American College of Cardiology, April 2-4

The American College of Cardiology Annual Scientific Session and Expo

The annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology was held from April 2 to 4 in Washington, D.C., and attracted more than 12,000 participants from around the world, including clinicians, academicians, allied health professionals, and others interested in cardiology. The conference highlighted recent advances in the treatment, management, and prevention of cardiovascular diseases, with presentations focusing on novel drugs and surgical approaches to improve the quality of care for patients with cardiovascular diseases.

In one study, Frank H. Annie, Ph.D., of the Charleston Area Medical Center in West Virginia, and colleagues found that patients who experience depression following a myocardial infarction have an increased risk for stroke.

Using the Trinetx Research Network database, the researchers identified adult patients aged 18 to 90 years with a myocardial infarction from Jan. 1, 2015, to Jan. 11, 2021. Patients were divided into two cohorts: those who had a diagnosis of depression after a myocardial infarction and those who did not. All-cause stroke-related events between propensity score-matched pairs of patients in the two groups were compared, and log-rank testing was used for confirmation. The researchers found that stroke occurred more often among patients with a diagnosis of depression after myocardial infarction.

“The results of this study are troubling and require that we prioritize mental health screenings after a major cardiovascular event,” Annie said. “We need a multidisciplinary approach, as it will take multiple departments working together in order to solve this issue.”

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In another study, Nanda Siva, a third-year medical student at the West Virginia University School of Medicine in Morgantown, and colleagues found that a substantial amount of hypertension-related information on TikTok is not presented by qualified health care professionals, and the material presented is often without scientific references.

The authors extracted the top 100 videos from the two most popular hypertension-based hashtags on TikTok: #hypertension and #highbloodpressure. Descriptive video information was obtained, and content analysis was performed. The researchers found that the majority of hypertension-related information on TikTok was not presented by health care professionals. Only 22 percent of the information was presented by physicians, and even less, 5 percent, was presented specifically by cardiologists. Diet (43 percent) and alternative medicine (42 percent) were the most prevalent topics discussed in the videos, and both were often recommended without proper scientific evidence. Medical treatment (14 percent) and exercise (5 percent), both of which contribute to lowering blood pressure, were not discussed as frequently.

“Physicians should take an active role in the dissemination of evidence-based health care information on social media platforms used by patients and their family/friends,” Siva said.

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