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Concept: Hypertension


Background Continuous-flow left ventricular assist systems increase the rate of survival among patients with advanced heart failure but are associated with the development of pump thrombosis. We investigated the effects of a new magnetically levitated centrifugal continuous-flow pump that was engineered to avert thrombosis. Methods We randomly assigned patients with advanced heart failure to receive either the new centrifugal continuous-flow pump or a commercially available axial continuous-flow pump. Patients could be enrolled irrespective of the intended goal of pump support (bridge to transplantation or destination therapy). The primary end point was a composite of survival free of disabling stroke (with disabling stroke indicated by a modified Rankin score >3; scores range from 0 to 6, with higher scores indicating more severe disability) or survival free of reoperation to replace or remove the device at 6 months after implantation. The trial was powered for noninferiority testing of the primary end point (noninferiority margin, -10 percentage points). Results Of 294 patients, 152 were assigned to the centrifugal-flow pump group and 142 to the axial-flow pump group. In the intention-to-treat population, the primary end point occurred in 131 patients (86.2%) in the centrifugal-flow pump group and in 109 (76.8%) in the axial-flow pump group (absolute difference, 9.4 percentage points; 95% lower confidence boundary, -2.1 [P<0.001 for noninferiority]; hazard ratio, 0.55; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.32 to 0.95 [two-tailed P=0.04 for superiority]). There were no significant between-group differences in the rates of death or disabling stroke, but reoperation for pump malfunction was less frequent in the centrifugal-flow pump group than in the axial-flow pump group (1 [0.7%] vs. 11 [7.7%]; hazard ratio, 0.08; 95% CI, 0.01 to 0.60; P=0.002). Suspected or confirmed pump thrombosis occurred in no patients in the centrifugal-flow pump group and in 14 patients (10.1%) in the axial-flow pump group. Conclusions Among patients with advanced heart failure, implantation of a fully magnetically levitated centrifugal-flow pump was associated with better outcomes at 6 months than was implantation of an axial-flow pump, primarily because of the lower rate of reoperation for pump malfunction. (Funded by St. Jude Medical; MOMENTUM 3 number, NCT02224755 .).

Concepts: Blood, Hypertension, Cardiology, Heart, Confidence interval, Anticoagulant, Disability, Point


Background To assess potentially elevated cardiovascular risk related to new antihyperglycemic drugs in patients with type 2 diabetes, regulatory agencies require a comprehensive evaluation of the cardiovascular safety profile of new antidiabetic therapies. We assessed cardiovascular outcomes with alogliptin, a new inhibitor of dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP-4), as compared with placebo in patients with type 2 diabetes who had had a recent acute coronary syndrome. Methods We randomly assigned patients with type 2 diabetes and either an acute myocardial infarction or unstable angina requiring hospitalization within the previous 15 to 90 days to receive alogliptin or placebo in addition to existing antihyperglycemic and cardiovascular drug therapy. The study design was a double-blind, noninferiority trial with a prespecified noninferiority margin of 1.3 for the hazard ratio for the primary end point of a composite of death from cardiovascular causes, nonfatal myocardial infarction, or nonfatal stroke. Results A total of 5380 patients underwent randomization and were followed for up to 40 months (median, 18 months). A primary end-point event occurred in 305 patients assigned to alogliptin (11.3%) and in 316 patients assigned to placebo (11.8%) (hazard ratio, 0.96; upper boundary of the one-sided repeated confidence interval, 1.16; P<0.001 for noninferiority). Glycated hemoglobin levels were significantly lower with alogliptin than with placebo (mean difference, -0.36 percentage points; P<0.001). Incidences of hypoglycemia, cancer, pancreatitis, and initiation of dialysis were similar with alogliptin and placebo. Conclusions Among patients with type 2 diabetes who had had a recent acute coronary syndrome, the rates of major adverse cardiovascular events were not increased with the DPP-4 inhibitor alogliptin as compared with placebo. (Funded by Takeda Development Center Americas; EXAMINE number, NCT00968708 .).

