Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center

Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Center for Cardiovascular Disease and Prevention

For more than a decade, the Center for Cardiovascular Disease and Prevention has searched for more effective therapies to prevent heart attack and stroke from vascular disease—the number one killer of Americans today.

One of only a handful of such centers in the United States, the Center for Cardiovascular Disease and Prevention is gaining national prominence through our three primary activities: cardiology research, education and cardiovascular care.

Current Research

With more than $2 million in annual funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the American Diabetes Association, and the American Heart Association, the Center for Cardiovascular Disease and Prevention is home to several important cardiology research studies:

  • The Atherosclerosis Laboratory serves as the core laboratory for the NIH-funded Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study. More than 15,000 middle-aged individuals are being studied to identify new biomarkers that predict heart disease, stroke, and development of diabetes.
  • New grants have been received to study the links between obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
  • We are also working to identify genes regulating lipid metabolism, progression of coronary artery disease, and response to cholesterol-lowering drugs.

New Therapies

Our physicians are actively involved in research on new therapies; for information on our current clinical trials, visit the Clinical Trials page.


The Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention has established a leading national role in education for prevention of cardiovascular disease through our efforts to help students, researchers and doctors in the area of preventive cardiovascular care. In addition to training rotating students and fellows, we also support the yearlong training of one fellow in clinical and translational research through the Atherosclerosis Fellowship Training Program.

Patient Care

The Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention also offers outstanding care for patients with cardiovascular conditions.

  • Houston Methodist Heart & Vascular Screening Packages can help you understand your risk, which is the first step toward prevention.
  • The Lipid Clinic conducted by Dr. Christie Ballantyne, Dr. Peter Jones (President of the National Lipid Association), and Dr. Ryan Neal continues to draw referrals from throughout Texas and the Southwest along with international patients.
  • The Weight Management Program, led by Dr. Jones, has been extended into Houston Methodist's community hospitals in Sugar Land and northwest Houston and has achieved an all-time high in patient satisfaction.
  • Drs. Ballantyne and Jones have received numerous awards for quality improvement efforts, as well as recognition as "Best Doctors in America, Central Region."

Looking to the Future

Much work still remains to be done to develop more effective therapies to prevent the onset of cardiovascular disease and to stop progression after disease has been diagnosed.

With continuing support from Baylor and Houston Methodist and philanthropic contributions from community leaders, foundations, and business, the Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention is expanding its work with new fellows and faculty.

In addition to cardiovascular care, the fellows will work on ongoing research projects to receive training in clinical research in a variety of projects that include:

  • Studies on new drugs to treat lipids and lipoproteins
    • Studies on lifestyle modification (weight loss, exercise and diet) and the effect on diabetes and the metabolic syndrome
    • New imaging tests for atherosclerosis including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and electron beam computed tomography (EBCT)
    • New blood tests for heart disease and diabetes
  • The presence of an Atherosclerosis Fellow makes an invaluable contribution towards progress in all of the projects while he or she is receiving training in preventive cardiology to become a future leader in this area.

Recruitment of new faculty will allow the Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention to expand its clinical and research base and to obtain additional funding from the NIH and other sources. The development of an even stronger preventive program for cardiovascular disease will benefit patients in Houston, the nation and the world.

For more information about the Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, please call 713-DEBAKEY (332-2539) or complete our online contact us form.

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