Alpha Phi Foundation funds life-changing research to more effectively diagnose heart attacks in women

by Alpha Phi Foundation in Impact, Press Release

Alpha Phi Foundation proudly announces UC Davis Health as its 2019 Heart to Heart Grant recipient. UC Davis Health will use the $100,000 grant to fund research that will improve the diagnostic accuracy for acute myocardial injury and infarction (heart attack) and cardiac risk stratification for women in the emergency department. Led by Bryn Mumma, M­D, MAS, the project will specifically evaluate the impact of sex-specific troponin T levels in the blood, which rise in response to heart muscle damage, and the value of sex in cardiac risk stratification strategies.

“Through the Heart to Heart Grant, we’ve been deep supporters of cardiac clinical bench research. The ability to impact the outcomes and cost of cardiac care is a key piece of what we aim to accomplish through this grant program,” said Colleen Sirhal (Theta-Michigan), chair of the Heart to Heart Grant Advisory Group and vice chair of Alpha Phi Foundation’s Board of Directors. “Dr. Mumma and her team’s focus is a relevant topic in hospitals and emergency departments, and can make a marked difference in the short-term around how women are cared for in the emergency room.”

Mumma_PI
Dr. Mumma is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at UC Davis.

Compared to men, women with acute myocardial injury or infarction experience longer delays to diagnosis, receive less aggressive care, and have worse outcomes. This research has the potential to shift the paradigm of medical care to recognize sex-specific differences to more quickly identify heart attacks.

“The high-sensitivity troponin T assay is the first troponin assay to have both a single, combined cut point and separate, sex-specific 99th percentile cut points for women and men. Because sex-specific cut points for troponin are new to the medical community, knowledge gaps exist around whether and how to use them in clinical practice, said Mumma. “Our study will provide data to guide hospitals and providers in making these important decisions and ensure high-quality care for women being evaluated for heart disease.”

The UC Davis Health project was nominated by the women of the Epsilon Rho (UC Davis) chapter of Alpha Phi. Dr. Mumma and her team will continue to engage local Alpha Phi communities by providing opportunities to be involved in this project, including research internships and professional mentoring as well as community-wide coffeehouse events in the Sacramento and Davis areas to discuss women’s heart health and the results of the proposed study.

Women’s heart health has been the philanthropic focus of Alpha Phi Foundation since 1946. The Heart to Heart Grant is made possible by Alpha Phi Foundation’s generous community of donors. Since its inception in 1993, the grant has funded over 30 cutting-edge projects focused in the advancement of women’s heart health education and research.


Women’s Heart Health Program

Through the generosity of donors, Alpha Phi Foundation granted $412,00 to heart health-focused projects and organizations during the 2017-2018 academic year. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in North America, and for 26 years Alpha Phi Foundation has invested in female-focused cardiovascular research and educational initiatives through its annual Heart to Heart Grant. Learn more about the Women’s Heart Health Program.

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