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Recent Press Releases

Released: 03/09/2016

A 10-year follow-up study of more than 6,000 people who underwent heart CT scans suggests that a high coronary artery calcium score puts people at greater risk not only for heart and vascular disease but also for cancer, chronic kidney disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Released: 03/04/2016

A popular smartphone app purported to accurately measure blood pressure simply by placing a cellphone on the chest with a finger over the built-in camera lens misses high blood pressure in eight out of 10 patients, according to research from Johns Hopkins.

Released: 02/01/2016

Researchers at Johns Hopkins and the Henry Ford Health System report evidence that higher levels of physical fitness may not only reduce risk of heart attacks and death from all causes, but also possibly improve the chances of survival after a first attack.

Released: 12/23/2015

Johns Hopkins has demonstrated in animals that applying a pacemaker’s mild electrical shocks to push the heart in and out of normal synchronized contraction for part of each day may be an effective way to slow down the progression of heart failure, a disorder that afflicts millions of Americans.”

Released: 12/14/2015

Academic medical centers that take on community partners to form accountable care organizations face a number of unexpected challenges, says Scott Berkowitz, M.D., M.B.A., medical director of accountable care for the Office of Johns Hopkins Physicians and executive director of the Johns Hopkins Medicine accountable care organization (ACO) known as the Johns Hopkins Medicine Alliance for Patients (JMAP).

Released: 12/10/2015

A study of general surgery residents at The Johns Hopkins Hospital suggests that in the efforts to prevent dangerous blood clots among hospitalized patients, regular, one-on-one feedback and written report cards work a lot better than the usual group lectures that newly minted surgeons receive as part of their training.

Released: 11/12/2015

Johns Hopkins researchers report that a new study of mouse cells has revealed reasons why attempts to grow stem cells to maturity in the laboratory often fail, and provided a possible way to overcome such “developmental arrest.”

Released: 10/26/2015

Results of a head-to-head comparison study led by Johns Hopkins researchers show that noninvasive CT scans of the heart’s vessels are far better at spotting clogged arteries that can trigger a heart attack than the commonly prescribed exercise stress that most patients with chest pain undergo.

Released: 10/20/2015

A federally funded analysis of MRI scans of the aging hearts of nearly 3,000 adults shows significant differences in the way male and female hearts change over time.

Released: 09/28/2015

Johns Hopkins Hospital has received the American College of Cardiology’s NCDR ACTION Registry-GWTG Platinum Performance Achievement Award for 2015. Johns Hopkins is one of only 319 hospitals nationwide to receive the honor.

Released: 09/24/2015

A sticky, protein-rich gel created by Johns Hopkins researchers appears to help stem cells stay on or in rat hearts and restore their metabolism after transplantation, improving cardiac function after simulated heart attacks, according to results of a new study.

Released: 08/26/2015

Analysis of blood samples from more than 5,000 people suggests that a more sensitive version of a blood test long used to verify heart muscle damage from heart attacks could also identify people on their way to developing hypertension well before the so-called silent killer shows up on a blood pressure machine.

Released: 08/11/2015

Acknowledging key strengths and “lessons learned,” preventive cardiologists from Johns Hopkins and Mayo Clinic have developed a short list of suggested upgrades to the controversial heart disease prevention guidelines issued jointly in 2013 by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology.

Released: 08/11/2015

People infected with the hepatitis C virus are at risk for liver damage, but the results of a new Johns Hopkins study now show the infection may also spell heart trouble.

Released: 07/27/2015

A Johns Hopkins-led study of outcomes among 1,200 people with implanted defibrillators — devices intended to prevent sudden cardiac death from abnormal heart rhythms — shows that within a few years of implantation, one in four experienced improvements in heart function substantial enough to put them over the clinical threshold that qualified them to get a defibrillator in the first place.

