Trending News: Smoking Cessation Medication Not Associated with Increased Cardiovascular Risk

Top news from across the health care landscape.

The rate of sudden cardiac death (SCD), or the result of defective electrical activity of the heart, is on the rise among women compared with men with known heart disease in whom a similar increase occurred, according to The American Journal of Managed Care. A research team used data from the ongoing community-based Oregon Sudden Unexpected Death Study for adults aged 18 years or older from February 1, 2004, to January 31, 2016, who lived in Multnomah County, Oregon, on the increasing rates of SCD among women and men. Researchers found that women whose heart disease had become apparent through SCD accounted for 58% of the rise in SCD incidence between the second and third periods of the study.

Varenicline, an effective medication for smoking cessation, was not associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular or neuropsychiatric hospitalizations compared with nicotine replacement therapy, according to HCP Live. The findings suggest that varenicline should continue to be considered as a treatment option for smoking cessation. Additionally, the results added support to the FDA’s decision to remove the varenicline Boxed Warning for neuropsychiatric events.

Patients in long-term care (LTC) facilities face a higher risk of influenza and pneumonia depending on which region of the country they live, according to Contagion Live. The results come from a data set of more than 7 million Medicare recipients who were residents of LTC facilities between 2013 and 2015. This information is highly relevant to local public health leaders and clinicians responsible for making decisions about resources allocation, treatment efforts, and infection control interventions to improve health outcomes for the vulnerable LTC facilities population, according to the study authors.