The Handoff: Your Week in Cardiology News – 3/10/17

The Handoff is a weekly roundup of cardiology news covering various developments in subspecialties, the pharmaceutical industry, and the overall state of health care as it affects cardiologists. Keep your finger on the pulse of cardiology with The Handoff.

  • A recent study published in Hypertension found that only 20% of patients take their medications for hard-to-control hypertension. “Adherence to medication greatly affects the ability to assess the value of another treatment, so researchers need to measure adherence and do what they can to improve it,” said Peter Blankestijin, MD, PhD, author and professor of nephrology and hypertension at the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands, in an American Heart Association (AHA) press release.
  • Precision medicine will most likely become the prevailing trend in healthcare delivery based on several advances, particularly in the genomics field, according to a report published online at Forbes.
  • In related news, the AHA received a $2 million donation from philanthropists Paul and Joan Rubschlager, creating the Paul and Joan Rubschlager Precision Promise Fund to support the AHA Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine. “Without a doubt, precision medicine is the foundation for future successful medical treatment,” the Rubschlagers said in an AHA press release. “We believe that this gift will allow AHA to get a running start with their precision medicine program.”
  • NEJM Catalyst, part of the New England Journal of Medicine, will host a free live web event, “Hardwiring Patient Engagement to Deliver Better Health” on April 13. The event will be divided into 3 sessions: design that drives engagement, social networks that enable engagement, and real teams that build engagement.
  • Doctors at the Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center in Columbus are testing a new treatment for congestive heart failure. Along with diuretic medication, a catheter is inserted into the jugular vein of a patient’s neck to more efficiently move the extra fluid. This procedure is currently being tested in 10 patients in a clinical trial expected to end this summer.
  • In a study comparing reimbursement systems published in JAMA Surgery, researchers found that patients who were treated in a “fee-for-service system” were more likely to undergo procedural management for carotid stenosis compared with those patients treated in a salary-based setting.
  • The EPI/Lifestyle (Epidemiology Prevention/Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health) 2017 Scientific Sessions has been underway in Portland, Oregon this week. One study revealed that low fruit and vegetable intake was responsible for 57.3 million and 44.6 years of lost life.
  • Also from the EPI/Lifestyle Scientific Sessions: Playing Pokémon Go may increase physical activity in individuals who are typically more sedentary. Before playing the active-play game, study participants walked an average of 5678 steps a day and after, they walked an average of 7654 steps.