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Patrice Desvigne-Nickens, M.D.

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Patrice Desvigne-Nickens, M.D.
Patrice Desvigne-Nickens, M.D.

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Patrice Desvigne-Nickens, M.D., is a program director in the Heart Failure and Arrhythmias Branch in the Division of Cardiovascular Sciences at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

In this role, Dr. Desvigne-Nickens is responsible for the scientific development and fiscal management of research programs focused on prevention, recognition, and treatment in cardiovascular medicine. She is responsible for initiative development, coordinating workshops and meetings, and preparing all reports within these scientific areas for the Division of Cardiovascular Sciences and the Institute Director.

Dr. Desvigne-Nickens is an experienced clinical trialist and is the project officer for the Atherothrombosis Intervention in Metabolic Syndrome with Low HDL/High Triglycerides: Impact on Global Health (AIM-HIGH). Dr Nickens has managed trials in acute coronary syndromes, heart failure, diabetes and revascularization, cardiac surgery, and use of left ventricular assist devices in advanced heart failure.

Among her various responsibilities, Dr. Desvigne-Nickens is particularly interested in disparities in the practice of medicine and cardiovascular health and the effect on women and minorities.

Prior to joining the NHLBI in 1991, Dr. Desvigne-Nickens was a primary care physician at the Johns Hopkins Health Plan in Baltimore. In that position, she treated patients of diverse socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds who were afflicted with various complex chronic disorders such as hypertension, diabetes, and coronary heart disease.

Dr. Desvigne-Nickens received a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass. She received her Doctor of Medicine from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia. Dr. Desvigne-Nickens began her residency in internal medicine at the Thomas Jefferson University Medical Center, Philadelphia, and completed it as an NHLBI Medical Staff Fellow at the NIH Clinical Center, Bethesda, Md.

Dr. Desvigne-Nickens has reviewed or edited dozens of scientific manuscripts and is an author or coauthor of numerous articles and studies. She is a member of the American Heart Association, the National Medical Association, and the Association of Black Cardiologists.

Areas of Expertise: Acute coronary syndromes, heart failure, diabetes and revascularization, cardiac surgery, disparities in cardiovascular health, and use of left ventricular assist devices in advanced heart failure.

Dr. Desvigne-Nickens In the News

February 14, 2014 : Medical News Today
Adopt a healthy lifestyle: your heart will love you for it
Honor Whiteman
Dr. Desvigne-Nickens, program director in the Division of Cardiovascular Sciences at the NHLBI, told Medical News Today that it is important for people to understand that for both men and women, having more than one risk factor multiplies the risk of developing CVD. "Having one risk factor doubles your risk for disease; having two risks quadruples your risk for developing disease; having three risks increases risk by tenfold," she explains.

February 13, 2014 : Military Health System
Know your risk for heart disease
Dana Crudo
Once people know their risk factors, they can take action to control them and protect their heart, said Patrice Desvigne-Nickens, M.D., medical officer at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. This includes quitting smoking, exercising, eating a healthy diet, managing stress and depression and maintaining an ideal weight. “You are never too young or too old to take charge of your health and minimize your risk for heart disease,” Desvigne-Nickens said. “You are worth it.”

View all Dr. Desvigne-Nickens in the news articles

Last Updated: April 17, 2012