A Top-10 List Worth Reading

American Heart Association announces top-10 research advances

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Move over, Letterman. The American Heart Association has released its annual top-10 list of the year's major cardiovascular-research advancements.

This year, there's sure to be something on the list that will make your heart happy.

10.) Get With The Guidelines® participation eliminates disparity gaps along racial and ethnic lines in regard to the treatment of cardiovascular disease. The program addresses these unfortunate divides by focusing on quality, cost, risk management and the community benefits of health treatments while increasing the overall use of evidence-based care for heart-attack patients.

9.) New research examining lifestyle behaviors in adults and children emphasizing physical activity and healthy diet indicate that prevalent conditions such as obesity and hypertension are positively influenced by a change in diet with decreasing sodium levels. A recent school study points to healthier outcomes for children who conform to a healthier diet and exercise regimens early in life.

8.) Stem cell therapy appears to improve quality of life and survival in a number of early studies of patients with chronic heart failure. These studies support the development of future cell-based therapies. Results show that stem cells repair scarred myocardium (the middle and thickest layer of the heart wall). Another study showed that the heart can regenerate large numbers of heart muscle cells several times during its lifetime.

7.) Ticagrelor, an anti-clotting drug, may improve outcomes and reduce adverse events better than the current drug treatment, clopidogrel, pointing to a better understanding of the situations where new choices and dosages may improve patient results.

6.) The Pediatric Heart Network’s randomized trial of Norwood® shunts in infants with single-ventricle lesions showed that the type of shunt used makes survival (without a transplant) possible at 12 months.

5.) New studies show that adding additional resynchronization pacing to implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD) -- which "shock" the heart into a normal beating pattern in patients with abnormal heart rhythms -- can lead to improved health benefits in an expanded group of heart-failure patients.

4.) Viable alternatives to the primary prevention of stroke for patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) has been made available for the first time in more than 20 years with alternatives to the standard-treatment drug, Warfarin. AF, a major risk factor of stroke, affects more than 2 million people over the age of 65.

3.) New studies indicate that chest compression only, or "hands only," cardiopulmonary respiration (CPR) for adults improves survival outcome for those who suffer cardiac arrest. This development will help save the more than 300,000 lives lost each year because bystanders are uncomfortable with or don't know how to perform traditional CPR.

2.) A catheter-based procedure known as transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) is emerging as an alternative therapy to open-heart surgery in certain high-risk patients. Strokes and other major cardiovascular events remain some risks associated with treatment, but significant progress has been made.

1.) New studies from the ACCORD Study Group offer insight into specific treatments that can reduce the two-to-four-fold increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in more than 17 million Americans who have diabetes.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
December 22, 2010
Last Updated:
December 27, 2010