Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA): JACC Focus Seminar 5/8

Michael J. Blaha, Andrew P. DeFilippis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The MESA (Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis) is a National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute–sponsored prospective study aimed at studying the prevalence, progression, determinants, and prognostic significance of subclinical cardiovascular disease in a sex-balanced, multiethnic, community-dwelling U.S. cohort. MESA helped usher in an era of noninvasive evaluation of subclinical atherosclerosis presence, burden, and progression for the evaluation of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease risk, beyond what could be predicted by traditional risk factors alone. Concepts developed in MESA have informed international patient care guidelines, providing new tools to effectively guide public health policy, population screening, and clinical decision-making. MESA is grounded in an open science model that continues to be a beacon for collaborative science. In this review, we detail the original goals of MESA, and describe how the scope of MESA has evolved over time. We highlight 10 significant MESA contributions to cardiovascular medicine, and chart the path forward for MESA in the year 2021 and beyond.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3195-3216
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number25
StatePublished - Jun 29 2021


  • atherosclerosis
  • epidemiology
  • risk prediction
  • subclinical disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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