No link between infant heart defects, prenatal antidepressant use, study says | Study links niacin treatment to increased risk for new-onset diabetes | Emerging Zika virus is a public health emergency, WHO says
February 1, 2016
ASNC SmartBrief
News for nuclear cardiology and cardiovascular imaging professionals

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No link between infant heart defects, prenatal antidepressant use, study says
A study in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry revealed that antidepressant use during pregnancy did not increase the risk of having a child with heart defects, but women who were obese, had diabetes, or had a history of drug and alcohol use were more likely to have children with heart defects. The research, which involved more than 200,000 mother-child pairs, showed these risk factors were more common among women who took antidepressants. Medical News Today (1/28), HealthDay News (1/28)
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Study links niacin treatment to increased risk for new-onset diabetes
Researchers found patients on niacin therapy had a 1.34 relative risk for new-onset diabetes, which translates to one case of new-onset diabetes per 43 people who were initially without the disease and were on niacin therapy for five years, compared with those assigned control therapy. The findings in the journal Heart, based on a meta-analysis of 11 randomized controlled trials involving 26,340 participants without diabetes at baseline, showed the persistence of a moderate risk for new-onset diabetes whether participants were on background statin therapy or combination therapy with laropiprant. Healio (free registration)/Cardiology Today (1/28)
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Other News
Medical FocusSponsored By
How an Ind. health center uses population health technology
HealthLinc Chief Information Officer Melissa Mitchell says the health center uses population health management software from the American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association and American Heart Association and has two staff members dedicated to data analysis related to patient needs. While more people have gained access to health care under the Affordable Care Act, many of them have heightened needs due to a lack of previous care. "Population health for us is identifying not just individual gaps in care, but also identifying those patients that have multiple comorbidities that are just getting insurance and need to navigate the landscape of health care right now," Mitchell said. (1/26)
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Medical center prepares to introduce outpatient monitoring program
Doctors and IT staff at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center are testing Apple's HealthKit infrastructure ahead of an initiative to monitor outpatient health via connected devices. The program will be rolled out first to 25 to 50 patients with congestive heart failure and hypertension. Data on weight and blood pressure will be sent through a secure network to the patients' EMR and patient portal. (1/28)
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Smartphone reminders may help boost activity, study says
People who got smartphone reminders encouraging them to get up and move around were 3% more active over one week than those in a control group that did not get reminders, researchers reported in the Journal of Medical Internet Research. Participants in the group that got reminders logged about 25 more minutes of activity per day than those in the control group, data showed. HealthDay News (1/27)
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New Study Reveals Excess Radiation in Nuclear Stress Tests
According to a recent study in JAMA, patients in the U.S. are exposed to more radiation from nuclear stress tests than patients in other countries. Achieve safer imaging for your patients with UltraSPECT technology for reductions of injected dose with a shorter time scan. Learn more
Regulatory & Policy
CMS proposes regional benchmarks for ACO program
CMS officials have released a proposed rule updating the methodology for evaluating the performance of Medicare Shared Savings Program participants. The rules are intended to increase the number of accountable care organizations and will base benchmarks on regional rather than national trends in the growth of health care spending. Healthcare Informatics online (1/29)
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ACA open enrollment is over for most
Doctor talking with a patient.
(Adam Berry/Getty Images)
Open enrollment for public exchanges closed Sunday night, marking the end of the first Affordable Care Act enrollment period that was not extended for the federal exchange, although some states pushed the deadline. California is allowing users who began the enrollment process by the deadline until Feb. 6 to finish, and Maryland said the recent snowstorm made enrollment more difficult for some, so residents now have until Feb. 5. There were no official numbers, but a CMS official said traffic on the federal exchange was increasing ahead of the deadline. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (1/31), The Washington Post (tiered subscription model)/The Associated Press (1/29), California Healthline (2/1)
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AUC online activity available
Our new online case review roundtable discussion, "Applying Appropriate Use Criteria in Clinical Practice: Lessons in Choosing Wisely," highlights the importance of discussing appropriate use criteria with referring physicians, the important role of clinical judgment and proposed strategies to reduce the number of rarely appropriate studies. The American Society of Nuclear Cardiology designates this enduring activity for a maximum of 0.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ and a maximum of 0.5 ARRT Category A credits for technologists. This activity is supported by an educational grant from Astellas Pharma, US, Inc. Register and view now for free!
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Open enrollment for ASNC 2016 membership
Receive important benefits, including the Journal of Nuclear Cardiology, discounted live and online CME/CE activities, advocacy efforts and much more. Support your career in the New Year by becoming a 2016 ASNC member today. Renew or join now!
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They that will not be counseled cannot be helped. ... If you will not hear Reason, she will surely rap your knuckles."
-- Benjamin Franklin,
US Founding Father
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