Released: 07/06/2015

Researchers have long had reason to hope that blocking the flow of calcium into the mitochondria of heart and brain cells could be one way to prevent damage caused by heart attacks and strokes. But in a study of mice engineered to lack a key calcium channel in their heart cells, Johns Hopkins scientists appear to have cast a shadow of doubt on that theory. A report on their study is published online this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Released: 06/24/2015

Working with heart muscle cells from diabetic rats, scientists at Johns Hopkins have located what they say is the epicenter of mischief wreaked by too much blood sugar and used a sugar-gobbling enzyme to restore normal function in the glucose-damaged cells of animal heart muscles.

Released: 06/23/2015

In what may be a major leap forward in the quest for new treatments of the most common form of cardiovascular disease, scientists at Johns Hopkins report they have found a way to halt and reverse the progression of atherosclerosis in rodents by loading microscopic nanoparticles with a chemical that restores the animals’ ability to properly handle cholesterol.

Released: 06/22/2015

Mild elevations in blood pressure considered to be in the upper range of normal during young adulthood can lead to subclinical heart damage by middle age — a condition that sets the stage for full-blown heart failure, according to findings of a federally funded study led by scientists at Johns Hopkins.

Released: 06/17/2015

Research conducted in fruit flies, rats and monkeys by scientists at Johns Hopkins, UC San Diego, and other institutions reveals that levels of a protein called vinculin increase with age to alter the shape and performance of cardiac muscle cells — a healthy adaptive change that helps sustain heart muscle vitality over many decades.

Released: 06/04/2015

After reviewing outcomes from thousands of cases, researchers at Johns Hopkins report that patients with blocked neck arteries who undergo carotid stenting to prop open the narrowed blood vessels fare decidedly worse if their surgeons re-inflate a tiny balloon in the vessel after the mesh stent is in place.

Released: 06/01/2015

Bruce A. Perler, M.D., M.B.A., a Johns Hopkins vascular surgeon; the Julius H. Jacobson II, M.D., Professor of Vascular Surgery; vice chair for clinical operations and financial affairs for the Department of Surgery; and chief emeritus of the Division of Vascular Surgery and Endovascular Therapy, will become president of the Society for Vascular Surgery on June 20.

Released: 05/11/2015

Heart disease has topped mortality charts as the No. 1 killer of men and women for many decades, but a novel analysis of American literary fiction by two physicians finds the disorder’s presence in great novels has remained relatively modest.

Released: 05/04/2015

Oxidative stress has been long known to fuel disease, but how exactly it damages various organs has been challenging to sort out. Now scientists from Johns Hopkins say research in mice reveals why oxidation comes to be so corrosive to heart muscle. 

Released: 04/27/2015

Researchers from Johns Hopkins performing sophisticated motion studies of heart MRI scans have found that specific altered function in the left atrium — one of the heart’s four chambers — may signal stroke risk in those with a-fib and, possibly, those without it. 

Released: 04/11/2015

Levi Watkins Jr., a pioneer in both cardiac surgery and civil rights who implanted the first automatic heart defibrillator in a patient and was instrumental in recruiting minority students to the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, significantly enhancing the institution’s diversity, died on Saturday, April 11, in The Johns Hopkins Hospital of complications from a stroke. He was 70.

Released: 03/30/2015

Cholesterol-lowering statins have transformed the treatment of heart disease. But while the decision to use the drugs in patients with a history of heart attacks and strokes is mostly clear-cut, that choice can be a far trickier proposition for the tens of millions of Americans with high cholesterol but no overt disease.

Released: 03/18/2015

Working with lab animals and human heart cells, scientists from Johns Hopkins and other institutions have identified what they describe as “the long-sought culprit” in the mystery behind a cell-signaling breakdown that triggers heart failure. 

Released: 03/10/2015

A team of scientists led by Johns Hopkins cardiologist and biomedical engineer Hiroshi Ashikaga, M.D., Ph.D., has developed a mathematical model to measure and digitally map the beat-sustaining electrical flow between heart cells.

Released: 03/02/2015

Analyzing data from 58,000 heart stress tests, Johns Hopkins cardiologists report they have developed a formula that estimates one’s risk of dying over a decade based on a person’s ability to exercise on a treadmill at an increasing speed and incline.

