Cardiology Editors' Choice: Top Stories of 2013

Letter to Readers |
December 31, 2013

Cardiology Editors' Choice: Top Stories of 2013

  1. Harlan M. Krumholz, MD, SM

A perspective on the most important research in the field from the past year

  1. Harlan M. Krumholz, MD, SM

Dear Readers,

This has been an exciting year for us, as we changed our name to NEJM Journal Watch Cardiology. We remain devoted to providing clinicians with the information they need to provide their patients with the best care — and, as part of NEJM Group, we are now poised to do that better than ever.

The year ended with a lot of attention on the new lipid guidelines, and they are at the top of our list. Much-anticipated, long-delayed, and ultimately controversial, the guidelines retired lipid targets as a way to guide therapy and refocused patients and doctors on risk assessment and the potential benefit and use of medications proven to improve outcomes. Controversy rages about the risk calculator and thresholds for treatment, but the general principles introduced here should endure.

In contrast to past years that featured studies introducing new, highly effective therapies, this year several strategies proved to be without benefit for patients. Among the interventions that failed to have significant beneficial effects were darbepoetin alpha for anemia in patients with heart failure, stenting for renal artery stenosis, closure of patent foramen ovale, cardiac resynchronization therapy in patients with a narrow QRS and echocardiographic dyssynchrony, and dabigatran in patients with mechanical heart valves.

What was positive among our top stories? Two observational studies, one suggesting that rhythm control is better than rate control; the other, a post hoc analysis of clinical trial data suggesting that dabigatran is beneficial over the long term in patients with atrial fibrillation.

Please let us know what you think by adding a Reader Remark to this or any other story on our site or by sending us a message on the Contact Us page. We are always interested in hearing from you.

Best wishes for 2014.

Our Cardiology Top Stories of 2013 are:

Lipid-Modifying Therapy: A New Paradigm

A Hat Trick for a New Type of LDL-Lowering Agent

More Inconclusive Results from PFO-Closure Trials

Treating Renal-Artery Stenosis: Skip the Stent

PCI in Non–Infarct-Related Arteries Improves Outcomes in Patients with ST-Segment-Elevation Myocardial Infarction

CRT Does Not Benefit Patients with Narrow QRS and Echocardiographic Dyssynchrony

Dabigatran Disappoints in Patients with Mechanical Heart Valves

Is Rhythm Control Better Than Rate Control for Atrial Fibrillation?

Long-Term Dabigatran in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation

Darbepoetin Alfa for Anemia in HF: No Clinical Benefit, Possible Harm

Editor Disclosures at Time of Publication

  • Disclosures for Harlan M. Krumholz, MD, SM at time of publication Consultant / Advisory board United Healthcare Equity ImageCor Speaker's bureau Centrix Grant / research support FDA; NIH-NHLBI; Commonwealth Fund; The Catherine and Patrick Weldon Donaghue Medical Research Foundation; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; Medtronic Editorial boards; American Journal of Managed Care; American Journal of Medicine; Archives of Medical Science; Central European Journal of Medicine; Congestive Heart Failure; Critical Pathways in Cardiology; Current Cardiovascular Risk Reports; JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging; Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine; Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes Leadership positions in professional societies American Board of Internal Medicine (Chair, Assessment 2020 Task Force); American College of Cardiology (CV Research and Scholarly Activity, and Lifelong Learning Oversight Committee); American College of Physicians (CV Research and Scholarly Activity); American Heart Association (CV Research and Scholarly Activity); Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (Heart Care Technical Expert Panel); Oklahoma Foundation for Medical Quality (Heart Care Technical Expert Panel); VHA, Inc. (Center of Applied Healthcare Studies External Advisory Board)

Reader Comments (12)

helen walker

CAO ZHIYONG I am in no way a medical specialist, however, I have a racing heartbeat at times. I have made an appointment with my cardiologist and have been informed I will be wearing a halter for 2 weeks. What more should I know about this halter and what will it reveal or should reveal.

Anchocolily Chou Medical Student, Unspecified, PUMC

Thanks a lot. It is so useful to a freshman.....

Cl?udio Mbala Resident, Cardiology

Very interesting. Liked it so much...

rajeev arab Fellow-In-Training, Internal Medicine, hyderabad

this is an execellent service by NEJM.Thank you so much

Stigimon Joseph

Very helpful in updating my knowledge.

KOLLAR JOZEF Cardiology, Pensioner

I am honored to receive free articles with important Contents.

Fabio Monzani Physician, Endocrinology, Pisa

A very interesting toll for improvingn knowledge.

CAO ZHIYONG Physician, Cardiology

work to help people need help and have good time in my life!

Mariana Manaila Medical Student, Cardiology

I wish to improve my knowledge

RUTH BREUNIG Other, Endocrinology, retired

LIPIDS and diabetes quite linked

Miguel Abbate Physician, Cardiology, Argentine

Analysis of the different issues concerning the therapeutic and diagnostic changes during the year 2013 seemed very interestin

Slawomir *Szczesniak

Very interestig topics from my point of view.

Your Comment

(will not be published)

Filtered HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Do you have any conflict of interest to disclose?
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Vertical Tabs

* Required

Reader comments are intended to encourage lively discussion of clinical topics with your peers in the medical community. We ask that you keep your remarks to a reasonable length, and we reserve the right to withhold publication of remarks that do not meet this standard.

PRIVACY: We will not use your email address, submitted for a comment, for any other purpose nor sell, rent, or share your e-mail address with any third parties. Please see our Privacy Policy.