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Media Coverage

Health Disparities Seminar Series

February 2012 Seminar Series
The National Institutes of Health welcomes Dr. Herman A. Taylor, Jr. as the featured speaker for the NIH Health Disparities Seminar Series on February 16, 2012.

Cardiovascular disease is a serious problem for the African American community. According to the CDC, African Americans are 30% more likely to die from heart disease than white Americans, and 40% more likely to have high blood pressure. In the state of Mississippi, these national trends are amplified due to a combination of geographic, cultural, and socioeconomic factors. In addition to having the highest concentration of African Americans in the country, Mississippi leads the nation in both poverty and heart disease death rates. Furthermore, approximately one-third of Mississippi residents are obese. (Click here for abstract)

Led by Dr. Taylor, investigators with the Jackson Heart Study (JHS) in Mississippi are working to reduce some of these disparities. In the largest ever population-based study of cardiovascular disease in African Americans, Dr. Taylor and his team are following more than 4,500 Jackson, Miss., residents to determine how genetic, environmental, and social influences affect their heart health.

To commemorate both Black History Month and American Heart Month, Dr. Taylor will describe the progress his team has made towards understanding cardiovascular health. He will also explain how data from the JHS could impact the trajectory of the heart disease epidemic across the United States, emphasizing the importance of translating research findings into effective prevention strategies.

Dr. Taylor is the director and principal investigator of the Jackson Heart Study funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and NIMHD. He is also the Aaron Shirley Professor for the Study of Health Disparities, professor of medicine, and attending physician at the University of Mississippi Medical Center; visiting professor of biology at Tougaloo College; and clinical professor of epidemiology and preventive medicine at Jackson State University. A graduate of Princeton University, Dr. Taylor earned his M.D. from Harvard Medical School, trained in internal medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and completed a cardiology fellowship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Dr. Taylor's work to reduce ethnic disparities in cardiovascular health has gained national recognition. He has been named one of the Best Doctors in America by American Health magazine, one of America's Leading Doctors by Black Enterprise magazine, Mentor of the Year by the Student National Medical Association, and Physician of the Year by the American Heart Association. His additional accolades include the Award of Excellence from the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the Lou Wooster Public Health Hero Award from the UAB School of Public Health.

Presentation Title: The Jackson Heart Study: Early Insights and Implications for Future Directions

Guest Speaker:
Dr. Herman A. Taylor, Jr. (Click here for bio)
Director and Principal Investigator,
Jackson Heart Study
University of Mississippi Medical Center
Jackson, Mississippi

Thursday, February 16, 2012
2:00 - 3:30 P.M.

Location: NIH Campus
Natcher Conference Center, Balcony A
45 Center Drive
Bethesda, MD

Additional Information: There is limited parking on the NIH campus. The closest Metro is Medical Center. Please allow adequate time for security check. The seminar will be video cast and made available in the NIH Video archives and on the NIMHD website after the seminar. Sign language interpreters will be provided. Individuals with disabilities who need reasonable accommodations to participate should contact Edgar Dews at 301-402-1366 or the Federal Relay at 1-800-877-8339.

Related Link:
NIMHD Grantees Promote Heart Health in African Americans
The month of February, which is both Black History Month and American Heart Month, provides a unique opportunity to stress the importance of cardiovascular health in African Americans. Over the years, NIMHD has funded hundreds of grants to reduce heart disease in the black community, addressing both biological and social factors. (more)


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