Embargoed until 5 a.m. CT / 6 a.m. ET on Monday, November 12, 2018
CHICAGO, Nov. 12 -- The American Heart Association (AHA) has awarded its Clinical Research Prize for 2018 to William R. Hiatt, M.D., of the University of Colorado School of Medicine, for clinical studies that have “greatly expanded” the understanding of the causes and treatment of peripheral artery disease.
Hiatt received the prize on Sunday, November 11, during opening ceremonies at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2018, a premier global exchange of the latest advances in cardiovascular science for researchers and clinicians at McCormick Place convention center in Chicago. Association President Ivor Benjamin, M.D., of the Medical College of Wisconsin presented the prize, which is awarded annually by the AHA for outstanding achievement in clinical cardiovascular science.
In presenting the prize, Benjamin lauded the Colorado scientist for his “noteworthy discoveries” from clinical trials positively impacting the diagnosis and management of the pervasive health problem that is peripheral artery disease, or P.A.D. In an acclaimed career, AHA’s president said, “Dr. Hiatt has led successful peripheral artery research in four important areas.“
“First, he established and validated methods that address functional capacity and quality of life endpoints in patients with intermittent claudication, the painful leg muscle pain caused by inadequate blood flow. In trials of P.A.D., Dr. Hiatt found the treadmill to be an excellent functional test -- and this finding influenced debate over how best to assess walking distance and exercise performance.”
“A second important area of Dr. Hiatt’s clinical research has provided new understanding of the mechanism of walking impairment in P.A.D., showing that abnormalities in skeletal muscle metabolism better explain impaired functional capacity that limitations in limb blood flow and pressure.”
“Third, Dr. Hiatt has led major trials of exercise training and pharmacotherapy to improve exercise capacity and limb outcomes while preventing cardiovascular events in P.A.D. patients, including results pointing to supervised exercise training as the most important non-invasive therapy to improve walking distance in P.A.D.,” Benjamin said.
A related meta-analysis led by Hiatt challenged the benefits of aspirin therapy in preventing cardiovascular events in P.A.D. patients, leading the AHA to modify its guidelines, downgrading the strength of evidence of aspirin’s benefits as anti-platelet therapy, the AHA president noted.
“And a fourth major finding,” he continued, “is Dr. Hiatt’s contribution to knowledge of the epidemiology and prognosis of P.A.D., especially his finding that almost one-third of patients with risk factors for peripheral atherosclerosis had P.A.D. and half of them were not being recognized by their physicians.” Studies by Dr. Hiatt’s team also have increased understanding of the value of the ankle-brachial index in predicting P.A.D. risk.
“Few individuals have had as much impact on our ability to understand and overcome the adversities of peripheral artery disease as Will Hiatt,” Benjamin said.
Hiatt is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology’s Section of Vascular Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver. He joined the medical faculty in 1981. Dr. Hiatt also is President of CPC Clinical Research, in Aurora, CO.
- Available video/audio interviews, B-roll, animation and images may be downloaded from the right column of the release link: https://newsroom.heart.org/news/denver-scientist-honored-by-american-heart-association-for-studies-expanding-understanding-and-treatment-of-peripheral-artery-disease?preview=7701f8cbc641e3a9acbfea4ed2266130
- For more news at AHA Scientific Sessions 2018, follow us on Twitter @HeartNews #AHA18.
Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at https://www.heart.org/en/about-us/aha-financial-information.
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a leading force for a world of longer, healthier lives. With nearly a century of lifesaving work, the Dallas-based association is dedicated to ensuring equitable health for all. We are a trustworthy source empowering people to improve their heart health, brain health and well-being. We collaborate with numerous organizations and millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, advocate for stronger public health policies, and share lifesaving resources and information. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.
For Media Inquiries: 214-706-1173
Carrie Thacker: 214-706-1665; firstname.lastname@example.org
Nov. 10-12, 2018:
AHA News Media Office at the McCormick Place Convention Center: 312-791-6820.
For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)