The Creation of a Unique Center of Excellence in Québec: The Carolyn and
Richard J. Renaud Chair in Heart Failure at the Montreal Heart Institute

MONTREAL, Dec. 11 /CNW Telbec/ - The Montreal Heart Institute (MHI) and its Foundation (MHIF) launched today the Carolyn and Richard J. Renaud Research Chair in Heart Failure, the first of its kind in Québec. The Chair's funding of $2.1 million is provided by the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation thanks its benefactors Carolyn and Richard J. Renaud ($1 million), Sanofi-Aventis ($500,000), the estate of the late Jean-Denis Laramée ($365,000), as well as André Desmarais and France Chrétien Desmarais ($200,000).

Appointed as the first holder of the Carolyn and Richard J. Renaud Research Chair in Heart Failure, cardiologist Michel White is Director of the Institute's research program in heart failure. Dr. White is also Associate Professor of Medicine at the Université de Montréal. His work will focus primarily on changes in biomarkers likely to predict progressive heart failure. A second area of focus will be the investigation of metabolic disorders related to post-heart transplant complications. The research will also explore more effective and personalized pharmacological treatments for heart transplant recipients and other patients with heart failure.

"The creation of the research chair in heart failure, a priority of the Montreal Heart Institute, will add to scientific knowledge worthy of the Institute's international reputation, especially in the area of world-renown research," declared MHI Board Chair Pierre Anctil. "Our donors realize how important it is to believe in what might be, to invest in the future and to stand behind our brightest thinkers as they strive to improve the quality of life of patients with heart disease. We are grateful for their generous support," added the Foundation's Board Chair Louis A Tanguay.

"The significant body of knowledge in heart failure generated from the Chair's sustained research will allow us to reach new frontiers in understanding the disease and its treatment, which will benefit not only the Institute's patients, but patients suffering from heart disease all over the world," said Dr. Michel White, holder of the Carolyn and Richard J. Renaud Research Chair in Heart Failure.

About Heart Failure

Heart failure has become a major clinical and public health problem, affecting 1% to 2% of the general population. Some 300,000 Canadians suffer from congestive heart failure; given the increase in the number of baby boomers and the fact that heart failure increases exponentially with age, this number is now skyrocketing. In fact, the number of patients suffering from heart failure will continue to rise over the next several decades.

Heart failure is a clinical syndrome where the heart is unable to pump enough blood to satisfy the body's metabolic needs. In approximately two-thirds of cases, the dysfunction is systolic and usually caused by defective heart muscle contraction due to coronary disease and hypertension. Roughly one-third of patients present a predominantly diastolic disorder, resulting from impaired filling of the left ventricle that is associated with a relaxation defect of the myocardium.

Despite recent advances in our understanding of the physiopathology of heart failure and the development of new drugs, the prognosis remains serious. The five-year mortality rate is 50% and heart failure is the main cause of cardiovascular hospitalizations in persons older than 65. The costs associated with heart failure are twice as high as the costs associated with all cancers put together. Still, if heart failure is detected early and treated effectively, one can improve the patient's quality of life and reduce the number of hospitalizations and the mortality rate.

About the Montreal Heart Institute and its Foundation

Founded in 1954 by Dr. Paul David, the Montreal Heart Institute constantly aims for the highest standards of excellence in the cardiovascular field through its leadership in prevention, ultra-specialized care, training of professionals, clinical and fundamental research, and assessment of new technologies. It is affiliated with the Université de Montréal and its clinical outcomes are among the best in the world. Funds given to the MHI Foundation will help the Institute save lives and find solutions to cardiovascular diseases, the leading cause of mortality in the developed world. To learn more about the Institute and its Foundation, please visit our website at www.icm-mhi.org.

    
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SOURCE Montreal Heart Institute

For further information: For further information: Rachel Ladouceur-Girard, Interim Communications Consultant, Montreal Heart Institute, (514) 376-3330, ext. 2641, rachel.ladouceur-girard@icm-mhi.org; Doris Prince, Head, Communications and Public Relations, Montreal Heart Institute, (514) 376-3330, ext. 3074, doris.prince@icm-mhi.org; Johanne McDonald, Director of Development and Communications, Montreal Heart Institute Foundation, (514) 376-3330, ext. 2205, johanne.mcdonald@icm-mhi.org

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