Mid America Heart Institute Receives Multi-Million Dollar Research Grant

08 July 2004 - 19:10

The National Institutes of Health has awarded Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City and Washington University in St. Louis over $15 million in a Specialized Center for Clinically Oriented Research (SCCOR) grant to fund a five-year, multi-center study of patients recovering from heart attacks.

The study, which begins the first of the year 2005 and ends in December 2009 will marry the basic science expertise of Washington University, led by Principal Investigator, Daniel Kelly MD, with the clinical outcomes strengths of Mid America Heart Institute and the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC). The 2 primary goals of the project are to eliminate the excess burden of myocardial disease in diabetic patients, and to define and characterize racial disparities in outcomes of patients with heart attacks.

John Spertus, MD, MPH, director of cardiovascular outcomes research at Mid America Heart Institute and professor of medicine at UMKC will lead the clinical portion of the grant and said, “Only through the rigorous description of racial differences in outcome, and the careful examination of multiple potential socio-economic, treatment, metabolic, and genetic mediators, can a rational strategy to eliminate racial disparities be designed and implemented.”

Patients presenting with a heart attack at participating hospitals throughout the United States will be enrolled in the study and will have detailed information about their health, care, and outcomes collected for one year after admission. Patients will also provide a sample of blood so that their lipid and genetic profiles may be analyzed to define what is most important in determining their subsequent outcomes.

Investigators at Washington University will concurrently conduct basic science studies in mice and pharmacogenetic analyses to discover why patients with diabetes and African American patients have worse outcomes after a heart attack.

Dr. Spertus said, “Heart attack is the most common cause of death in men and women in the United States. The long-term goal of this study is to develop a novel set of risk factors for this subset of heart attack patients and to lay the foundation for new treatments to improve outcomes.”

Mid America Heart Institute will receive $1.5 million for the first year of the study, with a total of $7.1 million during the five years of the study. The grant will pay for researchers at Mid America Heart Institute and Yale University, also a participant, for follow-up of patients, as well as other participating hospitals for their work in enrolling patients with heart attacks. An additional $500,000 grant, directed by Michael Cain MD from Washington University and co-directed by Dr. Spertus, will train new investigators to study these issues and blend the domains of basic science and clinical research into their future research.

A total of 4,500 patients from the following centers are expected to be enrolled in the study: Mid America Heart Institute and Truman Medical Center, Kansas City, Mo.; Washington University, Saint Louis, Mo.; Grady and Emory Universities, Atlanta, Ga.; Duke University, Durham, NC; Sentara Health System, Norfolk, VA; Yale University, New Haven, CT; Harvard-BI, Boston, MA; Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI; Meritcare, Fargo, ND; Stanford University VA Hospital, Palo Alto, CA; University of Colorado, Denver Health, and Denver VA Hospital.


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