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November 14th, 2019
News From Medscape
The following recommended articles on are freely available through the partnership between ABC and Medscape, no registration or login required.
Calculator Predicts Events With or Without Weight Loss Surgery
Researchers have developed a calculator to predict the 10-year risk of a major cardiovascular event (MACE) or death in those with type 2 diabetes and obesity, depending on whether or not the patient decides to undergo bariatric surgery. The risk calculator is available on the Cleveland Clinic website and will soon be available as an app (BariatricCalc).
PCI vs CABG in Left Main Disease — The Surgeons and Statisticians Are Right
The heated debate over the 5-year results of a trial comparing stents and coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery in patients with left main coronary disease deserves mention not only because we want to know the best way to treat patients but also because of the larger lessons it teaches about the communication of science.
New AMA President Plans to Attack Dysfunction in Medicine: Expert Interview
Patrice Harris, MD, the new president of the American Medical Association, is the first black woman to hold that office. Harris is a child psychiatrist living in Atlanta, and has been active with the organization since residency; she was recently inaugurated and has held the office of president for about 3 months. Managing Editor Ellie Kincaid and Senior Director Leslie Kane, MA, spoke with Harris.
Even A Little Running Lowers Risk for Death
A little running has big health benefits, and lots of running may not do much more, researchers say. Compared with no running at all, fewer than 50 minutes of running per week reduced the risk for death from all causes by 27%, report Zeljko Pedisic, PhD, associate professor of public health at Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia, and colleagues.
Items of Interest
AHA and ACC publish new joint 2019 Clinical Performance and Quality Measures for Adults with High Blood Pressure (Nov. 12)
The American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC) jointly published new, 2019 AHA/ACC Clinical Performance and Quality Measures for Adults with High Blood Pressure in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, an American Heart Association journal. Through the writing process of the new Clinical Performance and Quality (CPQ) Measures, 22 new measures for the diagnosis and treatment of HBP were developed: 6 performance measures, 6 process quality measures and a new category of 10 structural quality measures. The Association of Black Cardiologists endorses the measure along with five other medical organizations.
Chronic Stress Linked to High Blood Pressure Risk For African Americans
Living with moderate or high stress levels year after year may increase the risk of high blood pressure, suggests U.S. research focused on African Americans. Among more than 1,800 participants in a large, long-term health study in Jackson, Mississippi, researchers found that nearly half developed high blood pressure, or hypertension, over an average seven-year follow-up. About 30% of new diagnoses happened after a period of low stress, about 35% after years of moderate stress and almost 40% after a period of chronic high stress. (Dr. Clyde Yancy is quoted in the article that highlights work conducted by Drs. Marwah Abdalla and Gbenga Ogedegbe. See actual study in featured member section.)
Disparate US Trends in Early CVD Deaths Speak to Need for Targeted Prevention
By and large, the rate of early death due to cardiovascular disease has been on the decline in the United States, but new data from 2000 to 2015 show that the improvements haven’t been equal. American Indians/Alaska Natives younger than age 50 have seen a rise in CVD mortality, while white women in this demographic have seen their progress stall. Overall, there has been an upswing in deaths due to hypertensive heart disease among individuals ages 25 to 64. Study co-author Tiffany M. Powell-Wiley, MD, MPH was interviewed for this artcle. (See actual study in featured member section.)
Adding Bempedoic Acid to Statins Significantly Lowers LDL-C in High Risk Patients: JAMA
The addition of bempedoic acid to high-intensity statin therapy in patients at increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) helped in a significant lowering of LDL-C (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol) level over 12 weeks compared to placebo, a recent study in the JAMA journal has found. Bempedoic acid (Esperion Therapeutics Inc.) is an oral, once-daily, first-in-class drug being developed for the treatment of hyperlipidemia. It is a prodrug activated in the liver to bempedoyl-CoA, which subsequently inhibits ATP-citrate lyase, an enzyme upstream of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase, the target of statins, in the cholesterol biosynthesis pathway.
Pregnant Women Could Soon Self-Screen For Preeclampsia
Pregnant women may soon be able to assess their own risk of preeclampsia, according to work published in the Journal of Engineering and Science in Medical Diagnostics and Therapy. The at-home technique involves just two components, Craig Goergen, MS, PhD, and colleagues explained in the paper—a smartphone and an automated blood pressure cuff. The cuff automatically detects changes in a woman’s blood pressure as she moves between lying on her side and her back, using a connected smartphone app to ensure she’s in the correct position each time.
Philips Supports 'Cardio Ex,' A Video Game For Interventional Cardiologists
Philips is the first big name to sign on as a sponsor of Cardio Ex, a heart-themed medical video game targeted at interventional cardiologists, Medical Design & Outsourcing reported. Gamemaker Level Ex developed the three-level game, which familiarizes physicians with common practices like locating arterial blockages, using intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) catheters, interpreting imaging scans and determining optimal stent size. Cardio Ex provides players with a timed task for each short level, tips on how to achieve that task and warnings about the consequences of making mistakes. The game also tells a player when their “patient” is in danger or at risk of dying, and indicates when the player has managed to save a patient’s life.
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.
Frequency of Coronary Microvascular Dysfunction and Diffuse Myocardial Fibrosis (Measured by Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance) in Patients With Heart Failure and Preserved Left Ventricular Ejection Fraction
Co-authored by Pelbreton C. Balfour Jr., MD, ScM (with Adrián I. Löffler, MD, Jonathan A. Pan, MD, Peter W. Shaw, MD, Yang Yang, PhD, Moiz Nasir, BS, Daniel A. Auger, PhD, et al.)
Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) is frequently accompanied by co-morbidities and a systemic proinflammatory state, resulting in coronary microvascular dysfunction (CMD), as well as myocardial fibrosis. The purpose of this study is to examine the relation between myocardial perfusion reserve (MPR) and diffuse myocardial fibrosis in patients with HFpEF using cardiovascular magnetic resonance.

