News | AHA | November 14, 2022

AHA 2022 Trending Topics: Clinical Trials, Scientific Studies and AI

 The "Trending Topics at Sessions 2022" panel of experts featured  Manesh R. Patel, MD, FACC, FAHA, Chair of the Committee on AHA 2022 Scientific Sessions, to review highlights and lessons learned from the event.

The "Trending Topics at Sessions 2022" panel of experts featured  Manesh R. Patel, MD, FACC, FAHA, Chair of the Committee on AHA 2022 Scientific Sessions, to review highlights and lessons learned from the event. Photo credit: AHA

November 14, 2022 — The American Hospital Association Scientific Sessions 2022, held Nov. 5-7 in Chicago, IL, presented more than 4,000 abstracts, 700 sessions, 500 poster sessions, 200 seminars, nine Late-Breaking Science presentations and nine Featured Science studies, presented both in person and virtually. Due to COVID, the meeting was held virtually for the past two years, noted Amit Khera, MD, MSc, FACC, FAHA, who said this year’s event was about simply reconnecting during the Nov. 7 closing session.

The "Trending Topics at Sessions 2022" panel of nine experts featured Manesh R. Patel, MD, FACC, FAHA, Duke Health, Chair of the Committee on AHA 2022 Scientific Sessions Program, to review highlights and lessons learned from the event. A condensed summary of the AHA’s report on the meeting highlights panel follows.

Trending Topics in Review

Gissette Reyes-Soffer, MD, FAHA, presented some standouts in Basic Science that included four oral abstracts, 211 posters, two Frontiers in Medicine and seven cardiovascular seminars. But for her, the biggest highlight was the seminars surrounding atherosclerosis, thrombosis and vascular biology.

Dr. Reyes-Soffer, a Herbert Irving assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Preventive Medicine and Nutrition at Columbia University, said that much of the science presented involving atherosclerosis, thrombosis and vascular biology “will be transformational one day,” including a fish oil supplement enriched in very long chain of polyunsaturated fatty acid (VLC-PUFA) that has shown multiple beneficial effects in mice such as lowered pro-atherogenic lipids and improved vision and cognitive function. She also said the ATVB Journal hosted an “exciting" session highlighting genomic-based therapies for cardiovascular disease.

On the clinical science side, Jacqueline Tamis-Holland, MD, FAHA, professor of medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, trained a spotlight on some of the clinical trials that were presented this year, including the Comparison of Outcomes and Access to Care for Heart Failure (COACH) trial.

“The COACH trial was a really interesting trial,” she said. “And what I loved about the science this year is that it wasn’t necessarily just one medicine versus another, it was strategies to improve care.”

Dr. Tamis-Holland said this particular trial used an EHMRG30-ST risk score for understanding patients with heart failure and assessing their risks. The scores were used to predict the risk of death in patients with heart failure. High-risk patients were admitted to the hospital, while lower risks were either sent home or admitted for a short stay. Those who were discharged had a rapid heart failure follow-up for 30 days with a team that monitored their care until they saw their doctor. This strategy was able to reduce the incidences of death or CV hospitalization at both 30 days and 20 months.

“Whether it’s assessing somebody’s risk and triaging them appropriately or whether it’s the rapid heart failure follow-up, it’s not clear if it’s a combination of the two,” Dr. Tamis-Holland said. “But it really emphasizes the importance of systems of care to get together and take care of patients.”

Ajay Kirtane, MD, SM, FAHA, professor of medicine at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, said this was his first meeting as a Fellow, and he was especially impressed by the clinical cases that were presented in the lounges. “(These were) super intimate sessions, there’s carpet, it looks like you’re just hanging out and you’re talking about clinical cases in a scientific and evidence-based way,” he said. “So for me that was really impactful.”

Dr. Kirtane said the focus on health equity was another key rewarding aspect of Scientific Sessions 2022.

“That’s a key function of what this AHA meeting was about, health equity,” he said. “We tried to feature that in the session where we talked about hypertension. In that session, we talked not only about device-based therapies, but drawing on the strengths of the AHA, we had hypertension experts, cardiologists and nephrologists all in the same room together going through cases of how we would manage these patients.”

Artificial intelligence (AI) was another hot topic this year. Norrina Allen, PhD, MPH, FAHA, associate professor of preventive medicine at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, said AI is not the futuristic topic it once was because the future is already here.

“For those of you who hadn’t heard, the future of artificial intelligence is now,” she said. “This is one of the first years where I really saw artificial intelligence and research in the clinical field that is actually going to change the way we see patients.”

For Chiadi Ndumele, MD, PhD, FAHA, assistant professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University, the highlights included everything from a Main Event talk on the evolving landscape of lipid therapy to late-breaking clinical trials and the invited sessions on cardiometabolic care and atrial fibrillation as a social disease.

“Honestly, there’s so much science that I really had a hard time just picking a few,” Dr. Ndumele said.

Manesh Patel, MD, FAHA, chair of the AHA Committee on Scientific Sessions, said there were some big themes this year, starting with the Opening Session discussion of misinformation.

“In that opening session, we heard that potentially one of the biggest problems is misinformation,” Dr. Patel said. “Spending time every day to try to get the right information out. The reason to come to the AHA, the reason to be in these meetings, is to not only be part of our mission — a relentless force for longer, healthier lives — but to figure out how to make that happen.”

The American Heart Association 2023 Scientific Sessions will be presented November 9-11, 2023 at the Ernest Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana.

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