Cardio Round-Up: AFib Risk in Patients with COVID Pneumonia; and More

Who’s Dying Young in U.S. From Heart Attacks?

Fewer Americans are dying prematurely from heart attack compared with years ago, but progress has stalled out in the past decade, new research shows.

For the study, the researchers examined 20 years of data on heart attack deaths among Americans under 65 — deaths that are considered “premature.”

The bigger picture looked good: Between 1999 and 2019, those deaths declined by 52%.

However, after a decade of fairly rapid decline, that progress slowed down after 2011: Up until then, premature heart attack deaths had dropped by 4.3% per year, on average. After 2011, that decelerated to 2.1% per year.

And inside that overarching trend, the study found, certain groups of Americans were at particular risk of dying young from a heart attack.

Black Americans had higher death rates than their white counterparts, while people living in rural areas died at a higher rate than urban dwellers.

The findings were published Dec. 22 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Improved Venous Thromboembolism Prophylaxis in Renal–Impaired Patients

In a study, published in the European Journal of Hospital Pharmacy, researchers examined the impact of a clinical pharmacist intervention on improving the prescribing of venous thromboembolism (VTE) prophylaxis in hospitalized patients with renal impairment (RI).

Researchers Dr. Naemeh Nikvarz and Dr. Zahra Seyedi, from the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the Kerman University of Medical Sciences in Kerman, Iran, observed that a clinical pharmacist using risk assessment models (RAMs) can improve the amount of VTE prophylaxis prescribed in hospitalized patients with RI who have a high risk of developing VTE.

Galectin-3 Linked to Severity of Peripheral Artery Disease Symptoms

Galectin-3 (Gal-3) is a biomarker associated with fibrosis and vascular inflammation and has been linked to chronic kidney disease (CKD) and peripheral artery disease (PAD), though its relevance in the latter is unclear. Martin Ursli, MD, and colleagues examined serum and urinary Gal-3 and found an association with long-term mortality and severity of peripheral artery disease symptoms in patients.

Their report, published in Atherosclerosis, noted that “Gal-3 was not predictive of long-term mortality but seems to be a marker of PAD severity in patients without critical limb ischemia.”

Atrial Fibrillation Risks in Patients with COVID-19 Pneumonia

Recent evidence suggests that atrial fibrillation (AF) has an epidemiological association with coronavirus virus disease 2019 (COVID-19), but the outcomes of AF in patients with COVID-19 is unclear. Ming-Yue Chen, MD, from the Department of Geriatrics at the Second Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University in Nanjing, China, and colleagues aimed to describe the full impact of AF on the prognosis and risks of patients with COVID-19 pneumonia.