Bill honoring Rep. Barr's late wife unanimously passes House, would help fight valvular heart disease

Posted at 5:18 PM, Dec 08, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. (LEX 18) — The U.S. House of Representatives has unanimously passed a bill that would honor Congressman Andy Barr's late wife, Carol, while also providing critical research to valvular heart disease.

The Cardiovascular Advances in Research and Opportunities Legacy (CAROL) Act was introduced by Congressman Barr back in February after Barr's wife, Carol, died of mitral valve prolapse (MVP) last year.

U.S. Congressman Andy Barr (KY-06) pictured above with his wife Carol Barr and two daughters, Eleanor (left) and Mary Clay (right).

MVP is fairly common in men and women but only 0.2% of them die from it. The problem is there are no risk factors identified and no way to know when it might be fatal.

The CAROL Act authorizes a grant program administered by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), supporting research on valvular heart disease. Researchers would also identify needs and opportunities to develop prescriptive guidelines to treat patients with MVP. The bill also instructs the CDC to increase public awareness regarding symptoms of valvular heart disease and prevent sudden cardiac death.

"With today's vote, we are one step closer to pushing the CAROL Act across the finish line and enshrining Carol Barr's legacy," said Congressman Barr. "This bill delivers critical resources to close the gaps in understanding about valvular heart disease and save lives. I am grateful to the American Heart Association, WomenHeart, the American College of Cardiology and so many of my colleagues who supported this bill from the start."

"I really feel like we're gonna make a difference with this," said Congressman Barr in an interview with LEX 18 earlier this year. "It has bipartisan support, we're gonna pass this bill and it's gonna save lives."

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The bill now moves to the U.S. Senate, where Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) are leading a companion bill.