SHAPE Redoubles Commitment to Eradicate Heart Attacks and Embarks on Fundraising for SHAPE Trial

Leading Cardiovascular Physicians and Researchers Gathered at SHAPE Trial Advisory Meeting to Chart the Course for Perfecting Early Detection of Patients Vulnerable to Heart Attack

HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwired - Sep 29, 2015) -  SHAPE, The Society for Heart Attack Prevention and Eradication (, a nonprofit grassroots organization dedicated to the mission of eradicating heart attacks, today announced the outcomes of its recent SHAPE Trial Advisory Meeting. The international contingent of leading cardiologists and researchers convened in Los Angeles to discuss the necessity, feasibility, design, implementation and fundraising for a longitudinal study comparing the effectiveness of the SHAPE Guidelines to prevent heart attacks in the asymptomatic population versus the status quo of relying on traditional risk factors alone.

SHAPE has published videos of the meeting's presentations and discussions to the SHAPE website,, and the organization's YouTube channel:

The first day of the SHAPE Trial Advisory Meeting was dedicated to discussing various study designs that would have the necessary power to compare SHAPE-based risk assessment with the current approach, which emphasizes population-based risk factors. The group identified funding as the biggest barrier in conducting an ideal trial and decided to propose multiple study designs each with tradeoffs.

SHAPE Seeks to Collaborate

The SHAPE panel agreed to set aside discussions about SHAPE potentially designing and implementing its own longitudinal outcome study until the organization thoroughly investigates the feasibility of working cooperatively with an appropriate study of heart attack risks already being planned.

"Certain studies, particularly ROBINSCA, are planned that will assess the effectiveness of various preventive cardiology practices, and they could present opportunities for cooperation and integration of a SHAPE Trial," said Dr. Morteza Naghavi, the Founder of SHAPE and Executive Chairman of the SHAPE Task Force. "By working cooperatively with existing studies such as ROBINSCA and Google's Baseline Study, we would be able to save time and cost effectively reach our goals."

SHAPE is seeking funds to support its SHAPE Trial research initiatives. Organizations or individuals interested in supporting SHAPE's efforts to improve and perfect methods of early detection of patients vulnerable to heart attack, with the ultimate goal of eradicating heart attack during this century, can contact the Chair of the SHAPE Board of Directors, JoAnne Zawitoski, J.D., at or call 877-SHAPE11. 

Dr. James Min of Cornell University presented PRECISION (Prospective Randomized Evaluation of Coronary CalcIum Scanning for ReductION of Cardiovascular Events). The study is designed based on the success of the National Lung Screening Trial for CT scanning among smokers. Although this study does not answer all questions, it was found the most practical and least expensive design. Overall, five study designs were proposed and SHAPE will seek collaborations with NHLBI (National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute), ACRIM (American College of Radiology Imaging Network), ROBINSCA, HMOs and other organizations to explore feasibility of such trials.

Additionally, presenters outlined findings from other recent studies from around the world that have advanced understanding of heart attack risk assessment and preventive cardiology. As a result of these and earlier findings, such as the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study (ARIC) and the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA), sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health, and the Heinz Nixdorf Recall Study, funded by the Heinz Nixdorf Foundation and the German Foundation of Research, the SHAPE Task Force has begun the process of updating the SHAPE Guidelines.

"Much has been learned during the past decade and it is important that the SHAPE Guidelines continue to evolve so physicians have the guidance they need to identify who has asymptomatic atherosclerosis and then implement proper therapies to prevent a future heart attack," said Dr. P.K. Shah, Chief of the SHAPE Scientific Committee and professor of medicine at UCLA.

The current SHAPE Guidelines recommend that physicians encourage men over age 45 and women over age 55 to undergo testing for hidden plaques in coronary or carotid arteries. The SHAPE Guidelines recommended the following non-invasive atherosclerosis tests:

  • Coronary artery calcification scoring (CACS) by a computed tomography (CT) scan.
  • Scanning for carotid plaque and measuring carotid artery intima-media thickness (CIMT) by ultrasound.

Also at the SHAPE Trial Advisory Meeting:

  • SHAPE agreed to enthusiastically support efforts to incorporate the SHAPE Guidelines into the California Department of Public Health's Right Care Initiative. The Right Care Initiative's objective is to measurably reduce death and disability through enhanced practice of patient-centered, evidence-based medicine.
  • The group also heard an update from cardiologist Dr. Jessica Mega of the life sciences division of Google X, regarding Google's Baseline Study. It is a longitudinal research study to monitor various factors related to cardiovascular disease and cancer designed to understand what it means to be healthy, down to the molecular and cellular level.

