American Heart Association 2014 Scientific Sessions
The 2014 AHA Scientific Sessions will feature programming that is "designed to improve patient care by communicating the most timely and significant advances in basic, clinical, translational and population health research, spanning the full spectrum of cardiovascular disease from a variety of perspectives, from prevention, through diagnosis and through treatment."
Many questions have been raised about the potential effects of a mother's pre-pregnancy weight and the impact it has on the health of their children as they get older. Now, analysis of data from a cohort of patients from the Framingham Heart Study has shown that adults whose mothers were overweight or obese prior to pregnancy have an increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease or stroke.
Although more people than ever are signing up to become an organ donor, the demand for organs still greatly exceeds the number of available donors. Clinicians and advocates have taken a number of measures to raise awareness of organ donation, including the use of social media to help provide education on the topic.
The United Kingdom has a medical mystery on its hands: what is causing a recent increase in infective endocarditis? One theory is that the uptick is due to a change in dental care. The UK's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence amended the rules on dental procedures, so patients no longer routinely get prophylactic antibiotics before invasive oral procedures.
The most common cause of sudden cardiac death in young people is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, an inherited condition that can lead to heart failure, angina, arrhythmia and sudden cardiac death. There is no medical treatment shown to halt or reverse the progression of the disease-just palliative care or surgery.
With heart failure increasing in prevalence as the US population ages, early detection and more effective treatments are important. Now, data from clinical studies show that treatment with the experimental angiotensin receptor neprilysin inhibitor LCZ696 can significantly reduce patients' risk of sudden death and hospitalization.
Kirk Garratt, MD, presenting at the 2014 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions, said "The TAXUS Liberte Post-approval Study (TL-PAS) was designed to provide long-term safety and efficacy information about the clinical outcomes for the TL stent combined with the use of prasugrel and aspirin."
Former VP Dick Cheney spoke at AHA 2014 about his experiences as a model heart patient. Speaking with his cardiologist, Jonathan Reiner, MD, of George Washington University, Cheney recounted his 5 heart attacks, a CABG procedure, defibrillator implantation, getting a left-ventricular assistive device, and at age 71, a heart from an anonymous donor.
The days of children playing outside from sunrise to sunset are long gone, and many children also do not get enough exercise at school during gym or recess. Knowing this, it is important for physicians to educated parents and children on the beneficial effect physical exercise can have on children's health now and later in life.
High-caffeine energy drinks can cause serious cardiac and neurological symptoms in children. At the 2014 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in Chicago, IL, Steven Lipshultz, MD, called for new labeling on the drinks that would spell out risks, particularly for the adolescent consumers manufacturers target for marketing.
Could hospitals be a bad place to have heart attacks? That's the finding of a North Carolina research team that looked at data from 303 California hospitals. Patients who had heart attacks while hospitalized for a non-cardiac ailment had a more than 3-fold greater in-hospital mortality than patients taken to a hospital.
Dual antiplatelet blood-thinning therapy (DAPT) immediately after stenting with a drug-eluting device has been shown to prevent major cardiac events and stent thrombosis in most patients. Current American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association guidelines recommend 12 months of therapy post-stenting. But out of concern over potential risks of continuing the drugs longer, or even indefinitely, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asked device manufacturers to study the longer-term consequences of the therapy.