Date of Award
Master of Physician Assistant Studies
Physician Assistant Education
As it remains, cardiovascular disease (CVD) has been the leading cause of mortality across the globe accounting for as many as 17.9 million deaths per year and projected to increase to more than 23.6 million deaths by 2030.1 Of the CVD related deaths, the majority are due to acute myocardial infarctions (AMI) and cerebral vascular accidents (CVA) and are associated with modifiable risk factors such as obesity, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and diabetes.2 Lifestyle modifications for decreasing these risk factors have been actively emphasized in healthcare, but do not eliminate the risks entirely. In addition to diet, exercise, and smoking cessation, other modifiable risk reduction should be explored. One area of particular interest pertains to the gut microbiome. As the understanding of gut health expands, the connections between microbiome disruptions and disease processes, such as cardiovascular disease, have suggested microbiota may affect health risks. Advances in the ability to analyze the plethora microbiota in the human gut have made it possible to both identify and quantify specific innate bacteria. This ability has provided a better understanding of the roles, functions, and potential alterations of the gut microbiome that are seen in various disease processes.
Analyzing alterations of the gut microbiome, if any, in persons with CVD or its risk factors is a key first step. Then, identifying any associations between an altered gut microbiome and dietary ASCVD risk factors, specifically obesity and dyslipidemia, may enhance not only the understanding of the underlying pathophysiology, but also the prospects of finding means to reduce these risks.
Gedda, Kristin J., "Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease –The Gut Microbiome as a Risk Factor" (2020). Physician Assistant Program Capstones. 57.