Tag Archives: American Heart Association

Three Companies Collaborate to End Coronary Heart Disease for Good

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By Gregory Keenan, MD, Vice President and Head of US Medical Affairs

Greg Keenan

This could be the beginning of the end for coronary heart disease and its consequences. Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death globally, accounting for approximately one out of every three deaths. In the U.S. more than 85 million Americans age 20 and older currently live with heart disease. Coronary heart disease, the most common type of heart disease, alone causes more than 7 million deaths annually. Something must be done, but tackling a health crisis of this magnitude can seem daunting. How can we accelerate our efforts, and how can we improve upon current research models to make an impact faster?

OBI logoThis is where One Brave Idea™ comes in. This new initiative, formed through a collaboration of the American Heart Association (AHA), Verily (formerly Google Life Sciences) and AstraZeneca, aims to identify a visionary leader who will lead the research charge to end coronary heart disease and improve the cardiovascular health of people around the world. This individual will have the opportunity and challenge to build a diverse team featuring the best and brightest minds from across industries and disciplines.

One Brave Idea sets out to accelerate discovery by removing some of the barriers that have plagued the traditional research process. The selected leader and his or her team will have resources beyond the financial investment of the three organizations (a combined $75 million over five years) by combining the AHA’s medical and scientific expertise, Verily’s technical prowess, with scientific insights and mentoring from AstraZeneca. The ultimate goal is to design and implement novel strategies to prevent or reverse coronary heart disease with an inclusive focus on causative factors and its consequences, thereby restoring cardiovascular health to patients and improving lives around the world.

AstraZeneca is continually looking for new ways to enable cross sector collaboration amongst individuals, organizations and communities who share our passion for patients. This research initiative allows us to combine resources to improve cardiovascular health – and take a truly innovative approach to solving issues of cardiovascular disease in a multidisciplinary way.

If you believe you have the idea and capabilities to lead a team that can end coronary heart disease and improve cardiovascular health, visit onebraveidea.com to submit your idea by 11:59p CT on February 14, 2016.

Applications will be reviewed by a joint leadership team comprised of representatives from AHA, Verily and AstraZeneca. I will be a part of this team, along with my colleague Bruce Cooper, MD, Vice President and Head of Global Medical Affairs at AstraZeneca. Bruce will bring his more than 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry along with entrepreneurial experience founding a successful specialty pharmaceutical company to the efforts. Bruce and I, along with our partners at AHA and Verily, eagerly anticipate the ideas, new perspectives and solutions that One Brave Idea will generate.

The Importance of Translating Clinical Guidelines into Practice

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By Nancy Brown, Chief Executive Officer at American Heart Association

IMG_4810 (3)The American Heart Association (AHA) is hosting its annual Scientific Sessions on November 7-11, 2015, and one area of focus this year is the appropriate implementation of clinical guidelines by healthcare providers in support of patients’ cardiovascular (CV) health.

Guidelines within the CV community are important as they provide clinicians with summaries of clinical research and therapeutic recommendations. For patients living with CV disease (CVD), diagnosis can be complicated and guidelines help clinicians translate data into practice, ensuring that appropriate care is given across the broad spectrum of CVD.

The clinical community also looks for guidelines to be a tool to help build consistency in practice. However, implementing guidelines can sometimes be easier said than done, and so, organizations often study guidelines in a real-world setting to understand where challenges lie.

For example, one AstraZeneca-sponsored study, which was presented at this year’s conference, takes a deeper dive into the American College of Cardiology (ACC)/AHA Cholesterol management guideline, published in 2013. This guideline reinforced the importance of lowering cholesterol by utilizing valuable resources to help save millions of people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world.

The study showed that the ACC/AHA guideline appeared to have a modest effect among new users immediately following its publication. However, the researchers concluded that follow-up in future years to fully assess the impact of the ACC/AHA guideline is warranted.

Studies like this reinforce the need for continued resources that increase the lifespan of guidelines beyond the initial issue date. We know that when medical professionals apply up-to-date, evidence-based treatment guidelines to their practice, patient outcomes improve. Speedy implementation of guidelines is important to allow patients to receive the most updated, efficacious treatments and care.

