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National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Creates National Network to Study Cardiovascular Disease

Oakland, CA – The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute has provided $7.5 million over the next five years to establish a collaborative Cardiovascular Research Network (CVRN). This national resource will leverage the collective cardiovascular expertise, diverse community-based study populations and rich electronic data systems within the HMO Research Network to better study the epidemiology, prevention, management and outcomes of cardiovascular diseases.

“This is the first research network that will be able to follow patients longitudinally – their care, medications, hospitalizations and vital status – which can directly lead to improvements in care delivery and patient outcomes. The combination of working with existing American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association clinical registries to follow patients’ care and outcomes over time, as well as creating new registries where they don’t already exist, is very powerful.” Dr. John Rumsfeld, Chief Science Officer for the American College of Cardiology National Cardiovascular Data Registries.

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 Alan S. Go, MD, the network will initially conduct 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 goal of our collaborative network is to set up a structure and organize our research expertise to more rapidly study emerging cardiovascular research questions and to facilitate productive collaborations with other researchers and organizations that ultimately maximize the delivery of appropriate care and optimize outcomes for those with or at risk for cardiovascular disease,” said Alan S. Go, MD, a senior investigator with the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research who is the CVRN Principal Investigator.

The CVRN will leverage expertise, populations, and data resources from a consortium of 14 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.

“”The goal of the CVRN is to increase knowledge about cardiovascular disease prevention and treatment in the context of community-based health care delivery, an environment in which most clinical and preventive care is delivered,”” said NHLBI Director Elizabeth G. Nabel,
MD. “”Through the collaboration of several health plans across the US, this research network will help us understand the integration of scientific advances into clinical practice.””‘

In addition to the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, CA, research collaborators include: Kaiser Permanente Clinical Research Unit in Denver, Colorado; Meyers Primary Care Institute in Worcester, MA; Center for Health Studies at Group Health in Seattle, WA; Center for Health Research at Geisinger Health System in Danville, PA; Department of Ambulatory Care and Prevention at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care in Boston, MA; HealthPartners Research Foundation in Minneapolis, MN; Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Honolulu, HI; Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, OR; Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, Southeast in Atlanta, GA; Lovelace Clinic Foundation in Albuquerque, NM; Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation in Marshfield, WI; and the Division of Research and Education at Scott & White in Temple, TX

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