Concepts: Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Hypertension, Angina pectoris, Diabetes mellitus, Obesity, Cardiovascular disease, Acute coronary syndrome


Background Whether rapid lowering of elevated blood pressure would improve the outcome in patients with intracerebral hemorrhage is not known. Methods We randomly assigned 2839 patients who had had a spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage within the previous 6 hours and who had elevated systolic blood pressure to receive intensive treatment to lower their blood pressure (with a target systolic level of <140 mm Hg within 1 hour) or guideline-recommended treatment (with a target systolic level of <180 mm Hg) with the use of agents of the physician's choosing. The primary outcome was death or major disability, which was defined as a score of 3 to 6 on the modified Rankin scale (in which a score of 0 indicates no symptoms, a score of 5 indicates severe disability, and a score of 6 indicates death) at 90 days. A prespecified ordinal analysis of the modified Rankin score was also performed. The rate of serious adverse events was compared between the two groups. Results Among the 2794 participants for whom the primary outcome could be determined, 719 of 1382 participants (52.0%) receiving intensive treatment, as compared with 785 of 1412 (55.6%) receiving guideline-recommended treatment, had a primary outcome event (odds ratio with intensive treatment, 0.87; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.75 to 1.01; P=0.06). The ordinal analysis showed significantly lower modified Rankin scores with intensive treatment (odds ratio for greater disability, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.77 to 1.00; P=0.04). Mortality was 11.9% in the group receiving intensive treatment and 12.0% in the group receiving guideline-recommended treatment. Nonfatal serious adverse events occurred in 23.3% and 23.6% of the patients in the two groups, respectively. Conclusions In patients with intracerebral hemorrhage, intensive lowering of blood pressure did not result in a significant reduction in the rate of the primary outcome of death or severe disability. An ordinal analysis of modified Rankin scores indicated improved functional outcomes with intensive lowering of blood pressure. (Funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia; INTERACT2 number, NCT00716079 .).

Concepts: Hypertension, Blood pressure, Modified Rankin Scale, Cerebral hemorrhage, Disability, Orthostatic hypotension, Barthel scale, Rehabilitation medicine


Background The effects of empagliflozin, an inhibitor of sodium-glucose cotransporter 2, in addition to standard care, on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in patients with type 2 diabetes at high cardiovascular risk are not known. Methods We randomly assigned patients to receive 10 mg or 25 mg of empagliflozin or placebo once daily. The primary composite outcome was death from cardiovascular causes, nonfatal myocardial infarction, or nonfatal stroke, as analyzed in the pooled empagliflozin group versus the placebo group. The key secondary composite outcome was the primary outcome plus hospitalization for unstable angina. Results A total of 7020 patients were treated (median observation time, 3.1 years). The primary outcome occurred in 490 of 4687 patients (10.5%) in the pooled empagliflozin group and in 282 of 2333 patients (12.1%) in the placebo group (hazard ratio in the empagliflozin group, 0.86; 95.02% confidence interval, 0.74 to 0.99; P=0.04 for superiority). There were no significant between-group differences in the rates of myocardial infarction or stroke, but in the empagliflozin group there were significantly lower rates of death from cardiovascular causes (3.7%, vs. 5.9% in the placebo group; 38% relative risk reduction), hospitalization for heart failure (2.7% and 4.1%, respectively; 35% relative risk reduction), and death from any cause (5.7% and 8.3%, respectively; 32% relative risk reduction). There was no significant between-group difference in the key secondary outcome (P=0.08 for superiority). Among patients receiving empagliflozin, there was an increased rate of genital infection but no increase in other adverse events. Conclusions Patients with type 2 diabetes at high risk for cardiovascular events who received empagliflozin, as compared with placebo, had a lower rate of the primary composite cardiovascular outcome and of death from any cause when the study drug was added to standard care. (Funded by Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly; EMPA-REG OUTCOME number, NCT01131676 .).

