Cardiovascular Prevention

Welcome to the Cardionerds Cardiovascular Prevention Page! Below you will find podcast episodes, infographic, references, and guest expertsinterviewers and so much more. Click the Topics Page button to see our other cardiovascular topics covered by the CardioNerds. 

Podcast Episodes

This is the first episode in an important series on cardiovascular prevention. It’s no secret that cardiovascular disease is the #1 killer worldwide; the total impact on humanity is just staggering. A focus on preventing cardiovascular disease is an impetus for every cardionerd. In this episode Dan, Amit, Carine, and Heather discuss an illustrative case discussion and review the Cardionerds 2+4 paradigm of cardiovascular prevention: 2 fundamental principles of management + 4 steps in risk stratification.

TWO principles of management

  1. Emphasize healthy lifestyle for everyone regardless of risk

  2. Escalate Preventive Measures with ↑ Risk 


FOUR steps of risk stratification

  1. Qualitative risk approximation – identify major risk factors and start counseling and education. 

  2. Quantitative risk estimation – use a validated model to quantify a patient’s future risk of CVD. 

  3. Identify Risk Enhancing Factors – personalize risk if patient is in the gray zones after step 2

  4. Measure coronary artery calcium score – selectively if risk remains uncertain


Check out the American Society for Preventive Cardiology: HERE

CardioNerds Amit Goyal and returning guest Dr. Zach Il’Giovine interview our star patient of this series: Kanak Amin to explore the patient perspective on cardiovascular prevention. Mr. Amin tells us about his perspectives on being a heart patient and offers important advice for both patients and providers on the. He gives us many pearls, but especially highlights the importance of diabetes education, cardiac rehabilitation, engaging loved ones, and getting to know the patient on a deeper level.

The CardioNerds discuss The ‘ABC’s of Cardiovascular Prevention with Dr. Roger Blumenthal, Director of the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease and co-chairperson of the 2019 American College of Cardiology/American Heart Guideline on prevention of cardiovascular disease. Joining the discussion is Dr. David Feldman, Osler housestaff and first author of a beautiful State-of-the-Art review in the American Journal of Preventive Cardiology discussing a comprehensive ABCs of prevention.

  • AAssess Risk, Anti-Inflammatory, Aspirin
  • BBody weight, Blood Pressure
  • C: Cigarette Cessation, Cholesterol
  • D: Dream (sleep), Diet, Digital Health, Diabetes
  • EExercise
  • F: Factors of the Environment
  • GGenetics

The CardioNerds discuss Women’s Cardiovascular Prevention with Dr. Leslie Cho, Interventional Cardiologist and Director of the Cleveland Clinic’s Women’s Cardiovascular Center. She is also Section Head of Preventive Cardiology and Rehabilitation in the Robert and Suzanne Tomsich Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at Cleveland Clinic. Amit, Dan and Carine take a deep dive into women’s cardiovascular prevention and discuss the epidemiology, unique risk factors, different manifestations of CVD and treatment strategies to lower cardiovascular risk in women. Tune in as we discuss cases from the CardioNerds Women’s Clinic to learn more!

The CardioNerds discuss Lipid Management with Dr. Ann Marie Navar and Dr. Nishant Shah from Duke Medical Center, Division of Cardiology. Amit, Carine and Dan take a deep dive into the greasy world of lipids and cholesterol, covering lipid metabolism, therapeutic targets, approach across the entire spectrum of predicted risk, and key common management scenarios (statin intolerance, hypertriglyceridemia, elevated LP(a)), and more.

The CardioNerds discuss Coronary Artery Calcium Scoring with Dr. Michael Blaha, Director of Clinical Research for the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease. Joining the discussion is Dr. Gabriel Shaya, cardiology fellow at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and prevention researcher. CarineHeather and Dan take a deep dive into the crunchy and calcified world of coronary artery disease discussing the evidence and utility of coronary artery calcium scoring as a powerful tool for individualized risk stratification of cardiovascular disease prevention.

CardioNerds (Amit Goyal & Carine Hamo) discuss the past, present, and future of Women’s Heart Health & Women in Cardiology with Dr. Nanette Wenger, Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology at the Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Wenger is a true leader in the field of women’s heart health and a strong proponent for women in cardiology and medicine. Her passion, dedication, and advocacy have inspired countless trainees to carry this torch and continue to build on her truly impactful work. Special introduction by Dr. Martha Gulati and birthday wishes to Dr. Wenger by the entire CardioNerds Team! Special thanks to Dr. Kimberly Manning for her invaluable mentorship.

