Competition Results 2016

2016 CCS Atrial Fibrillation Research Award

The Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS) is pleased to announce the results of the 2016 CCS Atrial Fibrillation (AF) Research Award competition. This program was created to encourage clinical, health systems and population health research in the field of AF and is open to all Canadian researchers.

3 awards of $100,000 each have been granted - 23% of all full proposals received. Since 2015, CCS and our program partner, the Bristol-Myers Squibb/Pfizer Alliance, have invested over $600,000 in this program.

All proposals are reviewed by an independent peer review committee comprised of CCS members. We are pleased that all projects are being funded to their full recommended amounts. Awards include funds for salaries, supplies, and/or equipment. The start date for these awards is July 1, 2016. Principal Investigators are named below. Co-Applicants and/or Additional Authors may also be associated with these grants.

Congratulations to the 2016 awardees.

The 2017 CCS Atrial Fibrillation Research Award competition will be launched in November 2016.

With thanks to the Bristol-Myers Squibb/Pfizer Alliance for the providing financial support for this important program.

Please watch for program updates at www.ccs.ca.

Award winners:

Principal Investigator: Jason Roberts MD

University of Western Ontario
Proposal Title: Efficacy, health care utilization rates and safety of a same-day discharge protocol for AF ablations
Award amount: $100,000
Term: July 2016 - July 2018

Summaries of funded projects

First line treatment for maintenance of sinus rhythm in atrial fibrillation (AF) consists of anti-arrhythmic drug (AAD) therapy. Although extremely effective in many patients, treatment efficacy is variable and AAD use may also be associated with serious adverse events, including sudden cardiac death. Evidence suggests that the variable response to AADs may have an underlying genetic mechanism. This multi-centre collaboration aims to identify genetic variants that impact the efficacy of AADs for maintaining sinus rhythm in 200 individuals with paroxysmal AF in the absence of structural heart disease.  Uni- and multi-variate Cox proportional hazards models will be used to identify genetic predictors of AF recurrence for two AADs (sotalol or flecainide). Identification of genetic variants that predict response to AADs may lead to a gene-guided approach to AAD therapy that may improve treatment efficacy, while simultaneously minimizing adverse events.

Principal Investigators: William McIntyre MD and Jeff Healey MD

University of Manitoba and McMaster University Population Health Research Institute,
Proposal Title: Atrial Fibrillation Occurring Transiently with Stress (AFOTS) Understanding the Risks of Recurrent AF in Non-cardiac Surgery
Award amount: $100,000
Term: July 2016 - July 2018

Summaries of funded projects

Atrial fibrillation is frequently observed in patients following non-cardiac surgery, where it is often ascribed to peri-operative stress and felt not to have long-term consequences.  However; atrial fibrillation Occurring Transiently with Stress (AFOTS) may not be a distinct entity, but may simply be typical atrial fibrillation that is recognized through the use of inpatient, continuous cardiac monitoring. Retrospective data suggest that many patients with AFOTS will experience recurrent AF. As the rate of AF recurrence increases, it becomes more likely that AFOTS is just the first detection of typical “clinical” AF. Using a multi-centre, cohort study approach, this study aims to determine the rate of recurrent AF among patients who experienced AFOTS following non-cardiac surgery, compared to matched controls. The study results will inform clinical practice guidelines for AF.

Principal Investigator: Philip Joseph MD

McMaster University Population Health Research Institute
Proposal Title: A multi-national study to understand the upstream risk factors for atrial fibrillation
Award amount: $100,000
Term: July 2016 - July 2018

Summaries of funded projects

Persistence and adherence with warfarin therapy are associated with stroke prevention efficacy in atrial fibrillation (AF) patients. Almost half of AF cases are not associated with a common risk factor, and the modifiable determinants of AF need to be better understood to better inform strategies that prevent AF. Much of the currently ‘unaccounted’ for AF risk may be due to upstream health determinants (e.g., health related behaviors, environmental factors) which have not been adequately studied. This study will investigate how upstream health determinants impact AF through a collaboration of the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study and the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Ageing (CLSA). The primary objective is to examine relationships between upstream determinants and AF in a cross- sectional analysis of health related behaviors (diet, physical activity, and alcohol use), air pollution, and the built environment among 160,000 eligible participants. 


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