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1.  Pilgrimage to Wellness: An Exploratory Report of Rural African American Clergy Perceptions of Church Health Promotion Capacity 
Churches serve a vital role in African American communities and may be effective vehicles for health promotion in rural areas where disease burden is disproportionately greater and healthcare access is more limited than other communities. Endorsement by church leadership is often necessary for the approval of programs and activities within churches; however, little is known about how church leaders perceive their respective churches as health promotion organizations. The purpose of this exploratory pilot was to report perceptions of church capacity to promote health among African American clergy leaders of predominantly African American rural churches. The analysis sample included 27 pastors of churches in Eastern NC who completed a survey on church health promotion capacity and perceived impact on their own health. Capacities assessed included perceived need and impact of health promotion activities, church preparedness to promote health, health promotion actions to take, and the existence and importance of health ministry attributes. The results from this pilot study indicated a perceived need to increase the capacity of their churches to promote health. Conducting health programs, displaying health information, collaborations within the church (i.e., kitchen committee working with the health ministry), partnerships outside of the church, and funding were most commonly reported needed capacities. Findings from this exploratory work lay the foundation for the development of future, larger observational studies that can specify some of the key factors associated with organizational change and ultimately health promotion in these rural church settings.
PMCID: PMC3947504  PMID: 22694157
clergy; African American; health promotion; churches; capacity
2.  Quality of Life and Psychosocial Factors in African Americans with Hypertensive Chronic Kidney Disease 
Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is poorly understood in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) prior to end-stage renal disease. The association between psychosocial measures and HRQOL has not been fully explored in CKD, especially in African Americans. We performed a cross-sectional analysis of HRQOL and its association with sociodemographic and psychosocial factors in African Americans with hypertensive CKD.
There were 639 participants in the African American Study of Kidney Disease and Hypertension Cohort Study. The Short Form-36 was used to measure HRQOL. The Diener Satisfaction with Life Scale measured life satisfaction, the Beck Depression Inventory-II assessed depression, the Coping Skills Inventory-Short Form measured coping, and the Interpersonal Support Evaluation List-16 was used to measure social support.
Mean participant age was 60 years at enrollment, and 61% were male. Forty-two percent reported a household income below $15,000/year. Higher levels of social support, coping skills, and life satisfaction were associated with higher HRQOL, while unemployment and depression were associated with lower HRQOL (p<0.05). There was a significant positive association between higher estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) with the Physical Health Composite (PHC) score (p=0.004) but not the Mental Health Composite (MHC) score (p=0.24).
Unemployment was associated with lower HRQOL, and lower eGFR was associated with lower PHC. African Americans with hypertensive CKD with better social support and coping skills had higher HRQOL. This study demonstrates an association between CKD and low HRQOL and highlights the need for longitudinal studies to further examine this association.
PMCID: PMC3240805  PMID: 22153804
3.  Elevated depressive affect is associated with adverse cardiovascular outcomes among African Americans with chronic kidney disease 
Kidney international  2011;80(6):670-678.
This study was designed to examine the impact of elevated depressive affect on health outcomes among participants with hypertensive chronic kidney disease in the African-American Study of Kidney Disease and Hypertension (AASK) Cohort Study. Elevated depressive affect was defined by Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI-II) thresholds of 11 or more, above 14, and by 5-Unit increments in the score. Cox regression analyses were used to relate cardiovascular death/hospitalization, doubling of serum creatinine/end-stage renal disease, overall hospitalization, and all-cause death to depressive affect evaluated at baseline, the most recent annual visit (time-varying), or average from baseline to the most recent visit (cumulative). Among 628 participants at baseline, 42% had BDI-II scores of 11 or more and 26% had a score above 14. During a 5-year follow-up, the cumulative incidence of cardiovascular death/hospitalization was significantly greater for participants with baseline BDI-II scores of 11 or more compared with those with scores <11. The baseline, time-varying, and cumulative elevated depressive affect were each associated with a significant higher risk of cardiovascular death/hospitalization, especially with a time-varying BDI-II score over 14 (adjusted HR 1.63) but not with the other outcomes. Thus, elevated depressive affect is associated with unfavorable cardiovascular outcomes in African Americans with hypertensive chronic kidney disease.
PMCID: PMC3237701  PMID: 21633409
AASK (African American Study of Kidney Disease and Hypertension); cardiovascular events; chronic kidney disease; depression
4.  Sociodemographic factors contribute to the depressive affect among African Americans with chronic kidney disease 
Kidney international  2010;77(11):1010-1019.
Depression is common in end-stage renal disease and is associated with poor quality of life and higher mortality; however, little is known about depressive affect in earlier stages of chronic kidney disease. To measure this in a risk group burdened with hypertension and kidney disease, we conducted a cross-sectional analysis of individuals at enrollment in the African American Study of Kidney Disease and Hypertension Cohort Study. Depressive affect was assessed by the Beck Depression Inventory II and quality of life by the Medical Outcomes Study-Short Form and the Satisfaction with Life Scale. Beck Depression scores over 14 were deemed consistent with an increased depressive affect and linear regression analysis was used to identify factors associated with these scores. Among 628 subjects, 166 had scores over 14 but only 34 were prescribed antidepressants. The mean Beck Depression score of 11.0 varied with the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) from 10.7 (eGFR 50–60) to 16.0 (eGFR stage 5); however, there was no significant independent association between these. Unemployment, low income, and lower quality and satisfaction with life scale scores were independently and significantly associated with a higher Beck Depression score. Thus, our study shows that an increased depressive affect is highly prevalent in African Americans with chronic kidney disease, is infrequently treated with antidepressants, and is associated with poorer quality of life. Sociodemographic factors have especially strong associations with this increased depressive affect. Because this study was conducted in an African-American cohort, its findings may not be generalized to other ethnic groups.