Cardiovascular Prevention Infographic

  1. Cho L, Davis M, Elgendy I, et al (2020) Summary of Updated Recommendations for Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in Women: JACC State-of-the-Art Review. J Am Coll Cardiol 75:2602–2618
  2. Feldman DI, Dudum R, Alfaddagh A, et al. Summarizing 2019 in Cardiovascular Prevention using the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease’s ‘ABC’s Approach. Am J Prev Cardiol. 2020;2:100027
  3. Toth, P. P. (2020). Familial Hypercholesterolemia and Lipoprotein(a): Unraveling the Knot That Binds Them. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 75(21), 2694–2697.
  4. Michos, E. D., McEvoy, J. W., & Blumenthal, R. S. (2019). Lipid management for the prevention of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. New England Journal of Medicine, 381(16), 1557–1567.
  5. AHA/ACC/AACVPR/AAPA/ABC/ACPM/ADA/AGS/APhA/ASPC/NLA/PCNA Guideline on the Management of Blood Cholesterol: A Report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Clinical Practice Guidelines. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 73(24), e285–e350.
  6. Lloyd-Jones, D. M., Braun, L. T., Ndumele, C. E., Smith, S. C., Sperling, L. S., Virani, S. S., & Blumenthal, R. S. (2019). Use of Risk Assessment Tools to Guide Decision-Making in the Primary Prevention of Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease: A Special Report from the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology. Circulation, 139(25), E1162–E1177.
  7. Laufs, U., Parhofer, K. G., Ginsberg, H. N., & Hegele, R. A. (2020). Clinical review on triglycerides. European Heart Journal, 41(1), 99–109.
  8. ACC/AHA Guideline on the Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease: Executive Summary: A Report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Clinical Practice Guidelines. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 74(10), 1376–1414.
  9. https://www.mesa-nhlbi.org/CAC-Tools.aspx
  10. Blaha MJ, Blankstein R, Nasir K. Coronary Artery Calcium Scores of Zero and Establishing the Concept of Negative Risk Factors. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2019;74(1):12-14.
  11. Peng AW, Mirbolouk M, Orimoloye OA, et al. Long-Term All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality in Asymptomatic Patients With CAC ≥1,000: Results From the CAC Consortium. JACC Cardiovasc Imaging. 2020;13(1 Pt 1):83-93.
  12. Shaya GE, Al-Mallah MH, Hung RK, et al. High Exercise Capacity Attenuates the Risk of Early Mortality After a First Myocardial Infarction: The Henry Ford Exercise Testing (FIT) Project. Mayo Clin Proc. 2016;91(2):129-139.

Meet our experts!

Amit Khera, M.D. joins the cardionerds cardiology podcast

Amit Khera, MD, MSc, FACC, FAHA, FASPC

Dr. Amit Khera is Professor of Medicine at the University of Texas, Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, Texas where he serves as Director of the Preventive Cardiology, and holder of the Dallas Heart Ball Chair in Hypertension and Heart Disease.  He is also currently President of the American Society for Preventive Cardiology and President of the SouthWest Affiliate of the American Heart Association. His clinical and research interests include the primary and secondary prevention of coronary artery disease, focusing on risk assessment and risk factor modification in those with premature and familial disease.

Dr. Khera received his undergraduate degree in American History from the University of Pennsylvania, with magna cum laude honors. He obtained his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine where he served as class president and was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha honor medical society. He completed an Internal Medicine Residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, followed by a Cardiology Fellowship at the University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center. He also completed his Masters degree in Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health.

He has published over 150 publications in the field of preventive cardiology and has served on numerous local and national committee and leadership roles for the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology, and American Society for Preventive Cardiology.  He is currently Digital Strategies Editor and an Associate Editor for the journal Circulation.  Dr. Khera has been named Best Doctor in Dallas and Texas SuperDoctor every year since 2014 and was previously the Program Director for the Cardiology Fellowship at UT Southwestern from 2011-2019. 

Roger Scott Blumenthal, M.D.

Roger Scott Blumenthal, M.D.

Dr. Roger Blumenthal is a Professor of Medicine and the Director of the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease for which he was the principal developer. He received his medical degree from Cornell Medical College, where he was awarded the Weiss Prize for Excellence in Clinical Medicine. He did his internal medicine and cardiology fellowship training at The Johns Hopkins Hospital before joining the Johns Hopkins cardiology faculty. Dr. Blumenthal was the most recent recipient of the Landon School Anthony Kupka Distinguished Alumnus Award. He was co-chairperson of the 2019 American College of Cardiology/American Heart Guideline on prevention of cardiovascular disease.

