Study aims to boost preventive health
Living healthier lifestyles has been a societal mandate you catch from many directions these days, and for one doctor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, a clinical trial is looking at how simple steps can make a major difference.
Dr. Stefano Sdringola, an interventional cardiologist at UT Health Science Center, is the principal investigator in the Century Health Study, a five-year clinical research study looking at lifestyle factors, preventive health teaching and advanced heart imaging for treating and preventing coronary heart disease.
“We want patients to not worry so much on procedures and taking pills, but more on working on their lifestyle,” Sdringola said.
“Eating healthy and exercising are fundamental parts to prevent 90 percent of heart attacks and strokes ... and this is something we can stop.”
The study has been in progress for three years. It has 650 patients enrolled with a goal of enrolling 1,300 total. Visits for the study take place at the Weatherhead PET Center for Preventing and Reversing Heart Disease at Memorial Hermann Hospital-Texas Medical Center.
Sdringola said the study is reiterating common knowledge from a physician’s perspective and using facts and data from past studies to pass on to the patient population.
Patients need to be at least 18 years old to participate, but must have a form of artery blockage, which generally happens after age 40, according to Sdringola.
“What we are trying to do is give as much information as we can to our patients and enrolling patients from our clinics and from our colleagues,” said Sdringola, who has authored more than 100 manuscripts in medical journals. “And then from talking with other primary care physicians and other cardiologists, we want to not take anything away from their practices, but rather add a service line that would not otherwise be available at a regular doctor’s office.”
Sdringola said he feels strongly that the Century Health Study will help people.
“I have a passion for helping other people,” he said. “This is what I do.”
For more information on the Century Health Study, visit www.uth.tmc.edu/pet/century-study.
NAME: Dr. Stefano Sdringola
OCCUPATION: Interventional cardiologist, professor of cardiology at UT Health Science Center
FAST FACT: Sdringola said he truly has a passion for what he does because it’s not for personal gain, but rather for helping the community.
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