SUNDAY NEWS TIPS

November 17, 2013 Categories: Scientific Conferences & Meetings

Tip Highlights:

  • Hybrid heart valve is strong, durable in early tests.
  • Early statin therapy helps kids with inherited high cholesterol.
  • Texting heart medication reminders improved patient adherence.

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: 9:30 a.m. CT/10:30 a.m. ET 

Abstract 15923 (Hall F, Core 6, Poster Board: 6078)

Hybrid heart valve is strong, durable in early tests

A hybrid heart valve created from thin and highly elastic mesh embedded within layers of human cells was strong and durable in a study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2013.

Researchers created a three-dimensional cell culture by coating a scaffold of nickel-titanium alloy (Nitinol), used for devices that require flexibility and motion, with layers of smooth muscle, connective tissue and lining cells. The valves performed well in a heart simulator, opening and closing under various pressures and remaining stable and strong throughout the tests.

A durable, regenerating hybrid heart valve would be an important advance because previous attempts to create tissue-engineered heart valves from patients’ cells have been unsatisfactory. All the prior methods entail significant limitations due to structural vulnerability, short-term functionality and mechanical properties of the tissue-engineered valves.

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

Abstract 17837 (Hall F, Core 2, Poster Board: 2035)

Early statin therapy helps kids with inherited high cholesterol

Children with inherited high levels of cholesterol who receive cholesterol-lowering statins in their early years have a lower risk of coronary heart disease than their affected parents, according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2013.

Researchers evaluated the effectiveness and safety of statin treatment in 214 children with familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). The children, 8- to 18-years-old, continued to receive statins and were evaluated after 10 years.

Researchers reported that at age 30, coronary heart disease survival was 100 percent in the group of young adults who received statins from childhood and 93 percent in the affected parents.

“Our results suggest statin therapy initiated in childhood reduces disease and death from heart disease in patients with FH,” said Marjet Braamskamp, M.D., study co-author and a Ph.D. student at the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. “After 10 years of treatment, young adult FH patients had not suffered from cardiovascular complaints.”

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

Abstract 15249 (Room D162)

Texting heart medication reminders improved patient adherence

Getting reminder texts helped patients take their heart medicines (anti-platelet and cholesterol-lowering drugs) more regularly, according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2013.

In a 30-day, randomized controlled trial of 90 coronary heart disease patients, one group received customized text education messages and medication reminders; a second group got education messages only; and a third received no texts.

The text messaging groups had a 16 percent to 17 percent higher rate of taking correct doses and a higher rate of taking doses on schedule compared to the group who didn’t receive text messaging.

“There is now a major initiative to apply more innovative technologies such as mHealth, eHealth, and telehealth to effectively intervene to promote medication adherence,” said Linda Park, Ph.D., study lead author and post-doctoral fellow at San Francisco VA Medical Center in California.

Note: Actual presentation is 4:30 p.m. CT/5:30 p.m. ET Sunday, Nov. 17, 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/sunday-news-tips?preview=a8e4639a5f1bb6b02710b7ca02606fa6.

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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