The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA)


The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) is a medical research study involving more than 6,000 men and women from six communities in the United States. MESA is sponsored by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health. Participants in MESA are seen at clinics in the following universities:

Columbia University, New York
Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore
Northwestern University, Chicago
UCLA, Los Angeles
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Wake Forest University, Winston Salem

About MESA

The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) is a study of the characteristics of subclinical cardiovascular disease (disease detected non-invasively before it has produced clinical signs and symptoms) and the risk factors that predict progression to clinically overt cardiovascular disease or progression of the subclinical disease. MESA researchers study a diverse, population-based sample of 6,814 asymptomatic men and women aged 45-84. Approximately 38 percent of the recruited participants are white, 28 percent African-American, 22 percent Hispanic, and 12 percent Asian, predominantly of Chinese descent. Click here to read about MESA Overview and Protocol.

Invitation to New Investigators

We have found in many situations that a collaborative approach to research is advantageous to affiliated and non-affiliated investigators alike. Those who include MESA Investigators in their research are able to take advantage of their considerable knowledge of the MESA dataset as well as knowledge of research and analytic methodologies appropriate for the data. Click her to read about MESA New Investigators.

Invitation to New Investigators

We have found in many situations that a collaborative approach to research is advantageous to affiliated and non-affiliated investigators alike. Those who include MESA Investigators in their research are able to take advantage of their considerable knowledge of the MESA dataset as well as knowledge of research and analytic methodologies appropriate for the data. In keeping with this collaborative approach, researchers interested in working with MESA Investigators are welcome to submit a manuscript proposal or ancillary study proposal directly to the study. Please feel free to review additional materials related to establishing a collaborative relationship with MESA at the following links (or send an e-mail to the Coordinating Center at chsccweb@u.washington.edu).

https://www.mesa-nhlbi.org/Publications.aspx
https://www.mesa-nhlbi.org/ancillary.aspx

Specific Analytic Opportunities

After careful review of the MESA publication record, the following list of analytic opportunities were identified as general topics where the data have not yet been adequately explored or published. There may be manuscripts in development, so it is strongly recommended that researchers with interest in collaborating on a research topic contact the point person directly (or the Coordinating Center) to initiate discussion and explore collaborative opportunities.


Research Area Point Person
Adaptive Immune System Russ Tracy (Russell.Tracy@uvm.edu)
Atrial Fibrillation Susan Heckbert (heckbert@u.washington.edu)
Bioelectric Impedance Dick Kronmal (kronmal@uw.edu)
Coagulation Mary Cushman (mary.cushman@med.uvm.edu)
Cognitive Function Annette Fitzpatrick (fitzpal@u.washington.edu)
Diabetes Alain Bertoni (abertoni@wakehealth.edu)
ECG Changes Elsayed Soliman (esoliman@wakehealth.edu)
Genetic ancestry Jasmin Divers (jdivers@wakehealth.edu)
Genetic Epi & Gene X Environ Int Jerome Rotter (jrotter@labiomed.org)
Health Services Research Chris Delaney (jacd@u.washington.edu)
Heart Failure David Bluemke (bluemked@nih.gov)
Lipid Subclasses Rachel Mackey (mackey@edc.pitt.edu)
Lipoprotein A [Lp(a)] Mike Tsai (tsaix001@umn.edu)
Longitudinal data Robyn McClelland (rmcclell@uw.edu)
Organ and System Fibrosis Russ Tracy (Russell.Tracy@uvm.edu)
Policy and Prevention Gregory L. Burke (gburke@wakehealth.edu)
Race/Ethnicity and Events Wendy Post (wpost@jhmi.edu)
Stroke Clinical Events Will Longstreth (wl@uw.edu)

MESA Overview

The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) is a study of the characteristics of subclinical cardiovascular disease (disease detected non-invasively before it has produced clinical signs and symptoms) and the risk factors that predict progression to clinically overt cardiovascular disease or progression of the subclinical disease. MESA researchers study a diverse, population-based sample of 6,814 asymptomatic men and women aged 45-84 from six field centers across the United States. Approximately 38 percent of the recruited participants are white, 28 percent African-American, 22 percent Hispanic, and 12 percent Asian, predominantly of Chinese descent. The first examination took place over two years, from July 2000-July 2002. It was followed by three examination periods that were 17-20 months in length, and a fifth exam April 2010 - January 2012. Participants are contacted every 9 to 12 months throughout the study to assess clinical morbidity and mortality. The final 18 months of the study are dedicated to close out and data analysis and publication.

