March 2015 Briefing - Cardiology

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Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Cardiology for March 2015. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Mobile Health App Use Continuing to Increase

TUESDAY, March 31, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The number of mobile health apps is continuing to increase and doctors are embracing this trend, with more than one-third of physicians recommending their use in the past year, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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FDA Expands Approval for 'Valve in Valve' Aortic Replacement

TUESDAY, March 31, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday that use of the CoreValve "valve-in-valve" aortic replacement has been expanded to include people at extreme risk for serious complications from traditional open-heart surgery.

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ER Visits for Ischemic Stroke, TIA Down Over Past Decade

TUESDAY, March 31, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Fewer people are being treated in U.S. emergency departments for ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack, which experts read as a sign that current stroke prevention methods are working. Such visits declined 35 percent for adults 18 and older, and 51 percent for those 55 to 74, according to a March data brief published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

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2015 Match Sees High Proportion of Unmatched Seniors

MONDAY, March 30, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- About 6.1 percent of U.S. allopathic medical school seniors in the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) were not placed into first-year residency positions, with a higher percentage of unmatched seniors than in 2014, according to a report published by the American Medical Association.

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Individual Short-Term Responses to Antiplatelet Therapy Vary

MONDAY, March 30, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with ischemic heart disease, responses to antiplatelet therapy (APT) vary between pre-discharge and one week after discharge from hospital, according to a study published online March 21 in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

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Discontinuing Statins for Terminally Ill May Improve QOL

FRIDAY, March 27, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Discontinuing the use of cholesterol-lowering statins in terminally ill patients may improve their quality of life, according to a new study published online March 23 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Physician/Pharmacist Model Can Improve Mean BP

FRIDAY, March 27, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A physician/pharmacist collaborative model can improve mean blood pressure (BP), according to a study published online March 24 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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CDC: Hypertension-Related Deaths on the Rise in U.S.

THURSDAY, March 26, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The overall death rate from hypertension in the United States has increased 23 percent since 2000, even as the death rate from all other causes has dropped 21 percent, according to a March data brief published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

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Cardiovascular Disease Risk Equation Can Be Applied Globally

THURSDAY, March 26, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A cardiovascular disease risk equation has been developed that can be recalibrated for application in different countries, according to a report published online March 25 in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

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Prevalence of Subclinical Disease ID'd in African-Americans

THURSDAY, March 26, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- African-Americans have a moderately high prevalence of subclinical disease, which is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to a study published online March 12 in Diabetes Care.

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Physicians Should Be Aware of Signs of Burnout

THURSDAY, March 26, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Burnout can be prevented if physicians are aware of the warning signs, according to an article published by the American Medical Association.

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FDA Warns Against Amiodarone Use With Hepatitis C Meds

WEDNESDAY, March 25, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Symptomatic bradycardia can occur when amiodarone is taken with new hepatitis C medications, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns.

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Air Pollution May Contribute to High Anxiety

WEDNESDAY, March 25, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Air pollution may take a toll not only on physical health, but mental well-being as well, according to two new studies published March 24 in The BMJ.

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Short Hospital Stays Don't Impair STEMI Outcomes in Seniors

WEDNESDAY, March 25, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For older patients undergoing primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) for ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), outcomes are similar for discharge after 48 hours versus four to five days, according to a study published in the March 31 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Outcome Not Affected by Family Presence During Resuscitation

WEDNESDAY, March 25, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- There are no significant differences in outcomes or processes of care for U.S. hospitals with policies allowing for family presence during resuscitation (FPDR) compared with hospitals without this policy, according to a study published online March 24 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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Meds Not Stents in Patients With Intracranial Arterial Stenosis

TUESDAY, March 24, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Using stents rather than medication alone to keep narrowed arteries open in the brain may actually increase patients' risk of stroke, according to the results of a new trial. The report was published in the March 24/31 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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FDA Approves New Miniature Blood Pump System

TUESDAY, March 24, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The Impella 2.5 System has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to maintain stable heart function and blood circulation during high-risk cardiac operations, the agency said in a news release.

