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The Cardio NewsWire site hosts highlighted news stories from the field of cardiology. This page holds an archive of previous stories published within the last 90 days, after this time stories are removed from the site.

2013 EHJ Impact Factor higher
Cycling to ESC Congress Barcelona
Cardiac benefits of alcohol questioned
A new ablation catheter
ACCA certification exam
Aortic stenosis patients 1 year after intervention
Russian National Congress of Cardiology
AHA statement on evaluation of women with suspected IHD
New ACCA Research Prize in 2014
Acute Cardiovascular Care 2014
Ethica Award 2014 to Adnan Kastrati

IMPACT FACTOR OF THE EHJ GROWS FURTHER TO 14.7!

The European Heart Journal (EHJ) new Impact Factor for 2013 was just released a few days ago and reflects a further growth to 14.7.

As such, the top three journals in cardiovascular medicine, i.e. the EHJ, Circulation and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology are within a few decimal points of the ranking. The EHJ however, showed the highest increase from 8.9 in 2005 to 14.7 for the current year (2013) and has the lowest self-citation rate of all the top journals.

Together with the EHJ, most member journals of the ESC Journal family also increased their Impact Factor particularly, the European Journal of Heart Failure to 6.577 (from 5.247), the EHJ CV Imaging to 3.669 (from 2.394) and EuroIntervention to 3.750 (from 3.173).

TOUR DE COEUR, IN ITS FOURTH YEAR

Pedalling from Switzerland to the ESC Congress in Barcelona

A group of 30 cardiovascular health professionals will be cycling from Geneva to Barcelona during the week preceding this year’s ESC Congress. Starting on 24 August they will cover the 800 km to arrive on 29 August.

It is their fourth Tour de Coeur (tdc). Each year they bicycle to the city holding the ESC Congress starting in:

2011, from Bern to Paris 600 km

2012, from Lausanne to Munich 550 km

2013, from Basel to Amsterdam 800 km

The aim of the TDC is to call for public attention on cardiovascular disease problems, how to prevent and manage them especially through promoting regular physical activity. At the same time funds are raised to supplement the research funds of the Swiss Heart Foundation and Swiss Society of Cardiology.

In Barcelona there will be a brief welcome ceremony by ESC officials on the arrival of the Tour de Coeur team on Saturday August 29 at 3.30 pm, at the congress venue Fira Gran Via main entrance.

HEART HEALTH BENEFITS OF LIGHT DRINKING QUESTIONED

A reduction in alcohol consumption, even for light-to-moderate drinkers, could be linked to improved cardiovascular health, including a reduced risk of coronary heart disease, lower body mass index and blood pressure, according to new research published in The BMJ (1).

These latest findings challenge the results of previous observational studies which found that the consumption of light-to-moderate amounts of alcohol (12-25 units per week) may have a protective effect on cardiovascular health.

The research, led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine with University College London and University of Pennsylvania, looked at evidence from over 50 studies into the drinking habits and cardiovascular health of over 260,000 people. They found that individuals who carry a genetic variant which tends to lower their alcohol consumption have, on average, a more favourable cardiovascular profile. The authors say this suggests that a reduction in alcohol consumption, even for light-to-moderate drinkers, is beneficial for cardiovascular health.

Specifically, the researchers found that these individuals had on average a 10% lower risk of having coronary heart disease, lower blood pressure and a lower Body Mass Index.

Previous observational studies are also limited by the issue of distinguishing between self-reported non-drinkers, who may include those who have never consumed alcohol, and those who consumed alcohol in the past but have since stopped as a result of ill-health. Issues like these make it difficult for observational studies to assess the health effects of long-term alcohol consumption levels.

The current study’s results strongly suggest that reduction of alcohol consumption is beneficial for cardiovascular health, and is closer to establishing causality than observational studies, however further replication of similar genetic studies using large-scale prospective studies, such as the UK Biobank, will be needed.

The study was funded by the British Heart Foundation and the Medical Research Council and was an international collaboration that included 155 investigators from the UK, continental Europe, North America, and Australasia.

Reference 1. Paper reference: Michael V Holmes, Caroline E Dale et al. Association between alcohol and cardiovascular disease: mendelian randomisation analysis based on individual participant data. The BMJ. DOI: 10.1136/bmj.g4164 Link to paper: http://www.bmj.com/content/349/bmj.g4164

FLEXABILITY ABLATION CATHETER APPROVED

The FlexAbility™ Ablation Catheter from St Jude Medical received CE Mark approval at the end of July 2014.

The catheter combines an irrigated flexible catheter tip with a state-of-the-art handle and catheter design. The next-generation flexible tip technology was designed to help reduce complications associated with ablation procedures through its ability to bend and conform to the cardiac anatomy, decreasing the amount of pressure distributed to a patient’s endocardium while simultaneously increasing the stability of therapy delivery.

