Akira Sekikawa, MD, MPH, PhD, PhD

Associate Professor, Epidemiology

Contact

130 North Bellefield Avenue, Suite 336, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
R-znvy: nxven@cvgg.rqh
Primary Phone: 967-818-6518
Fax: 967-838-6401

Assistant(s): 
Monica Love, zyyfg80@cvgg.rqh, 967-838-6340

Personal Statement

Collaborating with investigators in Japan and Honolulu, Dr. Sekikawa investigated subclinical atherosclerosis among native Japanese, Japanese Americans, and Whites (ERA JUMP). The study found that (1) levels of subclinical atherosclerosis in native Japanese were lower than Americans despite similar profiles of risk factors and (2) Japanese Americans had worse levels of subclinical atherosclerosis than Whites. These observations directed Dr. Sekikawa to focus on Japanese diet.

 

Japanese diet is characterized by high intake of marine omega-3 fatty acids (OM3) and soy isoflavones (ISF). ERA JUMP showed that (1) high levels of OM3 in native Japanese accounted for difference in subclinical atherosclerosis and (2) equol but not ISF had a significant inverse association with subclinical atherosclerosis. Equol, a metabolite of ISF by gut microbiome, is the strongest anti-oxidant among all ISFs.

 

Dr. Sekikawa believes that the result of a recent RCT: REDUCE IT, has opened up a new era in the research of high-dose OM3. Dr. Sekikawa recently proposed an RCT of high-dose OM3 focusing on their molecular mechanisms. Dr. Sekikawa has also proposed studies in the association of OM3 and ISF/equol with amyloid deposition in the brain and chronic obstructive lung disease.


Education

1983 | Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan | M.D.
1990 | Yamagata University, Yamagata, Japan | PhD
1996 | University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA | MPH
1999 | University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA | PhD


Teaching

EPIDEM 2150 Epidemiology of Cardiovascular Disease (2005 - present) Primary instructor since 2016

NHLBI T32 Cardiovascular Training Grant. (2013- present) Director since 2019

EPIDEM 2152 Workshop in Cardiovascular Epidemiology (2013-present) Associate Instructor

EPIDEM 2170 Chronic Disease Epidemiology (2014- present) Guest lecturer

EPIDEM 2900 Advanced Epidemiology of Aging (2019) Guest lecturer

 

I have trained 6 PhD students, 13 MPH students, and 6 post-doctoral fellows as a primary mentor.

 


Selected Publications

 

Publications in 2016-2019

Mahajan H, Choo J, Masaki K, Fujiyoshi A, Guo J, Evans R, Shangguan S, Willcox B, Barinas-Mitchell E, Kadota A, Miura K, Kuller LH, Shin C, Ueshima H, Sekikawa A. Serum long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and aortic calcification in middle-aged men: the population-based cross-sectional ERA JUMP Study. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis 2019 (ACCEPTED)

 

Cui C, Birru R, Snitz B, Ihara M, Lopresti B, Aizenstein H, Lopez O, Mathis C, Miyamoto Y, Kuller LH, Sekikawa A. Effects of soy isoflavones on cognitive function: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Nutrition Reviews (ACCEPTED)

 

Satoh A, Arima H, Hozawa A, Ohkubo T, Hisamatsu T, Kadowaki S, Kadota A, Miyagawa N, Zaid M, Torii S, Okamura T, Sekikawa A, Miura K, Ueshima H; SESSA Research Group. The association of home and accurately measured office blood pressure with coronary artery calcification among general Japanese men. J Hypertens 2019 (ACCEPTED) PMID 3094824

 

Sekikawa A, Ihara M, Lopez O, Kakuta C, Lopresti B, Higashiyama A, Aizenstein H, Change YF, Mathis C, Miyamoto Y, Kuller L, Cui C. Effect of S-equol and soy isoflvaones on heart and brain. Curr Cardiol Rev 2019; 15: 114-135 PMID 3056108

 

