OU Tests Treatment for Preventing Heart Disease in Native Americans

Article excerpt

A $3.5 million grant will enable researchers at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center to test a new treatment aimed at preventing heart disease in American Indians with diabetes.

The Stop Atherosclerosis in Native Diabetics Study, the first clinical trial in American Indians funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, is a multi-center randomized trial designed to test a new treatment regimen for high blood pressure and high cholesterol in American Indian diabetics. The study will compare a regimen of intensive LDL-cholesterol reduction and intensive blood pressure lowering with the standard treatment regimen for hypertension and high cholesterol.

American Indians in the past had very low cardiovascular disease rates, but it is now the leading cause of death in this population, with the majority of cardiovascular disease cases in people with diabetes, according to the Strong Heart Study.

Elisa T. Lee, director of the Center for American Indian Health Research at the OU Health Sciences Center and principal investigator of the Stop Atherosclerosis in Native Diabetics Study, participated in the Strong Heart Study, a 17-year epidemiology study of heart disease in American Indian communities. In the 13 communities studied, Lee found the rates of diabetes ranged from 33 percent to 72 percent for people ages 45 to 74. The study found that American Indian diabetics are two to four times more likely to have cardiovascular disease than other American Indians.

Bryce Poolaw, clinical director of the Lawton Indian Hospital, will serve as co-principal investigator for the study. The Center for American Indian Health Research will serve as the data- coordinating center for the study, which includes sites in Phoenix and Chinle, Ariz., and Rapid City and Pine Ridge, S.D.

Foundation for Digestive Research

Philip Miner, president and medical director of the Oklahoma Foundation for Digestive Research, has put together a gallery of photographs, which are not related to his professional work, taken while touring the world. The collection will be on display during the foundation's annual open house today.

Oklahoma Heart Hospital

Oklahoma Heart Hospital is the first in the state to take part in a new national clinical trial, ICE-IT, Intravascular Cooling Adjunctive to Primary Coronary Intervention. By inserting a cold- tipped catheter into blood vessels, physicians may be able to cool the body by several degrees following a heart attack, preserving heart tissue and decreasing any damage to the heart.

Studies have shown that hypothermia can reduce brain damage after the onset of a stroke. Now, officials want to see if the same thing holds true for heart attack victims.

A catheter with a flexible metallic element at the tip allows physicians the ability to rapidly cool the blood and later restore a patient to normal body temperature in an efficient and predictable manner. Innercool Therapies, the San Diego-based company behind the clinical trials, got the study under way this fall.

For more information about the study, call Oklahoma Foundation for Cardiovascular Research at 608-1280.

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Mark and Diane Harvey of Edmond have been appointed the Oklahoma chairpersons for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's volunteer leadership initiative: 2,003 for 2003. The goal of this campaign is to recruit 2,003 new volunteers nationwide to the fight against cystic fibrosis. The Harveys will be in charge of leading this effort in the Oklahoma community and growing the foundation's base of support in the state.

Because the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation relies exclusively on individual and corporate donations, growing its base of volunteers is key to raising the funds necessary to develop new treatments and improving the quality of life for people with cystic fibrosis. …