Heart Health with Dr. Augusto César Ferreira De Moraes

Published: February 14, 2024

This Valentine’s Day, we talked with Dr. Augusto César Ferreira De Moraes about keeping your heart healthy! Dr. Ferreira De Moraes' research interests include cardiovascular health and chronic disease. He shared, “My research interests now focus on cardiovascular health profiles associated with healthy brain development in children and adolescents and how social factors can mitigate or exacerbate these associations.”  

His research also extends to adults: “I employ advanced machine-learning algorithms to improve diagnostic methods and to identify negative prognoses in cardiovascular disease and [also identify] how social determinants of health determine cardiovascular outcomes.”? 

His research on heart health has led to interesting findings, including the fact that among U.S. adolescents, a healthy cardiovascular profile can improve cognitive function. A healthy cardiovascular profile is influenced by many factors including diet, smoking status, physical activity, sleep habits, weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar.  

To promote a healthy heart, Dr. Ferreira De Moraes suggests people of all age groups should engage in routine physical activity, ideally outdoors, and get enough sleep. According to Dr. Ferreira De Moraes, adults need 7-9 hours of sleep a night; children ages 6-12 need 9-12 hours; and adolescents ages 13-18 need 8-10 hours. One final tip he gave for keeping your heart healthy and improving health outcomes: maintain (or develop) your social support networks by building relationships with friends, family, and colleagues.? 

You can learn more about Dr. Ferreira De Moraes and his work by checking out his recent publication, Serum Vitamin D Levels Mediate the Association Between Physical Activity and Blood Pressure in Adolescents. You can also read his recent APHA abstract here. 

Written by Emily Torres, MPH candidate and graduate research assistant at UTHealth Houston School of Public Health in Austin.