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Concept: Cardiovascular diseases


Objectives To investigate the association between alcohol consumption and cardiovascular disease at higher resolution by examining the initial lifetime presentation of 12 cardiac, cerebrovascular, abdominal, or peripheral vascular diseases among five categories of consumption.Design Population based cohort study of linked electronic health records covering primary care, hospital admissions, and mortality in 1997-2010 (median follow-up six years).Setting CALIBER (ClinicAl research using LInked Bespoke studies and Electronic health Records).Participants 1 937 360 adults (51% women), aged ≥30 who were free from cardiovascular disease at baseline.Main outcome measures 12 common symptomatic manifestations of cardiovascular disease, including chronic stable angina, unstable angina, acute myocardial infarction, unheralded coronary heart disease death, heart failure, sudden coronary death/cardiac arrest, transient ischaemic attack, ischaemic stroke, intracerebral and subarachnoid haemorrhage, peripheral arterial disease, and abdominal aortic aneurysm.Results 114 859 individuals received an incident cardiovascular diagnosis during follow-up. Non-drinking was associated with an increased risk of unstable angina (hazard ratio 1.33, 95% confidence interval 1.21 to 1.45), myocardial infarction (1.32, 1.24 to1.41), unheralded coronary death (1.56, 1.38 to 1.76), heart failure (1.24, 1.11 to 1.38), ischaemic stroke (1.12, 1.01 to 1.24), peripheral arterial disease (1.22, 1.13 to 1.32), and abdominal aortic aneurysm (1.32, 1.17 to 1.49) compared with moderate drinking (consumption within contemporaneous UK weekly/daily guidelines of 21/3 and 14/2 units for men and women, respectively). Heavy drinking (exceeding guidelines) conferred an increased risk of presenting with unheralded coronary death (1.21, 1.08 to 1.35), heart failure (1.22, 1.08 to 1.37), cardiac arrest (1.50, 1.26 to 1.77), transient ischaemic attack (1.11, 1.02 to 1.37), ischaemic stroke (1.33, 1.09 to 1.63), intracerebral haemorrhage (1.37, 1.16 to 1.62), and peripheral arterial disease (1.35; 1.23 to 1.48), but a lower risk of myocardial infarction (0.88, 0.79 to 1.00) or stable angina (0.93, 0.86 to 1.00).Conclusions Heterogeneous associations exist between level of alcohol consumption and the initial presentation of cardiovascular diseases. This has implications for counselling patients, public health communication, and clinical research, suggesting a more nuanced approach to the role of alcohol in prevention of cardiovascular disease is necessary.Registration (NCT01864031).

Concepts: Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Angina pectoris, Cardiology, Heart, Cardiovascular disease, Stroke, Cardiovascular diseases


The accuracy of the 2013 American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) Pooled Cohort Risk Equation for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) events in contemporary and ethnically diverse populations is not well understood.

Concepts: Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Demography, Blood vessel, Cardiovascular disease, Low-density lipoprotein, Cardiovascular diseases, Lipoprotein(a)


Background Obstructive sleep apnea is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events; whether treatment with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) prevents major cardiovascular events is uncertain. Methods After a 1-week run-in period during which the participants used sham CPAP, we randomly assigned 2717 eligible adults between 45 and 75 years of age who had moderate-to-severe obstructive sleep apnea and coronary or cerebrovascular disease to receive CPAP treatment plus usual care (CPAP group) or usual care alone (usual-care group). The primary composite end point was death from cardiovascular causes, myocardial infarction, stroke, or hospitalization for unstable angina, heart failure, or transient ischemic attack. Secondary end points included other cardiovascular outcomes, health-related quality of life, snoring symptoms, daytime sleepiness, and mood. Results Most of the participants were men who had moderate-to-severe obstructive sleep apnea and minimal sleepiness. In the CPAP group, the mean duration of adherence to CPAP therapy was 3.3 hours per night, and the mean apnea-hypopnea index (the number of apnea or hypopnea events per hour of recording) decreased from 29.0 events per hour at baseline to 3.7 events per hour during follow-up. After a mean follow-up of 3.7 years, a primary end-point event had occurred in 229 participants in the CPAP group (17.0%) and in 207 participants in the usual-care group (15.4%) (hazard ratio with CPAP, 1.10; 95% confidence interval, 0.91 to 1.32; P=0.34). No significant effect on any individual or other composite cardiovascular end point was observed. CPAP significantly reduced snoring and daytime sleepiness and improved health-related quality of life and mood. Conclusions Therapy with CPAP plus usual care, as compared with usual care alone, did not prevent cardiovascular events in patients with moderate-to-severe obstructive sleep apnea and established cardiovascular disease. (Funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia and others; SAVE number, NCT00738179 ; Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry number, ACTRN12608000409370 .).

