Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Hypertension in the Pediatric Population

We also wish to draw attention to the rise in the prevalence of hypertension in the pediatric population, mostly as a consequence of the childhood obesity epidemic.

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Additionally, hospitalizations related to pediatric hypertension have doubled over the past decade. These phenomena have clear and profound implications for the future cardiovascular health of the American population. The NHLBI has been instrumental in supporting studies in pediatric hypertension in the past, and we encourage a continued focus on pediatric populations for future hypertension research.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : American Society of Pediatric Nephrology (ASPN)

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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

A Program of Research in the Prevention of Chronic Heart Failure

There is a need to address chronic heart failure (HF) through improved identification of patients at risk for HF and of patients with pathological ventricular remodeling who have minimal evidence of clinical HF, and more focused and individualized pharmacologic and lifestyle treatments and monitoring of patients with HF risk. Approaches would include big data collection, omics, statistical modeling, and focused clinical ...more »

Submitted by (@nhlbiforumadministrator1)

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Substantially reduce the age-adjusted incidence and population burden of chronic heart failure.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

The big data and omics revolutions have made it feasible to collect and analyze a variety of data in large numbers of persons within a relatively short time. A very large sample size provides excellent statistical power. Also, the public health and economic magnitude of the problem create the urgency needed to address the critical challenge expeditiously.

Chronic heart failure (HF) is easily the most common and growing cardiovascular cause of hospitalization and impaired functional status and quality of life in the U.S. and much of the world. This is the case despite improved pharmacologic and lifestyle treatment of HF, as well as improved control of blood pressure in the general population. While some HF in the very elderly may reflect the aging process, the epidemiology suggests that most incident cases could be prevented or postponed for years. Also, there are major ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in the incidence of HF.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : NHLBI Staff

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Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Guideline effectiveness in treating COPD patients with comorbidities vs. those without

What is the effectiveness of guideline recommendations for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) care in patients with multimorbidity, including angina, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and osteoporosis, vs. patients without these conditions?

Submitted by (@spencer)

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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Biomarkers of Pulmonary Hypertension

What are informative and clinically relevant biomarkers of pulmonary hypertension (PH)?

Submitted by (@nhlbiforumadministrator)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Compelling Question (CQ)

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This research emphasis would help identify novel pulmonary hypertension biomarkers of disease risk and progression that can be used for early detection or as outcome measures in prevention trials or treatment of PH, which is a disease currently still not curable with high mortality rate.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

NHLBI Division of Lung Diseases just launched the multi-center PVDOMICS research program last September that will enroll ~1,500 patients in the next 5 years for deep phenotyping PH. PVDOMICS will provide a perfect foundation and platform for this proposed featured study about informative and clinically relevant biomarkers of PH, and make answering this proposed question more feasible in the next 5-10 years.

Although significant advances in the treatment of pulmonary hypertension have been made in the past two decades, currently pulmonary hypertension remains a devastating disease without many clinically relevant and specific biomarkers available. Novel new informative and clinically relevant pulmonary hypertension biomarkers would greatly help advance the subtype-specific early diagnosis and precision treatment of this disease that could potentially decrease the mortality of PH.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : NHLBI Staff

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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Pulmonary Complications of Sickle Cell Disease

Do SCD patients with hemodynamics consistent with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) respond to medications designed to treat PAH?

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What is known about this topic:

1) Case series have demonstrated potential therapeutic benefits for endothelin receptor antagonists, phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors and prostacyclins in PH of SCD patients

2) Three attempted randomized placebo controlled trials of these agents in SCD patients have not gone to completion and, as a result, were under-powered to demonstrate efficacy.

3) Sildenafil produced an increase in hospitalization for pain crises in this population.

4) Anecdotally, select SCD patients with PAH have hemodynamic and clinical benefits from PAH medications.

5) Approximately ½ of PH in SCD patients have some degree of pulmonary venous hypertension and these medications may not be helpful here.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Areas of controversy:

1) Only one of the three randomized controlled trials required a PAH diagnosis prior to randomization, so the actual question hasn’t been properly addressed.

