The American Society for Preventive Cardiology 30 Years and Counting

ASPC CVD PREVENTION

July 30, 2015 marks the start of the ASPC’s Annual meeting, taking place once again at the spectacular Boca Raton Resort. This year, in addition to our world-class faculty, new elements will be added to the meeting – poster presentations to be published in Clinical Cardiology as well as a Level 1 Expert’s Course in Preventive Cardiology. Over the next three months I will certainly write more about the conference and I hope many of you will avail yourselves of its offerings. (For more complete information please visit www.aspconline.org).

Today however, on the heels of the Dallas Cardio-Metabolic Health Congress (CMHC) I am compelled to write this brief note about the ASPC. The reason is simple. As I sat in the speaker’s row with my friends and colleagues Drs. Jamie Underberg, Amit Khera, and Michael Miller it became clear that the thirty-year-old organization is now firmly entrenched in mainstream education. You see, Dr. Underberg sits on the ASPC’s Board of Directors while Dr. Khera is the Secretary; I am the President Elect, and Dr. Miller is a Past President. It was truly heartwarming to have us all gathered together for the sole purpose of helping to educate our colleagues about issues such as Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH), Hypertriglyceridemia, Lipid and Cholesterol Guidelines, and the future of HDL research and therapies.  The ASPC is growing at a gratifyingly rapid rate, as more and more physicians, ARNPs, and other healthcare practitioners embrace the doctrine that cardiovascular disease prevention must preempt intervention in order for our nation and the world at large to be able to truly enjoy optimal health. If you are not already a member of the ASPC, please consider becoming one. Also, I encourage everyone interested in prevention to join us in July. I promise you will not be disappointed.

Learn more about preventive cardiology at www.preventivecardiologyinc.com.

For more information about the supplements and vitamins critical to your everyday health visit www.vitalremedymd.com.

Comments { 0 }

Save the Date: It’s the American Society for Preventive Cardiology’s 40th Anniversary – The July 2015 Conference is Shaping up to be Extraordinary

That’s a long title for this week’s blog, but it’s tough to shorten. Planning a conference is quite a challenge: The venue is chosen; topics are selected; speakers are invited; and the word is disseminated. Many people’s hands are in the mix – in the case of the ASPC, our management company as well as members of the planning and executive committees work tirelessly to create a conference that will meet and exceed its intent. This year’s ASPC meetings, again at the beautiful Boca Raton Resort, will bring together attendees from across the country (and likely outside the US as well) in order to learn from some of our nation’s most renowned experts in genetics, vascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, women’s heart health, inflammation, thrombosis, CVD risk reduction strategies, familial hypercholesterolemia, lipids and lipoproteins, novel medications…

Our goal is to highlight the most cutting edge as well as tried and true approaches for ASCVD prevention so clinicians eager to improve their strategies to combat and prevent the toll of vascular disease among their patients can more effectively do so. Conference attendees are among the most dedicated of our country’s healthcare practitioners – cardiologists, internists, obstetricians, family practitioners, nurse practitioners, physicians’ assistants, pharmacists, dietitians, and many others. The Boca Raton Regional Hospital supports the program and offers its physicians the opportunity to attend this one-of-a-kind meeting. Groups such as WomenHeart, and chapters of the ACC and AHA (and others) typically endorse the meetings as well. This year, in honor of the ASPC’s 40th Anniversary, the meetings will offer its attendees two new opportunities. First, abstracts from trainees across the globe will be evaluated for presentation. Second, we will offer the inaugural Expert’s Course in ASCVD Prevention. Diplomas will be awarded to those who successfully complete the course. So who are our speakers – professors and experts in their disciplines from Harvard, Hopkins, Emory, The Mayo, Columbia, UCSD, Tulane, Minnesota, NYU, and other outstanding institutions. And when is the meeting – July 31 through August 2nd. Put it on your calendar – you and your patients will be very happy you did. See you in July!

For more event information visit: aspconline.org

Learn more about preventive cardiology at www.preventivecardiologyinc.com.

For more information more about essential vitamins and supplements visit www.vitalremedymd.com.

Comments { 0 }

IMPROVE-IT Trial: the Day of Reckoning Approaches

Tomorrow morning a large crowd will gather here at the AHA meetings in frigid Chicago to learn the findings of the long-awaited IMPROVE-IT trial. The trial will demonstrate whether or not Ezetamibe (Zetia) added to a Simvastatin (Zocor) successfully decreased cardiovascular events in high-risk patients.

