Monday News Tips - November 5, 2012

Abstracts 16873, 15052, 12080, 9607, 9943 - Embargoed until 3 p.m. PT / 6 p.m. ET

November 05, 2012 Categories: Heart News, Scientific Conferences & Meetings
Tip Highlights:
  • Community-based remote monitoring program helps lower blood pressure in North Carolina
  • Statins reduced cardiovascular events; didn’t increase diabetes in people at low risk
  • Flaxseed may lower blood pressure in hypertension
  • New stent makes repairing brain aneurysms safer, more effective
  • Aged garlic extract, CoQ10 reduced stress, inflammation and atherosclerosis
NOTE ALL TIMES ARE PACIFIC. ALL TIPS ARE EMBARGOED UNTIL THE TIME OF PRESENTATION OR 3 P.M. PT/ 6 P.M. ET EACH DAY, WHICHEVER COMES FIRST. For more information Nov. 3-7, call the AHA News Media Staff Office at the Los Angeles Convention Center: (213) 743-6205. 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: 9:15 a.m. PT/ 12:15 p.m. ET
Abstract 16873 (Room 502a)
Community-based remote monitoring program helps lower blood pressure in North Carolina
A multifaceted community-based remote monitoring program lowered blood pressure among diverse patients in Durham County, N.C., researchers report at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2012.
The Check It, Change It program included a Web-based health portal, remote monitoring stations/kiosks, community health coaches and physician assistant-guided management.
Researchers enrolled 1,784 patients with a history of high blood pressure, median age 60, 76 percent black and 66 percent female.
They divided the participants into tiers based on blood pressure levels:
  • People in tier 0 had blood pressures lower than 140/90 mm Hg and received automated reminders for Web-based remote blood pressure monitoring.
  • Tier 1 participants had blood pressures between 140/90 to 159/99 mm Hg and received tier 0 resources plus physician assistant-directed blood pressure management and education.
  • Those in tier 2 had blood pressures 160/100 mm Hg or higher and received tier 0 and 1 resources, in addition to community health coaching and a home visit for detailed risk assessment.
At the start of the study, nearly half of the participants had a blood pressure reading greater than 140/90 mm Hg.
At six months, 74 percent of participants either lowered their blood pressures under 140/90 mm Hg or had a 10 mm Hg or more reduction in systolic blood pressure. Overall, average systolic and diastolic blood pressures decreased. Tier 1 had average decreases in systolic of 9.1 and diastolic of 4.9 mm Hg. Tier 2’s systolic blood pressures dropped an average 23.6 and diastolic 10.2 mm Hg.
By the study’s end, 34.2 percent of the initial tier 2 and 50.6 percent of tier 1 participants’ blood pressures were less than 140/90 mm Hg. 
EMBARGO: 9:30 a.m. PT/ 12:30 p.m. ET
Abstract 15052 (Room 503)
Statins reduced cardiovascular events; didn’t increase diabetes in people at low risk
The cholesterol-lowering drug atorvastatin taken at a high dose of 80 mg/day didn’t increase the chance of diabetes in people who were at low risk and reduced cardiovascular events regardless of how many diabetes risk factors those taking it had, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2012.
However, the drug increased the chance of developing diabetes in people at higher risk for the disease. Patients with two to four diabetes risk factors, who were on atorvastatin 80 mg/day, had a 24 percent increased risk for diabetes.
Cholesterol-lowering medications, or statins, help reduce the risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular events. Yet, people taking statins who had increased diabetes risk developed diabetes.
Researchers followed more than 15,000 non-diabetic patients for about five years.
 
EMBARGO: 11:15 a.m. PT/ 2:15 p.m. ET
Abstract 12080 (Hall A-12)
Flaxseed may lower blood pressure in hypertension
Eating flaxseed was associated with reduced blood pressure in people with hypertension, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2012.
Researchers studied 110 hypertensive patients with peripheral artery disease, which is strongly associated with high blood pressure. They sought to determine if adding 30 grams of milled flaxseed each day for six months would lower blood pressure. Researchers compared their findings to a similar group of people who added a placebo to their diets.
In the flaxseed group, systolic blood pressure dropped an average 15 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure fell an average 8 mm Hg. In the placebo group, systolic blood pressure increased slightly while diastolic blood pressure remained steady.
The flaxseed group had notable increases in a healthy type of fatty acid, alpha linolenic acid, and a potent antioxidant called enterolactone. The placebo group had no such changes.
“These changes may be related to the anti-hypertensive effects of flaxseed,” researchers said. “The change in blood pressure from flaxseed could result in about a 50 percent reduction of strokes and 30 percent less heart attacks.”
 
EMBARGO: 3 p.m. PT/ 6 p.m. ET
Abstract 9607 (Room A-1)
New stent makes repairing brain aneurysms safer, more effective
A new balloon-expandable, microporous stent more effectively repaired aneurysms in animals than traditional bare stents, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2012.
Brain aneurysms are a weakness in the wall of a brain vessel that balloons out of the blood vessel. Improvement in endovascular techniques for the treatment of brain aneurysms using coils has led to excellent clinical results. However, treatment of large to very large brain aneurysms in patients with a broad neck in the craniocervical area is difficult and carries relatively high risks, even with surgical and endovascular methods.
In this study, the new stents favorably repaired over 30 aneurysms when placed in rabbits. Treatment remained intact and blood flow at both the parent arteries and the branch ones was maintained through one year. A thin neointima, including a complete endothelial lining, fully covered the luminal surface of the covered stents.
Weaknesses and bulging remained in one-third of the aneurysms treated with bare stents up to one year.
The covered stents performed well in terms of creating less intimal hyperplasia and excellent embolization effect with complete maintenance of branching blood flow by using only a single covered stent.
Note: Actual presentation is 4:45 p.m. PT/ 7:45 p.m. ET Monday, Nov. 5, 2012.
 
EMBARGO: 3 p.m. PT/ 6 p.m. ET
Abstract 9943 (Kentia Hall)
Aged garlic extract, CoQ10 reduced stress, inflammation and atherosclerosis
Men in high-stress work environments who took aged garlic extract and coenzyme (Co) Q10 for one year experienced a decrease in perceived stress, a significant decrease in inflammation and less progression of early atherosclerosis, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2012.
In a placebo-controlled, double-blinded, randomized trial, researchers divided 65 male firefighters, median age 55, at intermediate risk for heart disease into two groups. One group took aged garlic extract and CoQ10 supplements for a year; the other took a placebo.
Researchers assessed the men’s perceived levels of mental stress, inflammation and early detectable signs of atherosclerosis at baseline and by the end of study.
At one year, those who took the garlic/CoQ10 supplements reported lower stress levels, while the placebo group reported higher stress. Men in the supplement group were 84 percent more likely to report their perceived stress levels had dropped than men in the placebo group. 
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