2) SCD patients with PAH are different than idiopathic PAH patients in terms of their underlying disease, so possibly the treatment response is different.

3) What are the right clinical trial endpoints for this population?

4) What is the role of SCD specific therapy (hydroxyurea, transfusions) in treating PAH of SCD?

5) How can investigators design a clinical trial which allows for enough patient accrual to achieve its endpoints?

6) What novel therapies can be developed to treat this population?

7) What unrecognized medication toxicities are SCD patients at increased risk for?

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : ATS Member

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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

What is the optimal treatment goal for hypertension?

In adults without diastolic hypertension (DBP ≥ 90 mm Hg), what is the best way to determine at what systolic blood pressure should treatment be initiated?

Submitted by (@nhlbiforumadministrator)

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The failure to resolve the debate about what is the appropriate goal for treatment of systolic hypertension could adversely effect the progress we have made in reducing the level of systolic blood pressure among the one third of adults with hypertension. At the heart of this debate is what is the optimal balance between lowering systolic blood pressure versus causing adverse consequences in those who are being treated for hypertension.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Because the existence of large clinical research networks with electronic medical records and use of generic drugs, all mean that a large pragmatic trial is definitely feasible.

Despite fifty years of clinical trial research and forty years of national guideline activity, important clinical questions remain under intense scientific debate. The importance of these questions is underlined by the scientific consensus that hypertension is the most important cardiovascular risk factor globally, in fact, more important than even tobacco use. Further hypertension research could be important because of the role of hypertension not only in CVD, but also in chronic kidney disease, stroke, and possibly in dementia and age related cognitive decline.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : NHLBI Staff

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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Can Psychological Science Improve Weight Loss?

Will sensitivity to the psychological aspects of obesity, including lifestyle priorities and motivations, improve the efficacy of long-term effectiveness of weight loss and obesity prevention interventions?

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A primary focus on principles of psychology may result in significantly improved control of the obesity epidemic. Effective interventions could reduce the risk of diabetes, sleep apnea, and hypertension. This research could also affect clinical practice guidelines for weight loss and obesity treatment.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Psychological science has been successful in developing effective treatments for a number of conditions, including sleep disorders, depressive symptoms, anxiety and phobias. Many of the behavioral principles employed in such interventions (e.g., cognitive restructuring, motivational methods) could be translated for the prevention and treatment of obesity within a reasonable time frame. Additional attention should be directed to the needs of population subgroups in which obesity is most prevalent.

In their Viewpoint article on weight loss intervention research, Pagoto and Appelhans (JAMA, 2013, see attachment) question whether a continued focus on dietary factors in research on weight loss and obesity is warranted. Their commentary raises the importance of attention to the individual psychological characteristics that influence adherence to weight loss interventions rather than dietary composition.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : NHLBI Staff

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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Optimization of Existing Therapies for Sickle Cell Disease

How can the safety, dosing and benefits of existing therapies for sickle cell disease such as hydroxyurea, be optimized in order to increase its efficacy and improve patient adherence?

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Compelling Question (CQ)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Hydroxyurea is a widely available disease-modifying therapy for sickle cell disease (SCD), but its effectiveness is currently limited by inadequate utilization, and less than optimal response. Research is needed to improve adherence to this evidence-based therapy and emphasis needs to be placed on determining whether therapy with hydroxyurea can prevent or even reverse organ dysfunction. In addition, research identifying new adjunct therapies to blood transfusion and hydroxyurea, as well as disease-specific therapies for co-morbidities such as kidney disease, hypertension, obstructive lung disease, and pulmonary hypertension will be valuable in the management and treatment of SCD.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Alice Kuaban on behalf of the American Society of Hematology (ASH)

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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Pulmonary Complications of Sickle Cell Disease

Does screening for pulmonary hypertension (PH) of sickle cell disease (SCD) alter disease outcomes?

