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ICYMI: Highlights From the 2022 AHA Scientific Sessions


This year’s American Heart Association Scientific Sessions held November 5-7 in Chicago, Illinois, was chock full of new trial data, developments in pediatric cardiac disease, and the great need to improve hypertension treatment and overcome its related disease disparities.

These are your conference highlights.

The VICTORIA Trial: What It Means for HFrEF Treatment

Already approved for the treatment of patients who have symptomatic, chronic heart failure and heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF), a pair of posters presented at the meeting showed various benefits associated with vericiguat, a soluble guanylate cyclase stimulator.

In the first study, vericiguat was shown to be beneficial among male and female patients, both overall and for end points of HF-related hospitalization or cardiovascular death—both independent of age and sex. With the second study, eligibility for vericiguat—via generalizability of its label and for the VICTORIA trial—was examined for its effect on clinical practice.

Dr Stephen J. Greene: New VICTORIA Trial Data Show Benefit to Vericiguat In-Hospital Initiation

In this interview with The American Journal of Managed Care® (AJMC®), Duke University Medical Center and the Duke Clinical Research Institute’s Stephen J. Greene, MD, a heart failure cardiologist, updated findings from the VICTORIA trial. He addressed why he and his team investigated the applicability of eligibility criteria for VICTORIA, and how they apply to clinical practice, benefits of starting HF therapy in the hospital, and potential effects of clinical inertia on therapy not being initiated post hospital discharge, among others.

Dr Keith Ferdinand Addresses the Need for New Antihypertensive Agents to Overcome Health Care Disparities

Hypertension is the most powerful and potent risk factor for cardiovascular disease. In an interview with AJMC®, Tulane University School of Medicine’s Keith C. Ferdinand, MD, FACC, FAHA, FASPC, FNLA, professor of medicine and the Gerald S. Berenson Endowed Chair in Preventative Cardiology, discussed the difficulties inherent in treating hypertension, which he termed a scourge and public health crisis.

In particular, there are health disparities among various patient populations. For example, non-Hispanic Black patients get more severe hypertension that starts earlier in life and women have a higher risk of the condition, especially in the 5 or 6 years after menopause. He added that even though the FRESH trial of firibistat was a negative trial, there are other interventions for hypertension currently being investigated, including renal nerve innervation and endothelial antagonists.

Dr Michael Portman: Edoxaban Facilitates Easier Treatment, Improved QOL in Pediatric Cardiac Disease

Edoxaban, the factor Xa inhibitor and direct oral anticoagulant, is approved for use in adult patients, but its use among a pediatric patient population has not been explored extensively. In this interview, Michael A. Portman, MD, FAHA, director, Pediatric Cardiovascular Research, Center for Integrative Brain Research, and professor of pediatrics at Seattle Children's and the University of Washington in Seattle, discusses the ENNOBLE-ATE trial. He addressed why current treatment options for thromboembolism in pediatric patients—warfarin and injectable molecular heparin—are not optimal, how edoxaban’s steady state kinetics facilitate its use and improved quality of life among patients, and how the ENNOBLE-ATE findings could affect treatment going forward.

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