Cui C, Sekikawa A, Kuller LH, Lopez OL, Newman AB, Kuipers AL, Macheky RH. Aortic stiffness is associated with increased risk of incident dementia in older adults. J Alzh Dis 2018; 66: 297-306 PMID 30282361

 

Ogata S, Nishimuara K, Guzman-Castillo M, Sumita Y, Nakai M, Nakao YM, Nishi N, Noguchi T, Sekikawa A, Saito Y, Watanabe T, Kobayashi Y, Okamura T, Ogawa H, Yasuda S, Miyamoto Y, Capewell S, O’Flaherty M. Explaining the decline in coronary heart disease mortality rates in Japan: Contributions of changes in risk factors and evidence-based treatments between 1980 and 2012.  Intl J Cardiol (Accepted) PMID 30826193

 

Sekikawa A, Mahajan H, Kadowaki S, Hisamatsu T, Miyagawa N, Fujiyoshi A, Kadota A, Maegawa H, Murata K, Miura K, Edmundowicz D, Ueshima H. Association of blood levels of marine omega-3 fatty acids with coronary calcification and calcium density in Japanese men. Eur J Clin Nutr 2019; 73: 7783-92  PMID 3050076
 

 

Neimczyk NA, Catov JM, Desai MM, McClure CK, Roberts JM, Sekikawa A, Tepper PG, Barinas-Mitchell E. Brachial artery stiffening in healthy prigifravidas is associated with weight gain and increased cardiac output. Hypertens Pregnancy 2018 37: 204-211 PMID 30257118

 

Hanley C, Shields KJ, Matthews KA, Brooks MM, Janssen I, Budoff MJ, Sekikawa A, Mulukutla S, El Khoudary SR. Associations of cardiovascular fat and vascular calcification in middle women: The SWAN cardiovascular fat ancillary study. Atherosclerosis 2018; 279: 114-121 PMID 30241697

 

Jorgensen D, White GE, Yu Y, Sekikawa A, Gianaros P. Higher dietary inflammation in associated with increased odds of depression independent of Framingham Risk Score in the National Health and Nutrition Examination. Nutr. Res. 2018 54;23-32 PMID 29914664

 

Vishnu A, Choo J, Kadota A, Barinas-Mitchell EJM, Fujiyoshi A, Long DL, Hisamatsu T, Ahuja V, Nakamura Y, Evans RW, Miura K, Masaki KH, Shin C, Ueshima H and Sekikawa A. Comparison of carotid plaque burden among healthy middle-aged men living in the US, Japan, and South Korea. Int J Cardiol. 2018;266:245-249 PMID 29887456

 

Miller RG, Anderson SJ, Costacou T, Sekikawa A, Orchard TJ. Hemoglobin A1c and cardiovascular disease incidence in tyhpe 1 diabetes: an application of joint modeling of longitudinal and time-to-event data in the Pittsburgh Epidemiology of Diabetes Complication (EDC) Study. Am J Epidemiol 2018; 87; 1520-29 PMID 29394305

 

Kadowaki S, Miura K, Kadowaki T, Fujiyoshi A, El-Saed A, Masaki KH, Okamura T, Edmundowicz D, Rodriguez BL, Nakamura Y, Barinas-Mitchell EJM, Kadota A, Willcox BJ, Abbott RD, Kuller LH, Choo J, Shin C, Ueshima H, Sekikawa A: ERA JUMP Study Group. International comparison of abdominal fat distribution among four populations: The ERA JUMP Study. Metab Syndr Relat Disord 2018; 16: 166-173

 

 

Mahajan H, Choo J, Masaki K, Fujiyoshi A, Guo J, Hisamatsu T, Evens RE, Shangguan S, Willcox B, Okamura T, Vishnu A, Barinas-Mitchell E, Ahuj V, Miura K, Kuller LH, Shin C, Ueshima H, Sekikawa A. Association of alcohol consumption and aortic calcification in healthy men aged 40-49 for the ERA JUMP Study. Atherosclerosis 2018; 268:84-91 PMID 29195109

 

