News Release

Dr. Zainab Mahmoud to receive the 2023 Dr. Nanette K. Wenger Research Goes Red® Award

American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2023

Grant and Award Announcement

American Heart Association

DALLAS, Nov. 1, 2023 – The American Heart Association will present the 2023 Dr. Nanette K. Wenger Research Goes Red® Award to Zainab Mahmoud, M.D., M.Sc., of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. This award will be presented during the opening session of the Association’s Scientific Sessions 2023 on Saturday, Nov. 11. The meeting, to be held in Philadelphia, Saturday, Nov. 11 through Monday, Nov. 13, is a premier global exchange of the latest scientific advancements, research and evidence-based clinical practice updates in cardiovascular science.

The Dr. Nanette K. Wenger Research Goes Red® Award for Best Scientific Publication on Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke in Women is named in honor of Nanette K. Wenger, M.D., FAHA, and her pioneering career in women’s cardiovascular disease medicine. Dr. Wenger is an emeritus professor of medicine in the division of cardiology at Emory University School of Medicine, consultant to the Emory Heart and Vascular Center, founding consultant to the Emory Women’s Heart Center and director of the Cardiac Clinics and Ambulatory Electrocardiographic Laboratory at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta.

The Dr. Nanette K. Wenger Research Goes Red® Award for Best Scientific Publication on Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke in Women is given annually in recognition of the best research article or articles focused on cardiovascular disease and stroke in women published during the previous year in any of the Association’s 14 peer-reviewed, scientific journals. The Association’s Research Goes Red® initiative aims to empower women to contribute to health research.

“The Dr. Nanette K. Wenger Research Goes Red® Award highlights the important work of an early career physician-scientist,” said the Association’s volunteer President Joseph C. Wu, M.D., Ph.D., FAHA. “Congratulations, Dr. Zainab Mahmoud! Your paper shines a light on the work we need to do to reduce cardiovascular risk factors among pregnant women and especially after delivery.”

Dr. Mahmoud’s manuscript, “Racial Disparities in Specific Maternal Cardiovascular Outcomes,” was published in the December 2022 issue of Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. The paper details a study identifying rates of nonfatal cardiovascular events by analyzing health records of in-hospital deliveries between 2006 and 2017 in New York and Florida. Information was obtained from the State Inpatient Databases that were developed by the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project and which catalogues inpatient discharge summaries from community hospitals in 49 participating states.

The goal of the study was to identify the rates of hospitalizations for any cardiovascular reason within the first year after delivery and the rates of specific subtypes of cardiovascular hospitalizations—blood clots, heart failure, arrythmia, stroke and heart attack—also during the 1-year postpartum time period. The study also examined the rates of hospitalization among all participants and then by race and ethnicity, as well as social determinants of health that may have been factors in these gaps.

The analysis found hospitalizations for the large umbrella of cardiovascular issues, as defined by hospital billing codes were more common among Black women, and that even when adjusted for social risk factors, Black women had the highest risk of postpartum death within one year of delivery due to cardiovascular conditions. These findings suggest that improved access to care, enhanced postpartum monitoring and follow-up care that involves obstetrics, primary care doctors, cardiologists and other specialties for managing chronic health conditions, such as high blood pressure and gestational diabetes, may reduce cardiovascular events in the postpartum period.

"I am truly honored and deeply humbled to receive this prestigious award," Dr. Mahmoud expressed with gratitude. “I would like to extend my appreciation to my co-authors and mentors, whose unwavering support and collaboration have been invaluable in our collective efforts. As a physician-scientist whose research is focused on generating evidence in key aspects of cardio-obstetric care to catalyze positive change, I am grateful to the AHA for recognizing our work and its impact on women’s cardiovascular health.”

Dr. Mahmoud is a board-certified cardiologist and an instructor in medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. She earned a bachelor’s degree and a medical doctorate from Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. She has a diploma in tropical medicine from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and she earned a master’s in health policy from Imperial College London. Dr. Mahmoud completed an internship and residency in internal medicine and was chief resident at Pennsylvania Hospital and completed her fellowship in cardiovascular diseases at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

“Congratulations, Dr. Zainab Mahmoud,” said Nanette K. Wenger, M.D., FAHA. “Your continued dedication to women’s health, particularly in the postpartum period, often called the ‘fourth trimester,’ is helping to fill the gaps in our knowledge about this important time period when a woman’s body is undergoing significant biological shifts. Recent evidence indicates the whole first year after delivery carries substantial health risks for women, and we need to learn more about how to eliminate those risks and reduce maternal death rates. Thank you for your research and continuing contributions in this area!”

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The American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2023 is a premier global exchange of the latest scientific advancements, research and evidence-based clinical practice updates in cardiovascular science for health care professionals worldwide. The three-day meeting will feature more than 700 sessions focused on breakthrough cardiovascular basic, clinical and population science updates Saturday, Nov. 11 through Monday, Nov. 13, 2023. Thousands of leading physicians, scientists, cardiologists, advanced practice nurses and allied health care professionals from around the world will convene in Philadelphia to participate in basic, clinical and population science presentations, discussions and curricula that can shape the future of cardiovascular science and medicine, including prevention and quality improvement. During the three-day meeting, attendees receive exclusive access to more than 4,000 original research presentations and can earn Continuing Medical Education (CME), Continuing Education (CE) or Maintenance of Certification (MOC) credits for educational sessions. Engage in Scientific Sessions 2023 on social media via #AHA23.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a leading force for a world of longer, healthier lives. With nearly a century of lifesaving work, the Dallas-based association is dedicated to ensuring equitable health for all. We are a trustworthy source empowering people to improve their heart health, brain health and well-being. We collaborate with numerous organizations and millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, advocate for stronger public health policies, and share lifesaving resources and information. Connect with us on heart.orgFacebookX or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.


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