Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Balancing Risks and Benefits: How Do Clinical Guidelines in Cardiovascular Medicine Promote the Health of an Individual?

Much of the hopes for precision medicine (as outlined Dr. Dr. Collins) are based on deriving large amounts of genomic, proteomic, epigenomic and metabolomic data on large cohorts of patients. It will take decades to build these cohorts and even more time to analyze them and derive specific conclusions on how these will help individualize treatments. However, there is a pressing need for how to individualize contemporary ...more »

Submitted by (@jalees)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Decisions on whether or not to place a patient with atrial fibrillation on chronic anticoagulation or on statin therapy are often based on guidelines and cardiovascular risk calculators.

 

Patients with a higher risk of stroke are more likely to receive anticoagulation and patients with a higher risk of a myocardial infarction are more likely to receive statin therapy.

 

However, these cardiovascular risk calculators do not really take into account the potential side effects and impact on the lifestyle of the patients.

 

Physicians will stop anticoagulation in a patient with atrial fibrillation if the patient has suffered a life-threatening bleed but there are no specific evidence-based guidelines as to how one should proceed if the bleeding is minor.

 

it is easy to compute the cardiovascular risk and overall mortality benefit of placing a patient on statins but how does one factor in the impact that statins have on the quality of life of an individual?

 

Developing novel evidence-based approaches to individualize therapies that factor in cardiovascular benefits as well as potential side effects and diminished quality of life could have a major impact on appropriately using treatments and reduce the arbitrariness of some medical decisions.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Jalees Rehman

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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Prevent the Development of COPD

What can be done to prevent the development of COPD in individuals at increased risk. Quitting smoking before the development of COPD can prevent COPD development. What can be done to prevent COPD for individuals with other identified ris factors

Submitted by (@jsullivan)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Several risk factors have been identified that identify individuals at risk for developing COPD including low birth weight, poor maximally attained lung function and the presence of asthma. Strategies to prevent COPD development in these individuals are needed.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

The Lung Health Study demonstrated that smoking cessation prevents COPD progression. Studies of similar size and duration should be organized to address other risk factors.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : COPD Foundation, COPDF MASAC

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Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Early prediction of cardiovascular disease by primary-care assessment

Tools for early assessment of cardiovascular disease have become available but not adopted in primary-care settings. Increased arterial stiffness is a well-known marker for advanced cardiovascular disease (CVD) and has been shown to be an independent predictor of cardiovascular mortality. In addition, arterial pulse wave velocity (PWV) has been readily accepted as a measure of arterial stiffness. Despite significant ...more »

Submitted by (@roy.wallen)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

In the US, 84 million adults will see their primary care physician for treatment of cardiovascular disease (CVD). CVD is responsible for an average of one death every 40 seconds. The direct and indirect costs of cardiovascular disease and stroke are approximately $315 billion, including the cost of health care services, medications to treat high blood pressure, and missed days of work. The World Health Organization states that 80% of premature heart disease and stroke is preventable. Focusing on assessing risk factors for cardiovascular disease, screening for individuals at risk, and then providing effective and affordable treatment to those who require it can prevent disability and death and improve quality of life.

 

In Europe, the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) has issued guidelines based on the weight of evidence in favor of the usefulness of screening for CVD by assessing arterial stiffness. These guidelines are supported by nonrandomized trials and suggest the development of randomized trials or meta-analyses. However, no guidelines exist in the US for screening for arterial stiffness from such organizations as the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC). Existing guidelines to include assessment of cholesterol, lifestyle, obesity, and factors for risk are important. However, a simple, low-cost, objective measurement could be implemented at the point of primary care to improve early detection and treatment of CVD.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Screening capabilities and some level of clinical evidence exist for early detection of CVD. Therefore, implementation of a practice guideline in the US is very feasible. Studies and assessment from existing data such as have been completed by ESC can be replicated in the US and promulgated by AHA and ACC. This effort will require support from public and private entities, including universities, in order to see practice standards implemented.

 

Challenges to date include funding and the application of clinical protocols to support randomized studies or meta-analyses that will provide evidence for benefits of early screening. Further, public policy and current funding are focused on treatment rather than prevention. Existing reimbursement established by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is focused on treatment rather than prevention and private insurance carriers have followed this same policy. Broader clinical study will support both the adoption of screening tools in primary care and broader reimbursement policy.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Roy Wallen

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Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

COPD risk categories and resource utilization

Can a tool be developed to group patients into risk categories for resource utilization?

Submitted by (@jimandmarynelson)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

COPD is usually blamed on smoking - first-hand smoke, second-hand smoke, and third-hand smoke. In reality, smoking is a major contributing factor. However, many other factors may lead to destruction of the breathing mechanisms in human lungs. Premature birth, exposure to industrial or agricultural chemicals, breathing dirty air, and a genetic factor known as Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency, as well as other factors may lead to COPD. In addition, COPD encompasses emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and certain types of incurable asthma, normally a combination of two or more of these disorders.

