View Online
January 17, 2020
News From Medscape
The following recommended articles on are freely available through the partnership between ABC and Medscape, no registration or login required.
AHA Names Top Heart Disease, Stroke Research Advances of 2019
Since 1996, the American Heart Association (AHA) has compiled an annual list of major advances in heart disease and stroke science. This year's list highlights the biggest scientific victories achieved in 2019, grouped into 10 subject areas, as determined by AHA leadership.
Final Results on Lipoprotein(a)-Lowering Drug Published
A phase 2 trial showing that the novel antisense agent AKCEA-APO(a)-LRx dramatically lowers lipoprotein(a) levels in patients with elevated Lp(a) and established cardiovascular disease (CVD) has been published online in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study was funded by Akcea Therapeutics. Up next: phase III trial probing clinical outcomes.
15 Studies That Challenged Medical Dogma in 2019
Some of the best scientific papers are the ones that challenge the prevailing wisdom, or dogma. Medscape has compiled a list of 15 such articles from 2019, in no particular order.
How Does Your Boss Evaluate You? (It's Not Just Productivity)
Yearly performance reviews of employed physicians are virtually de rigueur in large health systems, hospitals, and practices, but they can be rare in small practices and some small hospitals.
Flu Season Worsens Early, More Deaths Reported
Influenza spread across the entire United States during the week ending December 14 (week 50), worsening several weeks earlier than last year, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). So far this season, at least 3.7 million influenza cases, 32,000 hospitalizations, and 1800 deaths have occurred from influenza.
Items of Interest
Racial Disparities in Heart Failure Explained
Researchers at UT Southwestern have uncovered evidence that the higher prevalence of "malignant" enlargement of the heart among blacks contributes to the higher incidence of heart failure in this population. The new study is published online in the journal Circulation. Experts hopeful that findings could help identify individuals who might benefit from earlier intervention.
Cardiac Rehab Reaches Fewer Than One in Four
Cardiac rehabilitation participation was woefully low among eligible Medicare patients with heart disease in 2016-2017, researchers said. Just 24.4% of eligible beneficiaries ended up participating in cardiac rehabilitation, researchers led by Matthew Ritchey, DPT, MPH, of the CDC in Atlanta, showed in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. And of those participants, only 24.3% initiated their rehabilitation programs in a timely manner (within 21 days of event) and 26.9% actually completed the program by the end of the year after becoming eligible. Medicare rates fall far below the Million Hearts campaign goal of 70% utilization by the year 2022.
How Engineering Could Optimize the Artificial Heart Valve
Redesigning the artificial heart valve could improve blood flow and potentially eliminate the need for blood thinners in patients with mechanical support, according to a new study. The authors said that if the design of mechanical heart valves is improved from a fluid mechanics point of view, it’s possible that future heart patients with artificial valves might no longer need blood thinners. The more than 10,000 people who receive a mechanical heart valve each year take blood thinners every day for their entire lives, so eliminating the need for those drugs could cut medical costs and complications.
STRENGTH CV Outcomes Trial of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Stopped For Futility
AstraZeneca announced that it will close the STRENGTH CV outcomes trial of omega-3 carboxylic acids in patients with mixed dyslipidemia at high risk for CVD. According to a press release from the company, the trial’s data monitoring committee recommended the trial be closed because of a low likelihood of omega-3 carboxylic acids (Epanova) demonstrating a benefit in the trial population.
Race and Medicine: The Harm That Comes From Mistrust — Racial Bias Still Affects Many Aspects of Health Care
African-American patients tend to receive lower-quality health services, including for cancer, H.I.V., prenatal care and preventive care, vast research shows. They are also less likely to receive treatment for cardiovascular disease, and they are more likely to have unnecessary limb amputations. African-American men, in particular, have the worst health outcomes of any major demographic group. In part, research shows, this is a result of mistrust from a legacy of discrimination.
Abbott Gets FDA OK to Start Mitraclip Study in Moderate Surgical Risk Patients
Abbott Laboratories has gained the U.S. FDA’s nod for a clinical trial that will compare the effectiveness of Mitraclip to open-heart mitral valve surgical repair in people with primary mitral regurgitation (MR) who are eligible for open-heart surgery. The prospective, randomized REPAIR MR clinical trial is expected to enroll 500 patients at 60 sites in the U.S., Canada and Europe. The trial's design addresses the issue that, despite symptoms and increased mortality for individuals suffering from MR, patients often are undertreated by open-heart mitral valve surgery. The company added that it expects to start enrollment “in coming months.”
CTA, HRS Unveil Recommendations for Managing Personal Health With Wearables at CES 2020
Consumer Technology Association (CTA)® and Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) released a unique digital health paper recommending best practices for using wearable technology to manage personal health, including detecting and monitoring cardiovascular biometrics. Presented for the first time during a panel at CES® 2020 – the world's largest, most influential tech event – this paper provides consumer guidance on understanding devices and managing their personal health data.
Welcome ABC Research Coordinator, Uzoma C Onukwubiri, MPH!

