Today is Valentine’s Day and rather than serving up typical heartwarming sentiments, we wanted to use this opportunity to talk about heart health truths and myths.
- Fish oil can reduce the risk of major cardiovascular (CV) events by 25%...
But only if it’s pure omega-3 icosapent ethyl (Vascepa®), which was demonstrated in the Amarin-sponsored REDUCE-IT trial. Vascepa® is not the kind of fish oil that can be found at your local GNC; it’s available via prescription only.
- Bucking the national price trend, a cholesterol-lowering drug price was slashed by 60%
PSCK9 inhibitors are a promising class of drugs that can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, but the costs are enormous—75% of patients who get a prescription never fill it. Amgen decided to discount Repatha® to help get more patients on the treatment they need. Kudos to Amgen.
- The risks outweigh the benefits for daily aspirin use in patients without CV disease
Daily aspirin use is established in patients with high CV risk, but what about patients with no risk? Results from the ASCEND trial funded by the British Heart Foundation are mixed: There’s a 12% reduction in the risk of serious vascular events, but you also get a 29% increase in the risk for major bleeding. Yikes!
- Next-generation diabetes drugs raise the bar with important CV outcomes
SGLT2 inhibitors (eg, INVOKANA® and Jardiance®) and GLP-1RAs (eg, Victoza®) are classes of diabetes drugs that have shown an ability to not only improve blood sugar control, but they can also reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. It’s not good enough anymore to simply reduce your A1C. The outcomes of the heart matter too.
- The ECG monitor in the Apple Watch gets cleared by the FDA
The Apple Watch 4 is a cool tech gadget for the masses, and it’s also a serious medical device?! The FDA cleared the ECG and irregular rhythm functions of the watch. It can diagnose atrial fibrillation and is 98% accurate according to the Apple Heart Study. Watch out health care! The tech invasion has begun.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John Tran, PhD, Associate Medical Director
Flies his geek flag proudly. Revels in the data, delivers it up in style
ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR
Matthew Harnois, Integrated Studio Artist
Talented visual artist, marches to the beat of his own 12-piece drum kit