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Francine Welty Laboratory

Clinical Research Study

Do you have high triglyceride levels and heart disease?  If so, please call 617-667-6019

Contact Information

Francine K. Welty, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Medicine
CardioVascular Institute at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue, SL 423
Boston, MA 02215
Tel: 617-667-6010
Fax: 617-667-6020


  • BA (cum laude),Yale College
  • MD, PhD, Case Western Reserve School of Medicine.
  • Residency, Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Cardiology fellowship, New England Deaconess Hospital in Boston
  • Director and Principal Investigator of the NHLBI Specialized Center of Clinically Oriented Research (SCCOR) in Vascular Injury, Repair and Remodeling,
  • Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School
  • Staff cardiologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Research Interests

Dr. Welty is Principal Investigator of the NHLBI Specialized Center of Clinically Oriented Research (SCCOR) in Vascular Injury, Repair and Remodeling: Metabolic Syndrome, Inflammation and Vascular Remodeling. 291 subjects with metabolic syndrome and coronary heart disease (CHD) were randomized to intensive lifestyle changes plus omega-3 fatty acids or usual care. The amount of noncalcified coronary artery plaque and composition are being assessed by computed tomographic (CT) angiography. Three ancillary studies are underway: 1) composition of aortic plaque and aortic wall thickness with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); 2) the relationship between oral health, systemic inflammation and atherosclerosis and 3) the relationship between exercise and inflammation.  Many ancillary analyses are in progress.

Dr. Welty is Co-PI of the Kuwait Healthy Life Study in which 8,139 Kuwaiti children had fitness, anthropometrics and dietary intake measured and a dental evaluation in 2012 with a follow-up in 2014.  Saliva samples were collected and glucose, insulin and inflammatory biomarkers were measured.  The obesity rate had increased from 24% in 2012 to 36% in 2014 and rates of hypertension increased from 26% to 44%.  A lifestyle intervention is now proposed to prevent obesity, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes in 1,000 of these children with 500 randomized to the intervention and 500 as controls.  Parameters related to exercise and the genetic control of weight gain including micro-RNA will be evaluated from saliva and blood samples.  Oral microbes from tongue scrapings will be identified to determine if a decrease in nitrate-reducing oral bacteria is responsible for increases in blood pressure.  MRI imaging will be performed to measure hepatic and visceral fat and cardiac function to gain information on changes which occur with weight gain and affect the transition from insulin sensitivity to insulin resistance. 

Dr. Welty's laboratory has shown that soy lowers systolic and diastolic blood pressure, triglyceride levels, inflammation (C-reactive protein [CRP]) and adhesion molecules (VCAM and ICAM) in hypertensive, prehypertensive and normotensive postmenopausal women and in women with metabolic syndrome and that a potential mechanism may be improvement in inflammation as evidenced by lower levels of CRP and adhesion molecules. She has also shown that equol producers have greater benefit than equol non-producers.

Dr. Welty's laboratory is performing genome wide association scans in the Amish to search for genes for type 2 diabetes and blood pressure. Genetics of biological aging is also being examined.

Dr. Welty discovered the apoB-67 mutation which causes low levels of LDL-C and high levels of HDL-C. Mechanisms for these changes are being examined in human subjects with the apoB-67 mutation using stable isotopes and multicompartmental computer models developed by Dr. Welty. Physical and chemical characterization of HDL lipoprotein particles in the apoB-67 mutation is also ongoing. Kindreds with the apoB-67 mutation, which is a founder mutation in the Amish, are being extended to determine if the mutation predisposes to longevity and protects against cancer and atherosclerosis. Magnetic resonance imaging of the liver in these subjects will start soon to determine if a higher content of fat in the liver predisposes these subjects to insulin resistance and diabetes

Highlighted Recent Publications

Khosa F, Khan AN, Nasir K, Bedayat A, Malik Z, Jon AF, Cheema AR,Clouse ME, Welty FK.  Comparison of coronary plaque subtypes in male and female patients using 320-row MDCTA; Atherosclerosis. 2013 Feb;226(2):428-32, 

Welty FK.  How do Elevated Triglycerides and Low HDL-cholesterol Affect Inflammation and Atherothrombosis:  Curr Cardiol Rep 2013; 15(9); 1532-1545.

Jon AF, Cheema AR, Khan AN, Raptopoulos V, Hauser T, Nasser I, Welty FK, Karellas A, Clouse ME.  Assessment of liver fat in an obese patient population using noncontrast CT fat present index.  Clin Imaging 2014; 38:259-264.

Goodson JM, Kantarci A, Hartman ML, Denis GV, Stephens D, Hasturk H, Yaskell T, Vargas J, Wang X, Cugini M, Barake R, Alsmadi O, Al-Mutawa S, Ariga J, Soparkar P, Behbehani J, Behbehani K, Welty F.  Metabolic disease risk in children by salivary biomarker analysis.  PLoS One 2014 Jun 10;(6):e98799.

Acharjee S, Zhou JR, Elajami TK, Welty FK.  Effect of soy nuts and equol status on blood pressure, lipids and inflammation in postmenopausal women stratified by metabolic syndrome status.  Metabolism 2015; 64(2):236-43.

Avila M, Hovnanians N,  Mukamal K, Parikh N, Welty FK.  Parity and cardiovascular disease prevalence and mortality among the old order Amish.  In press.

Goodson JM, Welty FK.  Using salivary biomarkers to identify children at risk of type 2 diabetes.   Diabetes Management,2014.

Hartman ML, Goodson, JM, Barake R, Alsmadi O, Al-Mutawa S, Ariga J, Soparkar P, Behbehani J, Behbehani K, Welty FK.  Salivary glucose concentration exhibits threshold kinetics in normal-weight, overweight, and obese children. Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes 2014;8:9-15.

Singh V, Luthra S, Elajami TK, Welty FK.  Resolution of NASH with weight loss documented by hepatic MRI.  BMJ Case Rep 2015 Jan 6;2015

Welty FK. The Contribution of Triglycerides and Triglyceride-Rich Lipoproteins to Atherosclerosis; Chapter 14, Braunwald Textbook of Preventive Cardiology, 1st Edition, 2011. 

Welty FK.  Hypobetalipoproteinemia and abetalipoproteinemia.  Curr Opin Lipidol 2014; Jun;25(3): 161-8