Concepts: Epidemiology, Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Hypertension, Diabetes mellitus, Medical statistics, Obesity, Cardiovascular disease


This review summarises the literature on shift work and its relation to insufficient sleep, chronic diseases, and accidents. It is based on 38 meta-analyses and 24 systematic reviews, with additional narrative reviews and articles used for outlining possible mechanisms by which shift work may cause accidents and adverse health. Evidence shows that the effect of shift work on sleep mainly concerns acute sleep loss in connection with night shifts and early morning shifts. A link also exists between shift work and accidents, type 2 diabetes (relative risk range 1.09-1.40), weight gain, coronary heart disease (relative risk 1.23), stroke (relative risk 1.05), and cancer (relative risk range 1.01-1.32), although the original studies showed mixed results. The relations of shift work to cardiometabolic diseases and accidents mimic those with insufficient sleep. Laboratory studies indicate that cardiometabolic stress and cognitive impairments are increased by shift work, as well as by sleep loss. Given that the health and safety consequences of shift work and insufficient sleep are very similar, they are likely to share common mechanisms. However, additional research is needed to determine whether insufficient sleep is a causal pathway for the adverse health effects associated with shift work.

Concepts: Medicine, Epidemiology, Hypertension, Heart, Chronic, Meta-analysis, Acute, Shift work


Nature within cities will have a central role in helping address key global public health challenges associated with urbanization. However, there is almost no guidance on how much or how frequently people need to engage with nature, and what types or characteristics of nature need to be incorporated in cities for the best health outcomes. Here we use a nature dose framework to examine the associations between the duration, frequency and intensity of exposure to nature and health in an urban population. We show that people who made long visits to green spaces had lower rates of depression and high blood pressure, and those who visited more frequently had greater social cohesion. Higher levels of physical activity were linked to both duration and frequency of green space visits. A dose-response analysis for depression and high blood pressure suggest that visits to outdoor green spaces of 30 minutes or more during the course of a week could reduce the population prevalence of these illnesses by up to 7% and 9% respectively. Given that the societal costs of depression alone in Australia are estimated at AUD$12.6 billion per annum, savings to public health budgets across all health outcomes could be immense.

Concepts: Health care, Health economics, Epidemiology, Hypertension, Urban area, Sociology, Illness, Society


The treatment of noncommunicable diseases (NCD), like coronary heart disease or type 2 diabetes mellitus, causes rising costs for the health system. Physical activity is supposed to reduce the risk for these diseases. Results of cross-sectional studies showed that physical activity is associated with better health, and that physical activity could prevent the development of these diseases. The purpose of this review is to summarize existing evidence for the long-term (>5 years) relationship between physical activity and weight gain, obesity, coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes mellitus, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Concepts: Medicine, Epidemiology, Nutrition, Hypertension, Insulin, Diabetes mellitus type 2, Diabetes mellitus, Obesity


