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KDHRC received funding from Pfizer Pharmaceuticals to create a training to address the information and training gaps among providers on ATTR-CM, a cardiac condition more common among African Americans and frequently misdiagnosed. The goal is to increase providers’ knowledge and awareness about ATTR-CM and decrease related health disparities.

The Challenge:
Transthyretin Amyloid Cardiomyopathy (ATTR-CM) is a cardiac disease characterized by protein fibrils that cause thickening and enlarging of the heart. Eventually, ATTR-CM reduces the ability of the heart to function properly and eventually leads to heart failure.

In the U.S. African American men have a higher hereditary ATTR-CM prevalence, and approximately 750,000 – 1.2 million African Americans carry genes associated with ATTR-CM. Most frequently, people with ATTR-CM develop symptoms in their 50s and early 60s with the onset of congestive heart failure between ages 60 and 80. ATTR-CM is often improperly diagnosed because symptoms are similar to conventional heart failure and there is a lack of awareness among providers about the disorder and associated health disparities.

Our Approach:
KDHRC received funding from Pfizer Pharmaceuticals’ Global Medical Grants division to create the Cardiac Rare Disease and Conditions (CARDIAC) training and address the information and training gaps among providers on ATTR-CM. More specifically, CARDIAC is a video-based training to increase general cardiologists’ and non-cardiologist providers’ knowledge and awareness about ATTR-CM and increase general cardiology providers’ and non-cardiologist providers’ access to training on this topic.

To develop, refine, and ensure accuracy of the training content, KDHRC consulted with subject matter experts (SMEs) on the diagnosis and treatment of ATTR-CM. The SMEs provided input on the signs and symptoms of ATTR-CM, diagnostic procedures, and relevant information for providers to recognize and refer these patients. KDHRC created and placed the ATTR-CM training video on YouTube for easy access and viewing. Then, to promote this free, science-based training, KDHRC worked with Area Health Education Centers (AHECs) and other health organizations, focusing on southern states with high heart disease mortality rates.

KDHRC promoted CARDIAC through three AHECs that reached providers in 72 counties or parishes in Georgia and Louisiana – Blue Ridge AHEC (20 counties), Magnolia Coastlands AHEC (39 counties), and Southeast Louisiana AHEC (13 parishes). KDHRC also promoted CARDIAC through approximately 170 supplemental individuals/organizations, encouraging the individuals/organizations to share the training with their networks. In the first six months of its availability, the course was viewed over 300 times. To date, the CARDIAC training is freely available on the KDHRC website and is promoted by the National AHEC and partner organizations.

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