The Handoff: Your Week in Cardiology News – 12/23/16

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

  • In a special end-of-the-year health feature, the New York Times summed up 2016 with 2 figures: 42% and $2500. The first number is the increased risk of premature death people may face if they are not physically fit. The second number is how much an individual could save annually in medical costs related to heart disease by walking 30 minutes most days.
  • Having a high pain tolerance may mask heart attack symptoms, which can put people at risk for poor recovery. Researchers in Norway found that those with silent heart attacks tolerated a cold pressor test significantly longer than those who acknowledged the pain as experiencing a heart attack.
  • Researchers have discovered 3 genes related to fat storage that may influence clinical outcomes in people who are obese. Fat can be compartmentalized and stored around the outside of the body or spill into the circulatory system — the latter increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, among other conditions.
  • Being in a stable marriage may increase the odds of surviving a stroke, according to new research in the Journal of the American Heart Association. The study found that adults who had never been married had a 71% greater risk of dying after a stroke compared with those who were continuously married.
  • Despite cardiologists reporting being very satisfied in their careers, disparities still remain between men and women in the field, according to the American College of Cardiology’s third Professional Life Survey. Women continue to choose cardiology at lower rates compared to other specialties — in 2013, only 13% of cardiologists were women.
  • A new nonsurgical intervention may be a viable option for repairing patent ductus arteriosus in premature infants. Evan M. Zahn, MD, an expert in catheter-based cardiac interventions, and Alistair Philips, MD, a pediatric cardiac surgeon, developed the procedure using ultrasound waves and a catheter inserted through a vein in the leg.
  • The New England Journal of Medicine invites you to join the NEJM Catalyst Insights Counsel to provide feedback on current issues in healthcare delivery and inform change across the industry.
  • The American Heart Association published a variety of heart healthy holiday tips including a healthy eating guide, how to make your holiday traditions healthy, and 5 secrets to healthy holiday party hosting.