Preventive Cardiology Research
The medical staff at the Preventive Cardiology Clinic is committed to helping reduce high rates of heart disease in the United States by heading it off at its earliest stages.
At a time when obesity and diabetes are on the rise among American children, the Preventive Cardiology team treats children who have these and other problems that may contribute to the development of heart disease in early adulthood.
Preventive Cardiology Clinic researchers have published studies on the following topics:
Metabolic syndrome: In 2004, results from the study Prevalence of the Metabolic Syndrome in American Adolescents: Findings From the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. The results of this study further underscore the need to start heart disease prevention efforts early in life.
Inflammation: In 2006, a follow-up article was published in Clinical Chemistry explaining the findings of the 1988-1994 and 1999-2000 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys on metabolic syndrome. In recent years, inflammation has become a medical phenomenon, as researchers uncover its role in disease development, and as doctors offer tests that measure inflammation, as well as treatments aimed at controlling it.
Numerous studies in adults suggest that inflammation—the body’s way of responding to illness—plays a key role in atherosclerosis. Studies also show that the presence of high levels of the inflammation marker C-reactive protein (CRP) can predict heart attack or stroke in adults. Researchers at Children’s Hospital Boston are studying inflammation in children at risk for early atherosclerosis.
- Hypertriglyceridemia in children: To better understand elevated triglyceride levels in childhood, clinicians in the Preventive Cardiology Clinic reviewed the characteristics of children with this disorder, examining medications, reviewing family history, and monitoring weight and blood.
As part of our mission to advance scientific understanding of atherosclerosis—the gradual hardening and narrowing of arteries that sets the stage for a heart attack or stroke—the Preventive Cardiology Clinic participates in, and recruits for, a wide range of research programs. At any given time, Children’s has hundreds of clinical trials underway. Learn more about the clinical trials currently available.
Controlling high triglycerides with omega-3
Clinicians at Children’s Hospital Boston are conducting a trial to evaluate the efficacy of omega-3 fatty acids in reducing triglyceride levels in children aged 12 to 19 who have high levels of triglycerides.
Good cholesterol "too low"
A study by our researchers following nearly 2,000 adolescents found that low HDL—“good cholesterol”—was the most common risk factor of five major risk factors for atherosclerosis, or thickening of the arteries. Evidence shows that an HDL level in adults greater than, or equal to, 40 mg/dL is protective, while values below 40 mg/dL are considered a risk factor for coronary heart disease. Most children should have HDL levels of 50mg/dL or more. Triglycerides should be less than, or equal to, 150 mg/dL.