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Roundup: 2010 Advances in Heart Disease and Stroke Care
Date:12/28/2010

TUESDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- 2010 was a year that enjoyed continued advances in the treatment of heart disease and stroke, according to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

"We have come far in the past decade, reducing heart disease deaths by more than 27 percent and stroke deaths by more than 44 percent," American Heart Association president Dr. Ralph Sacco, chairman of the department of neurology for the Miller School of Medicine at University of Miami, said in a news release.

"But we know there is still much to be done in improving the lives of heart disease and stroke patients -- and more importantly, in preventing these devastating diseases in the first place. Scientific research will help us lead the way," he said.

The top 10 advances in heart disease for 2010 are:

  • More individually tailored treatment for people with type 2 diabetes to reduce their risk of heart disease.
  • Minimally invasive options -- such as transcatheter aortic valve implantation -- to replace a blocked aortic valve in high-risk patients who might not be able to withstand open-heart surgery.
  • Improving ways to reverse sudden cardiac arrest, such as using adult CPR with chest compressions alone.
  • More alternatives for reducing stroke risk in patients with atrial fibrillation, such as new anti-clotting drugs like dabigatran (Pradaxa) that are easier to manage than the standard drug warfarin (Coumadin).
  • Improving outcomes in heart failure patients with new types of implantable cardioverter defibrillators that can restore normal heart rhythms.
  • New procedures for infants with congenital heart disease, which may replace the need for a heart transplant.
  • Better options for anti-clotting therapy, including a new drug, ticagrelor (Brilinta), which may be a better anti-clotting medication than clopidogrel (Plavix) for patients undergoing surgery.
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