Ahuja V, Miura K, Vishnu A, Fujiyoshi A, Evans R, Zaid M, Miyagawa N, Hisamatsu T, Kadota A, Okamura T, Ueshima H, Sekikawa ASignificant inverse association of equol-producer status with coronary artery calcification but not dietary isoflavones in healthy Japanese men. Br J Nutr. 2017 117(2):260-266, PMID: 28205492

 

Ahuja V, Masaki K, Vishnu A, Ye L, Wilcox B, Wassel C, Fujiyoshi A, Barinas-Mitchell EJ, Miura K, Ueshima H, Rodriguez BL, Edmundowicz D, Sekikawa A; ERA JUMP Study. Progression of coronary artery calcium in Japanese American men and white men in the ERA JUMP study. Int J Cardiol. 2017; 228:672-676 PMID 27883980

 

Guo J, Fujiyoshi A, Willcox B, Choo J, Vishnu A, Hisamatsu T, Ahuja V, Takashima N, Barinas-Mitchell E, Kadota A, Evans RW, Miura K, Edmundowicz D, Masaki K, Shin C, Kuller LH, Ueshima H, Sekikawa A; ERA JUMP Study Group. Increased Aortic Calcification Is Associated With Arterial Stiffness Progression in Multiethnic Middle-Aged Men. Hypertension. 2017 Jan;69(1):102-108. Epub 2016 Nov 7. PubMed PMID: 27821619; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5145727.
 
Guo J, Fujiyoshi A, Masaki K, Vishnu A, Kadota A, Barinas-Mitchell EJ, Hisamatsu T, Ahuja V, Takashima N, Evans RW, Willcox BJ, Miura K, Rodriguez B, Ueshima H, Kuller LH, Sekikawa AThe role of initial and longitudinal change in blood pressure on progression of arterial stiffness among multiethnic middle-aged men. J Hypertens. 2017 Jan;35(1):111-117. PubMed PMID: 27775956.
 
Miller RG, Mahajan HD, Costacou T, Sekikawa A, Anderson SJ, Orchard TJ. A Contemporary Estimate of Total Mortality and Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Young Adults With Type 1 Diabetes: The Pittsburgh Epidemiology of Diabetes Complications Study. Diabetes Care. 2016 Dec;39(12):2296-2303. Epub 2016 Sep 21. PubMed PMID: 27654986; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5127232.
 
Birru RL, Ahuja V, Vishnu A, Evans RW, Miyamoto Y, Miura K, Usui T, Sekikawa A. The impact of equol producing status in modifying the effect of soy isoflavones on risk factors for coronary heart disease: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. J Nutr Sci 2016 19;5:e30 PMCID: PMC4976117
 

Hisamatsu T, Miura K, Arima H, Kadota A, Kadowaki S, Torii S, Suzuki S, Miyagawa N, Sato A, Yamazoe M, Fujiyoshi A, Ohkubo T, Yamamoto T, Murata K, Abbott RD, Sekikawa A, Horie M, Ueshima H; Shiga Epidemiological Study of Subclinical Atherosclerosis (SESSA) Research Group. Smoking, Smoking Cessation, and Measures of Subclinical Atherosclerosis in Multiple Vascular Beds in Japanese Men. J Am Heart Assoc. 2016 20;e003738 PubMed PMID: 27572823

 

Yamazoe M, Hisamatsu T, Miura K, Kadowaki S, Zaid M, Kadota A, Torii S, Miyazaki I, Fujiyoshi A, Arima H, Sekikawa A, Maegawa H, Horie M, Ueshima H.   Relationship of insulin resistance to prevalence and progression of coronary artery calcification beyond metabolic syndrome components in a general population: Shiga Epidemiological Study of Subclinical Atherosclerosis. Athero Throm Vasc Biol 2016; 36(8):1703-8  PubMed PMID: 27283744
 
Ahuja V, Masaki K, Barinas-Mitchell E, Rodriguez BL, Althouse AD, Ueshima H, Vishnu A, Seto TB, Kuller LH, Wilcox B, Sekikawa A. Significantly greater progression of intima-media thickness of the carotid artery in Japanese American men than white men- the ERA JUMP Study Can J Cardiol 2016, 32; 1246.e7-1246.e12 PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4912953
 

