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Sundar Natarajan

Sundar Natarajan, MD

Associate Professor, Department of Medicine

cardiovascular disease, Diabetes, health services research, clinical epidemiology, Randomized clinical trials, Population-based analyses

Preventing Cardiovascular Disease and Other Complications by Optimizing Care for Complex Chronic Conditions

The overall goals of Dr. Natarajan's research are to improve cardiovascular disease risk assessment and to optimize care for complex chronic conditions like diabetes and heart failure.  His research focuses on:

I  Behavioral Clinical Trials and Clinical Quality Improvement Projects (for details, see lab website)

1) Preventing Amputation by Tailored Risk-based Intervention to Optimize Treatment (PATRIOT): This RCT tests the effectiveness the effectiveness of a personalized intervention aimed to improve diet, exercise, medication adherence and self-care in order to prevent incident foot lesions in patients with diabetes (Primary Prevention trial). 

2) STEP UP to Avert Amputation in Diabetes: This trial tests the effectiveness of a tailored intervention aimed to improve self-care and self-monitoring in order to prevent the recurrence of foot ulcers in patients with a previous diabetic foot ulcer (Secondary Prevention trial). 

3) VIP Treatment in Heart Failure: This interdisciplinary theory-based 3-arm randomized controlled trial (RCT) bases one active arm on the Transtheoretical Model (TTM), while the other active arm adds environmental (human and built) tailoring to TTM with the goals of interest being to enhance medication adherence and improve quality of life. 

4) VALOR in Heart Failure: This trial evaluates a quality improvement program (QIP) to improve HF care using a pretest-posttest control group design.  The QIP involves a patient-based behavioral and checklist intervention, as well as provider and system-targeted checklists and treatment defaults. 

5) The SMILE BP Toolkit project, builds on our BP trial to develop and pilot a toolkit and then perform formative evaluation of toolkit implementation. 

6) TACTICS: This RCT tests the effects of a Transtheoretical model-based intervention and a prospect theory-based intervention in improving low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in adults with diabetes.

7) A Behavioral Intervention to Improve Hypertension Control: This 3-arm RCT evaluates whether a telephone-delivered stage-matched behavioral intervention is effective in lowering blood pressure compared to a health education intervention and usual care. 

II  Population Science

We analyze large population-based databases to improve CVD risk assessment and management. We have experience working with the behavioral risk factor surveillance system (BRFSS), the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES), the Framingham Heart Study data, the Nhanes Epidemiologic Follow-up Study (NHEFS) and other databases.

For Students: We conduct these research projects in a busy urban hospital setting  with a multidisciplinary group that includes individuals with expertise in medicine, psychology, epidemiology, statistics, health education, public health, and health economics.  There are opportunities for students to obtain research experience through working with observational data or work on our RCT's as a clinical research volunteer.  Please email for details.

Academic office

423 East 23rd Street

Fifteenth Floor, Room 15160N

New York, NY 10010

Lab Website
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MD from Madras Medical College

Fellowship, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Primary Care Physician-Scientist Fellowship

Residency, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Categorical Program in Internal Medicine

Salovaara, Priscilla K; Li, Christine; Nicholson, Andrew; Lipsitz, Stuart R; Natarajan, Sundar

Clinical trials. 2022 Dec 22; 17407745221140041

Albanese, Natalie N Y; Lin, Iris; Friedberg, Jennifer P; Lipsitz, Stuart R; Rundle, Andrew; Quinn, James W; Neckerman, Kathryn M; Nicholson, Andrew; Allegrante, John P; Wylie-Rosett, Judith; Natarajan, Sundar

Health psychology. 2022 Oct; 41(10):701-709

Rodriguez, Maria Antonia; Wang, Binhuan; Hyoung, Sangmin; Friedberg, Jennifer; Wylie-Rosett, Judith; Fang, Yixin; Allegrante, John P; Lipsitz, Stuart R; Natarajan, Sundar

Hypertension. 2021 Jun; 77(6):1867-1876

Rodriguez, Maria Antonia; Friedberg, Jennifer P; DiGiovanni, Ana; Wang, Binhuan; Wylie-Rosett, Judith; Hyoung, Sangmin; Natarajan, Sundar

American journal of health behavior. 2019 Jul 01; 43(4):659-670

O'Malley, Patrick G; Arnold, Michael J; Kelley, Cathy; Spacek, Lance; Buelt, Andrew; Natarajan, Sundar; Donahue, Mark P; Vagichev, Elena; Ballard-Hernandez, Jennifer; Logan, Amanda; Thomas, Lauren; Ritter, Joan; Neubauer, Brian E; Downs, John R

Annals of internal medicine. 2020 Nov 17; 173(10):822-829

Bergsten, Tova M; Donnino, Robert; Wang, Binhuan; Nicholson, Andrew; Fang, Yixin; Natarajan, Sundar

Preventive medicine (1972). 2019 Oct 31; 105878