The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) is strongly committed to supporting research aimed at preventing and treating heart, lung, and blood diseases and conditions and sleep disorders.
NHLBI-supported research has led to many advances in medical knowledge and care. For example, this research has shown how smoking damages the heart and blood vessels. This research also has shown how quitting smoking can lower the risk of heart disease and improve overall health.
The NHLBI continues to support research on how smoking affects the heart and how to help people quit smoking. For example, NHLBI-supported research includes studies that explore:
- Ways to help people who have high blood pressure quit smoking and prevent weight gain
- Whether a phone-based support program and nicotine patches can help people in the military quit smoking
- Whether an Internet- or phone-based support program can help people who live in rural areas with limited resources quit smoking
- Interventions to help hospital patients quit smoking
Much of this research depends on the willingness of volunteers to take part in clinical trials. Clinical trials test new ways to prevent, diagnose, or treat various diseases and conditions.
For example, new treatments for a disease or condition (such as medicines, medical devices, surgeries, procedures, or programs) are tested in volunteers. Testing shows whether a treatment is safe and effective in humans before it is made available for widespread use.
By taking part in a clinical trial, you can gain access to new treatments before they're widely available. You also will have the support of a team of health care providers, who will likely monitor your health closely. Even if you don't directly benefit from the results of a clinical trial, the information gathered can help others and add to scientific knowledge.
If you volunteer for a clinical trial, the research will be explained to you in detail. You'll learn about treatments and tests you may receive, and the benefits and risks they may pose. You'll also be given a chance to ask questions about the research. This process is called informed consent.
If you agree to take part in the trial, you'll be asked to sign an informed consent form. This form is not a contract. You have the right to withdraw from a study at any time, for any reason. Also, you have the right to learn about new risks or findings that emerge during the trial.
For more information about clinical trials related to quitting smoking and disease prevention, talk with your doctor. You also can visit the following Web sites to learn more about clinical research and to search for clinical trials:
For more information about clinical trials for children, visit the NHLBI's Children and Clinical Studies Web page.
Learn more about how to participate in a clinical trial.
All of Our Stories Are Red: Eileen's Story04/11/2014
Eileen was a two-pack-a-day smoker for 28 years. When she suffered a heart attack, the surgeon opened her chest and found a 98 percent blockage, and her arteries disintegrated. Eileen hasn't touched a cigarette since that day. Heart disease is preventable, and every woman has the power to lower her risk factors. For Eileen, every day she spends--as a volunteer firefighter and EMT, and with her son and grandsons--is a gift.
The Heart Truth is a national campaign for women about heart disease and is sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The NHLBI "Grand Opportunity" Exome Sequencing Project05/16/2012
This video—presented by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health—discusses the NHLBI's Exome Sequencing Project. Made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, this project provided six awards at five academic institutions to identify genetic connections to heart, lung, and blood diseases. Individual studies will address critical health issues, such as heart attack, stroke, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, overweight and obesity, and others.