AHA is committed to addressing this problem through various programs, including the Guideline Transformation and Optimization Initiative (GTO) for non ST-segment elevation acute coronary syndrome (NSTE-ACS) guidelines. NSTE-ACS is a type of heart attack, also referred to as myocardial infarction, which occurs when an artery is partially blocked and severely reduces blood flow.

GTO, supported by a grant from AstraZeneca, is officially launching at this year’s conference. The initiative seeks to accelerate the application of updated science and provides an integrated, collaborative approach to transform clinical guidelines into practice. We believe that by doing so, this will drive better health outcomes, increase patient satisfaction and contribute to AHA’s goal to reduce mortality from CV diseases and stroke by 20 percent by 2020. Our comprehensive, coordinated approach will:

  • Innovate processes that will accelerate guidelines into practice
  • Activate medical professionals to leverage science faster and measure clinical effectiveness and quality, and
  • Empower patients and caregivers to better manage health and participate in care coordination

By spearheading initiatives like GTO, AstraZeneca and the AHA demonstrate our commitment to putting patients first by ensuring the most advanced treatments and care reach the patients who need them.

AZ Awards Medical Grant for American Heart Association Patient Initiative

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By: Steve Zelenkofske, D.O., Vice President, US Medical Affairs, Cardiovascular, AstraZeneca

Cardiovascular (CV) disease remains the leading cause of death for men and women. This startling statistic serves as a daily reminder to AstraZeneca that improvement in health outcomes is not just about discovering and developing new medicines for patients. In order to successfully address complex health challenges, particularly in cardiovascular disease, we must actively seek opportunities to support and partner with the broader community working to improve CV health.

Today, in support of this objective, AstraZeneca awarded a $6 million medical education grant to the American Heart Association (AHA) for a unique cardiovascular health initiative called Guideline Transformation and Optimization (GTO). This initiative is designed to improve the speed with which evidence-based health care guidelines are understood and applied among health care providers in order to help improve health outcomes and patient satisfaction.

AHA Color LogoAs one of the oldest and largest voluntary organizations dedicated to eliminating heart disease and stroke, the AHA has a tremendous reach and history in moving science into practice, which positions them well to activate medical professionals to leverage science faster, and to empower patients and caregivers to better manage their cardiac health care and coordination. The AHA’s GTO initiative will launch in a step approach, as the association has several guidelines to address heart disease and stroke treatment. Using a comprehensive, coordinated method, the AHA will first focus on innovating processes that will improve the use of guidelines for treating the more than 490,000 Americans who each year have a heart attack, known as non-ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI). The initiative will also deliver other tools, resources, and educational information to those who are on the front lines of treating patients with severe health issues.

At AstraZeneca, our teams will continue to challenge conventional thinking by pushing the boundaries of medical science to create life-changing medicines that address multiple cardiovascular risks. We also remain steadfast in our commitment to supporting unique cardiovascular health programs created by the broader CV community that are designed to deliver a lasting standard of care and the best potential outcomes for patients.

February is Heart Month: Show Some Love for Yourself & Loved Ones

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During February, hearts are everywhere—Valentine’s cards, decorations, and commercials are filled with red hearts and messages of love. But February is about more than just greetings cards; it’s also the American Heart Association’s American Heart Month, a time to show your heart some love. Learn about the risks for heart disease and take action so you and your loved ones can stay heart healthy.

Cardiovascular disease, including high blood pressure and heart disease, are the number one killers of men and women in the United States today.

Understand Your Risk

Cardiovascular disease affects people differently. Men are more than twice as likely as women to die from cardiovascular disease. Race and ethnicity also play a role; African Americans are more likely than any other racial or ethnic group to have high blood pressure and develop heart disease later in life. Having a close relative with heart disease means you are at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease too.

Check Your Health

Mark your calendar this February, to not only send love on Valentine’s Day, but also to give yourself a little bit of love, following these tips and information towards your heart health. Schedule a yearly visit with your doctor to test your risk for high blood pressure and diabetes, conditions that can often go unnoticed without a medical check-up. While you’re there, get a blood panel done to check your cholesterol and triglyceride levels, indicators of serious cardiovascular disease.

