Center for Appalachian Research in Environmental Sciences: Pilot Project for Moser:Interactions Between Diet and Environmental Exposures During Interventions to Reduce Cardiovascular Disease Risk

Grants and Contracts Details


Individuals living in Appalachia and in particular eastern Kentucky have far higher risk of cardiovascular diseases than the general population. Heritable genetic and behavioral factors (for example poor diet and smoking) are major determinants of cardiovascular disease risk. Substantial evidence also associates involuntary exposure to environmental agents, for example air pollution and environmental chemicals in foods and drinking water with risk of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. These exposures are of great concern to UK-CARES stakeholders in Appalachian Kentucky and could contribute to the increased risk of disease in these individuals. However, essentially nothing is currently known about what environmental chemicals this relevant population are exposed to or how this might affect their cardiovascular health. This pilot project will leverage substantial existing and ongoing investments of NIH funds in longitudinal/ interventional studies to reduce cardiovascular disease risk in individuals living in Appalachian Kentucky. We will conduct an exploratory study of exposure to relevant environmental chemicals by making measurements in plasma samples from subjects enrolled in the Heart Health intervention (HHI) and Rural Intervention for Caregivers Heart Health (RICH) studies directed by Dr Moser. These are two-group randomized controlled trials with ~600 subjects to test the efficacy of a lifestyle/behavioral intervention on cardiovascular disease risk factors at 4 and 12 months after initiation of the intervention. The RICH study enrolls primary caregivers of adult patients with chronic diseases Dr Morris and staff using instrumentation in the UK-CARES Analytical Core will conduct analytical measurements of environmental chemicals and other relevant biomarkers. A statistician, Dr Charnigo, who has extensive relationships with these investigators will provide support for the project. The primary focus of the pilot phase of this study will be to measure levels of per and poly fluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) in plasma samples from these cohorts. These are surfactant chemicals found in clothing, furniture and food packaging. They can be detected in the blood of almost all Americans. Cross sectional epidemiological studies associate exposure to PFAS with elevated circulating levels of cholesterol and triglycerides which are established cardiovascular risk factors. We will examine associations between PFAS and plasma lipids in the RICH and HOF cohorts, determine in these associations are altered by the intervention and measure biomarkers of dietary cholesterol absorption and cholesterol synthesis to investigate the mechanism(s) linking PFAS exposures to elevated plasma cholesterol levels.
Effective start/end date11/1/173/31/18


  • National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.