Concepts: Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Angina pectoris, Cardiovascular disease, Sleep, Sleep apnea, Obstructive sleep apnea, Cardiovascular diseases


Both vascular function and structure are independent predictors of cardiovascular events. The purpose of this study was to evaluate vascular function and structure of a leg artery in patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD).

Concepts: Cholesterol, Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Coronary artery disease, Blood vessel, Cardiovascular disease, Peripheral vascular disease, Cardiovascular diseases


In acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF) the risk of acute kidney injury (AKI) is high. Early detection of patients at risk for AKI is important. We tested urinary [TIMP-2] × [IGFBP7], a new US Food and Drug Administration-cleared test to assess AKI risk, in a cohort of hospitalized ADHF patients.

Concepts: Kidney, Hospital, Heart failure, Acute kidney injury, Cardiovascular diseases, Andrew Martin, Acute decompensated heart failure


Background Body-weight fluctuation is a risk factor for death and coronary events in patients without cardiovascular disease. It is not known whether variability in body weight affects outcomes in patients with coronary artery disease. Methods We determined intraindividual fluctuations in body weight from baseline weight and follow-up visits and performed a post hoc analysis of the Treating to New Targets trial, which involved assessment of the efficacy and safety of lowering low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels with atorvastatin. The primary outcome was any coronary event (a composite of death from coronary heart disease, nonfatal myocardial infarction, resuscitated cardiac arrest, revascularization, or angina). Secondary outcomes were any cardiovascular event (a composite of any coronary event, a cerebrovascular event, peripheral vascular disease, or heart failure), death, myocardial infarction, or stroke. Results Among 9509 participants, after adjustment for risk factors, baseline lipid levels, mean body weight, and weight change, each increase of 1 SD in body-weight variability (measured according to average successive variability and used as a time-dependent covariate) was associated with an increase in the risk of any coronary event (2091 events; hazard ratio, 1.04; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.01 to 1.07; P=0.01), any cardiovascular event (2727 events; hazard ratio, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.02 to 1.07; P<0.001), and death (487 events; hazard ratio,1.09; 95% CI, 1.07 to 1.12; P<0.001). Among patients in the quintile with the highest variation in body weight, the risk of a coronary event was 64% higher, the risk of a cardiovascular event 85% higher, death 124% higher, myocardial infarction 117% higher, and stroke 136% higher than it was among those in the quintile with the lowest variation in body weight in adjusted models. Conclusions Among participants with coronary artery disease, fluctuation in body weight was associated with higher mortality and a higher rate of cardiovascular events independent of traditional cardiovascular risk factors. (Funded by Pfizer; number, NCT00327691 .).

Concepts: Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Coronary artery disease, Heart, Cardiovascular disease, Low-density lipoprotein, Atheroma, Cardiovascular diseases


