The Miami Heart Study (MiHeart) at Baptist Health South Florida is an ongoing, community-based, prospective cohort study aimed at characterizing the prevalence, characteristics, and prognostic value of diverse markers of early subclinical coronary atherosclerosis and of various potential demographic, psychosocial, and metabolic risk factors. We present the study objectives, detailed research methods, and preliminary baseline results of MiHeart.


MiHeart enrolled 2,459 middle-aged male and female participants from the general population of the Greater Miami Area. Enrollment occurred between May 2015 and September 2018 and was restricted to participants aged 40–65 years free of clinical cardiovascular disease (CVD). The baseline examination included assessment of demographics, lifestyles, medical history, and a detailed evaluation of psychosocial characteristics; a comprehensive physical exam; measurement of multiple blood biomarkers including measures of inflammation, advanced lipid testing, and genomics; assessment of subclinical coronary atherosclerotic plaque and vascular function using coronary computed tomography angiography, the coronary artery calcium score, carotid intima-media thickness, pulse wave velocity, and peripheral arterial tonometry; and other tests including 12-lead electrocardiography and assessment of pulmonary function. Blood samples were biobanked to facilitate future ancillary research.


MiHeart enrolled 1,261 men (51.3%) and 1,198 women (48.7%). Mean age was 53 years, 85.6% participants were White and 47.4% were of Hispanic/Latino ethnicity. The study included 7% individuals with diabetes, 33% with hypertension, and 15% used statin therapy at baseline. Overweight or obese participants comprised 72% of the population and 3% were smokers. Median 10-year estimated atherosclerotic CVD risk using the Pooled Cohort Equations was 4%.


MiHeart will provide important, novel insights into the pathophysiology of early subclinical atherosclerosis and further our understanding of its role in the genesis of clinical CVD. The study findings will have important implications, further refining current cardiovascular prevention paradigms and risk assessment and management aproaches moving forward.


atherosclerosis; cardiovascular disease; cohort studies; coronary computed tomography; epidemiology; Hispanic/Latino; populations primary prevention

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© 2021 Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/)

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