Study supports Alere assumption

A study by a Yale University researcher provides more support to the assumption that underpinned the initial growth of Reno-based Alere Medical Inc.

Patients with heart disease commonly begin gaining weight about a week before they are admitted for treatment at a hospital, found the study led by Sarwat Chaudhry, an assistant professor at Yale's School of Medicine.

The study will be published in the Oct. 2 edition of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. Alere provided the data used by researchers, but played no other role in the study.

Physicians long had noted that heart patients seemed to gain weight before they needed hospitalization, said Gordon Norman, executive vice president and chief science office for Alere.

But until recent studies, the phenomenon hadn't been detailed.

The research is important to Alere because its equipment monitors the condition of heart patients in their homes and sends the data to nurses in remote offices. One of the key factors that Alere nurses track is weight gain among patients.

Although Alere got its start with heart patients, it now provides remote health-management services to patients with diabetes, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease as well.

The newest study is one of a half dozen involving Alere data, said company spokesman Joe Cummings. Four have been published, and two await publication.

The company, which employs about 175 in Reno, also operates centers at Denver, San Antonio and Columbus, Ohio.

Founded by a group of private entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, Alere was acquired for $175 million by Boston-based TA Associates.


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