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01.12.2014 | Study protocol | Ausgabe 1/2014 Open Access

BMC Cardiovascular Disorders 1/2014

The Alberta Heart Failure Etiology and Analysis Research Team (HEART) study

BMC Cardiovascular Disorders > Ausgabe 1/2014
Justin A Ezekowitz, Harald Becher, Israel Belenkie, Alexander M Clark, Henry J Duff, Matthias G Friedrich, Mark J Haykowsky, Jonathan G Howlett, Zamaneh Kassiri, Padma Kaul, Daniel H Kim, Merril L Knudtson, Peter E Light, Gary D Lopaschuk, Finlay A McAlister, Michelle L Noga, Gavin Y Oudit, D Ian Paterson, Hude Quan, Richard Schulz, Richard B Thompson, Sarah G Weeks, Todd J Anderson, Jason RB Dyck
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1471-2261-14-91) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

Funding for Alberta HEART is provided by Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions (Grant # AHFMR ITG 200801018) awarded in 2009. Additional funding is provided by NCE CECR Centre of Excellence for Prevention of Organ Failure and the Alberta Diabetes Institute. In-kind contributions were received from Capital Health Regional Authority (now Alberta Health Services) and the Alberta HEART investigators. JAE, JRBD, FAM, HJD, GDL, GYO and TJA receive salary awards from AI-HS. GYO receives salary awards from HSFC and CIHR. PEL holds the Charles A. Allard Chair in Diabetes Research. FAM holds the University of Alberta Chair in Cardiovascular Outcomes Research. MF holds the Hornstein Chair in Cardiovascular Imaging. HB holds the Heart & Stroke Foundation Endowed Chair for Cardiovascular Research. TA holds the Merck Frosst Chair in Cardiovascular Research, University of Calgary.

Authors’ contributions

All authors were involved in the conception and design of the research program. TJA, HB, AMC, HJD, JRBD, JAE, MJH, JGH, FAM, GYO, DIP and RBT contributed to the writing of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Nationally, symptomatic heart failure affects 1.5-2% of Canadians, incurs $3 billion in hospital costs annually and the global burden is expected to double in the next 1–2 decades. The current one-year mortality rate after diagnosis of heart failure remains high at >25%. Consequently, new therapeutic strategies need to be developed for this debilitating condition.


The objective of the Alberta HEART program (http://​albertaheartrese​arch.​ca) is to develop novel diagnostic, therapeutic and prognostic approaches to patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. We hypothesize that novel imaging techniques and biomarkers will aid in describing heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. Furthermore, the development of new diagnostic criteria will allow us to: 1) better define risk factors associated with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction; 2) elucidate clinical, cellular and molecular mechanisms involved with the development and progression of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction; 3) design and test new therapeutic strategies for patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. Additionally, Alberta HEART provides training and education for enhancing translational medicine, knowledge translation and clinical practice in heart failure. This is a prospective observational cohort study of patients with, or at risk for, heart failure. Patients will have sequential testing including quality of life and clinical outcomes over 12 months. After that time, study participants will be passively followed via linkage to external administrative databases. Clinical outcomes of interest include death, hospitalization, emergency department visits, physician resource use and/or heart transplant. Patients will be followed for a total of 5 years.


Alberta HEART has the primary objective to define new diagnostic criteria for patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. New criteria will allow for targeted therapies, diagnostic tests and further understanding of the patients, both at-risk for and with heart failure.

Trial registration NCT02052804.
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