Pitt Public Health Epidemiologist Recognized for Outstanding Research in Cardiovascular Endocrinology

By: Allison Hydzik

ElKhoudary,Samar[epi]Samar El Khoudary, Ph.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, was recently recognized by the Endocrine Society for research published last year in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism on cardiovascular fat and menopause.

In “The Best of JCEM 2015,” Dr. El Khoudary’s paper, titled “Cardiovascular Fat, Menopause, and Sex Hormones in Women: The SWAN Cardiovascular Fat Ancillary Study,” topped the journal’s Female Reproduction publications. This means it was among the most highly rated peer reviewed articles on the subject in all of 2015.

The Best of JCEM annually highlights the outstanding progress of scientific research in endocrinology. The compilation features important findings and notable advances encompassing the full range of clinical endocrine science and medicine.

Dr. El Khoudary’s study, published in September 2015, was the first to show that late- and post-menopausal women have significantly greater volumes of fat around their hearts – an emerging risk factor for heart disease – than their pre-menopausal counterparts.

“Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in women, and it increases after age 50 – the average age when a woman is going through menopause,” said Dr. El Khoudary, who was lead author on the paper. “By showing that menopause appears to be associated with a shift in fat deposits that leads to more fat around the heart, we’ve uncovered a new potential contributor to increased risk of cardiovascular disease in women.”

Data for the study came from clinical information, including blood samples and heart CT scans, collected on 456 women from Pittsburgh and Chicago enrolled in the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN).

To read the study visit: http://press.endocrine.org/doi/10.1210/JC.2015-2110