Released: 02/16/2015

Most “risk calculators” used by clinicians to gauge a patient’s chances of suffering a heart attack and guide treatment decisions appear to significantly overestimate the likelihood of a heart attack, according to results of a study by investigators at Johns Hopkins and other institutions.

Released: 01/12/2015

A Roman philosopher was the first to note the relationship between a sound mind and a sound body. Now the findings of a new Johns Hopkins study reveal a possible biochemical explanation behind this ancient observation.

Released: 12/17/2014
 
Johns Hopkins researchers have developed a sugar-based molecular microcapsule that eliminates the toxicity of an anticancer agent developed a decade ago at Johns Hopkins, called 3-bromopyruvate, or 3BrPA, in studies of mice with implants of human pancreatic cancer tissue. The encapsulated drug packed a potent anticancer punch, stopping the progression of tumors in the mice, but without the usual toxic effects.
Released: 11/20/2014

Using an ultrasensitive blood test to detect the presence of a protein that heralds heart muscle injury, researchers from Johns Hopkins and elsewhere have found that obese people without overt heart disease experience silent cardiac damage that fuels their risk for heart failure down the road.

Released: 11/19/2014

The following research findings were presented by Johns Hopkins cardiologists at the annual Scientific Sessions Meeting of the American Heart Association in Chicago.

Released: 11/05/2014

For years, a multidisciplinary team of Johns Hopkins researchers has tracked an elusive creature, a complex of proteins thought to be at fault in some cases of sudden cardiac death. As they report Nov. 5 in the online edition of Nature Communications, they have finally captured images of the complex. Those images reveal the connection between some genetic mutations and electrical abnormalities of the heart and provide a starting point for designing therapies.

Released: 10/08/2014

Heart attack survivors often experience dangerous heart rhythm disturbances during treatment designed to restore blood flow to the injured heart muscle, a common and confounding complication of an otherwise lifesaving intervention

Released: 08/21/2014

Bruce A. Perler, M.D., M.B.A., was named president-elect of the Society for Vascular Surgery, an international medical society with 5,000 members, at the society’s recent annual meeting in Boston.

Released: 08/05/2014

A new Johns Hopkins review of 20 years’ worth of published research suggests that risks linked to long-term use of statins, including muscle toxicity, diabetes and dementia, are very low and that the potential benefit is very high. And although some experts say statins may be overprescribed, the new analysis could provide reassurance of the relative safety of the cholesterol-lowering drugs for the more than 200 million people worldwide who take them.

Released: 07/31/2014

 Studies by vascular biologists at The Johns Hopkins Hospital could lead to new treatments for vascular disease. This work was led by Dan Berkowitz, M.B.B.Ch., and Lewis Romer, M.D., both professors of anesthesiology and critical care medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The studies focus on the balance between (good) nitric oxide, and (bad) oxidants—both important regulators of the inner lining of blood vessels, called the endothelium.

Released: 07/01/2014

Researchers at Johns Hopkins have spotted a strong family trait in two distant relatives: The channels that permit entry of sodium and calcium ions into cells turn out to share similar means for regulating ion intake, they say. Both types of channels are critical to life. Having the right concentrations of sodium and calcium ions in cells enables healthy brain communication, heart contraction and many other processes. The new evidence is likely to aid development of drugs for channel-linked diseases ranging from epilepsy to heart ailments to muscle weakness.

Released: 06/24/2014

By analyzing the number of times scientists were cited in others’ papers, the company Thomson Reuters has created a new list of the top 3,215 most highly cited—and therefore most influential— researchers in the world. Seventeen are from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Released: 05/27/2014

A genetic variant linked to sudden cardiac death leads to protein overproduction in heart cells, Johns Hopkins scientists report. Unlike many known disease-linked variants, this one lies not in a gene but in so-called noncoding DNA, a growing focus of disease research. The discovery, reported in the June 5 issue of The American Journal of Human Genetics, also adds to scientific understanding of the causes of sudden cardiac death and of possible ways to prevent it, the researchers say.

