An Online Wellness Magazine produced by The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth)

Lowering the Risk

Study shows patients how to take control of their heart health

Adam Ahmad was 38 years old when he began having light chest pains for a minute or two. Despite knowing that heart disease runs in his family, he tried to ignore the symptoms. But when they started lasting a couple of hours and his wife became extremely concerned, he knew it was time to do something.

Ahmad already had diabetes — which also runs in his family and is a risk factor for heart disease. He began exercising more and slowly lost weight. But it was a struggle, and he was still living off fast food. So when he discovered the Century Health Study at his company’s fitness fair, he decided to take that additional step and enroll in the study.

The Century Health Study at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) looks at lifestyle factors, preventive health teaching and advanced heart imaging for diagnosing, preventing and treating coronary heart disease. Although the Century Health Study began enrolling participants in 2009, its research team continues to recruit toward reaching its goal of 1,300 participants (currently, 365 spots are left). Participant visits occur at the Weatherhead PET Center for Preventing and Reversing Atherosclerosis at Memorial Hermann Heart & Vascular Institute-Texas Medical Center, and researchers at UTHealth School of Public Health will analyze the economic impact of the five-year study to assess whether patients are healthier, thus saving medical expenses.

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