August 4, 2008 - By Tracie White
A new heart research center run jointly by Stanford Medical Center and Kaiser Permanente Northern California has been awarded $3.89 million over the next four years by the American Heart Association.
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.
'We're very excited about the new center and feel it deepens the overall collaborations between Stanford and Kaiser,' said Mark Hlatky, MD, professor of health research and policy and of cardiovascular medicine, and principal investigator for the Stanford center. His counterpart is Alan Go, MD, assistant director for clinical research at Kaiser.
'The heart of this center is our plan to link together the various electronic databases used for patient care at Kaiser,' Hlatky said. 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,' Hlatky said. 'These treatments include prescription drugs, implanted devices such as stents and defibrillators, and procedures such as coronary bypass surgery.'
Hlatky will lead the investigation into the best treatment options for coronary artery disease, while Go will explore treatments for heart failure.
'We see this center as a great opportunity to advance the field of cardiovascular outcomes research,' Hlatky said. 'We will create a very rich and flexible data resource that will allow us to investigate many important questions about the safety and efficacy of heart disease treatments in day-to-day practice. We also hope that bringing together investigators from different disciplines will advance the methods for analysis of large clinical databases.'
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