Vascular Disease Program
The Vascular Disease Program is designed to understand, treat and cure conditions such as carotid and peripheral artery disease, venous thromboembolism, and arterial aneurysm and dissection. These conditions impose significant morbidity and mortality and require substantial use of health care resources.
An initiative in genetic epidemiology identifies genetic susceptibility loci for venous thromboembolism. Studies are also investigating the utility of pre-emptive pharmacogenetic testing to optimize dosage for warfarin and reduce adverse outcomes, such as bleeding or thrombosis.
As part of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Proteomics Program, there is an initiative in cardiovascular biomarkers. Multiple candidate protein markers in various etiologic pathways of atherosclerosis were measured in 2,561 individuals of European or African-American ancestry.
The associations of these biomarkers with quantitative measures of vascular disease and target organ damage are being studied. These studies suggest that a multimarker approach significantly improves the ability to predict variation in measures of target organ damage.
Noninvasive measures of arterial function
A major initiative in the Vascular Disease Program is noninvasive measures of arterial function. A significant amount of work has been done to understand how inflammatory and hemodynamic stress markers are related to arterial stiffness. Ongoing research addresses how changes in arterial function affect ventricular function and measures of subclinical target organ damage.