The Handoff: Your Week in Cardiology News – 7/21/17

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

  • AliveCor, a manufacturer of personal electrocardiogram technology, has partnered with the Mayo Clinic to develop screening tools for long QT syndrome for both healthcare professionals and lay people. The technology aims to prevent sudden cardiac death in children and young adults.
  • Aldosterone may play a role in alcohol use disorder, according to a study conducted by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The study, published in Molecular Psychiatry, included non-human primates, rats, and humans. In the human study, researchers found that blood aldosterone concentrations were higher in individuals who drank during a 12-week period vs those who did not.
  • The Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development of California recently published a list of cardiac surgeons who have higher-than-average death rates for coronary artery bypass graft surgery. A somewhat controversial practice, California is one of only a few states that makes such information available to the public.
  • A list of the most and least stressed US cities has been published online at WalletHub. Out of 150 cities, Newark, New Jersey was ranked as the “most stressed” while Fremont, California was ranked as the “least stressed” based on 4 metrics including work stress, financial stress, family stress, and health and safety stress.
  • The Joint Commission has recognized the University of Kansas Health System as the first hospital to earn “Comprehensive Cardiac Center (CCC) Certification.” In order to achieve certification, hospitals must “demonstrate a combination of compliance with consensus-based standards, evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for cardiac care, and performance measurement and improvement requirements.”
  • The AHA Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine, in partnership with Bayer, has awarded 3 major research grants ($150,000 each) to further the fields of cerebral small vessel disease, chronic kidney disease, and heart failure.
  • Meanwhile, cardiac arrest receives little research funding, as reported simultaneously by the Journal of the American Heart Association and AHA News. The analysis in the Journal found a decline in the number of investigators funded by the National Institutes of Health, which could be a contributing factor.