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Contact: Beth Casteel, 202-375-6275, bcasteel@acc.org

  • December 13, 2007 Long-Term Treatment After Drug-Eluting Stents is Key Dual antiplatelet therapy is extremely important after implanting a drug-eluting stent to open a blocked coronary artery, according to updated joint Guidelines for Percutaneous Coronary Intervention from the American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association and Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions. The guidelines, an update of the 2005 recommendations, are in online issues of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, Journal of the American College of Cardiology and Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions: Journal of the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions. In PCI, also known as angioplasty, a thin catheter is inserted in an artery in the inner thigh and threaded up to the heart to the blockage causing the heart attack or severe obstruction causing symptoms of angina. A small balloon is then inflated to push back the blockage and restore blood flow to the heart. A wire mesh tube called a stent is usually put in place to prop open the artery and prevent re-blocking. Read More
  • November 27, 2007 Progress in Coronary Disease Death Rates Grinds to Near Halt in Young Adults Before you plop in front of the television for a day of football, pizza and beer, you might consider this: New research shows that in young adults, decades of hard-won progress in reducing the risk of heart disease appears to be stalling, as recent death rates from coronary disease remain almost unchanged in young men and may even be increasing in women. The research, conducted at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, appears in the November 27, 2007, issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC). Read More
  • October 25, 2007 American College Of Cardiology And Unitedhealthcare Partner To Launch Pilot Program To Advance Appropriate Use Of Cardiac Imaging The American College of Cardiology (ACC) today announced a pilot program, sponsored in part by UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) company, that will assist physicians in the appropriate use of a commonly performed test -- Single-Photon Emission Computed Tomography Myocardial Perfusion Imaging (SPECT MPI) -- used to evaluate patients with known or suspected coronary artery disease. The ACC, along with the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (ASNC), published Appropriateness Criteria for SPECT imaging two years ago; ACC is now focused on assisting physicians in the implementation of the Criteria aimed at improving test utilization. This program represents the first time ACC has partnered with a health plan to implement Appropriateness Criteria, which provide expert physician opinion on the use of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures with regard to cardiovascular disease. Jack Lewin, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of the American College of Cardiology, said, “As the professional home of our nation’s cardiologists, the ACC is in a unique position to provide our members with reliable information and assessment of their clinical performance. We are confident that cardiologists will use the insights from this initiative to help maximize their skills and effectiveness. We are appreciative that UnitedHealthcare has stepped forward to provide resources and support for this important pilot.” Read More
  • October 19, 2007 New ESC/ACC/AHA/WHF Universal Definition of Myocardial Infarction released A long-awaited consensus on new universal definition of Myocardial Infarction was released today. As with the previous consensus committee, the Global Task Force was composed of a number of working groups in order to refine the ESC/ACC criteria for the diagnosis of myocardial infarction from various perspectives. With this goal in mind, the working groups were composed of experts within the field of biomarkers, ECG, imaging, interventions, clinical investigations, public policy and implementation. The revised definition will be published simultaneously in the European Heart Journal (ESC), the Journal of American College of Cardiology (ACC), and Circulation in the fall of 2007. Read More
  • October 11, 2007 Breast Cancer Awareness Calls for Cardiovascular Awareness Women who overcome breast cancer have every reason to celebrate. But a heart filled with joy may also be a heart damaged by life-saving cancer therapies, a growing body of research shows. “Most breast cancer therapies today – including new treatments still under development – increase long-term risk of cardiovascular disease,” said Lee W. Jones, Ph.D., an exercise physiologist and assistant professor in the Department of Surgery at Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC. “We don’t know exactly how large the added risk is, but we believe it’s substantial. Recent gains in breast-cancer-specific survival could be markedly diminished by an increase in the long-term risk of cardiovascular death.” Read More
  • September 27, 2007 American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology joint scientific statement: Guidelines help patients reduce risk of cardiac event before surgery People with heart disease should take special precautions before undergoing any kind of surgery, even noncardiac surgery, to reduce their risk of a cardiac event, according to new joint guidelines from the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association. The guidelines – an update of those published in 2002 –provide a framework for considering a person’s risk of a cardiac event in the “perioperative” (during or immediately after) period of noncardiac surgery. Read More
  • September 20, 2007 New Standards Aim to Boost Participation in Cardiac Rehabilitation No one would even think of hurling oneself from an airplane without a parachute, nor walking a tightrope for the first time without a safety net. But the majority of patients who have a heart attack or other serious cardiac illness start a new, high-risk stage in life without the support of cardiac rehabilitation—even though such programs provide a safety net as effective as leading cardiovascular medications. It appears in the October 2, 2007, issues of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) and Circulation and the September/October issue of the Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention (JCRP). It is also available on the websites of each of the collaborating organizations (www.aacvpr.org, www.acc.org, and www.americanheart.org). Read More
