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December 13th, 2019
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News From Medscape
The following recommended articles on are freely available through the partnership between ABC and Medscape, no registration or login required.
Calls Grow Louder to Regionalize Congenital Heart Surgery
New research suggests the United States has at least twice the number of congenital heart surgery (CHS) programs it needs, reigniting calls for regionalization of care.
Cath Lab Exercise Test Flags Coronary Microvascular Dysfunction
In patients with angina but no obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD), low coronary flow reserve (CFR) detected in the cath lab can provide a clear diagnosis of coronary microvascular dysfunction (CMD), researchers report.
Lipid lowering for the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) events in patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) needs improvement, two new studies conclude.
Patients With Cancer at Increased Risk for Cardiovascular Death
In a population-based study that included more than 3 million patients over a 40-year span, 1 in 10 cancer patients did not die of cancer but of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Cancer-related deaths occurred in 4 of 10 patients.
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Items of Interest
Op-Ed | Do Not Pass the Salt, Please
Dr. Tochi Okwuosa, associate professor of medicine at Rush University Medical Center and a Public Voices Fellow through The OpEd Project, offers some heart healthy advice to both patients and other physicians to heed a note of caution this holiday season and always: think again before you pick up the salt shaker at your next festive meal.
My Top 10 Take Home Points from The ISCHEMIA Trial
Dr. Renée P. Bullock-Palmer, the Director of Non Invasive Cardiac Imaging and the Women’s Heart Center at Deborah Heart and Lung Center in Browns Mills, NJ, shares her top 10 take home messages of the ISCHEMIA trial, based on the study findings, in a blog post featured on the American Heart Association’s Early Career Voice website.
Doctor Knows Best? Trust and Empathy in Medicine
Dr. Dapo Iluyomade, chief fellow in the Division of Cardiology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, FL, offers recommendations on rebuilding the doctor-patient relationship in a blog post featured on the American Heart Association’s Early Career Voice website.
First Opinion | Congress: Don't Eliminate Funding For the Diversity Creating Health Career Opportunity Program
The Senate is preparing to make a big mistake with a small budget item. On Dec. 20, it will vote on its proposed budget for the 2020 fiscal year. If approved in its current form, the new budget will completely eliminate the Health Career Opportunity Program (HCOP), a nearly $15 million national pipeline program for diversifying the U.S. health care workforce. Enacted in 1972, HCOP is a federally funded grant program that helps students from economically and/or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds develop the skills needed to successfully compete for, enter, and graduate from medical, nursing, and other health professional schools. Private and public universities can apply annually for HCOP funding to support pipeline programs for K-12 and college students. These programs often include summer research opportunities, test preparation programs, workshops for preparing applications to health professional schools, and more. Since its inception, tens of thousands of students have benefited from the program, many of whom wouldn’t be where they are today without it.
Can Social Media Improve Health? Twitter, Facebook Execs Weigh in
There’s no question that people are turning to internet search engines, blogs and social media to figure out what symptoms mean, learn more about a condition after diagnosis, connect with others facing similar health challenges and more. Now it is time for those in health care, and those who shape social media and other online interactions, to make sure patients performing those searches are getting the most accurate health information and using tools that will ultimately lead to better outcomes for them, according to a panel of experts that included representatives from Twitter and Facebook at the HLTH conference in Las Vegas, NV.
Heritage Diets and Culturally Appropriate Dietary Advice May Help Combat Chronic Diseases
Linking healthy lifestyle changes to existing values and people’s social identities can also help in implementing healthful dietary changes. For example, Elizabeth Lynch, PhD, associate professor of preventive medicine at Rush Medical College in Chicago, and her colleagues partnered with African American churches to pilot a culturally tailored nutrition program as part of weekly bible study at the churches and found that it helped increase vegetable intake among participants by 1 serving a day, reduced systolic blood pressure by an average of 3.91 mm Hg, and reduced weight by an average of 1 kg. The program was grounded in participants’ language about healthy foods and religious values.
