Cardiology experts who analyzed three sets of hypertension guidelines told an international conference all of the documents agreed on most major issues. The investigators also found, however, many guidelines included in the three documents were not based on the highest levels of evidence.
Amid the steady drumbeat of warnings about escalating medical costs, clear-cut guidelines for conservative treatment are appealing, writes Megan McArdle, but they are also largely unrealistic and ignore crucial aspects of good clinical care. McArdle's piece follows a New Yorker article by cardiologist Dr. Lisa Rosenbaum that noted guidelines that advance strict treat/don't treat directives are often based around "rarefied environments" in clinical trials that bear little resemblance to real-life treatment scenarios, where challenges such as patient preference and adherence pose real obstacles to helping patients get well.
Women who suffered pregnancy complications including preeclampsia and those who have a systemic autoimmune collagen-vascular disease are considered at risk for cardiovascular disease under 2011 American Heart Association guidelines for CVD prevention, writes Dr. C. Noel Bairey Merz. The developments reflect increased understanding of CVD in women, but more work must be done, Merz writes. Future guidelines may incorporate recent data such as research confirming women who have had their ovaries removed as a prophylactic measure face heightened risks, she writes, and EHR technology would ensure cardiologists can connect the dots in women's health histories.
Researchers discovered that a gene called Tbx3 may interfere with cardiac conduction, potentially causing heart arrhythmia. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that increasing Tbx3 protein resulted in irregular heartbeat or sudden death in mice.
St. Louis-based CardiaLen has obtained $2.4 million in a funding round. The startup is preparing to conduct clinical studies of an implantable device that the company says can allow patients with atrial fibrillation to receive pain-free cardioversion treatment.