The following proposal is from a candidate with past and current research that has focused on (1) the effect of intergenerational socioeconomic factors on the racial/ethnic disparities in perinatal and cardiovascular outcomes, and (2) the study of nativity status (foreign-born vs. US-born) variations in African-American health. The mentoring, training, educational and research experiences described in this proposal have been specifically tailored to meet the candidate's career goals to (1) create and uphold a distinguished publication record that produces relevant, multi-level, and methodologically rigorous work for contributing to the national goal of eliminating racial/ethnic disparities in health, (2) become an independent, externally-funded researcher in the lifecourse and social epidemiology of African-American health, and in the racial/ethnic disparities in reproductive and cardiovascular health, specifically, and (3) educate and inspire the next generation of students and researchers to eliminate racial/ethnic disparities in health. A career development plan has been constructed for training the candidate in advanced longitudinal data methodology via coursework. Through extensive mentoring by experts in the fields of social and reproductive epidemiology, the candidate will gain knowledge in the substantive areas of social and reproductive epidemiology and knowledge in the stress mechanisms mediating the association between socioeconomic position (SEP) and women's reproductive and cardiovascular health. Participation in collaborative activities, such as working groups, seminars and conferences internally and external to the candidate's institution are planned for enhancement of professional development. The proposed research includes (1) longitudinal data analysis examining the interaction of socioeconomic trajectories and health trajectories over the lifecourse among 400 African American and white women in the Emerging Health Disparities (DISPAR) Study and (2) the conduct of a qualitative pilot study examining the role of stress mechanisms in the effects of SEP trajectories on the reproductive and cardiovascular health of 160 African American Women. Consideration of cumulative risks and the interactions of SEP, perinatal outcomes, reproductive health and cardiovascular outcomes across the lifecourse may reveal optimal windows for intervention to enhance the health of African American women who disproportionately bear the burden of poor reproductive and CVD outcomes.
African American women have excess burden of poor reproductive health outcomes and cardiovascular disease in comparison to white women. Recent studies show a link between maternal birth weight, offspring's birth weight and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Socioeconomic position (SEP) from birth through adolescence, young adulthood and middle adulthood may be contributing to and interacting with health across the lifecourse to produce racial disparities in reproductive and cardiovascular health outcomes. The proposed study seeks to document this dynamic interplay of SEP, birth weight and cardiovascular health over the lifecourse, uncover the stress mechanisms through which SEP over the lifecourse influence health and well being, and reveal the different strategies African American women employ to mitigate their health injury.