The FlexAbility catheter features an innovative handle and shaft that allows for improved manoeuvrability. The technology was designed to provide optimal irrigation flow over the entire tip for improved cooling. The first cases that used the FlexAbility catheter after approval took place at IdealMed Unidade Hospitalar de Coimbra in Coimbra, Portugal by Dr. Andrea Natale and at the Hôpital Haut-Lévèque in Bordeaux, France by Dr. Nicolas Derval.

Data produced by the FlexAbility ablation catheter are displayed on the EnSite™ Velocity System™, a cardiac mapping and navigation system. Once FlexAbility catheters are inserted in the cardiac chamber the EnSite system records electrical information from the heart and displays it in a three-dimensional anatomical model.

Another catheter, The TactiCath™ contact-force sensing irrigating ablation catheter is designed to give physicians a real-time, objective measure of the force applied to the heart wall during a cardiac ablation procedure and has been available in Europe since 2012.

The TactiCath catheter and FlexAbility ablation catheters are investigational devices in the United States.

REGISTRATION FOR ACCA EXAM NOW OPEN

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The Acute Cardiovascular Care Association certification exam will take place at the Acute Cardiovascular Care Congress, Geneva, 20 October 2014 at 11:30–14:30 in the auditorium.

The Certification process on Acute Cardiac Care has been designed to train professionals to deliver state of the art treatment for patients with severe cardiac illnesses. This process is composed of two parts: the written exam and the logbook part.

To prepare for the certification programme, a ‘How to’ session will take place during the Acute Cardiovascular Care congress immediately before the exam at 08:30 - 09:30 on 20 October.

Online registration for the examination is now open until 13 October 2014.

More information is available at:

http://www.escardio.org/communities/ACCA/education-research/certification/Pages/welcome.aspx

PATIENTS ARE THE SAME OR BETTER 1 YEAR AFTER AS INTERVENTION

A survey, published online in the European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, of 13,860 patients who had undergone interventions for aortic valve disease in Germany has revealed that over 80% were in the same or a better state of health one year after the intervention, and were satisfied with the procedural outcome.

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Prof. Friedrich-Wilhelm Mohr and colleagues used the German Aortic Valve Registry (GARY) to look at the 13,860 registered patients undergoing either AVR or TAVR procedures from 2011. Enrolment in the Registry was voluntary, and took place in 78 German centres. Baseline, procedural, and outcome data, including quality of life, were acquired up to one year post-intervention. Vital status at one year was known for just over 98% of patients.

One-year mortality was 6.7% (6,523) for conventional AVR patients and 11% (3,464) for patients who underwent AVR with CABG. One-year mortality 20.7% and 28% in transvascular TAVR and transapical TAVR procedures respectively. However, if patients were stratified into four risk groups, the highest-risk cohorts showed the same mortality at one year regardless of type of therapy.

Prof. Mohr said: “GARY is unique in that it includes all interventional and surgical treatment options for aortic valve disease that are currently available in Germany. Our aim was to obtain a comprehensive and contemporary picture of the current practice of aortic valve intervention therapy and to create an independent database that will allow for long-term follow-up of those patients.”

“The one-year results of the German Aortic Valve Registry confirm in a large ‘real world’, all-comer patient population that conventional surgery in operable patients’ yields excellent results in all risk groups. TAVR is being performed in a significant proportion of cases and is a good alternative for high-risk patients. Continuation of the registry and long-term follow-up will help to develop robust future risk models to predict patient outcomes for each treatment option in patients with aortic stenosis.”

Source: European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery

RUSSIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS OF CARDIOLOGY

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The Russian National Congress of Cardiology will take place in Kazan, 24-26 September, 2014.

The Congress scientific programme will include the most prominent modern achievements in prevention, diagnostics and treatment of cardiovascular diseases. An interdisciplinary approach to the problems is of exceptional value, as it fully represents the current trend to integrate knowledge in medical science. No less important is a strong educational component of plenary sessions, symposia, clinical discussions, scientific seminars, round tables, and master classes.

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It is not by chance that the Congress will be held in Kazan where its famous scientific and clinical school contributed much to the reduction of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in Russia. The capital of the Republic of Tatarstan will warmly welcome the Congress participants. The guests will come to know the thousand years of Tartar history and outstanding cultural values of one of the most beautiful Russian cities.

