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Getting to the heart of cardiovascular disease among Latinos in East Los Angeles
Date:5/3/2010

The UCLA School of Public Health today announced a $10 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to fund a Center for Population Health and Health Disparities in partnership with the University of Southern California, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and several community collaborators.

The goal of the center is to reduce cardiovascular disease risk among Latinos in East Los Angeles, where 96 percent of the population is of Mexican or Central American ancestry. This community experiences higher rates of obesity-related chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and stroke, especially in comparison to residents in other areas of Los Angeles.

The announcement was made at the Los Angeles County Roybal Comprehensive Health Center in East Los Angeles, where participants will be recruited for the new center's study, which will use a community-based participatory approach to implement family and neighborhood environment interventions.

Researchers will also collect data from other community participants to examine the risk of individuals across generations; these data will help them determine the role that acculturation and the food environment play in the occurrence of cardiovascular disease.

"Given the high rates of cardiovascular disease and diabetes and the low rates of physical activity and poor eating practices, we believe that East L.A. is ready for a community-centered intervention and research program to reduce the risks associated with cardiovascular disease," said Alex Ortega, a professor of health services at the UCLA School of Public Health and principal investigator for the new center.

The study will carry out two behavioral and environment-intervention projects and one interdisciplinary social and basic science project, all designed to bring positive changes to the community by focusing on key factors that affect health outcomes: personal and family
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Contact: Sarah Anderson
sanderson@ph.ucla.edu
310-267-0440
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

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