Cardio Round-Up: Heart Transplants from Past Drug Users Safe; The ABC’s of CVD Prevention; and More

Patients Who Receive Heart Transplants from Donors Who Use Illicit Drugs Have Unaffected Survival Rates

Heart transplant recipients have unaffected survival rates if they receive a transplant from an organ donor who used illicit drugs or died due to an overdose, according to two research studies published in two of the American Heart Association’s journals. These findings will increase the availability of hearts due to the ever-rising rate of overdose deaths in the US.

AFib in Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients Associated with a Two-Fold Risk of Dying

A study shows that about one in ten hospitalized patients with SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) have atrial fibrillation (AFib), and these patients suffer more comorbidities and twice the risk of mortality. The findings were published in Medicina Clinica. This retrospective observational study consisted of 517 patients older than 15 years of age, who were all at hospital between March 10, 2020 and April 15, 2020, with definitive diagnosis COVID-19. Speaking on the results, the researchers wrote: “Atrial fibrillation appears in 10% of hospitalized patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection. These patients present more comorbidities and a two-fold increase in hospital mortality. Atrial fibrillation is not an independent prognostic factor.”

Testosterone Therapy for Hypogonadism May Cut Risk for CV Events

Testosterone therapy may reduce the risk for cardiovascular events in men with low testosterone and other cardiovascular risk factors, according to a study presented at the annual congress of the European Association of Urology. This analysis included 412 men who received parenteral TU for up to 12 years and 393 men who opted against TU treatment (controls). The men, who were considered at high risk for heart attack or stroke owing to family history, blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, or weight, were followed for 10 years. The researchers found that in the TU therapy group, 16 died, but none suffered a heart attack or stroke. In the control group, 74 men died, 70 had a heart attack, and 59 suffered a stroke.

The ABC’s of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention

For most of us, the “ABC’s” invoke thoughts of nursery songs and alphabet soup. But for Dr. Roger Blumenthal, Professor of Cardiology at Johns Hopkins University and Director of the Ciccarone Center for Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, the “ABC’s” are the roadmap for healthy living. Dr. Blumenthal outlined the ABC’s of cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention at the American Society of Preventive Cardiology’s (ASPC) 2021 Virtual Summit.