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American Heart Association, Nov. 16-20

The American Heart Association's 2013 Scientific Sessions

The American Heart Association's 2013 Scientific Sessions were held from Nov. 16 to 20 in Dallas and attracted more than 19,000 participants from around the world, including cardiovascular specialists, surgeons, and nurses, as well as other health care professionals. The conference featured presentations focusing on the latest advances in cardiovascular medicine and surgery.

In one study, Ali Ahmed, M.D., M.P.H., of the University of Alabama at Birmingham's School of Medicine, and colleagues found that former smokers who smoked less than 32 pack-years may reduce their risk of developing new heart failure or dying from cardiovascular causes in less than 15 years.

"However, they still had significantly higher risk of non-cardiovascular death relative to never smokers," said Ahmed. "If smokers quit early they might be able to reduce their risk of developing cardiovascular disease and dying from cardiovascular causes to that of never smokers sooner than 15 years as previously believed, although their risk of non-cardiovascular death will remain higher than that of never smokers."

Two authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical and medical device companies, including Medtronic, Johnson & Johnson, and Gambro.

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In another study, Deliwe P. Ngwezi, M.D., of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, and colleagues found a strong correlation between rates of congenital heart defects and emissions of mixtures of organic compounds and metals, known as developmental toxicants.

"There is an overall downward trend in Alberta after the year 2006, which is likely related to a decrease in the emissions of the organic compounds which are part of a complex chemical mixture combined with metals. The organic compounds that decreased are namely: 1,3-butadiene, carbon disulphide, ethylene oxide, and hexachlorobenzene," said Ngwezi. "We postulate that the decrease of these emissions could have been related to industrial sector shifts after 2006. Interestingly, in 2006, the government of Alberta introduced and implemented a chemicals management plan to stringently monitor the industrial emissions."

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Donald R. Dengel, Ph.D., of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and colleagues found that, early in life, childhood cancer survivors who received chemotherapy have arterial changes indicating increased risk for premature atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.

"Although free of cancer, individuals who undergo chemotherapy as part of their cancer treatments are at an increased risk for premature cardiovascular disease," said Dengel. "Therefore, survivors of childhood cancer should monitor their cardiovascular health as well as make lifestyle changes to lower their cardiovascular risk following completion of their cancer treatment."

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AHA: Renal Denervation Viable for Achieving BP Control

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 20, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with treatment-resistant hypertension and chronic kidney disease, renal denervation (RDN) reduces blood pressure (BP) and can slow renal function decline, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association's 2013 Scientific Sessions, held from Nov. 16 to 19 in Dallas.

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AHA: Coffee Improves Microvascular Endothelial Function

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 20, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Drinking caffeinated coffee correlates with improved microvascular endothelial function, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association's 2013 Scientific Sessions, held from Nov. 16 to 19 in Dallas.

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AHA: 'Quitters' Could Cut Heart Risks Sooner Than Estimated

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 20, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- For former light smokers who quit ≤15 years ago, the risks of incident heart failure or cardiovascular mortality are not significantly increased, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association's 2013 Scientific Sessions, held from Nov. 16 to 19 in Dallas.

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AHA: Case Vignette Weighs Pre-Sport Cardiac Screening

TUESDAY, Nov. 19, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Two questions relating to cardiac screening for high school students before participation in competitive sports are discussed in a case vignette published online Nov. 19 in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with the American Heart Association's 2013 Scientific Sessions, held from Nov. 16 to 19 in Dallas.

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AHA: Edoxaban Noninferior to Warfarin for Stroke Prevention

TUESDAY, Nov. 19, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Once-daily edoxaban is noninferior to warfarin for prevention of stroke or systemic embolism; and genotype-guided dosing of warfarin may be beneficial, according to three studies published online Nov. 19 in the New England Journal of Medicine. The research was published to coincide with the American Heart Association's 2013 Scientific Sessions, held from Nov. 16 to 19 in Dallas.

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AHA: Taking Aspirin at Bedtime Cuts Platelet Reactivity

TUESDAY, Nov. 19, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Taking aspirin at bedtime rather than in the morning is associated with a reduction in platelet reactivity, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association's 2013 Scientific Sessions, held from Nov. 16 to 19 in Dallas.

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AHA: Cardiovascular Fitness Declining in Young

TUESDAY, Nov. 19, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Cardiovascular fitness has declined substantially among children and youth around the world since the 1960s, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's 2013 Scientific Sessions, held from Nov. 16 to 19 in Dallas.

