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Bogalusa Heart Study
Dr. Gerald Berenson
New Orleans: (504) 988-7197
Bogalusa: (985) 735-9861
» Bogalusa Heart Study web site

Current, Major Projects:


The cardiovascular (C-V) system is a vital organ system most affected by the aging process. The natural history of C-V aging in terms of arterial and cardiac structure/function (C-V indices) is governed by a complex interplay between an intrinsic (biologic) aging effect and a burden of C-V risk factors beginning early in life. This renewal application focuses on the pathobiological traits associated with C-V aging in a community-based, black-white, middle-aged cohort having been followed over 30 years beginning in childhood. The specific aims are to 1) continue monitoring the progression of C-V indices with respect to chronological age, the burden of C-V risk factor variables and familial traits of C-V risk and longevity; 2) determine the relationship between changes in C-V indices and biological aging ascertained by chromosomal telomere dynamics; 3) examine the influence of birth weight on the burden of C-V risk factor variables since childhood and the rate of adverse changes in C-V indices. The ongoing study cohort followed during the previous grant period (Cohort I, n=1,200) and an additional cohort examined as children 10 years ago (Cohort II, n=1,200) are available to achieve these aims. In addition to telomere dynamics, birth weight, and subclinical C-V indices, data on selected key variables relevant to C-V aging, in particular risk variables of metabolic syndrome including inflammation and oxidative stress will be collected. Both cohorts will be examined for 1) C-V indices by carotid IMT, left ventricular structure and function, brachial artery compliance, and arterial pulse wave velocity; 2) C-V risk factor variables comprising obesity measures, blood pressure, lipoprotein variables, glucose, insulin, and parameters of oxidative stress; and 3) telomere length. In addition, data on birth weight, adiponectin, insulin like growth factor-I and binding proteins, homocysteine, fibrinogen, plasminogen activator inhibitor-I, C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 will be obtained in Cohort I; telomere attrition rate from childhood to adulthood and familial traits of C-V risk and longevity in Cohort I1. The extensive serial database of the Bogalusa Heart Study provides unique and valuable resources. Findings from the proposed research will further the understanding of C-V aging and predisposing factors that influence aging in a bi-racial young to middle age population. Observations derived from this research will help develop effective preventive strategies to temper mediators that influence premature C-V morbidity and mortality.

Recent Publications:

  1. Wang J, Chen W, Ruan L, Toprak A, Srinivasan SR, Berenson GS. Differential effect of elevated blood pressure on left ventricular geometry types in black and white young adults in a community (from the Bogalusa Heart Study). Am J Cardiol. 2011;107(5):717-22. PMID 21316506.
  2. Toprak D, Toprak A, Chen W, Xu JH, Srinivasan S, Berenson GS. Adiposity in childhood is related to C-reactive protein and adiponectin in young adulthood: from the Bogalusa Heart Study. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2011;19(1):185-90. PMID 20360758.
  3. Paul TK, Chen W, Srinivasan SR, He J, Berenson GS. Contrast of the impact of multiple cardiovascular risk factors on the femoral and carotid intima-media thickness in asymptomatic young adults: The Bogalusa Heart Study. Atherosclerosis. 2011. PMID 21376319.
  4. Nguyen QM, Toprak A, Xu JH, Srinivasan SR, Chen W, Berenson GS. Progression of segment-specific carotid artery intima-media thickness in young adults (from the Bogalusa Heart Study). Am J Cardiol. 2011;107(1):114-9. PMID 21146698.
