New Data and Findings
The American Heart Association’s (AHA) 2022 Scientific Session was held in Chicago from November 4-6. This is one of the premier scientific meetings of the year with over 10,000 clinicians and researchers in attendance, Sessions focused on the latest research and insights to improve cardiovascular health.
The Family Heart Foundation presented two scientific posters at the meeting. Highlights from all presentations include:
1. Significant disparities exist in the treatment of patients with familial hypercholesterolemia (FH)
The Family Heart Foundation presented results from our own research done in partnership with UTSW showing that lipid-lowering therapy is more often prescribed to familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) patients who are white, male, and have higher incomes or advanced education.
- Compared to Black patients, white patients were 6% to 30% more likely to receive ezetimibe, PCSK9 inhibitors, or the combination of statin, ezetimibe, and PCSK9 inhibitors
- Men were 46% to 48% more likely to receive high-intensity statins compared with women
- Individuals with a household income of $100,000 and above were 30% to 50% more likely to receive ezetimibe, PCSK9 inhibitors, or the combination of statin, ezetimibe and PCSK9 inhibitors compared to those with a household income less than $49,000
- FH patients with a college degree were 51% more likely to receive the combination of statin, ezetimibe and PCSK9 inhibitors compared to those with a high school education or less
This data from the Family Heart Database comes from claims and/or lab information for more than 300 million individuals in the U.S.
“Individuals with FH are at very high risk of premature cardiovascular events and require early and intensive lipid-lowering therapy, however, most individuals fall far short of receiving adequate care,” said Mary P. McGowan, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Family Heart Foundation, and co-author of the study. “These findings highlight the significant unmet need for improving equity and providing all individuals with FH an opportunity for cardiovascular risk reduction.”
2. Data from IMPACT-FH showed successful use of two FH screening algorithms
The IMPACT-FH study is a collaboration between Geisinger and the Family Heart Foundation to improve detection of and family screening for FH. It is funded by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The data presented at the AHA Scientific Sessions examined two screening algorithms (FIND FH from the Family Heart Foundation and one from the Mayo Clinic) to successfully identify people with FH that had previously been genetically confirmed.
Together, these two algorithms successfully identified 70% of FH patients.
3. Olpasiran showed dramatic reductions in Lipoprotein(a)
Amgen presented data from its Phase 2 OCEAN(a)-DOSE study of a drug called olpasiran. Patients who received doses of 75mg or higher had a 95% or greater reduction in lipoprotein(a), also known as Lp(a), compared to those who got the placebo after 36 weeks. Overall, the rate of adverse events were similar in the olpasiran and placebo groups. This is very encouraging data, and Amgen plans to begin enrolling patients in Phase 3 clinical trials in December 2022.
4. Statins are proven to be “vastly superior” to supplements for cutting cholesterol
Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic presented findings of the Supplements, Placebo or Rosuvastatin (SPORT) study that compared a low dose statin (rosuvastatin 5mg) to various over-the-counter supplements in 190 adults. The supplements included fish oil, cinnamon, garlic, turmeric, plant sterols, and red yeast rice. The results showed that the statin lowered LDL cholesterol by almost 38% while none of the supplements demonstrated a significant reduction in LDL cholesterol. Rates of adverse events were similar across all groups, but higher in the patients taking plant sterols and red yeast rice.
“If you’re taking over-the-counter supplements for heart health or for cholesterol lowering, you should reconsider,” said Luke Laffin, M.D., study author and co-director of the Center for Blood Pressure Disorders in the Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute at Cleveland Clinic. “Unfortunately, many U.S. consumers believe cholesterol health supplements are safer than prescription medications and believe supplements are as effective, or more effective, than statins.”
5. Leqvio® (inclisiran) showed consistent efficacy and safety over 4 years
Novartis announced results from the ORION-3 trial showing Leqvio (inclisiran) provided sustained reductions in LDL-cholesterol over a four-year period. A time averaged reduction in LDL-cholesterol of 44.2% was seen over the four years of the trial with twice-yearly dosing.
“The results we’ve seen in patients after four years of treatment demonstrate that inclisiran is well-tolerated and can help patients achieve LDL-C reduction while also maintaining and sustaining their levels,” said Kausik Ray, M.D., Professor of Public Health in the Department of Public Health and Primary Care at Imperial College London and Honorary Consultant Cardiologist at the Imperial College NHS Trust.
A note from our founder
This is an exciting time in lipid management, as individuals and healthcare providers have the therapies to dramatically reduce LDL-C and the risk of a first, second, or third cardiac event.
However, our data show Americans continue to face substantial challenges in lipid management because most physicians and nurse practitioners are not prescribing multiple lipid-lowering therapies.
In addition, healthcare has become burdensome to patients and healthcare providers because of utilization management and out-of-pocket costs.
All the efforts of the Family Heart Foundation are to give everyone the chance to receive the care they need regardless of their location, insurance coverage, race, ethnicity, or sex.
Join us in fighting for a healthcare revolution! Effective and safe therapies are an amazing start, but we need to collectively assure that people have the right diagnosis and the right care because it is the right thing to do.
– Katherine Wilemon
Founder and CEO
Family Heart Foundation