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St. Jude Medical Announces Opening Of European Advanced Learning Center For Continuing Physician Education In Heart Disease Therapies

St. Jude Medical, Inc. (NYSE:STJ) announced the official opening of the St. Jude Medical Advanced Learning Center, in Brussels, Belgium, offering education and training in advanced, evidence-based therapies for physicians who treat heart disease. The center's curricula include cardiac rhythm management (CRM), electrophysiology treatments of heart rhythm conditions, heart valve replacement and repair, vascular closure after interventional procedures and the repair of openings in the septum, the wall that separates the heart's left and right sides. Presented in small groups and including simulations, the training programs are designed to increase physician familiarity and experience with various technologies and procedures.

Long-Term Outcome Of Endovascular Treatment Versus Endarterectomy In Patients With Carotid Stenosis CAVATAS Study

Patients with carotid stenosis, a narrowing of the carotid artery that supplies blood to the brain, could have a better treatment outcome by removing the material causing the narrowing with a surgery called endarterectomy. The other alternative is balloon angioplasty with or without the placing of a stent (small wire mesh tube in the artery) also known as endovascular treatment (ET). Surgery reduces the risk of both short-term and long-term stroke. It also diminishes the risk of repeat stenosis, which itself reduces the risk of stroke. Those are the conclusions reported in two articles published Online First and in the October edition of The Lancet Neurology.

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Marketing Application For Vernakalant Intravenous IV Filed In Europe For The Treatment Of Atrial Fibrillation

Merck & Co., Inc., Whitehouse Station, NJ, USA, which operates in many countries as Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited, announced today that the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) accepted for review the Company's Marketing Authorisation Application (MAA) for regulatory approval of vernakalant intravenous (IV). The proposed indication for vernakalant IV is for the treatment of acute atrial fibrillation, which is the most common cardiac arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm). Atrial fibrillation is the term used to describe an erratic and often rapid heart rate where the electrical activity of the heart's two small upper chambers (atria) is not coordinated, resulting in inefficient pumping of blood and an increased risk of developing a blood clot in the heart, which could lead to stroke.

Regular Electrocardiograms May Help Physicians Identify Patients At Risk Of Sudden Cardiac Death

QRS duration (QRSd) is one of several measures of heart function recorded during a routine electrocardiogram (ECG). It is a composite of waves showing the length of time it takes for an electrical signal to get all the way through the pumping chambers of the heart. Prolonged QRSd is a sign of an abnormal electrical system of the heart and is often found when the heart isn't pumping efficiently. Now, QRSd has been found to be a significant predictor of sudden cardiac death, as reported by researchers from the Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center in the Aug. 17 online edition of the European Heart Journal.

Death Rate Decreases Following Hospitalization For Heart Attack

From 1995 to 2006, hospital 30-day death rates decreased significantly for Medicare patients hospitalized for a heart attack, as did the variation in the rate between hospitals, according to a study in the August 19 issue of JAMA. "Over the last 2 decades, health care professional, consumer, and payer organizations have sought to improve outcomes for patients hospitalized with acute myocardial infarction [AMI; heart attack], " the authors write. However, little has been known about whether hospitals have been achieving better short-term mortality rates for AMI or if there has been a reduction in between-hospital variation in short-term mortality rates, according to background information in the article.

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Stroke Survivors At Risk Of Another Cardiovascular Event May Be Identified By A Simple Test

Measuring circulation in the ankle using a device similar to a blood pressure cuff can help identify asymptomatic peripheral artery disease (PAD) in stroke and transient ischemic attack (TIA) survivors, a group at much higher risk of subsequent cerebrovascular events, according to a study in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association. The ankle brachial index (ABI) compares blood flow in the ankle and the arm to detect poor circulation caused by fatty plaque buildup in the lower body. Researchers used it to screen 102 stroke and TIA survivors. The investigators found that 26 percent of the survivors had asymptomatic PAD, and they had three times more subsequent cardiovascular events - stroke, heart attacks or death - in the following two years compared to those without PAD.

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