Ueshima H, Kadowaki T, Hisamatsu T, Fujiyoshi A, Miura K, Ohkubo T, Sekikawa A, Kadota A, Kadowaki S, Nakamura Y, Miyagawa N, Okamura T, Kita Y, Takashima N, Kashiwagi A, MaegawaH, Hirie M, Yamamoto T, Kimura T, Kita T for the ACCESS and SESSA Research Groups. Lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 is related to risk of subclinical atherosclerosis but is not supported by Mendelian randomization analysis in a general Japanese population Atherosclerosis 2016; 246: 141-7 PMID 26775119

 

Zaid M, Miura K, Fujiyoshi A, Abbott RD, Hisamatsu T, Kadota A, Arima H, Kadowaki S, Torii S, Miyagawa N, Suzuki S, TakashimaN, Ohkubo T, Sekikawa A, Maegawa H, Horie M, Nakamura Y, Okamura T, Ueshima H for the SESSA Research Group. Associations of serum LDL particle concentration with carotid intima-media thickness and coronary artery calcification. J Clin Lipidol. 2016; 10: 1195-1202  PMID 27678437

 

Miller RG, Anderson SJ, Costacou T, Sekikawa A, Orchard T. Risk stratification for 25-year cardiovascular disease incidence in type 1 diabetes: tree-structured survival analysis of the Pittsburgh Epidemiology of Diabetes Complication (EDC) Study. Diabetes and Vascular Disease Research 2016; 13: 250-9 PMID: 27190081
 



Other selected publications from 150+ peer-reviewed articles

Sekikawa A, Miyamoto Y, Miura K, Nishimura K, Willcox BJ, Masaki KH, Rodriguez B, Tracy RP,  Okamura T, Kuller LH. Continuous decline in mortality from coronary heart disease in Japan despite a continuous and marked rise in total cholesterol: Japanese experience after the Seven Country Study. Intl J Epidemiol 2015: 44: 1614-24

 

Sekikawa A, Miura K, Lee S, Fujiyoshi A, Edmundowicz D, Kadowaki T, Evans RW, Kadowaki S, Sutton-Tyrrell K, Okamura T, Bertolet M, Masaki KH, Nakamura Y, Barinas-Mitchell EJM, Willcox BJ, Kadota A, Seto TB, Maegawa H, Kuller LH, Ueshima H MD, PhD  for the ERA JUMP Study Group. Long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and incidence rate of coronary artery calcification in Japanese in Japan and United States whites – population-based prospective cohort study. Heart 100(7):569-73. PMID:24352736. PMCID:PMC3949146

 Ahuja V, Kadowaki T, Evans RW, Kadota A, Okamura T, El Koudary S, Fujiyoshi A, Barinas-Mitchell E, HIsamatsu T, Vishnu a, Miura K, Maegawa H, El-Saed A, Kashiwagi A, Kuller LH, Ueshima H, Sekikawa A for the ERA JUMP study. Comparison of HOMA-IR, HOMA-β and disposition index between US white men and Jpaanese men in Japan; the ERA JUMP study. Diabetologia 2015; 58: 265-71 PMID 25316435


Yokoyama Y, Nishimura K, Barnard N, Takegami M, Sekikawa A, Okamura T, Miyamoto Y. Vegetarian diets and blood pressure: A meta-analysis. JAMA Internal Medicine 2014;174(4):577-87. PMID:24566947

 

Sekikawa A, Willcox BJ, Usui T, Carr JJ, Barinas-Mitchell EJM, Masaki KH,  Watanabe M, Tracy RP, Bertolet M, Evans RW, Nishimura K, Sutton-Tyrrell K, Kuller LH, Miyamoto Y. Do differences in risk factors explain the lower rates of coronary heart disease in Japanese versus U.S. women? J Women’s Health 2013; 22: 966-977

