Principal Investigator: Robert Knopp
Abstract: Cardiovascular disease accounts for about 50 percent of all mortality nation-wide in both men and women. While many cardiovascular disease risk factors bear on the occurrence of cardiovascular disease, poor nutritional status is estimated to account in its own right for at least a two-fold increase in cardiovascular disease. These effects are mediated through multiple dietary factors, including the classical fat sources, saturated fat and cholesterol, but other less well recognized nutrients including omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidant vitamins, vitamins bearing on homocysteine levels, other antioxidants such as isoflavones and carotenoids, plant estrogens, soya, salt, trace minerals and alcohol. Physicians have an impression that diet is ineffective in preventing arteriosclerosis, in part because nutrition education is fragmented and inconsistent in medical schools despite nationwide recommendations. In light of these facts, a strong case can be made for embarking on a nutrition education program that is focused around one preventable disease state, arteriosclerosis, and directed at the education of medical students at several levels, postgraduate physicians and para-professionals. Plans are presented for the development of an educational program for 2nd, 3rd and 4th-year medical students, residents, research fellows, practicing physicians and allied health care professionals. The proposed members of the Nutrition Academic Award team are gifted teachers and all are conducting nutrition related research of national and international significance. This educational effort is strongly supported by the University of Washington School of Medicine and is already partially underway. Education evaluation components are proposed that are both well established or innovative and will build on evaluation elements from previous preventive cardiology research conducted at this institution. The past track record of teaching substantive and well received courses in cardiovascular disease prevention at the medical school and post-graduate levels assures that an authoritative and continually updated curriculum can be developed, put into practice at the University of Washington and distributed to other medical schools and health-training facilities. It is time to begin aggressive, substantive nutrition educational programs in cardiovascular disease prevention.
Funding Period: 1998-09-30 - 2003-08-31
more information: NIH RePORT