Cardio Round-up: Disparities in Comfort Care Interventions for Stroke Persist; Plus More

Disparities in the delivery of comfort care interventions in patients who have survived ischemic stroke persist, despite an increase in the application of the treatment overall. The researchers studied 10-year trends in the use of comfort care. Drawing on data from more than 4 million stroke encounters contained in the National Inpatient Sample from 2006 to 2015, the researchers focused on the population that had comfort care interventions (3.8%). According to the researchers, independent factors associated with receiving comfort care interventions included advanced age, female sex, white race, non-Medicare insurance, higher income, disease severity, comorbidity burden, and discharge from northeastern teaching hospitals.

Health Canada is currently conducting a safety review into tofacitinib following reports that the drug may be associated with serious heart-related issues and cancer. Tofacitinib (Pfizer), marketed as Xeljanz and Xeljanz XR, is indicated to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis (PsA), and ulcerative colitis (UC) in adult patients who have not responded well to other treatments. According to Health Canada, the review follows the results of a long-term clinical trial conducted by Pfizer that assessed tofacitinib at two doses—5 mg and 10 mg, both twice a day—in patients aged ≥50 years with RA who have at least one cardiovascular risk factor.

Current smoking is associated with an increased risk for coronary heart disease (CHD) in a cohort of African-Americans, according to a study published online in the Journal of the American Heart Association. Participants without a history of CHD were classified into current, former, or never smokers at baseline (2000 to 2004). Current smokers were further classified by smoking intensity  There were 548, 782, and 3,102 current, former, and never smokers, respectively, at baseline. The researchers found that 254 participants developed CHD during follow-up (median, 13.8 years). CHD risk was significantly higher in current versus never smokers after risk factor adjustment.

Black residents are underrepresented as participants in clinical trials to support the approval of cardiovascular drugs in the United States, according to a research letter published online in JAMA Network Open. The research team investigated the representation status of Black U.S. residents in crucial clinical trials supporting U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval (2006 through 2020) of cardiovascular drugs. found that the FDA approved 24 new molecular entity drugs for seven cardiovascular conditions during the study period. There were 187,294 participants enrolled in related clinical trials, including 5,396 Black participants and 155,694 White participants. Black participants represented 2.9% of total clinical trial participation.