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Improving Cardiovascular Risk Prediction - Biomarkers and Beyond; Implications for Astronaut Selection and Monitoring During Prolonged Spaceflight (NCC958CA03801)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Cardiovascular physiology
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Homo sapiens Species: Human

The most likely cause of a non-traumatic life- or mission-threatening medical events in astronauts are from acute cardiovascular disease (CVD). Current risk prediction models utilize only traditional atherosclerosis risk factors and focus narrowly on coronary heart disease events rather than global cardiovascular risk, ignoring outcomes such as heart failure or atrial fibrillation that could also be potentially mission-threatening. Numerous studies have evaluated novel risk markers in an attempt to improve CVD risk prediction, with several promising imaging and blood-based biomarkers identified. Most of these studies have investigated the incremental predictive value of a single biomarker added to a traditional risk factor model, with a few reporting combinations of biomarkers. Moreover, few studies have evaluated strategies for risk prediction that cross testing modalities. Such a multi-modality approach has the potential to markedly improve CVD risk prediction among potential and existing astronauts, and would have direct relevance to the general population.

The primary objective of this study was to develop a consortium of biomarker and aerospace medicine leaders, with expertise in multiple different testing modalities, and with access to robust existing databases, to identify and validate novel strategies to enhance global CVD risk prediction over two time windows: 1) 10-20 years, representing the full career of the astronaut and 2) 2-5 years, representing the planning and operational phase of a manned mission to Mars. The Biomarker Consortium aimed to provide “real time” advice to NASA on the design of existing screening programs, the status of new biomarkers, and the interpretation of test results.

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de Lemos JA, Ayers CR, Levine B, deFilippi CR, Wang TJ, Hundley WG, Berry JD, Seliger SL, McGuire DK, Ouyang P, Drazner MH, Budoff M, Greenland P, Ballantyne CM, and Khera A. Multimodality strategy for cardiovascular risk assessment: Performance in 2 population-based cohorts. Circulation. 2017. May 30;135(22):2119-32. [DOI]

Cardiovascular physiology

Data Information
Data Availability
Archive is complete. No data sets are available for this experiment. Please Contact LSDA if you know of available data for this investigation.

Cardiac function
Cardiac injury
Cardiac stress
Cardiovascular disease prediction
Coronary calcium
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Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
Ground 05/01/2009 In Progress

Human Research Program (HRP) Human Research Roadmap (HRR) Information
Crew health and performance is critical to successful human exploration beyond low Earth orbit. The Human Research Program (HRP) investigates and mitigates the highest risks to human health and performance, providing essential countermeasures and technologies for human space exploration. Risks include physiological and performance effects from hazards such as radiation, altered gravity, and hostile environments, as well as unique challenges in medical support, human factors, and behavioral health support. The HRP utilizes an Integrated Research Plan (IRP) to identify the approach and research activities planned to address these risks, which are assigned to specific Elements within the program. The Human Research Roadmap is the web-based tool for communicating the IRP content.

The Human Research Roadmap is located at:

+ Click here for information of how this experiment is contributing to the HRP's path for risk reduction.

Additional Information
Managing NASA Center
Johnson Space Center (JSC)
Responsible NASA Representative
Institutional Support
National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI)
Proposal Date
Proposal Source
2013 HERO NNJ13ZSA002N-Crew Health (FLAGSHIP & NSBRI)