Navigate Up

UPMC/University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
For Journalists
Telephone: 412-738-3511 or 412-586-9778
Senior Director
Telephone: 412-586-9764

Want to Make an Appointment or Need Patient Information?

Contact UPMC at
1-800-533-UPMC (8762).

Go to Find a Doctor to search for a UPMC doctor.​

Magee-Womens Research Institute Awarded $3.7 Million to Study Pregnancy and Heart Disease

PITTSBURGH, March 21, 2016 – Researchers at Magee-Womens Research Institute (MWRI) have been awarded a four-year $3.7 million grant from the American Heart Association (AHA) Go Red for Women Research Network to examine whether certain pregnancy-related blood vessel changes can uncover mechanisms of later-life cardiovascular disease (CVD) in women, identify women at highest risk, and guide new interventions to help them.
The causes of heart disease, which damages the inner walls of the blood vessels and can lead to spasms and decrease blood flow to the heart muscle, known as microvascular dysfunction, are unclear, said principal investigator, Carl Hubel, Ph.D., associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and MWRI investigator. During pregnancy, profound metabolic and cardiovascular changes occur, putting extra stress on a woman’s body and requiring the heart and blood vessels to work harder. Researchers believe that studying these cardiovascular changes may reveal early mechanisms of CVD.
“This grant is an important next step for our research team in the ongoing assessment of using pregnancy as a lens to understand CVD in women throughout the life span,” explained Dr. Hubel. “Microvascular dysfunction is a devastating public health challenge because almost two-thirds of women who die suddenly of coronary heart disease have had no previous symptoms. We hope to build on the research of our previous studies by identifying mechanisms of CVD in women that are unmasked or perhaps affected by adverse pregnancy outcomes. By examining these relationships, we aim to discover early heart disease risks in women as well as the causes.”
In addition to Magee, four other centers make up the AHA Go Red for Women Research Network: Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Columbia University Medical Center, University of California, San Diego and New York University Medical Center.

UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences Supplemental content provided by Healthwise, Incorporated. To learn more, visit

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

Pittsburgh, PA, USA |