Miyagawa N, Miura K, Okuda N, Kadowaki T, Takashima N, Nagasawa S, Nakamura Y, Matsumura Y, Hozawa A, Fujiyoshi A, Hisamatsu T, Yoshita K, Sekikawa A, Ohkubo T, Abbott RD, Okamura T, Okayama A, Ueshima H for the NIPPON DATA80 Research Group. Long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids intake and cardiovascular disease mortality risk in Japanese: a 24-year follow-up of NIPPON DATA80. Atherosclerosis 2014;232(2):384-9. PMID:24468152

 

Sekikawa A, Willcox BJ, Usui T, Carr JJ, Barinas-Mitchell EJM, Masaki KH,  Watanabe M, Tracy RP, Bertolet M, Evans RW, Nishimura K, Sutton-Tyrrell K, Kuller LH, Miyamoto Y. Do differences in risk factors explain the lower rates of coronary heart disease in Japanese versus U.S. women? J Women’s Health 2013; 22: 966-977

Sekikawa A, Shin C, Masaki K, Barinas Mitchell EJ, Hirooka N, Willcox BJ, Choo J, White J, Evans RW, Fijiyoshi A, Okamura T, Miura K, Muldoon MF, Ueshima H, Kuller LH, Sutton-Tyrrell K. Association of Total Marine Fatty Acids, Eicosapentaenoic and Docosahexaenoic Acids, With Aortic Stiffness in Koreans, Whites, and Japanese Americans.  Am J Hypertens. 2013; 26: 1321-7

El Khoudary SR, Barinas-Mitchell E, Curb JD, Shin C, Ueshima H, Masaki K, Evans RW, Miura K, Edmundowicz D, Kuller LH, Sutton-Tyrrell K, Sekikawa A for the ERA JUMP Study Group. Adiponectin, Systolic Blood Pressure and Drinking Alcohol Are Associated with More Aortic Stiffness Progression among Apparently Healthy Men. Atherosclerosis 2012; 225: 275-80. 

Sekikawa A, Steingrimsdottir L, Ueshima H, Shin C, Curb JD, Evans RW, Hauksdottir AM, Kadota A, Choo J, Masaki K,  Thorsson B, Launer LJ, Garcia ME, Maegawa H, Willcox BJ, Eiriksdottir G, Fujiyoshi A, Miura K, Harris TB, Kuller LH, Gudnason V. Serum levels of marine-derived n-3 fatty acids in Icelanders, Japanese, Koreans, and Americans - A descriptive epidemiologic study. Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes & Essential Fatty Acids 2012; 87: 11-6

Sekikawa A, Shin C, Curb JD, Barinas-Mitchell E, Masaki K, El-Saed A, Seto TB, Mackey RH, Choo J, Fujiyoshi A, Miura K, Edmundowicz D, Kuller LH, Ueshima H, Sutton-Tyrrell K, for the ERA JUMP Study group. Aortic stiffness and calcification in men in a population-based international study. Atherosclerosis 2012; 222:473-7.

Sekikawa A, Kadowaki T, El-Saed E, Okamura T, Sutton-Tyrrell K, Nakamura Y, Evans EW, Mitsunami K, Edmundowicz D, Nihio Y, Nkata K, Kadota A, Otake T, Miura K, Choo, J, Abbott RD, Kuller LH, Ueshima H.  Differential association of docosahexaenoic and eicosapentaenoic acids with carotid intima-media thickness. Stroke 2011; 42:2538-43

Sekikawa A, Kadowaki T, Curb JD, Evans RW, Maegawa H, Abbott RD, Kim Sutton-Tyrrell K, Okamura T, Shin C, Edmundowicz D, Kadota A, Choo J, El-Saed A, Ueshima H, Kuller LHfor the ERA JUMP Study group, Circulating levels of eight cytokines and marine n-3 fatty acids and indices of obesity and in Japanese, white and Japanese American middle-aged men. Cytokine Research 2010; 30: 541-8

