Special Issue of JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging Highlights Value of CV Imaging in Women

LESLEE_SHAW_HEADSHOTThis post was authored by Leslee J. Shaw, PhD, FACC, associate editor of JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging and a member of ACC’s Cardiovascular Disease in Women Committee.

For decades, we have heard all of the statistics that more women are dying of coronary heart disease than men. This early finding from the mid-1980s has continued to unfurl with additional data on unique biologic differences coupled with quality of care differences between women and men. All of these factors disadvantage women and illustrate the sizeable gap in knowledge relating to heart disease for females.

If the goals of our health care system are to provide high-quality care for all, then for half the population, we have truly failed! Is this too much of a nihilist’s perspective? Maybe, as gains have been made. We have gained tremendous insight into sex-specific differences over the past decade based on evidence from research using cardiovascular imaging.

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‘I am CardioSmart’ Contest Recognizes Inspiring Heart Health Stories

This post was authored by Marth Gulati, MD, MS, FACC, editor-in-chief of CardioSmart.org.

This month, CardioSmart announced the winners of its annual “I am CardioSmart” contest, which has been held every year since 2013 to recognize people living well with heart disease. People from across the country submitted their stories about how they have taken control of their health after a heart disease diagnosis.

CardioSmart asked their Facebook fans to “like” the story that inspired them the most, and Christian Jacobs from West Jefferson, OH, was selected as the overall winner. He won a trip to Chicago during ACC.16 where he will have the opportunity to share his story with ACC.16 attendees and be recognized at the CardioSmart Patient Engagement Reception. Continue reading

National Cardiac Rehab Week: Encouraging Patient Education and Participation

Richard Josephson headshot Derin Tugal headshotThis post was authored by Richard A. Josephson, MS, MD, FACC, member of the ACC Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease Section Leadership Council, and Derin Tugal, MD, a fellow in training at Case Medical Center, University Hospitals of Cleveland and a member of the ACC Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease Section.

Cardiac rehabilitation (rehab) offers patients with coronary artery disease (CAD), recent revascularizations or cardiac surgery, or heart failure, a comprehensive individualized program of supervised exercise, health education, advice on lifestyle behavior modification, physical activity and psychological stress management. There is growing appreciation of the benefit of exercise-based cardiac rehab on reduced cardiovascular mortality, morbidity, unplanned hospitalizations, exercise capacity, health-related quality of life and psychological well-being. Continue reading

Find Your Heart a Home

DEHMER_BOT_2010This post was authored by Gregory J. Dehmer, MD, MACC, chair of the NCDR Public Reporting Advisory Group.

In this era of health care transparency, patients and their families want access to credible information about quality of care to help them make informed decisions. Recognizing this trend, the ACC spent several years developing a program to bring important information about the quality of care provided at NCDR hospitals to the public. In addition to empowering patients to take an active role in their care decisions, ACC’s public reporting program, which U.S. News and World Report called an “initial step towards transformational transparency,” incentivizes clinicians and health care organizations to improve quality of care. Continue reading

Congenital Heart Disease Awareness: Transitioning ACHD Patients Into Specialty Care

Marion Rae headshotThis article was authored by Marion McRae, ACNP-BC, a nurse practitioner in the Guerin Family Congenital Heart Program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA.

Congenital heart disease (CHD) occurs in close to 1 percent of births with over 90 percent living to adulthood. There are now more adults living with CHD than children due to successful surgical and medical treatment over the last six decades. Unfortunately, many adults with CHD have fallen out of congenital heart care either because they were told they were surgically “fixed” or because they were never referred to adult congenital heart disease (AHCD) providers upon reaching adulthood.

It is now known from decades of follow-up that there can be life-long consequences of even the simplest congenital heart surgeries. In addition, we now know that many individuals with complex CHD repairs that have a single ventricle or a systemic right ventricle will experience early heart failure, arrhythmias, and far-reaching manifestations of surgical procedures, such as the Fontan operation, that subject the body to systemic venous hypertension leading to liver cirrhosis, pulmonary hypertension, esophageal varices, protein-losing enteropathy, plastic bronchitis, etc. Many of these individuals will go on to need a heart transplant or multi-organ transplantation in their second to fourth decade of life.  Continue reading

American Heart Month: Making Informed Care Decisions

Williams HeadshotThis post was authored by Kim Allan Williams Sr. MD, FACC, president of the ACC.

