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Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair Outcomes
Written by Medical News Feed   


A new study published in the Society for Vascular Surgery’s® October 2009 issue of the Journal of Vascular Surgery® reports that the elderly have better operative outcomes when endovascular repair, rather than open surgery, is used to treat an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA).

Updated guidelines for treatment of heart attack
Written by Medical News Feed   

A collaborative, fast-track update to two sets of clinical guidelines calls for community-wide coordination of emergency services so that heart attack patients receive the most effective treatment as quickly as possible. The new document also lays out several new treatment options, not only for patients who are experiencing a heart attack but also for those who undergo angioplasty and stenting to open clogged coronary arteries.


The new guidelines update is a joint effort of the American College of Cardiology (ACC), the American Heart Association (AHA), and the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI). It simultaneously brings focused updates to two separate clinical guidelines, one on the management of patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) — a major heart attack — and the other on percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI)—a set of procedures in which a tiny balloon is inflated in a narrowed coronary artery to widen the blockage (it often includes inserting a small metal tube, or stent, into the artery to better maintain blood flow).

Size matters: obesity leading risk factor in atrial enlargement
Written by Medical News Feed   

Aside from aging itself, obesity appears to be the most powerful predictor of left atrial enlargement (LAE), upping one’s risk of atrial fibrillation (the most common type of arrhythmia), stroke and death, according to findings published in the November 17, 2009, issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.


This prospective study—the first to evaluate factors affecting left atrial remodeling during aging over 10 years—found obesity and hypertension to be independent predictors of LAE, both resulting in a variety of structural and functional changes in the heart. The highest measures of left atrial volume (iLA) were seen in obese patients with high blood pressure; this group also had the greatest increase in iLA (+6ml/m) and the highest incidence of LAE upon follow-up (31.6 percent compared to baseline prevalence of 10 percent among all participants). In linear regression models, the effect of obesity was almost twice that of hypertension.

US House pass health care reform bill
Written by editor   
Nov. 8, 2009: In a late evening Saturday vote the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3962, called the Affordable Health Care for America Act by a vote of 220 to 215. Only one Republican supported the Bill. For health care reform to become law the full Senate must pass a bill, then a compromise bill must pass both house and be signed by the President. Sources: Text of U.S. House Bill H.R. 3962 and CNN.
ACC/AHA release revised guidelines for beta blockers
Written by Medical News Feed   

Cardiac complications around the time of noncardiac surgery are relatively common and can be serious. The American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA) today release a Focused Update to the Practice Guidelines based on new clinical trial data that summarizes and sheds light on the risks and benefits of using beta blockers to reduce cardiac events during noncardiac surgeries, and provides specific recommendations about which patients will likely benefit and in which patients there is not enough evidence to recommend their use.
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