"Something strange is going on in medicine," writes the New York Times's Gina Kolata - major diseases are are on the wane, and in some cases, it's a mystery as to why.
A decline in mortality from colon cancer is "especially perplexing," writes Kolata - a decline by nearly 50 percent since its peak in the 1980s has left researchers searching for an answer, since more screening couldn't possibly indicate such a large decline.
Heart disease mortality still declining, but slowing
Despite still being the number one cause of death in the world and the United States, death rates from cardiovascular disease and stroke have been steadily and significantly declining since the 1970s.
From 2000 to 2010, age-adjusted mortality decreased 30 percent for heart disease and 36 percent for stoke. And with cancer mortality declining by only 13 percent over that time period, it looked as if heart disease might lose its status as leading cause of death in the United States for the first time since 1910.
Not so fast.
Continue reading Medical Mystery Monday: Why is Heart Disease In Decline? Part One
More good news for TAVR interventions - better case selection contributed to significant reductions in complications and longer term mortality.
The most pertinent risk factors? COPD and previous stroke.
Continue reading TAVR Success Dependent on Selection
Cost-reducing guidelines like the ACC's guidelines concerning cardiac imaging from 2012 require better profiling of what makes patients high risk for cardiovascular disease - especially when they make caveats based on "high-risk markers."
Are all high-risk markers known? What's on the horizon in markers for cardiovascular disease?
We've already discussed two new high-risk markers - a factor known as "stem cell factor" that's as predictive as cholesterol levels and a gene that interacts negatively with estrogen in women.
Here's another recent case of researchers building a better preventative mousetrap - a new test can measure the severity of metabolic syndrome and thus track and predict cardiovascular disease risk over time - from youth.
Continue reading Cardiovascular Risk Report: New Metabolic Syndrome Score Tracks Risk Over Time
With a proliferation of guidelines designed to reduce costs based on the risk profiles of patients, and a more general trend towards a preventative care framework, it’s important to stay on top of the latest research into these risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
What constitutes a high-risk patient? What’s new in risk assessment? We've already discussed a new factor identified with a predictive value similar to cholesterol levels. Researchers have also found a gene that indicates high risk for heart disease in women.
Continue reading Cardiovascular Risk Report: New Genetic Risk in Women Identified