Cardio Round-up: Atherosclerosis Increases after 40; Don’t Start Smoking Young; and More

This week’s coverage features two pieces on atrial fibrillation, plus a story on the advancement of atherosclerosis, and a warning about smoking while young. 

Atherosclerosis Can Kick into High Gear After 40

According to the results of this study, imaging was able to detect short-term (3-year) atherosclerosis in 41.5% of study participants, particularly in peripheral territories imaged. New onset atherosclerosis accounted for more than one third of total progression. Age, sex, dyslipidemia, hypertension, smoking, and family history of premature cardiovascular disease contributed to progression, and progression was also detected in almost 37% (36.5%) of participants categorized as low-risk.

Atherosclerosis Can Progress Rapidly After Age 40, Even in Healthy Individuals: PESA Substudy

Anemia Linked with Recurrent Post-Ablation AFib

This study of more than 2,600 participants revealed that during 23 months of follow-up, the authors reported that the rate of clinical recurrence of AFib was significantly higher in patients with anemia than those without, an association that persisted even after propensity-score matching for age, BMI, sex, AFib type, anticoagulation, smoking history, alcohol history, hypertension, diabetes, and prior stroke/transient ischemic attack, and other factors. The pattern was more significant in males, in patients with paroxysmal AFib, and in patients over the age of 60.

Anemia Shown As Independent Marker for Post-Ablation Atrial Fibrillation Recurrence

Mobile App Helps with AFib Screenings and Follow-up

Results of this analysis showed reduced rates of the composite outcome of ischemic stroke/systemic thromboembolism, death, and rehospitalization in the group using the app compared with the usual care group (1.9% vs. 6.0%; HR=0.39; 95% CI, 0.22 to 0.67; P<0.001). Rates of the secondary outcome of rehospitalization were also reduced in the intervention group compared with usual care (1.2% vs. 4.5%; HR=0.32; 95% CI, 0.17 to 0.60; P<0.001).

AFib Screening Using Mobile Health App and Mobile Devices Lowers Events, Rehospitalizations

Smoking Early in Life Makes It Less Likely You’ll Quit Later

This new research indicated that daily smoking in their 20s was directly related to smoking degree during adolescence and inversely related to the age at which smoking experience occurred (P for trend<0.001), with similar patterns continuing through the 40s. Cessation by the time participants were in their 40s was inverse to the degree of smoking during ages six thru 19, according to the data (P trend<0.001). Just 2.6% of study participants who started for the first time after their 20s smoked through their 40s.

Smoking During Teen Years Makes It Less Likely Cessation Will Occur Later in Life