Patients who have a heart defect known as patent foramen ovale incidentally discovered and repaired during surgery for a different condition may have an increased odds of postoperative stroke, along with no clear benefit on short-term outcomes or long-term survival, according to a study in the July 15 issue of JAMA. Patent foramen ovale (PFO) is an opening in the upper chambers of the heart that failed to close naturally shortly after birth. The role that PFO plays in cryptogenic (of unknown cause) stroke remains controversial. "The debate over an association has existed for more than a century, but causal data linking PFO and cryptogenic stroke remain anecdotal.
In Scotland, young men and women (ages 35-44) from socially deprived groups are around six times more likely to die from heart disease than the most affluent individuals in the same age range, according to research published on bmj.com today. The results reveal that this disparity diminishes with age but only disappears for people who are 85 or over. The number of people dying from heart disease in Scotland has halved in the last two decades but the country still has some of the highest deaths in Europe and globally, says the study. And while the overall number of deaths from heart disease in Scotland is decreasing, this decline is slowing down in young adults, especially those from deprived groups, say the authors.
A large and long term study of Frenchmen suggests there may be a simple way to establish if apparently healthy people have an elevated risk of sudden cardiac death by looking at how their heart responds under conditions of mild mental stress and during peak exercise. The study was the work of Dr Xavier Jouven, a cardiologist at the European Georges Pompidou Hospital in Paris, and colleagues, and is published in the 2 July advance access issue of the European Heart Journal. Sudden cardiac death is a major health problem and accounts for betwee 200, 000 and 400, 000 deaths every year in the US, wrote the authors. They explained that the most common cause in adults is when fast heart rhythm (ventricular tachycardia) or erratic or uncoordinated contraction of muscle in a heart chamber (ventricular fibrillation) coincides with a loss of blood flow in the heart (ischaemic cardiac event).
Terumo Cardiovascular Systems (Terumo CVS) announced that it has initiated a Phase II Clinical Trial for the Anaconda(TM) AAA (Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm) Stent Graft System in the U.S. The Anaconda system is manufactured by Scotland-based Terumo subsidiary Vascutek Ltd. The first U.S. implant was performed on June 8th at Arizona Heart Hospital by the principal investigator, Julio Rodriguez-Lopez, M.D. The objective of the Vascutek Anaconda Stent Graft System Phase II IDE Study (G030036) is to assess the safety and effectiveness of the Anaconda stent graft system in patients presenting with AAA when compared to historical open surgical repair.
Boston Scientific Corporation (NYSE: BSX) announced CE Mark for its LATITUDE® Patient Management system. The LATITUDE system remotely monitors patients with implantable cardiac devices, gathering information on both the device and a patient's heart health status. The system can also detect clinical events between scheduled physician visits and send relevant data directly to a patient's physician. It will be launched in Europe in a phased approach beginning this week. "The wireless LATITUDE system will enable me to more closely monitor my patients while helping manage hospital workflow, " said Konstantin M. Heinroth, M.D., Department of Medicine, Martin Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle, Germany.
Men and women who walk or ride a bike to work appear more fit, and men are less likely to be overweight or obese and have healthier triglyceride levels, blood pressure and insulin levels, according to a report in the July 13 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. For most adults, 60 minutes of brisk walking per day is sufficient to meet physical activity guidelines for avoiding weight gain, according to background information in the article. "One potentially effective means of increasing physical activity is through alternative, non-leisure forms of physical activity such as active commuting (walking or biking to work), " the authors write.