Top Ten Things Every Clinician Should Know About the 2018 Cholesterol Guidelines

January 9, 2019

The American Heart Association / American College of Cardiology (AHA/ACC) Task Force recently published the 2018 Guideline on the Management of Blood Cholesterol. The guidelines writing committee had representation from 12 organizations, including the National Lipid Association, American Diabetes Association, and the American Pharmacists Association — all of whom endorsed the guidelines. The previous guidelines (published in 2013) were intended to answer some specific clinical questions and significantly changed our approach to treatment. The 2018 guidelines provide a more comprehensive set of recommendations, akin to the (older) National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Adult Treatment Panel (ATP) III guidelines last published in 2002!

Guest Authors:  Dawn Fuke, Pharm.D., BCPS, and Zach Conroy, PharmD, BCACP

Music by Good Talk

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Another Attempt to ARRIVE at an Answer Using Aspirin for Primary Prevention

December 14, 2018

Daily low-dose aspirin has long been considered a “wonder drug” for its cardioprotective effects, particularly in patients with pre-existing cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease; however, despite decades of research, the use of aspirin to prevent a first event is less certain. In 2014, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) responded to a citizen petition requesting the labeled indications for low dose aspirin be updated to include primary prevention. The FDA concluded that the evidence “fail[ed] to establish that aspirin reduces the risk of primary myocardial infarction (MI) in patients with a coronary heart disease (CHD) risk of 10% or more for over 10 years.” The Asprin to Reduce Risk of Initial Vascular Events (ARRIVE) study is intended to address this gap in our knowledge.

Guest Authors:  Amy St. Amand, PharmD, BCPS and Christine Borowy, PharmD, BCPS

Music by Good Talk

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Does a “One-Size-Fits-All” Aspirin Dosing Approach Still Hold WEIGHT?

December 7, 2018

Personalized medicine is at the forefront of health care today, focusing on how best to tailor the treatment approach to each person. But should we be thinking about personalizing the approach for prevention as well?  The one-dose-fits-all approach has been used in nearly all aspirin studies.  What is poorly understood is the influence of body weight.  Perhaps the reason why aspirin has resulted in only modest benefits in clinical trials might be related to under (and over) dosing based on patient weight.

Podcast Case:  Weight-based Dosing of Aspirin

Guest Author:  Marina Maes, PharmD, BCPS

Music by Good Talk 

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Aspirin for Primary Prevention of CV Events in Diabetes - Is the Evidence ASCENDing?

November 23, 2018

Aspirin is no doubt beneficial in patients with overt vascular disease for the secondary prevention of myocardial infarction, stroke, or cardiovascular death. However, evidence supporting use of aspirin for primary prevention in patients who have not had a cardiovascular event is far less compelling. The clinical uncertainty of aspirin use for the primary prevention of CV events in patients with diabetes is reflected in the different recommendations in current guidelines. The investigators of the ASCEND (A Study of Cardiovascular Events in Diabetes) trial set out to determine the safety and efficacy of daily aspirin use in patients with diabetes without known occlusive arterial disease.

Podcast Case:  ASA Use in DM - Evidence ASCENDing?

Guest Author:  Kirstie Perry, Pharm.D.

Music by Good Talk

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Top Ten Things Every Clinician Should Know About the 2017 Hypertension Guidelines

December 15, 2017

We interview Eric MacLaughlin, Joseph Saseen, and Kristin Rieser about the ACC/AHA Guidelines for the Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure in Adults released in November 2017.  Dr. MacLaughin, a member of the Guideline Writing Committee, gives a insiders view of the guidelines development process and explains the rationale for lower blood pressure goals.  Drs. Saseen and Rieser talk about some of the practical considerations that we all must consider as we move forward to making these recommendations a reality.

Guests:  Kristin Rieser, Pharm.D., Joseph Saseen, Pharm.D, and Eric MacLaughlin, Pharm.D.

Music by Good Talk

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Are Statins ALL THAT for Primary Prevention in Older Adults? A Second Look at ALLHAT-LLT

August 25, 2017

Statins reduce atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) risk. However, the utility of statin therapy in older adults — particularly in those age 75 years and older — remains controversial. The need for additional evidence to guide clinical practice is underscored by the fact that one-in-three older Americans report taking a statin.  Given the paucity of prospective data, a post-hoc analysis of the ALLHAT-LLT (Antihypertensive and Lipid Lowering treatment to prevent Heart Attack Trial - Lipid Lowering Trial) was recently published.  Does this new analysis really help inform the decision?

Guest Author:  Leo Buckley, Pharm.D.

Music by Good Talk

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Preventing Gestational Diabetes with Myo-Inositol: Ready for Prime Time?

January 8, 2016

With increased emphasis on disease prevention, gestational diabetes (GDM) is worthy of more attention. The incidence is on the rise not only in the United States (U.S.) but worldwide. Complications of GDM such as preeclampsia, cesarean delivery, neonatal hypoglycemia, macrosomia, and birth trauma negatively impact maternal and fetal health. Is a readily available, non-prescription dietary supplement the answer? Recent investigations have examined the use of myo-inositol for GDM prevention, with positive results. 

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An Aspirin a Day to Prevent Colon CA

December 22, 2015

Several studies have evaluated the correlation between low-dose aspirin and NSAID use and the development of colorectal cancer. In 2007, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended against the use aspirin for the prevention of colorectal cancer in most adults. However, there is mounting evidence that daily, long-term aspirin use may prevent colorectal cancer in patients aged 50-69. Could something as simple as an aspirin a day prevent colon CA?

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CVD Risk Scores - Are They Accurate?

July 28, 2015

How well do cardiovascular disease risk calculators really perform?  Do they over or underestimate risk?  Should we rely on them to make treatment decisions?

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Folic Acid: A Simple Answer to a Very Large Problem?

July 24, 2015

Stroke is responsible for 1 in 19 deaths in the United States and is the leading cause of long-term disability.  Could something as simple and cheap as folic acid substantially reduce the risk of stroke?  The China Stroke Primary Prevention Trial examined this important question.

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