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Extramural Research

Improving Environmental Health Disparities: A Fundamental Cause Approach

EPA Grant Number: NIMHD002
Title: Improving Environmental Health Disparities: A Fundamental Cause Approach
Investigators: Calhoun, Elizabeth , Kim, Seijeoung
Institution: University of Illinois at Chicago
EPA Project Officer: Callan, Richard
Project Period: September 22, 2011 through August 29, 2015
Project Amount: $819,428
RFA: Transdisciplinary Networks of Excellence on the Environment and Health Disparities (2012)
Research Category: Environmental Justice , Environmental Health Disparities

Description:

This grant establishes an Environmental Core, which will operate in conjunction with other Cores of the UIC Center for Excellence in Eliminating Disparities to maximize the center's environmental health disparities research capacity. Data generated from this project will be deposited into the Data Core and made available to collaborating local health disparities researchers and community advocates.

This core supports a research project that explores mechanisms explaining racial differences in exposure to environmental hazards and access to care, and in health outcomes. To achieve this objective, we will compile relevant neighborhood-level data on environmental hazards and access to care in Cook County, and link them to other social determinants data that complied in the data repository. We will use three approaches to examine the associations:

  1. We will examine the effect of racial residential segregation on the physical and social environment variables (the presence of environmental hazards and access to health care facilities).
  2. We will examine incidence and late stage diagnosis of breast, cervical, and lung cancer in relation to environmental risk factors.
  3. To examine changes in environmental conditions on health outcomes, we will explore the effect of changes in racial composition and socioeconomic status between 2000 and 2010 (relocation of racial/ethnic minorities who moved from inner-city Chicago to suburban Cook County).

 

Objective:

  1. Establish a composite dataset including a broad range of environmental factors that can affect health outcomes, including breast, cervical, and lung cancer incidence and mortality rates.
  2. Explore the potential mechanisms explaining racial differences in exposure to environmental hazards, access to care, and in health outcomes.
  3. Examine the effects of racial residential segregation on the level of exposure to environmental hazards and access to other health related factors.
  4. Document the trends in the pattern of the distribution of environmental and health disparities, in relation to demographic and residential changes overtime.

Approach:

Three approaches to examine the associations.  First, we will examine the effect of racial residential segregation on the physical and social environment variables (the presence of environmental hazards and access to care facilities).  Second, we will then examine incidence and late stage diagnosis of selected outcomes (breast, cervical, and lung cancer) in relation to environmental risk factors.  Third, to examine the change in environmental conditions on health outcomes, we will explore the effect of changes in racial composition and SES between 2000 and 2010 (relocation of racial/ethnic minorities who moved from the inner city urban areas in Chicago to suburban Cook County).  The Environmental Core will operate in collaboration with the other Core groups, to maximize the environmental health disparities research capacity of the UIC CEED.  Data generated from this project will be deposited into the Data Core and made available to collaborating local health disparity researchers and community advocates.

Expected Results:

  1. A set of variables that can be used to examine the level of environmental hazard exposure, access to care, demographic characteristics, socioeconomic factors, and breast, cervical, and lung cancer incidence and mortality rates.
  2. Census tract level evaluation of racial differences in exposure to environmental hazards, access to care, and in health outcomes.
  3. Geographic maps and analysis of the effects of racial residential segregation on the level of exposure to environmental hazards and access to other health related factors.
  4. Census tract level geographic maps and an ecological conceptual model explaining the trends in the pattern of the distribution of environmental and health disparities, in relation to demographic and residential changes overtime.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 24 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 5 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

Environmental hazards, cancer outcomes, racial residential segregation, neighborhood effects, health disparity

Progress and Final Reports:
2012 Progress Report
2013 Progress Report

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The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Conclusions drawn by the principal investigators have not been reviewed by the Agency.

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