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Electronic Solutions Underway for Rx Prior Authorizations

FRIDAY, March 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Efforts are underway to offer technological solutions to the burdens associated with prior authorizations, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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Cardiorespiratory Fitness Tied to Less DM, Despite Other Risks

THURSDAY, March 19, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Higher cardiorespiratory fitness is associated with a lower risk of incident diabetes, regardless of demographic characteristics and baseline risk factors, according to a study published online March 12 in Diabetes Care.

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Revised Guidelines Released for Peds Cardiology Fellowship

FRIDAY, March 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The Society of Pediatric Cardiology Training Program Directors have developed the 2015 Training Guidelines for Pediatric Cardiology Fellowship Program together with the American College of Cardiology, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Heart Association.

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Public Outcomes Reporting Tied to Lower PCI Rates for Acute MI

THURSDAY, March 19, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Public reporting of outcomes may be tied to lower rates of percutaneous revascularization and higher in-hospital mortality among acute myocardial infarction (AMI) patients in reporting states, compared to nonreporting states, according to a study published in the March 24 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Handheld Echocardiography Ups Rheumatic Heart Dz Detection

THURSDAY, March 19, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Handheld echocardiography (HAND) and auscultation improves detection of rheumatic heart disease (RHD) compared with auscultation alone, according to a study published online March 16 in Pediatrics.

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In-Clinic Health Coaching Improves Cardiometabolic Health

THURSDAY, March 19, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Health coaching by medical assistants can help improve hemoglobin A1c and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol control, according to a study published in the March/April issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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ACC Releases Latest Training Recs for Cardiology Fellows

THURSDAY, March 19, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The newest iteration of the Core Cardiovascular Training Statement, COCATS 4, updating training recommendations for cardiovascular fellows, has been released by the American College of Cardiology.

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WBC, Neutrophil Counts Predict Stroke Risk in Older Asian Men

WEDNESDAY, March 18, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Higher total white blood cell (WBC) and neutrophil counts are independent predictors of stroke in older Japanese-American men, according to a study published online March 4 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Cardiovascular Screening in Men With ED Could Save Billions

WEDNESDAY, March 18, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Screening men presenting with erectile dysfunction (ED) for cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors can potentially cut future cardiovascular events and save billions of dollars over 20 years, according to a study published online March 2 in The Journal of Sexual Medicine.

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Diet Soda Intake Tied to Belly Fat in Older Adults

TUESDAY, March 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Increasing diet soda intake (DSI) is tied to greater abdominal obesity in older adults, according to a study published online March 17 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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More Than 16 Million Americans Have Gained Coverage Under ACA

TUESDAY, March 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The Obama Administration reported Monday the largest drop in the number of Americans without health insurance since the Johnson administration expanded health coverage through Medicare and Medicaid 50 years ago.

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Cardiac Screening Not Advised for Low-Risk Adults

TUESDAY, March 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Cardiac screening with resting or stress electrocardiography, stress echocardiography, or myocardial perfusion imaging is not recommended for low-risk adults, according to a clinical guideline from the American College of Physicians published in the March 17 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Review: No Blood Pressure Lowering Effect for Vitamin D

TUESDAY, March 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Vitamin D supplementation is not associated with a reduction in blood pressure, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis published online March 16 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Gender-Specific Variation in Medical Specialties

MONDAY, March 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Medical specialties vary by gender, with obstetrics/gynecology and pediatrics dominated by female residents and specialties such as surgery, emergency medicine, and anesthesiology dominated by males, according to a report published by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

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HHS Wants to Help Restore Joy of Medicine

FRIDAY, March 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is listening to physicians and wants to address the regulatory burdens they face, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Getting Heard May Be Key to Getting New Job

FRIDAY, March 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Your voice may be the key to landing a new job, researchers report in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science.

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More Support for 'Timing Hypothesis' in HRT Use

THURSDAY, March 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- There's yet another study looking at the potential dangers of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for menopausal symptoms, and this one supports the notion that the treatment may not help women's hearts. The findings were published online March 10 in The Cochrane Library.