Not Enough Doctors Recognize Hair Care as a Barrier to Exercise for African American Women
African American women face a unique challenge to regular exercise – their hair. However, it’s a problem that is not often acknowledged by primary care doctors as a barrier to a healthy lifestyle. A new study by researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center finds that, while doctors value conversations about exercise with their African American female patients, they rarely discuss how hair care affects physical activity. Education is needed to help doctors work with patients and find solutions to stay active.
Mitigating Bias and Discrimination from Healthcare Leadership
While initiatives to diversify the profession of medicine have had some success at the medical school level, the picture is still fairly bleak in academic and leadership where African American, Hispanic/Latinx, and women physicians are under-represented at senior ranks levels in nearly all specialties, and in leadership positions as department chairs. Based on a real case, this article shares resources for physicians who experience inequity in compensation and growth opportunities at their institution and for leadership to develop an all-inclusive and fair work environment and institutional culture.
Lower Pay, More Harassment: How Work in America Has Failed Women of Color
A new report from and McKinsey found that women of color make up an abysmal 4% of C-suite executives — while white women get 18% of exec roles and white men get 68%. Not only are black and Hispanic women paid less than white women on average, studies find that they are more likely to work low-paying jobs. Asian-American women, meanwhile, are most likely to get passed up for senior-level roles, and some ethnic groups (like Bangladeshi and Thai women) get paid much less than white men. Even worse: women of color overall report higher rates of workplace sexual harassment and bullying.
Success Comes From Affirming Your Potential
Our research suggests that success in the face of systemic discrimination often begins with affirming one’s own potential. When people believe in their ability to grow, they make decisions that reflect this conviction, such as investing in their potential, focusing on their unique strengths, and discovering new paths to success and fulfillment that align with their core values and leadership goals. Here, we offer a set of self-affirmations developed from interviews and surveys we have conducted with African-American professionals, as well as from our analysis of research on black leadership and career paths.
Actively Commuting to Work Lowers Risk of IHD, Stroke
A study of more than 100,000 urban commuters in China suggests that walking or cycling to work can lower people’s risk of ischemic heart disease (IHD) and stroke, even when factoring in the “rather serious air pollution” in the country.
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.
Depression Screening in CAD May Provide an Opportunity to Decrease Health Outcomes Disparities
Co-authored by Rachel Bond (with Adam Prince, Umair Ahmed and Nikhil Sharma)
Depressive symptoms in coronary artery disease (CAD) are known to associate with increased mortality. We evaluated management of depression screening in the outpatient setting for patients with known CAD at ambulatory visits. We assessed whether depression screening was performed with a patient health questionnaire, as well as what was done with positive results.
Abstract 11615: Copayment Reduction Voucher Use and Impact on Medication Persistence and Clinical Outcomes: Lessons From the Artemis Randomized Clinical Trial
Co-authored by Gregg C. Fonarow (with Alexander C. Fanaroff, Eric D. Peterson, Timothy D. Henry, Christopher P. Cannon, David J. Cohen, Niteesh K. Choudhry, Narinder P. Bhalla, James M. Eudicone, Nipun Atreja, Naeem Khan, and Tracy Y. Wang)
Cost is frequently cited as a barrier to optimal medication use, but the extent to which copayment assistance interventions are utilized when available, and their impact on medication persistence is unknown.
Abstract 14845: Diuretic Efficiency is Higher for Black Subjects Enrolled in Acute Decompensated Heart Failure Trials
Co-authored by Alanna A. Morris (with Aditi Nayak, Yi-An Ko, Michael Felker, Margaret M. Redfield, Jeffrey M. Testani and Javed Butler)
African-Americans (AA) are more likely to have HF hospitalization than other race/ethnic groups. Diuretic efficiency (DE), a measure of the efficiency with which the kidneys produce urine after a dose of diuretic, portends a poor prognosis in acute decompensated HF (ADHF). This study sought to determine if DE contributes to racial differences in risk for re-hospitalization after ADHF.

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!

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