Cardio Round-up: American Indians and AFib Risk; Benefits from Cardiac Rehab; and More

This week’s edition features a look at heightened risk for atrial fibrillation in a Native American population, a study looking at the benefits of cardiac rehabilitation after valve surgery, an evolocumab analysis, and a story on how college football players who experience rapid weight gain are at higher cardiovascular risk. 

Native Americans in California Show Higher AFib Risk

A cohort of American Indians living in California were found to have an elevated risk for incident atrial fibrillation than whites or other minority groups, according to a new a new research letter published in Circulation. The analysis included over 101,000 American Indian participants. ““To the best of our knowledge, only one previous study has examined American Indians and AFib in comparison with other groups,” the researchers wrote in their analysis.

American Indians in California Show Higher Risk for Incident AFib

Cardiac Rehabilitation After Valve Surgery: Hospitalization and Mortality Benefits?

The benefits of enrolling in a cardiac rehabilitation program after undergoing heart valve surgery include reduced hospitalization and even mortality, according to a new study. The analysis included over 41,000 Medicare beneficiaries who underwent valve surgery within the previous year. Among the funding that cardiac rehab was associated with reduced hospitalizations and mortality, they also reported racial and ethnic dis[parities in enrollment rates. “Cardiac rehabilitation is associated with decreased 1-year cumulative hospitalization and mortality risk after valve surgery,” wrote the researchers. “These results invite further study on barriers to cardiac rehab enrollment in this population.”

Cardiac Rehabilitation Decreases Hospitalization Post-Valve Surgery

Evolocumab Plus Hypercholesterolemia Therapy Was Well-tolerated

The results of the OSLER-1 study, published in JACC, showed that evolocumab, when added to standard hypercholesterolemia therapy, was safe, efficacious, and well-tolerated. The study included more than 1,200 patients (1,100 in the efficacy cohort), who saw their LDL-C decrease by more than 50% at two, three, four, and five years with the combined regimen. “The OSLER-1 trial demonstrated consistently excellent LDL-C–lowering efficacy, tolerance, and safety of evolocumab, with no neutralizing antibodies detected, throughout the longest-duration study of a PCSK9 inhibitor reported to date,” the researchers concluded. “Similar long-term follow-up studies should include other novel therapies as comparators to better understand the factors that contribute most to sustained benefit over time.”

Evolocumab Well-tolerated as Add-on for Hypercholesterolemia Therapy

College Football Players at Elevated Risk for Cardiovascular Risk from Weight Gain

Former U.S. college football athletes were had a higher risk for cardiovascular problems than the general population due in part to the rapid weight gain and fluctuations football players often undergo, according to a new JAMA Cardiology study. A tweet from JAMA Cardiology said that “a maladaptive cardiovascular phenotype emerged and progressed over several years of collegiate U.S. football participation,” based on the results of the analysis. “We started studying football players 15 years ago and over a series of papers have looked at single issues — weight gain, heart structure, and high blood pressure,” the lead study author said in a press release about the study. “Those papers have started to tell a story, but this is the first study to tie it all together.”

Many College Football Players Have an Increased Cardiovascular Risk Due to Rapid Weight Gain