The Handoff: Your Week in Cardiology News – 4/7/17

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

  • According to a 2016 online survey conducted by the American Heart Association, 61% of Americans are afraid to perform CPR, worried they may unintentionally injure the victim. Legal ramifications were also cited as a reason not to perform the life-saving technique for someone in cardiac arrest.
  • Eduardo Marbán, MD, PhD, director of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute and a pioneering investigator in experimental heart stem cell therapy, was inducted into the Johns Hopkins University Society of Scholars. The society honors former Johns Hopkins postdoctoral fellows, postdoctoral students, and faculty members who have earned distinction in their respective fields. 
  • A new study, QUANTUM AF (Quantify Use of Anticoagulation Management of AF [Atrial Fibrillation]), will evaluate the effect of “a structured hospital quality improvement program on oral anticoagulant use” in patients hospitalized with atrial fibrillation who are risk for ischemic stroke.
  • In other atrial fibrillation-related news, a multisite clinical trial, STOP Persistent AF will study the safety and effectiveness of pulmonary vein isolation-only strategy for treating patients with persistent atrial fibrillation.
  • The FDA has cleared CardioChek® lipid analyzers (PTS Diagnostics; Indianapolis, IN) for an expanded top range measurement of HDL cholesterol to 120 mg/dL for the PTS Panels lipid panel test strips.
  • The Association of Black Cardiologists has released recommendations on improving health care access for minority and high-risk populations. The association identified the following barriers to optimal health care: access to primary care, timely referral to specialists, lack of trust and cultural competence, socioeconomic determinants, and the “ultimate intersection of cost and access.” You can read the full summary of their recommendations here.
  • While substantial strides have been made to reduce smoking prevalence, more prevention and cessation efforts are needed, according to the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study published in a recent issue of Lancet.
  • A new clinical trial will explore an investigational transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedure with the Meridian® valve (HLT, Inc.; Maple Grove, MN) in patients with severe aortic stenosis at high risk for surgery.