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AHA: Atrial Fibrillation Hospitalizations Increasing

TUESDAY, Nov. 19, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Hospitalizations for atrial fibrillation are projected to increase by 28 percent in the next decade, while costs are projected to increase by 55 percent, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association's 2013 Scientific Sessions, held from Nov. 16 to 19 in Dallas.

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AHA: Symptoms for Many Men Before Sudden Cardiac Arrest

TUESDAY, Nov. 19, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- More than half of men with sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) experience symptoms, usually in the previous four weeks, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association's 2013 Scientific Sessions, held from Nov. 16 to 19 in Dallas.

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AHA: Vaccine Lowers High Blood Pressure in Rat Model

TUESDAY, Nov. 19, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Vaccines may provide solutions for high blood pressure and cholesterol control, according to two experimental studies presented at the American Heart Association's 2013 Scientific Sessions, held from Nov. 16 to 19 in Dallas.

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AHA: Antidote to Anti-Clotting Drug Effective, Well Tolerated

TUESDAY, Nov. 19, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- An antibody fragment is safe, well tolerated, and effectively reverses dabigatran-induced anticoagulation, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association's 2013 Scientific Sessions, held from Nov. 16 to 19 in Dallas.

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AHA: Stenting No Benefit for Renal-Artery Stenosis

MONDAY, Nov. 18, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with atherosclerotic renal-artery stenosis and hypertension or chronic kidney disease, renal-artery stenting confers no significant benefit as an addition to comprehensive medical therapy, according to a study published online Nov. 18 in the New England Journal of Medicine. The research was published to coincide with the American Heart Association's 2013 Scientific Sessions, held from Nov. 16 to 19 in Dallas.

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AHA: Both Repair, Replacement Benefit Mitral Regurgitation

MONDAY, Nov. 18, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with severe ischemic mitral regurgitation, clinical outcomes are similar for those who undergo mitral-valve repair or chordal-sparing replacement, according to a study published online Nov. 18 in the New England Journal of Medicine. The research was published to coincide with the American Heart Association's 2013 Scientific Sessions, held from Nov. 16 to 19 in Dallas.

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AHA: Retinal Damage Linked to Atrial Fibrillation

MONDAY, Nov. 18, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Micro-vessel damage in the eye and kidneys is associated with a higher risk of developing atrial fibrillation, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association's 2013 Scientific Sessions, held from Nov. 16 to 19 in Dallas.

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AHA: Hypothermia at 33° Celsius No Benefit in OHCA

MONDAY, Nov. 18, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- For unconscious patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, outcomes are not significantly different with targeted temperature management to 33 or 36 degrees Celsius, according to a study published online Nov. 17 in the New England Journal of Medicine. The research was published to coincide with the American Heart Association's 2013 Scientific Sessions, held from Nov. 16 to 19 in Dallas.

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AHA: Weight Management Beneficial for Obese With A-Fib

MONDAY, Nov. 18, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- For overweight and obese patients with atrial fibrillation, a weight management intervention is associated with reductions in atrial fibrillation symptom burden and severity, according to a study published online Nov. 17 in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The research was published to coincide with the American Heart Association's 2013 Scientific Sessions, held from Nov. 16 to 19 in Dallas.

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AHA: En Route Blood Transfusion After Trauma Beneficial

MONDAY, Nov. 18, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- A pre-hospital transfusion of plasma and red blood cells rather than saline after trauma is associated with a lower risk of death in the first six hours after admission as well as improved coagulation status, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association's 2013 Scientific Sessions, held from Nov. 16 to 19 in Dallas.

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AHA: Text Messaging Improves Antiplatelet Adherence

MONDAY, Nov. 18, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Text messages (TM) for medication reminders and health education can improve adherence to antiplatelet therapy, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association's 2013 Scientific Sessions, held from Nov. 16 to 19 in Dallas.

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AHA: CPR of at Least 38 Min Advisable in Cardiac Arrest

MONDAY, Nov. 18, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA), performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for 38 minutes or longer can increase patients' chances of neurologically-intact survival, with a shorter collapse-to-return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) interval associated with a more favorable neurologic outcome, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association's 2013 Scientific Sessions, held from Nov. 16 to 19 in Dallas.

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AHA: Virtual Reality Hands Help Stroke Patients

MONDAY, Nov. 18, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- A virtual reality platform allows stroke patients with impaired arm and hand movement to improve movement accuracy by moving virtual hands in coordination with their thoughts, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association's 2013 Scientific Sessions, held from Nov. 16 to 19 in Dallas.

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