About the Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease
The Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease works with adults at high risk for cardiovascular disease. Through education, research and a comprehensive approach to heart disease prevention, we work to reduce the likelihood of heart attack, stroke, bypass surgery and angioplasty in patients with risk factors such as:
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Hyperlipidemia/dyslipidemia (high cholesterol, elevated triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol)
- Cigarette smoking
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Excess weight
- Existing cardiovascular or peripheral arterial disease
- Family history of cardiovascular or peripheral arterial disease at an early age
Our Tripartite Mission
- Create excellent clinical care for people at risk of developing heart disease or other types of atherosclerotic vascular disease.
- Educate health care practitioners to better identify and treat patients at risk of developing heart disease, peripheral arterial disease or stroke.
- Establish rigorous research programs to study heart disease and stroke prevention.
We are particularly interested in factors contributing to heart disease clusters in families and in adults younger than 65 with cardiovascular disease. We are also interested in patients who have family members with premature atherosclerotic disease but who don’t yet show symptoms.
Other research areas include:
- Accelerated atherosclerosis
- Estrogen replacement therapy
- Noninvasive cardiovascular imaging
- Use of mobile health (mHealth)
- Physical activity/exercise
- Use of testing in risk assessment
- Preventive medication
We have developed a comprehensive approach to preventive cardiology, performing advanced screening tests to identify patients at risk and to examine lifestyle habits, medical history and family history. Our team consists of cardiologists as well as an endocrinologist and a nurse practitioner, who create a plan to significantly reduce patients’ risk and slow the progression of cardiovascular disease.
Along with medication changes suggested by the doctors, our nurse practitioner/health educator helps patients develop a healthier diet, maintain a prudent body weight, stop smoking, create a regular aerobic exercise program and cope better with stress.
All cardiology postdoctoral clinical fellows rotate with our faculty. Those fellows and residents interested in pursuing research in the field of preventive cardiology attend biweekly research meetings led by Dr. Michael Blaha, our clinical research director. Opportunities also exist to earn a master's degree from the Bloomberg School of Public Health.