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Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Preeclampsia Foundation Approved for Funding

Last Updated on Thursday, March 06, 2014

Melbourne, Fla. – January 6, 2014 – A joint research team from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Mass. and the Preeclampsia Foundation has been approved for a funding award by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) for their study “Heart Health 4 Moms: Engaging Women with a History of Preeclampsia to Reduce their Risk for Cardiovascular Disease.” The study is one of 82 proposals approved for PCORI funding on December 17 to advance the field of patient-centered comparative effectiveness research (CER) and provide patients with information that will help them make better-informed decisions about their care.

Janet Rich-Edwards, ScD, MPH, Director of Developmental Epidemiology, Connors Center for Women's Health and Gender Biology, and Ellen Seely, MD, Director of Clinical Research, Endocrinology, Diabetes and Hypertension Division, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, will lead this three-year, $2.3M groundbreaking research project. The study will focus on education about the long-term cardiovascular risks of preeclampsia and provide tools for behavior change for women with recent preeclampsia to reduce their cardiovascular risk through an online lifestyle modification program (accessible by computer or smart phone).

The "Heart Health 4 Moms" program is the first of its kind designed specifically to inform young women with recent preeclampsia of their heart risk and help them to make lifestyle changes. The research study will test the program's use and impact on diet, postpartum weight retention, physical activity, blood pressure and patient awareness.

"We know that cardiovascular risk begins to diverge in the early years after a pregnancy complicatedby preeclampsia, so that there is a potential window of opportunity for prevention of cardiovascular disease through weight management, diet and physical activity," said Rich-Edwards.

"Our goal is to work with the Preeclampsia Foundation to develop an engaging, effective program that is widely accessible on the internet and can augment primary care to help high-risk women to change their trajectories and avoid cardiovascular disease," added Seely.

The “Heart Health 4 Moms” study and the other projects approved for funding by PCORI’s Board of Governors on December 17 were selected from 624 applications submitted in response to PCORI’s funding announcements. All were selected through a highly competitive review process in which patients, caregivers, and other stakeholders joined scientists to evaluate the proposals. Applications were assessed for scientific merit, how well they will engage patients and other stakeholders, and their methodological rigor, among other criteria.

All awards are approved pending completion of a business and programmatic review by PCORI staff and issuance of a formal award contract.

“Patient-centric research is at the heart of our mission,” said Preeclampsia Foundation Executive Director Eleni Tsigas. “Recent survivors of preeclampsia are highly motivated to engage in this important intervention.”

The “Heart Health 4 Moms” study joins PCORI’s expanding portfolio, which now includes 279 patient-centered CER studies and initiatives. PCORI has awarded a total of $464.4 million since it began funding CER in 2012.

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is an independent, non-profit organization authorized by Congress in 2010. Its mission is to fund research that will provide patients, their caregivers and clinicians with the evidence-based information needed to make better-informed health care decisions. PCORI is committed to continuously seeking input from a broad range of stakeholders to guide its work. More information is available at www.pcori.org.

About Preeclampsia Foundation
The Preeclampsia Foundation is a U.S.-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established in 2000. It is dedicated to providing patient support and education, raising public awareness, catalyzing research and improving health care practices, envisioning a world where preeclampsia and related hypertensive disorders of pregnancy no longer threaten the lives of mothers and babies. For more information, visit www.preeclampsia.org.

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