The American Heart Association’s New Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine
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“One size does not fit all.”
These 6 simple words represent the fundamental concept driving an unprecedented initiative of the American Heart Association, the Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine. In the field of heart disease and stroke research, we have seen enormous knowledge advances in recent decades, all of which have led to breakthroughs in our ability to treat and prevent these illnesses. We celebrate these advances because they are allowing us to save and improve more lives than ever before. Despite these great advances, there are still far too many patients suffering and dying prematurely. Through tremendous advances in cardiovascular science and the translation of knowledge into more effective therapies, a problematic aspect of many current therapies is that their efficacy can be variable. We are still not sure why some patients respond more favorably to certain medications, or certain dosages, than others. And we still cannot predict why a given surgical technique will achieve widely different results among patients. It seems clear that when it comes to providing patients with meaningful, efficacious solutions, one size does not fit all. We created the Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine because we need to learn more, much more, about the patients who depend on us to provide care that is best suited for them. Each patient has a unique genetic profile, has unique lifestyle habits, and has been affected by unique environmental factors over the course of his or her life. All of these factors play a critical role in determining which approach might …