Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has received a $3.8 million grant from the American Heart Association (AHA) to promote cardiovascular health through early education and intervention programs targeting high-risk children and their parents in Harlem and the Bronx.
Mount Sinai researchers will study the genes and lifestyles of 600 preschoolers and their parents or guardians who live in these communities, which are associated with high rates of obesity, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. The investigators will track whether the interventions lead to healthier eating habits and additional exercise. They will also examine the participants’ DNA and RNA to understand how genetics plays a role in the development of cardiovascular disease.
“Do you really need to treat all of these patients?”
A recent Modern Healthcare article reported that: “ More than half of adults between ages 40 and 75 who need help managing cholesterol would be eligible for statin therapy for the prevention of heart disease on the basis of the newest American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association guidelines…The new guidelines have the potential to increase the net number of new statin prescriptions by 12.8 million.”
“With more than 115 million U.S. adults estimated to be between the ages of 40 and 75, the analysis suggests the total number of potential statin users could expand to 56 million, and the majority would be above age 60.”
Hundreds of staff, employees, and community residents participated in heart-healthy activities throughout the Mount Sinai Health System, an annual effort in February, Heart Health Month, to educate individuals about the risk of cardiovascular disease.
An injectable nanoparticle that delivers HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, or statins, which directly inhibit atherosclerotic plaque inflammation could represent a new frontier in the treatment of heart disease. This novel approach is being developed by researchers at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, who have seen promising results in mice models and plan to translate their findings to humans within the next few years.
What started as a casual observation among physicians almost a decade ago—that patients with HIV tend to develop hypertension and have a greater risk of heart attacks than the general population—has become a formal area of study and treatment within the Mount Sinai Health System.
Under the direction of Merle Myerson, MD, EdD, Director of the St. Luke’s Roosevelt Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, and Director of the Cardiology Section of the Spencer Cox Center for Health, patients with HIV are being closely monitored and treated for heart disease and stroke. In fact, cardiovascular care has become increasingly critical to the overall health of HIV patients, as more of them live well into their 70s and 80s.
A novel study of high-sugar consumption in Drosophila fruit flies is leading researchers at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai to a greater understanding of diabetes-related heart disease, and to therapeutic targets that could ultimately prevent arrhythmia, fibrosis, and other serious heart conditions.
The research—led by Ross L. Cagan, PhD, Professor of Developmental and Regenerative Biology, and Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences—was conducted in partnership with scientists from the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in California, and published online in the January 10 issue of PLOS Genetics.