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Clinical Trial Data Often Not Reported in Timely Manner

THURSDAY, March 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers are not promptly reporting the results of clinical trials to ClinicalTrials.gov, according to an article published in the March 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Restrictive Transfusion Threshold No Better Post Cardiac Surgery

WEDNESDAY, March 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients undergoing nonemergency cardiac surgery, a postoperative restrictive transfusion threshold is not superior to a liberal threshold, according to a study published in the March 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Physicians Should Plan Exit Strategy in Advance

WEDNESDAY, March 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians should begin planning their exit strategy three to five years in advance, according to the American Medical Association.

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Stress + Depression = Deadly Combo in Heart Disease

WEDNESDAY, March 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Coronary heart disease, depression, and stress can be a deadly combination, according to a new study published online March 10 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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CVD Risk Up With Androgen Deprivation Tx in Prostate Cancer

WEDNESDAY, March 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For men with prostate cancer (PCa), the risk for incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) is increased with androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), according to a study published online March 2 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Persistent EHR Nonadoption Could Mean Lower Payment

WEDNESDAY, March 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Persistent nonadopters of electronic health records (EHRs) tend to be older, and are employed in smaller practices, according to a letter published in the March 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Exercise Perfusion CT Imaging IDs Coronary Stenosis

WEDNESDAY, March 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients suspected of having hemodynamically significant coronary stenosis, exercise computed tomography (CT) myocardial perfusion imaging is feasible and accurate, according to a study published in the March issue of Radiology.

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More Than Half of Angiograms for IHD Deemed Appropriate

WEDNESDAY, March 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- More than half of coronary angiographic studies done to investigate suspected ischemic heart disease (IHD) would be classified as appropriate according to the 2012 appropriate use criteria for diagnostic catheterization (AUC). The findings were published in the March 10 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Frustrated by Regulations, Doctors Increasingly Miserable

WEDNESDAY, March 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The nationwide Physician Misery Index is 3.7 out of 5, with the vast majority of physicians reporting that the business and regulation of health care has worsened the practice of medicine, according to a report published by Geneia.

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Outcomes Vary With Transcatheter Valve Surgery

TUESDAY, March 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Of more than 12,000 patients who underwent transcatheter aortic valve replacement, nearly one-quarter died within a year, while roughly 4 percent had a stroke, new research reveals. However, almost half who survived past one year weren't re-hospitalized in that time, while less than one-quarter were readmitted once. The research findings were reported in the March 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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AAMC: Significant Shortfall of Physicians Projected for 2025

TUESDAY, March 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The expected shortfall of physicians is projected to reach about 46,000 to 90,000 by 2025, according to a study conducted by IHS Inc. for the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

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FDA Approves New CPR Devices

MONDAY, March 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A new cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) system designed to increase the chance of survival in people experiencing cardiac arrest has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Anesthesiologists Impact CABG Surgery Outcomes

MONDAY, March 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft surgery, the rate of death or major complications varies across anesthesiologists, according to a study published in the March issue of Anesthesia & Analgesia.

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Changes Being Made to Med School Applicant Assessment

FRIDAY, March 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- In accordance with the changes in graduate medical education to better prepare doctors for a changing health care system, changes are being made to medical school applicant evaluation, according to an article published Feb. 19 by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Confidence Gap Between Male and Female Med Students

FRIDAY, March 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Female medical students perform at the same or higher level as men, but they lack confidence compared with men, according to a letter published in the March 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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National Hospital Rating Systems Rarely in Agreement

FRIDAY, March 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- National hospital rating systems are rarely in agreement, according to a study published in the March issue of Health Affairs.

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FDA Launches First App to Identify Drug Shortages

THURSDAY, March 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A mobile phone application (app) has been released to identify current drug shortages, resolved shortages, or discontinuations of drug products, according to a press release published by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Coping With Stress May Be As Key to Heart Health As Exercise

THURSDAY, March 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Teens who have trouble coping with stress may face an increased risk for future coronary heart disease that even exercise can't erase, a new study suggests. The report was published online March 4 in Heart.

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Statins Tied to Decreased Insulin Sensitivity, Secretion

THURSDAY, March 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Statin drugs may significantly increase a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a new study from Finland suggests. The findings were published March 4 in Diabetologia, the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.

