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INFORMATION FOR

Preventive Cardiovascular Health Program at Yale (PCHPY)

Preventive Cardiovascular Health Program at Yale (PCHPY) brings a personalized approach to cardiovascular disease prevention. Patients referred to the program meet with one of our cardiologists for an in-depth consultation that takes into account their biology and biography, along with information from advanced diagnostic testing. This approach leads to a more personalized, evidence-based approach to cardiovascular risk assessment. Using this information, and in partnership with patients, we design tailored programs to reduce cardiovascular risk and improve well-being.

PCHPY brings together experts in cardiovascular disease prevention, including cardiologists, nutritionists, exercise physiologists and health psychologists. We also work together with IT (information technology) and digital health companies to offer high-tech/low-burden approaches to cardiovascular care. Our team is highly attuned to the challenges of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and taking medication, and understands that a one-size-fits all approach often falls short. Instead, we strive to understand and integrate each person’ priorities, preferences and goals into the care plan.

This program is particularly focused on people who are:

  • At increased risk for cardiovascular disease, including people with:
    • Severe hypercholesterolemia or Familial Hypercholesterolemia
    • Family history of premature (before the age of 60) coronary artery disease
    • Poorly controlled hypertension
    • Underlying inflammatory condition (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis; HIV)
    • A diagnosis of ischemic heart disease or coronary artery disease
  • Women with cardiovascular disease
  • Individuals seeking a more personalized approach to cardiovascular health

PCHPY additionally works with communities to identify and address barriers to cardiovascular health, focusing on environmental and social factors that contribute to disparities in health outcomes.

Directors

Faculty

  • Professor

    Dr. Burg is a clinical psychologist whose research concerns the contribution of stress and emotional factors to incident cardiovascular disease and prognosis, the pathophysiology underlying this risk, and the development and testing of behavioral interventions to mitigate this risk. His focus includes patients at risk for hypertension, and those with ischemic heart disease, cardiac arrhythmia, and congestive heart failure, and his work is funded by both the NIH and the Veterans Administration.
  • Assistant Professor

    Dr. Lu was trained in epidemiology and global health, with a particular focus on cardiovascular diseases. She obtained both of her ScD and MSc Degrees in Global Health and Population at the Harvard School of Public Health. She works in the intersection of cardiovascular disease prevention, health equity, and digital health, using implementation science methods to resolve real-world issues. Her long-term goal is to improve care, outcomes, and equity of cardiovascular diseases by designing and implementing technology-based interventions. As a K12 Yale Scholar in Implementation Science, she is currently working on a project to leverage the electronic health records from the Yale New Haven Health System to identify patients with persistent hypertension and design decision supports to improve their care. Over the past few years, she has been working on a number of groundbreaking collaborating projects between Yale University and the Chinese National Center for Cardiovascular Diseases in Beijing. These include the Millions Persons Project that assembles remarkable population health and biomedical resources from 5 million people across China. She has also worked with the NCD Risk Factor Collaboration (NCD-RisC) on global analyses of the impact of risk factors on global burden of cardiovascular diseases. She has authored over 80 peer-reviewed publications, including first author articles in leading journals such as The Lancet, Circulation, and BMJ, and her work has been cited more than 40,000 times.
  • Robert W Berliner Professor of Internal Medicine (Cardiology) and Professor of Genetics; Director, Cardiovascular Genetics Program; Director, Cardiovascular Module

