life-time cardiovascular disease risk.

This randomized study included the data from 438, 952 individuals who were the participants of the UK Biobank study with the mean age of 65.2 years (range: 40.4 – 80.0 years) and 54.1% female participants. Participants were divided into a total of 4 groups, and 4 x 4 factorial reasoning was carried out. First participants were divided into 2 groups based on having a genetic LDL-C score being equal to or lower than, or higher than the median value. Second, they were further subdivided into 2 groups based on having their genetic systolic BP score being equal to, or lower than, or higher than the median value. The reference group further included 3 groups with each individual group having a higher LDL-C genetic score than the median, higher SBP scores than the median, and combined LDL-C and SBP genetic scores higher than the median, respectively. Differences in the plasma LDL-C, SBP, and cardiovascular event rates between the groups were compared to evaluate the correlations with the lifetime cardiovascular disease risk. The primary outcome included major coronary events which were characterized as a composite of coronary death, coronary revascularization, or nonfatal myocardial infarction. The key secondary outcomes were major cardiovascular events defined as the occurrence of a major coronary event or ischemic stroke.

When compared with the reference group, participants having LDL-C genetic scores higher than the median had 14.7-mg/dL lower LDL-C levels with an Odds ratio of 0.73 for major coronary events (95%CI: 0.70 – 0.75; P < 0.001). Participants with SBP genetic scores higher than the median had 2.9 mmHg lower SBP with an Odds ratio of 0.82 for major coronary events (95%CI: 0.79 – 0.85; P < 0.001). Finally, the participants in the group with both genetic scores higher than the median had 13.9 mg/dL lower LDL-C, 3.1 mmHg lower SBP, with an Odds ratio of 0.61 for major coronary events (95%CI: 0.59 – 0.64; P < 0.001). In a 4×4 factorial analysis, exposure to increasing genetic risk scores and lower LDL-C levels and SBP was associated with dose-dependent lower risks of major coronary events. In a meta-regression analysis, combined exposure to 38.67 mg/dL lower LDL-C and 10 mmHg lower SBP was associated with an Odds ratio of 0.22 for major coronary events (95%CI: 0.17 – 0.26; P < 0.001), and 0.32 for cardiovascular death (95%CI: 0.25 – 0.40; P < 0.001). These findings concluded the positive correlation of lifelong genetic exposure to lower LDL-C levels and lower SBP with the overall lower cardiovascular disease risk without any regard to the magnitude of benefit achieved after treating these risk factors.

There are several limitations to this study, including the lack of evaluation of risks and benefits of medications associated with lowering the LDL-C and SBP. Second, there is a lack of evidence proving that outcomes associated with naturally occurring lower LDL-C or SBP levels are the same as the outcomes associated with extrinsic drug treatment or other interventions to achieve similar plasma LDL-C or SBP levels. Hence, these study findings fail to quantify the amount of benefit gained from various treatments to lower LDL-C, SBP, or both.

HOPE 4: A Comprehensive Community-based Program Surpassing the Barriers in Improving BP Control and Associated Cardiovascular Disease Risk in 2 Middle Income Countries A successful 12-months follow-up open-labeled, cluster-randomized controlled trial

Significant improvement in blood pressure control and related cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk is seen as a result of a potentially effective and pragmatic comprehensive model of care conducted as HOPE 4 trial (Heart Outcomes and Prevention Evaluation-4) presented by Dr. JD Schwalm at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress 2019 and simultaneously published in The LANCET.

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ADRIFT Trial: Low-Dose Rivaroxaban is Superior to Dual Antiplatelet Therapy for Controlling Thrombin Generation after Left Atrial Appendage Closure in Atrial Fibrillation Patients Results of ADRIFT trial presented at the ESC Congress 2019

According to the results of Assessment of Dual Antiplatelet Therapy Versus Rivaroxaban in Atrial Fibrillation Treated with Left Atrial Appendage Closure (ADRIFT) trial, recently presented at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress 2019 by Prof. Dr. Montalescot, from Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, Paris, low dose rivaroxaban is superior to dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) in controlling thrombin generation in patients undergoing Left Atrial Appendage Closure (LAAC).

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PolyIran Trial: Polypill Prevents Cardiovascular Events PolyIran Trial: Fixed-Dose Combination Therapy With Aspirin, a Statin and Two Anti-hypertensives Reduced Cardiovascular Events As Compared to Non-Pharmacological Intervention

A four-component polypill, including aspirin, atorvastatin, hydrochlorothiazide, and enalapril or valsartan, effectively reduced major cardiovascular events in a real-life setting study. The results of the PolyIran trial by Roshandel G. et al. was published in Lancet.

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Population Based Cohort Study: With or Without AFib, CHA₂DS₂-VASc Score is a Sensitive Predictor and Stratifies the Risk of MACCE 22,000 Patient Study Showed Increased Risk of Ischemic Stroke and New-Onset Atrial Fibrillation in Patients Without Atrial Fibrillation

Giulia Renda et al. recently published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology that the CHA2DS2-VASc score is a sensitive measure of predicting new-onset atrial fibrillation (AF) and adverse outcomes in patients with and without atrial fibrillation in the middle-aged patient population. Continue reading

11,000 Patient Study Demonstrates That Higher 24 hour and Nighttime Blood Pressure Readings Associated With Increased Risk of Cardiac Events

In an original investigation done by Dr.Wen-Yi Yang and his team, the results of which got published in JAMA, concluded that raised 24-hour and nighttime blood pressure (BP) readings are linked to increased risk of death and composite cardiovascular outcomes significantly. They considered it to be an optimal way of measuring risk but noted the difference was small for the improvement in the model.

