Journal: Vascular health and risk management
Atrial fibrillation is a common arrhythmia in heart failure and a risk factor for stroke. Risk assessment tools can assist clinicians with decision making in the allocation of thromboprophylaxis. This review provides an overview of current validated risk assessment tools for atrial fibrillation and emphasizes the importance of tailoring individual risk and the importance of weighing the benefits of treatment. Further, this review provides details of innovative and patient-centered methods for ensuring optimal adherence to prescribed therapy. Prior to initiating oral anticoagulant therapy, a comprehensive risk assessment should include evaluation of associated cardiogeriatric conditions, potential for adherence to prescribed therapy, frailty, and functional and cognitive ability.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of vildagliptin 50 mg once daily in patients with severe renal impairment (estimated glomerular filtration rate < 30 mL/min/1.73 m(2)) and longstanding type 2 diabetes not adequately controlled with insulin therapy, which is a difficult-to-treat population, with limited therapeutic options and a high susceptibility to hypoglycemia.
There are many recommended pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapies for the prevention of stroke, and an ongoing challenge is to improve their uptake. Personalized medicine is seen as a possible solution to this challenge. Although the use of genetic information to guide health care could be considered as the apex of personalized medicine, genetics is not yet routinely used to guide prevention of stroke. Currently personalized aspects of prevention of stroke include tailoring interventions based on global risk, the utilization of individualized management plans within a model of organized care, and patient education. In this review we discuss the progress made in these aspects of prevention of stroke and present a case study to illustrate the issues faced by health care providers and patients with stroke that could be overcome with a personalized approach to the prevention of stroke.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), both cyclooxygenase (COX)-2-selective and nonselective agents, have been associated with the increased risk of adverse cardiovascular events. The majority of studies have focused on myocardial infarction as the primary cardiovascular outcome. However, the association between NSAIDs and the risk of stroke events is not as clear, although an understanding of this association is important since stroke continues to be a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. Various factors may contribute to an association between NSAIDs and stroke, including hypertension and thrombosis. Additionally, the risk may vary with different NSAID types. In this review, we discuss the relevant literature assessing the possible association between NSAID use and stroke events, along with the potential mechanisms and the possible directions for future study.
Cardiac and peripheral vascular biomarkers are increasingly becoming targets of both research and clinical practice. As of 2008, cardiovascular-related medical care accounts for greater than 20% of all the economic costs of illness in the United States. In the age of burgeoning financial pressures on the entire health care system, never has it been more important to try to understand who is at risk for cardiovascular disease in order to prevent new events. In this paper, we will discuss the cost of cardiovascular disease to society, clarify the definition of and need for biomarkers, offer an example of a current biomarker, namely high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, and finally examine the approval process for utilizing these in clinical practice.
High serum concentration of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease. The efficacy of pantethine treatment on cardiovascular risk markers was investigated in a randomized, triple-blinded, placebo-controlled study, in a low to moderate cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk North American population eligible for statin therapy, using the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) guidelines. A total of 32 subjects were randomized to pantethine (600 mg/day from weeks 1 to 8 and 900 mg/day from weeks 9 to16) or placebo. Compared with placebo, the participants on pantethine showed a significant decrease in total cholesterol at 16 weeks (P=0.040) and LDL-C at 8 and 16 weeks (P=0.020 and P=0.006, respectively), and decreasing trends in non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol at week 8 and week 12 (P=0.102 and P=0.145, respectively) that reached significance by week 16 (P=0.042). An 11% decrease in LDL-C from baseline was seen in participants on pantethine, at weeks 4, 8, 12, and 16, while participants on placebo showed a 3% increase at week 16. This decrease was significant between groups at weeks 8 (P=0.027) and 16 (P=0.010). The homocysteine levels for both groups did not change significantly from baseline to week 16. Coenzyme Q10 significantly increased from baseline to week 4 and remained elevated until week 16, in both the pantethine and placebo groups. After 16 weeks, the participants on placebo did not show significant improvement in any CVD risk end points. This study confirms that pantethine lowers cardiovascular risk markers in low to moderate CVD risk participants eligible for statins according to NCEP guidelines.
This randomized crossover trial assessed the effects of 5 weeks of consuming low-fat dairy (one serving/day each of 1% fluid milk, low-fat cheese, and low-fat yogurt) versus nondairy products (one serving/day each of apple juice, pretzels, and cereal bar) on systolic and diastolic blood pressures (SBP and DBP), vascular function (reactive hyperemia index [RHI] and augmentation index), and plasma lipids.
Chronic hepatitis C is a global health problem and has been associated with coronary artery disease. Our aim was to examine the prevalence of coronary artery disease risk markers including endothelial biomarkers in patients with chronic hepatitis C and matched comparisons without manifest cardiovascular disease or diabetes in a cross-sectional design.
The aim of the study was to determine the role of obesity evaluated by body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), and their combined effect on all-cause mortality according to age and related risk factors. This study included 119,090 subjects (79,325 men and 39,765 women), aged from 17 years to 85 years, who had a general health checkup at the Centre d'Investigations Préventives et Cliniques, Paris, France. The mean follow-up was 5.6±2.4 years. The prevalence of obesity, defined by WC and BMI categories, was determined according to age groups (<55, 55-65, >65 years). All-cause mortality according to obesity and age was determined using Cox regression analysis, adjusted for related risk factors and previous cardiovascular events. For the entire population, WC adjusted for BMI, an index of central obesity, was strongly associated with mortality, even after adjustment for hypertension, dyslipidemia, and diabetes. The prevalence of obesity increased with age, notably when defined by WC. Nonetheless, the association between WC adjusted for BMI and mortality was not observed in subjects >65 years old (hazard ratio [HR] =1.010, P=NS) but was found in subjects <55 (HR =1.030, P<0.0001) and 55-65 years old (HR =1.023, P<0.05). By contrast, hypertension (HR =1.31, P<0.05), previous cardiovascular events (HR =1.98, P<0.05), and smoking (HR =1.33, P<0.05) remained associated with mortality even after age 65. In conclusion, WC adjusted for BMI is strongly and independently associated with all-cause mortality before 65 years of age, after taking into account the associated risk factors. This relationship disappears in subjects >65 years of age, suggesting a differential impact of visceral fat deposition according to age.
For patients with type 2 diabetes who are uncontrolled on a combination of two oral antidiabetic agents, addition of the long-acting basal insulin glargine is a well established treatment option. However, data on the efficacy and safety of a combination of metformin, a dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor, and insulin glargine are limited in real-world settings. Therefore, the aim of this study was to analyze blood glucose control, rates of hypoglycemia and body weight in a large cohort of patients with type 2 diabetes treated with this combination therapy in real practice.