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News

Cardiologists present findings that explore heart treatments, disparities in outcomes

Duke University Pratt School Of Engineering : 17 November, 2004  (Technical Article)
Duke medical research was on heavy display at this week's scientific session of the American Heart Association, and much of it attracted wide scientific and media attention.
Duke medical research was on heavy display at this week's scientific session of the American Heart Association, and much of it attracted wide scientific and media attention.

Here are some of the highlights:

* While the placement of stents in newly reopened coronary arteries has been shown to reduce the need for repeat angioplasty procedures, they have no impact on mortality over the long term.

African-American heart attack patients have a 1.7 times higher death rate than Caucasians one year after being treated in the hospital.
A Duke study identifies how exercise promotes skeletal muscle changes that can result in new blood vessels.

The closer hospitals adhere to national guidelines for treating potential heart attack patients, the greater the decline in their mortality rates.

* Treating heart attack patients with morphine has been standard practice for a long time, but Duke researchers found these patients have an almost 50 percent higher risk of dying.

While doctors have been quick to start using new drug-eluting stents, but a study shows that their use has not been universally uniform among patients receiving them.

Eight months after studies showed that a large group of heart failure patients can live longer with implantable cardioverter-defibrillator therapy, Duke researchers presented additional data demonstrating that ICDs are also a cost-effective therapy.

The incidence of cardiac tamponade, an infrequent but potentially fatal event following a heart attack, has not increased despite the widespread use of clot-busting and blood-thinning medications.

Heart failure patients have better outcomes if they take their pills, even it the pill is a placebo. Duke researchers say they can't entirely explain the results.

A variant of a transcription factor crucial to the regulation of a cell's metabolism is associated with decreased pump function in heart patients.
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