Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for Aug. 15, 2006, issue

August 14, 2006

Annals of Internal Medicine is published by the American College of Physicians. These highlights are not intended to substitute for articles as sources of information.

Kidney Function Blood Test Also Identifies Risk for Heart Disease and Stroke

A blood test for cystatin C level, a measure of kidney function, identified a group of elderly people with "preclinical kidney disease" who were also at higher risk for cardiovascular disease, stroke, and death than those with normal cystatin C levels, a new study finds (Article, p. 237).

NOTE TO EDITORS: A separate news release will be issued. This article is the subject of a video news release. Call for coordinates.

Review of Court Documents Finds that Drug Company Systematically Used Medical Education and Research to Promote Off-Label Use

A pharmaceutical company promoted its anti-seizure drug with a comprehensive marketing strategy that included continuing medical education and research, authors say (Review, p. 284).

The authors reviewed documents that became available during the trial in which the parent pharmaceutical company admitted that it violated federal regulations by promoting the drug for unapproved uses such as pain, psychiatric conditions, and migraine.

Although some of the company activities have been described elsewhere, the authors say that this report is one of the first to describe the overall structure and extent of the off-label promotional activities.

Nurse Managers Help Ethnic Minority Patients with Heart Failure

Nurse management can improve heart failure outcomes, a new study finds (Improving Patient Care, p. 273).

A group of 406 mostly African American and Hispanic people with heart failure received either counseling by nurse managers about heart failure, or a patient information handout. After 12 months, the patients in the nurse-manager group functioned better and had modestly fewer hospitalizations (148 vs. 180) than the other group, but the differences did not continue after 12 months, when the counseling stopped.

Does Pay-for-Performance Improve the Quality of Health Care? Jury's Still Out

Despite "increasing enthusiasm" for the idea of linking payment to performance in heath care, this review of published studies of financial incentives on quality of care identified few studies to inform this enthusiasm (Improving Patient Care, p. 265).

The review found some positive effects and some unintended negative effects of financial incentives.

The authors propose a 13-point research agenda for studying explicit financial incentives in health care.

American College of Physicians

Related Heart Disease Articles from Brightsurf:

Cellular pathway of genetic heart disease similar to neurodegenerative disease
Research on a genetic heart disease has uncovered a new and unexpected mechanism for heart failure.

Mechanism linking gum disease to heart disease, other inflammatory conditions discovered
The link between periodontal (gum) disease and other inflammatory conditions such as heart disease and diabetes has long been established, but the mechanism behind that association has, until now, remained a mystery.

New 'atlas' of human heart cells first step toward precision treatments for heart disease
Scientists have for the first time documented all of the different cell types and genes expressed in the healthy human heart, in research published in the journal Nature.

With a heavy heart: How men and women develop heart disease differently
A new study by researchers from McGill University has uncovered that minerals causing aortic heart valve blockage in men and women are different, a discovery that could change how heart disease is diagnosed and treated.

Heart-healthy diets are naturally low in dietary cholesterol and can help to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke
Eating a heart-healthy dietary pattern rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish, legumes, vegetable oils and nuts, which is also limits salt, red and processed meats, refined-carbohydrates and added sugars, is relatively low in dietary cholesterol and supports healthy levels of artery-clogging LDL cholesterol.

Pacemakers can improve heart function in patients with chemotherapy-induced heart disease
Research has shown that treating chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy with commercially available cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) delivered through a surgically implanted defibrillator or pacemaker can significantly improve patient outcomes.

Arsenic in drinking water may change heart structure raising risk of heart disease
Drinking water that is contaminated with arsenic may lead to thickening of the heart's main pumping chamber in young adults, according to a new study by researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

New health calculator can help predict heart disease risk, estimate heart age
A new online health calculator can help people determine their risk of heart disease, as well as their heart age, accounting for sociodemographic factors such as ethnicity, sense of belonging and education, as well as health status and lifestyle behaviors.

Wide variation in rate of death between VA hospitals for patients with heart disease, heart failure
Death rates for veterans with ischemic heart disease and chronic heart failure varied widely across the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system from 2010 to 2014, which could suggest differences in the quality of cardiovascular health care provided by VA medical centers.

Heart failure: The Alzheimer's disease of the heart?
Similar to how protein clumps build up in the brain in people with some neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, protein clumps appear to accumulate in the diseased hearts of mice and people with heart failure, according to a team led by Johns Hopkins University researchers.

Read More: Heart Disease News and Heart Disease Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to