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

  • Do genetics have the final say on heart disease? Not necessarily, according to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Even high-risk patients can overcome a great deal of genetic factors with lifestyle changes.
  • In case you missed it, the Journal of the American College of Cardiology website has been redesigned. The JACC Journals collection promises a better user experience by providing content in a cleaner, clearer, and easier-to-read format.
  • Taxing drinks based on sugar content may be the most effective way to lower people’s sugar consumption, according to a report by the Urban Institute. Overall sugar consumption could be reduced by up to 25% using a “single-tier tax.”
  • According to a new analysis in the Journal of the American Medical Association, more than a quarter of medical school students experience depression or depressive symptoms. The analysis included 200 studies with more than 129,000 medical students in 47 countries, prompting the authors to declare the prevalence of depression a worldwide issue.
  • The NIH will award research grants to support the Molecular Transducers of Physical Activity in Humans Program, which includes the development of a map detailing the molecular changes that occur in our bodies in response to physical activity. Awardees will analyze samples from individuals of different races, ethnic groups, sex, ages, and fitness levels.
  • Xcertia, a collaborative effort by the AHA, AMA, DHX Group, and Healthcare Information Management Systems Society, will develop guidelines for mobile health apps. The membership and governing body will be open not only to clinicians and academics, but also consumers and developers.
  • It may sound silly, but Silly Putty can function as a sensitive pressure detector to measure pulse and blood pressure. Researchers in Ireland are experimenting with a composite material made from the popular kids’ toy and graphene. They think it could eventually be used to make various medical devices.
  • The New England Journal of Medicine will host “The Future of Care Delivery: Relentless Redesign,” a free live web event on January 19, 2017. Several health care delivery experts will discuss barriers to improving care redesign, best technology practices, and healthcare data integration. Register here.