In a "surprising setback," a large federal study examining the benefit of niacin in heart disease patients has been halted early, after researchers concluded that the vitamin did not prove more effective than simple statin therapy, NPR's "Shots" reports. The findings raise questions about the strategy of raising good cholesterol levels to reduce heart attack risks.
No On Niacin, Researchers Halt Trial into Heart Risks
As described in today's Daily Briefing, a little-known device called the capnograph has helped patients experiencing cardiac arrest survive without a pulse for much longer than previously thought, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The capnograph measures the levels of carbon dioxide expelled from a patient's mouth and notifies rescuers when further CPR should be continued or halted. Its technology records carbon dioxide levels in milligrams of mercury. A healthy level of carbon dioxide can mean that CPR is working and effectively moving oxygenated blood through a patient's organs.
New Device Buys Time for Cardiac Arrest Patients
As reported in the Daily Briefing, even short-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for myocardial infarction (MI) survivors can increase the risk of a subsequent MI, according to a study in Circulation.
Researchers analyzed data from 83,675 first-time MI patients, of which about 42% took NSAIDs. Ibuprofen was taken most often, but patients also frequently used diclofenac, celecoxib and naproxen.
Over the next five years, 35,257 of those patients experienced another MI. Individuals who took NSAIDs for one week were 45% more likely to have another MI or die, and taking them for more than three months increased the risk for a second MI by 55%. No increased risk was associated with taking naproxen (Searing, Washington Post, 5/16).