Released: 05/19/2014

New animal studies by Johns Hopkins cardiovascular researchers strongly suggest that sildenafil, the erectile dysfunction drug sold as Viagra and now under consideration as a treatment for heart failure, affects males and females very differently.

Released: 05/01/2014

Traditional first-line checks of such heart disease risk factors as cholesterol, blood pressure and smoking habits aren’t nearly good enough to identify cardiovascular disease in otherwise healthy, young firefighters, according to results of a small Johns Hopkins study.

Released: 04/30/2014

A type of cell that builds mouse hearts can renew itself, Johns Hopkins researchers report. They say the discovery, which likely applies to such cells in humans as well, may pave the way to using them to repair hearts damaged by disease — or even grow new heart tissue for transplantation.

Released: 03/31/2014

Men with long-term HIV infections are at higher risk than uninfected men of developing plaque in their coronary arteries, regardless of their other risk factors for coronary artery disease, according to results of a study led by Johns Hopkins researchers. A report on the research appears in the April 1 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

Released: 03/04/2014

In a study that began in a pair of infant siblings with a rare heart defect, Johns Hopkins researchers say they have identified a key molecular switch that regulates heart cell division and normally turns the process off around the time of birth. Their research, they report, could advance efforts to turn the process back on and regenerate heart tissue damaged by heart attacks or disease.

Released: 02/12/2014

Johns Hopkins pediatric cardiologist and geneticist Hal Dietz, M.D., has been awarded the first Harrington Prize for Innovation in Medicine for his work identifying the cause and a treatment for Marfan syndrome.

Released: 12/23/2013

A new study shows that coronary artery calcium (CAC) screening, an assessment tool that is not currently recommended for people considered at low risk, should play a more prominent role in helping determine a person's risk for heart attack and heart disease-related death, as well as the need for angioplasty or bypass surgery. CAC screening provides a direct measure of calcium deposits in heart arteries and is easily obtained on a computed tomography (CT) scan.

Released: 11/14/2013

Johns Hopkins researchers have developed a more accurate way to calculate low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, the so-called "bad" form of blood fat that can lead to hardening of the arteries and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. If confirmed and adopted by medical laboratories that routinely calculate blood cholesterol for patients, the researchers say their formula would give patients and their doctors a much more accurate assessment of LDL cholesterol.

Released: 11/13/2013

A Johns Hopkins undergraduate biomedical engineering student team that devised a two-part system to improve the way life-saving shocks are delivered to hearts earned first-prize in the undergraduate division of a national Collegiate Inventors Competition. In the graduate-level competition, Isaac Kinde, a Johns Hopkins medical student, received third-place honors for developing a test to detect ovarian and endometrial cancers as part of a team at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.

Released: 11/13/2013

A new study highlights the importance of exercise and physical fitness among people with stable coronary artery disease. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Henry Ford Hospital found that higher levels of physical fitness lower the risk of having heart attacks and increase survival in those with coronary artery disease, whether or not they have had a procedure to open up their blocked arteries.

Released: 10/01/2013

A review of dozens of studies on the use of statin medications to prevent heart attacks shows that the commonly prescribed drugs pose no threat to short-term memory, and that they may even protect against dementia when taken for more than one year. The Johns Hopkins researchers who conducted the systematic review say the results should offer more clarity and reassurance to patients and the doctors who prescribe the statin medications.

Released: 10/01/2013

Johns Hopkins researchers, working with mice, say they have identified a chemical compound that reduces the risk of dangerous, potentially stroke-causing blood vessel spasms that often occur after the rupture of a bulging vessel in the brain.

Released: 09/24/2013

Johns Hopkins Medicine has teamed up with a local philanthropic foundation to provide automated external defibrillators (AEDs), to 10 Baltimore City middle schools for use, if needed, during sporting events and practices. The portable devices, which are used to shock the heart back into a normal rhythm, can save the life of a student athlete, coach or spectator who collapses during practice or a game due to a heart rhythm disorder that causes sudden cardiac arrest. 
 

