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Integrative Cardiac Health Project, Windber Research Institute

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Annual rept. 22 Jun 2013-21 Jun 2014

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The Integrative Cardiac Health Program ICHP aims to understand the complex interactions of numerous molecular components that characterize individuals or populations at risk for cardiovascular disease CVD. We are working to identify molecular networks that define cardiovascular risk and correspond to lifestyle changes that may influence the trajectory of disease progression. Given the increasing trends of major CVD risk factors in the US military population and potentially devastating consequences on combat readiness, our efforts are directed to 1 better understanding the relationships of war stressors and CVD risk at the molecular level before onset of clinical disease, and 2 outcomes-based patient empowering lifestyle solutions to prevent disease. WRNMMC ICHP has developed a standardized and personalized lifestyle intervention program that has resulted in significant improvements in cardiovascular risk markers such as C-reactive protein CRP, glucose, insulin, glycosylated hemoglobin, and lipids. Our previous research was the first to identify significant gene expression changes associated with an ultra-intensive lifestyle change program and to show that genetic variants at genes involved in lipid metabolism influence lipid response. We hypothesize that 1 identifying genetic influences on CVD and integrating information on dietary, behavioral, and lifestyle factors will provide important information on CVD risk reduction and 2 discovering new genes in previously associated pathways will reveal new molecular influences on cardiovascular risk reduction.

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  • Medicine and Medical Research

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