The Association of Black Cardiologists is delighted to welcome Uzoma C. Onukwubiri as its new Clinical Research Coordinator. Uzoma will work collaboratively with the Research Committee, Chief Science Officer and ABC investigators to engage in the broad breadth of research activities that are underway and under consideration at the ABC.

Prior to joining ABC, Uzoma served as Clinical Data Manager for the National Cancer Institute. She earned her undergraduate degree in Life Sciences at Pennsylvania State University. While at Penn State, Uzoma volunteered as a Health Educator with Shomeka Outreach, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting sustainable maternal health in remote areas of Zambia. She received a Masters in Public Health with a concentration in Human Genetics from the University of Pittsburgh. Uzoma also completed her graduate practicum on “Factors Contributing to Oral Health Disparities in Appalachia” at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine where she was a Research Assistant.

During her spare time, Uzoma loves to travel.

Featured Articles by Members
ABC Members: We welcome your published research submissions and articles for inclusion in future issues of Clinical Updates and Insights. Email Rachel Williams at and please attach file or include links to the original published work and/or abstract.
Syncope in a Pregnant Woman: Infiltrative Cardiomyopathy and Presumed Cardiac Sarcoidosis
Co-authored by Modele O. Ogunniyi (with Akanksha Agrawal, Faith Works-Fleming, and Ijeoma Isiadinso)
Cardiac involvement in sarcoidosis is an uncommon manifestation of the disease process. Diagnosis and treatment during pregnancy can be challenging due to life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias. We describe a case of a 43-year-old, 21-week pregnant woman who presented after 2 episodes of syncope and was diagnosed with presumed cardiac sarcoidosis. (Level of Difficulty: Beginner.)
Measuring and Improving the Quality of Heart Failure Care Globally
Co-authored by Gregg C. Fonarow, MD (with Sidney C. Smith Jr., MD and Dong Zhao, MD, PhD)
Gregg C. Fonarow, MD and his two co-authors assess the findings published in JAMA on the China Patient-Centered Evaluative Assessment of Cardiac Events Retrospective Study of Heart Failure (China PEACE) and explore the global implications for the results of this and other similar studies.
Strengthening the Evidence for Cardiac Rehabilitation Benefits
Co-authored by LaPrincess C. Brewer, MD, MPH (with Randal J. Thomas, MD, MS)
In 1982, Medicare policies provided for coverage of cardiac rehabilitation (CR) for patients recovering from myocardial infarction or coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) or for those with stable angina. This coverage decision was based primarily on evidence that CR provided safe and effective improvements in functional capacity and quality of life in these patients. Little by little, new published studies added additional weight to evidence for CR benefits in patients recovering from myocardial infarction, percutaneous coronary intervention, and CABG, including evidence of significant improvements in cardiovascular risk-factor control and medication adherence, hospital readmission, and mortality rates.
Nature of Cardiac Rehabilitation Around the Globe
Co-authored by Dawn Scantlebury (with Marta Supervia, Karam Turk-Adawi, Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, Ella Pesah, Rongjing Ding, Raquel R. Britto, Birna Bjarnason-Wehrens, Wayne Derman, Ana Abreu, Abraham S. Babu, et al.)
Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is a clinically-effective but complex model of care. The purpose of this study was to characterize the nature of CR programs around the world, in relation to guideline recommendations, and compare this by World Health Organization (WHO) region.

