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UCLA Women's Cardiovascular Center Current and Upcoming Research Projects to Benefit U!

Novel Virtual Reality (VR) Experience for Stress Reduction in Cardiology Patients

Who are We?

  • We are a research group at UCLA interested in studying stress reduction as a way to lower cardiovascular health risks.

What is the purpose of this research project?

  • The purpose of this study is to learn about the potential beneficial therapeutic effects of using a 30-minute VR experience, specifically designed for stress reduction. VR is a drug-free technology delivered through a special set of goggles that gives the sensation of being immersed in 3D environments.

Who is eligible?

  • Patients currently attending the UCLA cardiology clinics that are 18 or older and do not have a history of seizures or significant visual or auditory impairment.

How can I participate?

  • Please contact us using the information at the bottom of this flyer.

What can I expect if I participate?

  • If you decide to participate, you will be asked to attend one in-person session in which you will view a 30-minute experience delivered through a virtual reality headset and complete a survey before and after the VR experience. We will also measure heart rate, heart rate variability, respiratory rate, blood pressure, and sweat gland activity.
  • Total participation time will last 90-120 minutes.
  • Participants that complete the study will receive $25 in the form of an Amazon e-gift card

For more information, please contact our study coordinator, Katherine E. Makaroff, Phone: 310-423-0714    Email: [email protected]

*If you choose to respond by email, do not include any sensitive health information, as the confidentiality of emails cannot be guaranteed

 Chest Pain Study in Women During COVID Pandemic

This study is a retrospective analysis of patients who presented to the ER with chest pain pre, during and post COVID-19 pandemic lock down. Patients who presented to the ER with cardiac chest pain will be studied and triage, management and outcomes will be compared among various populations including gender, age and race. With this data, we hope to further understand if and how COVID pandemic may have impacted female patients who presented to the ER with chest pain compared to male counterparts with the hope of highlighting any gaps in care that can help improve the care of women with heart disease. Additional information coming soon, please check back. 

iSCAD Registry:

This is a national registry collecting data on patients who have been diagnosed with Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD) with the hopes of learning more about this rare but important cardiovascular disease which is more common in women.

Women's Ischemia Trial (WARRIOR)

This trial is looking at female patients with presumed microvascular angina and studying the effects of statins and angiotensin receptor blockers on patient outcomes.This study is designed to determine whether intensive medical therapy provided as part of the study is better than usual care in women who have chest pain but who have been told they have no significant blockages of their coronary arteries.

Each woman will be randomized (randomly assigned to a study group) to remain on her current medications as prescribed by her doctor, or to optimal medical therapy which includes aspirin, statin, and blood pressure medications. Women randomized to the optimal therapy group will be provided medications at no cost. Research visits will occur over a three-year period and will include lab assessments and lifestyle questionnaires. Additional information coming soon, please check back. 

ECHOS - Early Cardiovascular Health Outreach SMS

ECHOS addresses the lack of access to heart health education, by utilizingan innovative text messaging tool, we hope to mitigate some of the disparities in health knowledge in underserved minority populations. We hope to begin this research project late February or early March. Additional information coming soon, please check back.

UCLA Women's Center Research, partial list of past projects:

*Acute Myocardial Infarction in Women: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association - full text link Mehta LS, Beckie TM, DeVon HA, Grines CL, Krumholz HM, Johnson MN, Lindley KJ, Vaccarino V, Wang TY, Watson KE, Wenger NK; American Heart Association Cardiovascular Disease in Women and Special Populations Committee of the Council on Clinical Cardiology, Council on Epidemiology and Prevention, Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing, and Council on Quality of Care and Outcomes Research. Circulation. 2016 Mar 1;133(9):916-47. Epub 2016 Jan 25.

*Association of menopause age and N-terminal pro brain natriuretic peptide: the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis - full text link  Ebong IA, Watson KE, Goff DC Jr, Bluemke DA, Srikanthan P, Horwich T, Bertoni AG. Menopause. 2015 May;22(5):527-33.

