The overarching goal of this application for a NHLBI-K01 Mentored Research Scientist Development Award is to provide a training and research program that will help the candidate, Dr. Amanda C. McClain, to develop into an independent researcher using cohorts and clinical trials to promote nutrition and cardiovascular health equity among U.S. Hispanics/Latinos using capital-oriented approaches. A team of experienced mentors in cardiometabolic health, community-based and capacity-oriented interventions, epidemiology, and diet assessment methodologies will complement and guide the candidate?s comprehensive training plan. Despite a large proportion exhibiting cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors and experiencing food insecurity, U.S. Hispanics/Latinos demonstrate low cardiovascular mortality, which may indicate existing capital (e.g. assets) protecting health and diet, though limited evidence exists. Thus, this research aims to (1) identify sources of social, material, human, and cultural capital associated with food security (FS) and healthier diet quality among low-income U.S. Hispanic/Latino adults, and the relationship of these combined sources with CVD risk markers; (2) develop a pilot intervention, using findings from Aim 1 and formative qualitative research, to improve diet quality among Hispanics/Latinos in San Diego, CA by strengthening food- and diet-related capital and FS; and (3) evaluate the feasibility and short-term efficacy of a pilot intervention aimed at improving diet quality through strengthening food- and diet-related capital and FS among low-income, Hispanic/Latino adults in San Diego, CA. Data for Aim 1 will be from two ancillary studies from the national Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos. Data for Aims 2 and 3 will be from community stakeholder organizations and low- income, Hispanic/Latino adults recruited for formative mixed method and pilot studies in San Diego, CA, with support from Dr. Gregory Talavera at the San Ysidro Health Center. In accordance with these research aims, the proposed project consists of three career development and training areas for the candidate: (1) refine skills in advanced quantitative analysis with multiple and diverse socioeconomic and cultural predictor variables of interest; (2) develop and disseminate a pilot intervention, integrated into an existing community or healthcare program; and (3) establish the candidate as a collaborative and exceptional researcher, leader, and mentor. This K01 project will impact public health by expanding our understanding of the role of capital and capacity-oriented approaches in promoting diet and cardiovascular health equity among U.S. Hispanics/Latinos.
Hispanics/Latinos are the largest minority group in the U.S. and have a high prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, which is further compounded by the large proportion of Hispanics/Latinos living in poverty and experiencing food insecurity. Mobilizing existing capital (i.e. assets) to promote food security and a healthy diet may contribute to reducing CVD risk among low-income Hispanics/Latinos, but in-depth evidence on the sources of capital influential to food security, diet, and CVD risk is limited. This proposed research will address these gaps by using data from an existing Hispanic/Latino cohort to identify sources of capital that promote food security, a healthy diet, and cardiovascular health, and then apply these results, along with results from qualitative data, to develop a pilot intervention for low-income, Hispanic/Latino adults that targets influential sources of capital to promote cardiovascular health.