Rachel H Mackey

  • Adjunct Assistant Professor

Dr. Mackey graduated from Princeton University before doing her masters and PhD in epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. Her expertise is in the measurement, evaluation and interpretation of biomarkers, particularly lipoproteins and cytokines, and non-invasive measures of atherosclerosis and arterial function as indices of cardiovascular risk in large epidemiological studies including CHS, MESA, SWAN, LABS and WHI. Dr. Mackey has first authored two book chapters and has published >80 peer-reviewed or invited manuscripts and several book chapters. She is a Fellow of the American Heart Association and has served on several national AHA scientific committees. Dr. Mackey is a faculty member/contributor to the Translation of HDL Science Curriculum for the National Lipid Association. A longstanding research focus of hers is the potential for biological insights from lipoprotein particle concentrations in situations of “lipid paradox,” such as among postmenopausal women, metabolic syndrome, extreme obesity and rheumatoid arthritis. Earlier work showed that lipoproteins might explain absence of CHD reduction in the WHI hormone therapy trial. A paper using MESA data that showed that HDL particle concentration may explain some recent paradoxical findings with HDL-C was chosen as one of the top papers of 2012 by the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Dr. Mackey is involved in additional studies of CVD risk in extreme obesity, rheumatoid arthritis and the elderly, with a focus on the interaction of HDL with inflammation in relation to outcomes.


1990 | Princeton University | A.B. Social History
1998 | University of Pittsburgh | MPH, Epidemiology
2001 | University of Pittsburgh | PhD, Epidemiology

Post-doctoral Training

  • Course in Scientific Management and Leadership, Office of Academic Career Development, Health Sciences, University of Pittsburgh
  • Genomics and Proteomic Approaches to Complex Heart, Lung, Blood & Sleep Disorders NHLBI Short Course, Jackson Lab, Bar Harbor, ME, 2008