*Longitudinal Associations Between Neighborhood Physical and Social Environments and Incident Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) - full text link Christine PJ, Auchincloss AH, Bertoni AG, Carnethon MR, Sánchez BN, Moore K, Adar SD, Horwich TB, Watson KE, Diez Roux AV. JAMA Intern Med. 2015 Aug;175(8):1311-20. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.2691. PMID: 26121402

*Obesity and the obesity paradox in heart failure - full text link  Gupta PP, Fonarow GC, Horwich TB. Can J Cardiol. 2015 Feb;31(2):195-202. doi: 10.1016/j.cjca.2014.08.004. Epub 2014 Aug 15. PMID:25661554

*Age at menopause and incident heart failure: the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis - full text link Ebong IA, Watson KE, Goff DC Jr, Bluemke DA, Srikanthan P, Horwich T, Bertoni AG. Menopause. 2014 Jun;21(6):585-91. PMID: 24423934

*Effects of weight loss, weight cycling, and weight loss maintenance on diabetes incidence and change in cardiometabolic traits in the Diabetes Prevention Program - full text link   Delahanty LM, Pan Q, Jablonski KA, Aroda VR, Watson KE, Bray GA, Kahn SE, Florez JC, Perreault L, Franks PW; Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group. Diabetes Care. 2014 Oct;37(10):2738-45. doi: 10.2337/dc14-0018. Epub 2014 Jul 14. PMID: 25024396

*A panel of biomarkers is associated with increased risk of the presence and progression of atherosclerosis in women with systemic lupus erythematosus - full text link  McMahon M, Skaggs BJ, Grossman JM, Sahakian L, Fitzgerald J, Wong WK, Lourenco EV, Ragavendra N, Charles-Schoeman C, Gorn A, Karpouzas GA, Taylor MB, Watson KE, Weisman MH, Wallace DJ, Hahn BH. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2014 Jan;66(1):130-9.

*Four-variable risk model in men and women with heart failure - full text link . Chyu J, Fonarow GC, Tseng CH, Horwich TB. Circ Heart Fail. 2014 Jan;7(1):88-95. doi: 10.1161/CIRCHEARTFAILURE.113.000404. Epub 2013 Nov 26. PMID: 24281135

*2013 ACCF/AHA guideline for the management of heart failure: a report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines - full text link  Yancy CW, Jessup M, Bozkurt B, Butler J, Casey DE Jr, Drazner MH, Fonarow GC, Geraci SA, Horwich T, Januzzi JL, Johnson MR, Kasper EK, Levy WC, Masoudi FA, McBride PE, McMurray JJ, Mitchell JE, Peterson PN, Riegel B, Sam F, Stevenson LW, Tang WH, Tsai EJ, Wilkoff BL; American College of Cardiology Foundation; American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines J Am Coll Cardiol. 2013 Oct 15;62(16):e147-239. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2013.05.019. Epub 2013 Jun 5. No abstract available. PMID: 23747642

*2013 ACC/AHA guideline on the treatment of blood cholesterol to reduce atherosclerotic cardiovascular risk in adults: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines - full text link . Stone NJ, Robinson JG, Lichtenstein AH, Bairey Merz CN, Blum CB, Eckel RH, Goldberg AC, Gordon D, Levy D, Lloyd-Jones DM, McBride P, Schwartz JS, Shero ST, Smith SC Jr, Watson K, Wilson PW, Eddleman KM, Jarrett NM, LaBresh K, Nevo L, Wnek J, Anderson JL, Halperin JL, Albert NM, Bozkurt B, Brindis RG, Curtis LH, DeMets D, Hochman JS, Kovacs RJ, Ohman EM, Pressler SJ, Sellke FW, Shen WK, Smith SC Jr, Tomaselli GF; American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. Circulation. 2014 Jun 24;129(25 Suppl 2):S1-45. doi: 10.1161/01.cir.0000437738.63853.7a. Epub 2013 Nov 12. No abstract available. Erratum in: Circulation. 2014 Jun 24;129(25 Suppl 2):S46-8. PMID: 24222016

*Reference ranges of PR duration and P-wave indices in individuals free of cardiovascular disease: the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) - full text link . Soliman EZ, Alonso A, Misialek JR, Jain A, Watson KE, Lloyd-Jones DM, Lima J, Shea S, Burke GL, Heckbert SR. J Electrocardiol. 2013 Nov-Dec;46(6):702-6.

*Predictors of cardiovascular risk in women - full text link . Sallam T, Watson KE. Womens Health (Lond Engl). 2013 Sep;9(5):491-8. doi: 10.2217/whe.13.44. Review. PMID: 24007254

*Is neighborhood racial/ethnic composition associated with depressive symptoms? The multi-ethnic study of atherosclerosis - full text link . Mair C, Diez Roux AV, Osypuk TL, Rapp SR, Seeman T, Watson KE. Soc Sci Med. 2010. Aug;71(3):541-50 Mair C, Diez Roux AV, Osypuk TL, Rapp SR, Seeman T, Watson KE. Is neighborhood racial/ethnic composition associated with depressive symptoms? The multi-ethnic study of atherosclerosis. Soc Sci Med. 2010;71(3):541-550. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2010.04.014