  5. Lanktree MB, Guo Y, Murtaza M, Glessner JT, Bailey SD, Onland-Moret NC, Lettre G, Ongen H, Rajagopalan R, Johnson T, Shen H, Nelson CP, Klopp N, Baumert J, Padmanabhan S, Pankratz N, Pankow JS, Shah S, Taylor K, Barnard J, Peters BJ, Maloney CM, Lobmeyer MT, Stanton A, Zafarmand MH, Romaine SP, Mehta A, van Iperen EP, Gong Y, Price TS, Smith EN, Kim CE, Li YR, Asselbergs FW, Atwood LD, Bailey KM, Bhatt D, Bauer F, Behr ER, Bhangale T, Boer JM, Boehm BO, Bradfield JP, Brown M, Braund PS, Burton PR, Carty C, Chandrupatla HR, Chen W, Connell J, Dalgeorgou C, Boer A, Drenos F, Elbers CC, Fang JC, Fox CS, Frackelton EC, Fuchs B, Furlong CE, Gibson Q, Gieger C, Goel A, Grobbee DE, Hastie C, Howard PJ, Huang GH, Johnson WC, Li Q, Kleber ME, Klein BE, Klein R, Kooperberg C, Ky B, Lacroix A, Lanken P, Lathrop M, Li M, Marshall V, Melander O, Mentch FD, Meyer NJ, Monda KL, Montpetit A, Murugesan G, Nakayama K, Nondahl D, Onipinla A, Rafelt S, Newhouse SJ, Otieno FG, Patel SR, Putt ME, Rodriguez S, Safa RN, Sawyer DB, Schreiner PJ, Simpson C, Sivapalaratnam S, Srinivasan SR, Suver C, Swergold G, Sweitzer NK, Thomas KA, Thorand B, Timpson NJ, Tischfield S, Tobin M, Tomaszweski M, Verschuren WM, Wallace C, Winkelmann B, Zhang H, Zheng D, Zhang L, Zmuda JM, Clarke R, Balmforth AJ, Danesh J, Day IN, Schork NJ, de Bakker PI, Delles C, Duggan D, Hingorani AD, Hirschhorn JN, Hofker MH, Humphries SE, Kivimaki M, Lawlor DA, Kottke-Marchant K, Mega JL, Mitchell BD, Morrow DA, Palmen J, Redline S, Shields DC, Shuldiner AR, Sleiman PM, Smith GD, Farrall M, Jamshidi Y, Christiani DC, Casas JP, Hall AS, Doevendans PA, Christie JD, Berenson GS, Murray SS, Illig T, Dorn GW, 2nd, Cappola TP, Boerwinkle E, Sever P, Rader DJ, Reilly MP, Caulfield M, Talmud PJ, Topol E, Engert JC, Wang K, Dominiczak A, Hamsten A, Curtis SP, Silverstein RL, Lange LA, Sabatine MS, Trip M, Saleheen D, Peden JF, Cruickshanks KJ, Marz W, O'Connell JR, Klungel OH, Wijmenga C, Maitland-van der Zee AH, Schadt EE, Johnson JA, Jarvik GP, Papanicolaou GJ, Grant SF, Munroe PB, North KE, Samani NJ, Koenig W, Gaunt TR, Anand SS, van der Schouw YT, Soranzo N, Fitzgerald GA, Reiner A, Hegele RA, Hakonarson H, Keating BJ. Meta-analysis of Dense Genecentric Association Studies Reveals Common and Uncommon Variants Associated with Height. Am J Hum Genet. 2011;88(1):6-18. PMID 21194676.
  6. Giuliano I, Freitas S, Coutinho M, Zunino J, Caramelli B, Berenson G. Distribution of HDL-cholesterol and non-HDL-cholesterol in Brazilian children and adolescents--the Floripa study. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2011;21(1):33-8. PMID 19857944.
  7. Chio SS, Urbina EM, Lapointe J, Tsai J, Berenson GS. Korotkoff sound versus oscillometric cuff sphygmomanometers: comparison between auscultatory and DynaPulse blood pressure measurements. J Am Soc Hypertens. 2011;5(1):12-20. PMID 21269907.
  8. Chen W, Srinivasan SR, Ruan L, Mei H, Berenson GS. Adult hypertension is associated with blood pressure variability in childhood in blacks and whites: the bogalusa heart study. Am J Hypertens. 2011;24(1):77-82. PMID 20725054.
  9. Chen W, Kimura M, Kim S, Cao X, Srinivasan SR, Berenson GS, Kark JD, Aviv A. Longitudinal versus Cross-sectional Evaluations of Leukocyte Telomere Length Dynamics: Age-Dependent Telomere Shortening is the Rule. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2011;66(3):312-9. PMID 21310811, PMCID: 3041470.
