Environmental Health Disparities Research in NOCEMHD

EPA Grant Number: NIMHD008
Title: Environmental Health Disparities Research in NOCEMHD
Investigators: Link, Bruce , Luchsinger, José A , March, Dana
Current Investigators: Luchsinger, José A , Link, Bruce , March, Dana , Teresi, Jeanne
Institution: Columbia University Medical Center
EPA Project Officer: Callan, Richard
Project Period: August 1, 2011 through July 31, 2014
Project Amount: $850,638
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 this application is to establish the Contextual Health Disparities-Core (COHD) in the Northern Manhattan Center of Excellence in Minority Health and Health Disparities at Columbia University (NOCEMHD). The COHD will be established through a partnership with the Center for Study of Social Inequalities and Health (CSSIH) at the Mailman School of Public Health (MSPH) (director, Bruce Link, PhD). The leader of the COHD will be Dr. Link. The co-leader of this core will be Dr. Dana March. Research in NOCEMHD has focused on cohort studies and clinical trials examining determinants of minority health at the individual level, particularly in our focus areas of cardiovascular conditions (diabetes, hypertension), mental health (cognition, depression), and their co-existence. However, environmental factors interact with individual level factors to determine health outcomes in cardiovascular conditions and mental health. We refer to these factors as Health Disparity Environmental Factors (HDEF). We will collect a battery of validated measures of these HDEF used by the CSSIH in 4 ongoing NOCEMHD studies: The Northern Manhattan Study of Metabolism and Mental Health (NOMEM), The Northern Manhattan Community Outreach Project (NOCHOP; clinicaltrials.gov NCT00787475), The Northern Manhattan Caregiver Intervention Project (NOCIP; Clinicaltrials.gov NCT01306695), and The Counseling Adults to Control Hypertension Study (COACH; clinicaltrials.gov NCT01180673). NOMEM is a cohort study. COACH, NOCHOP, and NOCIP are clinical trials.


  1. To examine in NOMEM cross-sectional analyses the respective contributions of HDEF at the national, state, city, neighborhood, and individual levels to proximal behavioral and biological risk and protective factors for diabetes and depression in a midlife Hispanic population.
  2. To examine how HDEF at the national, state, city, neighborhood, and individual levels modify the response to the community-based interventions in COACH, NOCHOP, and NOCIP.
  3. The rich data collected with support from this application will be part of our data and biospecimen repository (DBR) managed by the NOCEMHD Research Core.


We will administer validated questionnaires of the following constructs in NOMEM, COACH, NOCHOP, AND NOCIP: socio-economic status; structural discrimination; neighborhood physical and social characteristics; interpersonal discrimination; anticipated discrimination; coping with stress and discrimination, social support, and self-efficacy; racial/ethnic socialization; John Henrysm; Migration and mobility; acculturation; health behaviors. Two dedicated research assistants will administer the questionnaires during the study period using a computer assisted personal interview (CAPI) system.

Expected Results:

We will obtain valuable information on how HDEF modify the association between metabolic and mental health outcomes in NOMEM, and how they modify the effectiveness of the community based interventions in COACH, NOCHOP, and NOCIP. The results from COACH, NOCHOP, and NOCIP will be particularly innovative for the design and implementation of community based interventions.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 7 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 3 journal articles for this project

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2012 Progress Report
  • 2013 Progress Report
  • Final Report