News

 

Doctors at St. Joseph's Hospital Stopping Atrial Fibrillation Cold

July 03, 2012, PRNewsWire

TAMPA, Fla., July 3, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- For years, Tampa resident Catherine DeMare had atrial fibrillation (AF) and lived with the irregular heartbeat and uncertainty that affects approximately three million Americans. That is, until a procedure stopped her AF cold, literally.

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FDA refuses ACS indication for rivaroxaban—for now

HeartWire

The agency has decided to follow the advice of its Cardiovascular and Renal Drugs Advisory Committee on this, which narrowly voted against recommending approval four weeks ago, based on concerns about missing data from the ATLAS ACS 2 TIMI 51 trial of the factor Xa inhibitor. Instead, the FDA has issued a "complete response letter," requesting more data to help it with its decision. In a press release, Janssen says it is "evaluating" the situation and "will respond to the agency's questions as quickly as possible."

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Cardio Notes: Re-Scoring Afib

July 02, 2012, MedPage Today

An Afib risk algorithm used in Europe may be better than the commonly employed U.S. risk score. Also this week, statins in heart failure and normotensive women with fetal growth restriction.

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Boston Scientific Completes Patient Enrollment in PREVAIL Study for First-in-Class WATCHMAN Device

July 02, 2012, PRNewswire (Press Release)

"WATCHMAN is the most clinically studied device of its kind," said Vivek Reddy, M.D., Director of Cardiac Arrhythmia Service at Mount Sinai Medical Center and principal investigator of the PREVAIL study. "WATCHMAN has the potential to provide atrial fibrillation patients with a safe and effective first-in-class device-based solution to reduce risk of stroke."

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Hybrid surgical and catheter AF approach feasible, highly effective

June 25, 2012, TheHeart.org

A hybrid procedure that combines transvenous catheter and minimally invasive thorascopic surgical ablation can be safely and effectively performed in patients with paroxysmal and persistent atrial fibrillation (AF), research shows [1]. Performed by an experienced European group that includes experts in catheter and surgical ablation, the one-year single-procedure success rate was 83% among the 26 patients treated with the hybrid ablation procedure.

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Clot-Busting Stroke Drug Safe for Many Who Take Warfarin

June 26, 2012, HealthDay

Many patients who've been taking the blood thinner warfarin can safely be administered the powerful clot-busting drug tPA in the event of a stroke, a new study shows.

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THE PLASTER THAT SPOTS A HEART FLUTTER

June 26, 2012, Express.co.uk

AN ELECTRONIC band aid that sticks on to the chest could transform the treatment of irregular heartbeats.

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Which drug, when? New anticoagulants force new decisions in AF treatment

June 20, 2012, HeartWire

"In the coming years, we won't have to decide who needs anticoagulant therapy—because that's practically all patients with atrial fibrillation—but we will suddenly have to pick which anticoagulant to use," Dr Paulus Kirchhof (University of Birmingham, UK) explained during a presentation entitled, "What should the new guideline revisions on stroke prevention look like?"

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New Program to Improve In-Hospital Atrial Fibrillation Care

June 25, 2012, Press Release- Market Watch

"While scientifically proven therapies and approaches to treatment exist for patients with atrial fibrillation, wide gaps, variations and disparities remain in the quality of care for people with this common heart rhythm disorder," said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., chair of the Get With The Guidelines National Steering Committee and professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School in Boston. "By improving the care of patients with atrial fibrillation through the Get With The Guidelines program, we can save lives and prevent serious complications, such as stroke."

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FDA Wants More Apixaban Data

June 25, 2012, MedPage Today

The FDA said Monday that it needs more data before it can approve apixaban, an oral factor Xa inhibitor, for prevention of stroke in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation. The drug is approved and marketed in Europe under the trade name Eliquis.

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Tailoring Care for Patients with Atrial Fibrillation and CKD

MedPage Today

Individuals with chronic kidney disease (CKD) are predisposed to experiencing cardiovascular events, with an especially high prevalence of atrial fibrillation (AF).1 In patients with end-stage renal disease, AF prevalence may be as high as 13% to 27%, markedly higher than the general population (up to 27%).2,3 Special attention may be required when managing AF in patients with CKD—as it represents a major cause of morbidity and mortality in this vulnerable population.