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What is known about this topic:

1) An elevated tricuspid regurgitant jet velocity (TRV) by echocardiography occurs in 1/3 of HbSS adults, 10-25% of HbSC adults and 10-20% of HbSS adolescents.

 

2) An elevated TRV is associated with mortality risk in adults, but not children/adolescents

 

3) Epidemiologically, associations of an elevated TRV with markers of hemolysis and other disease complications (leg ulcers, priapism, proteinuria, etc.) exist.

 

4) Some patients with an elevated TRV have pulmonary hypertension but there is a high false positive rate.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Areas of controversy:

1) Does screening change outcomes? Currently, there is no established treatment for an elevated TRV. Are there either SCD related therapies (such as hydroxyurea) or treatments for disease associations (such as treatment for proteinuria) that change outcomes?

 

2) Does an elevated TRV predict an increased risk of venous thromboembolic disease, obstructive sleep apnea, asthma or other pulmonary diseases with established treatment?

 

3) What are the implications of an elevated TRV in the pediatric/adolescent population?

 

4) If screening is beneficial, what is the optimal frequency?

 

5) What is the best method of screening and what role does newer technologies such as genomics and proteomics play in identifying a higher risk group for whom screening would be more advantageous?

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : ATS Member

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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Developing approaches to the dissemination of behavioral weight loss programs

The Challenge is to make behavioral weight loss programs readily available to he many overweight and obese patients who need them. Behaivoral weight loss programs are effective in producing weight losses of 7-10% of initial body weight, which has been shown to have major beneficial effects on a number of diseases relevant to NHLBI--including hypertension and sleep apnea. However, at present, these programs are not widely ...more »

Submitted by (@rwing0)

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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

In pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), how can right ventricular function be improved in the setting of increased afterload

Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a complex, progressive condition characterized by high blood pressure in the lungs and restriction of flow through the pulmonary arterial system. Significant improvements have been made in medical management with through approved pulmonary vasodilator therapies. However, long-term right ventricular afterload reductions have still not yet been achieved. The process by which the ...more »

Submitted by (@katherinek)

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Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Understanding of many components of the PAH disease state have evolved significantly in the past thirty years. When initially described by an NIH registry, in a time where pulmonary transplantation was the only treatment for PAH, the average life expectancy of PAH patients was estimated to be 2.8 years. Since then, 12 PAH-targeted therapies have been approved by the FDA; these therapies primarily act by dilating the pulmonary arteries in order to allow blood to flow easier through the pulmonary vascular system. Despite these advances and complex therapies, long-term afterload reduction is not achievable in most PAH patients. Patients continue to die from right ventricular failure, highlighting the important relationship of the pulmonary arterial system and right ventricle. Little is known about how and why the RV progresses from hypertrophy to full RV failure, the diagnostic signs indicating early RV failure, and how best to intervene to support the failing ventricle. Knowledge in this area is critical, however, as the RV is able to recover in many patients with severe PAH after lung transplantation. The relationship between the lung vasculature and cardiac function, and specifically a characterization of RV failure, was included as a research opportunity in the Strategic Plan for Lung Vascular Research in an NHLBI-ORDR Workshop Report (Erzurum S, et al. 2010).

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

The primary challenge of addressing this CQ on how right ventricular function can be improved in the setting of increased afterload is the comprehensive analysis and support that will need to be provided, spanning from basic to clinical science. To begin, strong support of biologic characterization of the right ventricle needs to be provided. The RV is distinctly different from the more comprehensively studied left ventricle (LV), and subsequently responds differently to changes in pressure, neurotransmitters, hormones, and pharmaceutical therapies to name only a few. However, when identified, these RV biologic distinctions can be further explored to develop a better understanding of RV failure and potential points of intervention.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Katherine Kroner, Michael Patrick Gray, PHA

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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Hypertension Treatment Metrics

What goal and what should be the threshold to initiate hypertension treatment?

Is a risk based approach most relevant?

Submitted by (@nhlbiforumadministrator1)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Compelling Question (CQ)

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : NHLBI Staff

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