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Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia. An arrhythmia is a problem with the speed or rhythm of the heartbeat. A disorder in the heart’s electrical system causes AF and other types of arrhythmia. AF occurs when rapid, disorganized electrical signals in the heart’s two upper chambers, called the atria, cause them to contract very fast and irregularly (this is called fibrillation). As a result, blood pools in the atria and isn’t pumped completely into the heart’s two lower chambers, called the ventricles. When this happens, the heart’s upper and lower chambers don’t work together as they should. Often, people who have AF may not even feel symptoms. However, even when not noticed, AF can lead to an increased risk of stroke. In many patients, particularly when the rhythm is extremely rapid, AF can cause chest pain, heart attack, or heart failure. AF may occur rarely or every now and then, or it may become a persistent or permanent heart rhythm lasting for years.
WATCHMAN Device helps reduce stroke risk, stop use of blood thinners in patients with atrial fibrillation

WATCHMAN Device helps reduce stroke risk, stop use of blood thinners in patients with atrial fibrillation

MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute now offers patients with irregular heart rhythm a minimally invasive option to reduce the risk of stroke, as well as enable stopping long-term use of blood thinning medication. Physicians at MedStar Heart at MedStar Washington Hospital Center were the first in the Washington metropolitan region to successfully implant the WATCHMAN Device on June 16 in two patients with atrial fibrillation (A-fib). [More]
Concordia Healthcare's common shares to begin trading on NASDAQ under symbol CXRX

Concordia Healthcare's common shares to begin trading on NASDAQ under symbol CXRX

Concordia Healthcare Corp., a diverse healthcare company focused on legacy pharmaceutical products and orphan drugs, today announced that its common shares will begin trading on the NASDAQ Global Select Market on June 29, 2015 under the symbol CXRX. [More]
Uninterrupted NOAC treatment during catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation is safe, shows research

Uninterrupted NOAC treatment during catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation is safe, shows research

Uninterrupted treatment with novel oral anticoagulants (NOACs) during catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation (AF) is safe, reveals research presented today at EHRA EUROPACE - CARDIOSTIM 2015 by Dr Carsten Wunderlich, senior consultant in the Department of Invasive Electrophysiology, Heart Centre Dresden, Germany. [More]
First ESC recommendations for patients with cardiac arrhythmias, CKD published in EP Europace

First ESC recommendations for patients with cardiac arrhythmias, CKD published in EP Europace

The first ESC recommendations for patients with cardiac arrhythmias and chronic kidney disease (CKD) are presented today at EHRA EUROPACE - CARDIOSTIM 2015 and published in EP Europace. [More]
Stanford researchers find how neurons work together to control movement in people with paralysis

Stanford researchers find how neurons work together to control movement in people with paralysis

Stanford University researchers studying how the brain controls movement in people with paralysis, related to their diagnosis of Lou Gehrig's disease, have found that groups of neurons work together, firing in complex rhythms to signal muscles about when and where to move. [More]
Statins benefit patients undergoing major lung resection, lower major complications

Statins benefit patients undergoing major lung resection, lower major complications

Statins have been shown to reduce complications from cardiovascular surgery. To determine whether statins might also help those undergoing major lung surgeries, a team at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center conducted a well-designed study that randomized patients to receive either a statin or placebo before and after surgery. [More]
Atrial fibrillation patients who stop blood thinners before elective surgery have less risk of major bleeding

Atrial fibrillation patients who stop blood thinners before elective surgery have less risk of major bleeding

Patients with atrial fibrillation who stopped taking blood thinners before they had elective surgery had no higher risk of developing blood clots and less risk of major bleeding compared to patients who were given a "bridge" therapy, according to research led by Duke Medicine. [More]
AliveCor Mobile ECG now available in Canada

AliveCor Mobile ECG now available in Canada

AliveCor, Inc., the leader in FDA-cleared ECG technology for smartphones, announced today that the AliveCor Mobile ECG is now available for patients and physicians in Canada. With the AliveCor Mobile ECG and the AliveECG app users can instantly detect the presence of atrial fibrillation (AF or AFib), a leading cause of stroke, in an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) and manage their heart health with an FDA-cleared and Health Canada Licensed electrocardiogram ECG monitor, anywhere and at anytime. [More]
Scientists develop computational method to study link between birth month and disease risk

Scientists develop computational method to study link between birth month and disease risk

Columbia University scientists have developed a computational method to investigate the relationship between birth month and disease risk. [More]
Ibrutinib shows promise in CLL/SLL

Ibrutinib shows promise in CLL/SLL

The addition of ibrutinib to bendamustine and rituximab significantly prolongs progression-free survival in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma, according to the HELIOS trial. [More]
Ibrutinib (IMBRUVICA) improves survival in treatment-naïve patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia

Ibrutinib (IMBRUVICA) improves survival in treatment-naïve patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia

Today, Pharmacyclics LLC, an AbbVie company, announced that ibrutinib (IMBRUVICA) improved progression-free survival (PFS; primary endpoint) and multiple secondary endpoints including overall survival (OS) and overall response rate (ORR) in treatment-naïve patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia or small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL/SLL, respectively) in the final analysis of the Phase III RESONATE™-2 (PCYC-1115) trial. [More]

Expert report highlights urgent action needed to lessen the future impact of Atrial Fibrillation in Europe

Researched and written by RAND Europe, with contributions from a panel of leading European medical, patient group and health economic experts, the Future of Anticoagulation Report explores how decisions made today can change and reshape the landscape of tomorrow... [More]
Using earlier surgical intervention more beneficial to patient with degenerative mitral valve disease

Using earlier surgical intervention more beneficial to patient with degenerative mitral valve disease

A more aggressive approach to treating degenerative mitral valve disease, using earlier surgical intervention and less invasive techniques, is more beneficial to the patient than "watchful waiting," according to an article in the June 2015 issue of The Annals of Thoracic Surgery. [More]
Pharmacyclics's Phase III RESONATE™ trial shows adherence to 420mg dose of IMBRUVICA improves outcomes in CLL patients

Pharmacyclics's Phase III RESONATE™ trial shows adherence to 420mg dose of IMBRUVICA improves outcomes in CLL patients

Pharmacyclics LLC today highlighted results from a sub-analysis of the Phase III RESONATE™ (PCYC-1112) trial, which found that previously-treated patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) who adhered to the recommended 420 mg dose of IMBRUVICA® (ibrutinib) experienced improved progression-free survival (PFS; the primary endpoint) as assessed by an Independent Review Committee (IRC), compared to patients who took lower doses or missed doses, regardless of high-risk genetic factors. [More]
Pharmacyclics’ Ibrutinib Phase Ib/II data show ibrutinib may be safe and effective in patients with cGVHD

Pharmacyclics’ Ibrutinib Phase Ib/II data show ibrutinib may be safe and effective in patients with cGVHD

Pharmacyclics LLC today announced interim results from the ongoing Phase Ib/II PCYC-1129 study suggesting that ibrutinib (IMBRUVICA) may be a safe and effective treatment for patients with chronic graft-versus-host-disease (cGVHD) who were either refractory to steroid treatment or were steroid-dependent. [More]
Phase III HELIOS trial results show ibrutinib combination therapy improves outcomes  in CLL/SLL patients

Phase III HELIOS trial results show ibrutinib combination therapy improves outcomes in CLL/SLL patients

Today, Pharmacyclics LLC announced the results of the Phase III HELIOS trial (CLL3001), which found that patients with previously treated chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) or small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL) who received ibrutinib (IMBRUVICA) in combination with bendamustine and rituximab (BR) experienced an 80% reduction in the risk of progression or death compared to patients receiving placebo in combination with BR. [More]
Pharmacyclics initiates ibrutinib-MEDI4736 combination multi-center study for R/R DLBCL or FL

Pharmacyclics initiates ibrutinib-MEDI4736 combination multi-center study for R/R DLBCL or FL

Pharmacyclics, Inc. today announced the initiation of PCYC-1136-CA, a multi-center study that will investigate the use of ibrutinib (IMBRUVICA®) in combination with MEDI4736, an investigational anti-PD-L1 immune checkpoint inhibitor being developed by AstraZeneca. [More]

Newer anticoagulant medication may increase risk of GI bleeding in older patients

In a study released online in April in the BMJ, a team of researchers from Mayo Clinic, and other collaborators, showed that for older patients, particularly individuals greater than 75 years of age, the risk of gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding is 3 to 5 times higher when taking newer anticoagulant medications dabigatran or rivaroxaban compared to when using warfarin. [More]
Janssen, Bayer HealthCare initiate CALLISTO program to study rivaroxaban in patients with active cancer

Janssen, Bayer HealthCare initiate CALLISTO program to study rivaroxaban in patients with active cancer

Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and its development partner, Bayer HealthCare, today announced the initiation of CALLISTO, a new comprehensive clinical research program for their novel oral anticoagulant, rivaroxaban, in patients with active cancer. The studies are evaluating the medicine for the prevention and treatment of life-threatening blood clots in patients with a wide range of cancer types. [More]
COPD associated with increased mortality in patients with atrial fibrillation, but not stroke

COPD associated with increased mortality in patients with atrial fibrillation, but not stroke

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is associated with increased risk of dying from a cardiovascular disease such as heart failure or a heart attack, as well as diseases not associated with the heart. However, COPD is not by itself associated with increased likelihood of having a stroke or a systemic embolism, according to a new research study. [More]
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