Background Previous trials have shown that the use of statins to lower cholesterol reduces the risk of cardiovascular events among persons without cardiovascular disease. Those trials have involved persons with elevated lipid levels or inflammatory markers and involved mainly white persons. It is unclear whether the benefits of statins can be extended to an intermediate-risk, ethnically diverse population without cardiovascular disease. Methods In one comparison from a 2-by-2 factorial trial, we randomly assigned 12,705 participants in 21 countries who did not have cardiovascular disease and were at intermediate risk to receive rosuvastatin at a dose of 10 mg per day or placebo. The first coprimary outcome was the composite of death from cardiovascular causes, nonfatal myocardial infarction, or nonfatal stroke, and the second coprimary outcome additionally included revascularization, heart failure, and resuscitated cardiac arrest. The median follow-up was 5.6 years. Results The overall mean low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level was 26.5% lower in the rosuvastatin group than in the placebo group. The first coprimary outcome occurred in 235 participants (3.7%) in the rosuvastatin group and in 304 participants (4.8%) in the placebo group (hazard ratio, 0.76; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.64 to 0.91; P=0.002). The results for the second coprimary outcome were consistent with the results for the first (occurring in 277 participants [4.4%] in the rosuvastatin group and in 363 participants [5.7%] in the placebo group; hazard ratio, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.64 to 0.88; P<0.001). The results were also consistent in subgroups defined according to cardiovascular risk at baseline, lipid level, C-reactive protein level, blood pressure, and race or ethnic group. In the rosuvastatin group, there was no excess of diabetes or cancers, but there was an excess of cataract surgery (in 3.8% of the participants, vs. 3.1% in the placebo group; P=0.02) and muscle symptoms (in 5.8% of the participants, vs. 4.7% in the placebo group; P=0.005). Conclusions Treatment with rosuvastatin at a dose of 10 mg per day resulted in a significantly lower risk of cardiovascular events than placebo in an intermediate-risk, ethnically diverse population without cardiovascular disease. (Funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and AstraZeneca; HOPE-3 number, NCT00468923 .).

Concepts: Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Cardiovascular disease, Low-density lipoprotein, C-reactive protein, Apolipoprotein B, Cardiovascular diseases, Hypercholesterolemia


Background Data are lacking on the long-term effect on cardiovascular events of adding sitagliptin, a dipeptidyl peptidase 4 inhibitor, to usual care in patients with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Methods In this randomized, double-blind study, we assigned 14,671 patients to add either sitagliptin or placebo to their existing therapy. Open-label use of antihyperglycemic therapy was encouraged as required, aimed at reaching individually appropriate glycemic targets in all patients. To determine whether sitagliptin was noninferior to placebo, we used a relative risk of 1.3 as the marginal upper boundary. The primary cardiovascular outcome was a composite of cardiovascular death, nonfatal myocardial infarction, nonfatal stroke, or hospitalization for unstable angina. Results During a median follow-up of 3.0 years, there was a small difference in glycated hemoglobin levels (least-squares mean difference for sitagliptin vs. placebo, -0.29 percentage points; 95% confidence interval [CI], -0.32 to -0.27). Overall, the primary outcome occurred in 839 patients in the sitagliptin group (11.4%; 4.06 per 100 person-years) and 851 patients in the placebo group (11.6%; 4.17 per 100 person-years). Sitagliptin was noninferior to placebo for the primary composite cardiovascular outcome (hazard ratio, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.88 to 1.09; P<0.001). Rates of hospitalization for heart failure did not differ between the two groups (hazard ratio, 1.00; 95% CI, 0.83 to 1.20; P=0.98). There were no significant between-group differences in rates of acute pancreatitis (P=0.07) or pancreatic cancer (P=0.32). Conclusions Among patients with type 2 diabetes and established cardiovascular disease, adding sitagliptin to usual care did not appear to increase the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events, hospitalization for heart failure, or other adverse events. (Funded by Merck Sharp & Dohme; TECOS number, NCT00790205 .).

Concepts: Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Hypertension, Diabetes mellitus type 2, Diabetes mellitus, Obesity, Cardiovascular disease, Cardiovascular diseases


Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is seen, though rarely, in anaphylaxis treated with epinephrine. Stress cardiomyopathy is most likely to occur in middle-aged women. The underlying etiology is believed to be related to catecholamine release in periods of intense stress. Catecholamines administered exogenously, and those secreted by neuroendocrine tumors (e.g., pheochromocytoma) or during anaphylaxis have been reported to cause apical ballooning syndrome, or takotsubo syndrome. However, reverse takotsubo stress cardiomyopathy is rarely seen or reported in anaphylaxis treated with epinephrine.

Concepts: Cardiomyopathy, Neuroendocrine tumor, Epinephrine, Norepinephrine, Cardiovascular diseases, Pheochromocytoma, Catecholamine, Takotsubo cardiomyopathy


Although guideline-recommended therapies reduce major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) in patients after myocardial infarction (MI) or those with atherosclerotic disease (ATH), adherence is poor.

Concepts: Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Blood vessel, Cardiovascular disease, Stroke, Low-density lipoprotein, Infarction, Cardiovascular diseases