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October 24th, 2019
News From Medscape
The following recommended articles on are freely available through the partnership between ABC and Medscape, no registration or login required.
Drinking More Sweet Beverages, Even Juice, Tied to Type 2 Diabetes
People who increase their consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages — whether they contain added or naturally occurring sugar in the form of fruit juice — face a moderately higher risk of type 2 diabetes, while replacing one of those drinks per day with water, coffee, or tea reduces the risk.
Medicare Plan for E/M Pay Draws Some Specialties' Opposition
Medicare officials are facing opposition to their plan to increase pay for office visits for certain specialties such as family practice and endocrinology, while shaving it for others, including surgeons, ophthalmologists, and physical therapists, according to comments in its draft 2020 Medicare physician fee schedule. The proposed schedule includes a proposal to change payment for evaluation and management (E/M) services, which covers office visits, in 2021.
PRIORITY: Urine Test Spots Future Kidney Disease in Diabetes
Using the proteomic classifier CDK273 urine test, researchers identified patients with type 2 diabetes and normal urinary albumin who were at high risk of developing microalbuminuria (early kidney disease) in a European study. However, therapy with the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) blocker spironolactone was not better than placebo in preventing progression to kidney disease in these high-risk patients, Peter Rossing, MD, DMSc, Steno Diabetes Center, Copenhagen, Denmark, reported.
Items of Interest
Dapagliflozin Approved for Reducing Risk of Hospitalization for Heart Failure
Dapagliflozin (Farxiga) has received approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reduce the risk of hospitalization for heart failure in patients with type 2 diabetes. AstraZeneca announced the approval of the drug, which has been indicated for the treatment of type 2 diabetes since 2014, was based on the results of the pivotal DECLARE-TIMI 58 trial.
Michael Jordan Opens Health Care Clinic For the Uninsured
Michael Jordan donated $7 million to fund the Novant Health Michael Jordan Family Medical Clinic in his hometown of Charlotte, the Daily Mail reported. The clinic, which opened Thursday, guarantees health care for the uninsured and seeks to “address health equity gaps and social determinants of health in our communities” and aims to improve healthcare access in “an area identified as having high priority public health concerns by a Health Needs Assessment.”
What's Behind The Research Funding Gap For Black Scientists?
Black applicants to a prestigious research grant program at the National Institutes of Health are awarded funding at a significantly lower rate than their white peers. The NIH has been intensively investigating this funding gap since a 2011 report. The NIH’s latest finding, released in Science Advances, reveals that part of the gap can be attributed to differences in the types of topics scientists propose studying and how those topics are valued by grant reviewers. Hannah Valantine, the NIH’s chief officer for scientific work-force diversity, who worked on the recent NIH study is quoted in the article.
Starting Statin in Childhood Protects FH Hearts
Statin use started in childhood for familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) kept atherosclerotic plaque levels normal and was associated with better outcomes in adulthood, long-term follow-up of a clinical trial cohort showed. 20-year data show impact of an early start.
It's Not Just Bosses Who Harass Health Workers: Hospitals Start Addressing Patients' 'Egregious' Behavior
Mayo’s program — and similar initiatives at other hospitals — reflects growing awareness that it’s not just bosses and colleagues who sexually harass health care workers. Often, it’s the patients who are doing the harassing [ - making requests, comments and actions expressing racial, ethnic, cultural or gender bias]. The new program at Mayo includes a policy to address patient behavior, a reporting structure for providers to use following incidents, protocols for dealing with patients who behave improperly, and training for staff and students. Dr. Sharonne Hayes, a cardiologist and medical director of the Mayo Clinic’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion is interviewed about the new policies she helped to create.
Endovascular-First Approach Boosts Amputation-Free Survival in Patients With Critical Limb Ischemia
Patients with critical limb ischemia might be better off if they opt for endovascular-first treatment over an open surgical bypass, a Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes study suggests. Critical limb ischemia (CLI) is the most severe form of peripheral artery disease (PAD), Jonathan H. Lin, MD, and co-authors wrote in the journal, yet only one trial—conducted nearly a decade ago–has explored the question of whether one revascularization therapy is more effective than the other. The BEST-CLI trial (Best Endovascular vs. Best Open Surgical Therapy in Patients with Critical Limb Ischemia) will attempt to answer that question in the coming months.
FIND FH® Machine Learning Model Identifies Individuals With Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH) For First Time at a National Level
The FH Foundation, a leading research and advocacy organization, announced today that a machine learning algorithm effectively identified individuals with probable familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) for the first time at a national scale through its FIND FH® initiative.
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.
Topic Choice Contributes to the Lower Rate of NIH Awards to African-American/Black Scientists
Co-authored by Hannah A. Valantine (with Travis A. Hoppe, Aviva Litovitz, Kristine A. Willis, Rebecca A. Meseroll, Matthew J. Perkins, B. Ian Hutchins, Alison F. Davis, Michael S. Lauer, James M. Anderson and George M. Santangelo)
Despite efforts to promote diversity in the biomedical workforce, there remains a lower rate of funding of National Institutes of Health R01 applications submitted by African-American/black (AA/B) scientists relative to white scientists. To identify underlying causes of this funding gap, we analyzed six stages of the application process from 2011 to 2015 and found that disparate outcomes arise at three of the six: decision to discuss, impact score assignment, and a previously unstudied stage, topic choice. Notably, AA/B applicants tend to propose research on topics with lower award rates. These topics include research at the community and population level, as opposed to more fundamental and mechanistic investigations; the latter tend to have higher award rates. Topic choice alone accounts for over 20% of the funding gap after controlling for multiple variables, including the applicant’s prior achievements. Our findings can be used to inform interventions designed to close the funding gap.
Hypertension and Incident Cardiovascular Events Following Ibrutinib Initiation
Co-authored by Daniel Addison (with Tyler Dickerson, Tracy Wiczer, Allyson Waller, Jennifer Philippon, Kyle Porter, Devin Haddad, Avirup Guha, Kerry A. Rogers, Seema Bhatt, John C. Byrd, Jennifer A. Woyach, and Farrukh Awan)
Ibrutinib is associated with dramatic efficacy against B-cell malignancies. Yet, ibrutinib is linked with potentially-limiting cardiotoxicity, including emerging reports of profound hypertension. However, the long-term incidence, severity, and impacts of hypertension development during ibrutinib-use are unknown. Therefore, from 562 consecutive patients treated with ibrutinib for B-cell malignancies between 2009-2016 we assessed the incidence of new/incident or worsened hypertension [systolic blood pressure (BP) cutoff of 130mmHg]. Observed incident-hypertension rates were compared to Framingham-heart predicted incident-hypertension rates. We also evaluated the relationship of hypertension on ibrutinib to the development of other major-adverse-cardiovascular-events (MACE), including arrhythmias, myocardial infarction, stroke, heart failure, and cardiovascular death. Further, we assessed the preventative and modulatory effects of antihypertensives, by medication-class, on ibrutinib-related hypertension.
EDITORIAL COMMENT: It Will Take More Than Better Diagnostics to Improve the Care of Women With ACS
Co-authored by Sharonne N. Hayes (and Allan S. Jaffe)
Allan S. Jaffe, MD, and Sharonne N. Hayes, MD, both of the Mayo Clinic, wrote an editorial regarding the JACC published study, “Sex-Specific Thresholds of High-Sensitivity Troponin in Patients With Suspected Acute Coronary Syndrome.