MESA Population

Age-Gender-Ethnicity Breakdown from Exams 1-5
Category Baseline Exam 2 Exam 3 Exam 4 Exam 5
Age at Baseline 45-54 1948 29% 1815 29% 1761 30% 1739 30% 1544 33%
  55-64 1884 28% 1735 28% 1687 28% 1652 28% 1425 31%
  65-74 2017 30% 1834 29% 1743 29% 1723 30% 1296 28%
  75-84 965 14% 855 14% 755 13% 704 12% 390 8%
  Total 6814 100% 6239 100% 5946 100% 5818 100% 4655 100%
Gender Female 3601 53% 3267 52% 3132 53% 3075 53% 2477 53%
  Male 3213 47% 2972 48% 2814 47% 2743 47% 2178 47%
  Total 6814 100% 6239 100% 5946 100% 5818 100% 4655 100%
Race/Ethnicity African-American 1891 28% 1692 27% 1607 27% 1579 27% 1233 26%
  Chinese-American 804 12% 729 12% 699 12% 662 11% 541 12%
  Hispanic 1496 22% 1352 22% 1257 21% 1230 21% 999 21%
  White 2623 39% 2466 40% 2383 40% 2347 40% 1822 39%
  Total 6814 100% 6239 100% 5946 100% 5818 100% 4655 100%

MESA Classic Components by Exam

MESA Components

MESA III Timeline

MESA III Timeline

MESA Calendar

Note: Click on the table below to get the full MESA Calendar image.

MESA Calendar

Organizational Chart

Organizational Chart

Key Scientific Personnel

Site Type Study Site Key Personnel
Coordinating Center University of Washington Coordinating Center Alice M. Arnold, PhD
Norma Dermond
Annette L. Fitzpatrick, PhD
Susan R. Heckbert, MD
Craig Johnson, MS
Richard A. Kronmal, PhD (Principal Investigator)
William T. Longstreth, MD
Robyn McClelland, PhD (Co-PI)
Bruce M. Psaty, MD
David Siscovick, MD
Kayleen Williams, MPH
Field Centers Columbia University Field Center Graham R. Barr, MD, Dr. P.H.
Marco R. DiTullio, MD
Alan D. Guerci, MD
Shunichi Homma, MD
Daniel Rabinowitz, PhD
Ralph L. Sacco, MD, MS
Steven J. C. Shea, MD, MS (Principal Investigator)
Alan R. Tall, MD
Arad Yadon MD
  Johns Hopkins University Field Center Roger S. Blumenthal, MD
Joao A. C. Lima, MD, FACC
Pamela Ouyang, MD
Wendy S. Post, MD (Principal Investigator)
A. Richey Sharrett, MD, DrPH
Moyses Szklo, MD, MPH, Dr.Ph
  Northwestern University Field Center Richard S. Cooper, MD
Martha L. Daviglus, MD, MPH, PhD
David Green, MD, PhD
Philip Greenland, MD
George T. Kondos, MD
Youlian Liao, MD
Kiang Liu, PhD (Principal Investigator)
David McPherson, MD
William H. Pearce, MD
  UCLA Field Center Christine Darwin, MD
Alan M. Fogelman, MD
Jonathan G, Goldin, MD, MbChb, PhD, FRCR
Antoinette S. Gomes, MD
Farzam Hariri
Michael F McNitt-Gray, PhD
Sameh Tadros
Anthony Sosa
Karol Watson, MD, PhD (Principal Investigator)
  University of Minnesota Field Center Alan J. Bank, MD
Aaron R. Folsom, MD (Principal Investigator)
David R. Jacobs, Jr. PhD
Michael Jerosch-Herold, PhD
Pamela J. Schreiner, PhD
Eyal Shahar, MD
  Wake Forest University Field Center Ronny A. Bell, PhD
Gregory L. Burke, MD (Principal Investigator)
John J. Carr, MD
John R. Crouse, III, MD
David C. Goff, MD, PhD
David M. Herrington, MD
William G. Hundley, MD
Sharon A. Jackson, PhD
Kerry M. Link, MD
Central Reading/Lab/Analysis Centers University of Vermont Laboratory Mary Cushman, MD
Nancy Swords Jenny, PhD
Russell P. Tracy, PhD (Principal Investigator)
  Computed Tomography Reading Center
UCLA Medical Center Research and Education Institute
Matthew J. Budoff, MD (Principal Investigator)
Robert C. Detrano, MD, PhD
Chris Dailing
  MRI Reading Center
Johns Hopkins University
David A. Bluemke, MD, PhD
Joćo A. Lima, MD (Principal Investigator)
Bruce Wasserman, MD
  Ultrasound Reading Center
New England Medical Center
Anita Harrington
Daniel H. O'Leary, MD (Principal Investigator)
Joseph F. Polak, MD, MPH
  ECG Reading Center
Wake Forest University
Elsayed Z. Soliman, MD, MSc (Principal Investigator)
  LA BioMed/Harbor UCLA Xiuqing Guo, PhD
Jerome I. Rotter, MD (Principal Investigator)
Kent Taylor, PhD
  University of Virginia
Genetic Analysis Center
Josyf C. Mychaleckyj, MA, DPhil
Stephen Rich, PhD (Principal Investigator)
Michele M. Sale, PhD
  University of Minnesota Central Lipid Lab John Eckfeldt, MD, PhD (Co-PI)
Michael Tsai, PhD (Principal Investigator)
Program Office National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Diane E. Bild, MD, MPH
Hanyu Ni, PhD, MPH
Jean Olson, MD, MPH
Colin Wu, PhD

