Skip to main content

Research and the Women's Cardiovascular Medicine Program

Heart Health check-up

The UC Davis Women's Cardiovascular Medicine Program is a nationally recognized model for women's heart care and the first program of its kind in the nation. The research expertise of the program faculty ranges from prestigious, large-scale national clinical trials to laboratory studies of the cellular and molecular foundations of heart disease in women.

UC Davis was one of the clinical centers in the country participating in the Women's Health Initiative study. Other research projects have investigated the role of sex steroid hormones on the pathophysiology of atherosclerosis, antioxidants and estrogen in cholesterol uptake, soy estrogens in lowering cholesterol, hormone replacement therapy in platelet function and hormonal regulation of vascular genes.

Heart Health

Participating in national research projects

To find out more and learn how you can participate in a research study, contact the UC Davis Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at 530-752-0718.

Past research projects

Improving, Enhancing and Evaluating Outcomes of Comprehensive Heart Health-Care Programs in High-Risk Women

The UC Davis Women's Cardiovascular Medicine Program received a two-year, $315,000 award from by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Women's Health entitled "Improving, Enhancing and Evaluating Outcomes of Comprehensive Heart Health-Care Programs in High-Risk Women." The overarching goal was to demonstrate improved clinical outcomes in over 200 high-risk women receiving comprehensive heart care in a model women's cardiovascular program. UC Davis was competitively selected as one of six national sites and served as the data coordinating center for all participating sites.

The project provided women with seamless, state-of-the-art, multidisciplinary cardiac care that comprehensively addressed the cardiovascular needs of high-risk women, including older women, women in ethnic minority groups and women in rural communities. Participating sites included the Round Valley Indian Health Center linked to UC Davis by telemedicine technology, the UC Davis Medical Group in Colusa, Calif., and Alliance Medical Center in Healdsburg, Calif.

Other activities broadened the experience of women, health professionals and community organizations served by the program, and emphasized the importance of continuous,  integrated services. The program tracked clinical outcomes, knowledge and risk awareness in women, all of which were linked to Healthy People 2010 goals.

National Faith-Based and National Community Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Programs for High-Risk Women

The UC Davis Women's Cardiovascular Medicine Program, in partnership with a national community organization The Links Inc., participated in a two-year, national community cardiovascular disease prevention program to reduce cardiovascular disease mortality and morbidity among high-risk women in the United States. The program focused on both counseling and risk behavior modification.

The program targeted high-risk women aged 40-60 years who were members of at least one women-of-color population, focusing on African-American women. All women, however, were eligible to participate. The program, one of four nationwide, was implemented in 10 community-based sites across the U.S., including rural and urban areas, during four phases from September 2006 to February 2008.

The main goal was for participants to increase their levels of physical activity and establish or maintain a healthy weight. The project was funded by a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Women's Health. The other awardees were the Association of Black Cardiologists, Black Women's Health Imperative and Jacobs Neurological Institute at Buffalo State University.

To implement the program, UC Davis partnered with The Links Inc., an international women's public service organization that fosters health and wellness, education, civic involvement and cultural enrichment in the African-American community. The Links Inc. has served the Sacramento region since 1952. Since 2002, its outreach efforts have focused on educating the African-American community about heart disease and other disorders that disproportionately affect people of color. Participating Links, Inc. chapters were Eastern Shore, NY; Fresno, Calif.; Jackson, Tenn.; Missouri City, Texas; Phoenix, Ariz.; Prince Georges County, Md.; Sacramento, Calif.; Selma, Ala.; Shelby County, Tenn.; and Windy City, Ill.