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HSPH Assistant Professor To Serve As Co-Principal Investigator Of Center In Guatemala To Combat Cardiovascular Disease

Eduardo Villamor, Assistant Professor of International Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), will serve as co-principal investigator of a research and training center in Guatemala to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the Mesoamerican region, which includes Central America, the Caribbean, and Southern Mexico. "Chronic non-communicable diseases, particularly cardiovascular disease, are among the main killers in the Mesoamerican region, " said Villamor. "Among our goals is to understand current risk factors for CVD in school-age children and their parents, identify ways to intervene, and train graduate students and junior investigators to carry on research.

Common ECG Finding May Indicate Serious Cardiac Problems

A common electrocardiogram (ECG) finding that has largely been considered insignificant may actually signal an increased risk of atrial fibrillation (a chronic heart rhythm disturbance), the future need for a permanent pacemaker and an increased risk for premature death. In their report in the June 24 Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Boston University School of Medicine describe results of the first large-scale study looking at the significance of a prolonged PR interval in a general population. "Lengthening of the PR interval is commonly seen on routine electrocardiograms, more often in older patients, and has been considered a relatively harmless finding, " says Susan Cheng, MD, a cardiology fellow at MGH and Brigham and Women's Hospital who is lead author of the JAMA paper.

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New Data Proves Effectiveness Of Medtronic Insertable Cardiac Monitor In Detecting AF, Most Common Heart Rhythm Disorder

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia, affecting an estimated 7 million people worldwide, including 4.5 million in the European Union1, 2. Data presented today as a Hot Line session at the EUROPACE 2009 congress on the XPECT clinical trial, sponsored by Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE: MDT), shows that the Medtronic Reveal® XT Insertable Cardiac Monitor (ICM) reliably identifies patients with AF (sensitivity of 96.1 percent) and correctly confirms the absence of AF in patients (negative predictive value of 97.4 percent). It is widely known that AF is an independent risk factor for stroke, increasing risk approximately five-fold3.

St. Jude Medical Applauds MADIT-CRT Trial

St. Jude Medical, Inc. (NYSE: STJ) commends the efforts of investigators in the Multicenter Automatic Defibrillator Implantation Trial with Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (MADIT-CRT). The early results of the trial indicate that early intervention with CRT-D therapy can slow a patient's progression from early stage heart failure (NYHA Class I-II) to late stage heart failure (NYHA Class III-IV). The trial, led by Arthur J. Moss, M.D., principal investigator and Professor of Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center, demonstrated cardiac resynchronization therapy is associated with a significant 29 percent reduction (p=0.003) in death or heart failure interventions when compared to traditional implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) therapy in high risk, asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic, New York Heart Association (NYHA) Class I and II patients.

Migraine And Increased Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease: Migraine Frequency Plays A Role

Women who have migraines with aura may be more likely to have a stroke or heart attack than women who don't have the condition, and the association varies by migraine frequency, according to research published in the June 24, 2009, online issue of Neurology® , the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. An aura is a visual or other sensory disturbance that occurs before the migraine starts, such as seeing bright lights. The study found that women with migraine with aura whose migraines occur at least once a week are more than four times as likely to have a stroke as women who do not have migraines. Women with migraine with aura who have migraines less than once a month were more than twice as likely to have a heart attack and nearly twice as likely to have had heart procedures such as coronary artery bypass surgery or angioplasty.

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Intensive In-Hospital Support Doubles Likelihood Of Smoking Cessation In Heart Patients

Patients admitted to hospital with coronary artery disease are twice as likely to quit smoking after receiving intensive smoking cessation support compared to minimal support, found a new study in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). The study, a randomized clinical trial, compared intensive intervention with minimal intervention and found that patients admitted for open heart surgery (coronary artery bypass grafts) had significantly higher long-term abstinence rates at 1 year compared with those admitted for heart attacks (acute myocardial infarctions.) Other factors that contributed to successful long-term smoking cessation included absence of a previous heart attack, postsecondary education and at least some smoking restrictions at home.

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