  10. Berenson GS, Agirbasli M, Nguyen QM, Chen W, Srinivasan SR. Glycemic status, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular risk in children. Med Clin North Am. 2011;95(2):409-17, ix. PMID 21281842.
  11. Bazzano LA, Belame SN, Patel DA, Chen W, Srinivasan S, McIlwain E, Berenson GS. Obesity and left ventricular dilatation in young adulthood: the bogalusa heart study. Clin Cardiol. 2011;34(3):153-9. PMID 21400542.
  12. Smith EN, Chen W, Kahonen M, Kettunen J, Lehtimaki T, Peltonen L, Raitakari OT, Salem RM, Schork NJ, Shaw M, Srinivasan SR, Topol EJ, Viikari JS, Berenson GS, Murray SS. Longitudinal genome-wide association of cardiovascular disease risk factors in the Bogalusa heart study. PLoS Genet. 2010;6(9). PMID 20838585, PMCID: 2936521.
  13. Ruan L, Chen W, Srinivasan SR, Xu J, Toprak A, Berenson GS. Relation of serum phosphorus levels to carotid intima-media thickness in asymptomatic young adults (from the Bogalusa Heart Study). Am J Cardiol. 2010;106(6):793-7. PMID 20816119.
  14. Paul TK, Chen W, Srinivasan SR, Rice J, Toprak A, He J, Berenson GS. Framingham risk score is associated with femoral artery intima-media thickness in asymptomatic young adults (the Bogalusa heart study). Atherosclerosis. 2010;213(2):627-31. PMID 20970137, PMCID: 2997870.
  15. Nguyen QM, Srinivasan SR, Xu JH, Chen W, Kieltyka L, Berenson GS. Utility of childhood glucose homeostasis variables in predicting adult diabetes and related cardiometabolic risk factors: the Bogalusa Heart Study. Diabetes Care. 2010;33(3):670-5. PMID 20009096, PMCID: 2827529.
  16. Nguyen QM, Srinivasan SR, Xu JH, Chen W, Berenson GS. Distribution and cardiovascular risk correlates of plasma soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 levels in asymptomatic young adults from a biracial community: the Bogalusa Heart Study. Ann Epidemiol. 2010;20(1):53-9. PMID 20006276.
  17. Nguyen QM, Srinivasan SR, Xu JH, Chen W, Berenson GS. Fasting plasma glucose levels within the normoglycemic range in childhood as a predictor of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes in adulthood: the Bogalusa Heart Study. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2010;164(2):124-8. PMID 20124140.
  18. Mokha JS, Srinivasan SR, Dasmahapatra P, Fernandez C, Chen W, Xu J, Berenson GS. Utility of waist-to-height ratio in assessing the status of central obesity and related cardiometabolic risk profile among normal weight and overweight/obese children: the Bogalusa Heart Study. BMC Pediatr. 2010;10:73. PMID 20937123, PMCID: 2964659.
  19. Mei H, Chen W, Srinivasan SR, Jiang F, Schork N, Murray S, Smith E, So JD, Berenson GS. FTO influences on longitudinal BMI over childhood and adulthood and modulation on relationship between birth weight and longitudinal BMI. Hum Genet. 2010;128(6):589-96. PMID 20811910.
  20. Mei H, Chen W, Dellinger A, He J, Wang M, Yau C, Srinivasan SR, Berenson GS. Principal-component-based multivariate regression for genetic association studies of metabolic syndrome components. BMC Genet. 2010;11:100. PMID 21062472, PMCID: 2991276.
  21. Magnussen CG, Koskinen J, Chen W, Thomson R, Schmidt MD, Srinivasan SR, Kivimaki M, Mattsson N, Kahonen M, Laitinen T, Taittonen L, Ronnemaa T, Viikari JS, Berenson GS, Juonala M, Raitakari OT. Pediatric metabolic syndrome predicts adulthood metabolic syndrome, subclinical atherosclerosis, and type 2 diabetes mellitus but is no better than body mass index alone: the Bogalusa Heart Study and the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study. Circulation. 2010;122(16):1604-11. PMID 20921439.