Leslie Cho, MD from the Cleveland Clinic

Leslie Cho, MD

Dr. Leslie Cho is a professor of Medicine at Cleveland Clinic Lerner School of Medicine Case Western Reserve Medical School and serves as Director of the Cleveland Clinic’s Women’s Cardiovascular Center. She is also Section Head, Preventive Cardiology and Rehabilitation in the Robert and Suzanne Tomsich Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Cho received her undergraduate degree in interdisciplinary studies from the University of California, Los Angeles, graduating cum laude. She received her medical degree from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, and took her residency in internal medicine at the University of Washington Medical Center where she received the John Humphrey Award as Most Outstanding Internal Medicine Resident. Her clinical training continued when she accepted a fellowship in cardiology, followed by a fellowship in interventional cardiology and peripheral disease, both from Cleveland Clinic.

Ann Marie Navar, MD, PhD

Dr. Ann Marie Navar is a cardiologist and epidemiologist at the Duke Clinical Research Institute focusing on cardiovascular disease prevention. She received an MD from Duke University and a PhD in Global Disease Epidemiology and Control from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in 2009 before completing residency in internal medicine and pediatrics and fellowship in cardiology at Duke. Dr. Navar’s research focuses on improving cardiovascular disease prevention through better identification of at-risk populations, targeted interventions to improve quality of care and patient engagement through the electronic health record, and better treatment of hypertension and cholesterol to lower CV risk. She also studies the impact of payer-imposed barriers to novel therapies. Her areas of expertise include risk prediction, patient risk communication, real world data analyses using EHR- and claims-based datasets, and registries. She is an associate editor at JAMA-Cardiology and a board member of the American Society of Preventive Cardiology.

Nishant Shah, MD, preventative cardiologist at Duke Medical Center joins the Cardionerds Cardiology Podcast

Nishant P. Shah, MD

Dr. Nishant Shah obtained his medical degree from Wake Forest University School of Medicine. He completed internal medicine residency training at the Johns Hopkins Osler Program as part of the Barker Firm. He completed his cardiology fellowship training at the Cleveland Clinic. He is currently faculty at Duke Medical Center, Division of Cardiology and is an expert in preventive cardiology as well as a member of the cardiometabolic prevention program. Dr. Shah’s research revolves around the clinical manifestations of  genetic lipid biomarkers and advanced dyslipidemias. He is also interested in ways to make impacts at the primary prevention level. Furthermore, Dr. Shah is involved in many epidemiologic and clinical trial based work with several leaders in the field. He also serves as an associate editor for the American Heart Journal. Dr. Shah is very passionate about clinical education and has won many distinctions in education throughout his training.

Michael Joseph Blaha, M.D., M.P.H. from the Johns Hopkins Hospital joins the Cardionerds Cardiology Podcast

Michael Joseph Blaha, MD, MPH

Dr. Michael Blaha is an Associate Professor of Cardiology and Epidemiology and presently serves as the Director of Clinical Research for the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease. Dr. Blaha completed both his MD and MPH and Vanderbilt University. He then completed his Internal Medicine residency in the Osler Medical Housestaff Training Program at Johns Hopkins where he also completed fellowship training. He is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography, Associate Editor for the Diabetes and Cardiometabolic Clinical Community on acc.org and is a standing member of the Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drug Advisory Committee (EMDAC) for the FDA. He is Principal Investigator for the Coronary Artery Calcium Consortium, co-chair of the Cross-Cohort Collaboration, and a Principle Investigator for the American Heart Association (AHA) Tobacco Regulation and Addiction Center.

ardioNerds (Amit Goyal & Carine Hamo) discuss the past, present, and future of Women’s Heart Health & Women in Cardiology with Dr. Nanette Wenger, Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology at the Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Wenger is a true leader in the field of women’s heart health and a strong proponent for women in cardiology and medicine. Her passion, dedication, and advocacy have inspired countless trainees to carry this torch and continue to build on her truly impactful work. Special introduction by Dr. Martha Gulati and birthday wishes to Dr. Wenger by the entire CardioNerds Team! Special thanks to Dr. Kimberly Manning for her invaluable mentorship.

Nanette Wenger, MD

Dr. Nanette Wenger is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology at the Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Wenger received her medical degree from Harvard Medical School in 1954 as one of their first female graduates followed by training at Mount Sinai Hospital where she was the first female to be chief resident in the cardiology department. She is among the first physicians to focus on heart disease in women with an expertise in cardiac rehabilitation and geriatric medicine.