Many lipid specialists and cardiologists, myself included, have used Ezetamibe in combination with statins since the drug’s release. We believe wholeheartedly in the “lower LDL is better” hypothesis. Our clinical results, though anecdotal, have been uniformly exceptional. We fully anticipate that – barring confounding circumstances – the trial will be a winner.

Making this prospect even more impactful is the current NEJM publication by Dr. S. Kathiresan, (a brilliant Harvard Cardiologist/Geneticist) describing a novel genetic mutation that decreases LDL cholesterol, and concomitantly reduces ASCVD events. Where is this mutation you might ask: In the same receptor that is blocked by the drug Ezetamibe. Essentially individuals bearing such a mutation are born with the equivalent of continual Zetia use. This experiment of nature surely supports the speculation that Ezetimibe effectively lowers heart disease, even on top of statin therapy.

For now, we can only speculate about IMPROVE-IT’s findings. Tomorrow will bring some hard facts along with an assessment of how the findings will impact not only doctors’ use of Ezetamibe, but equally importantly, how health insurance companies will view the matter as well. Until tomorrow my admittedly unbiased fingers will be tightly crossed.

Learn more about preventive cardiology at www.preventivecardiologyinc.com.

For more information more about essential vitamins and supplements visit www.vitalremedymd.com.

Comments { 0 }

The 2014 FH Global Summit – An International Meeting of Minds and Hearts

On October 13th the world’s “who’s who” in FH research and patient care convened in an oddly elongated New York City hotel meeting room. For two days the group shared novel information, spontaneous ideas, well-conceived proposals for future research, and even heart wrenching stories from a handful of brave and resilient FH patients.  Windowless room notwithstanding, leaders from the Netherlands, South Africa, Australia, Chile, Russia, France, Sweden, Oman and the US uniformly basked in the bliss of a mutual goal, raising awareness and improving treatment for this far too common and oft-unrecognized disease.

Some of the highlights included a one-year review of the FH Foundation’s CASCADE FH Registry. We were all pleased and proud to learn that the Registry had surpassed its forecast goal by over 30% (Actually by over 400% of a more modest prediction). We travelled the world identifying FH “Gaps Across the Globe.” During this session leaders from diverse nations compared and contrasted barriers to care, offering useful methods to hurdle such obstacles. We heard from a continuum of clinicians – internists, lipid specialists, endocrinologists, cardiologists, and gastroenterologists – as well as PhDs occupying a wide range of disciplines. To say the conference was comprehensive fails to express its exceptionality. It was a time apart from other times, a transcendent growth opportunity for all those fortunate enough to be in attendance. It will surely serve as a solid springboard for meaningful clinical collaborations throughout the next year.

In sum, the 2014 FH Global Summit was so spectacular it will be hard to surpass in 2015. However, considering the passion and energy shared by members of the FH Foundation and colleagues across the globe, I feel safe in predicting that 2015 will exceed even the extraordinariness of this year’s event.

Learn more about preventive cardiology at www.preventivecardiologyinc.com.

For more information more about essential vitamins and supplements visit www.vitalremedymd.com.

Comments { 0 }

September 24th is National FH Awareness Day

the FH Foundation

Join us for the FH Foundation Tweetathon @ #KnowFH 2PM EST September 24th

    • Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH) is a genetic disorder
    • FH results in very high LDL cholesterol levels
    • FH results in a 20x increased risk of heart attack
    • FH causes premature heart disease
    • FH begins in utero (before birth)
    • FH is woefully underdiagnosed: < 10% of FH patients diagnosed in US
    • About 1 in 200 people have FH
    • FH can be diagnosed by your HCP
    • If you think you have FH, go to www.thefhfoundation.org to learn more
    • Find an FH expert at the FH Foundation
    • Diagnosis is the first step toward treatment
    • Treatment can stop heart attacks
    • Treatments are available
    • Learn more about FH: Join us on September 24 at 2PM EST

Learn more about preventive cardiology at www.preventivecardiologyinc.com.

For more information more about essential vitamins and supplements visit www.vitalremedymd.com.

Comments { 0 }

The Emory Symposium on Coronary Atherosclerosis Prevention & Education

Here’s a shoutout to my friend and colleague, Dr. Larry Sperling.