MESA Risk Score Calculator

An accurate estimate of 10-year CHD risk can be obtained using traditional risk factors and CAC. The MESA risk score, which is available online on the MESA web site for easy use, can be used to aid clinicians in the communication of risk to patients and when determining risk-based treatment strategies.

This online calculator is most appropriate for patients in the 45-85 year age range and in one of the following racial/ethnic groups: Caucasian, Chinese American, African American, or Hispanic.

To use the score you will need information on the following risk factors:

age, gender, race/ethnicity, diabetes (yes/no), current smoker (yes/no), total and HDL cholesterol, use of lipid lowering medication (yes/no), systolic blood pressure (mmHg), use of anti-hypertensive medication (yes/no), any family history of heart attack in first degree relative (parent/sibling/child) (yes/no), and a coronary artery calcium score (Agatston units).

Robyn L. McClelland, PhD; Neal W. Jorgensen, MS; Matthew Budoff, MD; Michael J. Blaha, MD, MPH; Wendy S. Post, MD, MS; Richard A. Kronmal, PhD; Diane E. Bild, MD, MPH; Steven Shea, MD, MS; Kiang Liu, PhD; Karol E. Watson, MD, PhD; Aaron R. Folsom, MD; Amit Khera, MD; Colby Ayers, MS; Amir-Abbas Mahabadi, MD; Nils Lehmann, PhD; Karl-Heinz Jockel, PhD Susanne Moebus, PhD; J. Jeffrey Carr, MD, MS; Raimund Erbel, MD, PhD; Gregory L. Burke, MD, MS
10-Year Coronary Heart Disease Risk Prediction Using Coronary Artery Calcium and Traditional Risk Factors: Derivation in the MESA (Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis) With Validation in the HNR (Heinz Nixdorf Recall) Study and the DHS (Dallas Heart Study).
J Am Coll Cardiol. 2015 Oct 13;66(15):1643-53.

MESA Risk Score Calculator please click 'Start' button below:

Start Risk Score Calculator

CAC Score Reference Values

Coronary Artery Calcium (CAC) Score Reference Values web tool will provide the estimated probability of non-zero calcium, and the 25th, 50th, 75th, and 90th percentiles of the calcium score distribution for a particular age, gender and race. Additionally, if an observed calcium score is entered the program will provide the estimated percentile for this particular score. These reference values are based on participants in the MESA study who were free of clinical cardiovascular disease and treated diabetes at baseline. These participants were between 45-84 years of age, and identified themselves as White, African-American, Hispanic, or Chinese. The current tool is thus applicable only for these four race/ethnicity categories and within this age range.

At this time, the risk associated with a particular calcium score is unknown. Thus, the information in this tool cannot necessarily be used to conclude that a patient is "high risk", but can indicate whether they have a high calcium score relative to others with the same age, gender, and race/ethnicity.

McClelland RL, Chung H, Detrano R, Post W, Kronmal RA.
Distribution of coronary artery calcium by race, gender, and age: results from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA).
Circulation. 2006;113(1):30-37.

To use CAC Score Reference Values web tool please click 'Start' button below:

Start CAC Reference Values

Arterial Age Calculator

Arterial age provides a convenient transformation of coronary artery calcium (CAC) from Agatston units to age units, to a scale more easily appreciated by both patients and treating physicians. The arterial age for a participant is the age at which the estimated CHD risk (modeled as a function of age) is the same as that for the observed CAC score. Arterial age is then the risk-equivalent of coronary artery calcium. This measure can be considered a more easily understandable version of the CAC score (e.g. you are 55 years old, but your arteries are more consistent with an arterial age of 65 years).