Background Degludec is an ultralong-acting, once-daily basal insulin that is approved for use in adults, adolescents, and children with diabetes. Previous open-label studies have shown lower day-to-day variability in the glucose-lowering effect and lower rates of hypoglycemia among patients who received degludec than among those who received basal insulin glargine. However, data are lacking on the cardiovascular safety of degludec. Methods We randomly assigned 7637 patients with type 2 diabetes to receive either insulin degludec (3818 patients) or insulin glargine U100 (3819 patients) once daily between dinner and bedtime in a double-blind, treat-to-target, event-driven cardiovascular outcomes trial. The primary composite outcome in the time-to-event analysis was the first occurrence of an adjudicated major cardiovascular event (death from cardiovascular causes, nonfatal myocardial infarction, or nonfatal stroke) with a prespecified noninferiority margin of 1.3. Adjudicated severe hypoglycemia, as defined by the American Diabetes Association, was the prespecified, multiplicity-adjusted secondary outcome. Results Of the patients who underwent randomization, 6509 (85.2%) had established cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, or both. At baseline, the mean age was 65.0 years, the mean duration of diabetes was 16.4 years, and the mean (±SD) glycated hemoglobin level was 8.4±1.7%; 83.9% of the patients were receiving insulin. The primary outcome occurred in 325 patients (8.5%) in the degludec group and in 356 (9.3%) in the glargine group (hazard ratio, 0.91; 95% confidence interval, 0.78 to 1.06; P<0.001 for noninferiority). At 24 months, the mean glycated hemoglobin level was 7.5±1.2% in each group, whereas the mean fasting plasma glucose level was significantly lower in the degludec group than in the glargine group (128±56 vs. 136±57 mg per deciliter, P<0.001). Prespecified adjudicated severe hypoglycemia occurred in 187 patients (4.9%) in the degludec group and in 252 (6.6%) in the glargine group, for an absolute difference of 1.7 percentage points (rate ratio, 0.60; P<0.001 for superiority; odds ratio, 0.73; P<0.001 for superiority). Rates of adverse events did not differ between the two groups. Conclusions Among patients with type 2 diabetes at high risk for cardiovascular events, degludec was noninferior to glargine with respect to the incidence of major cardiovascular events. (Funded by Novo Nordisk and others; DEVOTE number, NCT01959529 .).

Concepts: Myocardial infarction, Hypertension, Insulin, Diabetes mellitus type 2, Diabetes mellitus, Cardiovascular disease, Hypoglycemia, American Diabetes Association


The study investigated cross-sectional associations of total amount and patterns of sedentary behaviour with glucose metabolism status and the metabolic syndrome.

Concepts: Nutrition, Hypertension, Insulin, Diabetes mellitus type 2, Diabetes mellitus, Obesity, Blood sugar, Insulin resistance


Hypertension is the most common condition seen in primary care and leads to myocardial infarction, stroke, renal failure, and death if not detected early and treated appropriately. Patients want to be assured that blood pressure (BP) treatment will reduce their disease burden, while clinicians want guidance on hypertension management using the best scientific evidence. This report takes a rigorous, evidence-based approach to recommend treatment thresholds, goals, and medications in the management of hypertension in adults. Evidence was drawn from randomized controlled trials, which represent the gold standard for determining efficacy and effectiveness. Evidence quality and recommendations were graded based on their effect on important outcomes. There is strong evidence to support treating hypertensive persons aged 60 years or older to a BP goal of less than 150/90 mm Hg and hypertensive persons 30 through 59 years of age to a diastolic goal of less than 90 mm Hg; however, there is insufficient evidence in hypertensive persons younger than 60 years for a systolic goal, or in those younger than 30 years for a diastolic goal, so the panel recommends a BP of less than 140/90 mm Hg for those groups based on expert opinion. The same thresholds and goals are recommended for hypertensive adults with diabetes or nondiabetic chronic kidney disease (CKD) as for the general hypertensive population younger than 60 years. There is moderate evidence to support initiating drug treatment with an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor, angiotensin receptor blocker, calcium channel blocker, or thiazide-type diuretic in the nonblack hypertensive population, including those with diabetes. In the black hypertensive population, including those with diabetes, a calcium channel blocker or thiazide-type diuretic is recommended as initial therapy. There is moderate evidence to support initial or add-on antihypertensive therapy with an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor or angiotensin receptor blocker in persons with CKD to improve kidney outcomes. Although this guideline provides evidence-based recommendations for the management of high BP and should meet the clinical needs of most patients, these recommendations are not a substitute for clinical judgment, and decisions about care must carefully consider and incorporate the clinical characteristics and circumstances of each individual patient.

Concepts: Chronic kidney disease, Myocardial infarction, Hypertension, Stroke, Blood pressure, Renin-angiotensin system, Angiotensin II receptor antagonist, ACE inhibitor