Health Equity, Heart Failure, and Technology on Agenda at AHA Scientific Sessions

Solutions for health equity, treatments for heart failure, and the use of technology in prevention and patient care are just some of the topics on the agenda for the 2021 American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions, which will take place Saturday through Monday in a virtual format.

Solutions for health equity, treatments for heart failure, and the use of technology in prevention and patient care are just some of the topics on the agenda for the 2021 American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions, which will take place Saturday through Monday in a virtual format.

AHA had hoped to gather in Boston for the first major in-person cardiovascular meeting since the start of the pandemic, but organizers decided in September to switch to a virtual format for the second year.

Of course, the effects of COVID-19—and what care for cardiovascular disease (CVD) will look like after the pandemic—will be part of the meeting. Saturday’s highlight will be a talk on vaccine development and CVD with Mikael Doelstein, MD, PhD, Pfizer’s chief scientific offer and president, and Stéphane Bancel, CEO of Moderna. The opening session features a look at care post-COVID-19 with AHA President Donald M. Lloyd-Jones, MD, ScM, FAHA, and Manesh R. Patel, MD, FAHA, chair of the scientific program.

Health equity is a theme for Sunday, led by the session “Achieving Health Equity: Advancing to Solutions.” The session will be moderated by heart failure specialist Clyde W. Yancy, MD, MSc, FAHA, of Northwestern University, who is also the 2021 recipient of the AHA Chairman’s award. Yancy, one of the most highly cited heart failure investigators in the world, serves as both vice dean of diversity and inclusion and chief of cardiology in the Department of Medicine at the Feinberg School of Medicine.

And, of course, there are clinical trials galore, starting with Saturday morning’s presentations in cardiothoracic surgery. Studies on hypertension, technology, and the impacts of the pandemic will be presented Saturday afternoon. A study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston will examine the effects of a remotely delivered hypertension and lipid program across a health system.

Results coming Sunday include those from CRAVE, or Cardiovascular Risk Factors Affecting Vascular Age; and EMPULSE, which will examine the effects of empagliflozin in patients hospitalized for heart failure. A late-breaking session devoted to “information overload” in digital health will feature REVeAL-HF, on using data to evaluate risk in clinical decision-making in heart failure, and the Fitbit Heart study, which examined the ability of the consumer wearable to detect atrial fibrillation.

Monday will revisit the discussion on the value of purified fish oil treatment, with PREPARE-IT 2, examining the effects of icosapent ethyl vs placebo in outpatients with COVID-19.

Therapies new and old will be covered in Monday’s trial presentations, including ASCEND, which examines the effects of aspirin on dementia, and REVERSE-IT, which looks at bentracimab on hemostasis in patients taking ticagrelor in acute situations. Another study will present results for an oral PCSK9 inhibitor to reduce low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.

Virtual attendees will also have the chance to hear as the lead author of EMPEROR-Preserved, Stefan D. Anker, MD, drills down into the data from that groundbreaking trial presented at the European Society of Cardiology earlier this year. A Monday morning session, “From Failure to Success: Advances in Heart Failure,” will offer updates on a host of newer therapies, including vericiguat, finerenone, and drugs in the sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor class.

The American Journal of Managed Care® will have coverage of the AHA Scientific Sessions starting Saturday. For full coverage, visit our AHA conference page at https://www.ajmc.com/conference/aha.