Cardio Round-up: COVID Risk Factor for Stroke, Apple Watch Saves a Life, and More

Doc Credits Apple Watch with Identifying Heart Problem, Saving Life

This personal account, shared with Apple CEO Tim Cook, involved Dr. Donald W. Milne, of Antelope Valley Hospital. In it, he described how he owned a first-generation Apple Watch. According to Apple, the watch has been known for being able to detect atrial fibrillation (AFib). In this instance, however, the doctor credits the watch with detecting another underlying condition he was not aware of. “A long story short is that without the Apple Watch tracing, I would never have known I had disease in time to be able to intervene before having a potentially fatal heart attack,” Dr. Milne said. “The Apple Watch has clearly saved my life.”

Doctor Credits Apple Watch for Detecting Heart Irregularity, Saving His Life

Hypertension and Discrimination Associated in Black Americans, Analysis Suggests

The authors looked at everyday discrimination, lifetime exposure, and stress and how those forms were associated with gender, age, discrimination attribution, and coping responses. The study included 1,845 participants in the Jackson Heart Study (aged 21 to 85 years who had no hypertension at study baseline). The authors used Cox proportional regression for estimates of links between discrimination and incident hypertension. During follow-up, 52% of patients developed hypertension. Medium vs. low levels of discrimination (HR-1.49; 95% CI, 1.18 to 1.89) and also high vs. low levels of lifetime discrimination (HR=1.34; 95% CI, 1.07 to 1.68) were both linked with an elevated incidence of hypertension.

Lifetime Discrimination Linked with Higher Hypertension Risk for Black Americans

Does Revascularization Mean Lower Mortality Risk? Not Always.

Authors for this study identified 14 randomized controlled trials that included more than 14,800 patients who were followed out to a mean of 4.5 years (64,678 patient-years of follow-up). According to the results, revascularization was not associated with a reduction in the risk for death when compared with medical therapy alone (RR=0.99; 95% CI, 0.90 to 1.09). It was also associated with both reduced non-procedural myocardial infarction, and also procedural-related myocardial infarction; there was no difference in myocardial infarction overall (RR=0.93; 95% CI, 083 to 1.03). Revascularization was associated with a significant reduction in unstable angina and increased freedom from angina. No treatment-related differences were reported in the risk of heart failure or stroke.

Revascularization Not Linked with Decreased Mortality Risk in Some Patients: Analysis

COVID-19 Linked with Ischemic Strokes

Authors for this analysis identified 14 randomized controlled trials that included more than 14,800 patients who were followed out to a mean of 4.5 years (64,678 patient-years of follow-up). The results showed 46.3% of patients with acute ischemic stroke had COVID-19 vs. 18.3% for the controls (P=0.001). Following adjustment for age, sex, and risk factors, the authors reported that COVID-19 had a significant association with acute ischemic stroke (OR=3.9; 95% CI, 1.7 to 8.9; P=0.001). “To our knowledge, this is the first study to link SARS-Cov-2 with increased risk of imaging confirmed acute ischemic stroke when accounting for confounding risk factors,” the authors said.

COVID-19 Appears To Be Risk Factor for Ischemic Stroke