Main Topics:

• Improvement in Cardiology Care
• Fundamental Research
• New Medical Technologies
• Pharmacotherapy of Cardiovascular Diseases
• Congenital Cardiovascular Disorders
• Pulmonary Circulation Disorders
• Diabetes Mellitus and Cardiovascular Diseases
• Comorbidity in Cardiology
• Cardiac Problems in Perinatology and Paediatrics • Interventional Cardiology
• Surgical Methods in Cardiology
• Heart Transplantation
• Cardiac Rehabilitation
• Prevention of Cardiovascular Diseases
• Nursery Care Organization

The scientific program includes keynote lectures, plenary sessions, scientific symposiums, workshops, poster sessions, a Young Cardiologist Award session, as well as training sessions for practicing doctors.

During the Congress, the Russian Society of Cardiology Prize awarding ceremony will take place.

The final scientific program will be available at: www.scardio.ru 2 months prior to the event.

AHA STATEMENT ON EVALUATION OF WOMEN WITH SUSPECTED IHD

The American Heart Association (AHA) has published a statement on diagnostic testing for suspected ischaemic heart disease (IHD) in symptomatic women. The statement focuses on identifying non-obstructive and obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD).

Sex specific data are provided on the diagnostic and prognostic accuracy of numerous tests including exercise treadmill, ECG, stress echocardiography and stress cardiac MRI.

Gaps in knowledge about the assessment of IHD risk in women are identified.

The statement says that women are more likely than men to be diagnosed with non-obstructive coronary heart disease. Women previously diagnosed as having false positive stress tests may have non-obstructive coronary disease, placing them at risk for myocardial infarction. The statement is intended for women who have the symptoms of IHD, including the classic symptoms of left sided chest pain/pressure, jaw pain, upper back pain, widespread “indigestion,” and other symptoms not localised to the chest.

Recommendations include:

• Women with suspected IHD should discuss the benefits and risks of diagnostic tests with their healthcare provider – for example, a woman of child-bearing age may want to avoid tests that require exposure to radiation
• Healthcare professionals should consider whether a woman is at low, intermediate, or high risk for IHD when choosing the appropriate diagnostic tests
• Health care professionals, for the first time, should consider a woman’s functional ability to determine the type of diagnostic testing needed
• Women with the lowest risk should not undergo diagnostic testing; women at slightly higher risk should first undergo a treadmill exercise ECG; and symptomatic women with warning signs, including functional disability, might be candidates for cardiac MRI or cardiac CT angiography.

The document was published online on 16 June 2014

NEW IN 2014: ACCA RESEARCH PRIZE

ACC14
The Acute Cardiovascular Care Association is offering all scientists and clinicians the opportunity to gain recognition and win the new ACCA Research Prize in Acute Cardiovascular Care. The winner will receive a 3000 Euro prize, in addition to other benefits and three runners up will also be rewarded. Find out more & apply

Acute Cardiovascular Care 2014 takes place 18-20 October 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland.

ACC 2014 THEME: THE HIGHLY VULNERABLE PATIENT

ACC14
Acute Cardiovascular Care 18-20 October in Geneva, the meeting place for scientific exchange, fruitful discussions and endless opportunities to network and learn about the latest developments in your speciality.

This year's theme is The Highly Vulnerable Patient, and the Congress Committee has carefully constructed a programme that is rich in educational and state of the art content. Here are a few highlights from the scientific programme, not to be missed:
NEW! Sceptic's Corner
The vulnerable STEMI patient
Cooling after out of hospital cardiac arrest
Pre-hospital diagnosis and management of cardiac emergencies
NEW! First Aid for lay people, a joint session with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
Emergent situations in patients on new oral anticoagulants
• NEW! Hotline Session - Submission will soon be open for researchers wishing to present their latest clinical trials and research.

ADNAN KASTRATI RECEIVES ETHICA AWARD 2014

Each year the EuroPCR Board recognises an outstanding physician for their contribution to cardiovascular intervention as teacher, scientist, care provider or pioneer with the presentation of the Ethica Award.

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The 2014 Ethica Award was presented to Adnan Kastrati at the EuroPCR Congress in Paris by William Wijns the EuroPCR chairman who commented, “His academic track record is amazing. The awardee belongs to the select group of cardiologists who have published over 500 original articles and numerous outstanding editorials. He is considered a top level trialist and reviewer by many reference journals and funding bodies”.

In his research, Kastrati has focussed on optimising treatment strategies in patients with acute coronary syndrome and developing new drug-coated stents with improved safety and efficacy profile. He has also explored the optimisation of adjunctive peri-procedural antithrombotic therapy and the evaluation of prognosis based on genetic and biochemical markers.

Adnan Kastrati is currently Professor of Cardiology and Head of the Catheterization Laboratory at Deutsches Herzzentrum, and Director of the ISAR Research Centre, Munich, Germany.

Accepting the award Kastrati said, “I see this award not only for me, but the whole ISAR team. It has been a great time to work with all these people”.

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