This proposal is designed to provide Dr. Kathleen McTigue with the analytic skills and research experience for becoming an independent researcher in preventive medicine with a focus on obesity. The candidate will build upon her background in clinical epidemiology and public health with a program of formal coursework focusing on quantitative methods, independent studies on key topic areas, and mentored research from accomplished researchers such as Lew Kuller, MD PhD, and Wishwa Kapoor, MD MPH FACP. She will utilize the diverse resources of the University of Pittsburgh's Department of Medicine, Center for Research on Health Care, and Department of Epidemiology: an ideal setting for developing expertise in interdisciplinary health research. Dr McTigue's research interests were founded in internal and preventive medicine, public health and ecosystem biology. Her clinical insight and knowledge of population dynamics create a unique perspective to consider pathways for intervention. In this project she will extend her skills in longitudinal and spatial analysis, cohort research design, and topic content in obesity and health behavior. She will apply new insights to intervention development. Obesity is an important clinical and public health concern in the US - particularly among women - with epidemic prevalence trends and significant adverse health effects. Current intervention strategies are clearly not adequate; increasing attention has focused on environmental approaches. Cross-sectional correlations between environment and health behaviors or weight have been found, but the longitudinal relationship between such features is poorly understood. This study will (1) examine the associations between environmental factors on weight development in a large national cohort of young US adults over extended time, by linking the cohort's data with other national data on social and physical environmental features, and (2) test hypotheses regarding mechanisms by which environmental factors influence weight by examining how perception of the physical and social environment prospectively affects health behaviors and weight development of Pittsburgh girls. By identifying key environmental features in weight development, understanding how they influence attitudes and health behaviors, and seeing how they differ with gender and ethnicity, this research will contribute to the development of obesity prevention interventions tailored to ethnic and gender-specific risk.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Clinical Investigator Award (CIA) (K08)
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Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases B Subcommittee (DDK)
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Podskalny, Judith M,
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University of Pittsburgh
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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McTigue, Kathleen M; Chang, Yue-Fang; Eaton, Charles et al. (2014) Severe obesity, heart disease, and death among white, African American, and Hispanic postmenopausal women. Obesity (Silver Spring) 22:801-10
Keenan, Kate; Hipwell, Alison; Chung, Tammy et al. (2010) The Pittsburgh Girls Study: overview and initial findings. J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol 39:506-21
Hess, Rachel; Santucci, Aimee; McTigue, Kathleen et al. (2008) Patient difficulty using tablet computers to screen in primary care. J Gen Intern Med 23:476-80
Hess, Rachel; Bryce, Cindy L; Paone, Suzanne et al. (2007) Exploring challenges and potentials of personal health records in diabetes self-management: implementation and initial assessment. Telemed J E Health 13:509-17
McTigue, Kathleen; Larson, Joseph C; Valoski, Alice et al. (2006) Mortality and cardiac and vascular outcomes in extremely obese women. JAMA 296:79-86