Science News

EPI|LIFESTYLE 2020 Scientific Sessions
Epidemiology and Prevention | Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health
March 3 – 6, 2020
Hyatt Regency Phoenix | Phoenix, Arizona

Tuesday, March 5


Competing Health Priorities in Young Women

Mary Ann Bauman, MD, suggests some solutions to a study finding that in spite of greater risk, other health issues are a higher priority than heart disease for young women.

Related Science:
Heart Healthy Behaviors in Young Women: What Prevents Teens From Going Red?
Courtney A Brown, Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA
Jump to C. Brown's science and JAHA article

Cardiovascular Health Behavior and Health Factor Trends (1999-2014) and Projections to 2050: Results From the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys
Sadiya S Khan | Northwestern University, Chicago, IL


Smoking and Cognitive Decline

Robert Eckel, MD, past president of the American Heart Association, comments on the findings of a study on smoking and cognitive decline presented during EPI | Lifestyle 2019 in Houston.

Related Science:
Smoking and Cognitive Decline at Older Age: Using Surveillance and Imputation to Deal With Differential Mortality
Aozhou Wu | Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

Yoriko Heianza | Tulane University, New Orleans, LA

Genetic Predisposition to Obesity and Healthful Plant-Based Diet in Risks of Hypertension and Cardiovascular Disease: Gene-Diet Interaction Analyses in the UK Biobank
Yoriko Heianza | Tulane University, New Orleans, LA

  • RESULTS: UK biobank gene-diet analysis found that higher healthful plant-based diets in study patients with higher genetic risk scores (GRS) was associated with lower BMI, untreated hypertension, and CVD risk rates.
  • Heianza's Gene-Diet Abstract (opens in new window)
Joowon Lee | Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA

Higher Fitness Level and Favorable Hemodynamic Responses to Submaximal Exercise Test in Young Adults are Associated With Lower Risk of Chronic Kidney Disease in Later Life: The Framingham Heart Study
Joowon Lee | Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA

Niveditta Ramkumar, The Dartmouth Institute, Lebanon, NH

Women Experience Higher Rates of Surgical Repair and Mortality for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
Niveditta Ramkumar, The Dartmouth Institute, Lebanon, NH

Scott C Brown | University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL

The Relationship of Neighborhood Greenness to Heart Disease in 249,405 US Medicare Beneficiaries
Scott C Brown | University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL

Tessa K. Novick | Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

The Risk of Adverse Outcomes Associated With Opioid Prescriptions in People With Chronic Kidney Disease
Tessa K. Novick | Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

Courtney A Brown | Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine, Boston Children?s Hospital, Boston, MA

Heart Healthy Behaviors in Young Women: What Prevents Teens From Going Red?
Courtney A Brown | Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA

Wednesday, March 6


A High Quality, Plant Based Diet Yields Benefits in Middle Age

Penny M. Kris-Etherton, PhD, RDN, LDN comments on the findings of a study presented at EPI | Lifestyle 2019 in Houston.

Related Science
Association of Changes in Plant-Based Diet Indices with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
Megu Y Baden | Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA


Improved Physical Fitness Linked to Lower Absenteeism in NYC Students

Mary Ann Bauman, MD comments the various ways improved physical fitness contributes to cardiovascular health in response to a study presented Wednesday afternoon.

Related Science:
New York City Youth Cardiovascular Fitness and Subsequent School Absenteeism Have an Inverse, Dose-Response Relationship, Regardless of How Poverty is Measured
Emily M. D'Agostino, Miami-Dade County Dept of Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces, Miami, FL

AHA President Ivor Benjamin addresses the crowd at the opening of EPI Lifestyle 2019 in Houston.

AHA President Ivor Benjamin, MD, FAHA, gives the presidential address at the opening of EPI|Lifestyle 2019. Read his remarks.

Attendees listen carefully during the opening session presentations at EPI Lifestyle 2019 in Houston, Texas

Attendees listen intently as the first presenters give their science during the opening sessions on Wednesday. Download and share more photos (opens in new window).

EPI Lifestyle 2019 attendees catch up with each other during a break in sessions on Wednesday.

AHA conferences are a great way to network face-to-face with colleagues and mentors, and catch up with old friends.

