Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the most common cause of morbidity and mortality in minority populations and is a major cause of health disparities. Approaches that comprehensively integrate multilevel social and biological factors in understanding health disparities in CVD remain rare. The overall goal of the Research Core is to conduct research on the causes of CVD in minority populations (and the causes of health disparities in CVD) that integrates social and biological factors within a multilevel causal model.
The Specific Aims are: (1) To promote and support three Research Projects that integrate social and biological factors in understanding the determinants of cardiovascular health as well as the interrelations between cardiovascular and mental disorders, in minority populations. (2) To promote and support pilot studies that enhance and extend our multilevel approach. (3) To provide core infrastructure and expertise in statistical methods relevant to health disparities research and genetics, particularly as it allies to the study of gene-by environment interactions in ways that are meaningful to health disparities questions. (4) To promote scientific discussion and interdisciplinary exchange on minority health and health disparities with the objective of promoting the development of integrated, multilevel conceptual models of health and health disparities and the empirical testing of hypotheses derived from these models, and (5) To continue a collaborative partnership with Jackson State University and the University of Mississippi to enhance the research productivity of the Jackson Heart Study (JHS).The three Research Projects explore different aspects and applications of our overarching conceptual model, in addition they each highlight the integration of social and biologic factors in understanding heterogeneity in cardiovascular risk within race/ethnic groups, A pilot project program will expand our multilevel integrated approach. The Research Core of our Center is innovative in its integrated multilevel approach to the study of health disparities; in the integration of genetics in the form of infrastructure support within the Research Core in order to facilitate true collaboration between social scientists/epidemiologists and geneticists in the study of health disparities; and in the integration of the Research Projects with the Research Education/Training as well as with the Community Engagement/Outreach activities in order to directly translate our research model as well as our research findings into training and community activities fundamental to enhancing the research and to implementing interventions and policies to necessary to eliminate health disparities.
The Research Core will hep understand how factors at multiple levels, ranging from the social to the biological, shape the distribution of cardiovascular risk. This information if key to developing appropriate intereventions and policies to reduce health disparities in cardiovascular disease.
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