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Health Disparities Seminar Series

September 2009 Seminar Series

In commemoration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the theme for the September seminar series is “Building a Healthy Future for Hispanic Americans.” The NCMHD sponsors this month’s seminar in collaboration with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

Hispanics and Latinos represent the largest minority population in the United States, comprising 15 percent of the total population. However, Hispanics have the highest uninsured rate of any ethnic group in the United States. Nearly one-third of Hispanics in the United States are uninsured, compared to one-tenth of all non-Hispanic Whites in the country, according to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  While Hispanics reported 10 percent fewer cases of heart disease than non-Hispanic whites in 2007, Hispanics have a greater risk of obesity, diabetes, and asthma. A 1993 to 1995 study of people living in the Northeast found that Hispanics and Latinos were twice as likely to die from asthma as non-Hispanic whites were, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

To improve understanding of Hispanic and Latino health and advance research about specific Hispanic subgroups, NHLBI (with co-funding from five other NIH Institutes) started the “Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos" in 2006. The six and a half year study, deemed the largest long-term study of Hispanic and Latino health and disease will provide important public health surveillance information on the prevalence, incidence, risk factors, and consequences of chronic diseases among Hispanic/Latino adults. Two of the principal investigators will discuss the study’s progress, impact and goals at this month’s seminar.   

The five NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices co-funding the Hispanic study are the National Center on 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.

Dr. Elizabeth Nabel, Director of the NHLBI, will deliver the opening remarks.

Guest Speakers:

Larissa Avilés-Santa, MD, MPH, FACP, FACE, is the Project Officer for the Hispanic Community Health Study - Study of Latinos, in the Division of Cardiovascular Sciences at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. (more about this speaker)

Robert Kaplan, PhD., is a cardiovascular disease epidemiologist and an Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Population Health at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. He is the principal investigator of the Bronx Field Center for the NIH-sponsored Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos. (more about this speaker)


Neil Schneiderman, PhD., is a James L. Knight Professor of Psychology, Medicine, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Miami. He is the principal investigator of the Miami Field Center for the NIH-sponsored “Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos.” (more about this speaker)

Topic: The Hispanic Community Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL) It has been well-documented that Hispanic/Latino adults have a high prevalence of socioeconomic disadvantage and medical risk factors that may adversely influence future risk of heart disease and stroke.  Some data support the notion of a “Hispanic paradox” – namely, that despite high rates of obesity, diabetes, poverty, and lack of access to medical care, Hispanic populations may have relatively low rates of incident cardiovascular events such as myocardial infarction and coronary death.  On the other hand, other conditions such as asthma appear to be highly prevalent among Hispanic/Latino populations.  (click here for the abstract)

Thursday, September 17, 2009
2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Natcher Conference Center
NIH Campus
Building 45, Balcony B&C
45 Center Drive
Bethesda, MD
There is limited parking on the NIH campus. The closest metro is Medical Center. Please allow adequate time for security check to enter the NIH campus. (click here for more directions)

Sign Language Interpreters will be available. Individuals with disabilities who need reasonable accommodation should contact Edgar Dews at 301-402-1366 and/or the Federal Relay at 1-800-877-8339.

For more information contact the NCMHD at 301-402-1366.

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