AHA launches four new studies focusing on women’s heart health

The American Heart Association (AHA) announced May 17 the launch of four research projects all focused on examining heart disease in women.

The projects will be funded by a $5 million donation given to the AHA’s subsidiary Go Red For Women Strategically Focused Research Network in 2015 by Bill and Sally Soter, according to the AHA. The organization focuses on researching everything from the role of pregnancy in heart disease to standard heart failure development in women.

The Soters wanted to fund this kind of research because women have historically been underrepresented in heart disease research.

“We’re trying to make up time that was missed when only men were being studied,” said Sally Soter, a heart disease survivor. “More nationalities, including Hispanics and Asian-Americans, are being studied. It’s wonderful that the research is looking at a cross-section of diverse women—and it’s wonderful to be able to help by participating financially in making the research possible.”

The first research project will focus on how nightly fasting and fewer calories influences cardiometabolic risk in adults, and will be completed by researchers at Columbia University Medical Center and the University of California, San Diego.

The second project will look at mindfulness cognitive therapy and how it could help prevent cardiovascular disease in a diverse group of prehypertensive women. This research will be conducted by scientists at New York University and the University of California, San Diego.

Another project will focus on if heart failure with preserved ejection fraction is significantly worse in post-menopausal women because of a decline in estrogen affecting their heart muscle function. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University and the University of California, San Diego, will examine this relationship.

The last project will be conducted by researchers at New York University and the University of California, San Diego, who will look at actigraphy and how it could help detect heart disease and stroke in Asian-American immigrants.