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Ciccarone Preventive Cardiology Center

History of the Center

The Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease at Johns Hopkins was initiated in 1989 through the efforts of Dr. Roger S. Blumenthal, (who was then a Fellow in the Division of Cardiology), in memory of his close friend, Henry Ciccarone. Mr. Ciccarone was a legendary athlete and lacrosse coach at Johns Hopkins, who died at age 50 after his third heart attack.

Dr. Blumenthal, together with Drs. Nicholas J. Fortuin and Myron Weisfeldt, gathered the friends and former players of Coach Ciccarone to raise funds for the development of a comprehensive program geared toward the prevention of coronary heart disease events. The Ciccarone Center sought to unite the proud traditions of Hopkins lacrosse and Hopkins Medicine.

Clinical and Research Activities at the Center

The Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease is one of the fastest growing clinical programs at Johns Hopkins. Since its inception, our patient clinical services have grown at a steady pace.

The availability of specialized expertise provided by the physicians of the Center in Cardiology (Drs. Blumenthal, Post, Lowenstein, Gerstenblith, Michos) and Endocrinology (Dr. Golden) fosters a comprehensive approach to the management of patients. An experienced nurse practitioner, Dominique Ashen, PhD, CRNP, provides expertise in lifestyle counseling relating to all issues of preventive cardiology.

Of significant importance is the integration of this Center within the Johns Hopkins Division of Cardiology and Department of Medicine. Other factors that have helped in the growth of the Preventive Cardiology Center are:

  • its presence in both the Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center and in Johns Hopkins Heart Health (excellent facilities designed to optimize patient care and accessibility);
  • the growing interest of society in addressing health problems at an early stage, when prevention can markedly reduce the occurrence of heart attacks and the need for expensive procedures such as angioplasty or bypass surgery; the availability of 64 slice cardiac CT machines to assess the amount of subclinical atherosclerosis that a person may have.

Patient Services at the Center

The Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Preventive Cardiology Center employs a multidisciplinary team of Cardiologists, an Endocrinologist and a Nurse Practitioner. We specialize in managing adults who are at high risk for future cardiovascular disease either because of the presence of multiple cardiac risk factors (e.g. hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes, cigarette smoking, sedentary lifestyle, overweight status, etc) or a history of known cardiovascular or peripheral arterial disease.

The Preventive Cardiology Center's personalized, comprehensive approach to lifestyle and medical management can slow the progression of cardiovascular disease and decrease one's future risk of heart attack, stroke, bypass surgery or angioplasty. We also sponsor research that includes both clinical trials and basic molecular studies.

We use the latest assessment techniques to measure lipoproteins (total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, and triglycerides) and apolipoproteins (Lp(a), apolipoproteins A-I and B) as well as nontraditional risk factors such as high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), homocysteine, and certain genetic polymorphisms for arterial thrombosis such as PlA2 on the platelet glycoprotein receptor IIb/IIIa" to read this instead, "We use the latest assessment techniques to measure lipoproteins (total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, and triglycerides) and apolipoproteins (Lp(a), apolipoproteins A-I and B) as well as nontraditional risk factors such as high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and homocysteine in selected patients.

In asymptomatic adults with no history of cardiovascular disease, we may use a cardiac CT scan of the chest to measure the amount of coronary calcification. The presence of elevated coronary calcification (e.g. > 75th % for one's age and gender) or thickened carotid arteries is a sign of advanced atherosclerosis for one's age, and this would likely trigger more aggressive attempts of comprehensive risk factor modification through both medication and lifestyle changes. After visiting with us at the Johns Hopkins Preventive Cardiology Center, we can tell the patient whether their management might be changed by some of the more sophisticated laboratory and diagnostic testing that we can provide.

All of our physicians and our nurse practitioner are active clinical investigators in one or more of the following fields: hypertension, familial-clustered coronary disease, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, thrombosis, accelerated atherosclerosis, estrogen replacement therapy, or non-invasive cardiovascular imaging. Dr. Charles Lowenstein also is an expert in vascular biology and directs the basic science research of the Preventive Cardiology Center

The Preventive Cardiology section sees patients Tuesday through Friday at Hopkins Heart Health at Green Spring Station (10755 Falls Road, Lutherville, MD 21093 ) and on Mondays and Thursdays at the Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center. At each location we can perform exercise stress tests, treadmill stress echo tests, echo Doppler tests, EKG's, Holter monitors and coronary calcium scans.

Appointment Information:

Appointments can be scheduled by calling 443-997-0270.

 

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