MONDAY NEWS TIPS

November 18, 2013 Categories: Heart News, Scientific Conferences & Meetings

Tip Highlights:

  • Small vessel changes in eye, kidney provide clues to risky heart rhythm.
  • Atrial fibrillation hospitalizations, costs soar in United States.
  • Newly developed antidote successfully reversed anti-clotting medication dabigatran.
  • New vaccine lowers blood pressure without harming kidneys in animal tests.
  • Vaccines may provide long-term solution for cholesterol control.

NOTE: ALL TIMES ARE CENTRAL. ALL TIPS ARE EMBARGOED UNTIL THE TIME OF PRESENTATION OR 3 P.M. CT/4 P.M. ET EACH DAY, WHICHEVER COMES FIRST.

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Embargo: 9 a.m. CT/10 a.m. ET

Abstract 13405 (Room D170)

Small vessel changes in eye, kidney provide clues to risky heart rhythm

People with damage in the small blood vessels of the retina and kidneys are at increased risk to develop the most common type of abnormal heart rhythm, according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2013.

Atrial fibrillation raises the risk of stroke and causes heart-related chest pain or heart failure in some people.

Researchers in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study (ARIC) followed 10,009 middle-aged people for an average 13.6 years. Atrial fibrillation developed at a rate of:

  • 5.7 incidences per 1,000 person-years in those with no retina or kidney changes.
  • 8.9 incidences per 1,000 person-years in those with signs of small vessel damage in the retina, such as micro-bleeds or micro-aneurysms.
  • 16.8 incidences per 1,000 person-years in those with signs of vessel damage in the kidneys, allowing tiny amounts of protein to be released into their urine (micro-albuminuria).
  • 24.4 incidences per 1,000 person-years in those with both retinopathy and micro-albuminuria.

Though reasons for the association are unclear, changes in other vascular beds may serve as a representation of coronary micro-vascular changes and the observed association may be mediated via inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, autonomic dysfunction, and electro-mechanical remodeling, the researchers said.

The ARIC study is funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; National Institutes of Health. Author disclosures are listed in the abstract.

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Embargo: 9:15 a.m. CT/10:15 a.m. ET

Abstract 19107 (Room D170)

Atrial fibrillation hospitalizations, costs soar in United States

U.S. hospitalizations and costs of care for atrial fibrillation nearly doubled from 1998 to 2010, according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2013.

Over 4.6 million hospitalizations occurred nationwide for atrial fibrillation during the decade, said researchers who found the progressive percentage increase reached 46 percent.

Researchers projected a similar trend in hospitalizations and costs over the next decade and concluded that 541,000 hospitalizations can be expected by 2020, a 28 percent relative increase from 2010.

Atrial fibrillation is a quivering or irregular heartbeat that can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications.

Using the Nationwide Inpatient Sample database, researchers estimate the cost of hospitalizations to rise by 55 percent in 2020 compared to the cost of care in 2010.

“Atrial fibrillation has increased tremendously over the last decade and is likely to pose a large public health burden in the future,” said Sadip Pant, M.D., lead researcher of the study.

An estimated 2.7 million Americans are living with atrial fibrillation.

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Embargo: 9:30 a.m. CT/10:30 a.m. ET

Abstract 17765 (Room C140)

Newly developed antidote successfully reversed anti-clotting medication dabigatran

For the first time, an antidote developed specifically for dabigatran successfully reversed the effects of the anti-clotting medication in healthy volunteers, according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2013.

New oral anti-clotting medications such as dabigatran (Pradaxa) are easier to take than warfarin. However, up until now, there have been no specific antidotes available to reverse the effects of these new anti-clotting medications when managing life-threatening bleeding or performing emergency surgery. This study shows some promise for an antidote for dabigatran.

Researchers developed an antibody fragment (Fab) that specifically binds dabigatran and prevents it from inhibiting clot formation.

Fab was given as 1 hour or 5-minute infusions to 145 healthy male volunteers. Immediate, complete and sustained reversal of dabigatran-induced anticoagulation was observed.

The antidote is still under development and is not yet approved for clinical use, researchers said.

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Embargo: 10 a.m. CT/11 a.m. ET

Abstract 16969 (Room C150)

New vaccine lowers blood pressure without harming kidneys in animal tests

Vaccination against a pressure-raising hormone safely lowered blood pressure in rats for up to six months, in early tests presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2013.

The new DNA vaccine targets angiotensin II, a hormone that increases blood pressure by causing blood vessels to constrict. Medications that block the action of angiotensin II are widely used to control blood pressure, but must be taken daily to be effective.

In the study, blood pressure was reduced for up to six months in animals receiving the vaccine, and tissue damage associated with high blood pressure to the heart and blood vessels was reduced.

The vaccine did not cause any dangerous autoimmune reactions and there were no signs of damage to the kidney, heart or liver in the treated animals.

Researchers said they hope their Ang II DNA vaccine may one day offer a new treatment option for patients with high blood pressure.

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Embargo: 3 p.m. CT/4 p.m. ET

Abstract 11020

(Hall F, Best of Basic Science and Late-Breaking Basic Science, Poster Board: 9002)

Vaccines may provide long-term solution for cholesterol control

A vaccine lowered cholesterol levels for up to one year, in animal studies presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2013.

Upon interaction with PCSK9, the Low Density Lipoprotein Receptor (LDLR) is guided for degradation, causing subsequent elevation of the Low Density Lipoprotein cholesterol (bad cholesterol) in the blood circulation. Thus inhibiting the interaction of PCSK9 and LDLR is beneficial in lowering blood cholesterol levels. In fact, AFFITOPE®-based anti-PCSK9 vaccines spur the immune system to attack PCSK9 leading to long-term inhibition of the PCSK9:LDLR interaction. In tests in mice and rats, injection of the vaccines under the skin induced ongoing production of antibodies to PCSK9, reducing cholesterol levels for up to one year.

A long-lasting vaccine solution for cholesterol control would be innovative and powerful compared to using other immune-based treatments like monoclonal antibodies, researchers said. Other treatments have a short lifespan and require frequent retreatment.

Note: Actual presentation is 5 p.m. CT/6 p.m. ET Monday, Nov. 18, 2013.

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Additional resources related to these tips are on the right column of the release link at

http://newsroom.heart.org/news/monday-news-tips-2563028?preview=33a9c0eba00d53ad8e2e23fa06f34915.

For more news from AHA Scientific Sessions 2013 follow us on Twitter @HeartNews #AHA13.

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Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position.  The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events.  The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content.  Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

For more information Nov. 16-20, call the AHA News Media Staff Office in the Dallas Convention Center at (214) 853-8008. Before or after these dates, call the Communications Office in Dallas at (214) 706-1173. For public inquiries, call (800) AHA-USA1 (242-8721).


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