Aortic stenosis initiative to improve quality of care extended for 3 years

Embargoed until 3:00 p.m. CT/4:00 p.m. ET, November 6, 2022

DALLAS, Nov. 6, 2022 — The American Heart Association®, the world’s leading voluntary organization focused on heart and brain health for all, announces its Target: Aortic Stenosis™ initiative has been extended for three years, thanks to generous financial support from industry and collaboration with key nationwide medical centers.

Millions of Americans are living with heart valve disease, and many are unaware or lack effective diagnoses and treatments. With these patients in mind, the Association launched Target: Aortic Stenosis in 2020, with support from Edwards Lifesciences, at 15 sites across the country. The patient-centered initiative is dedicated to effective identification and appropriate treatment of aortic stenosis, a structural heart disease that can lead to heart failure and death.

Aortic stenosis is a progressive disease that occurs when the opening of a heart valve narrows, usually due to age. Up to 1.6 million Americans over age 65 have severe symptomatic aortic stenosis, and without valve replacement, as few as half survive beyond two years.[1]

“Early identification and treatment of aortic stenosis can lead to longer, healthier lives,” said Mariell Jessup, M.D., FAHA, cardiologist and chief science and medical officer for the American Heart Association. “A patient-centered approach is key for a disease such as aortic stenosis, and the best practices developed as part of this initiative will ensure timely diagnosis and treatment protocols across the country and impact thousands of patients looking for improved quality of life and a chance for the best outcomes.”

Building on work conducted over the past three years, the initiative in the next three years will expand to include a total of 80 hospitals across the U.S., with continued support from Edwards Lifesciences, to create and test best practices, grow the national aortic stenosis patient registry to be a robust dataset for future research and participate in the Target: Aortic Stenosis recognition program based on validated quality metrics. Through a learning collaborative comprising hospital champions and key stakeholders, participating sites will share lessons learned, best practices and barrier breakthroughs in AS diagnosis and treatment.

“This next phase of the Target: Aortic Stenosis program will work to scale the patient registry and recognition program and validate quality measures using continuous real-time site feedback and insights,” said Clyde Yancy, M.D., M.Sc., FAHA, volunteer co-chair of the Target: Aortic Stenosis Science Advisory Group, American Heart Association past president (2009-2010), and vice dean of diversity and inclusion and chief of cardiology in the department of medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, in Chicago. “This initiative will build a robust representative data set that could be used to set thresholds for high-quality care, as well as develop health care professional education to promote best practices.”

The goals of the initiative are to drive expanded access and quality in AS treatment. The pilot locations recognized for initial data submission in the Target: Aortic Stenosis learning collaborative are:

  • Barnes-Jewish Hospital - St. Louis
  • Baylor Scott & White Heart and Vascular Hospital - Dallas
  • Deborah Heart and Lung Center - Browns Mills, New Jersey
  • Geisinger Medical Center - Danville, Pennsylvania
  • Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania - Philadelphia
  • Penn Presbyterian Medical Center - Philadelphia
  • Providence Heart Institute-Providence St. Vincent Medical Center - Portland, Oregon
  • UCLA Medical Center - Los Angeles
  • St. Anthony Hospital/Colorado Heart and Vascular - Lakewood, Colorado
  • Stanford Health Care - Stanford, California
  • Thomas Jefferson University Hospital - Philadelphia
  • The University of Kansas Health System - Kansas City, Kansas
  • University of Utah Health - Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Vanderbilt University Medical Center - Nashville, Tennessee
  • Wellstar Health System - Marietta, Georgia

“We are proud to continue our support of Target: Aortic Stenosis, which is creating a network of hospitals focused on increasing the quality of care for aortic stenosis patients across the country,” said Todd Brinton, M.D., FACC, chief scientific officer and corporate vice president, Edwards Lifesciences. “Through this initiative, physicians, patients and caregivers can both increase awareness and knowledge of aortic stenosis and also understand the best individual pathways to timely treatment for this deadly disease.”

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The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.orgFacebookTwitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.   

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[1] Owens DS, Bartz TM, Buzkova P, et al. Cumulative burden of clinically significant aortic stenosis in community-dwelling older adults. Heart. 2021;107:1493-1502.

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