BWHS Researchers develop breast cancer prediction tool for Black women

December 1st, 2021in Black Women's Health Study News

Black women are more likely to develop breast cancer at earlier ages and with worse outcomes than white women. Researchers at Boston University have now developed a risk prediction model for breast cancer in Black women, suitable for use in a health care setting. Breast cancer risk prediction tools are used by clinicians to identify women at higher than average risk of breast cancer for early or more frequent screening by mammography and other modalities, and this new model is an easy way for primary care providers to guide screening recommendations or referral for genetic testing, particularly for young Black women.

Read more about this new risk prediction model here: Medical Xpress - Researchers develop breast cancer prediction tool for Black women

Watch an interview with the BWHS's Dr. Julie Palmer: MSN - Researchers develop breast cancer prediction tool for Black women

Palmer JR, Zirpoli G, Bertrand KA, Battaglia T, Bernstein L, Ambrosone CB, Bandera EV, Troester MA, Rosenberg L, Pfeiffer RM, Trinquart L. A validated risk prediction model for breast cancer in U.S. Black women. J Clin Oncol 2021. doi: 10.1200/JCO.21.01236 (epub ahead of print).

Vitamin D status and colon cancer risk in the BWHS

December 1st, 2021in Black Women's Health Study News

Prior research has shown that Vitamin D levels are generally lower in Black populations; now BWHS research suggests that low vitamin D levels may contribute to the higher rate of colorectal cancer among Black women.

Read more about this important research on

Barber LE, Bertrand KA, Petrick JL, Gerlovin H, White LF, Adams-Campbell LL, Rosenberg L, Roy HK, Palmer JR. Predicted vitamin D status and colorectal cancer incidence in the Black Women's Health Study. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-21-0675 (epub ahead of print).

Posting for Cancer Epidemiology Postdoctoral or Faculty Position

September 7th, 2021

The Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University invites applications for a full-time faculty or postdoctoral fellowship position in cancer epidemiology. We seek motivated candidates with relevant training and research experience to join the investigative team of the longstanding Black Women’s Health Study. We are eager to have join our ranks a colleague who supports our institutional commitment of ensuring that Boston University is inclusive, equitable, diverse, and a place where all constituents can thrive. We believe that diverse perspectives will enhance the quality of intellectual exchange and the creation of knowledge. Candidates from underrepresented backgrounds are particularly encouraged to apply.

Minimum qualifications include a doctoral degree in epidemiology or a related field (e.g., cancer biology, molecular biology, statistical genetics), demonstrated expertise in cancer epidemiology, and a track record of scholarship in the form of peer-reviewed publications. Faculty candidates should also have completed postdoctoral training. Candidates should already have or should demonstrate the potential for extramural research funding. Academic rank will be determined in accordance with the successful candidate’s experience and scholarly record. The successful faculty candidate will be expected to develop an independent research program with a focus on cancer, including cancer health disparities, based in part on data and resources from the Black Women’s Health Study, and to engage in collaborative research with other Black Women’s Health Study investigators.

The Slone Epidemiology Center is located on the Boston University Medical Campus and includes faculty from both the School of Public Health and the School of Medicine. We have strong research collaborations with faculty in multiple departments of those schools as well as the adjacent Boston Medical Center, a safety-net hospital. Additional research resources are available through the Boston University Clinical and Translational Science Institute, the BU-BMC Cancer Center, the Biospecimen Archive Research Core, and more.

Interested candidates are invited to send a cover letter stating interest in the position and desired academic rank, curriculum vitae, a statement of current research interests and future research plans, and the names of three references. Materials should be emailed to Richard Vezina: Application review will begin October 1, 2021 and will continue until the position is filled.

Boston University is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. We are a VEVRAA Federal Contractor.

Experiences of racism among African American women associated with memory decline

September 2nd, 2020in Black Women's Health Study News

Research from the BWHS, published on 7/21/2020, finds that experiences of racism among African American women are associated with greater subjective memory decline. Read more about this study on Yahoo news, one of several news sources that picked up reports of the publication, or read the full research article, published in the Alzheimer’s Association journal, Alzheimer’s and Dementia Diagnosis, Assessment, and Disease Monitoring.

African-American and white women share genes that increase breast cancer risk

The same genes that greatly increase the risk of breast cancer in U.S. white women, including women of Ashkenazi Jewish descent, also greatly increase breast cancer risk among African American women. These genes include the BRCA1, BRCA2 and PALB2 genes, each of which was associated with a more than seven-fold risk of breast cancer, as well as four other genes associated with a more moderate increase in risk. Previous studies of women of African ancestry were too small to assess genes other than BRCA1 and BRCA2.

Read more at Medical Xpress

Studies examine trends in pain medication use

March 8th, 2018

A new study reveals that acetaminophen use and over-dosing rise in cold/flu season in the United States, primarily due to increased use of over-the-counter combination medications treating upper respiratory symptoms. Another study reports that acetaminophen is the most commonly used analgesic in France, with more high-dose tablets being consumed in recent years. The findings, which are published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, indicate that individuals should take special care to follow labeled dosing directions for acetaminophen-containing products.

Read more at Medical Xpress

Nearly one out of five NSAID users exceed daily limit

January 29th, 2018

Chances are you or someone you know has used nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) within the last month. NSAIDs, such as Advil (ibuprofen), Aleve (naproxen) and Celebrex, are among the most commonly used medicines in the US. Now, for the first time, researchers have found that 15 percent of adult ibuprofen users exceed the maximum recommended dose of ibuprofen or other NSAIDs in a one-week period.

Read more at ScienceDaily

Researcher studying ways to reduce health disparities for Black women dealing with insomnia

December 6th, 2017in Black Women's Health Study News

Black women are among those most likely to have insomnia, according to Lynn Rosenberg, ScD, associate director of Boston University’s Slone Epidemiology Center and a principal investigator of the Black Women’s Health Study (BWHS). Rosenberg has been awarded a three-year $2,225,495 grant from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to study this. The study will be using a self-administered internet program called SHUTi (Sleep Healthy Using the Internet), a web-tool based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

Read more at Boston University School of Medicine