The buildup of calcium deposits in the heart’s coronary arteries and valves is associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD), the leading cause of death and disability worldwide. Anna Bortnick, M.D., Ph.D., M.S., hypothesizes that exceptionally long-lived individuals may be protected from calcification by efflux, or release of cholesterol from the heart and into the blood for clearance by the liver.
Dr. Bortnick has received a five-year, $950,855 National Institutes of Health grant to conduct research on cholesterol efflux and calcification and whether certain genetic variants may influence protection against calcification. She will study older Ashkenazi Jewish adults enrolled in the Einstein LonGenity study. The participants will undergo computed tomography imaging to determine the extent of calcification of their arteries and heart valves. Identifying molecular pathways that protect against calcification may help in preventing CVD.
Dr. Bortnick is an assistant professor of medicine at Einstein and an attending physician at Montefiore. (1 K23 HL146982-01A1)
Posted on: Thursday, May 07, 2020