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The BLAST Study

Purpose of the Study:

As women age and go through menopause the arteries located around the heart get stiffer. This increase in arterial stiffness can lead to health problems, such as high blood pressure and heart disease. The reasons why arteries stiffen with aging and menopause are unclear. The BLAST study will be examining different mechanisms that could be causing the arteries to become stiffer in women with low levels of estrogen. Specifically, we want to see if arteries are stiffer in postmenopausal women compared to premenopausal women because of changes in a natural substance in the body that causes the arteries to expand called tetrahydrobiopterin or BH4, and changes in proteins that are involved in fighting off infections called inflammatory proteins. Women will have a series of screening tests to see if they qualify for the study, including a blood test and a history and physical with the study physician. Women who qualify and choose to participate will have ultrasound tests to measure the stiffness of their arteries on two occasions for premenopausal women and on three occasions for postmenopausal women.

  • Tests are conducted at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
  • There is no cost to you for taking part in the study
  • Compensation will be provided for your time

Study Qualifications:

  • Premenopausal women 18-40 years and postmenopausal women 50-65 years of age
  • Non-smoker
  • Normal blood pressure
  • Not currently taking birth control or hormone therapy
  • Not exercising vigorously more than two days per week

The principal investigator for this study is Kerrie Moreau, PhD.
This study is approved by the
Colorado Multiple Institutional Review Board (Protocol #07-1097)

Recent Publications:

Tetrahydrobiopterin improves endothelial function and decreases arterial stiffness in estrogen-deficient postmenopausal women.  
Moreau KL, Meditz A, Deane KD, Kohrt WM. 
Am J Physiol 2012 Mar 1;302(5):H1211-8. Epub 2012 Jan 13