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Keith C. Ferdinand, MD - Tulane University. New Orleans, LA, US

Keith C. Ferdinand, MD Keith C. Ferdinand, MD

Professor, Gerald S. Berenson Endowed Chair in Preventive Cardiology | Tulane University


Dr. Ferdinand focuses on cardiac risk factor evaluation and control, including communities of racial and ethnic minorities.



Keith C. Ferdinand, MD Publication Keith C. Ferdinand, MD Publication Keith C. Ferdinand, MD Publication Keith C. Ferdinand, MD Publication



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National Minority Cardiovascular Alliance | Health Disparities Facing Black Communities COVID-19 and Katrina: A spotlight on racial disparities in the US


A nation of lonely hearts: Cardiovascular health in a pandemic


Keith C. Ferdinand, MD, FACC, FAHA, FASH, FNLA began his medical career with a BA in biology from the University of New Orleans. He then went on to earn an MD from Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, DC, an internship at the US Public Health Hospital in New Orleans, an internal medicine residency and cardiology fellowship at LSU Medical Center and a cardiology fellowship at Howard University Hospital, Washington,D.C. After years of doing clinical work, research and teaching at Xavier University, LSU, Baylor College of Medicine, and Emory University, Dr. Ferdinand returned to New Orleans as a Professor of Clinical Medicine at the Tulane University Heart and Vascular Institute.

Dr. Ferdinand has been heavily involved in many national organizations concerned with public health, including the Association of Black Cardiologists, of which he was the former Chair and Chief Science Officer, the American Society of Hypertension, of which he was a board member, and the Healthy Heart Community Prevention Program, a cardiovascular risk program targeting African American and other high-risk populations. He is the immediate-past Chair of the National Forum for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, which provides the leadership and encouragement for collaboration among over 65 organizations. Dr. Ferdinand focuses largely on cardiac risk factor evaluation and control, especially hypertension and hyperlipidemia, including communities of racial and ethnic minorities. He has had over 100 manuscripts published and has a strong media presence. His passion for patient-care is highlighted in his commitment to non-profit work and community service. In 2015 he was inducted into the Association of University Cardiologists.

Areas of Expertise (6)

COVID-10 (Coronavirus)

Nuclear Cardiology




Cardiovascular Diseases

Accomplishments (1)

Inductee, Association of University Cardiologists


Education (2)

Howard University College of Medicine: M.D., Medicine

University of New Orleans: B.A., Biology

Media Appearances (7)

African Americans struggle with disproportionate COVID death toll

National Geographic  online


Coronavirus is ravaging every part of Warren Bell’s life in New Orleans. His 81-year-old cousin was hospitalized with COVID-19. His youngest daughter is furloughed from her culinary job at a major hotel because of the pandemic. His oldest daughter, a nurse, is doing 12-hour shifts at New Orleans East Hospital “where COVID-19 patients started dying weeks ago.”

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Gov. Edwards announces co-chairs, members of COVID-19 task force

KATC (ABC) Lafayette  online


Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced two co-chairs and appointed members to the Louisiana COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force and several subcommittees.

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Coronavirus hitting River Parishes hard with some of the highest death rates in the country

WWL-TV (CBS) New Orleans  online


The surge of COVID-19 cases that has ravaged Orleans and Jefferson parishes is now hitting upriver. Following the early mortality that placed New Orleans’ urban center among the highest per capita death rates in the country, a new wave has hit the river parishes of St. John, St. Charles and St. James, statistics show.

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Pre-existing conditions can turn COVID-19 into a death sentence for black patients

WWL-TV (CBS) New Orleans  online


More heart disease, more diabetes, more kidney disease, higher rates of obesity. Tulane Medical Center cardiologist Dr. Keith Ferdinand says all of those health risk factors are prevalent in the African-American community, both locally and nationally.

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These Cholesterol-Reducers May Save Lives. So Why Aren’t Heart Patients Getting Them?

The New York Times  


He cannot tolerate statins, said Dr. Keith Ferdinand, a cardiologist at Tulane Medical Center. “He meets all the criteria” for a PCSK9 inhibitor, Dr. Ferdinand added. He managed to get a PCSK9 inhibitor for Mr. Scheidel. After three months, Medicaid cut him off and asked Dr. Ferdinand to reapply for the drug and to document Mr. Scheidel’s LDL level to show the drug was working. “That is crazy,” Dr. Ferdinand said. “There is no medical guideline that I know of that says if you had an effective therapy you would stop it and show again that it works.”...

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Blood pressure medication recall - What you need to know



"Valsarton can be life-saving because it lowers blood pressure and it protects against heart failure," said Dr. Keith Ferdinand, Tulane Cardiologist and Professor of Clinical Medicine at Tulane's Heart and Vascular Institute...

