Category: Black Women’s Health Study News
When epidemiologists Julie Palmer and Lynn Rosenberg launched the Black Women’s Health Study in the early 1990s, they could state with confidence the number of long-term health studies of African American women previously undertaken: zero. While it was clear that black women have higher rates of breast cancer at young ages, as well as a greater incidence of many illnesses, such as hypertension, diabetes, stroke, and lupus, scientists could only guess at the reasons.
Yvette Cozier, DSc, discusses diabetes in African American women with playwright Robbie McCauley on ArtsEmerson
There are two kinds of sugar. There’s Sam Cooke’s kind, the one he sings about in the great 1965 song, “Sugar Dumpling.” It’s sweet. It’s soul food. It’s love. It’s everything good about being alive.
Then there’s Robbie McCauley’s sugar. The deadly kind. The kind behind a diabetes epidemic that affects almost 20 percent of adult African-Americans, twice as many as the general population. The kind that makes diabetes the fourth-leading cause of death among blacks.
Study finds air pollution linked to increased incidence of diabetes and hypertension in African American women
The incidence of type 2 diabetes and hypertension increases with cumulative levels of exposure to nitrogen oxides, according to a new study led by researchers from the Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University.
Patricia F. Coogan, ScD, an associate professor of epidemiology at Boston University’s Slone Epidemiology Center, recently was awarded funding for two grants from the National Institutes of Health. The first is a five-year grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences that will study air pollution and risk of incident hypertension and diabetes in African American women. The second award is for a three-year study on the psychosocial factors and the risk of incident asthma in African American women, funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
BWHS research featured in Fall 2011 issue of Boston University School of Medicine: Campus & Alumni News
New genetic risk factors of systemic lupus erythematosus found in study of African American women
Researchers from Boston University’s Slone Epidemiology Center have found four new genetic variants in the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) that confer a higher risk of systemic lupus erythematosus (“lupus”) in African American women.
Aetna Foundation supports study of obesity among African American women
As part of a $1 million funding program, the Aetna Foundation has provided a $233,000 grant to Boston University’s Slone Epidemiology Center for a two-year study of factors that influence obesity among African American women — including both individual and neighborhood-level factors — and the identification of the most effective small changes individuals can make to decrease obesity rates among African American women.
Having multiple children is generally thought to reduce the risk of breast cancer in women. But African-American women who give birth to two or more children have about a 50 percent greater chance than those who have no children at all of developing a kind of aggressive breast cancer, which is characterized by the absence of estrogen or progesterone receptors.
Why are African-American women more likely than those of European descent to be diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age, and with poor prognoses? It’s a provocative question, and one that a multidisciplinary team from the Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University (BU), the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center (UNC) and Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) are coming together to address, supported by a five-year, $19.3 million award from the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
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Researchers at Boston University’s Slone Epidemiology Center have uncovered new evidence that might explain why African-American women have a disproportionately higher risk of developing more aggressive and difficult-to-treat forms of breast cancer.
Safety in numbers
When the thalidomide tragedy of the 1960s revolutionized the drug regulatory system in the United States and elsewhere, the only group that did not benefit from the new safety net was the same group devastated by thalidomide’s destructive effects: pregnant women and their babies.
Location is everything
African American women who live in low income neighborhoods have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than do African Americans who live in more advantaged neighborhoods — even if they have high educational levels themselves.