Released: 06/13/2013

Irene Pollin, a passionate health advocate and founder of a national organization devoted to heart disease prevention in women, has made a $10 million gift to the Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease. Her donation also establishes the Kenneth Jay Pollin Professorship in Cardiology and will launch pivotal research on heart disease prevention.

Released: 06/03/2013

A large, multi-center study led by Johns Hopkins researchers has found a significant link between lifestyle factors and heart health, adding even more evidence in support of regular exercise, eating a Mediterranean-style diet, keeping a normal weight and, most importantly, not smoking.

Released: 03/26/2013

In what promises to be an eye-opener for many doctors and patients who routinely depend on cholesterol testing, a study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine found that the standard formula used for decades to calculate low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels is often inaccurate.

Released: 03/04/2013

In a study of the impact of weight loss on reversing heart damage from obesity, Johns Hopkins researchers found that poor heart function in young obese mice can be reversed when the animals lose weight from a low-calorie diet.

Released: 02/15/2013

An abdominal aortic aneurysm - a bulge in the large artery that carries blood away from the heart - can be immediately life-threatening if it grows large enough to rupture.

Released: 02/07/2013

Researchers have found a genetic variant that doubles the likelihood that people will have calcium deposits on their aortic valve.

Released: 02/04/2013

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in California have created a laboratory-grown cell model of an inherited heart condition known as arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia/cardiomyopathy (ARVD/C).

Released: 12/21/2012

The Johns Hopkins Heart and Vascular Institute will hold the very popular “Heartfest” on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013.

Released: 11/05/2012

Research by Johns Hopkins cardiologists suggests that electrocardiograms (ECGs) may have a greater and more profound future role in predicting the risk of death from any cause, not just heart problems.

Released: 09/18/2012

Women who go into early menopause are twice as likely to suffer from coronary heart disease and stroke, new Johns Hopkins-led research suggests.

Released: 08/30/2012

The Johns Hopkins Cardiac Rehabilitation Program at Green Spring Station has received national certification from the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation, a designation that recognizes excellent care and the most advanced practices in cardiac rehabilitation. The certification, which is for three years, followed an intensive process of collecting and analyzing data on a wide range of patient outcomes and demonstrating the program’s adherence to the most current standards and guidelines.

Released: 08/28/2012

An ultra-fast, 320-detector computed tomography (CT) scanner can accurately sort out which people with chest pain need – or don’t need – an invasive procedure such as cardiac angioplasty or bypass surgery to restore blood flow to the heart, according to an international study. Results of the study, which involved 381 patients at 16 hospitals in eight countries, are scheduled to be presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Munich, Germany, on August 28.

Released: 07/30/2012

Johns Hopkins researchers have discovered a new drug that may be useful in treating a heart rhythm condition called long QT syndrome. The study was published online on June 28 in the Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Released: 07/25/2012

Johns Hopkins heart specialists will screen young athletes for heart problems that can cause sudden death. The screenings will take place at the National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships at Morgan State University in Baltimore.

Released: 07/24/2012

With the 2012 Summer Olympics taking place July 27 to Aug. 12, the competition for athletic supremacy will be high and carry with it high rates of injury among the world's most elite athletes.

Released: 07/17/2012

It is a cellular component so scarce, some scientists even doubted its existence, and many others gave up searching for its molecular structure. Now a team led by researchers at Johns Hopkins has defined the protein structural composition of mitoKATP, a potassium channel in the mitochondria of the heart and other organs that is known to protect against tissue damage due to a heart attack or stroke. Importantly, the newly found channel strongly improves heart cell survival, demonstrating an essential life-saving role.

Released: 07/17/2012

A detailed study of heart muscle function in mice has uncovered evidence to explain why exercise is beneficial for heart function in type 2 diabetes. The research team, led by scientists at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, found that greater amounts of fatty acids used by the heart during stressful conditions like exercise can counteract the detrimental effects of excess glucose and improve the diabetic heart’s pumping ability in several ways. The findings also shed light on the complex chain of events that lead to diabetic cardiomyopathy, a form of heart failure that is a life-threatening complication of type 2 diabetes.