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Essential steps to help patients of color control BP

American Medical Association (AMA)  


“The United States has great disparities in cardiovascular disease based on race, ethnicity, social class, geography and insurance status,” said Keith C. Ferdinand, MD, an African-American cardiologist and professor of medicine at Tulane University School of Medicine. “These disparities should be and can be eliminated if we ensure adequate access to health care, especially preventive care for all patients regardless of their status.”...

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Articles (7)

Nonobstructive Coronary Artery Disease in Women: Risk Factors and Noninvasive Diagnostic Assessment

Ingenta Connect

Keith C. Ferdinand, et al.

2019 Sex-specific differences in the epidemiology and pathophysiology of coronary artery disease and ischemic heart disease are now well recognized. Women with angina more often have nonobstructive coronary artery disease ( NOCAD) compared with men. This patient population carries a significant risk of future cardiovascular events that is not commonly appreciated, often leading to delayed diagnosis and treatment.

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Disparities in hypertension and cardiovascular disease in blacks: The critical role of medication adherence

Journal of Clinical Hypertension

Keith C. Ferdinand, et al.

2017 Blacks are two to three times as likely as whites to die of preventable heart disease and stroke. Declines in mortality from heart disease have not eliminated racial disparities. Control and effective treatment of hypertension, a leading cause of cardiovascular disease, among blacks is less than in whites and remains a challenge. One of the driving forces behind this racial/ethnic disparity is medication nonadherence whose cause is embedded in social determinants.

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Improving Medication Adherence in Cardiometabolic Disease

Journal of the American College of Cardiology

Keith C. Ferdinand, et al.

2017 Improve patient health literacy: label highlights and conveyance of literacy-sensitive information to patients. Engage the patient for greater health care provider-patient interaction: follow-up communication with the patient (e.g., cardiac rehabilitation), clinical reminders, phone calls, communication with the pharmacist, medical education, and use of patient web portals.

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Women, Hypertension, and the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial

The American Journal of Medicine

Nanette K. Wenger, MD, Keith C. Ferdinand, MD, C. Noel Bairey Merz, MD, Mary Norine Walsh, MD, Martha Gulati, MD, MS, Carl J. Pepine, MD Carl J. Pepine

2016 Hypertension accounts for approximately 1 in 5 deaths in American women and is the major contributor to many comorbid conditions. Although blood pressure lowering reduces cardiovascular disease outcomes, considerable uncertainty remains on best management in women. Specifically, female blood pressure treatment goals have not been established, particularly among older and African American and Hispanic women, for whom hypertension prevalence, related adverse outcomes, and poor control rates are high.

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National Lipid Association Recommendations for Patient-Centered Management of Dyslipidemia: Part 2

Journal of Clinical Lipidology

Terry A. Jacobson MD, Kevin, C.Maki PhD, Carl E.Orringer, MD, et al.

2015 An Expert Panel convened by the National Lipid Association previously developed a consensus set of recommendations for the patient-centered management of dyslipidemia in clinical medicine (part 1). These were guided by the principle that reducing elevated levels of atherogenic cholesterol (non–high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol) reduces the risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. This document represents a continuation of the National Lipid Association recommendations developed by a diverse panel of experts who examined the evidence base and provided recommendations regarding the following topics: (1) lifestyle therapies; (2) groups with special considerations, including children and adolescents, women, older patients, certain ethnic and racial groups, patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus, patients with rheumatoid arthritis, and patients with residual risk despite statin and lifestyle therapies; and (3) strategies to improve patient outcomes by increasing adherence and using team-based collaborative care...

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Management of High Blood Pressure in Blacks


John M. Flack , Domenic A. Sica , George Bakris , Angela L. Brown et al.

2010 Since the first International Society on Hypertension in Blacks consensus statement on the “Management of High Blood Pressure in African American” in 2003, data from additional clinical trials have become available. We reviewed hypertension and cardiovascular disease prevention and treatment guidelines, pharmacological hypertension clinical end point trials, and blood pressure–lowering trials in blacks. Selected trials without significant black representation were considered. In this update, blacks with hypertension are divided into 2 risk strata, primary prevention, where elevated blood pressure without target organ damage, preclinical cardiovascular disease, or overt cardiovascular disease for whom blood pressure consistently

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Resistant Hypertension: Diagnosis, Evaluation, and Treatment


David A. Calhoun, Daniel Jones, Stephen Textor, et al.

2008 Resistant hypertension is a common clinical problem faced by both primary care clinicians and specialists. While the exact prevalence of resistant hypertension is unknown, clinical trials suggest that it is not rare, involving perhaps 20% to 30% of study participants. As older age and obesity are 2 of the strongest risk factors for uncontrolled hypertension, the incidence of resistant hypertension will likely increase as the population becomes more elderly and heavier...

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