Physician's First Watch, CardioExchange Staff

All posts by Physician's First Watch, CardioExchange Staff

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March 4th, 2015

FDA: Testosterone Therapy May Pose Cardiovascular Risks

Men who use testosterone products to treat low testosterone may be at increased risk for myocardial infarction, stroke, and death, the FDA cautioned on Tuesday. The agency is requiring a label change to warn of these risks and to clarify the approved uses for such products. The action — which updates a drug safety communication […]


June 26th, 2014

To Screen or Not for AF: Is That the Question?

Up to one third of ischemic strokes are of uncertain etiology or “cryptogenic,” meaning that there is no overt explanation such as severe carotid stenosis, intracranial stenosis, or documented atrial fibrillation (AF). For some of these patients, intermittent AF may be present and could explain the ischemic stroke. This issue has been addressed by two […]


May 17th, 2012

Coffee — Lots of It — Associated with Reduced Mortality

Coffee drinking is inversely associated with mortality in a dose-dependent manner, according to a New England Journal of Medicine study. Mortality risks were actually higher until the researchers adjusted for smoking — common among coffee drinkers. Over 400,000 people aged 50 to 71 were followed for roughly 14 years after completing an extensive questionnaire on diet […]


May 17th, 2012

Study Casts Doubt on Protective Effects of Raising HDL Cholesterol

A genetics-based analysis finds that raising HDL will not necessarily lower risk for myocardial infarction. Reporting in the Lancet, researchers describe a two-pronged approach. First, they searched for the presence of a specific allele (LIPG Asn396Ser, associated with higher HDL levels in carriers) in a large cohort of subjects with and without MI. The allele’s presence […]


May 17th, 2012

Azithromycin Associated with Cardiovascular Death

The antibiotic azithromycin — which may have proarrhythmic properties — is associated with increased risk for cardiovascular death, according to a retrospective cohort study in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study, in a Medicaid population, included nearly 350,000 azithromycin prescriptions, 1.4 million control periods without antibiotic prescriptions, and 1.8 million prescriptions for other antibiotics, […]


May 4th, 2012

Reanalyzed Chantix Data Yield Smaller CV Risk, New Controversy

A new meta-analysis criticizes earlier work warning that the smoking-cessation drug varenicline (Chantix) poses increased cardiovascular risks. The analysis appears in BMJ. It was performed by researchers with no current ties to the drug maker, but one of whom had received a Pfizer investigator-initiated research award. The new analysis examined the risk of treatment-emergent serious cardiovascular events […]


March 2nd, 2012

Statins and Protease Inhibitors May Interact, Causing Rhabdomyolysis

The FDA is warning again about interactions between protease inhibitors and certain statins that can lead to rhabdomyolysis. Protease inhibitors are used to treat HIV and hepatitis C. In a safety communication, the agency published a list of statins that should either be avoided or whose dosing levels should be limited when coadministered with protease inhibitors. […]


September 8th, 2010

U.S. CABG Centers Rated

Consumer Reports published ratings for 221 CABG centers in the U.S. on Tuesday. The ratings, based on data collected by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, take into account 11 performance measures — for example, postoperative renal failure, operative mortality, and surgical re-exploration. All centers included in the report volunteered to have their data made public. A New […]