The Handoff: Your Week in Cardiology News – 7/28/17

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

  • An Ohio judge has ruled that a man’s pacemaker data could be used against him in a court of law. Critics fear this may dissuade people from obtaining necessary medical devices in fear of privacy violations, according to an article published in Slate.
  • Two new studies out of Circulation may potentially clear up the debate over whether or not intense endurance exercise (eg, marathon running) harms the heart’s arteries. Although the athletes who participated in the studies were more likely to have calcified, dense plaques, they did not have the more problematic, fattier plaques that often cause heart attacks.
  • The International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation — a global group of health organizations including the American Heart Association, the European Resuscitation Council, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, among others — met this week to craft guidelines on unintentional drowning. Specifically, the committee noted what information should be collected from lifeguards, paramedics, and hospital staff. The 2015 revised guidelines were published in Circulation.
  • Feeling like you don’t exercise enough? You could be shaving years off your life with negative thinking, according to a study published in Health Psychology. Individuals who thought they were less active than their peers were more likely to die, regardless of health status or BMI.
  • NPR reports on the dangers of cybersecurity to US hospitals. In the past 20 years, threats have progressed from student hackers simply trying to hack hospital networks to state-sponsored cyberterrorism, organized crime, and “hacktivism.”
  • Depression can be an unfortunate side effect to surviving a heart attack or stroke, according to the American Heart Association. Although patients are not often evaluated for it, depression occurs in 1 in of 5 people hospitalized for chest pain or heart attack, 1 in 3 stroke survivors, and half of the patients who undergo bypass surgery.