Cardiovascular Epidemiology/MESA

The programs’s research in the area of cardiovascular disease epidemiology largely focuses on the Multi-Center of Atherosclerosis (MESA). MESA is a major national effort to add to existing knowledge about how race and ethnicity interact with cardiovascular disease risk and incidence. Initially funded by NHLBI for a 10-year period (1999-2009) and now extended through 2020, MESA is a longitudinal study of sub-clinical atherosclerosis and its progression to clinical events being conducted at six field centers nationally. This multi-ethnic cohort includes 6,841 subjects. Steven Shea, MD is the principal investigator for the Columbia University Field Center. MESA has also been an important cohort for developing ancillary studies. These include:

  • MESA Family Study (Shea, PI) which collected phenotypic and genotypic data in families in order to identify genetic loci associated with sub-clinical atherosclerosis
  • MESA Sleep, which is obtaining home sleep studies
  • MESA Stress, which is combining physiological measures and biomarkers of stress with measures of neighborhood social and socioeconomic status and participants’ perceptions of stressful dimensions of their physical and social living environments
  • MESA-Lung (G. Barr, PI), which is examining the relationships between biomarkers and related gene variants, with lung function and CT-based measures of lung density
  • MESA-Air, which is evaluating the association of ambient particulate matter exposure and atherosclerosis.

MESA has produced more than 700 publications, more than 20 funded ancillary studies including a number of K awards, and has been an exceptional resource for fellows and junior faculty.

Learn more about MESA.