ACC 2013: DCRI fellow wins best poster award for biomarker study

March 10, 2013 – The poster by the DCRI’s Tariq Ahmad, MD, was judged to be in the top 3 percent of all submissions.

A DCRI fellow has won the “Best Fellow in Training Poster Award” for his presentation at this year’s Scientific Sessions of the American College of Cardiology in San Francisco.

The poster, “Relationship between Exercise Training and Changes in Biomarkers of Myocardial Stress, Injury and Inflammation in Patients with Chronic Heart Failure,” was based on a study conducted by DCRI fellow Tariq Ahmad, MD, and other DCRI researchers. It was presented at a poster session Sunday afternoon.

The award indicates that the poster scored in the top 3 percent of all posters submitted to this year’s meeting.

Physicians often use biomarkers to evaluate certain aspects of a patient’s health. It is unclear how physical exercise, which is often recommended to heart failure patients, might affect biomarkers. To determine what, if any, effect exercise has on certain biomarkers in heart failure patients, Ahmad and his colleagues examined patient data from Heart Failure: A Controlled Trial Investigating Outcomes of Exercise TraiNing (HF-ACTION). That study was a large-scale trial investigating whether a tailored exercise program can help heart failure patients live longer.

Ahmad’s study team concluded that there was no association between exercise and a change in biomarkers among patients who were randomized to an aggressive exercise regimen in the HF-ACTION study. Some patients did experience an increase in the biomarker brain natriuretic peptide (BNP), which in turn lead to improved clinical outcomes.

Ahmad’s study is one of several recent investigations of the relationship between biomarkers and exercise. Some have reported a positive association between the two, whereas others assert a negative relationship.

“This is fairly controversial, because there are conflicting studies,” Ahmad said. “It’s still unclear [as] to what’s actually happening with the biomarkers.”

Further research is needed to clarify the nature of this relationship, he said.