Lifestyle Changes

If your New Year’s resolution was to work towards a healthier lifestyle—and you haven’t done it yet—Heart Month is a great time to get back on track. Use February to kick start a heart healthy routine and incorporate simple daily habits into your lifestyle:

  • Diet: Incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet in place of processed or fatty foods.
  • Exercise: Try to do some physical activity every day. A nightly walk, morning bike ride, or simply taking the stairs more often can help your heart health.
  • Stop Smoking: Work with a support group and your doctor to stop smoking and improve your overall health.
  • Partner Up: Joining forces with a friend can go a long way in helping you become more heart healthy. Exercise with your buddy, share healthy recipes, and encourage each other to stay on track towards your goals.

Follow Us Online

AstraZeneca has been dedicated to addressing cardiovascular disease for over 100 years, and our vision for the future is to continue this legacy of delivering effective patient education and valuable new medicines to patients through scientific research, innovation, and excellence.

AstraZeneca encourages you to consider Heart Month as an opportunity to remind friends and family to encourage one another to keep a healthy heart. Check back on our blog throughout the month, and follow us on Twitter, and Facebook for heart healthy tips and facts.

This February, take the time to care for yourself and stay heart healthy.

AstraZeneca Applauds the Release of New Guideline for Cholesterol Management

Dr. Philip de Vane, Executive Director, U.S. Medical Affairs, AstraZeneca

This week marks an important milestone in guidelines for the treatment of patients at increased risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) as the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and American Heart Association (AHA) release a new clinical practice guideline for the management of blood cholesterol. 

The new 2013 ACC/AHA guideline has been highly anticipated across the healthcare industry, since the last update was issued nearly a decade ago. The guideline highlights statins as the preferred therapy for increased-risk patients to lower their high cholesterol, alongside a healthy lifestyle. What’s more, we have a treatment guideline that identifies patients most likely to benefit from statin therapy and for the first time distinguishes recommended intensity of statin therapy for specified patient groups.

This guideline reinforces the role of statins, such as CRESTOR® (rosuvastatin calcium), as an appropriate treatment option in increased-risk patients. When diet and exercise alone aren’t enough, CRESTOR is prescribed in adults, along with diet, to lower high cholesterol and to slow the buildup of plaque in arteries (atherosclerosis) as part of a treatment plan to lower cholesterol to goal.

At AstraZeneca, science and clinical research are at the root of everything we do across many therapeutic areas, including CVD. As leaders in this area, we are pleased that our research helped to inform the development of this important guideline, which we hope will help physicians identify the appropriate treatment for their increased-risk patients to reduce the risk of CVD, the leading cause of death in the United States.

For a copy of the “2013 ACC/AHA Guideline on the Treatment of Blood Cholesterol to Reduce Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Risk in Adults,” please visit: http://content.onlinejacc.org/article.aspx?doi=10.1016/j.jacc.2013.11.002 

Approved Uses for CRESTOR® (rosuvastatin calcium) Tablets

When diet and exercise alone aren’t enough to lower cholesterol, adding CRESTOR can help. In adults, CRESTOR is prescribed along with diet to lower high cholesterol and slow the buildup of plaque in arteries as part of a treatment plan to lower cholesterol to goal.

CRESTOR is also prescribed to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in people without known heart disease but at increased risk based on age (men 50 years and older, women 60 years and older), elevated blood levels of hsCRP (a sign of inflammation that can be associated with increased risk of cardiovascular events), plus at least one additional risk factor (such as high blood pressure, low HDL “good” cholesterol, smoking, or family history of early heart disease).

Important Safety Information about CRESTOR

CRESTOR is not right for everyone. Do not take CRESTOR if you are nursing, pregnant or may become pregnant; have liver problems; or have had an allergic reaction to CRESTOR. Your doctor should do blood tests to check your liver before starting treatment and if you have symptoms of liver problems while taking CRESTOR. Call your doctor right away if you have unexplained muscle pain or weakness, especially with fever; have muscle problems that do not go away even after your doctor told you to stop taking CRESTOR; feel unusually tired; or have loss of appetite, upper belly pain, dark urine, or yellowing of skin or eyes. These could be signs of rare but serious side effects. Elevated blood sugar levels have been reported with statins, including CRESTOR. The most common side effects may include headache, muscle aches, abdominal pain, weakness, and nausea. Memory loss and confusion have also been reported with statins, including CRESTOR. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about other medicines you are taking. See www.CRESTOR.com.

Please see full Prescribing Information.

2928000 Last Updated 11/13