News in brief: Major cardiology provider to be sold off; Climate warming linked to CVD deaths in men; Call to monitor post-stroke patients with mobile ECG

Thursday, 14 Apr 2022

Major cardiology provider to be sold off

One of Australia’s largest cardiology care providers, CardiologyCo, is being put up for sale by its owner GenesisCare and is expected to fetch $300–$600 million, according to business analysts.

The pitch to would-be investors says the cardiology unit has operations at 80 locations across all states, performing 570,000 procedures a year with annual profits of around $30 million.

According to the Australian Financial Review, investors are being told that the cardiology business has an attractive financial future based on projections of increasing costs of cardiovascular disease treatment, Medicare-backed funding and high retention of cardiology staff with established referral networks.

Climate warming linked to CVD deaths in men

There is a significant association between higher summer nocturnal temperatures and summer CVD mortality rates in men aged  60–64 residing in the UK and the US.

CVD mortality data from mid-high latitude regions in the UK and Washington State (US) found a +1°C anomalous summer nocturnal surface air temperature (SAT) was associated with a 3.1% increased risk of CVD death.

The same association was not seen in women or older men.

The study said warmer nocturnal SAT can amplify self-reported sleep-deprivation, which is itself, a  risk factor for adult heart disease mortality.

“Considering the growing likelihood of extreme summers in Western USA and UK, our results invite preventive  population health initiatives and novel urban policies aimed at reducing future  risk of CVD events,” the study concluded.

Read more in BMJ Open

Call to monitor post-stroke patients with mobile ECG

A nurse-led in-hospital monitoring program using smartphone ECG monitors has been shown to improve detection rates for atrial fibrillation (AF) in patients post-ischaemic stroke or post-transient ischaemic attack (TIA).

An evaluation by Deakin University researchers based on data from more than 1,000 stroke patients showed that AF was detected in 8.5% of patients by iECG versus 2.8% by 24-hour Holter recording (P < 0.001). AF was detected sooner (median time from stroke onset to AF detection was 3 days vs 7 days, while anticoagulant treatment during the hospital stay was initiated for 44% versus 63% in the iECG and Holter monitoring groups, respectively.

The evaluation found that mobile ECG monitoring would be slightly more costly initially but would be more cost effective in the longer term by reducing recurrence of stroke and stroke-related deaths (140 recurrent strokes and 20 deaths avoided per 10,000 patients).

“Using [mobile] ECG to monitor patients post-stroke during initial hospitalisation is recommended to complement routine care,” the researchers concluded in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

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