The latest news on chronic, acute, and preventive care across the health care landscape.
Chronic: Novel Diabetes Drug Dramatically Reduces Risk of Hospitalization, Death
In a real-world trial, diabetes drug Farxiga significantly reduced the chance of hospitalization and death among individuals with type 2 diabetes. According toFinancial Times, Farxiga is part of a new class of drugs called SGLT-2 inhibitors, which are designed to remove excess glucose from the kidneys. The results of the study showed that hospitalization rates for heart—related complications dropped 39% for patients taking Farxiga, and the risk of death from any cause fell 51%. The real-world trial covered Denmark, Germany, Norway, Sweden, the UK, and the United States, and included 300,000 patients.
Acute: Smart Phone App Could One Day Detect Zika Virus in 30 Minutes
A smartphone-controlled, battery-operated diagnostic prototype has been developed to detect the Zika virus, dengue, and chikungunya within a half hour. “In addition to creating an app that serves as a simple interface to operate the device, we were able to adapt smartphone camera sensors to replace traditional laboratory sample analysis tools, allowing for unprecedented mobility,” said lead author Aashish Priye. The device is based on the loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) diagnostic method, which eliminates the need to process a biological sample before testing. The investigators developed a novel algorithm that allows a smartphone sensor to act as a fluorimeter detecting quenching of unincorporated amplification signal reporters (QUASR) LAMP light signals if they appear. Users would need to simply place the smartphone on top of the LAMP box and open an app, which turns on the heater to initiate the LAMP reaction. After 30 minutes, the phone photographs the sample. The app then employs a novel image analysis algorithm to accurately determine the color and brightness of the glow emitted from the LAMP reaction.
Preventive: Avoiding Unnecessary Coronary Stents
Investigators have found a simple fix that would eliminate unnecessary stenting procedures in patients with coronary artery spasm. In a case series published in Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions, investigators described 6 patients scheduled for angioplasty and stenting for the diagnosis of coronary artery disease. Five of 6 patients had a cardiac catheterization just days prior. When the cardiologists gave the patients nitroglycerin prior to the stent procedure, they found that the blockages were resolved. The findings indicated that the patients’ real diagnosis was coronary artery spasm. Angioplasty was deferred and all the patients were successfully treated with medication. “Our suspicion is that some patients receive stents unnecessarily since they are misdiagnosed as having fixed atherosclerotic blockage while the true culprit, coronary spasm, goes unrecognized,” said senior author Michael Savage, MD. “Cardiologists need to know that they could be overlooking coronary spasm and thus, over treating their patients with stents.”