Optimal Systolic Blood Pressure Target after SPRINT Insights from a Network Meta-Analysis of Randomized Trials
BACKGROUND: The optimal blood pressure (BP) target has been a matter of debate. The recent SPRINT trial showed significant benefits of a BP target of <120 mm Hg albeit with an increase in serious adverse effects related to low BP. METHODS: PUBMED, EMBASE, and CENTRAL were searched for randomized trials comparing treating to different BP targets. Trial arms were grouped into five systolic BP target categories: 1) <160 mm Hg; 2) <150 mm Hg; 3) <140 mm Hg; 4) <130 mm Hg and 5) <120 mm Hg. Efficacy outcomes of stroke, myocardial infarction, death, cardiovascular death, heart failure and safety outcomes of serious adverse effects were evaluated using a network meta-analysis. RESULTS: Seventeen trials that enrolled 55,163 patients with 204,103 patient-years of follow-up were included. There was a significant decrease in stroke (RR=0.54; 95% CI 0.29-1.00) and myocardial infarction (RR=0.68; 95% CI 0.47-1.00) with systolic BP <120 mm Hg (vs. <160 mm Hg). Sensitivity analysis using achieved systolic BP showed a 72%, 97% and 227% increase in stroke with systolic BP of <140 mm Hg, <150 mm Hg and <160 mm respectively, when compared with systolic BP <120 mm Hg. There was no difference in death, cardiovascular death or heart failure when comparing any of the BP targets. However, the point estimate favored lower BP targets (<120 mm Hg, <130 mm Hg) when compared with higher BP targets (<140 mm Hg or <150 mm Hg). BP targets of <120 mm Hg and <130 mm Hg ranked #1 and #2 respectively, as the most efficacious target. There was a significant increase in serious adverse effects with systolic BP <120 mm Hg vs. <150 mm Hg (RR=1.83; 95% CI 1.05-3.20) or vs. <140 mm Hg (RR=2.12; 95% CI 1.46-3.08). BP targets of <140 mm Hg and <150 mm Hg ranked #1 and #2 respectively, as the safest target for the outcome of serious adverse effects. Cluster plots for combined efficacy and safety showed that a systolic BP target of <130 mm Hg had optimal balance between efficacy and safety. CONCLUSIONS: In patients with hypertension, a systolic BP target of <130 mm Hg achieved optimal balance between efficacy and safety.
Diabetes mellitus is a coronary heart disease risk equivalent for peripheral vascular disease
Diabetes mellitus (diabetes) is associated with significantly increased risk of peripheral vascular disease. Diabetes is classified as a coronary heart disease (CHD) risk equivalent, but it is unknown whether diabetes is a CHD risk equivalent for peripheral vascular disease. The objective was to evaluate the odds of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) or carotid artery stenosis (CAS) among participants with diabetes, CHD, or both, compared with participants without diabetes or CHD, in a nationwide vascular screening database. We hypothesized that diabetes and CHD would confer similar odds of PAD and CAS. METHODS: A cross-sectional analysis of all eligible Life Line Screening Inc participants age 30 to 90 years with ankle brachial indices for PAD (ankle brachial index <0.9 in either leg) and carotid artery duplex ultrasonographic imaging for CAS (internal CAS >/=50%) was performed (N=3,522,890). RESULTS: Diabetes and CHD were present in 372,330 (10.7%) and 182,760 (5.8%) of participants, respectively; PAD and CAS were present in 155,000 (4.4%) and 130,347 (3.7%) of participants. After multivariable adjustment, PAD odds were 1.56 (95% CI 1.54-1.59) and 1.69 (95% CI 1.65-1.73) for participants with diabetes or CHD, respectively. Participants with both diabetes and CHD had 2.75-fold increased odds of PAD (95% CI 2.66-2.85). Findings were similar for CAS; compared with no diabetes or CHD, CAS odds increased for participants with diabetes alone (1.53, 95% CI 1.50-1.56), CHD alone (1.72, 95% CI 1.68-1.76), and both diabetes and CHD (2.57, 95% CI 2.49-2.66). Findings were consistent for women and men. CONCLUSION: In a large database of more than 3.5 million self-referred participants, diabetes was a CHD risk equivalent for PAD and CAS, and participants with comorbid diabetes and CHD had an especially robust association with PAD and CAS. Counseling regarding screening and prevention of peripheral vascular disease may be useful for patients with diabetes.
Cardiovascular Effects of the New Weight Loss Agents
The global obesity epidemic and its impact on cardiovascular outcomes is a topic of ongoing debate and investigation in the cardiology community. It is well known that obesity is associated with multiple cardiovascular risk factors. Although life-style changes are the first line of therapy, they are often insufficient in achieving weight loss goals. Liraglutide, naltrexone/bupropion, and phentermine/topiramate are new agents that have been recently approved to treat obesity, but their effects on cardiovascular risk factors and outcomes are not well described. This review summarizes data currently available for these novel agents regarding drug safety, effects on major cardiovascular risk factors, impact on cardiovascular outcomes, outcomes research that is currently in progress, and areas of uncertainty. Given the impact of obesity on cardiovascular health, there is a pressing clinical need to understand the effects of these agents beyond weight loss alone.
The Editor's Round Table: Current Perspectives on Triglycerides and Atherosclerosis
Management of Hypogonadism in Cardiovascular Patients: What Are the Implications of Testosterone Therapy on Cardiovascular Morbidity?
