Dallas Heart Study

The Dallas Heart Study (DHS) was initiated in 2000 with the primary goal of improving the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of heart disease. From 2000 to 2002, 6,000 residents of Dallas County, aged 18 to 65 years, completed a detailed medical survey. Participants over age 30 (n=3,500) were invited to provide a blood sample and to undergo comprehensive state-of-the-art imaging studies to assess plaque buildup in the blood vessels of the heart, the size and function of the heart, and the amount and distribution of body fat.

The DHS was transformed from a cross-sectional to longitudinal study in 2007. All prior DHS participants were invited to return to the clinic for repeat evaluation to determine who had developed cardiovascular disease in the seven-year interval since the initial survey. The DHS participants continue to be followed for the development of cardiovascular and metabolic disease through annual surveys and collaboration with hospitals in the DFW metroplex.

Unique Features of the Study

  • It is the only single center heart study of its size and multiethnic composition. In DHS, all studies have been performed using the same machines at the same institution, therefore maximizing the precision of each measurement.
  • The population studied is representative of the three major ethnic groups in the USA.
  • An unprecedented amount of information has been collected on each participant (health survey, state-of-the art imaging studies, blood assays, DNA sequence analysis).
  • Since its inception, laboratory and clinical investigators have worked together closely to take observations made in the DHS into the laboratory, and to take discoveries made in the laboratory to the DHS, thus enhancing the translation of discoveries into new therapies.

Future Directions

The DHS is a scientific resource that will become more valuable each year as the population ages. It will provide the opportunity to learn more about the environmental, social, and genetic factors that contribute to health and disease.

Opportunity for Research and Collaboration

The DHS provides a resource for UT Southwestern faculty, research trainees, and the greater scientific community. Interested investigators can submit a proposal to use DHS resources.