Steve Nguyen |  Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Minnesota School of Public Health, Minneapolis, MN

Adherence to Ideal Life's Simple 7 Metrics is Associated With Epigenetic Biomarkers of Aging in African Americans: The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study
Steve Nguyen | Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Minnesota School of Public Health, Minneapolis, MN

Alexander C Razavi | Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA

Novel Serum Metabolites Associate With Diastolic Function: Evidence From the Bogalusa Heart Study
Alexander C Razavi | Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA

  • RESULTS: Novel metabolites were identified that were associated with diastolic dysfunction in black study patients, but not of significance in white patients; fatty acid metabolism most often found in these diastolic and metabolite associations.
  • Razavi's Abstract (opens in new window)
Tianyi Huang | Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA

Actigraphy-Measured Sleep Regularity and Risk of Incident Cardiovascular Disease: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis
Tianyi Huang | Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA

  • RESULTS: High day-to-day variations/deviations in sleep duration and sleep onset timing were associated with higher CVD risk: 23% higher for every 1-hour standard deviation (SD) increase in sleep duration and 87% higher CVD risk for onset sleep timing SD >90 min versus ≤90 min.
  • Huang's Abstract (opens in new window)
Jeong Hwan Kim | Emory University, Atlanta, GA

Better Neighborhood Characteristics Are Associated with Ideal Cardiovascular Health Among Blacks: Results From the Morehouse-Emory Cardiovascular (MECA) Center for Health Equity
Jeong Hwan Kim | Emory University, Atlanta, GA

  • RESULTS: For black adults, better neighborhood characteristics, including social cohesion and activities with neighbors, were associated with higher likelihood of ideal cardiovascular health, especially in the areas of diet, exercise, and BMI.
  • Kim's Ideal CV Health Abstract (opens in new window)
Ehimen Aneni | Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT

Gaps in Provider Lifestyle Counseling and Its Adherence Among Obese Adults With Diabetes in the United States
Ehimen Aneni | Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT

  • RESULTS: Obese diabetic patients from the National Health Interview Survey were found to be lacking on adherence and on counseling about caloric restriction and increasing physical activity.
  • Aneni's Abstract (opens in new window)
Debora Melo van Lent  | Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer's and Neurodegenerative Diseases, San Antonio, TX

Association of MIND Diet Adherence With Brain Volume, Silent Brain Infarcts and Brain Atrophy in the Framingham Heart Study
Debora Melo van Lent | Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer's and Neurodegenerative Diseases, San Antonio, TX

  • RESULTS: Cardiovascular risk factors rather than higher adherence to the Mediterranean-DASH for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet appear to mediate brain volume.
  • Van Lent's Abstract (opens in new window)
Jeong Hwan Kim | Emory University, Atlanta, GA

Association Between Neighborhood Characteristics, Personal Resilience, and Arterial Stiffness Among Blacks: Results From the Morehouse-Emory Cardiovascular (MECA) Center for Health Equity
Jeong Hwan Kim | Emory University, Atlanta, GA

  • RESULTS: Better neighborhood characteristics (safety and social cohesion) and personal resilience factors (purpose in life, resilient coping) were associated with lower measures of arterial stiffness in this black cohort.
  • Kim's Arterial Stiffness Abstract (opens in new window)

Thursday, March 7


Say No No to Yo Yo Dieting

Suzanne Steinbaum, DO, provides perspective on a study of the cardiovascular effects of weight cycling and lifestyle choices that was presented Thursday.

Related Science
Weight Cycling is Associated With Poorer Cardiovascular Health Assessed Using AHA's Life's Simple 7 in a Diverse Sample of Women Encompassing Different Life Stages
Stephanie S Byun | Columbia University Irving Medical Center, New York, NY


Smoking Cessation and Weight Change CVD Incidence and Mortality in Patients with Diabetes

Robert Eckel, MD, past president of the American Heart Association, discusses the significance of the findings of this observational study.

Related Science
Smoking Cessation and Weight Change in Relation to Cardiovascular Disease Incidence and Mortality Among Patients With Diabetes Mellitus
Gang Liu | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Jump to Liu's science


Participants in the annual EPILifestyle Fun Run posed at the Westin Hotel Wednesday morning before a humid Houston run. Download and share more photos (opens in new window).


Speakers honed their skills at the Early Career 3-Minute Rapid Fire Oral Abstract Competition on Thursday morning.

