Foundation Grantee Provides Update on Study on Vascular Health in Children
Dr. Joyce Chang, MD, MSCE, received the Lupus Foundation of America’s Gary S. Gilkeson Career Development Award in 2018. The funding from this grant is supporting her research into identifying non-invasive measures of vascular health in children. There is a great need for these non-invasive measures since children are at a greater risk for cardiovascular disease than those with lupus onset in adulthood, making it critical to prevent cardiovascular disease and related damage early.
This month, Dr. Chang provided the Foundation with an update on the progress of her research. So far, the study has shown that greater nighttime blood pressure (BP) dipping is correlated with better cardiovascular health. There was no significant correlation between nighttime BP dipping and blood vessel stiffness. In contrast, the percent of total BP values that are elevated over 24 hours was positively correlated with blood vessel stiffness, but not blood vessel function or left heart strain. These findings suggest that reduced nighttime BP dipping and BP load may relate to two distinct mechanisms of cardiovascular risk in pediatric SLE.
“The Lupus Foundation of America Gary S. Gilkeson Career Development Award gave me the support to complete a project that I was really passionate about and will serve as the basis for future NIH grants. The award also gave me access to crucial institutional resources, which allowed me to do innovative work that I would not otherwise have had the funds to do this early in my career” shares Dr. Chang.
Follow the Foundation for updates as Dr. Chang continues to work on her research. To learn more about our CDA awardees and other lupus researchers we support, here.
Learn more about how lupus affects the heart and circulation.