New Scientific Discoveries Presented at SHAPE Summit

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2012 Scientific Conference Presentations Available for Download on SHAPE Website Includes Latest Research Findings on Early Detection to Prevent Heart Attacks and Stroke

Approximately every 25 seconds, an American will have a heart attack and approximately every minute, someone will die of one. Stated another way, more than 2,200 Americans will die today of cardiovascular disease, an average of 1 death every 39 seconds.

While most cardiovascular health organizations focus on reducing heart attack and stroke risk factors, the Society for Heart Attack Prevention & Eradication (SHAPE) advocates for screening of asymptomatic people for hidden plaque build-up, the underlying cause of heart attacks and stroke. The SHAPE Task Force strongly believes that measuring risk factors alone is grossly insufficient and often misleading.

The mission of the Society for Heart Attack Prevention and Eradication (SHAPE) is the eradication of heart attacks and stroke by fostering new strategies for prevention while advancing the scientific quest for a cure.

On November 2, SHAPE conducted its 2012 annual symposium entitled Updates on Cardiovascular Risk Assessment in the Asymptomatic Population: Searching for the Vulnerable Patient to update and inform the medical and scientific communities of the latest research on the early detection of heart attacks and stroke through primary prevention. Held at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, the event was well attended by national and international scientific investigators and clinicians interested in changing the paradigm from patient treatment to early detection and eradication of the underlying causes of heart disease.

Those presenting and moderating included Dr. Daniel Berman, Dr. Matthew Budoff, Dr. Raimund Erbel, Dr. Erling Falk, Dr. Harvey Hecht, Dr. Morteza Naghavi, Dr. Jagat Narula, Dr. Tasneem Naqvi, Dr. Alan Rozanski and Dr. Robert Superko.

In terms that can be clearly understood, here is what several of the distinguished faculty said about their presentations:

“Over 70% of heart attack patients, if tested the day before heart attack by traditional guidelines, would have been be categorized as Low to Intermediate Risk. This is shocking! The new discoveries presented at the 2012 American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions clearly demonstrated the superior predictive value of the SHAPE guidelines over traditional guidelines. Despite such an overwhelming body of evidence, it is unfortunate to see thousands of people die unexpectedly and prematurely with sudden heart attacks because insurance companies do not presently pay for preventive screening tests. This is unacceptable and must change.” Morteza Naghavi, MD

"Data from the High-Risk Plaque BioImage study confirmed a statistically strong relationship between traditional risk factors and subclinical atherosclerosis in coronary and carotid arteries detected by cardiac CT and carotid ultrasound, respectively. However, except for age and gender, risk factors explained only a few percent of the variability in subclinical atherosclerosis, leaving most of the variability unexplained." Erling Falk, MD, PhD

"Recent large population based studies have documented that coronary calcium is the strongest risk factor for predicting future heart disease. SHAPE had the vision to identify the need for atherosclerosis imaging to properly risk stratify patients over a decade ago." Matthew Budoff, MD

"Thickness of the neck artery (carotid intima media thickness (IMT) has been used for many years to predict future cardiovascular risk. New data suggest that accurate measure of plaque burden as well as the plaque type within the neck vessels are a stronger and more accurate predictor of future cardiovascular risk compared to CIMT." Tasneem Naqvi, MD

"Coronary artery calcium scanning, the foundation of the SHAPE early heart disease detection program, has achieved acceptance by the major American cardiology societies including the AHA and ACC, and does not require any further trials for validation. Physicians must be educated to apply it in the greater than 40,000,000 people who are at intermediate risk." Harvey Hecht, MD

"It is now well established that Standard Heart Disease Risk assessment tools misclassify a large number of people. These standard tools tell some individuals that they are at high risk when they are not, and some individuals that they are not at high risk when they actually do have heart disease. Simple genetic tests can significantly improve the accuracy of standard heart disease risk prediction tests and coronary calcium testing can diagnose the actual presence of coronary heart disease. The combination of simple genetic heart disease risk tests and coronary calcium testing is particularly powerful and should be incorporated into new guidelines." Robert Superko, MD

To view the presentations, go to:

2012 SHAPE Summit Agenda

Updates on Cardiovascular Risk Assessment in the Asymptomatic Population –
Searching for the “Vulnerable Patient”

Chaired by:
Daniel Berman, M.D., Jagat Narula, M.D., PK Shah, M.D.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Welcome and Introduction to SHAPE vs. Status Quo
Morteza Naghavi, M.D., Founder of SHAPE and Executive Chairman of the SHAPE Task Force, Houston, TX

Latest developments in non-invasive imaging of atherosclerosis using coronary calcium
Matthew Budoff, M.D., Director of Cardiac CT Imaging, Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute; Professor of Medicine, Harbor UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, CA

Latest developments in non-invasive imaging of atherosclerosis using CIMT
Tasneem Naqvi, M.D., Director, Echocardiography Services; Medical Director, Non Invasive Diagnostic Services, University of Southern California, Cardiac & Vascular Institute, Los Angeles, CA

Latest developments in non-invasive coronary CT angiography
Jagat Narula, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Philip J. and Harriet L. Goodhart Chair in Cardiology; Director of Cardiovascular Imaging Program, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, NY

Lessons learned and to be learned from the HRP bio-image study
Erling Falk, M.D., Ph.D., Chief of SHAPE Guidelines Editorial Committee, Professor of Pathology and Cardiology, Aarhus University Hospital (Skejby), Aarhus, Denmark

Lessons learned from the EISNER study
Alan Rozanski, M.D., Interim Chief, Division of Cardiology, Saint Luke's Roosevelt Hospital; Professor of Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY

Lessons learned from the Heinz Nixdorf RECALL study
Raimund Erbel, M.D., Professor of Medicine, University of Essen; Director of Department of Cardiology, West German Heart Center, Essen, Germany

Planned NIH study: comparing SHAPE with status quo
Harvey Hecht, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Assistant Director of Cardiac Imaging, The Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, NY

What is the role of biomarkers and genomics in prevention?
H. Robert Superko, M.D., Chief of Medical Affairs - Celera; Adjunct Professor, Mercer University School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Atlanta, GA

About SHAPE:
The Society for Heart Attack Prevention and Eradication (SHAPE) is a tax-exempt organization founded by Dr Morteza Naghavi, former faculty member of the Texas Heart Institute and the University of Texas in Houston. SHAPE promotes education and research related to early detection, prevention and treatment of arterial plaque, the underlying cause of heart attacks. SHAPE is committed to raising public awareness about noninvasive, cost effective screening programs that detect potential heart problems in asymptomatic populations. Additional information is available at


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