Category: Black Women’s Health Study News
Researchers from Boston University’s Slone Epidemiology Center have developed a breast cancer risk prediction model for African-American women that found greater accuracy in predicting risk for the disease. The use of this model could result in increased eligibility of African Americans in breast cancer prevention trials.
African-Americans born at low birth weight are at an increased risk for Type 2 diabetes later in life, a new study has found.
Researchers at Boston University School of Public Health followed more than 21,000 women ages 21 to 69 who were enrolled in a large study of African-American women’s health for 16 years. Some 2,388 of them developed Type 2 diabetes.
Depression and asthma—two of the most vexing public health issues in the United States—were once thought to have no connection.
But a new study by School of Public Health researchers at the Slone Epidemiology Center has found evidence that depressive symptoms may be linked to the development of adult-onset asthma in African American women. The likely pathway: stress.
The picture remains tacked to Julie Palmer’s office wall: a female doctor and colleague from UCLA who died last year, age only 50, from lung cancer.
“I was so sad when I learned about it,” says Palmer (SPH’85), a School of Public Health professor of epidemiology. “She was a Renaissance woman. She played varsity basketball at Northwestern—she was six feet tall or something like that. She wrote poetry” in between medicine and research. “A wonderful woman doing groundbreaking work out there in LA. Never smoked.”
The photo serves as a stark reminder to Palmer of a troubling fact: nonsmoking women are far more likely to get lung cancer than nonsmoking men, she says, yet lung cancer research frequently doesn’t break down data according to gender-specific factors, as evidenced by a recent study by Brigham and Women’s Hospital and George Washington University. In fact, the study found medical research in many areas, including cardiovascular disease (which kills more women than men), often includes few women subjects, or else doesn’t report results by gender. Among the report’s findings: only one third of subjects in cardiovascular clinical trials are female, and while depression is more prevalent in women than men, brain studies in male animals outnumber those in female animals five to one.
A recent analysis conducted by investigators from the Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University has found that frequent experiences of racism were associated with a higher risk of obesity among African American women.
According to a new study from the Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University, African-American women who reported high levels of depressive symptoms had a greater likelihood of adult-onset asthma compared to women who reported fewer depressive symptoms.
Researchers from the Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University found an association between eating burgers from restaurants twice a week or more and having a 26 percent higher risk of becoming obese over an approximately 15-year period, among African American women.
Overall and central obesity linked to delayed conception in African-American women, according to BU researchers
In a first of its kind study, researchers from the Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University found that African-American women who were overweight or obese had a greater risk of delayed conception and infertility when compared with women who were of normal weight. In addition, women who had larger waist circumferences and greater waist-to-hip ratios (i.e., apple-shaped women) had lower fertility. These findings of time to pregnancy (TTP) are published online in Human Reproduction.
“Racism is a significant stressor in the lives of African-American women, and our results contribute to a growing body of evidence indicating that experiences of racism can have adverse effects on health,” says Patricia Coogan.
There are many reasons why people are obese. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which estimates that one-third of Americans are obese, attributes the epidemic to genes, diet, socioeconomic status, environment, and lifestyle, among other things. At BU, dozens of researchers are searching for a better understanding of the causes of, and for solutions to, a health problem associated with heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer, and whose medical costs were $147 billion in 2008. In this four-part series, BU Today looks at their work in progress.