Skip to main content

Childrens National Experts Present New Techniques Study Findings at American Heart Association Scientific Sessions

Key topics include using yoga and mindfulness in care for adolescents with cardiac diagnoses, improving outcomes using 3D printing, and clustering risk factors to predict heart health

NEW ORLEANS – Children’s National Health System clinicians and researchers will present on a number of subjects during the American Heart Association 2016 Scientific Sessions, held November 12-16, 2016.
Pediatric experts from a variety of disciplines will discuss their research and findings throughout the five-day conference, including the presentations described below.

Highlights from the Meeting
November 13

Poster Presentation: The Relationship Between Clustering of Cardiovascular Health Behaviors and Physical Fitness Among U.S. Adolescents – Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
Time: 2:00-3:15 pm |   Location: Science and Technology Hall, Population Science Section

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, yet for many individuals it is preventable through modifications in diet, physical activity, and sedentary time – all major risk factors. Children and adolescents who develop risk factors for cardiovascular disease also are more likely to carry these unhealthy behaviors into adulthood. To more quickly identify and curb risky behaviors, Jacob Hartz, MD, MPH, a cardiology fellow at Children's, conducted a study that grouped children with these factors into clusters to identify predictive patterns. During his session, Dr. Hartz will present findings, which include how clustering can more accurately predict cardiovascular fitness levels for boys – one of the biggest risk factors for cardiovascular disease – based on their amount of sedentary time.

November 14
Cardiovascular Imaging for 3D Printing
Time: 9:00-10:15 am |   Location: Room 343-344
The emerging field of 3D printing and 3D digital displays has the potential to change the way surgeons and cardiologists make decisions. By offering a more complete view of congenital heart defects, especially in complex cases, 3D models offer a chance to better inform difficult decisions and help improve outcomes. During her presentation, Laura Olivieri, MD, a cardiologist at Children’s, will share insights from her experience in 3D printing and give guidance on how cardiovascular imaging physicians can “image gently” to create these models while reducing patients’ exposure to radiation and sedation. Dr. Olivieri also will share best practices for producing 3D models from magnetic resonance imaging and echocardiograms, which are often underutilized for this purpose.

Oral Abstract: Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and Group Support Decrease Stress, Anxiety, and Depression in Adolescents with Cardiac Diagnoses: A Randomized Two-Group Study
Time: 2:00 pm |   Location: Room 335-336
Could yoga, meditation, group support, or online video chats improve outcomes for adolescents with cardiac diagnoses? During her presentation, Vicki Freedenberg, PhD, RN, electrophysiology nurse scientist at Children’s, will present initial findings from her study to test the efficacy of psychosocial interventions to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression and improve coping skills among adolescents with implantable cardioverter defibrillators, pacemakers, congenital heart disease, and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. The randomized study looked at two groups over a six-week period. The study compared outcomes between one group that participated in a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program, which uses meditation, yoga, and group support, and a second group that participated in a clinician-led online video support group with peers.

Early results suggest that stress significantly decreased in both groups, and higher baseline anxiety and depression scores predicted lower levels of post-intervention anxiety and depression. Beyond equipping participants with lifelong coping tools, these interventions also may lead to critically needed non-pharmacological solutions to managing distress in adolescents with cardiac diagnoses. In addition, medications to treat anxiety and depression can cause arrhythmias and other cardiac issues.

Contact: Rebecca Porterfield at 202-476-4500


Media Contacts