The Division has assisted the Cardiology Division in designing and implementing the Dallas Heart Study, a population study of phenotypic and genotypic measurements to define the pathophysiology of heart diseases in a representative probability sample of the residents of Dallas County, Texas. A major emphasis of the study is to fill in gaps in understanding of why heart diseases are more frequent and cause greater mortality rates in black Americans.
After assisting with the initial study design, random sample selection and survey, the Division has been most closely involved in assisting with a community clinical trial demonstrating that blood pressure measurement by barbers can improve blood pressure control in black men with hypertension.
The Division’s biochemical epidemiologic study has measured paraoxonase 1 (PON1) genotypes and isoenzyme activity levels in blood samples from over 3,000 Dallas County residents enrolled in the Dallas Heart Study to test whether differences in the blood levels of these important enzymes are associated with atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease. The analysis of these data is in progress.