  • August 13, 2007 Pot bellies linked to early signs of cardiovascular disease Most of us rely on the bathroom scale to tell us when middle-aged spread is getting out of hand. It might be better to keep a tape measure at the ready. New research shows that adding several inches to the waist—even if body weight still falls within a normal range—markedly increases the risk of unhealthy plaque build-up in the arteries of the heart and the rest of the body. The research, conducted at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, appears in the August 21, 2007, issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC). Read More
  • August 6, 2007 ACC/AHA Release Revised Guidelines for the Management of Unstable Angina (UA) and Non-ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (NSTEMI) The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association have jointly released revised Guidelines for the Management of Patients with Unstable Angina (UA)/Non-ST- Elevation Myocardial Infarction (NSTEMI). Major changes to the guidelines include: suggesting an initial non-invasive set of preliminary tests, such as a stress test, echocardiogram or radionuclide angiogram; recommending the use of anti-platelet therapy clopidogrel for at least one year after receiving a drug-eluting stent; highlighting the importance of more intense lipid and blood pressure control; and advising cessation of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) use for all UA/NSTEMI patients during hospitalization. The ability to detect and treat these conditions earlier has greatly improved over the last several years. “New evidence from pivotal trials over the past five years has been gathered together in these guidelines to give physicians up-to-date and detailed information on which treatment options will provide the best possible outcomes for their patients,” said Nanette K. Wenger, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.H.A., a member of the guidelines writing committee and professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. “This is a major educational document for health professionals, and I trust it will become part of the core teaching for medical students, residents and graduate physicians.” Read More
  • August 2, 2007 American College of Cardiology Statement on the Children’s Health and Medicare Protection Act The Children’s Health and Medicare Protection Act of 2007 (CHAMP Act) (H.R. 3162) passed the House with a vote of 225-204 Wednesday evening. The American College of Cardiology (ACC) urges lawmakers to address serious concerns about this bill’s proposed new physician payment structure.Unfortunately, however, the bill also includes a new payment structure based on a system of separate expenditure targets that are arbitrarily set without taking into account the appropriate growth of services provided to Medicare beneficiaries. This type of structure would only perpetuate the flawed payment system. Many services that are critical to the everyday care of cardiovascular patients would be unfairly penalized under a separate expenditure target system unless the targets take into account appropriate growth. Read More
  • July 24, 2007 Study Finds Association Between Low Cholesterol Levels and Cancer Millions of Americans take statins to lower their cholesterol, but how low should you go? Many scientific studies support the benefits of lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and achieving low LDL cholesterol levels is one of the most important steps in preventing heart disease. New research, however, provides evidence for an association between low LDL levels and cancer risk. The authors of the study, published in the July 31, 2007, issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC), set out to understand how and why statins cause side effects, particularly damage to the liver and muscle cells. The study findings support taking multiple medications rather than high-dose statins to minimize those side effects. The researchers did not expect to find the increased cancer risk (one additional incident per 1,000 patients) from low LDL levels, and additional studies have already begun to investigate this potential risk further. A key component in future studies will be to confirm the risk and to identify whether the risk may be a side effect of statins or just low LDL. Read More
  • July 3, 2007 Blood Protein Offers Clues to Heart Attack in Seemingly Healthy People We’ve all wondered how a seemingly healthy person can actually be at high risk for heart disease or a heart attack. Now researchers have uncovered a new clue to this mystery. The culprit: myeloperoxidase (MPO), a protein secreted by white blood cells that both signals inflammation and releases a bleach-like substance that damages the cardiovascular system. Although MPO is intended to kill harmful bacteria, it may instead inflame the body’s arteries and cripple protective substances in the blood, according to a study published in the July 10, 2007, issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC). As a result, long before conventional risk factors set off alarms, elevated MPO levels signal that harmful plaque has been building up. Read More
  • June 15, 2007 Appropriateness Criteria for Performance of Cardiac Ultrasound In an effort to ensure quality cardiac ultrasound imaging for all patients and to avoid unnecessary use of the technology, the American College of Cardiology Foundation (ACCF) and the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) in partnership with the American College of Emergency Physicians, American Society of Nuclear Cardiology, Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography, and the Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance today released Appropriateness Criteria for two of the most commonly used cardiac ultrasound techniques – transthoracic (TTE) and transesophageal (TEE) echocardiography – just in time for the 18th Annual Scientific Sessions of ASE in Seattle, Washington. Echocardiography has long been recognized in the broader medical community as a valuable diagnostic test for the evaluation of cardiac structure and function. As both TTE and TEE are relatively easy on the patient, low risk (no radiation is involved), and provide comprehensive diagnostic information, the opportunity exists for inappropriate use in patients who may not benefit from having the exam. Fourteen scenarios addressed in the Criteria were found to be inappropriate reasons for the performance of the TTE/TEE study. Read More
