News - MESA Exam 6 is Coming This Fall!


MESA Exam 6 is in Progress!

By MESA Project Office, NHLBI

MESA Exam 6 began in the fall of 2016, and is currently in progress! Here are some of the exciting projects MESA is conducting this exam.

Everyone will be asked to participate in the "Core" exam, which will include some procedures you are used to, like measuring your blood pressure, height, and weight; drawing blood; and answering questions about your medical history and lifestyle.


Exam 6 will also have a special focus on studying the risk factors and early symptoms of heart failure, thanks to a project led by MESA researchers Dr. Alain Bertoni of Wake Forest University and Dr. Sanjiv Shah of Northwestern University. This will include a six-minute walk test to check your level of physical function, echocardiography (heart ultrasound) and arterial tonometry (blood pressure test) to look at the structure and function of your heart and blood vessels, and questionnaires about physical activity and heart failure symptoms and risk factors. In addition, participants at MESA’s Wake Forest center may be asked to take part in exercise testing, where investigators will look at how your heart and lungs work while exercising on a treadmill.


You may also be asked to help with some additional Exam 6 components, depending on your field center and other factors. For example, 1500 MESA participants will be invited to participate in a project led by Dr. Susan Heckbert from the University of Washington that will help researchers better understand atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation (also known as "A fib") is an irregular heart beat that can lead to stroke, changes in cognitive function, or other heart-related problems. Participants will complete cognitive function tests and wear a heart rhythm monitoring patch at home for about one month after the Exam 6 visit. Participants in this study will also have a brain MRI one to two years after Exam 6.

If you previously participated in the MESA Lung Study, you will be invited back for the Exam 6 continuation of MESA Lung, led by Dr. Graham Barr of Columbia University. This important project has already increased understanding of lung diseases like asthma, emphysema, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease ("COPD") and how they are related to heart disease. Just like in previous exams, MESA Lung participants will be asked to complete spirometry to measure how well their lungs work and a CT scan to look at the structure of the lungs.

And there is more in the works! Researchers continue to consider possible additional Exam 6 components to add even more great science to MESA. We look forward to seeing you at Exam 6!