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Kaiser Permanente – Stanford heart research center funded to study treatment outcomes

The American Heart Association has awarded Kaiser Permanente’s Division of Research in Oakland and Stanford University’s Medical Center $3.89 million over the next four years to jointly run a new heart research center that aims to define optimal clinical care for patients with coronary heart disease and chronic heart failure.

The Division of Research and Stanford Medical Center will conduct of large-scale observational effectiveness and safety studies of therapies for these diseases by leveraging Kaiser Permanente’s large, detailed and longitudinal clinical databases, and by utilizing the research expertise of both DOR and Stanford scientists.

The American Heart Association – Pharmaceutical Roundtable (AHA-PRT) Outcomes Research Center is co-led by Dr. Mark Hlatky, Professor of Health Research and Policy and Professor of Medicine at Stanford and Dr. Alan Go, Senior Research Scientist at DOR and Regional Medical Director of Clinical Trials. Several other DOR investigators are co-investigators and research mentors.

The first two studies by the new center will use state-of-the-art analytic research methods to evaluate the comparative effectiveness of various pharmacologic therapies and emerging technologies in cardiovascular patients from many demographic settings and with different conditions.
“”This joint center between Kaiser Permanente and Stanford builds on our long history of successful collaboration in cardiovascular research,” said Dr. Go. “We believe that the complementary research expertise at our two institutions combined with the large, diverse Kaiser population and clinically rich longitudinal databases will help us answer critical questions about optimizing the management and outcomes of coronary artery disease and chronic heart failure in the current treatment era. Our center will help to train the next generation of cardiovascular outcomes researchers using state-of-the-art methods and data systems. We look forward to collaborating with the AHA Outcomes Research Centers at Duke University and UCLA in even larger-scale projects in the future.””

The AHA-PRT will involve Ralph Brindis, MD, MPH, TPMG cardiologist, Senior Advisor on Cardiovascular Diseases for TPMG, and Vice President of the American College of Cardiology, who will provide an experienced clinical, organizational, and national perspective as questions are formulated and addressed.

The Stanford-Kaiser Cardiovascular Outcomes Research Center is one of three new centers to receive funds from the AHA to improve the nation’s cardiovascular health by investigating the best possible treatments for heart disease. The other centers are at Duke University and at UC-Los Angeles.
“”The core of the AHA-PRT center is our plan to link together the various electronic databases used for patient care at Kaiser,”” said Mark Hlatky, MD, professor of health research and policy and of cardiovascular medicine, and principal investigator for the Stanford center. This will be the first effort making use of all the medical databases for Kaiser’s 3.3 million members throughout Northern California to investigate the use and outcomes of the various treatment options for heart disease patients. “”Our goal is to identify a representative population of patients who have coronary disease or heart failure and document which treatments they are getting and how well those treatments are working. These treatments include prescription drugs, implanted devices such as stents and defibrillators, and procedures such as coronary bypass surgery.””

This AHA award follows on the heels of another huge collaborative research effort led by the Division of Research to understand cardiovascular disease: the Cardiovascular Research Network (CVRN) .  Established last year through a $7.5 million grant by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the Cardiovascular Research Network is leveraging the collective cardiovascular expertise, diverse community-based study populations and rich electronic data systems within 15 HMOs in the HMO Research Network to better study the epidemiology, prevention, management and outcomes of cardiovascular diseases.

Despite advances in diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease, it remains the leading cause of death and disability in the United States and one of the fastest rising causes of death and disability in the world.Led by Kaiser Permanente Division of Research investigator Dr. Go, the CRVN is conducting three core research projects over the next five years: 1) hypertension recognition, treatment and control 2) quality of care and outcomes of the blood thinner, warfarin, for atrial fibrillation and blood clots 3) and the use and outcomes of implantable cardiac defibrillators.

The CVRN will leverage expertise, populations, and data resources from a consortium of 15 geographically diverse health plans in the United States with integrated research divisions. Collectively, this represents more than 7 million health plan members and several hundred doctoral level investigators, clinical researchers and support people. For more information about CVRN visit

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