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MESA Press Releases

Press Releases



High Number of Births Linked to Worse Cardiovascular Health Among Mothers


Using MESA medical record and survey data collected from more than 3,400 women, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers have added to evidence that women who have given birth five or more times were more likely than those who had fewer births to have more risk factors for heart disease, including obesity, high blood pressure and inadequate physical activity. Learn more about this MESA study by clicking the link below.

Study finds link between long-term exposure to air pollution and emphysema


The MESA Air study showed that long-term exposure to air pollution was linked to an increase in emphysema, a chronic lung disease more commonly associated with cigarette smoking. Learn more about this MESA study by clicking the links below.

The findings have been featured in NewsweekNPRHealthline, and other global publications.

Study Links Irregular Sleep Patterns to Metabolic Disorders


A new study has found that not sticking to a regular bedtime and wakeup schedule — and getting different amounts of sleep each night — can put a person at higher risk for obesity, high cholesterol, hypertension, high blood sugar and other metabolic disorders. In fact, for every hour of variability in time to bed and time asleep, a person may have up to a 27% greater chance of experiencing a metabolic abnormality. Learn more about this study of MESA data by clicking the link below.

Study shows link between air pollution and increased risk of sleep apnea


MESA research demonstrated that long-term exposure to air pollution may increase the risk of sleep apnea, a disorder that disrupts normal breathing during sleep. Learn more about this MESA study by clicking the link below.

Great Recession heightened cardiovascular risk factors, study finds


The Great Recession, from late 2007 to mid-2009, was associated with heightened cardiovascular risk factors, including increased blood pressure and glucose levels, according to a new UCLA-led study. The conditions were especially pronounced among older homeowners and people still in the work force, two groups that may have been especially vulnerable to the stresses this recession brought about. Learn more about this study of MESA data by clicking the link below.

Air Pollution may Lower Levels of "Good" Cholesterol, Increase Risk of Heart Disease


People living near heavily trafficked roadways may be at higher risk of heart disease due to fine particles in the air that lower levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), also known as “good” cholesterol, according to a new study from MESA Air. Learn more by clicking the link below.

Calcium Supplements May Damage the Heart


Does calcium from a supplement affect the body differently than calcium from food? MESA researchers published new evidence that calcium supplements may damage the heart, even though calcium-rich diets appear to be protective of the heart. Learn more at the link below.

Watch a news video of the study findings here:

MESA Air Study Pinpoints how Air Pollution Harms your Heart


Dr. Joel Kaufman, the leader of the MESA Air study, led a 10-year study of 6,000 people in six cities that found air pollution accelerates deposits of calcium in heart arteries, a known cause of heart attack and stroke. To learn more about this ground-breaking research, check out the link below.

High Coronary Calcium Score May Signal Increased Risk of Cancer, Kidney and Lung Disease


MESA researchers have been very focused on studying cardiovascular diseases, but the data collected from MESA participants can also provide insights into other, non-cardiovascular diseases. MESA researchers originally measured the amount of coronary artery calcium (CAC) in participant’s blood vessels because CAC is a well-known predictor of heart disease and stroke. Recently, investigators noticed that a high CAC score might also be predictive of cancer and kidney and lung diseases. To learn more about the possible association between CAC and non-cardiovascular diseases, check out the link below.

Male and Female Hearts Don’t Grow Old the Same Way


MESA participants had detailed pictures of their hearts taken using MRI scans in 2002 and again around 2012. By looking at the ways the hearts changed in volume and wall thickness over this ten-year period, MESA researchers discovered something interesting: male hearts and female hearts had both changed over time, but in different ways! These findings may help to explain some of the differences in risk for heart failure between men and women, and could someday lead to gender-specific treatments. To learn more about how male and female hearts aged differently and the potential impact of this research, check out the link below.

Most Clinical 'Calculators' Over-Estimate Heart Attack Risk


Researchers looked at five "risk calculators" doctors use to weigh their patients’ risk of suffering heart attacks or strokes. They compared the numbers of heart attacks and strokes these 'calculators' predicted MESA participants would experience to the numbers MESA participants actually experienced. Turns out, most of the calculators significantly over-estimate patient risk! This is problematic because doctors use these calculators to help them decide what treatments or preventative strategies their patients need—and if they don’t have an accurate understanding of patient risk, it is harder for doctors to choose the best plan. Fortunately, MESA researchers are working to develop newer, better tools for assessing risk. For more information about this research, check out the link below.

Chronic Stress, Depressive Symptoms, and Hostility Associated with Increased Risk of Stroke


MESA researchers discovered an association between negative emotions like stress, depression, and hostility and increased risk of stroke. The association appears to be independent of other stroke risk factors like smoking and high blood pressure. "There’s such a focus on traditional risk factors—cholesterol levels, blood pressure, smoking and so forth—and those are all very important, but studies like this one show that psychological characteristics are equally important," said Susan Everson-Rose, Ph.D., MPH, lead author of the study. For more information about this research, check out the link below.