The renowned Emory Heart Center of the Emory University School of Medicine will be holding its 13th annual Emory Symposium on Coronary Atherosclerosis Prevention & Education June 4-8, 2014. This year’s event, which is titled “Emory Escape 2014“, will be held at the OMNI Amelia Plantation on lovely Amelia Island, Florida..

The challenge
Cardiovascular disease remains the number one cause of death of men and women in the United States, and is a major cause of disability. The American Heart Association has a stated goal to reduce deaths from cardiovascular disease and stroke by 20% by 2020. In order to achieve this goal, physicians and clinicians must gain the knowledge, skill and resources to integrate the latest research and clinical guidelines in the context of their own practice.

The event
At ESCAPE attendees will hear nationally renowned speakers discuss the recently released, 2013 ACC/AHA guidelines on hypertension, blood cholesterol, obesity, healthy living and risk assessment. In addition, there will be one day dedicated to lectures on CV prevention in “special population” patients, including patients with HIV, PCOS, breast cancer, connective tissue disease and post renal transplant. There will also be lectures on electrophysiology, interventional cardiology, heart failure, tobacco cessation, and women’s heart health. This conference will close the knowledge gaps between national guideline goals, practice, and research. Physicians and clinicians will have the opportunity to discuss with the speakers and other attendees how these principles can be applied to patient care in the context of their own practice in order to decrease cardiovascular disease risk.

In addition to the extensive educational curriculum, events will include pre-meeting workshops,  an attendee and spouse session and a family social and cookout.

Who should attend
Cardiologists, internists, family practitioners, emergency medical personnel, primary care physicians and nurses can all benefit from this conference.

Register online at www.eccri.emory.edu/escape – registration deadline May 4th

Call 1-800-THE-OMNI to make room reservations.

Hosted by: Emory University School of Medicine Department of Medicine Division of Cardiology.

Learn more about preventive cardiology at www.preventivecardiologyinc.com.

Learn more about essential vitamins and supplements at www.vitalremedymd.com.

Comments { 0 }

Cleveland Heart Lab’s “Heart” Award

My thanks to Cleveland Heart Lab for awarding me the 2013 CHL “Heart Award”.

When Jake called to inform me that I had been selected to receive the 2013 CHL Heart Award, I was – and remain – honored and proud. Receiving such an accolade from Jake Orville and Marc Penn, two of the most industrious proponents of avant-garde cardiovascular prevention I know, validates my own CVD prevention efforts. As you all know, it is not always easy to staunchly stand for something that some “experts” decry. But it’s undeniably worth the struggle. The tools afforded me by CHL have enabled my patients to achieve far better levels of health and in so doing potentially avert adverse outcomes such as heart attacks, strokes, and even death.  The real prize therefore goes to all of you at CHL. Your genuine belief in the utility of CVD biomarkers coupled with your tireless efforts to “spread the word” have enabled doctors like me to practice the brand of medicine we believe in our heart of hearts to be the best for our patients. Thank you, the entire CHL team, for your contribution to CVD Prevention in America.

Learn more about preventive cardiology at www.preventivecardiologyinc.com.

Comments { 0 }

USDA Names 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee

farmer's marketThe U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack have announced the appointment of 15 nationally recognized experts to serve on the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. The Committee’s recommendations and rationale will serve as a basis for the eighth edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Every five years, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans are updated and published jointly by HHS and USDA. The administrative responsibility for leading the process alternates between Departments. The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at HHS is the administrative lead for the 2015 process.

Dr. Thomas Brenna, the President elect of ISSFAL (International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids) is among the 15 renowned experts appointed to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee.

Of special note: Dr. Brenna has been invited to speak at the American Society of Preventive Cardiology’s Second Annual Southeastern Conference “CDV Prevention for Women” event, which is being held in collaboration with Boca Raton Hospital in Boca Raton, FL July 12 – 13th. I’ll be chairing the event which will be held at the Boca Raton Resort & Club.  I’m also proud to serve as the treasury of ISSFAL.

Please read more about preventive cardiology at www.preventivecardiologyinc.com.

