An article published Online First and in an upcoming edition of The Lancet reports that new research based on a meta-analysis of thirteen statin trials has shown that use of statins increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 9 percent. Still, the absolute risk is low, especially when compared with the beneficial effect that statins have on reducing coronary events. The article is the work of Professor Naveed Satar and Dr David Preiss, Glasgow Cardiovascular Research Centre, University of Glasgow, UK, and colleagues. Trials of statin therapy on the risk of development of diabetes in patients given statins have had inconsistent findings. To eliminate this doubt, the authors did a meta-analysis of published and unpublished data in order to find out whether any relation exists between statin use and development of diabetes. Thirteen trials from the period 1994 to 2009 were included. Each trial had more than 1, 000 patients, with identical follow-up in both the statin and non-statin groups and duration of more than one year.
Agricultural Research Service (ARS)-funded scientists have reported new reasons for choosing "heart-healthy" oats at the grocery store. Nutritionist Mohsen Meydani, director of the Vascular Biology Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston, Mass., led the research on the oat compounds, called avenanthramides. Meydani previously has shown that phenolic antioxidants in oats obstruct the ability of blood cells to stick to artery walls. Chronic inflammation inside the arterial wall is part of the process that eventually leads to a disorder known as atherosclerosis. Meydani and colleagues have reported findings that suggest the avenanthramides of oats decrease the expression of inflammatory molecules. The study showed that forms of avenanthramides possess potential anti-inflammatory properties through inhibiting factors that are linked with activating proinflammatory cytokines. Cytokines are small proteins released by cells while seeking to protect and repair tissue.
Scientists funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the British Heart Foundation at the University of Oxford have developed a revolutionary way of capturing a high-resolution still image alongside very high-speed video - a new technology that is attractive for science, industry and consumer sectors alike. By combining off-the-shelf technologies found in standard cameras and digital movie projectors they have successfully created a tool that will transform many forms of detailed scientific imaging and could provide access to high-speed video with high-resolution still images from the same camera at a price suitable for the consumer market. This could have everyday applications for everything from CCTV to sports photography and is already attracting interest from the scientific imaging sector where the ability to capture very high quality still images that correspond exactly to very high speed video is extremely desirable and currently very expensive to achieve.
1. Early Release: Annals Readers Respond to USPSTF Mammography Guidelines An editorial and a selection of reader responses to the November 17 article, "Screening for Breast Cancer: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement, " was published early online at http://www.annals.org on February 15. 2. Pipe and Cigar Smoking Strongly Associated with Decreased Lung Function, COPD Pipe and cigar smoke may be more harmful than once thought. While some believe pipes and cigars are healthier than cigarettes, a major known cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a new study directly links pipe and cigar smoking to decreased lung function. Researchers conducted a population-based study to determine whether pipe and cigar smoking was associated with elevated cotinine levels (the end product of tobacco, which can be detected in the urine), decrements in lung function, and increased odds of airflow obstruction. Among 3, 528 participants, those who did not smoke cigarettes but did smoke pipes or cigars were more likely to have airflow obstruction than those who had never smoked.
Medical device pioneer Stentys announced today that the complete 'OPEN-I' clinical study was presented by Stefan Verheye, M.D., Ph.D., at the Joint Interventional Meeting ("JIM") 2010 in Rome, demonstrating superior results in 60 patients (27 Stentys drug-eluting stents and 33 Stentys bare-metal stents) who were followed - up angiographically after six months. "These clinical results suggest very promising benefits for patients, " said Stefan Verheye, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Cardiology, Middelheim Hospital, Antwerp, Belgium. "We had already demonstrated that the self-expanding and disconnectable Stentys platform ensured optimal wall apposition and easy access to side branches. We can now confirm that the addition of a drug coating eliminates the need for reintervention." "These data fortify our conviction of the indisputable superiority of Stentys self-expanding and drug-eluting stents over balloon-expandable DES for the treatment of complex cases, " added Gonzague Issenmann, CEO and co-founder of Stentys.