Epidemiology 2180: Epidemiology Methods I. 2013-2014

Selected Publications
  1. Mackey RH, Sutton-Tyrrell K, Vaitkevicius PV, Sakkinen PA, Lyles MF, Spurgeon HA, Lakatta EG, Kuller LH: Correlates of aortic stiffness in elderly individuals: a subgroup of the Cardiovascular Health Study.Am J Hypertens 2002;15:16-23.
  2. Mackey RH, Kuller LH, Sutton-Tyrrell K, Evans RW, Holubkov R, Matthews KA: Lipoprotein subclasses and coronary calcification in postmenopausal women from the Healthy Women Study.Am J Cardiol 2002;90(8suppl):71i-76i.
  3. Mackey RH, Kuller LH, Sutton-Tyrrell K, Evans RW, Holubkov R, Matthews KA: Hormone therapy, lipoprotein subclasses and coronary artery calcification: the Healthy Women Study.Arch Int Med. 2005;165:510-515.
  4. Venkitachalam V,Mackey RH, Sutton-Tyrrell K, Patel AS, Boraz MA, Simkin-Silverman LR, Kuller LH. Elevated pulse wave velocity increases the odds of coronary calcification in overweight postmenopausal women.Am J Hypertens. 2007; 20(5):469-75.
  5. Mackey RH, Venkitachalam L, Sutton-Tyrrell K. "Calcifications, arterial stiffness and atherosclerosis" in: Advances in Cardiology: Atherosclerosis, Large Arteries and Cardiovascular Risk. Ed. ME Safar and ED Frohlich. S. Karger AG, Basel. Vol 44:234-44, 2007.
  6. Muldoon MF,Mackey RH, Sutton-Tyrrell K, Flory JD, Pollock BG, Manuck SB: Lower central serotonergic responsivity is associated with preclinical carotid artery atherosclerosis.Stroke. 2007;38:2228-2233.
  7. Mackey RH, Kuller LH. Blood Pressure and Cognitive Function.Curr Cardiovasc Risk Rep. 2010 Jul: 4(5):369-375. &nbsp
  8. Otvos JD, Mora S, Shalaurova I, Greenland P,Mackey RH, Goff, DH, Jr. Implications of Discordance Between LDL Cholesterol and LDL Particle Number as Assessed in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA).J Clin Lipidol. 2011 Mar-Apr;5(2):105-13.
  9. Soni A, Conroy M,Mackey RH Kuller LH. Ghrelin, Leptin, Adiponectin, and Insulin Levels and Concurrent and Future Weight Change in Overweight Postmenopausal Women. Menopause. 2011; 18(3)296-301.
  10. Kuller LH, Pettee-Gabriel KK, Kinzel LS, Underwood D, Conroy MB, Chang Y,Mackey RH, Edmundowicz D, Sutton-Tyrrell K, Kriska AM The Women On the Move through Activity and Nutrition (WOMAN) Study: Final 48-Month Results.Obesity. 2012 Mar;20(3):636-43. Epub 2011 Apr 14.
  11. McTigue KM,Mackey RH, Kuller LH. Cardiovascular Complications of Extreme Obesity in Women.Curr Cardiovasc Risk Rep. 2011 5:246-252.
  12. Mackey RH, Greenland P, Goff DH Jr, Lloyd-Jones DM, Sibley CT, Mora S. The relationship of HDL particles to carotid atherosclerosis and cardiovascular events: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis.J Am Coll Cardiol. 2012 Aug 7;60(6):508-16.
  13. Mackey RH, McTigue KM, Kuller LH. "Obesity.&quot Book chapter in Women and Health. 2nd Ed. Oct 2012. Ed. Goldman MB, Troisi R, Rexrode KM. Elsevier.
  14. Mackey RH, Belle SH, Courcoulas AP, Dakin GF, Deveney CW, Flum DR, Garcia L, King WC, Kuller LH, Mitchell JE, Pomp A, Pories WJ, Wolfe BM. The LABS Consortium Writing Group. Distribution of 10-Year and Lifetime Predicted Cardiovascular Risk and Risk Factors in the Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery-2 Study Prior to SurgeryAm J Cardiol. 2012. 110(8):1130-7.
  15. Mackey RH, Fanelli TJ Modugno FM, Cauley JA, McTigue KM, Brooks MM, Chlebowski RT, Manson JE, Klug TL, Kip KE, Curb DJ, Kuller LH. Hormone Therapy, Estrogen Metabolism, and Risk of Breast Cancer in the WHI Hormone Therapy Trials.Cancer Epi Biomarkers Prev. 2012 Nov 21(11)2022-32.
  16. Walitt BT,Mackey RH, Kuller L, Deane KD, Robinson W, Holers VM, Tracey R, Chang Y, Moreland LW. Rheumatoid Arthritis Case Validation Strategies in Large Research Databases: The Women's Health Initiative Experience.Am J Epidemiol 2013; 177(9):887-893.
  17. Hughes TH, Kuller LH, Barinas-Mitchell E,Mackey RH, McDade EM, Klunk WE, Mathis CA, DeKosky S, Lopez OL. Pulse wave velocity is associated with β-amyloid deposition in the brain of very elderly adults.Neurology.2013; 81(19):1711-8.
  18. McTigue KM, Chang Y, Eaton C, Garcia L, Johnson KC, Lewis CE, Liu S,Mackey RH, Robinson J, Rosal M, Snetselaar L, Valoski A, Kuller LH. Severe obesity, heart disease, and death among white, African-American and Hispanic postmenopausal women.Obesity. 2014 Mar; 22(3) 801-10.
  19. Kuller LH, Mackey RH, Walitt BT, Deane KD, Holers VM, Robinson WH, Sokolove J, Chang Y, Liu S, Parks CG, Wright NC, Moreland LW. Determinants of Increased Mortality among Postmenopausal Women Reporting RA. Arthritis Rheumatol.2014 Mar; 66(3):497-507.
  20. Poornima IG,Mackey RH, Buhari AM, Cauley JA, Matthews KA, Kuller, LH Relationship Between Circulating Levels of Serum Osteoprotegerin and Receptor Activator of Nuclear Kappa- B Levels, Triglycerides and Coronary Calcification in Postmenopausal Women. Menopause.2014 Jul; 21(7):702-10.