Sekikawa A, Curb JD, Ueshima H, El-Saed A, Kadowaki T, Abbott RD, Evans RW, Rodriguez BL,  Okamura T, Sutton-Tyrrell K, Nakamura Y, Masaki K, Edmundowicz D, Kashiwagi A, Willcox BJ, Takamiya T, Mitsunami K, Seto TB, Murata K, White RL, Kuller LH. Marine-derived n-3 fatty acids and atherosclerosis in Japanese, Japanese Americans, and Whites. J Am Coll Cardiol 2008; 52: 417-24 

Sekikawa A, Ueshima H, Sutton-Tyrrell K, Kadowaki T, El-Saed A, Okamura T, Takamiya T, Ueno Y, Evans RW, Nakamura Y, Edmundowicz D, Kashiwagi A, Maegawa H, Kuller LH. Intima-media thickness of the carotid artery and the distribution of lipoprotein subclasses in men aged 40-49 between whites in the U.S. and the Japanese in Japan for the ERA JUMP Study. Metabolism 2008;57:177-82 

Sekikawa A, Ueshima H, Kadowaki T, El-Saed A, Okamura T, Takamiya T, Kashiwagi A, Edmundowicz D, Murata K, Sutton-Tyrrell K, Maegawa H, Evans R, Kita Y, Kuller L. Less subclinical atherosclerosis in Japanese men in Japan than in white men in the United States in the post World-War-II birth cohort  Am J Epidemiol 2007; 165: 617-24

Kadowaki T, Sekikawa A, Okamura T, Takamiya T, Kashiwagi A, Zaky WR, Maegawa H, El-Saed A, Nakamura Y, Evans RW, Edmundowicz D, Kita Y, Kuller L. Ueshima H. Higher levels of adiponectin in American than in Japanese men despite obesity. Metabolism 2006; 55:1561-3

Kadowaki T, Sekikawa A, Murata K, Maegawa H, Takamiya T, Okamura T, El-Saed, A, Miyamatsu N, Edmundowicz D, Kita Y, Sutton-Tyrrell K, Kuller LH, Ueshima H. Large visceral visceral fat in Japanese than Caucasian men. International Journal of Obesity 2006; 7:1163-5 


Sekikawa A, Horiuchi BY, Edmundowicz D, Ueshima H, Curb JD, Sutton-Tyrrell K, Okamura T, Kadowaki T, Kashiwagi A, Mitsunami K, Murata K, Nakamura Y, Rodriguez BL, Kuller LH. A "natural experiment" in cardiovascular epidemiology in the early 21st century. Heart 2003;89: 255-7 

Sekikawa A, Satoh T, Hayawaka T, Ueshima H, Kuller LH. Coronary heart disease mortality among men aged 35-44 by prefecture in Japan in 1995-1999 and its comparison with that among white men aged 35-44 by state in the United States in 1995-1998: Vital statistics data in recent birth cohorts. Jpn Circ J 2001;65:887-892 

Sekikawa A,Eguchi H, Tominaga M, Igarashi K, Abe T,Manaka H,Sasaki H,Fukuyama H,Kato T,Kihohara Y, Fujishima M. Prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus and impaired glucose tolerance in a rural area of Japan, the Funagata diabetes study. J Diab Complications 14: 78-83; 2000 

Sekikawa A, Kuller LH, Ueshima H, Park JE, Suh I, Jee SH, Lee HK, Pan WH. Coronary heart disease trends in the post World War II birth cohorts aged 35-44 in men in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, and a comparison with the United States. Intl J Epidemol 28: 1044-49; 1999 

Sekikawa A, Eguchi H, Tominaga M, Manaka H, Sasaki H, Chang YF, Kato T. Evaluating the prevalence of type 2 diabetes reported by the Oguni registry, using a two-sample model of capture-recapture methods. Intl J Epidemiol 28: 498-501, 1999

Sekikawa A, Tominaga M, Takahashi K, Eguchi H, Igarashi M, Ohnuma H, Sugiyama K, Manaka H, Sasaki H, Fukuyama H, Miyazawa K. Prevalence of Diabetes and Impaired Glucose Tolera nce in Funagata area, Japan. Diabetes Care 16 570-574, 1993

Akira  Sekikawa