At the beginning of each new year, we make resolutions to create healthier habits, typically we try new activities and engage more with friends and family. February is American Heart Month – a month dedicated to raising awareness of cardiovascular disease and the benefits of heart health – and is a great time to renew or continue these resolutions – especially those related to health – so they become lifelong habits.

This year the ACC is taking part in several activities to raise awareness for Heart Month, with a particular focus on patient engagement and making informed care decisions. The month will also focus on initiatives within the College and ACC’s CardioSmart, including calling attention to special awareness weeks for congenital heart disease (Feb. 7 – 13), cardiac rehabilitation (rehab) (Feb. 14 – 21) and heart failure (Feb. 14 – 21). Continue reading

ACC Celebrates World Heart Day With Healthy Heart Choices

This post was authored by John Gordon Harold, MD, MACC, past president of the ACC, and Gerard Martin, MD, FACC, chair of the Population Health Policy and Health Promotion Committee.

On Sept. 29, we celebrate World Heart Day, a global initiative created by the World Heart Federation to better educate citizens about the prevalence of cardiovascular disease. This year focuses on healthy heart choices for everyone, everywhere.

As such, it is fitting that a bold new global agenda to end poverty by 2030 and pursue a sustainable future was recently adopted by the 193 Member States of the United Nations (UN) at the start of the three-day Summit in New York City on Sustainable Development. The Sustainable Development Goals were approved unanimously on Sept. 25, and made the prevention and treatment of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) – including cardiovascular disease – a top sustainable development priority. This includes the target of reducing premature mortality from NCDs by one third by the year 2030. Continue reading

Cholesterol Education Month: Patient and Clinician Resources

Martha_Gulati_image_comm_2015_08_04This post was authored by Martha Gulati, MD, MS, FACC, editor-in-chief of ACC’s CardioSmart.

Despite advances in medical technology and cardiovascular disease (CVD) treatment, one of the biggest risk factors for CVD, high cholesterol, is running rampant in our communities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 30 percent of American adults have high low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Of the 73.5 million people with high LDL cholesterol, less than 1 in 3 has it under control and less than half are getting treatment to get their numbers under control. The most shocking statistic for us as cardiovascular professionals is that the risk of heart disease doubles for people with high total cholesterol.

Because a variety of factors lead to high cholesterol, including a diet high in saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol, being overweight, inactivity, age and family history , it’s a complex condition, but one that is highly preventable and treatable. Continue reading

Patient Engagement Pavilion Highlights Resources For Patient-Centered Care

Located in booth #3449 of the ACC.15 Expo Hall, the CardioSmart.org Patient Engagement Pavilion spotlights ACC’s commitment to patient care by providing a dedicated area that showcases programs, tools and resources that address the needs of both cardiovascular patients and clinicians.

The Pavilion features more than 10 national health and cardiovascular organizations and an impressive line-up of speakers and topics.

Patient Engagement Pavilion presentations will kick off this morning with an overview from JoAnne M. Foody, MD, FACC, on the ACC’s guidelines-based patient education offerings that support patient engagement and population health. Other featured topics will include shared decision making, the ACC Patient Navigator Program, reducing risk through lifestyle management, a partnership to advance women’s heart health, and the role of nursing in patient education. Continue reading

How to Talk to Patients About Nutrition

Jane CasselThis post was authored by Jane Cassel, PA-C, cardiovascular team member of the ACC’s Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease Section Leadership Council.

Working in an acute coronary unit exposes me to several situations that cause me to think about the future of heart disease that provides me with a source of employment. Census data show that coronary artery disease and related mortality has decreased significantly in the recent decades, however, heart disease is still the number one killer among men and women in certain age groups in the U.S. Even with that information, fighting the disease from progressing continues to be a goal that I don’t see will ever become a null product. Continue reading