Drugs that target the way cells convert nutrients into energy could offer new approaches to treating a range of conditions including heart attack and stroke. Using a new way to screen for potential drugs, a team led by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) researchers has identified several FDA-approved agents, including an over-the-counter anti-nausea drug, that can shift cellular energy metabolism processes in animals. Their findings, being published online in Nature Biotechnology, may open the door to new therapeutic strategies for several serious health problems. "Shifts in cells' energy production pathways take place naturally during development and in response to demanding activities - like sprinting versus long-distance running. They are also known to be involved in several disease states, " explains Vamsi Mootha, MD, of the MGH Center for Human Genetic Research, who led the study. "We wanted to identify compounds that can safely induce this shift - those that have previously been discovered are too toxic - and investigate their therapeutic potential in animal models.
Researchers at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC), in collaboration with international partners in Spain and Switzerland and colleagues in California, have found that exposure to air pollution accelerates the thickening of artery walls that leads to cardiovascular disease. The study, published this week in the journal PloS ONE, is the first to link outdoor air quality and progression of atherosclerosis in humans. Researchers found that artery wall thickening among people living within 100 meters (328 feet) of a Los Angeles highway progressed twice as quickly as those who lived farther away. "The fact that we can detect progression of atherosclerosis in relation to ambient air pollution above and beyond other well-established risk factors indicates that environmental factors may play a larger role in the risk for cardiovascular disease than previously suspected, " says study co-author Howard N. Hodis, M.D., director of the Atherosclerosis Research Unit and professor of medicine and preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine.
The wait is over for 16-year-old Francesco "Frank" De Santiago. On January 29, De Santiago received a donor heart in a nine-hour transplant operation at Texas Children's Heart Center De Santiago made news last October as the first child ever discharged from a pediatric hospital with an implanted mechanical heart pump, or ventricular assist device (VAD). Until then, pediatric patients with VADs remained in the hospital, often in ICU, while awaiting a donor heart. "Frank's surgery went extremely well; he was a much better candidate for a heart transplant now than eight months ago when his heart was failing, " said Dr. David L.D. Morales, pediatric cardiovascular surgeon at Texas Children's Heart Center who implanted Frank's device last May and performed his recent heart transplant. "The device improved his physical health and allowed him be discharged so he could enjoy some normal teen activity during the wait for a donor heart. Texas Children's is leading the way in using five different types of VAD technology to help pediatric patients enhance their quality of life and outlook so they are better prepared for their transplant surgery.
Cordis Corporation Announces Agreement With Boston Scientific To Resolve Certain Coronary Stent Patent Disputes
Cordis Corporation, a Johnson & Johnson company, announced today that it has reached an agreement with Boston Scientific resolving two Delaware litigations related to Cordis's Palmaz and Gray patents and Boston Scientific's Jang patents. Under the terms of the agreement, Cordis will receive $1.725 billion from Boston Scientific and Johnson & Johnson expects to record the majority of this payment as a special item in the first quarter of 2010. Boston Scientific will pay Cordis $1 billion by close of business and $725 million on Jan. 3, 2011. The cases resolved today were pending in Delaware before U.S. District Court Judge Sue Robinson. The disputes involved several coronary stent products including Cordis's Cypher stent and Boston Scientific's Liberte, Taxus Liberte and Taxus Express stents. "We are very pleased to resolve these long-standing patent disputes, " said Seth Fischer, Company Group Chairman, Cordis Corporation. Other litigation between the two companies will not be affected by this settlement, including the Cordis lawsuits against Boston Scientific's Promus Stent products.
St. Jude Medical Announces IRASE AF Clinical Trial To Evaluate Cardiac Ablation Catheter System For Treatment Of Atrial Fibrillation
St. Jude Medical, Inc. (NYSE:STJ) announced it has received an Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to begin enrollment in the IRASE AF (IRrigated Ablation System Evaluation for AF) trial, a multicenter, randomized, single-blind study evaluating the safety and efficacy of the company's Duo 12 port open irrigated catheter ablation system for treatment of Atrial Fibrillation (AF). AF is the most common cardiac arrhythmia (abnormal heartbeat), affecting an estimated 3.3 million Americans and millions more worldwide. The IRASE AF trial is the industry's first and the largest head-to-head IDE trial studying irrigated ablation catheters, which use radiofrequency (RF) energy in a non-invasive procedure to destroy abnormal heart tissue. The trial will randomize patients 1:1 between the company's Duo 12 port open irrigated catheter ablation system and an irrigated catheter ablation system that has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of paroxysmal AF, a type of AF that begins suddenly and ends spontaneously.