Yoriko Heianza | Tulane University, New Orleans, LA

Changes in Gut Microbial Metabolites and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in US Women: the Nurses' Health Study
Yoriko Heianza | Tulane University, New Orleans, LA

Lindsay R. Pool | Northwestern University, Chicago, IL

The Timing of Cardiovascular Health Decline and Its Association With Subclinical Atherosclerosis in Adulthood
Lindsay R. Pool | Northwestern University, Chicago, IL

  • RESULTS: Compared to maintaining ideal CV health factors into middle adulthood, losing CV health factors during childhood was associated an increased risk of developing subclinical atherosclerosis.
  • Pool's Abstract (opens in new window)

Smoking Cessation and Weight Change in Relation to Cardiovascular Disease Incidence and Mortality Among Patients With Diabetes Mellitus
Gang Liu | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA

Adebamike Adedayo Oshunbade | Department of Medicine, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS

Cigarette Smoking and Incident Stroke in African Americans of the Jackson Heart Study
Adebamike Adedayo Oshunbade | Department of Medicine, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS

Jessica L McCurley | Massachusetts General Hospital / Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

Worksite Food Purchases Are Associated With Employees' Overall Dietary Intake and Health
Jessica L McCurley | Massachusetts General Hospital / Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

Janet M Catov | University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA

Maternal Vascular Lesions in the Placenta May Identify Women Susceptible to Masked Hypertension a Decade After Pregnancy
Janet M Catov | University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA

Jewel Scott | Duke University School of Nursing, Durham, NC

Sleep Characteristics and Adverse Social Exposures Elevate Blood Pressure in Young Black Females
Jewel Scott | Duke University School of Nursing, Durham, NC

  • RESULTS: Sleep characteristics (frequent awakening, snoring) and, inversely, social exposures (less social isolation, lower perceived stress) were associated with elevated blood pressure in young black females.
  • Scott's Abstract (opens in new window)

Greater Frequency of Olive Oil Consumption is Associated with Lower Platelet Activation in Obesity
Ruina Zhang | NYU School of Medicine, NY, NY

Friday, March 8

EPI Lifestyle 19 - Awardees at Thursday's night Council Dinner

Award winners show their plaques received Thursday evening at the Joint Council Dinner in Houston. Download and share more photos (opens in new window).

EPI Lifestyle 19 - Panelists at ASPC Annual Debate: Genetic Risk Scores for CV

Panelists discuss the "pro" and "con" sides of the ASPC Annual Debate: Genetic Risk Scores for Cardiovascular Risk.

EPI Lifestyle 19 - Thursday Poster Session Attendees

One of the best places to learn and network is during the various poster sessions.

Shakia T Hardy | Emory University, Atlanta, GA

Contemporary Estimates of Obesity Incidence of Among Children in the United States
Shakia T Hardy | Emory University, Atlanta, GA

  • RESULTS: Childhood obesity between ages 5–10 was noted to be higher in boys, non-Hispanic black and Hispanic children than non-Hispanic white children, more likely to have happened during summer breaks, mainly in children who were overweight entering kindergarten.
  • Hardy's Abstract (opens in new window)
Amanda Paluch | Northwestern University, Chicago, IL

Low Levels of Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity is Associated With Fewer Years Lived Free of Cardiovascular Disease: The Cardiovascular Lifetime Risk Pooling Project
Amanda Paluch | Northwestern University, Chicago, IL

Sadiya S Khan | Northwestern University, Chicago

Association of Physical Inactivity and Lifetime Risk of Heart Failure Among White and Black US Adults
Sadiya S Khan | Northwestern University, Chicago

  • RESULTS: Ideal AHA physical activity guideline adherence (AHA-PA), especially in middle-aged black men, was associated with lower lifetime heart failure risk and years lived free of HF.
  • Khan's Abstract (opens in new window)
Kara M Whitaker | University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA

Perceived and Objective Characteristics of the Neighborhood Environment Are Associated With Accelerometer Measured Sedentary Time and Physical Activity, the CARDIA Study
Kara M Whitaker | University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA

Andrea Z. LaCroix | UC San Diego, La Jolla, CA

Accelerometer-Derived Daily Life Movement Classified by Machine-Learning and Incidence of Cardiovascular Disease in Older Women: The OPACH Study
Andrea Z. LaCroix | UC San Diego, La Jolla, CA