New UC San Diego Center Will Focus on Heart Health Among Latinas

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have launched a new four-year, $3.7 million multidisciplinary research center to investigate the relationship between sedentary behavior and cardiovascular risk factors in Latinas, who have a disproportionately higher chance of developing heart disease than the general population.

The study is part of a new Strategically Focused Research Network created and funded by the American Heart Association (AHA). … Read the Full Story from the UC San Diego Newsroom

Dorothy Sears, PhD

Dorothy Sears, PhD

Within the multidisciplinary research center, Dorothy Sears, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism, will conduct studies to find and characterize biomarkers of cardiovascular disease risk associated with sedentary behavior.

Two Lefts Make It Right: Cardiac Experts Find Novel Approach to Treat Heart Failure

Circulatory assist devices placed on both sides of heart restore normal blood flow —

A teenage girl faced with sudden rapid heart deterioration, a man in the prime years of his life suffering from debilitating heart failure and a former NFL athlete crippled by end-stage heart failure were all successfully treated with a surgical approach pioneered by cardiac experts at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.

The work, recently published in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery, demonstrated significant benefits of implanting a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) in the right atrium to provide better blood flow through the lungs, giving complete biventricular circulatory support and fully replacing the heart’s function. …Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom

Some Atrial Fibrillation Patients Receive Unnecessary Blood Thinners

Researchers believe cardiology specialists may be unaware of risk —

About one quarter of all atrial fibrillation patients at the lowest risk for stroke receive unnecessary blood thinners from cardiology specialists, according to a new study by researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and University of California, San Francisco, and these health care providers must be made aware of the resulting potential health risks. The findings are published online April 13 by JAMA Internal Medicine.

“Clinicians who prescribe blood thinners need to be diligent about weighing the risks and benefits of these medications,” said lead author Jonathan C. Hsu, MD, cardiologist and assistant clinical professor of medicine at UC San Diego … Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom

Dr. Jonathan C. Hsu

Dr. Jonathan C. Hsu

The lead author of the study report is Jonathan C. Hsu, MD, MAS, assistant clinical professor in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine.
See Full Text of Article (PDF) (UCSD only)

Checkup Diabetes: the Latest Research and Treatments from UC San Diego

News Feature from the UC San Diego Health System Newsroom

Checkup Diabetes: the latest research and treatments at UC San Diego

by Scott LaFee

Diabetes is a monumental public health issue, not just because millions of Americans have been diagnosed with the metabolic disease, but also for the many more millions who either remain undiagnosed or have signs suggesting they will likely become diabetic. .. Read the full news feature from the UC San Diego Health System newsroom

Matters of the Heart: A Q&A with Ehtisham Mahmud

News Feature from the UC San Diego Health System Newsroom

Matters of the Heart: A Q&A with Ehtisham Mahmud
A profile of Dr. Ehtisham Mahmud
Professor and Chief of Cardiovascular Medicine
Co-director of UC San Diego Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center
Director, Interventional Cardiology and Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory

by Scott LaFee

Every 34 seconds, on average, an American has a heart attack. Every minute, someone in the United States dies from a heart disease-related event. Both men and women are afflicted equally, if differently. More than one-quarter of the annual deaths in this country are due to cardiovascular disease in its myriad manifestations. It claims more lives each year than cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases and accidents combined.”… Read the full profile from the UC San Diego Health System newsroom

Searching for the Soul of the Genome

The discovery that a “gene desert” on chromosome 9 was a hotspot for coronary artery disease (CAD) risk was among the highlights of findings produced recently by genome-wide association studies, which compare the genomes of many people for genetic variations and have been broadly used in the past few years to study hundreds of diseases and complex traits. Gene deserts are large genomic segments devoid of genes. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom

One of the co-authors of the study report is M. Geoffrey Rosenfeld, M.D., pictured at left. Dr. Rosenfeld is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism and Professor of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

In the Media: Dr. Sotirios Tsimikas

Dr. Sotirios “Sam” Tsimikas is featured in the story, “INNOVATION: From lab to product: a blood test’s story” in the North County Times.

Sotirios Tsimikas, M.D, is Professor of Clinical Medicine and Director of Vascular Medicine in the Division of Cardiology. He directs the Interventional Cardiology Fellowship Training Program.

Dr. Sylvia Evans Receives 2009 NIH Director’s Pioneer Award

Cardiac researcher Dr. Sylvia Evans has received an NIH Director’s Pioneer Award for her innovative efforts to develop new treatments for heart failure.Sylvia Evans, PhD, is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology and Professor of Pharmacy at the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Dr. Evans, a developmental biologist, investigates heart development and congenital heart disease. In recent work, she has sought to identify how cardiac progenitor cells develop into the specialized cells, or cell lineages, that make up a functioning heart.

Her NIH Pioneer Award project is entitled, “Approaches to Cardiac Regeneration.” In it, Dr. Evans is exploring the possibility of using cardiac progenitor cells to treat adult heart disease.

The Pioneer Award grant will provide five years of funding, with $772,500 in fiscal year 2009-2010.  |  Read the news release from the National Institutes of Health

“This award is well deserved. Dr. Evans has contributed greatly to our understanding of how the heart forms. Her research has led to novel concepts about how to generate new heart tissue for the treatment of heart failure,” said Dr. Kirk Knowlton, Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Cardiology.

Dr. Knowlton and Dr. Evans have collaborated in cardiac research since Dr. Evans joined the faculty in 1991. They and Dr. Andrew McCulloch from Bioengineering are co-directors of the Cardiac Biomedical Science and Engineering Center of the UCSD Institute of Engineering in Medicine.

Pioneer Awards are granted to research projects in which the NIH Director’s Office sees extraordinary originality and promise. Only a small number are given each year.

Dr. Evans is one of 18 U.S. researchers honored with a Pioneer Award in 2009. The awards were announced in a ceremony at the Pioneer Award Symposium September 24-25 in Bethesda, Maryland.

To Prevent Heart Disease, Treat High Cholesterol Early in life, Dr. Daniel Steinberg and colleagues say

Early childhood is the time to start lowering cholesterol to prevent heart disease, according to Dr. Daniel Steinberg and colleagues at UCSD.

Daniel Steinberg, M.D., Ph.D., is Emeritus Professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism. He is renowned for his groundbreaking research in cholesterol and atherosclerosis.

Read the full story from UC San Diego
Health Sciences Communications

His colleagues and co-authors, Christopher K. Glass, M.D., Ph.D., and Joseph Witztum, M.D., are both professors of medicine. All three researchers are members of the Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Their analysis and recommendations are published in the August 5 issue of the journal Circulation.

Citation for the article:  Steinberg, Daniel MD, PhD; Glass, Christopher K. MD, PhD; Witztum, Joseph L. MD. Evidence Mandating Earlier and More Aggressive Treatment of Hypercholesterolemia. Circulation 2008 August 5;118(6):172-177. – |  Read the article (PDF)

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