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Management of Atrial Fibrillation in the Heart Failure Patient

June 2012, MedPage Today

While managing atrial fibrillation (AF) can be challenging enough on its own, in patients with concomitant heart failure (HF) even greater care must be exercised in determining appropriate therapies. Issues such as anticoagulation, rate versus rhythm control, and ablation (surgical or catheter-based) are all common management concerns. The fact that either AF or HF alone can predispose a patient to the other condition, and that prognosis of both together is worse than either alone, makes this interplay even more interesting.

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How Doctors Diagnose Atrial Fibrillation
Atrial fibrillation, a type of irregular heartbeat, can be difficult to diagnose if your symptoms are not typical, or if they come and go.

June 13, 2012, Everyday Health

"Some people have very definite atrial fibrillation symptoms," says Danya L. Dinwoodey, MD, a cardiologist at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Mass. "That can make diagnosis easy because they can be seen when they are having an episode. Other people may just have shortness of breath or feel tired while exercising and not know they are having atrial fibrillation.

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What is Cardiac Catheter Ablation for Cardiac Arrhythmias?

June 13, 2012, Good Samaritan Hospital

What is an Arrhythmia?
Normally, the heart’s impulses travel down an electrical pathway through the heart. The atria or top two chambers of your heart and the ventricles, the bottom two chambers of your heart, work together to pump blood through the heart. The electrical system of the heart is the power source that makes this possible. Each electrical impulse causes the heart to beat.
Arrhythmias are heart rhythm problems — they occur when the electrical impulses in your heart don’t work properly, causing your heart to beat too fast, too slow or irregularly.

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Alcohol may trigger AF episodes

June 07, 2012,  HeartWire

San Francisco, CA - Results of a new study suggest that patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF) should avoid consuming alcohol to reduce the risk of AF episodes, but the exact link between alcohol and arrhythmias is still poorly understood.

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Heart Rhythm Disorder May Raise Older Women's Stroke Risk

June 01, 2012, HealthDay

FRIDAY, June 1 (HealthDay News) -- Women with a heart rhythm disorder called atrial fibrillation are slightly more likely to suffer a stroke than men with the condition, according to a new study.

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Ablation Could Be First-Line Afib Therapy

May 2012, MedPage Today

BOSTON -- For patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, radiofrequency ablation was superior to antiarrhythmic drug therapy as first-line treatment, a randomized trial showed.

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Watch out for danger signs as erratic heartbeat led to two years of anguish

May 29, 2012, Nottingham Post

I was looking at a birthday card and I called out to him, but there was no response," she said. "I shouted for a second time and just heard him moan and then grunt. I instantly panicked, ran towards the stairs, where I found him leaning over the banister.

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One million signatures needed to call upon World Health Organization to save lives through education and improved management of atrial fibrillation.

May 22, 2012, Business Wire

It is vital that AF is recognised as a risk factor for stroke so that people affected by the condition receive the necessary treatment,” said Dr Kathryn Taubert, Chief Science Officer for the World Heart Federation (WHF). “As many as three million people worldwide have an AF-related stroke every year; this means one person every 10 seconds. Many of these strokes can be prevented so the WHF encourages everybody to join the mission and sign the petition to help save lives.”

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New campaign to increase awareness of an irregular heartbeat

May 21, 2012, Spire HealthCare

The Arrhythmia Alliance – also known as the Heart Rhythm Charity – is setting up a strategy after one of its new polls revealed that many people do not know how to identify the symptoms of an irregular heartbeat.

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One million signatures needed to call upon World Health Organization to save lives through education and improved management of atrial fibrillation

May 22, 2012, Enhanced Online News

“It is vital that AF is recognized as a risk factor for stroke so that people affected by the condition receive the necessary treatment,” said Dr Kathryn Taubert, Chief Science Officer for the World Heart Federation (WHF). “As many as three million people worldwide have an AF-related stroke every year; this means one person every 10 seconds. Many of these strokes can be prevented so the WHF encourages everybody to join the mission and sign the petition to help save lives.”

