Cardio Round-up: Apple Watch AFib Trial; Hypertension in Pregnant Women; and More

In this week’s Cardio Round-up, Apple Watch prepares for a close-up in a new atrial fibrillation study, a look at excess risk in women with hypertension during pregnancy, a drug-eluting balloon shows superiority, and a new protocol for monitoring cardiac devices.

Excess Risk in Pregnant Women with Hypertension

A new study in JAMA Cardiology suggests that excess cardiovascular risk in women who experience hypertension during pregnancy is linked with traditional risk factors. The prospective study included a look at data on over 23,000 Norwegian women, almost 2,200 of whom had experienced hypertension during pregnancy at least once. The results indicated that women with hypertension surin pregnancy did indeed face elevated risk for cardiovascular disease, and that more than 75% of that risk was tied to conventional cardiovascular risk factors like body mass index and blood pressure.


Apple Watch Set to Star in AFib Study

The Apple Watch‘s EKG feature, shown in preliminary studies to be effective, but the real-world applications and implications of the technology are not yet known. In this piece, DocWire News talks with Dr. Sanket Dhruva, MD, an assistant professor at the University of California San Francisco about a 150-patient study he and a team are conducting in patients with atrial fibrillation receiving electric cardioversion. Patients will be assigned to gather data prior to cardioversion with either the Apple Watch or conventional care. Results will be available in 2020.


Drug-coated Balloon Bests Bare Metal

In the results of the newly-completed DEBUT trial, researchers publishing in The Lancet looked at 220 patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) with either a drug-coated balloon (paclitaxel or iopromide) or a bare metal stent, with the outcomes of interest set as major adverse cardiac events at nine months. The results showed no only noninferiority to a bare metal balloon, but superiority. There was one reported event in the drug-coated group compared with 15 in the bare metal group, and no acute vessel closures in the drug-eluting cohort. “The drug-coated balloon-only coronary intervention is a novel strategy to treat this difficult patient population. Comparison of this approach to the new generation drug-eluting stents is warranted in the future,” the researchers wrote.


Simple Protocol Most Effective for Device Surveillance

Researchers publishing in the European Heart Journal came up with a new and safe protocol for the observation of electronic cardiac devices like pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs). The two-year RM-ALONE study included 445 patients randomized to home monitoring only or home monitoring plus office evaluations every six months. The researchers reported no significant differences between study groups for the composite outcome of major adverse cardiac events. “The surveillance protocol common for single- and dual-chamber PMs and ICDs described in ‘RM-ALONE’, consisting of continuous RM and RI every 6 months, has proven to be safe for at least 2 years of follow-up and very efficient in terms of reducing hospital visits and staff workload,” they wrote.