Comments { 0 }

WomenHeart: a leader in our fight against heart disease in women

woman jogging at sunrise
Today I’m traveling to Washington DC in order to attend the 13th Annual Wenger Award Ceremony. The celebration is hosted by WomenHeart: the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease. Honorees will include The Honorable Debbie A. Stabenow, U.S. Senator, State of Michigan; Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D., Director, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ); Abbott Vascular: and Rita Redberg, M.D., M.Sc, the Editor in Chief of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

For me, the event promises to be very exciting; after all, I will have the opportunity to communicate with some of the most important leaders in the national initiative to understand and thus prevent cardiovascular disease in women. But the event means much more than that.  It represents the great strides that are being taken to finally identify and distinguish important aspects of cardiovascular disease between the sexes.

Until about 10 years ago cardiovascular disease was felt to be a man’s problem. We have grown to understand that women too are plagued by this Leviathan of ailments. In fact, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in women, outstripping even breast cancer by 11-fold. Women have differences in their cardiovascular risk factors, their symptoms, and their response to treatments, both invasive and non-invasive. Physicians must learn to evaluate and treat women differently from the way they do men.

The American Society for Preventive Cardiology (ASPC) is also doing its part to “spread the word”. On July 12 and 13 at the spectacular Boca Raton Resort, the ASPC will host its Second Annual Women’s CVD Prevention Conference. Last year was a great success and this year promises to be even better. Sponsored by Boca Raton Regional Hospital and endorsed by such organizations as WomenHeart and Go Red for Women, doctors and physician-extenders will be taught by the best of the best. Professors from Harvard, John’s Hopkins, Duke, the Mayo Clinic, UCSD, Emory, and other prestigious universities will come together in Boca Raton in order to teach clinicians practical aspects of managing their women patients.

The conference, which I will be chairing, is an unprecedented venue for clinicians to elevate their management of cardiovascular disease and its risk factors in women. I would highly encourage practitioners from around the country to attend. To learn more about the program, and sign up for attendance please visit aspconline.org. I promise you will not be disappointed.

Please read more about preventive cardiology at www.preventivecardiologyinc.com.

Comments { 0 }

It’s National Heart Month Again

February is National Heart Month. It seems like just yesterday when I last spoke about this. Given the passing of a full year of research and education it is fair to ask whether we’ve made any significant strides against heart attack and stroke (CVD). The qualified answer is yes. I say qualified because although the strides I cite are impressive, we are still far from removing CVD from its place as the leading cause of death in the western world. And so we must continue to do more – woman on beachexercise more; eat better; lose weight; diminish stress… Still, great things have occurred and they should be noted. In the world of cholesterol two novel cholesterol lowering medications were approved: Lomitapide and Mipomerson. Both are intended for patients with the very serious genetic lipid disorder Familial Hypercholesterolemia, so their applications will be limited. Still, they mark a leap in our understanding and management of cholesterol problems, a leap that will likely translate into more research and concomitant applications with much broader clinical utility. We have also made strides in treating atrial fibrillation, a common rhythm disturbance saddled with the associated risk of stroke. Three new blood thinning medications have been approved and they too represent true “game changers”. New devices have hit the market, instruments for less invasively treating valve disorders, blocked arteries, holes in the heart, rhythm disturbances, and aneurysms. New blood tests have made their way to the prevention scene, enabling doctors to predict more accurately who may or may go on to sustain a life-threatening cardiovascular event in the more proximate future. And imaging has evolved – we can now view one’s coronary arteries with far less radiation than is delivered by most stress tests, and just slightly more radiation than is experienced during a mammogram!

And so we should be happy. Doctors, scientists, and philanthropists have helped diminish our risk of dying from disorders of the heart, brain, and vasculature. But there are strategies we cannot forget. TLC, or therapeutic lifestyle changes, still represents our single best defense against these diseases. And TLC simply put means living better lives. It means exercising, eating properly, maintaining an optimal weight, seeing your doctor regularly, taking your medications appropriately, and in short doing your part to stay healthy. There is no escaping the fact that no matter how much we learn and grow as doctors and scientists we still need the genuine and full engagement of our patients to achieve optimal health and maximally reduce risk. Optimal health demands a team, and the captain of that team will always be the individual patient.

So this National Heart Month I want to encourage you to take charge of yourself. Personal responsibility seems to be a theme of 2013. In the case of CVD it is no different. Do yourself and your loved ones a favor and do what you can to fight CVD. It is a plainly defeatable foe.

Comments { 0 }