Heart failure (HF) is the leading cause of hospitalization in patients older than 65 years of age. Following HF hospitalization approximately 25% of patients are readmitted within 1 month of discharge and more than 50% of patients are readmitted within 6 months.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common comorbidity in patients with HF and it is a common cause of HF exacerbation. However, the majority of patients are in sinus rhythm when they present to hospital with acutely decompensated HF and the cause cannot be identified in 40-50% of patients.
In the PROTECT-HF study, we are hypothesizing that subclinical atrial fibrillation (SCAF) is highly prevalent in patients with HF and is an important cause of HF exacerbation and hospitalization. The proposed study is a non-intervention cohort study to determine the prevalence of SCAF in patients discharged after a hospitalization for HF and define its relationship to HF hospital readmission at 30 days.
Multicentre, prospective cohort study
Jorge Wong is a cardiologist and cardiac electrophysiologist at Hamilton Health Sciences, as well as an investigator in the Arrhythmia and Heart Failure program at PHRI. His research interests focus primarily on the intersection between atrial fibrillation and heart failure, atrial fibrillation epidemiology and catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation. He holds research grants from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, the Canadian Cardiovascular Society, and Hamilton Health Sciences.
He obtained his MD at McMaster, followed by his internal medicine and cardiology training at the University of Western Ontario. Jorge subsequently completed his clinical electrophysiology fellowship at the University of Calgary and at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He has a Master of Public Health degree from the Harvard School of Public Health, and is currently pursuing his PhD in Health Research Methods at McMaster.
Study Team Specialist
Heather Beresh has worked at PHRI since May 2002, largely devoted to managing global, multi-centre clinical trials of antithrombotic therapies in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). She started as research coordinator for the ACTIVE study evaluating dual antiplatelet therapy and angiotensin receptor blockers in patients with AF, then continued with oversight of the AVERROES open label extension trial evaluating a novel oral anticoagulant in the same population, and ARTESiA evaluating anticoagulant therapy in patients with subclinical AF.
After years as Associate Program Manager for the Heart Failure and Arrhythmia Program, managing networks such as C-SPIN, and on the ACT COVI-19 research program, Heather was made Study Team Specialist in 2021, to provide regulatory, country and site management expertise to the studies in the Global Health research team. She has as a Master’s degree in Medical Sciences from McMaster University.
Senior Research Coordinator
Alex Grinvalds has more than 15 years experience in clinical research, of which 13 have been at PHRI. He has worked on randomized studies, device trials and numerous registries. Currently, Alex is working on studies involving patients with heart failure and arrhythmias.
Alex holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Queen’s University and a Certificate in Clinical Research from Humber College.
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