Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Can We Successfully Reduce the Risk Factor Burden and Atherosclerosis in Younger Individuals?

There is growing evidence that risk factors beginning in childhood and young adult life, e.g. from such studies as CARDIA, Bogalusa, etc., are primary determinants of risk of CHD in adults.

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Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Compelling Question (CQ)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

The levels of BP, lipoproteins, ApoB, obviously obesity, cigarette smoking, and growing risk of early age type 2 diabetes, are epidemic in the young United States population. This may result in a continued high burden of CHD in future generations in the United States. Unless something is done about controlling risk factors in younger individuals, a continued epidemic of CHD is likely.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

The NHLBI should begin clinical trials to determine the best approaches to reducing risk factors in the younger United States population. This should include various studies of environmental modifications, better nutrition studies, improved exercise programs, and identification of host genetic susceptibility. To date, the programs have been remarkably unsuccessful and different approaches are required, especially in lower income and minority populations. The NHLBI should also begin to consider the evaluation of drug therapies for elevated lipids and BP, new drug therapies for obesity and even bariatric surgery in high risk young individuals with initial evaluation of the reduction of subclinical atherosclerotic disease, evidence of myocardial injury, e.g. elevated hs-cTnT, NT-proBNP, etc., in these high risk populations. There is little that the current approaches are very effective.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Lewis H. Kuller, MD, DrPH

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Idea No. 402