  21. Kuller LH, Mackey RH, Walitt BT, Deane KD, Holers VM, Robinson W, Sokolove J, Chang Y, Moreland LW. Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Women's Health Initiative: Methods and Baseline Evaluation.Am J Epidemiol.2014 Apr1; 179(7):917-26.
  22. Mackey RH, Chang YF, Tinker LF, Evans RW, McTigue KM, Barinas-Mitchell E, Wildman RP, Howard BV, Manson JE, Kulick D, Phillips LS, Stefanick ML, Lewis CE, Liu S, Kuller LH. Lipoprotein particles and size, total and high molecular weight adiponectin, and leptin in relation to incident coronary heart disease among postmenopausal women with severe obesity: The Women's Health Initiative Observational Study. BBA Clinical.2015; 243-250.
  23. Mackey RH, Mora S, Bertoni A, Carnethon M, Sibley C, Wassel C, Goff, DH, Jr. NMR spectroscopy-determined lipoprotein subclasses in relation to incident Type 2 diabetes in a multi-ethnic cohort: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis–Diabetes Care.2015 Apr;38(4):628-36.
  24. Mackey RH, Kuller LH, Deane K, Walitt BT, Chang Y, Holers VM, Robinson WH, Tracy RP, Hlatky MA, Eaton C, Liu S, Freiberg M, Birru-Talabi M, Schelbert E, Moreland LW Rheumatoid Arthritis, Anti-CCP Positivity, and Cardiovascular Disease Risk in the Women’s Health Initiative Arthritis Rheumatol. 2015 Sep;67(9):2311-22.
  25. Duprez DA, Otvos J, Tracy R, Feingold K, Greenland P, Gross MD, Lima JAC,Mackey RH, Neaton J, Sanchez OA, Jacobs Jr, DR. High density lipoprotein subclasses and noncardiovascular, noncancerchronic inflammatory-related events versus cardiovascular events: the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. J Am Heart Assoc. 2015 Sep 14;4(9) :e002295.
  26. Kuller LH, Lopez OL,Mackey RH, Rosano C, Edmundowicz DE, Becker JT, Newman AB. Subclinical Cardiovascular Disease and Death, Dementia and Coronary Heart Disease in Patients 80+ Years. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2016 Mar 8:67(9):1013-22.
  27. Duprez DA, Otvos J, Sanchez OA,Mackey RH, Tracy R, Jacobs Jr, DR. Comparison of the Predictive Value of GlycA and other Biomarkers of Inflammation for Total Death, Incident Cardiovascular Events, Non-Cardiovascular and Non-Cancer Inflammatory-Related Events, and Total Cancer Events. Clin Chem. 2016 Jul;62(7):1020-31.
  28. Benjamin EJ,Blaha MJ, Chiuve SE, Cushman M, Das SR, Deo R, de Ferranti SD, Floyd J, Fornage M, Gillespie C, Isasi CR, Jiménez MC, Jordan LC, Judd SE, Lackland D, LichtmanJH, Lisabeth L, Liu S, Longenecker CT, MackeyRH, Matsushita K, Mozaffarian D, Mussolino ME, Nasir K, Neumar RW,Palaniappan L, Pandey DK, Thiagarajan RR, Reeves MJ, Ritchey M, Rodriguez CJ,Roth GA, Rosamond WD, Sasson C, Towfighi A, Tsao CW, Turner MB, Virani SS,Voeks JH, Willey JZ, Wilkins JT, Wu JH, Alger HM, Wong SS, Muntner P; AmericanHeart Association Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee.Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2017 Update: A report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2017 Mar 7;135(10):e146-e603.
  29. Mackey RH, Moreland LW, Kuller LH. Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Patients with Rheumatic Diseases. Clin Geriatr Med 2017;33(2017)105-117.
  30. Birru-Talabi M,Mackey RH*, Kuller LH, Dorman J, Deane KD, Robinson WH, Wallitt BT, Chang YF, Holers VM, Liu S, Moreland LW. HLA-Shared Epitope, Inflammation, Mortality, CVD and Malignancy Among Postmenopausal Women With and Without Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Women’s Health Initiative. Am J Epidemiol. 2017 Jul 15;186(2):245-254.*corresponding author
  31. Poornima IG,Mackey RH, Allison M, Manson JE, Carr JJ, LaMonte MJ, Chang Y, Kuller LH. Coronary artery calcification (CAC) and post-trial cardiovascular events and mortality within the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) Estrogen-Alone Trial. J Am Heart Assoc. 2017 Oct 27;6(11). pii: e006887. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.117.006887.
  32. Poornima I, Shields K, Kuller LH, Manzi SM, Ramsey-Goldman R, Carrie Richardson C, Rhew E, Dunlop D, Song J, Edmundowicz D, Kondos GT, Carr JC, Langman CB, Price H, Mackey RH. Associations of osteoprotegerin with coronary artery calcification among women with systemic lupus erythematosus and healthy controls. Lupus. 2018 Jan 1: 961203317751060. doi: 10.1177/0961203317751060. [Epub ahead of print]
  33. Cui C, Sekikawa A, Kuller LH, Lopez O, Newman AB, Kuipers A,Mackey RH. Arterial stiffness is associated with increased risk of incident dementia in older adults. J Alz Disease. 2018; 66(1):297-306.
  34. Mackey RH,Kuller LH, Moreland LW. Inflammatory joint diseases and atherosclerosis: time to look beyond the ‘lipid paradox’. Curr Opin Lipidol.2019; 30May 27 [Epub ahead of print].