Dr. Wenger has received numerous awards including the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Scientific Councils of the American Heart Association and its Women in Cardiology Mentoring Award, the James D. Bruce Memorial Award of the American College of Physicians for distinguished contributions in preventive medicine, the Gold Heart Award, the highest award of the American Heart Association, a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009 and the Inaugural Bernadine Healy Leadership in Women’s CV Disease Distinguished Award, American College of Cardiology. She chaired the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Conference on Cardiovascular Health and Disease in Women, is a Past President of the Society of Geriatric Cardiology and is past Chair, Board of Directors of the Society for Women’s Health Research. Dr. Wenger serves on the editorial boards of numerous professional journals and is a sought-after lecturer for issues related to heart disease in women, heart disease in the elderly, cardiac rehabilitation, coronary prevention, and contemporary cardiac care. She is listed in Best Doctors in America.

Chiadi Ndumele, MD

Chiadi Ndumele, MD, PhD

Dr. Chiadi Ndumele is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Ndumele graduated from Harvard University School of Medicine. He completed his Internal Medicine training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where he also served as Chief Medical Resident. He was Chief Cardiology Fellow at Johns Hopkins University. During fellowship training, Dr. Ndumele received an MHS and Ph.D. in Epidemiology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Ndumele’s research has been supported by career development awards from the NHLBI and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a Catalyst Award from Johns Hopkins, an R01 from the NHLBI and an AHA Strategically Focused Research Network Grant. He has received national recognition for his work, including a Young Physician-Scientist Award from the American Society of Clinical Investigation. He has national leadership roles including Chair of the Obesity Subcommittee of the American Heart Association (AHA) and Editorial Board membership on the journals Circulation and Circulation Research. Dr. Ndumele’s research focuses on mechanisms linking adiposity to CVD and strategies to improve prediction and prevention.

Luke Laffin MD joins the Cardionerds Cardiology Podcast to talk about hypertension

Luke Laffin, MD

Dr. Luke Laffin, serves as cardiology faculty in the division of Preventive Cardiology and Medical Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation at the Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Laffin attended medical school at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He trained in internal medicine and cardiology at the University of Chicago where he completed a dedicated fellowship in hypertensive diseases. He is a clinical specialist in hypertension designated by the American Society of Hypertension – which has now merged with the AHA.

Dennis Bruemmer, MD, PhD joins the Cardionerds to teach us about diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular implications

Dennis Bruemmer, MD, PhD

Dr. Dennis Bruemmer is the Director of the Center for Cardiometabolic Health in the Section of Preventive Cardiology and Rehabilitation at the Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Bruemmer earned his MD/PhD degrees from the University of Hamburg in Germany. Following residency training in internal medicine and cardiology in Berlin, Dr. Bruemmer completed a two-year research fellowship as the Diabetes Center Fellow in the Department of Endocrinology at UCLA. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine, Endocrinology, Cardiovascular Disease, and Echocardiography, quite a unique combination! Dr. Bruemmer’s research is focused on mechanisms of atherosclerosis and risk factor intervention for the prevention of coronary artery disease. 

Meet our Guest interviewers!

David Feldman, MD

Dr. David Feldman is a Junior Assistant Resident in the Osler Medical Residency Program at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. Prior to joining the housestaff, David received his MD and MPH degrees from the University of Miami. David first joined the Ciccarone Center as a pre-doctoral fellow in 2013 under the mentorship of Drs. Roger Blumenthal and Mike Blaha. David is passionate about cardiovascular disease prevention and hopes to pursue a career in academic cardiology, with a particular interest in preventive cardiology. 

Gabe Shaya, MD, MPH

Gabe Shaya, MD, MPH

Dr. Gabriel Shaya earned both his Medical Degree and Masters of Public Health at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He went on to complete his residency in Internal Medicine at the New York Presbyterian – Weill Cornell Medical Center. He has returned to his hometown of Baltimore for Cardiology fellowship with the intent of pursuing a career as an academic cardiologist. His clinical and research interests center on the refinement of cardiovascular risk assessment with the goal of tailoring preventive therapies to avert adverse cardiovascular events before they happen.

Greg Ogunnowo, MD

Gregory Ogunnowo, MD

Dr. Gregory Ogunnowo (Dr_GregoryO) is a cardiology fellow at the Cleveland Clinic. He completed medical school at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine in Columbia, South Carolina. He went on to complete internal medicine residency at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis where he stayed on as faculty in the Department of Hospital Medicine for a year prior to pursing fellowship. His interests include outcomes research in interventional cardiology and medical education In his spare time, Greg enjoys traveling, exercising, and experiencing new cultures through their food. When he’s not in the hospital, you can find Greg planning a trip with close friends and family.