We LOVE to LEARN how our ABC Members are making a difference! Please Share. Giving a keynote speech? Presenting at a Grand Round? Receiving an Award? Interviewed by the Press? Published in a journal? Presenter or Panelist at a Conference? Graduating? Email Rachel Williams at or please tag or DM us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with links/details, so we can spotlight your excellence in our newsletter!


Call For Applications:
Course Director of ACC CV Overview and Board Review Course

The ACC is seeking a qualified candidate to serve as course director for the ACC Cardiovascular Board Review and Overview Course – taking place Sept. 7-12, 2020, in Washington, DC.

The commitment will be for a one-year term and the new course director will work in collaboration with the current course director, Patrick T. O'Gara, MD, MACC, and ACC staff to develop the educational course, and in selecting and preparing the faculty team.

Interested candidates are encouraged to review the position description and complete the application form. A cover letter highlighting credentials as well as a curriculum vitae should be submitted along with the application.

The Lifelong Learning Oversight Committee is responsible for reviewing applications and will determine final selection of the Course Director.

Completed materials should be submitted to Camille Haynes at, on or before midnight on Friday, Jan. 17. There will be no extensions to the deadline for applications.


ABC's Dr. Jay Brown Best Abstract Competition

Submit your abstract summarizing any problem that relates to cardiovascular disease whether it is: Clinical, Basic or Population Science. Abstract must be original scientific research and must not have been published previously.

Any physician/scientist presently in a residency or cardiology fellowship training program and active in the Association of Black Cardiologists is eligible. Not an ABC member? Click here to join or renew.

Four (4) outstanding abstracts will be selected for presentation at ABC's Annual Fellows Program on Friday, March 27, 2020 at the Hilton Chicago in Chicago, IL.

The winner of the Dr. Jay Brown Best Abstract Competition will also receive a $1,000 cash award.

Deadline to submit your abstract is February 7, 2020.


NIMHD Accepting Proposals for Research on Biopsychosocial Factors of Social Connectedness and Isolation

NIMHD is supporting two new funding opportunities, PAR-19-373 (R01 Clinical Trials Not Allowed) and PAR-19-384 (R01 Basic Experimental Studies with Humans Required), to understand the interrelation between social connectedness and social isolation on health disparity populations and health disparities (how the mechanisms, processes, and trajectories of social relationships affect outcomes in health, illness, and more.). This work includes the impact of interpersonal and systemic discrimination and microaggressions on social connectedness and isolation. This research aims to identify unique challenges and intervention targets for health disparity populations. NIMHD encourages investigators to participate in this important public health activity and welcomes inquiries concerning these FOAs. Review the funding opportunities for more information on eligibility and application submissions.

Application Due Date: March 17, 2020.


Event of Interest
Upcoming Diversity Dialogue Webinars - Save the Date

The Institute for Diversity and Health Equity (IFDHE) in collaboration with the AHA is pleased to feature the Carolyn Boone Lewis Equity of Care honorees. Equitable care ensures that all patients receive the highest quality of care, care that is individualized to the needs of every person that needs it and the community being served by a hospital or health system. The Equity of Care Award honors noteworthy leaders who have demonstrated a high level of success in reducing health care disparities and the promotion of diversity and inclusion within their organization.

January 28, 2020, 12:00pm CT, featuring honoree Northwell Health, Great Neck, NY
Dr. Jennifer Mieres
Senior Vice President, Center for Equity of Care Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Northwell Health
Michael Wright
Vice President of Diversity and Health Equity Northwell Health System


Upcoming Events

This email was sent to ##email## by Association of Black Cardiologists, powered by Powered by Multiview's Content Marketing
Archive | View Online | Unsubscribe | Subscribe