A lot of studies have been coming out discussing the heart, healthcare access, and advances in the prescription of medications. Some of the more relevant ones look into the early stages of diagnosis:

Cardiology trial shows potential benefit of genetic testing when selecting blood thinners

Some patients go through extensive tests just to get a diagnosis, so what’s one more blood test in the long run?

A new blood test might help patients and their doctors reduce the risk of seriously damaging effects that can occur following a common heart disease treatment. Patients who undergo balloon angioplasty to install stents in the heart must take blood thinners (anticoagulants) afterwards to prevent blood clots. Clopidogrel, the blood thinner traditionally prescribed to most patients, doesn’t work for nearly a third of them, however. This results in these patients being at higher risk of heart attack or stroke in the years following treatment. Now, with the help of genetic testing with a blood sample, doctors can reduce the risk of the drug not being effective by 34% by knowing who would not respond to clopidogrel

If patients test positive for the genetic variant that deters clopidogrel from working, their doctors can prescribe a different blood thinner that may have a better effect. The trial has been extended in order to learn more about what prescriptions might work best for individual patients.

More than half of 'sudden' cardiac arrest victims had contacted health services before

Cardiac arrests are often thought of as a sudden, immediate event. But a new study found that sudden cardiac arrest victims may have some warning signs in the 2 weeks before.

Research presented by the European Society of Cardiology shows that 58% of people who experienced a ‘sudden’ cardiac arrest had sought medical attention in the weeks before. In a study conducted from 2001 to 2014, researchers were able to conclude that many patients reported feeling unwell the 2 weeks before going into cardiac arrest.

Minutes count when someone’s heart stops, so this revelation could help doctors and patients identify more warning signs and be better prepared for the ‘sudden’ events. More research is needed to determine the average reasons for patients reaching out to their primary care physicians within a few weeks of experiencing sudden cardiac arrest.

Acute cardiovascular events common among adults hospitalized with influenza

It seems that we can’t get away from talking about respiratory illnesses these days. Influenza, commonly known as the flu, hospitalizes between 140,000 and 810,000 people in the U.S. each year. Studies now show, just like with COVID-19, that some of these patients are experiencing cardiovascular side effects while hospitalized.

Researchers used data from the U.S. Influenza Hospitalization Surveillance Network during 2 recent flu seasons to determine that almost 12% of hospitalized patients with influenza had some form of an acute cardiovascular event. These patients most commonly experienced heart failure and acute ischemic heart disease, also called coronary heart disease or coronary artery disease. The findings of the study suggest that vaccination is an important step to help prevent these cardiovascular events with patients who fall into the risk factor categories.

Study shows socioeconomic status linked to heart failure mortality in U.S.

Everyone has a heart, but taking care of its health can be a greater challenge for some than others.

A study published in early August found that the lack of heart disease diagnosis within U.S. counties with high rates of poverty might be due to wealth gaps. The researchers, from University Hospitals, found that there could be a link to measures of wealth and socioeconomic status and access to health care.
Using data of heart failure deaths across 3,048 counties between 1999 and 2018, the researchers highlighted the role that health care disparities have on underserved communities. According to one of the co-authors, the trend of heart failure mortality across socioeconomic standings has been persistent for the last 2 decades. The researchers hope that this study, and others like it, may offer solutions to better aid the communities whose health care is lesser than others.