Wednesday News Tips

November 19, 2014 Categories: Scientific Conferences & Meetings

Tip Headlines:

  • New leadless pacemaker safe, reliable
  • More children surviving dilated cardiomyopathy without heart transplant
  • Unhealthy behavior may be cross-generational

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 16158 (Room S401bcd, Core 4)
New leadless pacemaker safe, reliable

A new self-contained leadless cardiac pacemaker is a safe and reliable alternative to conventional pacemakers, according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2014.

The new device reduces complications that have existed over the last 50 years that are associated with lead placement and performance and the pulse generator situated under the skin that have occurred with conventional pacemaker systems.

In the first trial of the leadless pacemaker, doctors implanted one in eight patients (average 82 years old, 75 percent men) with no complications in an average 41 minutes.

Researchers measured the device’s performance at implant, after the patient was discharged and during three-, six- and twelve-month follow-up sessions.

The study, which began in December 2012, will continue until researchers have performance and safety results at 18 months.

Fleur Tjong, M.D., research fellow in cardiology, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Embargo: 9:30 a.m. CT/10:30 a.m. ET
Abstract 16801 (Room S102d, Core 3)
More children surviving dilated cardiomyopathy without heart transplant

More children with dilated cardiomyopathy are surviving without a heart transplant, according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2014.

Dilated cardiomyopathy occurs when the heart is enlarged (dilated) and the pumping chambers contract poorly (usually left side is worse than right). It can have genetic and infectious/environmental causes.

Researchers analyzed the clinical outcomes of children with dilated cardiomyopathy in the NHLBI Pediatric Cardiomyopathy Registry (PCMR) and divided them into two groups based upon year of diagnosis: Era One (1990-99) included 1,199 children; Era Two (2000-09) had 754 children. The median age at diagnosis was 1.6 years in the first group and 1.7 years in the second.

Researchers found:

  • Fifteen percent of patients (291) from both groups died without receiving a heart transplant.
  • Era Two patients were more likely to be treated with heart failure medications: ACE inhibitors (71 percent vs. 62 percent); beta blockers (24 percent vs. 6 percent); and diuretics (89 percent vs. 84 percent).
  • Era One patients were 1.5 times more likely to die than Era Two patients.
  • Heart transplantation rates were not significantly different between the two periods.

“Children with dilated cardiomyopathy have better survival in the more recent era, which appears to be associated with factors other than availability of transplantation as that was equally prevalent in both eras,” said Rakesh K. Singh, M.D., M.S. the study’s lead author.

Dilated cardiomyopathy accounts for about 55 percent of all childhood cardiomyopathies. It’s detected in about one per 175,000 children each year in the United States, according to the PCMR Database.

Rakesh K. Singh, M.D., M.S., pediatric cardiologist and medical director of the Pediatric Heart Failure and Transplantation Program at Rady Children’s Hospital, University of California, San Diego, California

Embargo: 9:45 a.m. CT/10:45 a.m. ET
Abstract 14784 (Room S503, Core 2)
Unhealthy behavior may be cross-generational

Children whose parents spend a lot of time sitting in front of a computer or other screen are more likely than other children to have excessive screen-time habits, as well as associated risks for heart and blood vessel disease, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2014.

“Screen time of children is significantly associated with parental screen time,” said Masao Yoshinaga, M.D., Ph.D., the study’s lead author and chief director of pediatrics at National Hospital Organization, Kagoshima Medical Center in Japan. “To reduce screen time in children, parents should reduce their screen time.”

Researchers also found the risk of obesity in boys’ linked to their fathers’ obesity, while girls’ obesity was linked with both parent’s obesity.

Participants included more than 1,000 healthy children —540 boys and 574 girls — between the ages of six and 12 years old in seven different regions of Japan.

The researchers measured participants’ height, weight, waist circumference, and heart and blood vessel risk factors, as identified by blood tests. Both participants and their parents wore a pedometer for a week and answered questionnaires about their screen-time and sleeping habits.

In addition to decreasing screen time, researchers suggest increased walking and more sleep may be a first-step approach for helping elementary school children to lower their future cardiovascular risk.

Masao Yoshinaga, M.D., Ph.D.; National Hospital Organization, Kagoshima Medical Center, Japan

Additional Resources:


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

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