Monday News Tips

November 17, 2014 Categories: Scientific Conferences & Meetings

Tip Headlines:

  • Vital exhaustion may raise risk of first-time cardiovascular disease
  • Pulse oximetry screenings save lives of babies with congenital heart defects
  • Big city hospitals severely penalized for Medicare readmissions
  • Hispanic women with multiple births may face increased risk of cardiovascular disease

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. For more information Nov. 15-19, call the AHA News Media Staff Office in the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago at (312) 949-3400. Before or after these dates, call the Communications Office in Dallas at (214) 706-1173. For public inquiries, call (800) AHA-USA1 (242-8721).

Embargo: 9:30 a.m. CT/10:30 a.m. ET
Abstract 17412 (Hall A2, Core 2)
Vital exhaustion may raise risk of first-time cardiovascular disease

Fatigue, increased irritability and feeling demoralized — a combination known as vital exhaustion — may raise the risk of first-time cardiovascular disease in otherwise healthy men and women, according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2014.

Researchers examined the relationship between vital exhaustion and first-time heart disease in 11 prospective studies that involved more than 60,000 people without heart disease. The studies had an average six and half years of follow-up.

After adjusting for other factors, researchers observed a 36 percent increased risk of developing first-time cardiovascular disease from vital exhaustion.

“Vital exhaustion is a significant risk factor for incident cardiovascular disease in healthy subjects, comparable to some of the other psychological risk factors for cardiac disease,” researchers said.

Randy Cohen, M.D., cardiologist, Mt. Sinai St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York, New York

Embargo: 11:45 a.m. CT/12:45 p.m. ET
Abstract 16439 (Room S102d, Core 3)
Pulse oximetry screenings save lives of babies with congenital heart defects

Screening for congenital heart defects with pulse oximetry identified newborn babies with previously unsuspected critical congenital heart defects (CCHD), according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2014. Babies with undetected CCHD have a significant increased risk of disability or death.

About nine of every 1,000 babies are born with congenital heart defects — the leading cause of infant deaths in the United States — and 25 percent of those have CCHD.

New Jersey is the first state to implement mandated newborn CCHD screening using pulse oximetry in all licensed birthing facilities.

Approximately 99.6 percent of 278,409 eligible babies born in licensed birthing facilities were screened from August 2011 through June 2014. Of 183 babies who failed the screen, 86 had a diagnostic evaluation solely attributable to the screening.

As a result, 13 babies with previously unknown CCHD were detected prior to hospital discharge which may have prevented significant disability or death — New Jersey Birth Defects Registry for births from August 2011-June 2014.

Kim Van Naarden Braun, Ph.D., epidemiologist at the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, CDC, Atlanta, Georgia and the New Jersey Department of Health, Trenton, New Jersey

Embargo: 3 p.m. CT/4 p.m. ET
Abstract: 9401 (Hall A2, Core 5)
Big city hospitals severely penalized for Medicare readmissions

Big city hospitals in the United States have been severely penalized for readmission of patients with heart attacks, heart failure and pneumonia, according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2014.

In 2013, 2,200 hospitals forfeited more than $280 million in Medicare funds due to readmission penalties stipulated by the Affordable Care Act, researchers said.

“Major urban hospitals serving poorer, under-employed and under-educated patients are affected the most by the penalties for readmission,” said Arshad Javed, M.D., chief author of the study.

Researchers used census figures and other indicators to evaluate the socioeconomic status of the patient population in the large hospitals.

Detroit and Newark have the nation’s highest average readmission penalties. Chicago is one of eight Northern cities with significantly higher readmission penalties compared to hospitals in the rest of the state, researchers said.

Cuts in Medicare payments for safety net hospitals could lead to more reduced access to care, Javed said.

Readmission penalties should be adjusted for the socioeconomic status of the patient population, researchers said. Hospital-to-home initiatives may improve patient care and outcomes more than a penalty system.

Arshad Javed, M.D., chief medical resident, John D. Dingell V.A. Medical Center, Department of Internal Medicine, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan

Embargo: 3 p.m. CT/4 p.m. ET
Abstract 17937 (Room S503, Core 2)
Hispanic women with multiple births may face increased risk of cardiovascular disease

Hispanic women who have five or more successful births may have a significantly increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease than those with no or fewer births, according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2014.

Researchers analyzed 855 Hispanic women 45 years and older who were enrolled in Echo-SOL (Echocardiographic Study of Latinos), a population study in Chicago, Miami, San Diego and the Bronx, New York. Of the 855, 12.2 percent had six or more live births and 4.7 percent had no live births.

Researchers found:

  • Among women with five or more live births, 85 percent had left ventricular diastolic dysfunction, leading to an abnormal relaxation phase of the heart.
  • Among women with two to four live births, 61 percent to 63 percent had diastolic dysfunction.
  • Among women with no births, 51 percent developed diastolic dysfunction.

“Further studies are needed to determine the functional changes that occur and their harmful consequences on diastolic function and whether these changes translate into heart failure,” said Shivani Aggarwal, M.B.B.S., lead author of the study.

Shivani Aggarwal, M.B.B.S., Department of Cardiology, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston Salem, North Carolina

Note: Actual presentation is 4:45 p.m. CT/5:45 p.m. ET, Nov. 17, 2014.

Additional Resources:

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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 http://www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

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at the McCormick Place Convention Center: (312) 949-3400
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