PMCID: PMC3114445  PMID: 20200503
AASK (African American Study of Kidney Disease and Hypertension); chronic kidney disease; clinical epidemiology; depression; quality of life
5.  Association of Socioeconomic Status and CKD among African Americans: The Jackson Heart Study 
Socioeconomic status (SES) is recognized as a key social environmental factor because it has implications for access to resources that help individuals care for themselves and others. Few studies have examined the association of SES with CKD in high-risk populations.
Study Design
Single-site longitudinal population-based cohort
Setting and Participants
The data for this study were drawn from the baseline examination of the Jackson Heart Study. The analytic cohort consisted of 3,430 African American men and women living in the tri-county area of the Jackson, Mississippi metropolitan areas with complete data to determine CKD status.
High SES (defined as having a family income at least 3.5 times the poverty level or having at least one undergraduate degree)
Outcomes and Measurements
CKD (defined as the presence of albuminuria or reduced estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) <60 ml/min/1.73m2). Associations were explored through bivariable analyses and multivariable logistic regression analyses adjusting for CKD and cardiovascular disease risk factors as well as demographic factors.
The prevalence of CKD in the Jackson Heart Study was 20% (865/3430 participants). The proportion of the Jackson Heart Study cohort with albuminuria and decreased eGFR was 12.5% (429/3430 participants) and 10.1% (347/3430 participants) respectively. High SES was inversely associated with CKD. The odds of having CKD were 41% lower for affluent participants than their less affluent counterparts. There were no statistically significant interactions between sex and education or income although subgroup analysis showed that high income was associated with CKD among male (OR 0.47, CI 0.23–0.97) but not female (OR 0.64, CI 0.40–1.03) participants.
Models were estimated using cross-sectional data.
CKD is associated with SES. Additional research is needed to elucidate the impact of wealth and social contexts in which individuals are embedded, and the mediating effects of sociocultural factors.
PMCID: PMC2876216  PMID: 20381223
6.  Social Environmental Stressors, Psychological Factors, and Kidney Disease 
Kidney disease is one of the most striking examples of health disparities in American public health. Disparities in the prevalence and progression of kidney disease are generally thought to be a function of group differences in the prevalence of kidney disease risk factors such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. However, the presence of these comorbidities does not completely explain the elevated rate of progression from chronic kidney disease (CKD) to end-stage renal disease among high-risk populations such as African Americans. We believe that the social environment is an important element in the pathway from CKD risk factors to CKD and end-stage renal disease. This review of the literature draws heavily from social science and social epidemiology to present a conceptual frame specifying how social, economic, and psychosocial factors interact to affect the risks for and the progression of kidney disease.
PMCID: PMC2824501  PMID: 19240646
psychosocial factors; socioeconomic factors; environmental factors; end-stage renal disease; chronic kidney disease
7.  One size fits all? Race, gender and body mass index among U.S. adults. 
This study examined the extent to which factors presumed to be correlated with body mass index (BMI) vary across four race- and gender-specific groups. Data were drawn from the American Changing Lives Survey to estimate separate multivariate regression models for the total study sample that included African-American males, Caucasian males, African-American females and Caucasian females. The dependant variable of interest was BMI. Independent variables included age, human capital variables, relationship and support measures, health status and behavior measures, and stress and outlook measures. Results from the pooled model indicated that BMI was associated with a number of factors such as employment status, chronic illness, financial strain and religiosity. However, race- and gender-specific regression models revealed that predictors of BMI varied considerably for African-American men, Caucasian men, African-American women and Caucasian women. In other words, these models disentangled important correlations not observed in the pooled model. These findings suggest that addressing racial disparities in body weight-related outcomes requires health practitioners to modify obesity prevention and treatment efforts to incorporate a broader array of factors inherent to specific racial and gender populations.
PMCID: PMC2574391  PMID: 17987919
8.  Urban poverty and infant mortality rate disparities. 
This study examined whether the relationship between high poverty and infant mortality rates (IMRs) varied across race- and ethnic-specific populations in large urban areas. Data were drawn from 1990 Census and 1992-1994 Vital Statistics for selected U.S. metropolitan areas. High-poverty areas were defined as neighborhoods in which > or = 40% of the families had incomes below the federal poverty threshold. Bivariate models showed that high poverty was a significant predictor of IMR for each group; however, multivariate analyses demonstrate that maternal health and regional factors explained most of the variance in the group-specific models of IMR. Additional analysis revealed that high poverty was significantly associated with minority-white IMR disparities, and country of origin is an important consideration for ethnic birth outcomes. Findings from this study provide a glimpse into the complexity associated with infant mortality in metropolitan areas because they suggest that the factors associated with infant mortality in urban areas vary by race and ethnicity.
PMCID: PMC2569641  PMID: 17444423
9.  Inequality and adolescent violence: an exploration of community, family, and individual factors. 
PURPOSE: The study seeks to examine whether the relationships among community, family, individual factors, and violent behavior are parallel across race- and gender-specific segments of the adolescent population. METHODS: Data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health are analyzed to highlight the complex relationships between inequality, community, family, individual behavior, and violence. RESULTS: The results from robust regression analysis provide evidence that social environmental factors can influence adolescent violence in race- and gender-specific ways. CONCLUSIONS: Findings from this study establish the plausibility of multidimensional models that specify a complex relationship between inequality and adolescent violence.
PMCID: PMC2595012  PMID: 15101669

Results 1-9 (9)