  22. Levy D, Neuhausen SL, Hunt SC, Kimura M, Hwang SJ, Chen W, Bis JC, Fitzpatrick AL, Smith E, Johnson AD, Gardner JP, Srinivasan SR, Schork N, Rotter JI, Herbig U, Psaty BM, Sastrasinh M, Murray SS, Vasan RS, Province MA, Glazer NL, Lu X, Cao X, Kronmal R, Mangino M, Soranzo N, Spector TD, Berenson GS, Aviv A. Genome-wide association identifies OBFC1 as a locus involved in human leukocyte telomere biology. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010;107(20):9293-8. PMID 20421499, PMCID: 2889047.
  23. Kobori H, Urushihara M, Xu JH, Berenson GS, Navar LG. Urinary angiotensinogen is correlated with blood pressure in men (Bogalusa Heart Study). J Hypertens. 2010;28(7):1422-8. PMID 20375906, PMCID: 2891987.
  24. Juonala M, Magnussen CG, Venn A, Dwyer T, Burns TL, Davis PH, Chen W, Srinivasan SR, Daniels SR, Kahonen M, Laitinen T, Taittonen L, Berenson GS, Viikari JS, Raitakari OT. Influence of age on associations between childhood risk factors and carotid intima-media thickness in adulthood: the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study, the Childhood Determinants of Adult Health Study, the Bogalusa Heart Study, and the Muscatine Study for the International Childhood Cardiovascular Cohort (i3C) Consortium. Circulation. 2010;122(24):2514-20. PMID 21126976.
  25. Freedman DS, Wang YC, Dietz WH, Xu JH, Srinivasan SR, Berenson GS. Changes and variability in high levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol among children. Pediatrics. 2010;126(2):266-73. PMID 20643721.
  26. Freedman DS, Katzmarzyk PT, Dietz WH, Srinivasan SR, Berenson GS. The relation of BMI and skinfold thicknesses to risk factors among young and middle-aged adults: the Bogalusa Heart Study. Ann Hum Biol. 2010;37(6):726-37. PMID 20450389.
  27. Freedman DS, Fulton JE, Dietz WH, Pan L, Nihiser AJ, Srinivasan SR, Berenson GS. The identification of children with adverse risk factor levels by body mass index cutoffs from 2 classification systems: the Bogalusa Heart Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010;92(6):1298-305. PMID 20980492, PMCID: 2980956.
  28. Elks CE, Perry JR, Sulem P, Chasman DI, Franceschini N, He C, Lunetta KL, Visser JA, Byrne EM, Cousminer DL, Gudbjartsson DF, Esko T, Feenstra B, Hottenga JJ, Koller DL, Kutalik Z, Lin P, Mangino M, Marongiu M, McArdle PF, Smith AV, Stolk L, van Wingerden SH, Zhao JH, Albrecht E, Corre T, Ingelsson E, Hayward C, Magnusson PK, Smith EN, Ulivi S, Warrington NM, Zgaga L, Alavere H, Amin N, Aspelund T, Bandinelli S, Barroso I, Berenson GS, Bergmann S, Blackburn H, Boerwinkle E, Buring JE, Busonero F, Campbell H, Chanock SJ, Chen W, Cornelis MC, Couper D, Coviello AD, d'Adamo P, de Faire U, de Geus EJ, Deloukas P, Doring A, Smith GD, Easton DF, Eiriksdottir G, Emilsson V, Eriksson J, Ferrucci L, Folsom AR, Foroud T, Garcia M, Gasparini P, Geller F, Gieger C, Gudnason V, Hall P, Hankinson SE, Ferreli L, Heath AC, Hernandez DG, Hofman A, Hu FB, Illig T, Jarvelin MR, Johnson AD, Karasik D, Khaw KT, Kiel DP, Kilpelainen TO, Kolcic I, Kraft P, Launer LJ, Laven JS, Li S, Liu J, Levy D, Martin NG, McArdle WL, Melbye M, Mooser V, Murray JC, Murray SS, Nalls MA, Navarro P, Nelis M, Ness AR, Northstone K, Oostra BA, Peacock M, Palmer