Released: 06/20/2012

Johns Hopkins researchers have discovered that a single protein molecule may hold the key to turning cardiac stem cells into blood vessels or muscle tissue, a finding that may lead to better ways to treat heart attack patients.

Released: 05/01/2012

Years of planning, construction and designing every detail of a magnificent, 1.6-million-square-foot hospital building finally came to fruition on May 1 when The Johns Hopkins Hospital officially opened the new facility. A carefully choreographed move of several hundred patients from the original Johns Hopkins Hospital into The Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children’s Center and the Sheikh Zayed Tower took place on April 29 and 30, right before the official opening.

Released: 04/24/2012

A seminar and workshops on the latest research advances and treatments for a heart condition known as ARVD—one of the leading causes of sudden death among teenagers, young adults and young athletes. More than 200 patients and their family members from 25 states across the U.S. and Canada will attend.

Released: 04/18/2012

Patients with heart and vascular disease will be cared for in spacious, state-of-the-art private rooms when Johns Hopkins opens its new building to the first patients on April 29. The Johns Hopkins Heart and Vascular Institute occupies a major part of the 1.6 million-square-foot facility, which has 560 all-private patient rooms with private baths and 33 expansive operating rooms.

Released: 04/10/2012

JWriting the first commentary for a new feature in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), called Viewpoint, Johns Hopkins cardiologists make the case for why a 55-year-old man with a 10 percent estimated risk of heart attack over the next 10 years should be offered statin medication. They were invited to debate a professor who argues against prescribing statins for "primary" prevention-for those who have not had a cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack-even though they may be considered at "intermediate" risk because of elevated cholesterol or other factors. Readers are then invited to vote on which viewpoint they endorse.

Released: 03/25/2012

Patients who have non-emergency angioplasty to open blocked heart vessels have no greater risk of death or complications when they have the procedure at hospitals without cardiac surgery backup. That is the conclusion of a national a study to assess the safety and effectiveness of such procedures at community hospitals.

Released: 03/13/2012

Overweight people who shed pounds, especially belly fat, can improve the function of their blood vessels no matter whether they are on a low-carb or a low-fat diet, according to a study being presented by Johns Hopkins researchers at an American Heart Association scientific meeting in San Diego on March 13 that is focused on cardiovascular disease prevention.

Released: 02/27/2012

Heart transplant patients who receive new organs before the age of 55 and get them at hospitals that perform at least nine heart transplants a year are significantly more likely than other people to survive at least 10 years after their operations, new Johns Hopkins research suggests.

Released: 11/16/2011

Coronary calcium in heart arteries provides important clues about risk, even among younger and elderly patients and those without traditional risk factors, according to new studies.

Released: 11/16/2011

A team of Johns Hopkins researchers has uncovered further evidence of the benefits of a balanced diet that replaces white bread and pasta carbohydrates with unsaturated fat from avocados, olive oil and nuts — foods typical of the so-called “Mediterranean diet.”

Released: 11/15/2011

If your doctor says you have a negative stress test, or that your cholesterol or blood pressure are normal, how assured can you be that you're not likely to have a heart attack in the next seven to 10 years? Assessing traditional risk factors, such as age, high blood pressure, cholesterol, smoking and family history can estimate a person's risk, but the picture is not always clear-cut. Some newer tests can be offered to provide reassurance or guidance about the need for medications or further testing.

Released: 11/14/2011

Hospitals that do not have cardiac surgery capability can perform nonemergency angioplasty and stent implantation as safely as hospitals that do offer cardiac surgery. That is the finding of the nation’s first large, randomized study to assess whether patients do just as well having nonemergency angioplasty performed at smaller, community hospitals that do not offer cardiac surgery.

Released: 10/11/2011

Doctors at Johns Hopkins have shown that during an increasingly popular type of breast-reconstruction surgery, they can safely preserve the internal mammary artery, in case it is needed for future cardiac surgery.