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!

ABC Member CME Event
ABC Member CME Event
UCSF Division of Cardiology at Zuckerberg San Francisco
General Hospital and Trauma Center Seeks Chief

The University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Department of Medicine at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center (ZSFG) seeks an outstanding leader for its Division of Cardiology. The Division is comprised of 15 MD faculty, 2 PhD faculty and clinical/research staff.

The position is for a Chief who has a demonstrated commitment to science, education and clinical practice, the ability to lead a diverse group and work with hospital partners using a collaborative approach, success in promoting or producing scholarship and funding, and the ability to mentor young academic clinicians. Successful candidates must demonstrate exceptional leadership, administrative and organizational skills and have national stature in academic Cardiology. Board-certification in Cardiology is required. An understanding of and commitment to the safety net population is also crucial.



Ask your Member of Congress to raise #PADAwareness by becoming a member of the Congressional PAD Caucus.

Today, nearly 20 million Americans are living with peripheral artery disease (PAD) and an estimated 200,000 of them – disproportionately from minority communities – suffer avoidable amputations every year.

Fortunately, lawmakers in Congress are taking action. Representatives Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-NJ-10) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL-12) have worked together to establish the first Congressional PAD Caucus to educate Congress and communities about PAD while supporting legislative activities to improve PAD research, education, and treatment, with the goal of preventing non-traumatic amputations due to PAD and other related diseases.


Time Sensitive: Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Survey

Dear ABC Member,

We would appreciate your assistance and engagement in helping ABC achieve its goal of having patients better understand patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR). To that end, ABC has created a message, training video and survey that we’d appreciate you sharing with your patients and request that they complete it by October 31, 2019.


Please impress upon your patients the importance of partnering with you to learn about patient-centered outcomes research.

Thank you,

Eldrin F. Lewis, MD, MPH, FACC, FAHA
Chair, Research Committee,
Association of Black Cardiologists, Inc.
Associate Professor of Medicine
Harvard Medical School
Director CV Clerkship and STARS program, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Upcoming Events

Register for ABC @ AHA Events

Saturday, November 16th | Philadelphia Marriott Downtown
1201 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107

‘A New Beat’ Reception | 5:15pm – 6:00pm
ABC General Membership Dinner Meeting | 6:00pm – 7:00pm
ABC Dr. Walter M. Booker, Sr. Memorial Symposium | 7:00pm – 9:00pm
“Navigating and Translating Guideline Directed Therapies and Interventions to Real-World Management of Cardiovascular Disease:
A Case Based Analysis of Therapeutic Conundrums”

Co-Chairs: John M. Fontaine, MD, MBA & Gerald DeVaughn, MD


Call for ABC Members Presenting at AHA.19

In the spirit of networking and sharing innovation, please let us know if you are chairing and/or moderating a session, serving on a panel, speaking during the conference or presenting a poster or paper. ABC will publicize this information.

Click here to include your event details no later than Friday, November 1.

ABC Job Opening | Certified Clinical Research Coordinator

The Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC), is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease among minority populations and abolish disparities in healthcare outcomes in all people of color with a particular emphasis on the African-American population. The ABC is actively involved in research and seeks to hire a certified clinical research coordinator who will avidly engage in the broad breadth of research activities that are underway and under consideration at the ABC. This individual will work under the supervision of ABC investigators, Research Committee Chair, and the Chief Science Officer.

The research coordinator must be familiar with the various aspects of study design, clinical trial operations, study site management, data management and informatics. Additionally, it is expected that the individual will be familiar with ethical and safety aspects involved in conducting research, examining and submitting protocols to institutional review boards, assisting in writing protocols and also will be a liaison and major advocate in enhancing the participation of underrepresented minorities in the research endeavor. Qualifications entail a bachelor’s degree (Master’s preferred) and certification as a clinical research coordinator.

To apply for this opportunity, please send resume, cover letter
and salary requirements to


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