Cardiac Wire’s Top 8 Takeaways from ACC 2024

The ACC 2024 meeting is now complete, after over 17,000 cardiology professionals converged in Atlanta to witness cardiovascular medicine evolve in front of their eyes. Among dozens of highlights, here are the Cardiac Wire’s eight biggest trends emerging from ACC24.

  • Interventional Innovations – Interventional cardiology was the clear winner at ACC24, with numerous trials supporting an expanded role for interventional procedures across a wider range of conditions than we ever could have imagined five years ago.
  • Neutral Pharma – Conversely, the pharma late breakers featured an outsized share of neutral trials, that might be hypothesis-generating, but won’t be changing cardiovascular medicine in the short term.
  • Cutting Polypharmacy – ACC 2024 gave cardiologists a good reason to trim their patients’ medications, after late-breakers showed that beta blockers might not help post-MI and suggested that ACS patients might be able to stick with ticagrelor monotherapy one month after PCI (while dropping DAPT and aspirin).
  • GLP-1s Are So Hot Right Now – In the year since ACC 2023, GLP-1s went from a weight loss and diabetes drug that “might” have cardiovascular benefits to becoming a promising (and Medicare-covered) option for CV event reduction. GLP-1s’ list of cardiovascular indications might continue to grow from here, noting that we just learned at ACC24 that semaglutide also reduces HF symptoms.
  • Diagnostic Barriers – Many conversations drifted towards the elusive goal of treating heart disease more like cancer, including more comprehensive screening and much earlier treatments. ACC24 featured some impressive AI-based technologies that could significantly widen cardiology’s patient-detection pipeline, but we saw little evidence of screening policies/practices keeping pace with screening technologies.
  • Drug Barriers – Most cardiovascular drugs work quite well, but getting them approved, covered, guideline-recommended, and physician-adopted remains a major challenge… and even once those challenges are overcome, achieving patient adherence still arguably remains the greatest barrier of all.
  • Always-On Treatments – Perhaps in light of the aforementioned patient adherence barrier, ACC24 showed the continued surge in long-lasting treatments, ranging from long-term LDL-C and antihypertensive injections to emerging interventions like renal denervation.
  • ACC is Back – This week’s 17k attendance number puts the ACC24 on par with the last pre-pandemic ACC in Spring 2019, and you could feel the difference across the packed sessions, exhibit hall, and evening events.

The Takeaway

Between the innovations in the exhibit hall and the practice-changing results revealed in the various late-breakers, it’s clear that cardiology is changing fast, and despite a long list of challenges, most ACC24 attendees would agree that it’s headed in the right direction.

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-- The Cardiac Wire Team

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