154866 Black Women's Health Study: A prospective follow-up of US black women

Monday, November 5, 2007: 11:15 AM

Yvette C. Cozier, DSc, MPH , Slone Epidemiology Center, Boston University, Boston, MA
Lauren A. Wise, ScD , Slone Epidemiology Center, Boston University, Boston, MA
Julie R. Palmer, ScD , Slone Epidemiology Center, Boston University, Boston, MA
Lucile L. Adams-Campbell, PhD , Howard University Cancer Center, Howard University, Washington, DC
Lynn Rosenberg, ScD , Slone Epidemiology Center, Boston University, Boston, MA
Black women in the United States carry a greater burden of morbidity and mortality than white women, with higher rates for virtually every major illness. Few studies are dedicated to understanding the health of black women and the factors that contribute to observed health disparities. The Black Women's Health Study (BWHS), a collaboration between Boston University and Howard University, is the largest study ever conducted on the health of this underserved population. The BWHS is a prospective follow-up of 59,000 US black women aged 21-69 at entry in 1995. Data have been collected biennially through postal surveys on demographic variables, medical and reproductive history, social behaviors, physical activity, and nutrition. Cheek cell samples as a source of DNA have been collected from nearly half of the cohort. The primary focus of the BWHS is to determine whether lifestyle factors (e.g., smoking, diet, obesity, exercise) and genetic factors affect the risk of cancers and other illnesses (e.g., cardiovascular disease, lupus) in black women. In addition, the study has examined the role of non-traditional risk factors such as perceived racism, neighborhood socioeconomic status, and interpersonal violence in disease etiology. We will describe BWHS study methods and present select findings that address the social, cultural, and environmental context of black women's health. The BWHS is a valuable resource for understanding the causes of illnesses in black women and may lead to more effective prevention programs.

Learning Objectives:
Discuss recruitment and follow-up of the Black Women’s Health Study. Describe health behaviors, and community contextual factors obtained from study participants. Review findings on the contextual factors of Black Women’s lives associated with major health outcomes.

Keywords: Minority Health, Minority Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
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