Each category of COPD requires its individual research approach.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Mary E. Nelson, caregiver, Arizona State Advocacy Captain, Copd Foundation

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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Genetic risk factors for sudden cardiac death

What are the genetic risk factors for sudden cardiac death and failure to respond to CPR and defibrillation?

Submitted by (@rebecca.lehotzky)

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 : AHA Staff & Volunteers

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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Develop and validate a metric to address the full spectrum of patient-level comorbidities affecting critical illness

An individual metric to inform about the additive and not individual impact of comorbidities on critical illness and peri-operative mortality. For instance, we know the impact of COPD or MI or CKD on mortality after hemicolectomy, but not necessarily the additive impact of all three.

Submitted by (@greg.martin)

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 : Society of Critical Care Medicine Executive Committee/Council

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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Young Adult Research

How to manage CVD risk factors in young adults

Submitted by (@hm2000)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Management of hypertension and other cardiovascular risk factors among young adults (18 to <40 years old) in the U.S.

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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Understand the Impact of Thrombosis in Children with Cancer

CC: Despite the potential impact that venous thrombotic events (VTE) have on children with cancer, several unresolved issues remain. To date, we are yet to understand: - incidence/prevalence of VTE according to cancer type/staging - ideal imaging modalities to diagnose/follow VTE - thromboprophylaxis according to thrombosis risk stratification (development of VTE predictors) - efficacy/safety to anticoagulate children ...more »

Submitted by (@leonardo.brandao)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Venous thrombotic events (VTE) are now occurring in 1/200 children admitted to a tertiary pediatric facility. In around 70-90% of cases, VTE occurs in children with an underlying condition, amongst which cancer represents up to 1/3 of patients. Within this group of patients, the thrombotic complications are associated with a higher morbidity (e.g. higher recurrence rates, high rate of CNS events in acute leukemia) and mortality. Nevertheless, the clinical challenges highlighted in the itemized Critical Challenge Section illustrate the lack of basic science, translational and clinical research available, as well as the paucity of evidence-based medicine recommendations necessary to acoount for the increasing number of patients with this complication.

On the other hand, pediatric oncology is one of the areas of pediatric care where the medical progresses of the last decades have drastically changed the natural history of cancer in children. In light of much higher survival rates for almost all types of pediatric cancer, the focus has now shifted towards decreasing treatment-related, as well as disease-related morbidities, increasing the quality of life of the many survivors. Because VTE is now recognized as one of the significant remaining complications within this patient population, addressing the list summarized herein would contribute to further improve the care of children with cancer.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

The infrastructure that is already in place under the Children's Oncology Group (COG), where almost any new clinical and/or translational idea related to the care of children with cancer becomes part of a clinical trial, could be rolled over to explore many of the items listed under the CC Section.

As a principle, VTE in children with cancer develop due to: a) host-related factors; b) chemotherapy/treatment-related factors; and c) disease-related issues. Therefore, protocol- and disease-specific studies could address, under the auspices of COG, the prevalence of VTE according to cancer type in a prospective manner. Similarly, high risk groups for VTE could be submitted to standardized imaging and/or biomarker investigation prospectivelly, in addition to collection of outcome data related to VTE and to anticoagulation protocols. Furthermore, tumor specimens/genetic markers could be evaluated and correlated to the study outcomes. The challenges of reaching consensus during protocol development would allow identification of equipoise for certain clinical scenarios, obviating the need of trials, or the use of consensus techniques, before diagnostic/therapeutic protocols could be adopted.

In conclusion, the develoment of a multidisciplinary task force (i.e. pediatric radiologists, oncologists, hematologists, molecular biology experts), which, for the most part, is already in place (i.e. COG), would be instrumental to foster research on this extremely clinically relevant area.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Leonardo R. Brandao, MD, MSc;

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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Restoring Balance to Stroke Prevention in Older AFib Patients

Improving Tools for Anticoagulation Decision-Making

Submitted by (@cbens0)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

AFib increases stroke risk by five-fold and doubles the risk that a stroke will result in permanent disability. While oral anticoagulation (OAC) is highly effective at reducing stroke risk, elderly patients are often under-anticoagulated. This is in part due to an under-appreciation of the stroke risk associated with AFib and the tendency of some health care professionals to prioritize perceived bleeding risk over stroke prophylaxis. Because current bleeding risk assessment tools are imperfect and largely unable to predict patients who are likely to have bleeding complications, they are often not utilized—or if used, do not truly predict which patients are at risk of a bleed. An improved bleeding risk tool is critical to improved risk assessment in the elderly. That bleeding risk tool should then be combined with the stroke risk tool for single risk stratification to streamline anticoagulation decision-making.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Developing effective integrated risk assessment tools is feasible only if there is consensus on the validity of the clinical information being provided. The approach to this critical challenge is two-fold. First, needed research that improves the reliability of bleeding risk assessment in the elderly should be pursued. Second, stroke and bleeding risk tools should be combined into a single risk stratification tool. This will require significant investment and focus, but the resulting bleeding risk assessment combined with the accepted CHA2DS2-VASc score, would significantly impact the 40 - 60% of patients who are currently not on an anticoagulant and are at increased risk of stroke and death.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : AFib Optimal Treatment Task Force

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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Does lowering circulating lipoprotein(a) levels influence cardiovascular outcomes?

