Dr. H. Robert Superko MD, FACC, FAHA, FASPC

President at Cholesterol, Genetics, and Heart Disease Institute

Dr. Superko is an internationally recognized expert in preventive cardiology trained at the State University of New York and the University of California-Davis. He conducted multiple NIH funded clinical trials as Director of the Stanford University Lipid Research Clinic and Laboratory (LRC-CPPT) from 1981 to 1990, Director of the University of California, Berkeley, Cholesterol Research Center at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory from 1990 to 2000, Director of Research at Berkeley HeartLab from 2000 to 2004, and Chairman of Molecular and Genetic Cardiology at the Fuqua Heart Center and Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia from 2004 to 2009. He was Chief Medical Officer and Vice President at Celera Corporation (a gene discovery company) and affiliated with Quest Diagnostics from 2009-2014. He is affiliated with the Mercer University School of Pharmaceutical Sciences in Atlanta, Georgia and currently Chairman of the non-profit Cholesterol, Genetics, and Heart Disease Institute.

Dr. Superko has participated in many CME programs and committees as a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association. He was Director of the American Heart Association Lipid Disorders Training Center in California and Chairman of several National CME programs. He has received many awards and honors, most recently the Larry King Cardiac Foundation Physician Laureate award for life-time efforts in preventive cardiology.

He is on the editorial board of five medical journals and a reviewer for twenty-nine. He has published 125 manuscripts, 19 text book chapters, one public book and 127 abstract presentations.

His current interests involve individual response to lifestyle and pharmaceutical induced change in factors linked to coronary heart disease. This includes the use of genetic tests to identify patient subgroups that respond differently to specific therapeutic interventions that result in a differential effect on clinical outcomes.

The Prevé program provides multiple layers for health and wellness assessment, including an easy to read and interpret laboratory report with historical data and educational materials, intuitive lifestyle management tools that allow you to track nutrition, heart health, physical activity and behavior, as well as, the ability to build your own community for support, ideas,and advice.

Having access to any one of the many features of the Prevé program could be beneficial to the personalized wellness plan of an individual, but the fact that all of these features are available to individuals in one place elevates Prevé to another level!

The Prevé Program was developed to fulfill an unmet need in the beneficial use of a patient’s laboratory test results and improve personalized healthcare. Currently some medical tests are difficult for patients to obtain due to payment restrictions by medical insurance companies. Many of these tests have valid clinical utility supported by numerous clinical research trials. By providing a means of affordable access to these tests, along with comprehensive lifestyle management tools, Prevé empowers their members through personalized diagnostic, Heart Health nutrition, fitness and behavioral information, to participate with their personal physician in a pro-active approach to prevention of many medical issues.

Medical issues can be quite complex and difficult to understand for individuals not formally trained in medicine. However, knowledge of the presence or absence of blood test markers linked to medical problems can enlighten the individual and create a foundation from which they can take appropriate steps to prevent or retard a disease in collaboration with their personal physician.

Some of these blood test markers are not standard tests for a routine “healthy person” exam. Yet they can be quite revealing and provide more insight into the risk of a disease than standard tests. Take, for example, blood cholesterol. It is true that high blood cholesterol identifies people at higher risk for a heart attack, but, most people who suffered a heart attack DO NOT have high blood cholesterol. A 2009 study by the American Heart Association, in 136,905 individuals admitted to the emergency room with a documented heart attack, had a “bad” LDL-cholesterol less than 130 mg/dl (generally considered not high risk) and 23% had a LDL-cholesterol less than 70 mg/dl and considered quite normal.

However, the 75% of 136,905 people with a “normal” LDL-cholesterol believed they were OK, yet they suffered a heart attack! These 102,678 people suffering a heart attack with “normal” LDL-cholesterol were probably quite surprised!

Something other than high blood cholesterol was contributing to the heart attacks in 75% of 136,905 people suffering a heart attack.

This is where the Prevé program can be useful. Assessment of advanced blood test markers, associated with heart attack risk, can inform the individual that a potential problem may exist in more detail than standard tests, and lay the foundation for a more educated and personalized treatment plan in coordination with the individuals’ personal physician.

  1. Sachdeva et al. AHJ, Vol 157, 111-117 Jan2009
  2. Superko HR, King S 3rd. Lipid management to reduce cardiovascular risk: a new strategy is required. Circulation.2008 Jan 29;117(4):560-8.
  3. Superko HR. Advanced lipoprotein testing and subfractionation research Tool or Clinical Utility? Circulation2009;119:2383-2395.

I’ve spent my entire career as a preventative cardiologist with the goal of helping individuals understand that the development and progression of disease is a complex series of events that depend on multiple factors. Genetics, Nutrition, Behavior and Physical Activity are a few examples of these factors. Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is considered a gene-environment disorder, meaning, genes may load the gun, but environment often pulls the trigger. Some of these factors can be modified, for example nutrition and body fat, and others can’t, for example genetics. The importance of knowing potential risks and the ability to possibly reduce those risks through identification of hidden risk factors is an essential step to a healthier, longer life.

While medicine has made great strides in reducing the number of deaths due to heart attack and stroke, heart disease is still the number one killer of both men and women. While many heart attack victims have no prior warning, in many instances there are early indicators of increased risk for heart disease as well as diabetes, kidney disease, cognitive impairment and others. Most of these early indicators can be found by performing blood tests and if abnormal markers are detected, there is a good chance to potentially reverse or delay the progression of CHD.