Released: 10/04/2011

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), an important diagnostic test, has traditionally been off limits to more than 2 million people in the United States who have an implanted pacemaker to regulate heart rhythms or an implanted defibrillator to prevent sudden cardiac death. Now, in a study published in the October 4 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, cardiologists at Johns Hopkins report that a protocol they developed has proved effective in enabling patients with implanted cardiac devices to safely undergo an MRI scan.

Released: 09/28/2011

Each year in the United States, more than 200,000 people have a cardiac defibrillator implanted in their chest to deliver a high-voltage shock to prevent sudden cardiac death from a life-threatening arrhythmia. While it’s a necessary and effective preventive therapy, those who’ve experienced a defibrillator shock say it’s painful, and some studies suggest that the shock can damage heart muscle.

Released: 09/21/2011

Johns Hopkins experts in arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia (ARVD) have defined a set of criteria that could be used to assess a patient’s need for an implanted defibrillator to prevent sudden death. In a study to be published in the September 27 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology that is now online, the researchers report that using those criteria, they were able to separate the patients at high risk for a life-threatening irregular heart rhythm from those with low risk.

Released: 09/14/2011

Heart specialists at Johns Hopkins have figured out how a widely used pacemaker for heart failure, which makes both sides of the heart beat together to pump effectively, works at the biological level. Their findings, published in the September 14 issue of Science Translational Medicine, may open the door to drugs or genetic therapies that mimic the effect of the pacemaker and to new ways to use pacemakers for a wider range of heart failure patients.

Released: 09/06/2011

Contradicting the long-held medical belief that the risk of cardiovascular death for women spikes sharply after menopause, new research from Johns Hopkins suggests instead that heart disease mortality rates in women progress at a constant rate as they age.

Released: 08/18/2011

The presence of calcium in coronary arteries is a much better predictor of heart attack and stroke than C-reactive protein among people with normal levels of LDL cholesterol, according to a study of more than 2,000 people led by a Johns Hopkins heart specialist.

Released: 08/02/2011

Johns Hopkins scientists have launched a pioneering research program to create, for the first time, human platelet cells from stem cells in order to study inherited blood clotting abnormalities ranging from clots that cause heart attacks and stroke to bleeding disorders. The study is funded by a $9 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as part of a nationwide initiative to examine how genetic variations cause heart, lung and blood diseases.

Released: 07/28/2011

The addition of a simple stent can help prevent potentially lethal blood vessel bulges in the brain from recurring after they are repaired in a minimally invasive "coiling" procedure, according to new research by Johns Hopkins physicians.

Released: 07/12/2011

Heart experts at Johns Hopkins have begun testing a new device designed to replace blocked aortic valves in patients for whom traditional open-heart surgery is considered too risky, such as elderly patients and those with other serious medical conditions. The testing is part of a nationwide study to evaluate the device, which is deployed in a minimally invasive way. The first two Maryland patients to receive the device had it put in place by Johns Hopkins doctors on July 8, 2011.

Released: 06/22/2011

Gordon F. Tomaselli, M.D., professor and director of the Division of Cardiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, will become president of the American Heart Association (AHA), the nation’s leading voluntary health organization focused on cardiovascular disease and stroke, on July 1.

Released: 06/20/2011

Julie A. Freischlag, M.D., the director of the Department of Surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and surgeon in chief at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, has been elected the first female vice president of the Society for Vascular Surgery.

Released: 06/01/2011

Overweight and obese people looking to drop some pounds and considering one of the popular low-carbohydrate diets, along with moderate exercise, need not worry that the higher proportion of fat in such a program compared to a low-fat, high-carb diet may harm their arteries, suggests a pair of new studies by heart and vascular researchers at Johns Hopkins.

Released: 05/23/2011

Coronary computed tomographic (CT) angiography, which can detect plaque buildup in heart vessels, is sometimes used as a screening tool to assess the risk for a heart attack. However, the usefulness of the test on low-risk patients who do not have coronary symptoms, such as chest pain, has been unclear.