"After many years of seeing women come in at 55 years old and they've already had a heart attack, I knew something had to shift. It was obvious that awareness and prevention of heart disease was not on their or their provider’s radar screen although the risk factors were present. That's what drew me to this population: Where could I do the most good?”

In her research at UCLA, Associate Professor Jo-Ann Eastwood has focused on ischemic heart disease (IHD) in premenopausal women, aiming to raise awareness of risk factors in women in vulnerable populations. Her work is critical, as research on young women and cardiovascular disease has been limited, particularly in the area of prevention, despite the high rate of heart disease among them. Dr. Eastwood’s most recent research study, in collaboration with the UCLA Wireless Health Institute, employed a mobile phone app to help young black women in the Los Angeles area reduce their risk of cardiovascular diseases through consistent heart-healthy behaviors. The app monitors the participants’ eating and exercise habits, while also helping them to self-manage their health goals. While the study addresses participant behavior, it is expected to positively affect their family behavior as well. Areas of Scholarly Expertise and Interest Ischemic heart disease, behavioral and lifestyle changes, cardiovascular risk reduction, UCLA Wireless Health Institute, hormonal mechanisms.

Faculty Research and Clinical Expertise

My research focus encompasses the study of gender differences in ischemic heart disease (IHD) and the identification of specific biologic and diagnostic correlates of IHD in premenopausal women.  I have narrowed my research to focus on premenopausal women at high risk for  IHD because this population has not been well studied and is not well understood. Ultimately, my broad research area of atherosclerosis in premenopausal women  would contain biologic studies aimed understanding its hormonal mechanisms, and behavioral studies aimed at raising the awareness of the condition and halting its progression through:

  • Development of new knowledge regarding hormonal mechanisms that contribute to early IHD,
  • Early identification of "at risk" women for subclinical or early IHD,
  • Raising awareness of risk factors in women who may not have the knowledge or resources (vulnerable populations),
  • Interventional studies focused on behavioral and lifestyle changes in at risk young women (primarily targeting strong family history of CAD, smoking, obesity, culture and physical inactivity)

Professional Activities

2006-Present American Association of Critical Care Nurses — Scholarships and Awards Committee  2008 Epidemiology and Prevention Committee — Publications Workgroup — American Heart Association 2010 Association — Prevention Subcommittee


Waterbury Hospital School of Nursing, Diploma, 1970, Nursing

Chapman College, BS, 1991, Health Sciences

University of California, Los Angeles, MN, 1995, Nursing

University of California, Los Angeles, PhD, 2004, Nursing

University of California, Los Angeles, Post Masters Certificate, 2007, Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

Honors and Awards

2009-2010       American Heart Association — Fellow


Pike NA, Evangelista LS, Doering LV, Eastwood JA, Lewis AB, Child JS. (2012). Sex and Age Differences in Body-Image, Self-Esteem, and Body Mass Index in Adolescents and Adults After Single-Ventricle Palliation. Pediatric Cardiology, 33, 705-12.

Whittaker KS, Krantz DS, Rutledge T, Johnson BD, Wawrzyniak AJ, Bittner V, Eastwood JA, Eteiba W, Cornell CE, Pepine CJ, Vido DA, Handberg E, Merz CN. (2012). Combining Psychosocial Data to Improve Prediction of Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors and Events: The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute-Sponsored Women's Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation Study. Psychosomatic Medicine, 74, 263-70.

Rutledge T, Linke SE, Johnson BD, Bittner V, Krantz DS, Cornell CE, Vaccarino V, Pepine CJ, Handberg EM, Eteiba W, Shaw LJ, Parashar S, Eastwood JA, Vido DA, Merz CN. (2012).Relationships between cardiovascular disease risk factors and depressive symptoms as predictors of cardiovascular disease events in women. Journal of Women's Health, 21, 133-9.

Doering LV, Eastwood JA. (2011) A Literature Review of Depression, Anxiety, and Cardiovascular Disease in Women. J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nursing. doi: 10.1111/j.1552-6909.2011.01236.x.

Eastwood JA, Doering LV, Dracup K, Evangelista L, Hays RD. (2011) Health-related quality of life:  The impact of diagnostic angiography. Heart Lung. 40(2):147-55.

Rutledge T, Linke SE, Johnson BD, Bittner V, Krantz DS, Whittaker KS, Eastwood JA, Eteiba W, Cornell CE, Pepine CJ, Vido DA, Olson MB, Shaw LJ, Vaccarino V, Bairey Merz CN. (2010) Self-rated versus objective health indicators as predictors of major cardiovascular events: the NHLBI-sponsored Women's Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation. Psychosom Med. 72(6):549-55.

Rutledge T, Linke SE, Krantz DS, Johnson BD, Bittner V, Eastwood JA, Eteiba W, Pepine CJ, Vaccarino V, Francis J, Vido DA, Merz CN. (2009) Comorbid depression and anxiety symptoms as predictors of cardiovascular events: results from the NHLBI-sponsored Women's Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation (WISE) study. Psychosom. 71(9):958-64.

Eastwood JA, Doering L, Roper J, Hays RD. (2008) Uncertainty and health-related quality of life 1 year after coronary angiography. Am J Crit Care. 17(3):232-42.

Bresnahan,S. & Eastwood, J-A. (2007) Confounding T-Wave Inversion. American Journal of Critical Care. 16(2):137-140.

Hays RD, Eastwood JA, Kotlerman J, Spritzer KL, Ettner SL, Cowan M. (2006) Health-related quality of life and patient reports about care outcomes in a multidisciplinary hospital intervention. Ann Behav Med. 31(2):173-8.

Eastwood JA, Doering LV. (2005)Gender differences in coronary artery disease. J Cardiovasc Nurs. 20(5):340-51.

Biel M, Eastwood JA, Muenzen P, Greenberg S. (1999) Evolving trends in critical care nursing practice: results of a certification role delineation study. Am J Critical Care. 8(5):285-90.