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Stratifying Risk in SCD: Planning for the Future

Stratifying Risk in SCD: Planning for the Future

Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States and is responsible for more than 600,000 mortalities each year, according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics. About half of these mortalities are classified as sudden cardiac death (SCD). Of these deaths, about half occur as a victim’s first recognized cardiac event. Research suggests that only a small number of those suffering out-of-hospital cardiac arrests will ultimately survive these events. “SCD is a high priority public health problem that requires multipronged treatment and prevention approaches,” explains Jeffrey J. Goldberger, MD, a professor at Northwestern University’s Center for Cardiovascular Innovation. Recent reports indicate that the incidence of ventricular fibrillation as a cause of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest has been declining but continues to be a leading cause of SCD. Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) are effective but costly and have had a meaningful but, so far, limited impact on SCD. As a result, there are opportunities for new approaches to address SCD (Figure). Approximately $2.4 billion is spent each year on ICDs, but the medical community still has yet to identify the optimal method for determining which patients need these devices most. “Conducting research initiatives to improve our ability to predict risk would enable providers to target ICD use to the most appropriate recipients,” says Dr. Goldberger. “Under current prediction protocols, ICDs are not systematically reaching many patients who can benefit from receiving these devices. By assembling the right resources, there is hope that we can establish risk stratification standards that use medical resources wisely while saving the most lives.” Stratifying Sudden Cardiac Death Risk Developing effective strategies...
2014 Physician Compensation Report Highlights

2014 Physician Compensation Report Highlights

A newcomer snatched a spot in the top 3 highest earning specialties – check out which one in our summary of Medscape’s 2014 annual compensation report! In this year’s Medscape Physician Compensation Report, a great turnout of over 24,000 physicians across 25 specialties shared their salaries, hours worked, and details of how healthcare reform impacted their healthcare environment. Salary increases were seen in all but six specialties, compared with last year’s 2013 Physician Compensation Report. ♦ The top three earning specialties this year are Orthopedics ($413k), Cardiology ($351k), and both Urology and Gastroenterology at $348k. ♦ The lowest earners remain roughly the same as last year, with Infectious Diseases specialists ($174k), Family Medicine ($176k), and Endocrinologists ($181k).     Source: Medscape. Other highlights from the report include: ♦ Rheumatology hands down had the highest increase at 15% this year. ♦ Nephrology had the lowest increase (8%). ♦ Specialties whose compensation declined this year included Pathology (3%), Radiology (2%), Pulmonary Medicine (2%), and Cardiology (2%). ♦ On average, men made 31% more than women in 2013, down from 39% in 2010. ♦ The highest earners live in the North Central ($257k) and Great Lakes ($258k) regions. ♦ The lowest earners live in the Mid-Atlantic ($240k) and Northeast ($239k) regions. ♦ Almost a quarter of physicians (24%) participated in an Accountable Care Organization, compared with 16% in 2012 and only 3% in 2011. ♦ About 25% of responders said they would drop insurers that pay poorly, while 39% said they would not. Interestingly, in the satisfaction portion of the survey, top earners (plastic surgeons, surgeons, orthopedists, radiologists, and anesthesiologists) were the least likely to...
AHA 2013

AHA 2013

New research is being presented at AHA 2013, the annual scientific sessions of the American Heart Association, from November 16 to 20 in Dallas. Meeting Highlights Telemonitoring Reduces Heart Failure-Related Readmissions Program Improves QOL in STEMI Patients CABG Vs PCI in Diabetics Comparing Stroke Outcomes After Different Catheterization Techniques Trends in PCI Complications   News From the Meeting Coffee May Help Perk Up Your Blood Vessels Smokers Who Quit Cut Heart Disease Risk Faster than Previous Estimates High Frequency Source Ablation Effective in Treating Atrial Fibrillation Genetics Failed to Take the Guesswork out of Warfarin Dosing New Drug may Be as Effective as Common Blood Thinner for Stroke Prevention Many Sudden Cardiac Arrests Preceded by Warning Signs Children’s Cardiovascular Fitness Declining Worldwide Cholesterol Guidelines Are Based on Strong, Evidence-Based Science Heart Attack Survival Similar Among Those Receiving Clot-Busting Drugs, Angioplasty Combining Exercise, Vessel-Opening procedure Reduces Leg Pain Opening Blocked Kidney Arteries No Better Than Medication Alone “Smart” Pacemaker can Help Slow Heart Keep Up, Avoid Damage Replacing, Repairing Leaky Mitral Valves Net Similar Results Heart-Healthy Lifestyles can Spread Through Social Networks Teamwork, Closer Follow-Up Helps Heart Patients Take Prescriptions After Hospital Stay Sodium Nitrite Before Artery-Opening Procedures Didn’t Limit Heart Muscle Damage Treating High Blood Pressure Right After Stroke Made No Difference in Recovery Lowering Cardiac Arrest Patients’ Body Temperature on Way to Hospital Did Not Help Outcomes No Difference in Survival When Lowering Cardiac Arrest Patients’ Temperature to 33°C vs. 36°C Childhood Cancer Treatment Takes Toll on Hearts of Survivors “Virtual Reality Hands” may Help Stroke Survivors Recover Hand Function Heart Disease No. 1 Cause of Pregnancy-Related Deaths...
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