BREAKING NEWS: New ACC/AHA Guidelines on the Treatment of Blood Cholesterol to Reduce Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Risk in Adults

November 13, 2013
BREAKING NEWS: New ACC/AHA Guidelines on the Treatment of Blood Cholesterol to Reduce Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Risk in Adults

By Sherif Shoucri, MD

Yesterday, the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association released new groundbreaking guidelines on the treatment of blood cholesterol. These recommendations, which officially drop LDL target levels for patients on statin therapy, will fundamentally alter the way most primary care physicians and cardiologists treat hyperlipidemia. After reviewing the available data on statins, the authors concluded that there was no evidence to support an LDL target of either 70 or 100. Rather, patients should be placed on either moderate-intensity (lowers…

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Primecuts – This Week In The Journals

November 12, 2013
Primecuts – This Week In The Journals

By Sherif Shoucri, MD

Faculty Peer Reviewed

In a move that was almost thirty years in the making, this week the Food and Drug Administration proposed measures that would all-but outlaw artificial trans fats. These artery-clogging, partially hydrogenated oils have long been implicated as a major contributor to heart disease in the United States. Their removal from the U.S. food industry could prevent as many as 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths from heart disease each year, according to data cited by the FDA. While…

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The Complicated Story of Saturated Fat

November 8, 2013
The Complicated Story of Saturated Fat

By Gregory Katz, MD

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Everyday in clinic, we tell our patients to choose foods low in saturated fat. Because these foods raise plasma cholesterol, the thinking goes, they cause heart disease. Today, every major medical organization – from the American Heart Association to the Harvard School of Public Health to the USDA – recommends a diet low in saturated fat to prevent and treat heart disease. The fat-cholesterol-heart disease connection is so thoroughly integrated into both medicine and popular culture…

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FROM THE ARCHIVES – Kayexalate: What is it and does it work?

November 7, 2013
FROM THE ARCHIVES – Kayexalate: What is it and does it work?

Please enjoy this post from the archives dated December 1, 2010

By Todd Cutler, MD

Faculty Peer Reviewed

A 62-year-old male is hospitalized with an acute congestive heart failure exacerbation. On hospital day three, the patient’s symptoms have significantly improved with twice daily furosemide 80mg IV. He is continued on IV diuretics and aggressive electrolyte repletion. On day five of his admission, his basic metabolic panel is significant for a creatinine of 2.3 mg/dL (increased from 1.3 on admission) and a potassium concentration of

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To Stent or Not to Stent?

November 6, 2013
To Stent or Not to Stent?

By Anish Vani

Faculty Peer Reviewed

According to the 2010 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics update of the American Heart Association, there are 17.6 million Americans living with coronary heart disease (CHD) . Fortunately, mortality from heart disease is on the decline in the United States and in countries with advanced health care, likely due to better management of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and a reduction in lifestyle risk factors such as smoking. However, for the millions of Americans with stable ischemic heart disease (SIHD),…

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Primecuts – This Week In The Journals

November 4, 2013
Primecuts – This Week In The Journals

By Cindy Fei, MD

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Online enrollment continues at the HealthCare.gov website in accordance with the rollout of the Affordable Care Act and its January 1, 2014 deadline for mandated individual health insurance coverage. The recent opening of the online marketplace for health care insurance plans on October 1 was marred by frequent website blackouts, errors due to high-user demand and technical problems. Known colloquially as ObamaCare, the Affordable Care Act requires everyone to have health insurance by the beginning of next year,…

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Can we teach the immune system to fight cancer?

November 1, 2013
Can we teach the immune system to fight cancer?

By Jenny Gartshteyn

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Since the start of vaccination – we’ve eradicated smallpox and polio, saved college kids from meningitis, averted flu epidemics, and decreased the incidence of HPV-related cervical cancer … but can we teach our immune systems to actively fight existing cancer?

Here’s the mechanism for an ideal anti-cancer vaccine:

With the growth and turnover of cancerous cells, cancer-specific tumor-associated antigens (TAAs) would be recognized and processed by professional antigen-presenting cells (APCs), such as dendritic cells and macrophages – which would…

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Corticosteroids and Prophylaxis. What complications should you try to prevent in patients on chronic corticosteroids?

October 30, 2013
Corticosteroids and Prophylaxis.  What complications should you try to prevent in patients on chronic corticosteroids?

By Robert Joseph Fakheri, MD

Faculty Peer Reviewed

A 55 year-old male is recently diagnosed with systemic sarcoidosis. The patient is started on prednisone 40mg with the plan to decrease the dose after remission of symptoms, which may take a number of months. What kind of prophylaxis should the patient receive?

Corticosteroids are an effective treatment option for a number of diseases spanning many specialties. However, long-term corticosteroid treatment is marred with a number of side effects including hypertension, hyperglycemia, weight gain, adrenal suppression, osteoporosis,…

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