Georgia Prevention Institute 



Making a Difference in Health and Healthcare

Mission: To improve health and healthcare across the lifespan through Research, Education, and Service.

Grants Received

Yanbin Dong MD, PhD and Haidong Zhu, PhD
Dates Funded 8/19/2016 – 4/30/2020

Effects of Vitamin D and Omega-3 Supplementation on Telomeres in VITAL.
Overall goal: Aging poses the largest risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Supplementation of vitamin D and/or omega-3 has received attention as a potential anti-aging and cardio-protective strategy. Thus, this study will aim to investigate the effects of vitamin D and/or omega-3 on the longitudinal trajectory of leukocyte telomere length and inflammatory cytokines in a large randomized clinical trial of vitamin D3 (2,000 IU/day) and marine omega-3 fatty acid (ɯ-3 FA, 1 g/day) supplements among men aged ≥50 years and women aged ≥55 years (n=1,054).

New Manuscripts Published

Abnormal Central Pulsatile Hemodynamics in Adolescents with Obesity:
Higher Aortic Forward Pressure Wave Amplitude is Independently Associated with Greater Left Ventricular Mass

Gary L. Pierce, Mohanasundari Pajaniappan, Amy DiPietro, Katherine Darracott, & Gaston K. Kapuku               

We hypothesized that increased aortic forward pressure wave amplitude (Pf), which is determined by characteristic impedance (Zc) in the proximal aorta, is the primary hemodynamic determinant of obesity-associated higher left ventricular (LV) mass in adolescents.  Aortic pulsatile hemodynamics were measured non-invasively in sixty healthy adolescents (age 14-19 yrs; 42% male; 50% black) by sequential recordings of pulse waveforms via tonometry, brachial BP (BP), and pulsed Doppler and diameter of the LV outflow tract using 2D echocardiography. Adolescents who were overweight / obese (n=23; age 16.0 ± 0.3 yrs; body mass index, BMI ≥85th percentile) had higher LV mass index (LVMI), brachial and carotid systolic BP and pulse pressure, normalized Zc and Pf compared with adolescents with healthy-weight (n=37; 16.7 ± 0.3 yrs; BMI <85th percentile, all P<0.01). In contrast, there was no difference in mean or diastolic BP, carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity, carotid augmentation index or aortic backward wave amplitude (all P>0.05).  Stepwise multiple linear regression analysis that included age, sex, race, normalized Zc and brachial systolic BP revealed that BMI (B ± SE; 0.49 ± 0.20, P=0.02, R2=0.26), aortic Pf (0.22 ± 0.07; P<0.02, R2 change=0.11) and cardiac output (2.82 ± 1.02, P<0.01; R2 change=0.08) were significant correlates of LVMI (Total R2=0.44, P<0.01).  These findings suggest that higher Pf is a major aortic hemodynamic determinant of increased LV mass in adolescents with elevated adiposity.  Improper matching between aortic diameter and pulsatile flow during early systole potentially contributes to the early development of LV hypertrophy in childhood obesity. 

Publication not yet ready, this will be a Hypertension publication. To see abstract in layman's terms click below.   
Lay Abstract

Upcoming Abstract Presentations

Scientific Section 
New Orleans, Louisiana. Nov 12-16, 2016
  • "Effect of Changing Sodium Intake on miRNA Profiling in Hypertensives" ~Haidong Zhu, Fengjun He, Justin Choi, Yanbin Dong and Gregory A. Harshfield. This work is in collaboration with Queen Mary University of London.
Council on Hypertension
Orlando, FL - September 14 - 17, 2016 
  • "Bone Health Predicts Cardiovascular Risk in Adolescents" ~ Greg Harshfield, Deborah Stewart, Laura Carbone, Coral Hanevold
  • "Potassium Differential Stress Response with Angiotensin II Blockade in Blacks" ~ Deborah Stewart, Greg Harshfield, Coral Hanevold, Sunil Mathur
  • "Relationship of Sodium Intake and Stress with Bone Health in Women" ~ Allison Jasti, Deborah Stewart, Greg Harshfield
  • "Stress-Induced Natriuresis and Blood Pressure Regulation in Patients with Meniere's Disease" ~ Seung Su Lee, Deborah Stewart, Greg Harshfield
  • "Stress-Induced Changes in Total Bone Mineral Content and Total Bone Mineral Density due to Activation of the Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System in Adolescent Females" ~ Vishwajeeth Pasham, Deborah Stewart, Laura Carbone, Greg Harshfield

Welcome Aboard

Yisong Huang, PhD
Yisong is a new post-doc and will working with Xiaoling Wang, PhD. Yisong is originally from Chengdu, China. She earned her doctorate from Georgia Southern University from the Jiann-ping Hsu College of Public Health. Her main focus is Bio-statistics. Yisong's interest include experimental design, treatment allocation, non-parametric testing, and applications of statistical methods in public health. She has worked as a research specialist for Tasly Pharmaceuticals, and was research assistant at Georgia Southern University while enrolled in their doctorate program. Her greatest achievement is her 20-month old daughter "who causes as much trouble as she can."  Welcome aboard Yisong!   
Peter Buckley, MD  gives kudos to the GPI for our collaborative efforts in research across several departments including both the Summerville Campus and Health Sciences Campus, during his State of the MCG Address. This research encompasses the Georgia Prevention Institute, Office of the Vice President of Research, Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences including the Department of Music and the Department of Communications; all under the direction of Gaston Kapuku, MD, PhD.   

Celebrating One of Our Own!

Sharika Leverett, LPN

Sharika completes the requirements on becoming a nurse! Attending a special nursing ceremony she is pinned by her sons Corey, Caleb, Cameron, and Camari Warren. We are so proud of you Sharika! 

Call for Abstracts

American Psychosomatic Society.Mobilizing Technology to Advance Biobehavioral Science and Health. This is the 75th Anniversary Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society. Meeting takes place in Sevilla, Spain March 15-18, 2017. Abstracts due October, 20th 2016. 

Society of Behavioral Medicine.
The 38th Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions of the Society of Behavioral Medicine. 'The meeting theme is “La Buena Vista: Expanding Horizons of Behavioral Medicine." Meeting March, 29-April 1, 2017 in San Diego California. Now accepting abstracts  Abstracts due September 15th 2016.  

Events in September

September 5th Happy Labor day! Enjoy this great day with friends and family! You know you earned it! 

September 9th College Colors Day- Wear the color of your favorite sports team!

September 13th and 14th Movie Lunch 

Special Announcement! 

Yanbin Dong-September, 11th
 Toni Smith-September, 17th; 
Judy Hendrickson-September, 22nd
 Angie Sheppard- September, 25th 
Norman Pollock -September, 27th

Please give us your feedback

What would you like to see in upcoming issues of the GPI bulletin? 
Tell us how we can improve. 

James Halbert, MS
 Deborah Stewart, BS

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Georgia Prevention Institute / Augusta University · 1120 Walton Way · HS-1755 · Augusta, GA 30919 · USA

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