Top 5 Most-Read Stories From 2019 Conference Coverage

December 24, 2019

Two new classes of drugs that offer significant clinical benefits for patients with diabetes and heart failure dominated medical conferences in 2019. Meanwhile, ovarian cancer guidelines were updated to add new therapies and the intersection of consumer health technology and cardiology also took over headlines. Read on for more.

Two new classes of drugs that offer significant clinical benefits for patients with diabetes and heart failure dominated medical conferences in 2019. Meanwhile, ovarian cancer guidelines were updated to add new therapies and the intersection of consumer health technology and cardiology also took over headlines. Read on for more:

5. DECLARE: Dapagliflozin Offers Benefits for Diabetes Patients With Heart Failure

At the 68th Scientific Session of the American College of Cardiology (ACC) meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, new findings for the type 2 diabetes (T2D) drug dapagliflozin (Farxiga) show it offers benefits to a wide spectrum of patients with heart failure, and it may reduce death for those with a high-risk condition called reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). The results, drawn from the 17,000-person study DECLARE, showed that the sodium glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor reduced hospitalization for patients with heart failure with and without HFrEF, but the benefits emerged earlier for those with reduced ejection fraction.

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4. DECLARE Shows Diabetes Drug Farxiga Prevented Renal Decline, Even for Those With Good Kidney Health

In June 2019, a related study, DECLARE-TIMI 58, the cardiovascular outcomes trial for dapagliflozin, showed that it significantly reduced the risk of renal decline, kidney failure, and renal death, according to results reported at the 79th Scientific Session of the American Diabetes Association in San Francisco, California. Researchers said treatment with the SGLT2 inhibitor made a difference even for those who were in good renal health when the study began.

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3. Cardiovascular Prevention Guidelines Call for Less Aspirin, More SGLT2s, GLP-1s for Type 2 Diabetes

Also at the ACC meeting, the 2019 Primary Prevention in Cardiovascular Disease guidelines were released, building on joint guidelines for hypertension, cholesterol, and obesity. The document begins with 3 central recommendations for team-based care, shared decision making, and a call for clinicians to investigate social determinants of health, to eliminate barriers that keep patients from pursuing healthy lifestyles. The guidelines envision fewer people taking aspirin, but potentially more people with T2D taking SGLT2 inhibitors and glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1) receptor agonists.

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2. NCCN Ovarian Cancer Guidelines Add Options for PARP Inhibitors, Bevacizumab

At the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida, main news focused on 2 areas: new uses for the antivascular therapy bevacizumab (Avastin), and in approvals in ovarian cancer for poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors. Both are targeted therapies that kill cancer cells by blocking enzymes that let the cells repair DNA.

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1. Giant Study Suggests Apple Watch Accurately Catches Atrial Fibrillation

The number 1 conference story of 2019 saw wearable technology win equal billing at ACC instead of drug studies. Early results from a giant study of Apple Watch users showed it appeared to detect atrial fibrillation (AF) with a high degree of accuracy, and about half the users who got an AF alert said they contacted a doctor. Overall, however, the number of users who got an AF alert was tiny—just 2161, or 0.5%, out of more than 419,000 who enrolled in the Apple Heart Study.

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