UC Irvine's Heart Disease Prevention program is looking for volunteers to participate in a study of a new combination of drug therapies aimed at retarding or preventing hardening of the arteries.
Dr. Nathan Wong, a main investigator on the UCI study team, said the study will administer a combination of drugs, including a calcium-channel blocker, and the progress of the patients will be evaluated by "ultra-fast computed tomography," a new non-invasive coronary artery X-ray.
Wong said about 180 men and women at risk for coronary heart disease and with high levels of cholesterol will be recruited for the project at UCI and at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, which is providing the special scanning.
Those eligible to participate, Wong said, are men between the ages of 40 and 64 and women between 50 and 69 who have LDL-cholesterol levels of 130 to 230 and are not currently on cholesterol-reducing medication.
Study candidates also must have a history of heart disease such as a heart attack, bypass surgery or angioplasty or other risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, smoking or a family history of early heart disease.
Those who want to participate in the study should write to the UCI Heart Disease Prevention Program at 1 Medical Plaza Drive, Room 1616, Irvine, Calif. 92717, or call (714) 856-7688 for more information or to schedule a required screening.