Education

— Madras Medical College, Medical Education
— Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Clinical Fellowships
— University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Residency Training

Research Summary

APPROACHES TO PREVENT CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE

The overall goals of Dr. Natarajan's research in cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention are to improve management of cardiovascular disease risk factors and to optimize ways to prevent CVD.

Dr. Natarajan has analyzed large population-based databases to improve CVD risk assessment and management. By analysis of large databases, he examined trends in screening, prevalence, and treatment of CVD risk factors using the behavioral risk factor surveillance system (BRFSS), compared variations in health care utilization among adults with risk factors for CVD using the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), determined the validity of self-report of hypercholesterolemia using the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES III), and evaluated gender differences in CVD mortality in individuals with diabetes using the Framingham Heart Study data and the Nhanes Epidemiologic Follow-up Study (NHEFS).

He is currently focused on conducting Randomized Clinical Trials (RCT's) to evaluate behavioral interventions. He evaluated the association of transtheoretical stages of change constructs with glycemic control and blood pressure control in low-income patients with CVD risk factors, and is using the transtheoretical framework in other studies targeting hypertension, diabetes and heart failure. He conducted a RCT to test the effect of a stage-matched behavioral intervention on treatment adherence and hypertension control in collaboration with experts in behavioral theory.  Another new project employed checklists, defaults, and behavioral theory to intervene at the provider and patient level in patients admitted with heart failure to improve quality of life and reduce re-admissions.  Currently he is conducting primary and secondary prevention intervention trials to reduce foot complications in veterans with diabetes.

Research Elective

1) Population Science: The overall goals of our research in cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention are to enhance cardiovascular risk assessment, improve risk factor management and optimize ways of preventing CVD. Because CVD and its risk factors affect a large proportion of the US population, any scientific advance or policy change due to our contribution has the potential to make a significant impact. While this elective will enrich the research repertoire of the participant by exposure to several different ways of conducting research, we also expect that it will be a productive experience. We have worked with national databases to answer interesting questions in cardiovascular disease prevention.  

2) Behavioral Clinical Trials: In this elective, students and residents will be exposed to a number of different theories that determine patients’ health-related behaviors and form the basis for behavioral intervention for chronic diseases such as CVD. Participants in this elective will also acquire skills that can also be applied clinically to their work with nonadherent patients.  Participants could become involved in one of several projects. Individuals can be involved in an ongoing randomized clinical trial that.  They can work on new questions to be answered within the ongoing trial, they can immerse themselves in all the facets of conducting a rigorous trial (e.g., data acquisition, entry, and preliminary analyses) if interested. The individual could gain experience in analyzing completed clinical trials. 

 

Procedures & Processes: During the elective, the individual will experience the key steps in conducting research, learn to communicate the results, and if motivated, learn grant-writing skills.   Specifically, they will have an opportunity to review the scientific literature, develop the specific aims and hypotheses for the project, be involved in clinical research, organize and analyze data, write up present and publish your findings. I expect that the participant (student, intern, resident, or fellow) will be lead author or co-author of papers and presentations resulting from the work.  Interested persons should e-mail Dr. Natarajan (natars01@med.nyu.edu). Please include your CV, dates that you will be available, topic of interest (if known) and a comment on how this elective could best help you. In order to get the best possible results, I would prefer to informally communicate with the person for several weeks prior to the elective. This would allow us to collaboratively develop the research question beforehand and have the individual be productive from day 1 of the elective.

Research Interests

Dr. Natarajan's research is targeted at developing approaches to prevent cardiovascular disease using the tools of clinical epidemiology and health services research



Prognostic Utility of the Braden Scale and the Morse Fall Scale in Hospitalized Patients With Heart Failure
Carazo, Matthew; Sadarangani, Tina; Natarajan, Sundar; Katz, Stuart D; Blaum, Caroline; Dickson, Victoria Vaughan. Prognostic Utility of the Braden Scale and the Morse Fall Scale in Hospitalized Patients With Heart Failure. Western journal of nursing. 2016 Aug 15;:?-? (2219362)

ASSOCIATION OF THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND NEIGHBORHOOD RESOURCES WITH OBESITY-RELATED HEALTH BEHAVIOR
Albanese, Natalie N; Friedberg, Jennifer P; Rundle, Andrew; Quinn, James; Neckerman, Kathryn; Lipsitz, Stuart R; Natarajan, Sundar. ASSOCIATION OF THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND NEIGHBORHOOD RESOURCES WITH OBESITY-RELATED HEALTH BEHAVIOR [Meeting Abstract]. Journal of general internal medicine. 2015 APR;30:S106-S106 (1730002)

EFFECT OF BEHAVIORAL INTERVENTIONS ON NOVEL CARDIOVASCULAR RISK FACTORS IN DIABETES
Friedberg, Jennifer P; Rodriguez, Maria Antonia; Jung, Sangmin; Wang, Binhuan; Begum, Rohima; Gelinas, Michael; Steinberg, Rachel; Natarajan, Sundar. EFFECT OF BEHAVIORAL INTERVENTIONS ON NOVEL CARDIOVASCULAR RISK FACTORS IN DIABETES [Meeting Abstract]. Annals of behavioral medicine. 2015 APR;49:S57-S57 (2049012)

THE MOBILE INSULIN TITRATION INTERVENTION (MITI) STUDY: INNOVATIVE CHRONIC DISEASE MANAGEMENT OF DIABETES
Levy, Natalie K; Moynihan, Victoria; Nilo, Annielyn; Singer, Karyn; Etiebet, Mary-Ann; Bernik, Lidia; Cho, James H; Fang, Yixin; Natarajan, Sundar. THE MOBILE INSULIN TITRATION INTERVENTION (MITI) STUDY: INNOVATIVE CHRONIC DISEASE MANAGEMENT OF DIABETES [Meeting Abstract]. Journal of general internal medicine. 2015 APR;30:S547-S548 (1730222)

The Mobile Insulin Titration Intervention (MITI) for Insulin Adjustment in an Urban, Low-Income Population: Randomized Controlled Trial
Levy, Natalie; Moynihan, Victoria; Nilo, Annielyn; Singer, Karyn; Bernik, Lidia S; Etiebet, Mary-Ann; Fang, Yixin; Cho, James; Natarajan, Sundar. The Mobile Insulin Titration Intervention (MITI) for Insulin Adjustment in an Urban, Low-Income Population: Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of medical Internet research. 2015 Jul 17;17(7):e180-e180 e180 (1669122)