  • June 14, 2007 Aerobic Exercise is Best Fitness Program for Patients With Stable Heart Failure Countless exercise programs claim to trim the thighs, abs and buttocks, but how many offer to reshape a flabby heart? According to new research, aerobic exercise does just that for patients with stable heart failure, literally turning an enlarged heart into a trimmer. Countless exercise programs claim to trim the thighs, abs and buttocks, but how many offer to reshape a flabby heart? According to new research, aerobic exercise does just that for patients with stable heart failure, literally turning an enlarged heart into a trimmer, more efficient organ for pumping blood throughout the body. Read More
  • May 24, 2007 Statement from the American College of Cardiology, American Diabetes Association and American Heart Association Related to NEJM article, “Effect of Rosiglitazone on the Risk of Myocardial Infarction and Death from Cardiovascular Causes” Today the New England Journal of Medicine published an article entitled, “Effect of Rosiglitazone on the Risk of Myocardial Infarction and Death from Cardiovascular Causes.” The conclusions of this analysis of previous studies of rosiglitazone (brand name, Avandia) suggest that this oral agent used to treat type 2 diabetes may be associated with increased risk of heart attack and death from cardiovascular causes. According to ACC, ADA and AHA, this study deserves serious thought and follow-up. As estimated here, the overall level of the risk associated with rosiglitazone appears to be small, but nonetheless one that must be considered carefully. Read More
  • May 24, 2007 American College of Cardiology Selects Joseph S. Green, Ph.D., as Chief Learning Officer The American College of Cardiology has selected Joseph S. Green, Ph.D., to serve as its Chief Learning Officer. As the ACC’s newest vice president, Dr. Green will be responsible for shaping the College’s continuing medical education (CME) curriculum and directing the implementation of the ACC’s educational mission. Dr. Green was most recently founder and president of Professional Resource Network, Inc., a CME consulting firm. PRN worked with more than 300 national and international CME organizations, including several specialty societies, medical schools, communication companies, pharmaceutical companies, voluntary associations and hospital systems. Read More
  • May 22, 2007 Anxiety Hikes Risk of Heart Attack, Death in Patients With Heart Disease Worried sick: We’ve all heard the phrase, but now there’s new evidence that might really knit your brow. New research shows that highly anxious patients with heart disease face nearly double the risk of heart attack or death when compared to those with a more serene outlook on life. Patients whose anxiety intensified over time were in greatest peril, while those who started out highly anxious but later found inner calm markedly reduced their risk. The research appears in the May 22, 2007 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC). Read More
  • March 26, 2007 Dr. James Dove Elected President of the American College of Cardiology James T. Dove, M.D., F.A.C.C., a clinical professor of medicine, Division of Cardiology, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and founding member of Prairie Cardiovascular Consultants, was elected president of the American College of Cardiology (ACC) at the 56th Annual Scientific Session of the ACC, held in New Orleans, La. His years of service to the College include terms as chair of the ACC Board of Governors and chair of the Budget and Finance Investment Committee. Dove has been in practice in Springfield, Ill., since 1973. He has been actively involved in clinical research and serves on the Board of Directors of the Prairie Education and Research Cooperative. Dove is a past governor for the American College of Physicians, Downstate Illinois Chapter and received the Laureate Award from the Illinois Chapter of the American College of Physicians in 1992. He was awarded Mastership in the American College of Physicians in April 2002. He also served as president and governor of the ACC Illinois Chapter. Read More
  • March 14, 2007 ACC, BCS Partner to Offer Cardiosource and JACC Online to BCS Members The American College of Cardiology (ACC) and British Cardiovascular Society (BCS) announce an exciting partnership that will offer BCS members convenient, comprehensive cardiovascular information online. The ACC-BCS partnership provides BCS members access to Cardiosource and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) Online. Cardiosource is the ACC’s online portal for cardiovascular news, information and education. Users can access Clinical Collections, which consolidate a variety of relevant information on a given cardiovascular topic, or Expert Opinions on hot controversies from the thought leaders in cardiovascular medicine. Cardiosource provides access to key textbooks, a massive database of images, case studies, trials, clinical tools and more. Read More
  • February 19, 2007 Multislice CT Speeds the Diagnosis of Chest Pain in the Emergency Room Imagine coming to the hospital with crushing chest pain, only to find that emergency room doctors are uncertain whether you’re having a heart attack. The electrocardiogram (ECG) is inconclusive and the blood tests that detect heart damage are normal. The only thing to do is wait, hour after hour, as doctors repeat the tests several times and scrutinize the results for diagnostic clues. Soon, the wait may be much shorter. According to research reported in the February 27, 2007, issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC), a computed tomography (CT) scan of the heart can quickly detect whether there are fatty blockages or pockets of rock-hard calcium in the arteries of the heart—clues that coronary artery disease may be the cause of the chest pain. Read More
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