Center for Integrative Approaches to Health Disparities – Environment Assessment Core

EPA Grant Number: NIMHD004
Title: Center for Integrative Approaches to Health Disparities – Environment Assessment Core
Investigators: Diez Roux, Ana V. , Hickson, DeMarc A , Auchincloss, Amy H , Gebreab, Samson
Institution: University of Michigan , Drexel University , Jackson State University
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: August 1, 2011 through July 31, 2014
Project Amount: $556,144
RFA: Transdisciplinary Networks of Excellence on the Environment and Health Disparities (2012) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Environmental Justice , Human Health


The goal of the Center for Integrative Approaches to Health Disparities (CIAHD) at the University of Michigan is to investigate the multilevel determinants of health disparities in cardiovascular risk by integrating social and biologic factors. As part of this proposed revision we will add an evironmental assessment core in order to enhance the environmental measures available in the Jackson Heart Study (JHS) and the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Existing evidence strongly suggests that environmnetal features are strongly patterned by neighborhood race/ethnic and socioeconomic composition. Cross-sectional data also suggests that the environmnetal features are associated with cardiovascular-related outcomes. However, important questions remain regarding whether these associations reflect causal processes. Two key requirements ito improve causal inferences include (1) improving the measures of specific neighborhood features hypothesized to be linked to cardiovascular disease; and (2) incorporating these measures in longitudinal studies.


The specific aims of the revision are (1) To enhance the neighborhood -level data available in MESA by adding novel data on food price and various built environment measures that can be better used to study the impact of neighborhoods on changes cardiovascular risk; (2) To create comparable time-varying measures of access to healthy foods, recreational facilities, and other price and built environmnet data for JHS (3) to promote analyses of neighborhood effects on cardiovascular risk that take advantage of the new environmental data in MESA and JHS.


We propose to build on prior work conducted as part of MESA and JHS in order to enhance the environmental measures available in both studies that can be used to better understand the contributions of neighborhood environments to cardiovascular risk and to health disparities. This work will enhance and build on our collaborations with JHS and with MESA, and will involve a partneship between the University of Michigan, the Jackson Heart Study, and Drexel University.

Expected Results:

This revision will provide the infrastructure and datasets necessary for CIAHD investigators to pursue environmental health disparities research that is highly synergistic with and expands the scope of CIAHD.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 5 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 4 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

Neighborhood , cardiovascular disease, environment measures, Jackson Heart Study, MESA

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2012 Progress Report
  • 2013 Progress Report
  • Final Report