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Vascular Risk Factors Tied to Unhealthy Brains, Study from UK Biobank Suggests

Vascular risk factors such as smoking, hypertension, and diabetes were associated with poor brain health. The study by Cox et al., recently published in the European Heart Journal, revealed.

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IMPROVE-IT Trial: Intensive Lipid-Lowering Cuts CVD Risk in the Elderly

Among patients hospitalized for an acute coronary syndrome (ACS), adding ezetimibe to simvastatin further reduced the risk of cardiovascular events, and the benefit was ten times greater in the elderly than younger individuals. A secondary analysis of the IMPROVE-IT trial, published in JAMA Cardiology, revealed.

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Meta-analysis Shows Vitamin D Supplementation Does Not Improve Cardiovascular Outcomes

In the largest updated meta-analysis study conducted to understand the inverse association between low serum vitamin D supplementation and increased cardiovascular disease (CVD) risks, vitamin D supplementation was not associated with reduced major adverse cardiovascular events, individual CVD end points (myocardial infarction, stroke, CVD mortality) or all-cause mortality.  The findings published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Cardiology suggest vitamin D supplementation may not confer cardiovascular protection and may not be indicated for this purpose. Continue reading

Latest Cross-Sectional Study Links Dietary Pattern Specific Protein Biomarkers to Development of Cardiovascular Disease

According to a nationwide cross-sectional study, protein biomarkers along with specific dietary patterns are linked to the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD). These findings, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, suggest associations between dietary patterns and protein biomarkers have a role in the pathways related to inflammation, endothelial and immune function, cell adhesion and metabolism. Over the years, the role of diet in the prevention of CVD has been scientifically proven; unhealthy dietary components are important risk factors for the total global burden of this comorbidity. Continue reading

Cohort Study with 27 Years of Follow Up Shows Oral Infections in Children Is Associated with Sub-clinical Atherosclerosis

A study led by Dr. Pirkko Pussinen demonstrated that clinical signs of oral infection during childhood were associated with subclinical atherosclerosis in adulthood. The paper published in JAMA Network Open suggests that childhood oral infection may be a modifiable risk factor for adult cardiovascular disease.

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Nationwide Study Shows Pharmacy Closure Associated with Significant Decrease in Adherence to Cardiovascular Medications

According to a new national study led by Dr. Dima M. Qato that was recently published in JAMA Network Open, among 3.1 million Americans 50 years and older filling cardiovascular medications at pharmacies that eventually closed, there was a significant and immediate decline in medication adherence.  This change in adherence persisted over 12 months and was prominent among older adults living in neighborhoods with fewer pharmacies.

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STOPDAPT-2 Explores Safety and Efficacy of 1-month DAPT Followed by Clopidogrel Monotherapy vs Standard 12-month DAPT After Drug-Eluting Stent Implantation

The results of the STOP-DAPT 2 randomized controlled trial were presented by Dr. Hirotoshi Watanabe at the American College of Cardiology Annual Scientific Session (ACC 2019), at New Orleans, LA. According to the findings, 1-month DAPT was superior to 12-month DAPT in the prevention of net adverse ischemic events. Continue reading

Study Depicts Strong Associations Between Social Factors and Mortality Risk Following Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting A Population-Based Cohort Study

According to an observational study posted in the Journal of American Heart Association, there were strong associations between social factors and mortality risk after CABG in both men and women. These results emphasized the importance of developing and implementing secondary prevention strategies for socially disadvantaged CABG patients. Continue reading

Anti-Inflammatory Therapy May Not Prevent Atherosclerotic Events Low-Dose Methotrexate for the Prevention of Atherosclerotic Events

A randomized double-blinded trial called Cardiovascular Inflammation Reduction Trial (CIRT) recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine by Ridker, M.D. and his colleges at  the Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston illustrated that that low-dose methotrexate did not reduce atherosclerotic events or any markers of inflammation such as interleukin-1β, interleukin-6, or C-reactive protein. Continue reading

Coronary CTA Provides an Unrivaled Opportunity for More Detailed Analysis in Selected Patients, According to a Study Stress Testing Versus CT Angiography in Patients With Diabetes and Suspected Coronary Artery Disease

According to a recent publication in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, in diabetic patients presenting with stable chest pain, a computed tomographic angiography (CTA) strategy resulted in fewer adverse cardiovascular outcomes in comparison with a functional testing strategy. The conclusions drawn from the study implied that CTA may be considered as the initial diagnostic modality in this subgroup. Continue reading

AVERT: Apixaban for the Prevention of Venous Thromboembolism in High-Risk Ambulatory Cancer Patients

A study by Marc Carrier and his colleagues published in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that apixaban therapy resulted in a significantly lower rate of venous thromboembolism as compared to placebo among intermediate-to-high-risk ambulatory patients with cancer who were starting chemotherapy. According to the publication, the investigators also confirmed that the rate of major bleeding episodes was higher with apixaban than with placebo. Continue reading

Statin vs Healthy Adherer Effect On Mortality in ASCVD Association of Statin Adherence With Mortality in Patients With Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease

In a vigorous retrospective cohort study published in JAMA, Fatima Rodriguez et al. found an inverse graded association between long-term statin adherence and all-cause mortality using a nationwide sample of the Veterans Affairs Health System, in patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease(ASCVD). The study proposed that there was room for improvement in statin adherence and also stressed on its importance as a measure of secondary prevention of ASCVD. Continue reading