Posts Tagged ‘risk factors’

Emory Honored with International Heart Failure Research Grant!

Emory is one of 17 collaborating centers from 10 countries participating in a new international consortium project aimed at earlier detection and prevention of heart failure.

The European Commission has awarded a grant of almost $16 million (EUR 12 million) to the Heart Omics in Ageing (HOMAGE) project, with a goal of better identifying more specific biomarkers for heart failure and then developing methods for earlier detection of risk in the elderly population.

A biomarker, or biological marker, is a characteristic that is objectively measured and evaluated as an indicator of normal biological processes, pathogenic processes, or pharmacologic responses to a therapeutic intervention. It serves as a guide for health and physiology related assessments.

The prevalence of heart failure is increasing worldwide because of the aging population and a rising trend of risk factors for heart disease — such as diabetes, obesity and hypertension. Heart failure is a major cause of death and disability in the world and remains the most frequent cause of hospitalization for patients over 65 years old. An essential step in preventing heart failure is to first accurately identify individuals at high-risk.

Traditional risk factors such as high blood pressure still remain important clinical guides but we are now seeing more cases of heart failure develop in individuals who do not have any specific high risk diseases. Therefore, this research will try to determine more accurate methods of detecting heart failure risk using biomarkers leveraging the latest technology.

This project will evaluate data from 30,000 patients from 10 countries. Emory investigators will work with the National Institutes of Aging-funded Health Aging and Body Composition Study, to assess the value of this approach among 3,000 elderly individuals in the U.S.

HOMAGE will also lead a clinical trial to look for novel treatments of heart failure that can be targeted specifically to those patients at risk.

This research has the potential to benefit thousands of individuals in the U.S. and researchers at Emory are very excited to work with colleagues across Europe in this trans-Atlantic collaboration.

About Dr. Javed Butler
Professor of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine
Director of Heart Failure Research at Emory

After completing medical school from Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan, Dr. Butler did his residency and chief residency at Yale University, Masters in Public Health from Harvard University, and cardiology fellowship including transplant training at Vanderbilt University. Before moving to Emory University, he was the director for the Heart and Heart-Lung Transplant programs at Vanderbilt University. He also has done special cardiac imaging training at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He is on the Editorial Board for the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Journal of Cardiac Failure, American Heart Journal and Congestive Heart Failure. He served on the American College of Cardiology Committee on Heart Failure and Transplantation. He is board certified in Cardiology, Internal Medicine, and Nuclear Cardiology. Currently he serves as the Deputy Chief Science Advisor for the American Heart Association. While also heavily involved in research and clinical care at Emory. Dr. Butler’s research focuses primarily on the disease progression, outcomes, and prognosis determination in patients with heart failure, with special emphasis on patients undergoing cardiac transplantation and left ventricular assist device placement. He has published many original research articles in multiple peer reviewed journals. He serves on the national board, events committee, and steering committees of several multicenter clinical trials. Dr. Butler is involved in the evaluation and management of all aspects of patients with heart failure including cardiac transplantation and left ventricular assist devices. He is also involved in the cardiac CT program at Emory University.

Related Resources

Heart Disease: Learning the Facts and Risk Factors

Many people may not be aware of the fact that heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the US. It’s estimated that heart disease will cost the US $316.4 billion in 2010—a figure that includes the costs of health care, medication, and lost productivity.

One of the most promising treatments for heart disease is prevention. Having a sound strategy for combating heart disease will also ward off other chronic diseases such as diabetes, certain cancers, osteoporosis and ongoing lower back pain. Even if you have the unhealthiest of habits, scientists state that the body’s remarkable ability to heal allows you to avoid future illnesses through lifestyle changes.

Heart healthy facts:

Exercise and diet are crucial components in avoiding heart disease. Here are some heart healthy facts that you may not be aware of:

-  Consuming eight ounces of fish on a weekly basis can potentially cut the risk of stroke in half.

-  Being 30 pounds or more over your ideal weight significantly increases your chance of having heart disease and other chronic illnesses.

-  Once you quit smoking, your blood vessels and coronary tissues will respond quickly, and your risk of heart disease will drop.

-  Even small changes, such as increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables and exercising more can improve your health and reduce risk.

-  Dark chocolate (in moderation) contains a rich source of substances known as antioxidants that can combat heart disease.

Heart Disease Risk Factors:

Studies have shown that nine out of ten patients suffering from heart disease have at least one of the following risk factors:

-  High blood pressure

-  High cholesterol

-  Cigarette Smoking

-  Physical Inactivity

-  Alcohol Use

-  Overweight/Obesity

-  Diabetes

-  Poor diet and nutrition

Do you have questions about the risk factors of heart disease? If so, I’m happy to address them in the comments.

About Jefferson Baer, MD, MPH:

Dr. Baer, the Director of Preventative Cardiology at Emory University Hospital Midtown, specializes in preventive cardiology. His areas of clinical interest include cholesterol metabolism, novel cardiovascular risk factors, and novel methods for the detection of coronary disease. Dr. Baer has been published in The American Journal of Cardiology , The Journal of Clinical Lipidolog, Current Treatment Options in Cardiovascular Medicine and the Journal of Infectious Diseases.