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Amit Khera, M.D.
Amit Khera, M.D.

Amit Khera, M.D.

Director, Preventive Cardiology Program

  • Dallas Heart Ball Chair in Hypertension and Heart Disease
  • Internal Medicine - Cardiology
  • Preventive Cardiology
  • High Cholesterol

Biography

Amit Khera, M.D., is a Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center and specializes in cardiac risk assessment and risk factor modifications. Dr. Khera is the Director of UT Southwestern’s Preventive Cardiology Program. In addition, he is Program Director of the Cardiology Fellowship and holds the Dallas Heart Ball Chair in Hypertension and Heart Disease.

Dr. Khera earned his medical degree at Baylor College of Medicine. He completed a residency in internal medicine at Harvard Medical School/Brigham and Women's Hospital and received advanced training through a cardiology fellowship at UT Southwestern Medical School. Dr. Khera also holds a master’s degree in epidemiology from Harvard University.

In addition to his clinical work, he pursues his passion for preventing cardiac disease by conducting extensive research in the subject. He has published over 100 academic articles in the field.

Dr. Khera is President of the American Society for Preventive Cardiology. He is also an active member of other professional organizations, including the Texas Medical Association, the American Heart Association, and the American College of Cardiology.

He has been honored by the American Heart Association for cardiovascular research in women’s health and by the American College of Cardiology for his work in preventive cardiology. He was included in D Magazine's Best Doctors list from 2014- 2018, and was also named a Texas Monthly  Super Doctor from 2013-2018.

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Meet Dr. Khera

Dallas Cardiologist

Why do some people develop heart disease and others don’t? What are the best ways to prevent heart disease and its complications? For Amit Khera, M.D., these are questions of life – and a life’s work.

Dr. Khera directs UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Preventive Cardiology Program, which aims to prevent coronary artery disease and its complications. He trained at Harvard Medical School and UT Southwestern Medical School, and is an expert in cardiac risk assessment and risk factor modifications.

His interest in cardiac disease prevention began during residency in Boston when he cared for a 45-year-old man who was admitted into the hospital for his seventh heart procedure to fix blocked arteries. He wondered how the patient had developed such malignant coronary artery disease and thought there must be a better way to prevent recurrent problems.

"Doing a little bit early in life to prevent a heart attack is better than trying to do a lot later on down the road,” he says.

"It's quite clear that heart disease is indeed preventable. Studies over the past decade have shown that for those who can achieve healthy levels for major risk factors like blood pressure and cholesterol and who don’t smoke, the chances of having a heart attack is almost 80 percent lower than those with unhealthy levels."

But achieving healthy levels is not always easy, nor will a one-size-fits-all approach work for treatment. A practical plan of exercise and dietary changes for a busy executive who constantly travels is quite different than the plan for someone with a more regular schedule, but they both have different challenges, Dr. Khera notes. And those with rare genetic disorders or extreme risk factors will require a different playbook altogether.

"The approach has to be individualized," he says. “That’s what we do."

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Education & Training
  • Fellowship - UT Southwestern Medical Center (2001-2004), Cardiology
  • Residency - Harvard Medical School/Brigham & Women's Hospital (1999-2001), Internal Medicine
  • Internship - Harvard Medical School/Brigham & Women's Hospital (1998-1999), Internal Medicine
  • Medical School - Baylor College of Medicine (1994-1998)
Professional Associations & Affiliations
  • Texas Medical Association
  • American Medical Association
  • American Heart Association
  • American College of Cardiology
  • American Society of Preventive Cardiology (2010)
Honors & Awards
  • Alpha Omega Alpha 1997, Honor Medical Society
  • Outstanding Student Award Class of 1998 1998, Baylor College of Medicine
  • Excellence in Teaching Award Nominee 2002, Harvard Medical School
  • Career Development Award in Clinical or Preventive Cardiology 2006, American College of Cardiology/Pfizer
  • Outstanding Teacher Award 2007, UTSW Class of 2009
  • AHA Trudy Bush Award For Cardiovascular Research in Women's Health 2009
  • Texas Super Doctors 2013-2018
  • D Magazine Best Doctors in Dallas 2014-2018
Books & Publications
Research
  • Primary and secondary prevention of coronary artery disease
  • Familial and genetic contributions to coronary artery disease
  • Early detection and risk assessment in cardiovascular disease

Clinical Focus

  • Preventive Cardiology
  • High Cholesterol
  • Familial Hypercholesterolemia
  • Diabetes & Heart Disease

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Q&A by Dr. Khera

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