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
A Call to Action
Ask Congress to Ensure Timely Access to Medications

The “Safe Step Act” (S.2546/H.R.2279), a bipartisan bill, is pending in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives that has the potential to improve patient access to medications for the treatment of cardiovascular disease. The “Safe Step Act” (S.2546/H.R.2279) creates a clear, timely and transparent process for a patient or physician to request an exception to step therapy protocols in certain situations. Step therapy is a tactic used by insurance companies that requires a patient to try and fail on their preferred medications before covering the therapy prescribed by their health care provider.

The “Safe Step Act” is good legislation that deserves Congress' attention. Advancing the bill requires a strong show of support by elected officials. The more cosponsors a piece of legislation has, the more likely it is to receive a vote.

Tell your members of Congress why the “Safe Step Act” is important to patients with heart disease and ask for their co-sponsorship.

Taking Action is Easy. Only 3 simple steps.



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.

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


Upcoming Events

Register for ABC @ AHA Events

Saturday, November 16th | Philadelphia Marriott Downtown
1201 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Franklin Hall 7

‘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


Visit ABC in Booth #3050 in the Grand Hall
at the Philadelphia Convention Center

ABC-Sponsored Workshop:
Cardiac Amyloidosis: More Common Than You Think

Thursday, November 21, 2019 | 4:00pm - 5:30pm
Location: Symphony 1

Description: This workshop will focus on educating health ministries about hATTR amyloidosis and unique barriers of diagnosis for individuals of West African descent.

Experts in the field will address the following:
• Disease symptoms and risk factors
• Understanding the effects of Amyloidosis on the Heart
• Current methods of treatment for the disease
• Genetic testing barriers in communities of West African descent
• Best practices for health ministry engagement in disease state awareness,
  early diagnosis, and genetic testing.

John M. Fontaine, MD, MBA
Professor of Medicine, Director Arrhythmia Services
Drexel University College of Medicine
Philadelphia, PA
Kevin M. Alexander, MD
Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiologist
Stanford University
Stanford, CA


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