Testosterone replacement therapy is recommended for men with clinical androgen deficiency with decades of evidence supporting its use for treatment of sexual, physical, and psychological consequences of male hypogonadism. In this updated review, the authors discuss the implications of testosterone deficiency and conflicting evidence regarding testosterone replacement therapy and its effects on the cardiovascular system. Based on mounting evidence, the authors conclude that testosterone therapy can be safely considered in men with appropriately diagnosed clinical androgen deficiency and concurrent cardiovascular risk factors and even manifest cardiovascular disease after a thorough discussion of potential risks and with guideline-recommended safety monitoring.
DIABETES MELLITUS IS A CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE (CVD) RISK EQUIVALENT FOR PERIPHERAL ARTERIAL DISEASE AND CAROTID ARTERY STENOSIS [Meeting Abstract]
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors or Angiotensin Receptor Blockers in Patients Without Heart Failure? Insights From 254,301 Patients From Randomized Trials
OBJECTIVES: To compare the efficacy and safety of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEis) and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) in patients without heart failure. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Meta-analysis of randomized trials identified using PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials searches from January 1, 1980, through April 13, 2015, of ACEis and ARBs compared with placebo or active controls and corroborated with head-to-head trials of ARBs vs ACEis. Outcomes were all-cause mortality, cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction (MI), angina, stroke, heart failure, revascularization, and new-onset diabetes. RESULTS: Our search yielded 106 randomized trials that enrolled 254,301 patients. Compared with placebo, ACEis but not ARBs reduced the outcomes of all-cause mortality (ACEis vs placebo: relative risk [RR], 0.89; 95% CI, 0.80-1.00; ARBs vs placebo: RR, 1.01; 95% CI, 0.96-1.06; Pinteraction=.04), cardiovascular death (RR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.70-0.99 and RR, 1.02; 95% CI, 0.92-1.14; Pinteraction=.05), and MI (RR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.78-0.90 and RR, 0.93; 95% CI, 0.85-1.03; Pinteraction=.06). The meta-regression analysis revealed that the difference between ACEis and ARBs compared with placebo was due to a higher placebo event rate in the ACEis trials (most of these trials were conducted a decade earlier than the ARB trials) for the outcome of all-cause mortality (P=.001), cardiovascular death (P<.001), and MI (P=.02). Sensitivity analyses restricted to trials published after 2000 revealed similar outcomes with ACEis vs placebo and ARBs vs placebo (Pinteraction>.05). Head-to-head comparison trials of ARBs vs ACEis exhibited no difference in outcomes except for a lower risk of drug withdrawal due to adverse effects with ARBs (RR, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.65-0.81). CONCLUSION: In patients without heart failure, evidence from placebo-controlled trials (restricted to trials after 2000), active controlled trials, and head-to-head randomized trials all suggest ARBs to be as efficacious and safe as ACEis, with the added advantage of better tolerability.
Prevalence of unrecognized diabetes, prediabetes and metabolic syndrome in patients undergoing elective percutaneous coronary intervention
BACKGROUND: Diabetes mellitus (DM) and metabolic syndrome are important targets for secondary prevention in cardiovascular disease. However, the prevalence in patients undergoing elective percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is not well defined. We aimed to analyze the prevalence and characteristics of patients undergoing PCI with previously unrecognized prediabetes, diabetes and metabolic syndrome. METHODS: Data were collected from 740 patients undergoing elective PCI between November 2010 and March 2013 at a tertiary referral center. Prevalence of DM and prediabetes was evaluated using Hemoglobin A1c (A1c >/= 6.5% for DM, A1c 5.7-6.4% for prediabetes). A modified definition was used for metabolic syndrome [3 or more of the following criteria: body mass index (BMI) >/=30 kg/m2; triglycerides >/= 150 mg/dL; high density lipoprotein <40 mg/dL in men and <50 mg/dL in women; systolic blood pressure >/= 130 mmHg and/or diastolic >/= 85 mmHg; A1c >/= 5.7% or on therapy]. RESULTS: Mean age was 67 years, median BMI was 28.2 kg/m2 , and 39% had known DM. Of those without known DM, 8.3% and 58.5% met A1c criteria for DM and for prediabetes at time of PCI. Overall, 54.9% met criteria for metabolic syndrome (69.2% of patients with DM and 45.8% of patients without DM). CONCLUSION: Among patients undergoing elective PCI, a substantial number were identified with new DM, prediabetes, and/or metabolic syndrome. Routine screening for an abnormal glucometabolic state at the time of revascularization may be useful for identifying patients who may benefit from additional targeting of modifiable risk factors
Reply to Letters Regarding Article, "Prognostic Value of Fasting Versus Nonfasting Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol Levels on Long-Term Mortality: Insight From the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III (NHANES-III)" [Letter]
The role of testosterone therapy in cardiovascular mortality: culprit or innocent bystander?
Testosterone therapy is recommended for men with symptomatic androgen deficiency and unequivocally low testosterone levels. Although the prevalence of hypogonadism seems relatively constant, studies of prescribing patterns in both the United States and the United Kingdom show a dramatic increase in testosterone prescription in recent years, possibly due to increased marketing and inappropriate therapy. Concurrent with this, there has been growing concern regarding the potential adverse effects of testosterone therapy, particularly its cardiovascular risks. In this review, we present our current understanding of the implications of testosterone deficiency, as well as the conflicting evidence surrounding the cardiovascular effects of testosterone replacement therapy. Although there is a lack of adequate data, based on the current evidence, we conclude that testosterone therapy can be safely considered in men with appropriately diagnosed clinical androgen deficiency and increased cardiovascular risk after a thorough discussion of potential risks and with guideline recommended safety monitoring.