The Handoff: Your Week in Cardiology News – 1/13/17

The Handoff is a weekly roundup of cardiology news covering various developments in subspecialties, as well as pharmaceutical industry, association, and society news.

  • Sanfoi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals were ordered to discontinue alirocumab (Praluent®) sales after a US District judge ruled that the drug infringes patents held by Amgen, Inc., the maker of evolocumab (Repatha®). Both agents are novel PCSK9 inhibitors used to lower cholesterol in patients who cannot take statins.
  • A new study published in JAMA suggests that weekend warrior exercisers can still reap health benefits, including lower all-cause mortality, compared to inactive individuals.
  • The American Heart Association (AHA) and American College of Cardiology will now offer a special designation to hospitals that meet the high standards required for treating the most complex cases of heart disease. Patients will be able to locate these facilities via the “Find an Accredited Cardiovascular Center Near You” tool.
  • In light of recent sudden cardiovascular-related deaths, AHA CEO Nancy Brown reminds us of the global burden of heart disease and stroke. She wrote that the AHA is committed to increasing education and awareness of these conditions; in particular, heart attack, cardiac arrest, heart failure, and stroke.
  • Risk of heart attack, atrial fibrillation, and heart failure may be increased with alcohol abuse, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. While previous research has found low to moderate levels of alcohol to be cardio-protective, these same levels may also be cardio-toxic.
  • A magnesium-rich diet may lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes, according to a new study published in BMC Medicine.
  • A New York Times opinion piece highlights continued gender disparities in health care. Researchers at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore discovered that women who were trauma patients at their facility were more likely to die from preventable blood clots than men. They were also less likely to receive more intensive treatment for a heart attack. As a result, the team developed the “Hopkins blood clot prevention checklist,” which, if implemented throughout hospitals across the country, could save many lives.
  • Both JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions and JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging announced new editors-in-chief this week: David J. Moliterno, MD, FACC and Y.S. Chandrashekhar, MD, DM, FACC.
  • Abstract submission is now open for the 2017 European Society of Cardiology Congress taking place in Barcelona from August 26-30, 2017. Deadline for submission is February 14, 2017.