"Google's projects on healthcare and preventive personalized medicine that were presented at the meeting were refreshing and revolutionary," said Zawitoski.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women and is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined. Each year, 525,000 American suffer their first heart attack. The vast majority of these heart attacks occur among people who exhibit no symptoms and who would not be identified as high risk using traditional risk factors. Using the SHAPE Guidelines, physicians can accurately assess a patient's heart attack risk and steer them toward appropriate preventive treatment.

Examples of videos from the meeting that SHAPE has published include:


The Society for Heart Attack Prevention and Eradication (SHAPE) is a non-profit organization that promotes education and research related to prevention, detection, and treatment of heart attacks. SHAPE is committed to raising public awareness about revolutionary discoveries that are opening exciting avenues to prevent heart attacks. SHAPE's mission is to eradicate heart attacks in the 21st century. Additional information is available on the organization's website at or by calling 1-877-SHAPE11 or 713-529-4484.

About SHAPE Task Force:

The SHAPE Task Force, an international group of leading cardiovascular physicians and researchers, has created the SHAPE Guidelines, which educates physicians on how to identify asymptomatic atherosclerosis (hidden plaques) and implement proper therapies to prevent a future heart attack. According to the SHAPE Guidelines, men 45-75 and women 55-75 need to be tested for hidden plaques in coronary or carotid arteries. Individuals with high risk atherosclerosis (high plaque score) should be treated even if their cholesterol level is within statistical "normal range." If they have plaques, the so-called normal is not normal for them. The higher the amount of plaque burden in the arteries the higher the risk and the more vulnerable to heart attack. SHAPE Guideline aims to identify the asymptomatic "Vulnerable Patient" and offer them intensive preventive therapy to prevent a future heart attack. Knowing one's plaque score can be a matter of life and death. Additional information is available by calling 1-877-SHAPE11 or 713-529-4484. And Additional information is available at

The SHAPE Task Force includes the following:

Morteza Naghavi, M.D. - Executive Chairman
PK Shah, M.D. - Chair of Scientific Board
Erling Falk, M.D., Ph.D. - Chief of Editorial Committee

SHAPE Task Force Members and Advisors (alphabetic order):

Arthur Agatston, M.D., Daniel Arking, Ph.D., Juan Badimon, Ph.D., Raymond Bahr, M.D., Daniel S. Berman, M.D., Matthew J. Budoff, M.D., Jay Cohn, M.D., Michael Davidson, M.D., Raimund Erbel, M.D., Erling Falk, M.D., Ph.D., Zahi Fayad, Ph.D., Sergio Fazio, MD, PhD, Steven B. Feinstein, M.D., Craig Hartley, Ph.D., Harvey S. Hecht, M.D., Howard Hodis, M.D., Ioannis Kakadiaris, Ph.D., Sanjay Kaul, M.D., M.P.H., Asher Kimchi. M.D., Wolfgang Koenig, M.D., Ph.D., Iftikhar J. Kullo, M.D., Daniel Lane, M.D., Ph.D., David Maron, M.D., Roxana Mehran, M.D., Ralph Metcalfe, Ph.D., Morteza Naghavi, M.D., Khurram Nasir, M.D., M.P.H., Tasneem Z. Naqvi, M.D., Jagat Narula, M.D., Paolo Raggi, M.D., George P. Rodgers, M.D., James HF Rudd, Ph.D., John A. Rumberger, PhD, M.D., Robert S. Schwartz, M.D., PK Shah, M.D., Leslee Shaw, Ph.D., David Spence, M.D., H. Robert Superko, M.D., Henrik Sillesen, M.D., Ph.D., Pierre-Jean Touboul, M.D. Nathan D. Wong, Ph.D.

Distinguished SHAPE Task Force Advisor: Valentin Fuster, M.D., Ph.D.

Chair of SHAPE Board of Directors: JoAnne Zawitoski, J.D.

Vice Chair and Executive Board Member: Brenda Garrett Superko, CVRN

SHAPE Task Force Public Relations: Daniel Keeney

Executive Director of SHAPE Centers of Excellence: Jeff Fine, Ph.D.

Contact Information:

Daniel Keeney