LJ, Palotie A, Pare G, Parker AN, Pedersen NL, Peltonen L, Pennell CE, Pharoah P, Polasek O, Plump AS, Pouta A, Porcu E, Rafnar T, Rice JP, Ring SM, Rivadeneira F, Rudan I, Sala C, Salomaa V, Sanna S, Schlessinger D, Schork NJ, Scuteri A, Segre AV, Shuldiner AR, Soranzo N, Sovio U, Srinivasan SR, Strachan DP, Tammesoo ML, Tikkanen E, Toniolo D, Tsui K, Tryggvadottir L, Tyrer J, Uda M, van Dam RM, van Meurs JB, Vollenweider P, Waeber G, Wareham NJ, Waterworth DM, Weedon MN, Wichmann HE, Willemsen G, Wilson JF, Wright AF, Young L, Zhai G, Zhuang WV, Bierut LJ, Boomsma DI, Boyd HA, Crisponi L, Demerath EW, van Duijn CM, Econs MJ, Harris TB, Hunter DJ, Loos RJ, Metspalu A, Montgomery GW, Ridker PM, Spector TD, Streeten EA, Stefansson K, Thorsteinsdottir U, Uitterlinden AG, Widen E, Murabito JM, Ong KK, Murray A. Thirty new loci for age at menarche identified by a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies. Nat Genet. 2010;42(12):1077-85. PMID 21102462.
  29. Chen W, Srinivasan SR, Xu J, Berenson GS. Black-white divergence in the relation of white blood cell count to metabolic syndrome in preadolescents, adolescents, and young adults: the Bogalusa Heart Study. Diabetes Care. 2010;33(11):2474-6. PMID 20798336, PMCID: 2963517.
  30. Chen W, Srinivasan SR, Hallman DM, Berenson GS. The relationship between birthweight and longitudinal changes of blood pressure is modulated by beta-adrenergic receptor genes: the Bogalusa Heart Study. J Biomed Biotechnol. 2010;2010:543514. PMID 20467565, PMCID: 2868188.
  31. Chen W, Srinivasan SR, Berenson GS. Amplification of the association between birthweight and blood pressure with age: the Bogalusa Heart Study. J Hypertens. 2010;28(10):2046-52. PMID 20616754.
  32. Camhi SM, Katzmarzyk PT, Broyles ST, Srinivasan SR, Chen W, Bouchard C, Berenson GS. Subclinical Atherosclerosis and Metabolic Risk: Role of Body Mass Index and Waist Circumference. Metab Syndr Relat Disord. 2010. PMID 21133775.
  33. Camhi SM, Katzmarzyk PT, Broyles S, Srinivasan SR, Chen W, Bouchard C, Berenson GS. Predicting adult body mass index-specific metabolic risk from childhood. Metab Syndr Relat Disord. 2010;8(2):165-72. PMID 20156071, PMCID: 3035100.
  34. Broyles S, Katzmarzyk PT, Srinivasan SR, Chen W, Bouchard C, Freedman DS, Berenson GS. The pediatric obesity epidemic continues unabated in Bogalusa, Louisiana. Pediatrics. 2010;125(5):900-5. PMID 20368311, PMCID: 3023706.
  35. Bhuiyan AR, Chen W, Srinivasan SR, Azevedo MJ, Berenson GS. Relationship of low birth weight to pulsatile arterial function in asymptomatic younger adults: the Bogalusa Heart Study. Am J Hypertens. 2010;23(2):168-73. PMID 19942864.
  36. Berenson GS, Srinivasan SR, Fernandez C, Chen W, Xu J. Can adult cardiologists play a role in the prevention of heart disease beginning in childhood? Methodist Debakey Cardiovasc J. 2010;6(4):4-9. PMID 21088652.
  37. Berenson GS, Srinivasan SR. Cardiovascular risk in young persons: secondary or primordial prevention? Ann Intern Med. 2010;153(3):202-3. PMID 20679564.
  38. Berenson GS. Cardiovascular health promotion for children: a model for a Parish (County)-wide program (implementation and preliminary results). Prev Cardiol. 2010;13(1):23-8. PMID 20021623.