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2 NIH studies show power of epidemiology research; Underscore need to address health disparities
Date:11/6/2012

women.

For the past nine years, the REGARDS study team has been tracking stroke risk and cognitive health in an ethnically and demographically diverse sample of more than 30,000 adults in the United States.

"This research shows clearly that there is much work to be done in addressing racial health disparities. We haven't been able to move the needle in this important population that is disproportionately affected by coronary heart disease and stroke," said Walter J. Koroshetz, M.D., deputy director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). "It highlights the need for a campaign to control known vascular risk factors that lead to premature death and loss of quality of life."

The current analysis, spearheaded by researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, also showed that the disparity in CHD deaths between blacks and whites is due largely to an excess burden of known cardiovascular risk factors among blacks. None of the participants had evidence of CHD at baseline and they were followed for four years. As shown in previous studies, death was far more likely to be the first indication of CHD in blacks than it was in whites, suggesting that there has been "little evidence of progress toward eliminating this disparity," according to the paper. "Well-established CHD risk factors among blacks could potentially reduce these disparities," the researchers concluded.

REGARDS is supported by the NINDS. This specific research project was supported by grants from the NIH's NHLBI (R01 HL080477) and the National Center for Research Resources (KL2 RR025776-04), as well as a cooperative agreement from NINDS (U01 NS041588). Additional support was provided by an investigator-initiated grant-in-aid from Amgen Corporation.

"These two reports send a powerful and sobering message," noted Michael Lauer, M.D., director of the Division of Cardiovascular Sciences at the NHLBI, in an accompanying JAMA
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Contact: NHLBI Communications Office
nhlbi_news@nhlbi.nih.gov
301-496-4236
NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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