Cardiovascular Changes with Weight Loss in Obese Adolescents with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Project: Research


  • Daniel Forsha (PI)


I am an Assistant Professor in the Division of Pediatric Cardiology at Children's Mercy Hospital (CMH) and will be the PI on this grant. My research background in cardiovascular (CV) imaging and strain echocardiography has led to high quality research publications, a completed industry research grant, and abstracts/invited presentations at national meetings. The proposed research asks important questions that will delineate the extent and reversibility of abnormalities in left ventricular (LV) function, atherosclerotic burden, arterial stiffness and exercise capacity in overweight adolescents with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) undergoing a weight loss regimen. Obesity related CV disease begins in childhood; this proposed research will test for improvements in cardiac and vascular health over a 6 month period as IDD study participants progress through a recently funded weight loss study at Kansas University Medical Center (KUMC). The KUMC R01-funded IDD weight loss study (HD079642; PI: Dr. Joseph E. Donnelly) presents a timely and ideal patient population to evaluate the effects of weight loss on CV health in IDD adolescents (age range 13-21 years). KUMC weight loss study participants will be recruited for simultaneous enrollment in this CV study performed at CMH. The study techniques will expand on my strain echo background and improve my knowledge of peripheral vascular and exercise stress testing. The educational plan provides coursework and mentorship to increase my biostatistics programming and energy balance skills, become more familiar with the special needs of the IDD population, and allow me to independently perform energy balance study techniques in future studies. I plan to begin with this study of this normal cardiac anatomy IDD population enrolled in the KUMC weight loss study and progress to a future planned R01 application to evaluate the weight loss effects in a population of overweight IDD adolescents born with significant congenital heart disease who have greater vulnerability to the effects of obesity due to poor cardiac reserve. This AHA Career Development Grant will provide me with 1) expert mentorship under the primary guidance of Dr. Joseph E. Donnelly with 20 years of concurrent R01 funding and 5 previous K award mentees, 2) adequate protected research time, 3) study and coursework/conference funding, and 4) a tailored educational plan targeting the goal of being an independent investigator and submitting an R01.
Award amount$230,570.00
Award date07/01/2018
Program typeCareer Development Award
Award ID18CDA34110070
Effective start/end date07/01/201806/30/2021