A short, one-month treatment combining antiplatelet medication and aspirin followed by an aspirin-only regime was as effective as a 6- to 12-month course of dual treatment at preventing death, heart attacks, strokes, bleeding or the need for additional stent placement. The results of this study could lead to changes in treatment and improve patient compliance, lower costs and fewer side effects.
A medication derived from fish oil, containing the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, was evaluated in a large, international study of more than 13,000 people who had existing heart disease or who were at high risk of heart disease due to other medical conditions. The medication did not reduce the risk of cardiac events compared to a corn oil-based placebo in the STRENGTH trial.
Omega-3 supplements in commonly available forms appear to be ineffective in preventing further cardiovascular events among elderly people with recent heart attacks. When compared to a placebo, an omega-3 fatty acids supplement in addition to statin therapy and/or a blood thinner did not reduce the number of cardiac events in a study of more than 1,000 patients in Norway.
Study participants who reported side effects from cholesterol-lowering medications known as statins also reported the same side effects when they unknowingly took placebo pills. These side effects are real, and it appears may be mostly due to the psychological rather than the pharmacological effects of statins since symptoms were consistent when taking the placebo.
The RIVER trial is the largest study assessing the efficacy and safety of the anticoagulant rivaroxaban in patients with an artificial mitral valve to correct an irregular heart rhythm. Researchers concluded that rivaroxaban worked as well as the standard anticoagulant medication warfarin.
Combining diagnostic imaging methods can detect the underlying cause of heart attack in women who did not have blocked arteries. This international, diagnostic, prospective, observational study suggested that additional heart imaging is feasible and has the potential to guide medical therapy to prevent subsequent heart attacks.
A new study found the rate of heart attack and severe complications before, during or soon after elective surgery to open a blocked artery was similar between patients treated with clopidogrel and those who received the more potent antiplatelet medication ticagrelor.
A "polypill" is a single pill that includes multiple medications to control more than one health risk factor (such as heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes, kidney disease, stroke). In this large, international trial, the polypill included blood pressure and cholesterol lowering medications for people at risk for heart disease. Results from the randomized, placebo-controlled trial show that the combination of a polypill plus aspirin reduced cardiovascular disease by 31%, and the polypill without aspirin reduced CVD by 21%.
A new study in a Swedish population of middle-aged adults found that four out of 10 people have atherosclerosis, a buildup of fatty deposits that reduce blood flow to the heart. Early detection of coronary artery disease is needed in order to provide preventive treatment and decrease the risk of heart attack. Researchers developed a personalized screening strategy to identify individuals with a higher probability of developing cardiovascular disease.
Results from a large, Phase 3, global, cardiovascular outcomes study indicate a new medication may reduce the risk for heart failure-related events or cardiovascular deaths in people with chronic heart failure.