A comprehensive research strategy and plan is needed to determine the most efficient, safe, cost-effective and widely applicable strategy to decrease circulating levels of lipoprotein(a) and to determine whether lowering circulating lipoprotein(a) levels will reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease such as a heart attack or a stroke as well as the progression of atherosclerosis or aortic stenosis.

Submitted by (@serevill)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Approximately 20% of the population are characterized by elevated circulating levels of lipoprotein(a), regardless of age, gender or blood cholesterol levels. Estimates suggest that up to 90% of the variation in plasma lipoprotein(a) levels could be due to genetic factors, which makes lipoprotein(a) the most prevalent inherited risk factor for cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Large-scale genetic studies have shown that Lipoprotein(a) was the strongest genetic determinant of CVD such as atherosclerosis and aortic stenosis. Lipoprotein(a) is one of the strongest predictors of residual CVD risk and has been shown to improve CVD risk prediction in several population-based studies. Lipoprotein(a) is also one of the strongest known risk factors for spontaneous ischemic stroke in childhood.

A comprehensive research strategy aiming at identifying, evaluating interaction with other risk factors, treating and educating patients with elevated lipoprotein(a) levels would result in substantial reductions of health care costs in the US and around the globe by reducing the burden of CVD while simultaneously improving the quality of life of these patients.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

The list of pharmaceutical agents that reduce lipoprotein(a) levels is steadily increasing. There are approximately half a dozen strategies that have been shown to significantly and safely lower lipoprotein(a) levels. One of the challenges of this research strategy will be to determine which of these strategies represent the most efficient, safe, cost-effective and widely applicable approach to lower lipoprotein(a) levels and CVD outcomes.

Increasing awareness on lipoprotein(a) and CVD will also be of utmost importance for this effort as relatively few physicians perform lipoprotein(a) testing and even fewer patients are aware of their lipoprotein(a) level. The first sign of high lipoprotein(a) is often a heart attack or stroke. Our challenge will be to identify patients with high lipoprotein(a) that could be enrolled in trials of risk characterization and lipoprotein(a)-lowering.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Sandra Revill Tremulis on behalf of the Lipoprotein(a) Foundation Scientific Advisory Board

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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Should clinical primary prevention of ASCVD be guided by subclincal disease or estimated risk?

Current approaches to guiding use of clinical primary prevention interventions, e.g., statins and aspirin, are based on treating patients who exceed a specific risk threshold. The performance of risk estimation is good, but not outstanding, and results from clinical and population studies continue to support the value of new biomarkers. Given the widespread use of preventive therapies, the lack of untreated cohorts is ...more »

Submitted by (@david.goff)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

The size of the US and global population qualifying for treatment with a statin or aspirin for primary prevention of ASCVD is immense. Given the performance of risk estimation, even if risk estimation were universally implemented, patients would be misclassified with the consequence of being under or over treated. If treatment based on presence of subclinical disease is more cost-effective, the benefits of preventive therapies can be enjoyed by larger proportions of our population and more ASCVD can be averted. Given the ionizing radiation, albeit low intensity, associated with CT scanning, it is incumbent on the biomedical research community to document the advantages, if any, of a subclinical disease guided approach to provision of clinical primary prevention services for ASCVD.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Many people will be concordant for the two methods of guiding provision of therapy, about 65% of middle aged and older adults. That is, many people will be high risk and have subclinical disease and many people will below risk and not have subclinical disease. It is only the discordant people, i.e., high risk people without subclinical disease and low risk people with subclinical disease, who will be informative study participants. Hence, many people will need to be screened to identify the roughly 35% who are discordant, and would be treated differently by the two approaches.

 

People may be unwilling to accept randomization once they know the information about their estimated risk and presence or absence of subclinical disease. If a low participation rate among eligible persons is observed, an even larger population of screenees would be needed.

 

A vanguard phase could provide information about these potential challenges.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : David Goff, Donald Lloyd-Jones, Phil Greeland.....

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Goal 1: Promote Human Health

Venous Thromboembolism

How can individual VTE risk-assessment scoring be combined with promising biomarker candidates in order to help predict risk in the general patient population and prevent unprovoked low-risk VTE cases?

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

The VTE field is approaching a new era of therapy in which predictive measures at the primary care level will identify those patients most at risk for VTE. With the identification of predictive biomarkers for VTE occurrence, efforts will be necessary to develop point-of-care or in-home biomarker testing devices to improve risk-assessment scoring and identification, so that patients could then be treated before progression. It will also be critical to accelerate risk-scoring systems that are beginning to incorporate biomarker candidates into the algorithm for use in clinical trials. Studies that will focus on correlating risk-assessment scores and biomarker research findings will provide a more accurate risk prediction and diagnostic value.

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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