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Mass General Brigham Researchers Take Center Stage at the American College of Cardiology

Mass General Brigham physicians and researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital presented their cutting-edge research at the 2024 American College of Cardiology’s Annual Scientific Session & Expo from April 6-8 in Atlanta.

Highlights included results from trials testing a twice-a-year drug for managing blood pressurea new medication that reduced triglycerides by half among patients at high cardiovascular riska remote care approach to help improve therapy adherence among patients with type 2 diabetes; and an investigational drug that fell short for patients with diabetic cardiomyopathy.

 “Our cardiovascular experts are helping to drive the field forward through their research, with the goal of improving care for patients suffering from a range of conditions,” said John F. Keaney, Jr., MD, director of the cardiology clinical service at Mass General Brigham.

Physicians, including James Januzzi, MD, of MGH’s Division of Cardiology, and Patrick T. O’Gara, MD, of BWH’s Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, shared their perspectives on news about Empagliflozin, which did not reduce the risk of heart failure when given to patients shortly after a heart attack. Akl Fahed, MD, MPH, of MGH’s Division of Cardiology, also provided a perspective on using Inclisiran earlier to lower LDL cholesterol for patients with atherosclerosis.

Several late-breaking clinical trials at this year’s meeting focused on better treatment and management of hypertension and lipid levels. On the conference’s second day, Brian Bergmark, MD, of BWH’s Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, presented results, simultaneously published in The New England Journal of Medicine, from a trial showing that olezarsen was safe and efficacious for patients with high triglyceride levels and high cardiovascular risk. Akshay Desai, MD, MPH, also of BWH’s Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, presented results from a trial that examined adding an injectable medication to patients’ regimens for controlling high blood pressure.

“It is nice to see innovation coming to high blood pressure, which is a space that really hasn’t seen a lot of innovation in recent years,” Desai told STAT News. “It’s exciting to see innovation coming to an old problem.”

Other presentations at this year’s meeting focused on health equity and remote care delivery. Alexander J. Blood, MD, of BWH’s Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, presented the results of the DRIVE study, which evaluated two remote care approaches for increasing medication uptake among patients with type 2 diabetes.

"We strongly believe that remote care programs that leverage non-licensed navigators, clinical pharmacists, and team-based care, together with a care delivery platform, will improve operational efficiencies and communication and thereby address many of the persistent problems in health care," said Benjamin M. Scirica, MD, MPH, principal investigator of the DRIVE study and director of the Accelerator for Clinical Transformation. "On a broader scale, programs like this enhance access, elevate patient outcomes, reduce physician burden, and promote the appropriate utilization of guideline-recommended medications."

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Haley Bridger
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About Mass General Brigham

Mass General Brigham is an integrated academic health care system, uniting great minds to solve the hardest problems in medicine for our communities and the world. Mass General Brigham connects a full continuum of care across a system of academic medical centers, community and specialty hospitals, a health insurance plan, physician networks, community health centers, home care, and long-term care services. Mass General Brigham is a nonprofit organization committed to patient care, research, teaching, and service to the community. In addition, Mass General Brigham is one of the nation’s leading biomedical research organizations with several Harvard Medical School teaching hospitals. For more information, please visit