Heart disease remains a leading cause of death in Canada, claiming more than 33,000 lives per year. Variability in screening and quality of care impacts the ability of Canadians to live longer lives free from heart disease. Dr. Jacob Udell is leading research on new ways to identify and treat heart disease to improve care for patients and better protect patients who have already experienced a heart attack or other illness.
Dr. Udell’s research focuses on novel cardiovascular risk factors, including influenza infection and fertility treatment. He is Co-Principal investigator of the INVESTED trial, a multisite, international study investigating whether a high-dose flu vaccine could prevent heart attack, heart failure, stroke and pneumonia in heart disease patients. Dr. Udell’s research also determined that women who have fertility therapy but do not get pregnant have a higher risk of developing long-term cardiovascular disease. The identification of these innovative cardiovascular risk factors and therapies have led to alterations in national practice guidelines.
In addition, Dr. Udell is currently investigating if the volume of patients seen by a family physician influences the quality of preventative care, for example, whether or not patients who meet guidelines are being screened for high cholesterol. His preliminary findings suggest that the more patients a family doctor sees, the more frequently preventative screening is ordered. Additional research in this area will help determine if this trend impacts the likelihood of developing a heart attack or stroke in the future. If findings suggest that physicians with smaller patient loads provide less quality care, Dr. Udell and his team will be able to target these physicians with reminders and guidance on who, how, when and why to boost preventative screening practices to improve the heart health of Canadians.
Cardiology training, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 2012
MPH, Harvard University, 2005
MD, University of Toronto, 2003
- Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada National New Investigator/Ontario Clinician Scientist (Phase I) Award (2016)
- Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation Early Researcher Award(2016)
- CP Has Heart Cardiovascular Award (2015)
- CIHR Institute for Health Services and Policy Research Rising Star Award (2014)