American Heart Association Tobacco Regulation and Addiction Center (A-TRAC)
Principal Investigator: Aruni Bhatnagar and Rose Robertson
Funding Mechanism: National Institutes of Health- TCORS Grant
ID number: 1P50HL120163-01
Award Date: 9/19/2013
Institution: American Heart Association
This virtual Center will study the cardiovascular toxicity of tobacco products and the relationship between tobacco product use and subclinical progression of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in order to identify biomarkers of cardiovascular injury related to tobacco product exposure. Studies will identify specific domains of cardiovascular injury that are sensitive to tobacco exposure, facilitate the identification of harmful and potentially harmful constituents (HPHCs), and measure the impact of these constituents on cardiovascular disease outcomes. In cohorts of varying ethnicities, investigators will study behavior, perceptions, and attitudes regarding tobacco products in order to identify which communications channels are used by vulnerable populations to obtain information about tobacco products, as well as strategies that are likely to be effective in discouraging initiation and continuation of tobacco use. Project 1 will identify biomarkers of tobacco product exposure and relate them to biomarkers of cardiovascular injury in a well-controlled animal model; to determine the relationship between these two sets of biomarkers, investigators will identify metabolites of tobacco constituents, establish their relationship with the extent and duration of exposure, and determine how they are related to the extent of cardiovascular injury. Project 2 will determine which CVD biomarkers are associated with specific measures of tobacco exposure and what magnitude of change in these biomarkers translates into a clinically meaningful impact on CVD outcomes. Project 3 will evaluate the tobacco use pattern, clinical and non-clinical correlates, outcomes, and knowledge/perceptions among vulnerable populations (i.e. African-Americans, Hispanics, and youth), generating data that can inform optimal tobacco risk communication campaigns that target vulnerable minority populations.