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Study Examines Palliative Care in Cardiac Intensive Care Units

THURSDAY, March 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Increased palliative care education and training among clinicians who are involved in cardiac critical care could benefit care, according to a study published in the March 1 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

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Rush University Adds Patient Scores to Doctor Profiles

WEDNESDAY, March 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Rush University Medical Center's website has started adding the results of patient surveys to individual physician profiles, according to a report published by the medical center.

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Aerobic Fitness Can Predict Post-Op Complications in AAA Repair

WEDNESDAY, March 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients undergoing elective abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, measures of cardiopulmonary fitness can predict postoperative complications, according to a study published online Feb. 6 in Anaesthesia.

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Anemia Linked to Adverse Outcomes in Atrial Fibrillation

WEDNESDAY, March 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with atrial fibrillation receiving anticoagulant treatment, the presence of anemia is associated with increased risk of thromboembolic events, bleeding complications, and mortality, according to research published online Feb. 13 in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

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STS Releases Outcomes for Congenital Heart Sx Database

WEDNESDAY, March 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) has released the first publicly accessible report of surgical outcomes from its Congenital Heart Surgery Database (CHSD).

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Research Measures Perceptions of Physician Compassion

TUESDAY, March 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Patients prefer physicians who convey a more optimistic message, and perceive in them a higher level of compassion, according to a study published online Feb. 26 in JAMA Oncology.

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Age-Specific Causal Link for Adiposity, CV Risk Factors

TUESDAY, March 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Adiposity has an age-specific causal effect on cardiovascular risk factors, according to research published online Feb. 23 in Diabetes.

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Severe Obesity in Youth Even Riskier Than Thought

TUESDAY, March 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Extremely obese children -- such as those at least 100 pounds overweight -- are in deeper trouble in terms of cardiovascular disease risks than doctors have thought, new research suggests. The study appears online March 2 in JAMA Pediatrics.

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Higher Coffee Consumption Tied to Less Coronary Calcium

TUESDAY, March 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Drinking three to five cups of coffee a day may reduce the risk of developing coronary atherosclerosis, which in turn might reduce the risk for heart attack or stroke, a new study suggests. The report was published online March 2 in Heart.

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Acetaminophen Risks May Be Underestimated

TUESDAY, March 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Acetaminophen may not be as safe as previously thought, with larger doses and long-term use linked to increased risk of health problems, a new report contends. The findings were published online March 2 in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

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Both High and Low Intensity Exercise Benefit Weight, Waist

TUESDAY, March 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For people who are obese and sedentary, any exercise can help trim abdominal fat, but it may take a bit more effort to get other health benefits, a new study suggests. The findings were published in the March 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Nuts, Including Peanut Butter, May Improve Longevity

MONDAY, March 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Eating nuts, including peanuts and peanut butter, may increase longevity, new research suggests. The study is published online March 2 in JAMA Internal Medicine and was funded by the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

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Treadmill-Based Fitness Score Can Predict 10-Year Survival

MONDAY, March 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A fitness risk score based on exercise stress testing is highly predictive of 10-year survival in adults free from established heart disease, according to a study published in the March issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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Excessive Blood Tests Could Raise Heart Surgery Morbidity

MONDAY, March 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The high number of blood tests done before and after heart surgery can sometimes lead to excessive blood loss, possibly causing anemia and the need for a blood transfusion, new research suggests. Results of the study were published in the March issue of The Annals of Thoracic Surgery.

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Mitral Valve Repair Could Improve Mental Health

MONDAY, March 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with mitral regurgitation (MR) have less depression and anxiety after they undergo surgical repair, according to research published in the March issue of The Annals of Thoracic Surgery.

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Hospital Design Has Little Effect on Patient Satisfaction

MONDAY, March 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Hospital design has little effect on patient satisfaction, according to a study published online Feb. 5 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

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Cannabis Linked to Increased Risk of Cerebrovascular Events

MONDAY, March 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Cannabis seems to be linked to cerebrovascular events, according to research published online Feb. 19 in Stroke.

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