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Palpitations May Signal Future Heart Rhythm Problem

May 16, 2012, HealthDay

WEDNESDAY, May 16 (HealthDay News) -- Heart palpitations and high blood pressure are strong risk factors for a common heart rhythm disorder called atrial fibrillation, a new study reports.

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HRS: Ablation superior to antiarrhythmic drugs as first-line therapy for AF

May 11, 2012, Cardiovascular Business

Pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) with radiofrequency ablation is safe for patients with symptomatic atrial fibrillation (AF) and significantly superior to the current first-line therapy approach of antiarrhythmic drugs (AAD), according to trial results presented May 11 at the 33rd annual scientific sessions of the Heart Rhythm Society.

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Triathlete overcomes adversity in pursuit of top finish

May 08, 2012, GuelphMercury.com

The local triathlete’s heart condition, known as atrial fibrillation, was only the start in Madsen’s journey through adversity. In the two years since his diagnosis, Madsen has suffered a string of injuries that have put his dreams in jeopardy, but the 20-year-old hasn’t taken his sights off a first place finish at the upcoming cross triathlon world championships in Alabama.

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JAMA: Older women with afib have greatest risk of stroke

May 07, 2012, Cardiovascular Business

Atrial fibrillation (AF) patients have a five-fold increase in the risk of stroke; however, older women diagnosed with AF may fare worse than men, despite warfarin use, according to a study published in the May 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Aspirin versus warfarin for heart failure patients

May 04, 2012, Medical News

According to researchers Aspirin could be as effective as more expensive drugs for heart failure patients with a normal heart rhythm.

In a new study on more than 2,000 patients, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that aspirin was as effective as the commonly prescribed drug warfarin. It said each drug had risks, but they had similar benefits overall.

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Heart Rhythm Society launches Boston Citywide Awareness Campaign

May 02, 2012 News Medical

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has proclaimed May to be Cardiac Arrhythmia Awareness Month, calling attention to the need for greater public awareness throughout the Commonwealth about two serious heart rhythm conditions, atrial fibrillation (also known as AF or AFib) and sudden cardiac arrest (also known as SCA). To support consumer education about these potentially life-threatening disease states, the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) has launched a Boston Citywide Awareness Campaign to increase knowledge about symptoms, warning signs and available treatment options. As part of its initiative, HRS will host a mobile education event at Boston City Hall Plaza on May 9, which is designated Cardiac Arrhythmia Awareness Day in the city of Boston.

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Understanding Atrial Fibrillation And Stroke Risk

May 2, 2012

NAPSI)—There’s an alarming gap in knowledge about a common heart condition called atrial fibrillation, or AFib. By closing the gap and arming people with what they need to know, we could prevent disabling—and even deadly—strokes; perhaps thousands of strokes each year.

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Campaign to Raise Public Awareness about Serious Heart Rhythm Disorders, including Atrial Fibrillation and Sudden Cardiac Arrest

April 30, 2012, Press Release

BOSTON & WASHINGTON, Apr 30, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has proclaimed May to be Cardiac Arrhythmia Awareness Month, calling attention to the need for greater public awareness throughout the Commonwealth about two serious heart rhythm conditions, atrial fibrillation (also known as AF or AFib) and sudden cardiac arrest (also known as SCA). To support consumer education about these potentially life-threatening disease states, the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) has launched a Boston Citywide Awareness Campaign to increase knowledge about symptoms, warning signs and available treatment options. As part of its initiative, HRS will host a mobile education event at Boston City Hall Plaza on May 9, which is designated Cardiac Arrhythmia Awareness Day in the city of Boston.

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Atrial Fibrillation in the derly: Special Considerations

Medpage Today

With aging, the prevalence of atrial fibrillation (AF) increases. In individuals aged 65 and older, the prevalence of AF is about 5%, and doubles to 10% in those aged 80 and older.1 Additionally, as the population ages, the number of people with AF is rising dramatically, with 5.6 million people in the United States projected to have AF by the year 2050. In this population, the risk of ischemic stroke is of primary concern; nonvalvular AF increases the risk of stroke by 5-fold and is responsible for approximately 24% of strokes in patients aged 80 to 89.

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