Reducing Health Disparities

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Through their research, faculty seek to understand and eliminate health disparities in those populations that bear the greatest burden of illness: the poor, African Americans, Latinos, and those living in rural areas. In 2002, the School created the Center for Innovation in Health Disparities Research in partnership with North Carolina Central University and Winston-Salem State University, two Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The Center’s primary goal is to promote culturally competent research to reduce health disparities. Faculty in the SON are studying factors that contribute to greater illness burden among African Americans and Latinos and are testing interventions to improve, among others, the health of Latina mothers and their infants and toddlers, African American parents and their school age children, African American adults of all ages, and women prisoners.

Currently funded research studies (studies may be listed in more than one focus area):

A Randomized Controlled Trial of SPIRIT: A Representational Intervention to Promote Preparation for End-of-Life Decision Making

Dialysis is central to survival for 450,000 Americans with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Yet patients on dialysis have significant comorbidities and high mortality rates (24% annually). One out of four ESRD patient deaths occurs after a decision to stop dialysis. However, when… Read more »

Adapting Project S.A.F.E.: Reducing STD/HIV Risk in Women Prisoners

Women prisoners, many of whom are poor or of color, have disproportionately high rates of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Women prisoners are 15 times more likely to be HIV-infected than women in the general population. Prison facilities in the south have among the … Read more »

Breast Cancer in African American Women: DNA Methylation Studies in Basal-like, HER2+, and Luminal A and B Subtypes

Although breast cancer incidence is lower for African American women as compared to Caucasian women, African American suffer higher rates of complications and death from the disease. African American women are far more likely to be diagnosed at an advanced stage, to be premenopa… Read more »

Children and Parents Partnering Together to Manage Their Weight

Young children who are overweight or at risk for overweight are at increased risk for becoming obese as young adults and developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. To date, there have been no interdisciplinary interventions that targeted predominantly ethnic minority… Read more »

Decreasing Health-Related Stigma in Adults with Sickle Cell Disease

This Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23) is designed to prepare Dr. Jenerette for a career as an independent scientist in the area of theory-based self-care management strategies for adults with sickle cell disease (SCD). The National Institute of N… Read more »

Hypertension in Black Americans: Environment, Behavior, and Biology

Hypertension (HTN) is a major health problem for Black Americans: as a group they have the highest rate of HTN in the world. HTN develops at younger ages, is more severe, and leads to more adverse clinical outcomes and higher death rates for Blacks than for Whites. Chronic psychoso… Read more »

Maternal Feeding Responsiveness and Risk of Obesity from Infancy through Early Childhood

Early childhood obesity is a growing problem in the U.S. Although the development of obesity is a response to a combination of genetic, interpersonal, and environmental factors, fundamentally it reflects an imbalance between energy intake and expenditure. Infants have been found to… Read more »

The “Wings” Depressive Symptom Intervention for Latina Mothers

LEP Latina mothers of infants and toddlers are confronted with chronic economic hardship and immigration-related stressors. As high as 64% experience clinically significant depressive symptoms, which limit their ability to offer developmental support to their infant or toddler. Inf… Read more »