This tool will calculate an estimated arterial age (and 95% confidence interval) given a CAC score input by the user. Optionally, one can also provide the observed age, gender, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, smoking status, systolic blood pressure and use of anti-hypertensive medications and obtain two versions of estimated 10-year CHD risk based on the Framingham (NCEP) point based equations: one using original age, and the other using estimated arterial age. This does not apply to diabetics.

Robyn L. McClelland, PhD, Khurram Nasir, MD, MPH, Matthew Budoff, MD, Roger S. Blumenthal, MD, and Richard A. Kronmal, PhD.
Arterial Age as a Function of Coronary Artery Calcium (from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis [MESA]), Am J Cardiol. 2009 January 1; 103(1): 59-63

To use Arterial Age Calculator please click the button below:

Calculate Arterial Age

MESA Publications

An Invitation to Outside Investigators

We have found in many situations that a collaborative approach to research is advantageous to affiliated and non-affiliated investigators alike. Those who include MESA Investigators in their research are able to take advantage of their considerable knowledge of the MESA dataset as well as knowledge of research and analytic methodologies appropriate for the data. In keeping with this collaborative approach, researchers interested in working with MESA Investigators are welcome to submit a manuscript proposal or ancillary study proposal directly to the study. Please feel free to review additional materials related to establishing a collaborative relationship with MESA at the following links (or send an e-mail to the Coordinating Center at chsccweb@u.washington.edu).

http://www.mesa-nhlbi.org/Publications.aspx
http://www.mesa-nhlbi.org/ancillary.aspx

Specific Analytic Opportunities

After careful review of the MESA publication record, the following list of analytic opportunities were identified as general topics where the data have not yet been adequately explored or published. There may be manuscripts in development, so it is strongly recommended that researchers with interest in collaborating on a research topic contact the point person directly (or the Coordinating Center at chsccweb@u.washington.edu) to initiate discussion and explore collaborative opportunities.


Research Area Point Person
Adaptive Immune System Russ Tracy (Russell.Tracy@uvm.edu)
Atrial Fibrillation Susan Heckbert (heckbert@u.washington.edu)
Bioelectric Impedance Dick Kronmal (kronmal@uw.edu)
Coagulation Mary Cushman (mary.cushman@med.uvm.edu)
Cognitive Function Annette Fitzpatrick (fitzpal@u.washington.edu)
Diabetes Alain Bertoni (abertoni@wakehealth.edu)
ECG Changes Elsayed Soliman (esoliman@wakehealth.edu)
Genetic ancestry Jasmin Divers (jdivers@wakehealth.edu)
Genetic Epi & Gene X Environ Int Jerome Rotter (jrotter@labiomed.org)
Health Services Research Chris Delaney (jacd@u.washington.edu)
Heart Failure David Bluemke (bluemked@nih.gov)
Lipid Subclasses Rachel Mackey (mackey@edc.pitt.edu)
Lipoprotein A [Lp(a)] Mike Tsai (tsaix001@umn.edu)
Longitudinal data Robyn McClelland (rmcclell@uw.edu)
Organ and System Fibrosis Russ Tracy (Russell.Tracy@uvm.edu)
Policy and Prevention Gregory L. Burke (gburke@wakehealth.edu)
Race/Ethnicity and Events Wendy Post (wpost@jhmi.edu)
Stroke Clinical Events Will Longstreth (wl@uw.edu)

MESA Ancillary Studies

Overview

Definition of an ancillary study:

1) A project that collects new data in MESA, whether directly from participants or from previously collected samples, images, or other sources (e.g., medical records).

2) A project that analyzes existing MESA data as part of a new external funding application, for which additional MESA Coordinating Center (CC) services will be requested beyond downloading of data already available on the MESA website (e.g., analysis by a CC Statistician or preparation of a unique dataset). Note: as of November, 2010, analysis-only grants involving no such additional CC services require the submission of a Manuscript Proposal form, but not an Ancillary Study Proposal Form. Submit the Manuscript Proposal form online and see MESA Publications submission details at: http://www.mesa-nhlbi.org/Publications.aspx. To check the availability of online data, please contact your MESA Sponsor.

Philosophy: MESA investigators are encouraged to consider ancillary studies and to involve other investigators, within and outside of MESA, in this process.

Ancillary Studies (password protected)

MESA Family
MESA SHARe
MESA Air Pollution
MESA Lung
MRI RV Function
MESA Arterial Elasticity
MESA Sleep
MESA Stress

MESA Coordinating Center
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