Blood pressure on the high end of normal is linked to heart trouble | Study: Nearly 68M Americans are obese, 65M overweight | DOD, VA set guidelines for statin use, CVD screening
June 25, 2015
PCNA SmartBrief
News about cardiovascular disease prevention and management

Heart Health News
Blood pressure on the high end of normal is linked to heart trouble
A study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that young adults whose blood pressure is slightly elevated may be more likely to develop cardiac dysfunction, particularly associated with the left ventricle, in middle age. Participants were 18 to 30 years old at the start of the 25-year study, and those whose blood pressure fell within the normal blood pressure range but on the higher end had more heart problems later in life. "Our findings provide further support for the importance of good risk factor control early in life," said researcher Dr. Joao Lima. HealthDay News (6/22)
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Study: Nearly 68M Americans are obese, 65M overweight
Researchers found that almost 35% of men and 37% of women, or nearly 32 million men and 36 million women, in the U.S. are obese. The study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, also found that another 40% of men and 30% of women, or over 36 million and almost 29 million men and women, respectively, are classified as overweight. Experts note that obesity, a risk factor for diabetes, heart disease and hypertension, is one of the biggest factors that will contribute to a shorter life expectancy for this generation. HealthDay News (6/22)
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DOD, VA set guidelines for statin use, CVD screening
New dyslipidemia management guidelines from the Veterans Affairs and Defense departments recommend screening for cardiovascular disease in men older than 35 and women older than 45 and recommends against routine dyslipidemia screening beyond CVD risk assessments. The guidelines also recommend that moderate doses of statins be prescribed for secondary prevention before higher doses are prescribed. MedPage Today (free registration) (6/23)
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Other News
Emerging Trends
New antiplatelet agent receives FDA approval
The Medicines Co.'s Kengreal, or cangrelor, has been approved by the FDA to prevent blood clots among patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention. The approval was supported by trial data showing the drug decreased the risk of complications and heart attack compared with Plavix, or clopidogrel. Reuters (6/22), Medscape (free registration) (6/22)
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Many heart attack survivors don't get implantable defibrillators, study finds
A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that many older heart attack survivors, even patients with very weak and damaged hearts, do not have implantable defibrillators placed. Not all heart attack survivors need the devices, according to researchers, but many without the device would benefit. Researcher Dr. Sean Pokorney said poor post-discharge communication might partially explain the issue. "[T]he health care system needs to continue to focus on improving communication between care providers in the hospital and in the outpatient clinic," he said. HealthDay News (6/23)
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Nursing in the News
What a new Medicare law means for nurse practitioners
The law that repealed the Medicare sustainable growth rate formula will bring a new merit-based payment formula for providers starting in 2019. The law also enabled nurse practitioners to make determinations about the need for durable medical equipment and will allow them to participate in value-based payment systems from the inception, American Association of Nurse Practitioners President Ken Miller said. (6/23)
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PCNA Update
Take action: Funding for nurse education is on the line
As the largest source of federal funding for nursing education, the Nursing Workforce Development Program has supported 450,000 nurses and students with grants and loans. By building a better trained workforce, this program has helped improve the nation's health, but the funding is on the line. The good news is a bill has been introduced in Congress to protect this funding. Help save this important funding by sending a letter to your legislators.
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