    My laboratory is engaged in system biology approaches to investigate cardiovascular diseases. We leverage modern techniques of functional genomics, epigenetics, transcriptomics,  proteomics,  gene editing and model-driven experimentation to understand the underlying causes of atherosclerosis and metabolic syndrome and discover therapeutic targets. Our work involves population and family-based genetic studies, high throughput sequencing to identify disease genes, with a focus on coronary artery disease (CAD) and metabolic syndrome (MetS). We then proceed to characterize the identified genes in vivo and in vitro. By recruiting more than thousand kindreds with early onset CAD and multiple metabolic risk factors for genetics and metabolic studies we have been able to map, identify and characterize a dozen of human disease genes for CAD and MetS, which have been reported in leading journals such as  Nat Genet, Science, NEJM, Cell Metab, JCI, PNAS, AJHG, etc. We were the first group to show the role of Wnt signaling in atherosclerosis and the first to establish a genetic link between exocrine and endocrine pancreas in pathogenesis of diabetes. Most recently, we have established techniques of high throughput gene editing and multiple parallel reporter assays in my laboratory and have successfully mapped the regulatory landscape of a number of GWAS disease genes.  Subsequent molecular and physiological studies in human mutation carriers and animal models have allowed us to unravel novel functions of the identified genes, to delineate their cognate pathways and to discover new targets for pharmaceutical intervention. These groundbreaking achievements have made us one of the leading laboratories in investigation of metabolic syndrome. We have developed expertise in in vivo investigation of lipid and glucose metabolism, insulin secretion and sensitivity, and vascular biology and in human physiological studies, leading to discovery of attractive drug targets that have been either patented or being investigated for their utility in treatment of fatty liver disease and diabetes in 2 clinical trials in the outlier populations of Fars/Iran. One of our groundbreaking discoveries was the identification of founder mutations in the DYRK1B gene, underlying atherosclerosis, metabolic syndrome, and fatty liver disease. The encoded protein is upregulated in human steatosis (NASH). Our studies in mice have shown that this upregulation results in mTOR activation, lipogenesis and development of NASH and dyslipidemia. Strikingly, knockdown of Dyrk1b is protective against these traits, motivating further investigations to characterize the protein as an attractive therapeutic target. One of our recent groundbreaking discoveries was the identification of novel loss of function mutations in a gene encoding the pancreatic exocrine elastase Cela2a in patients with diabetes, CAD and MetS traits, including obesity, hypertension, hypertriglyceridemia, NAFLD (OMIM: AOMS4). The characterization of this protein in vivo has shown that it widely expressed in different tissues and circulates in the blood, its levels rise after food intake in humans and stimulates insulin secretion and sensitivity and inhibits platelet aggregation. We are now fully characterizing this protein and evaluating its utility as a drug target for diabetes, dyslipidemia, and fatty liver disease. These discoveries are the results of lengthy and high risk studies, which would have not been accomplished without the R35 grant mechanism and the hard work and devotion of students, residents , fellows and visiting scholars in my laboratory, many of whom have gone to establish their own labs, or join the industry. Alone 7 former lab members have joined academia over the past 5 years and 11 a pursuing a career in research as trainees.
  • Associate Professor Term; Fellowship Director, Advanced Cardiac Imaging; Director, Cardiology Clinical Trial Unit; Director, Cardiac Imaging (Nuclear, MR, CT), Division of Cardiology; Director, Cardiometabolic Prevention Clinic, Division of Cardiology; Director, Nuclear Cardiology; Associate Director, Preventive Cardiovascular Health Program (PCHPY)

    Dr. Judith Meadows, MD MPH, is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the section of Cardiovascular Medicine, with appointments at Yale New Haven Hospital and VHA-Connecticut.  Dr. Meadows directs the cardiac imaging at VHA-Connecticut, inclusive of nuclear cardiology, cardiac CT, and cardiac MRI. Additionally, she is the fellowship director for the Yale Fellowship in Advanced Cardiac Imaging.  She leads the VISN1/VHA-New England cardiology clinical trial network which coordinates 15+ trials in the areas of coronary artery disease, vascular disease, heart failure, diabetes, and dyslipidemia. Dr. Meadows clinical focus is in cardio metabolic prevention, wherein she developed and oversees a patient-centered cardiometabolic primary prevention initiative at VA-Connecticut. Dr. Meadows received her undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College, majoring in Genetics and History.  She completed medical school at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.  Dr. Meadows completed internal medicine residency at Yale New Haven Hospital, followed by clinical cardiology and advanced imaging and research training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.  In addition, she completed an MPH in clinical effectiveness at Harvard University School of Public Health.  She was on the junior faculty at Northwestern University before she was recruited back to Yale School of Medicine in 2011 to be leader in the cardiac imaging program and to integrate clinical research into care models.
  • Associate Professor of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging; Director, Cardiac CT/MR Imaging; Associate Professor of Internal Medicine (Cardiology)

    Hamid Mojibian, MD, is director of cardiac CT/MR Imaging for Yale Medicine’s Department of Radiology & Biomedical Imaging.He and a team of radiologists and cardiologists perform cardiac imaging studies to detect heart problems such as coronary artery disease. In his role, Dr. Mojibian also performs minimally invasive interventional cardiac procedures such as thrombectomy to remove pulmonary embolisms. It’s a new procedure in which he inserts a device into the veins to the pulmonary artery that can remove blood clots blocking normal airflow to the lungs that cause the right side of the heart to fail. “Patients come to us in a very dire situation and leave almost normal,” he says. The nonsurgical procedure can be done in an hour or two and is done through a small hole in the groin, leaving no scar. “It feels amazing that we can provide immediate, life-changing care for patients.” Dr. Mojibian also performs a variety of other interventional procedures such as creating AV fistulas for dialysis using a safe, nonsurgical, outpatient technique. He enjoys working with referring cardiologists and nephrologists because providing the highest quality care, he says, requires dedicated teamwork.
  • Assistant Professor of Medicine; Director, VA Connecticut Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory

    Dr. Shah is an Interventional Cardiologist who specializes in the invasive evaluation of coronary artery disease and coronary physiology. He was an undergraduate at the Pennsylvania State University and went to medical school at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, where he graduated with a medical doctorate as well as doctorate in Neuroscience. He subsequently completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Yale New Haven Hospital, followed by clinical fellowships in Cardiovascular Medicine, Peripheral Vascular Interventions, and Interventional Cardiology. He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Medicine, and Interventional Cardiology. Dr. Shah's scholarly work has focused on the outcomes of cardiovascular interventions and the invasive assessment of coronary physiology. He has active research projects at Yale regarding invasive coronary physiology testing, ischemic heart disease in women, and the vascular effects of psychological stress.