NIH Funds Largest Long-Term Study of Health and Disease in Hispanic Populations
Seven groups within the National Institutes of Health will fund the largest long-term epidemiological study of health and disease in Latin American populations living in the US.
Schmalfeldt : The Hispanic population is the largest minority group in the United States. It's expected to triple in growth by 2050. And now, seven groups within the National Institutes of Health will fund the largest long-term epidemiological study of health and disease in Latin American populations living in the US. As many as 16-thousand participants of Hispanic origin will undergo a series of physical exams and interviews to help identify the prevalence and risk factors for a wide variety of diseases, disorders and conditions. The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute is the primary funding agency for this study, along with the National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities, the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and the NIH Office of Dietary Supplements. In line with the recommendations of a 2003 NHLBI report on epidemiological research in Hispanic populations, the study will recruit people who identify themselves as Hispanics or Latinos, but will emphasize Mexican Americans, Cuban Americans and Central or South Americans. Dr. Larissa Aviles-Santa of NHLBI's Epidemiology Branch said the study will look at the role of cultural adaptation and disparities in the prevalence and development of disease among these groups in the Hispanic community.
Aviles-Santa: For the first time, we are going to be able to compare all the groups, if possible, at once and follow them and truly look at the outcomes and discern or determine if there is any difference among them or not.
Schmalfeldt: The Hispanic Community Health Study will address a variety of conditions, including heart disease, stroke, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, sleep disorders, dental disease, hearing impairment and tinnitus, diabetes, kidney and liver disease, and cognitive impairment. The study will assess such risk factors as diet, physical activity, obesity, smoking, blood pressure, blood lipids, acculturation, social and economic disparity, psychosocial factors, occupation, health care access, the environment, and medication and supplement use. The NIH has awarded contracts totaling $60 million over 6-1/2 years for this study, which will take place at sites in New York City, Miami, San Diego, and Chicago. From the National Institutes of Health, I'm Bill Schmalfeldt in Bethesda, Maryland.